Americans do not want to send ground troops back to Iraq.
Americans really do not want to send ground troops back to Iraq.
A fresh Public Policy Polling survey finds that 74 percent of voters oppose sending troops to the country where in 2003 former Vice President Dick Cheney claimed US troops would be “greeted as liberators”—but where in fact 4,486 Americans were killed, and where even the most cautious estimates put the Iraqi death toll (military and civilian) in the hundreds of thousands.
Americans recognize the damage that was done, as well, to their country’s international reputation, and to its sense of priorities when it came to policymaking and federal budgeting. That does not mean that they are unaware of, or unconcerned with, the degenerating circumstances in Iraq. That does not mean they have suddenly gone isolationist. That does not mean that they oppose diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives.
What it means is that they have a sense of perspective that is lacking among the neoconservative elite that is always so ready for war.
So it is that, while Cheney is busily repurposing his pro-war rhetoric of 1991 and 2003—while at the same time accusing President Obama of “betraying” US freedom, “abandoning” Iraq, being a “very very weak president” and generally failing to follow the neocon playbook—Americans are remembering what happened the last time the war hawks had their way.
In fact, if there is one thing that unites Americans, it is their skepticism about steering back into Iraq.
Eighty-two percent of Democrats oppose sending US troops to Iraq, as do 86 percent of independents. Notably, 57 percent of Republicans are also opposed.
Just 28 percent of Republicans favor the ground-troops option.
Overall, just 16 percent of Americans are inclined toward the sort of approach that might satisfy Cheney.