Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, 53 percent of Americans now say the war was a mistake, according to a new Gallup poll.
That number means little without context, so let me supply the baffling shift in opinion over the last decade.
Back in 2003 at the outset of the war, only 23 percent thought this was a mistake, or as Sen. John Kerry famously called it, “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” In reality, 23 percent opposition is nothing in this day and age as public opinion polls could find 23 percent opposed to ice cream, sunsets or puppies.
Fast forward to 2008 and a full 63 percent lined up on the “mistake” side of the ledger when it came to Iraq. Pretty solid number as it’s hard to get 63 percent of Americans to agree on the time of day. But here’s where it gets tricky.
In 2013, the 10-year anniversary of hostilities and the number of people who look back on the Iraq war as a mistake has DROPPED to 53 percent? Really?
The cynic in me might point to 2008 as a year of hyper-partisan politics and a Democratic candidate running on an anti-war platform, specifically trying to hang the wars of the previous president on the Republican candidate. And you could argue he managed to convince people that what they “felt” about Iraq was wrong and in order to be a good Democrat you must be opposed to anything Bush did. Period.
Or, you could look at these fluctuations as a prime example of “time heals all wounds.” The same poll showed the number of people who thought the Vietnam war was a mistake has dropped over 10 percentage points in just the last 10 years! At this rate, give it another 10 years and our history books may be calling Vietnam our largest military victory!
What I find most interesting are the opinions based on age. There was a time when the younger generation was opposed to war and took to the streets in opposition. Civil unrest, mass protests and more characterized an entire generations attitude towards conflict. Ask the younger generation today (18 to 29) and you will find a nearly 180 degree shift. Not only are they MORE supportive of ALL wars than their parents or grandparents, but they also view previous wars in a much more positive light than those who lived through or fought in them.
There may be no clearer example of the adage, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development