Gallup: Americans Deeply Conflicted on Iraq

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By: E&P Staff

Americans appear to be not just of two minds about the Iraq war but, maybe, four or five minds.

The latest Gallup poll on the subject suggests — reversing a previous trend — that a majority of Americans no longer feel the decision to go to war was a “mistake.” Now, 53% say it was not a blunder, while as recently as June the same number said it was a mistake.

So what’s happened to reverse that course, even if briefly? It’s hard to say, looking at all the other results.

President Bush’s overall popularity? Actually, it has plunged in this period, to an approval rating of 44% at present.

And, asked specific questions, it’s hard to see why American support for the invasion has not declined rather than gone up slightly.

Asked if they think we will succeed in creating a stable, democratic government in Iraq, Americans soundly reject the idea, by 58% to 37%.

Similarly, 53% predict the U.S. will not win the war, while 43% say we will.

And a majority, 51%, declare that President Bush “deliberately misled” the public about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This produces the final contradiction: Despite that belief, 54% still find the president “honest and trustworthy.” Accoridng to Gallup, one in five who believe Bush misled the country into war nevertheless find him honest.

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