Poll Shows American Public Wising Up
A new CNN poll shows that the views expressed here at Informed Comment on most issues related to Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld have become mainstream in the American public. A majority of Americans thinks Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld should resign. I called for his resignation after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal broke last spring. Although some senators are saying he should remain in office because a change of leadership at the Pentagon now would be disruptive, I would argue that Rumsfeld has so consistently made the worst possible decision in Iraq that getting him out of the Department of Defense may well be a prerequisite for beginning to fix the problems. Rumsfeld appointed Douglas Feith his undersecretary for policy, and allowed Feith to set up the Office of Special Plans, which cherry-picked intelligence and forged a false case for war in Iraq. Rumsfeld over-ruled his officer corps by sending a tiny force of only 100,000 troops to Iraq, ensuring that they could not keep order in the aftermath. Rumsfeld was the one who tried to hand Iraq over to corrupt financier Ahmad Chalabi. Rumsfeld allowed the looting that began the deterioration of security after the war. Rumsfeld dissolved the Iraqi army, putting US troops on the front lines of the guerrilla war. Rumsfeld didn’t order as much armor for US troop vehicles as he could have, exposing thousands to serious injury from roadside bombs. Rumsfeld didn’t even bother to personally sign the letters of condolence to the families of deceased troops killed in Iraq, in some large part as a result of his own flawed policies. The majority of the American people is right that Rumsfeld must go (and his deputies with him).
The poll found that nearly half of Americans understood that things have gotten worse in Iraq in the past year, and the fools who think the situation has improved have been reduced to a mere fifth of the public (these are apparently the same persons who tend to be picked to answer questions on American comedian Jay Leno’s “Jay-walking” segment, and who also do not know who Dwight Eisenhower was). That 37 percent think things are no worse now than a year ago is disturbing, since they are in fact much, much worse in most ways, but at least they understand the lack of progress.
Some 41% understand that the forthcoming election in and of itself will not lead to a stable government. The vast majority realize that the Bush administration has left us stuck in Iraq, with no early prospect of an exit for US troops.
(I know it isn’t Tuesday for most of my readers, but it is for me. Be back soon).