The New Divide

This is a discussion on The New Divide within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; NYPOST.COM The New Divide, by John Podhoretz December 28, 2004 -- IT will surely be difficult for many people of good will to reconcile the ...

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    The New Divide

    NYPOST.COM
    The New Divide, by John Podhoretz

    December 28, 2004 -- IT will surely be difficult for many people of good will to reconcile the awfulness of the daily news coming out of Iraq deaths of and injuries to American soldiers and committed Iraqis who want nothing more than to bring freedom and democracy to a forlorn and battered country with the astonishing new poll released by the Military Times yesterday. That poll of 1,423 active members of the military indicates that the armed forces of the United States are passionate supporters of the Coalition's efforts in Iraq.

    Support for the war inside the military stands at 60 percent, 25 percent higher than the latest Gallup measurement of the American people as a whole.

    When it comes to President Bush's handling of the war effort, the results are even more lopsided. Only 42 percent of Americans approve, according to ABC News. In the military, Bush garners 63 percent support.

    In other words, support for Bush's Iraq policy is an astounding half again as big in the active military as in the American body politic.

    And, in the words of the Army Times report on the poll, "Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting."

    It seems that the people who are actually putting their lives on the line believe in what they are doing and that those who have spent the most time in harm's way are the most passionate of all.

    Job satisfaction in the military, the poll found, is a breathtaking 87 percent, and only a quarter of those polled say they want out.

    "Compared with last year", the Military Times notes, "the percentages for support for the war and job satisfaction remain essentially unchanged."

    Among non-military Americans, the change over the past year is startling: 60 percent of the country supported the decision to go to war at this time last year, as opposed to 51 percent now.

    Note, too, that the active military is angrier at Congress than at the Pentagon.

    In the wake of the publicity surrounding the National Guardsman's question to Donald Rumsfeld about the supposed failure to provide appropriate armor, it is instructive to note this poll's conclusion about the matter. Quoting from the Military Times again: "60 percent blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone."

    That result suggests a greater degree of sophistication on these matters than most Americans and most pundits possess. Military personnel know that equipment problems in Iraq are the result of Congress'decisions throughout the '90s to slash the military budget, which had a parlous impact on "combat readiness."

    It is heartening to know that those who are actually fighting the war believe in what they are doing and do not resent their civilian leaders for placing them in harm's way.

    But what is not heartening is this sobering fact: We can locate the decline in support for the war effort almost entirely inside the Democratic Party.

    By a margin of 80-19, Democrats now say they oppose the decision to go to war. The margin among Republicans is exactly the reverse: 80 percent of GOPers support the war, while 19 percent disapprove.

    This is not only a partisan divide. It's a cultural divide. As the year 2004 ends, the rank and file of the Democratic Party has turned decisively and profoundly against the military effort in Iraq. And there is reason to believe it won't be long before they turn on the military as well.

    Throughout the year, Democratic politicians have been trying to split the difference with the military saying they support the troops while opposing the war. But that kind of sophistry won't stand.

    The military wants to fight this war. Democrats don't. How long before Democrats decide that our men and women in uniform are just extensions of the president and party they detest a bunch of warmongering, bloodthirsty and stupid imperialists?

    Democratic Party bottom-feeders like the odd and unpleasant people who inhabit the comments sections on Web sites like dailykos.com and democraticunderground.com have already long since started spewing their bile at our soldiers, sailors and Marines.

    Soon, however, the bottom feeders may rise to the surface, just as they did during the Vietnam War. These will be underground opinions no longer.

    The good news is that the world has changed since the 1960s. Last week, when The New York Times shamefully tried to resuscitate the Vietnam-era leftist fantasy about tens of thousands of crazed war vets returning to haunt our shores here at home, conservative media voices gave it but good to the Old Grey Lady.

    If they really want to fight a culture war rather than this just war to advance democracy and retard Islamofascism, we're more than ready for them.

    E-mail: podhoretz@nypost.com

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    I have some pretty good G2 from Iraq. The majority of the troops believe in the mission because they are on the ground seeing the benefit with their own eyes. They hear from the people they are helping. They know what they are doing is good, no matter how it is spun here at home.

    I've been on the ground and seen what's happening, and then seen what the press reports. It is amazing the differences in what you see happening and what the press says is happening.

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    I'm geting sick and tired of the constant "we don't have enough troops" and "we don't have enough equipment" Bush-blaming whining from the Democrats.

    They can thank their boy Bill Clinton for watering down our armed services during his Presidency.

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    Well said Betty, If Billy Bob had done half of his job while he was at the wheel, and not been chasing tail, we would not be half as bad off as we are right now. World opinion of the us would be much better also. And we would have the troops, equipment and INTELIGENCE to get the whole job done in the sand box.

    But we are in the mess now we need to get out, but only after the job is done, and done right.

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    Originally posted by Betty
    I'm geting sick and tired of the constant "we don't have enough troops" and "we don't have enough equipment" Bush-blaming whining from the Democrats.

    They can thank their boy Bill Clinton for watering down our armed services during his Presidency.
    Agreed

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    Originally posted by Bumper
    Originally posted by Betty
    I'm geting sick and tired of the constant "we don't have enough troops" and "we don't have enough equipment" Bush-blaming whining from the Democrats.

    They can thank their boy Bill Clinton for watering down our armed services during his Presidency.
    Agreed :realmad:
    +1

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    First off ... "God Bless Our Troops" ! Secondly, I'm a Republican... now... the real problem lies with the SecDef and his crony (Rumsfeld and Wolfowitcz) I surely wish that GW had replaced them...they are two looney-tunes that underestimated the troop strength needed to get the complete job done....for anyone not thoroughly familiar with Rumsfeld, do some research! He is another McNamara.... micro-managing the military and has not gained an ounce of respect from senior military leadership. I laughed my ass off when Rumsfeld was questioned about armor plating on the vehicles....you could tell he was a bit off balance with that one. I heard this week that he's been wreaking havoc in the Pentagon over that and the news about his "rubber stamp" signature on condolence letters to soldier's families.

    I too have seen letters & such from our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan stating how they are in fact appreciated for the efforts they do. Unfortunately, our socialistic/liberal frickin media here just doesn't think it newsworthy. Thank God for the internet and the various sites you can find the real truth.

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