Staying Out of War: Gallup Poll Reflects Increasing Support.

Yesterday, I wrote an article extolling my approval of American’s increasing support for federal legalization of marijuana. This reflects attitudes turning more towards liberty and a displeasure with the State. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s poll comes another promising poll which reflects an interesting trend: When asked if the USA should mind it’s own business internationally, a growing majority has responded with “yes” (or “agree”, as it were).

Since 1964, Gallup has conducted this poll. We can see slight leaps in “agree” sentiment just after Vietnam and the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it is otherwise clear that a majority of Americans supported interventionism and the role of “world police” for a great many years.

Iraq and Afghanistan have changed this. Iraq was a disaster from start to finish. There was never a good reason for invading Iraq. Taking down Saddam was not worth it on any level. Saddam was a crackpot. He was not a threat to the USA. The life of Private First Class John Doe from Anytown, USA, was worth way more than the life of Saddam. It was never worth it,

Iraq is arguably in worse condition than it was pre-invasion. Saddam was a rotten guy, but at least he kept a lid on sectarian tensions within Iraq. Since the removal of Saddam, Iraq has gone from a “Police State” to a “Car-Bombing and Kidnapping State”. I once knew an Iraqi immigrant; one day, he pointed to a newspaper headline reporting on yet another massive car-bombing in Baghdad. He hung his head slightly and sighed, “These things did not happen under Saddam.” This accurately sums up what has become of Iraq. It has gone from bad, to worse, to full-blown mess. It has been locked in low-intensity civil war since the day American troops stepped on the ground. There are no significant Pro-US interests at work in Iraq any longer, not even in the government our own people cobbled together. The mission in Iraq has been a resounding failure.

Afghanistan, unfortunately, paints a similar picture. The US government invaded Afghanistan to catch Bin Laden. That was the proclaimed goal. Even in my young age at the time (~11 years old), I recall two invasion buzzwords being thrown around: “surgical” and “precise”. Afghanistan was going to be like a precise surgery, like removing a tumor; the US was going to jump in, seize Bin Laden, and supposedly jump back out without disturbing the “body” of Afghanistan.

However, Bin Laden was not an idiot. He fled to Pakistan, and there he sat. Bin Laden was outta there early-on. I have no doubts that DoD leadership figured this out very quickly. The surgical and precise mission suddenly took on a much broader context of building a wonderfully democratic and human-rightsy Afghan government.

Zoom ahead 12 years; Afghanistan continues to be locked in sectarian violence, guerilla warfare, and low-intensity civil war. There are no achievable objectives in sight. What’s to achieve? “Peace?” “Stability?”The fledgling Afghan government set up by the USA has little to no control over domestic affairs. The Afghan National Military is rife with insider attacks and corruption. The residual Taliban has taken up residence in Pakistan, where it awaits it’s opportunity to infiltrate Afghanistan once again as soon as US forces leave. Afghanistan has been roughly as successful as Iraq; that is to say, not successful at all. Trillions of dollars and numerous lives = wasted. It is a tragedy.

Thankfully, the above chart reflects the growing consciousness of the public in this regard. They see the disasters that Iraq and Afghanistan have become. The public is starting to figure out that the fruits of interventionism are bitter. This was beautifully reflected in the opposition to Obama’s push for War in Syria. The public is sick of perpetual war, and I don’t think a few Youtube videos were enough justification to persuade the public that it was somehow worth it.

The public looks like they may be starting to reject the notions of world interventionism. This is a positive development. Let freedom, prosperity, and peace reign in it’s place.

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One Comment on “Staying Out of War: Gallup Poll Reflects Increasing Support.”

  1. Hashtag October 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    This would be great as a video!

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