Bob Moser writes: Once a wartime President has lost support in gung-ho North Carolina–home to major Army, Air Force and Marine bases and longtime bastion of pro-military sentiment–it’s safe to assume that he’s lost it everywhere. A recent poll conducted by Elon University provided grim news, then, for George W. Bush and his Iraq adventure: 57 percent of Tar Heels said they disapproved of the President’s handling of the war. But that wasn’t the worst finding for the floundering Bush Administration. The poll showed that active military personnel, reservists and veterans in North Carolina had turned just as strongly against the war as nonmilitary citizens. More than 56 percent disapproved of his war leadership. In perhaps the most startling result of all, when they were asked whether the war with Iraq was “worth fighting” in the first place, a mere 19 percent of these soldiers, ex-soldiers and soldiers-in-waiting said yes.


Don Guttenplan writes: Despite hauling Chancellor Gordon Brown back from Israel and flying Foreign Secretary Jack Straw from Moscow so they could vote, Tony Blair suffered his first-ever defeat in Parliament in early November when the House of Commons rejected a government bill to allow terrorist suspects to be held for ninety days without charge. Coming in the wake of Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett’s forced resignation the previous week, Blair’s loss–forty-nine Labour MPs voted against the government–was a huge, self-inflicted wound to his political authority. The defeat came despite a lobbying blitz by the Metropolitan Police commissioner, and in the face of opinion polls showing overwhelming public support for the government’s position. Parliament’s belated discovery of a backbone means that Tony Blair, who has already promised not to run again, remains in office, but not in power. The Iraq War’s chickens may finally be coming home to roost.


The American Society of Magazine Editors selected The Nation‘s November 13, 2000, cover (of Bush as Alfred E.Neuman) as one of the top forty magazine covers of the past forty years.