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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Maybe they should get the education first...

Support the troops; bring them home. A poll of U.S. troops in Iraq shows that 29 percent favor immediate withdrawal, 22 percent favor withdrawal within six months, and 21 percent call for withdrawal between six months and a year from now. All told, over half favor getting out within six months, and 72 percent want out within a year. Too bad Congress doesn't support the troops.

Why the troops feel this way is strange:
Asked to assess the relative importance of the different justifications for the war articulated by Bush over the last several years, three in four soldiers said "establish(ing) a democracy that could be a model for the Arab world" -- the justification most recently cited by Bush -- was neither the "main" nor even a "major reason" for the U.S. intervention.

More than 90 percent also did not accept the justification most cited by the administration before the war -- to enforce U.N. resolutions requiring the destruction or removal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from Iraq. Less than five percent of respondents cited that as the "main" or a "major reason."
So far, so good. But then there's this:
Remarkably, the two justifications most frequently mentioned by the troops were those that were discredited after the invasion. Forty-one percent said stopping "Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq" was the "main reason," while another 36 percent said it was a "major reason." At the same time, 35 percent said "retaliat(ing) for Saddam's role in the 9/11 attacks" was the "main reason", and 50 percent called it a "major reason."
And I thought that William Safire was the last person on earth who believed that nonsense.

In other poll news, W's job-approval rating is now at 34 percent, down 8 points from January. Nevertheless, he's still the most popular selected official in the administration by a wide margin: Dick Cheney comes in at 18 percent approval.

(via Bob Harris)