46% In New Pew Center Poll Say Bring Troops Home As Soon As Possible
(Graphic courtesy of the Pew Center)
Late today, the Pew Center released its own latest poll results, centering on the publicís view of the Iraq mission, whether or not our troops should be brought home, the detainee abuse incidents, and how closely the public is following certain stories. And although the public thinks that the detainee abuse incidents are isolated and not part of a pattern, the news is not good for Bush. The poll shows that 46% want the troops home as soon as possible, and comparisons to Vietnam have taken root. So much for the dedicated spin efforts from Rummy these last two years.
First, 54% of those polled feel that detainee abuse by our troops reflect isolated incidents and not part of a wider pattern. 34% in the latest poll feel that such reports are in fact reflective of a larger pattern.
But this latest poll shows that 46% of those polled want our troops to come home ASAP, their highest level since the Abu Ghraib revelations last year. Moreover, an increasing number of those polled think that Iraq may turn out like Vietnam. The gains in this number come from those following Iraq very closely. This explains why Fox News viewers still blindly support this war, since all they have gotten day in and day out are Michael Jackson stories and anything else Roger Ailes can dish out to the cult without giving them the truth or bad news. Keep them dumb and titillated, that's Roger's motto.
The steady drip of negative news from Iraq is significantly undermining support for the U.S. military operation there. With the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq exceeding 1,700, there is widespread awareness of the rising American death toll. As a consequence, baseline public attitudes toward the war are gradually turning more negative. Support for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq continues to inch up from 36% last October, to 42% in February, and 46% currently.
Calls for a troop withdrawal have been this high only during a brief period in the spring of 2004, following the intensification of the Iraqi insurgency and revelations of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Moreover, the idea that the Iraq war could turn out to be another Vietnam, which the public decisively rejected last year, has developed increasing traction. About a third of Americans (35%) say Iraq will turn out to be another Vietnam, while 47% think the U.S. will accomplish its goals there.
In several surveys in 2004, Americans dismissed parallels between Iraq and Vietnam by about a two-to-one margin. Nearly all of the increase in the belief that the war in Iraq will turn out to be another Vietnam has come among those following news about Iraq very closely.
Folks, there is a direct relationship between support for the war and what the cultists actually know about what is really happening over there. Millions of red state voters and business owners who keep their TVs tuned to the mindless truth-avoiding blather on Fox News day in and day out are the most likely to be uninformed about the war, and yet they are the most likely to still support it.
This poll shows that the public is still paying close attention to Iraq, when they can get news about it, but that only 13% were following the Michael Jackson trial very closely.
Which network do you think those 13% get their news from?
But setting aside the snark at Fox, we're only six months into a second term, and this administration has already turned the country irretrievably against its first-term priority (Iraq) and its second-term priority (privatizing Social Security), which are the two most closely-followed topics according to this poll.
What level of ineptitude, detachment, and intransigence does that take? And will the mainstream media ever realize what a pathetic accomplishment this is, when they get done with the Michael Jackson post-mortems?