Majority Of Americans Say U.S. Should Not Have Invaded Iraq

Rasmussen of all pollsters finds a majority of respondents willing to say that the Iraq War was a mistake:

Looking back, a slight majority of Likely Voters believe the United States should never have gotten involved in Iraq in the first place. They also believe the mission there was more of a failure than a success.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just 36% believe the United States should have gotten involved in Iraq, while 51% disagree. Another 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Most Republicans (55%) believe the U.S. should have become involved in Iraq, but most Democrats (71%) and voters not affiliated with either party (56%) feel the opposite way.

I’m not sure what the value of hindsight polling like this actually is, but it certainly is interesting And, it raises the question of what impact a negative view of the legitimacy of the Iraq War will have on public support for future military adventurism

Thoughts?

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, National Security, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    it raises the question of what impact a negative view of the legitimacy of the Iraq War will have on public support for future military adventurism

    No impact in the long term, negligible in the short term. See: Vietnam.




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  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Now if we can only figure out a way to get them to realize it would be a mistake before we invade. The invasion of Iraq wasn’t a mistake because it was mishandled. There was no right way.

    I continue to believe there was a never a right way to invade and occupy Afghanistan but I also recognize that I’m in a minority in that view. Too soon we get old too late we get smart.




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  3. Murray says:

    “negative view of the legitimacy of the Iraq War will have on public support for future military adventurism”

    A quick look at American military engagements abroad (http://americanhistory.about.com/library/timelines/bltimelineuswars.htm) shows a rather different trend.

    The US has been involved in more combat since WWII than it had from the revolution to WWII.

    In other words, ever since we have an over-sized standing army we seem to go to war without hardly a second thought. Surprise, surprise.




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  4. mantis says:

    There’s never a good reason to trust a Rasmussen poll.




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  5. Franklin says:

    Heck, maybe they’d be toppling Hussein and sons themselves right now, as in Egypt and hopefully Libya. Or maybe democracy in Iraq is really the shining beacon that is turning the tide elsewhere.




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  6. Wiley Stoner says:

    Hey Franklin, how did that work when they tried it before? Only a Charlie Sheen type of idiot would beleive the world would be a better place with Saddam Hussein still in power. There is no reason to believe he would have left or that his two friendly sons would have operated any differently. The vitriol the left has poured out agains Bush and a policy predating his Presidency only fools those who have had their attentions span shorted by abundant use of cannibis. If the lame stream media were honest they would have portrayed Hussein as the monster he was. Anyone who thinks the Iraq war was a mistake should be forced to watch the torture videos Saddam kept of his handiwork. But then I forget who the heros are of the left. Stalin, Mao, Che, Fidel, Hugo, the list goes on and on. Real humanitarians. How many human deaths are those men directly responsible for? The first two count for over 100 million. I realize that is no loss to those who favor abortion. Too bad those who believe that way were not subject to it.




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  7. Terrye says:

    Now all of a sudden Doug thinks that Rasmussen is reputable. I think it is a stupid question myself. I bet the majority of Americans also think we should have just said no and not had a civil war and I bet the majority of Americans would rethink WW1 and WW2 as well. In fact I would be greatly surprised if a majority of Americans did not regret WW2 in 1948.

    The truth is that sooner or later we were going to have to deal with Saddam. I know that there are people who think the no fly zones would have gone on until the end of time and that Saddam would have eventually seen the error of his ways and decided to work with the UN and that in the end we all would have been great friends…but I don’t think so. I think Saddam would be filling mass graves and stockpiling weapons today if he had been given the chance…he would be shooting at our planes and paying of hamas to kill Israelis and he would be wiping his butt with the latest UN resolution and peace treaty he signed..

    Considering the unrelenting efforts of the media to paint both the war and the military in the worst possible light it is kind of amazing that only 51% think it was a mistake…ask in another year or another decade and you might get a different answer yet again.




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  8. Gerry W. says:

    With hindsight, we can learn how the press was manipulated. While people preach freedom, freedom is very fragile and the world itself is fragile. It does not take much to persuade and to confuse the public.

    The reason Bush 41 stopped Gen. Schwartkopt from going to Baghdad is that all the experts warned that it would be a quagmire and also that they wanted to keep Iran and Iraq as equals. It is interesting that Bush was asked if he talked to his father on invading Iraq and he said “I believe in a Higher Authority.” (Never elect a right wing Christian conservative religious nut again)

    The airwaves were manipulated by the Bush administration to persuade us to go to Iraq. And even in the past week Defense Secretary Bob Gates said “you have to be nuts to invade countries and try to change their countries.

    It is also interesting if Bush really wanted to win the war, then why not have a draft? Oh, he did not want to alarm the whole country, otherwise he would have never been reelected. Why did he only have 170,000 troops for two wars, while his father had 500,000 coalition troops for one war. And why didn’t Bush pay for the wars.

    But in the end, and in the height of the quagmire, our military was at a breaking point. Many people and soldiers died needlessly, Afghanistan was neglected for at least five years, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, the ones that attacked us, is in Pakistan, Afghanistan is a mess, and Iran is the new leader in the Middle East. Also our country was left in neglect.

    I think the biggest weapon to change these countries and oust regimes will be the internet.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/bushswar/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7xyd_IRgGs&feature=related
    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/lies/
    this last video will not run.




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  9. Terrye says:

    Well, just think Clinton had 8 years to deal with Saddam and while Democrats did everything they could to undercut the war and destroy support for it…they did absolutely nothing to resolve the ongoing conflict with Saddam before Bush ever became president…no, they just passed the Iraqi Liberation Act, bombed Iraq time and again for years and then called Bush Hitler.

    I think that if we had not taken out Saddam at that time, Libya and Iran would probably have nukes today and Saddam would be killing people and starting wars. I don’t know why people think it would have ended differently. Sooner or later, they had to either take him out, or turn him loose..I think most people are just tired of hearing about the mideast in general..they want all of the craziness to just go away.




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  10. sam says:

    “The US has been involved in more combat since WWII than it had from the revolution to WWII.”

    I was 70 on Saturday. In every decade of my life, Americans have been in combat someplace in the world.




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  11. An Interested Party says:

    Only a Charlie Sheen type of idiot would beleive the world would be a better place with Saddam Hussein still in power.

    That’s a false argument that only someone as doped up as Charlie Sheen would make…

    I bet the majority of Americans also think we should have just said no and not had a civil war and I bet the majority of Americans would rethink WW1 and WW2 as well. In fact I would be greatly surprised if a majority of Americans did not regret WW2 in 1948.

    The Iraq debacle is not the same thing as those conflicts, sweetheart…

    I think Saddam would be filling mass graves and stockpiling weapons today if he had been given the chance…he would be shooting at our planes and paying of hamas to kill Israelis and he would be wiping his butt with the latest UN resolution and peace treaty he signed..

    There are other dictators around the world who are doing similar things…when do we invade and occupy their countries?

    Well, just think Clinton had 8 years to deal with Saddam and while Democrats did everything they could to undercut the war and destroy support for it…

    Oh go ahead and just call the Dems backstabbers/traitors…you know you want to…




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  12. reid says:

    So, Terrye, we now know that the Iraq invasion cost approximately:

    1. thousands of American lives;
    2. tens of thousands of American wounded;
    3. a trillion dollars; and
    4. hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, wounded, and displaced. (This is probably the most inconsequential to you, so I put it last.)

    Think about those numbers. Considering we had Saddam relatively contained and controlled at little cost prior to the invasion, you think it was worth it?




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