Loss of support for Iraq war has many roots other than the war
In response to the Nov. 21 article, "Why Iraq war support fell so fast": None of the "wars" (Korea and Vietnam) cited in the lead paragraph as examples of occasions when public support declined more slowly were officially wars. I agree that rising casualties may be directly related to decreased public support. However, the fact that Congress did not declare war then or now has a direct impact on what action the president can take when he commits troops and how the public views that action.
Without a declaration of war, the president is fighting with one hand tied behind his back, which is a major reason why public opinion is now wavering and has wavered in the past.
I think the media is much to blame for the quick loss of support for the Iraq war. The article compares diminishing support for the Iraq war with the slower decline in support of US involvement in other recent wars - except we lacked the 24/7 media coverage while the other wars raged.
My son is currently a marine fighting in Iraq, and I am glued to all forms of media for information. I am not pro-war by any means. But why does the media latch onto only negative issues and the death toll?
What about all the inspiring stories about Iraqi communities being rebuilt? Iraqi children are playing again in the streets. My son tells me heart-warming stories of rescue efforts, Iraqis' gratitude, and his humanitarian efforts in the cities. Where are these stories?
I believe there is no balance of reporting during war. The media seems to instigate the public to turn against our commander in chief.
Let's face it - no one likes a war. But so often it is a necessary evil, as it was in World War II, and as it has been since 9/11. I would love to see more positive interviews with infantry troops.
The analysis in the article about why the support for the Iraq war fell so fast fails to take into account some very simple history. The day after Bush launched the war in Iraq, support was extremely high, because, I believe, Americans were going to back their president and troops since the war had already started.
However, polls prior to the war in March 2003 show that a majority of Americans felt Bush should not start a unilateral war at that time, and the country was split about going to war at all. So, I wonder, where was the overwhelming support for war in the first place?
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Thank you for running the Nov. 23 article, "Marines' Thanksgiving wish: 'Hot chow.' " I, too, served in a Marine infantry battalion (2/5), and like other marines past and present, I know the long days and weeks that can go between hot meals. It is good to see that your reporters not only understand the men and women they report on, but can convey how such important markers, like Thanksgiving, can really be important to those in the field.
Holidays do come up so suddenly when you are so far from home and totally disconnected, but never to let it slip by unnoticed is one way to stay connected to home in some small way, even if it means having a contingency plan for a holiday meal, like the one mentioned in the article. Thank you for recognizing this.
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