Iraq and Terrorism: UNRELATED

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I was reading this post over at Mr. Furious and having a...discourse with a blogger and detractor. The subject came to comparisons between Iraq and the mood of the public during World War II, as well as the merits of Republican stick-to-it-iveness and Democratic let's-change-it-iveness. Go check out the link.

Anyway, listening to the news last night, there is an interesting distinction that the public is making that the Bush Administration and its throngs of devotees are either unwilling or incapable of seeing.

A recent Gallup Poll shows that among citizens for whom "Iraq" is the most important issue, 60% to 23% believe that Democrats are better able to deal with the situation over there.

On the other hand, for citizens among whom "terrorism" is the top issue, 68% to 17% believe the Republicans are better equipped to handle the issue.

I think this is really why the Bush Administration is working so hard at keeping Iraq intrinsically combined with terrorism: it is clearly a Republican victory, in terms of dealing with terrorism. Even portions of the recently-declassified NIE report were the portions that agree with Administration counter-terrorist policies. Counter-terrorist policies. Indeed, according to the NIE report, counterterrorist operations have severly damaged the functionality of Al Queda and other jihadist movements.

BUT....there is the distinction among a plurality of voters whereby Iraq is different than terrorism. In fact, to support such a distinction, the NIE report essentially upholds Iraq as a motivator for jihadists and Al Queda where it also upholds the efforts of counterterrorist measures.

The distinction is clear, both from a public point of view as well as even within the Intelligence community: Iraq and terrorism are exclusive concepts. They are unrelated and one, Irq, is not helping the other, counterterrorism.

Congressional Republicans see this important distinction, for the most part, and are running in the last month before the elections as the counterterrorism party. But what hurts is if and when the Dems can make them the "Iraq War party."

I can't say enough that the dichotomy above in extremely telling. The public, by and large, see Iraq as unrelated to terrorism and a source growth among jihadists and future terrorists. The NIE supports this contention.

Separately, the public sees terrorism as being handled effectively through anitterrorism measures, which do not include the Iraq War. The NIE supports this as well.

Thus, as Mr. Furious's blog points out, the President and many of his most ardent supporters are clearly out-of-touch when it comes to handling the Iraq War, and Kerry and others are right to bring out the big guns and fight back on being branded chickens and triators. They are simply reflecting their thoughts as supported by the true majority. Iraq is a fucking mess and it's time for a new policy.

2 comments:

Mr Furious 11:26 PM  

Don't be shy about putting links in the comments. I do it all the time at places where I'm a "regular."

Good post. Sorry I cannot add anything to the discussion tonite, I am so disillusioned about the Torture Bill...

I gotta go to bed.

Smitty 9:25 AM  

Thanks, Mr. F. Just didn't want to be rude. I appreciate the blog love, too.

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