The propaganda war, that is.
I’m actually somewhat stunned by the results of this recent Gallup poll about the war (taken in honor of the tenth anniversary of its start), but not necessarily in the way you might think. After nearly a decade of relentless and mostly negative media/liberal/leftist spin to a war that was complex and mixed in its origins, execution, and results, but hardly uncalled-for; and which deposed a long-term tyrant (and his heirs-apparent) and replaced him with a flawed but much-improved functioning democracy; the war’s disapproval/approval rate is only 53/42.
I would have expected the ratio of disapproval to approval to be higher. What’s more, it used to be higher. Here’s the chart:
The disapproval rate was as high as the low 60s in 2007-2008, and 55 in 2010. I suppose the fact that for the most part Iraq isn’t being closely covered and reported on anymore by the MSM plus the withdrawal could account for the recent drop in disapproval.
And this is a puzzlement of sorts: although the opinion results differ by age, it’s the reverse of what I would have thought. Among respondents over 65 years of age disapproval/approval is 59/36, and among those 19-29 it’s 50/48 (for ages 30-49 it’s 50/43, and for 50-64 it’s 57/39). What’s more, the same trends hold true for the Afghan War (which in general has more approval). Even the Vietnam War follows the same trend, with young people 19-29 the only age group that approves (51/43) and all other groups disapproving, with people over 65 disapproving most, to the tune of 70%.
It’s really rather startling. Take a look:
The fact that disapproval of the Vietnam War is high in the older age groups is no surprise at all. After all, they not only were the ones who lived through it (and the draft), but they were highly subject to the MSM’s extremely successful propaganda war against it. What’s puzzling to me is the fact that young people are for it, as well as the Afghan War, and their disapproval of the Iraq War is relatively low, too. These same young people are highly liberal, the cohort that voted for Obama in droves in 2012. And their elders—the 65 and over crowd—voted against him in huge numbers.
The American people are nothing if not inconsistent. But this seems particularly odd to me. The reason can’t be that younger people remember the wars from the action-hero-figure glow of their childhood, because the Vietnam War ended long before they were born. Is it that younger people are more bloodthirsty? More inured to violence? More admiring of their peers who serve in the military? They’re certainly not more conservative, if their voting habits are any indication.