After $500 billion in spending and 4,000 military deaths, this was supposed to be an election year dominated by the war.The main reason for that seems to be that, as weary as most Americans are of the conflict and as unpopular as President Bush is, they know he'll be gone in a few months and the next President will most likely be a Democrat who will have some sort of a plan for a gradual withdrawal, so the antiwar movement will lose its main argument. They wanted this year to be their 1968, but it's turning out to be more like 1972.
Both Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, support a withdrawal, while Sen. John McCain, a Republican, argues that the U.S. risks losing Iraq to terrorist groups and Iranian influence if troops leave before the country is stable.
In Washington, D.C., Congress is preparing to consider President Bush's latest emergency funding package for the fighting, with a price tag of $108 billion.
But a worsening economy has easily overtaken Iraq as the top concern for voters, according to a New York Times/CBS poll released last week. Only 17 percent of respondents picked the war as the 'one issue' they'd like to hear the candidates discuss more.
Americans still have strong feelings about the conflict: 62 percent want the next president to pull out of Iraq within a year or two of taking office, the poll said. Yet war opponents and supporters are having trouble getting the public's -- and the media's -- attention.
A March survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press discovered that just 28 percent of Americans knew the approximate number of U.S. deaths in the war.
'Obviously, I wish that the American people were more engaged in understanding what's at stake in Iraq,' said Pete Hegseth, who served there with the 101st Airborne Division and is now executive director of Vets for Freedom. 'I think it's unfortunate that here on the homefront we're not interested in what's going on overseas.'
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
This is rich.