Most Think Iraq War Sacrifices "Not Worth It"
Majority Of Military Families Support Dissenting Generals Who Speak Out Against The War
Some reality to cut through all the propaganda :
Families with ties to the military, long a reliable source of support for wartime presidents, disapprove of President Bush and his handling of the war in Iraq, with a majority concluding the invasion was not worth it, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.
The views of the military community, which includes active-duty service members, veterans and their family members, mirror those of the overall adult population, a sign that the strong military endorsement that the administration often pointed to has dwindled in the war's fifth year.
Nearly six out of every 10 military families disapprove of Bush's job performance and the way he has run the war, rating him only slightly better than the general population does.
And among those families with soldiers, sailors and Marines who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, 60% say that the war in Iraq was not worth the cost, the same result as all adults surveyed.
Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin -- particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict. One-quarter say American troops should stay "as long as it takes to win." Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or "right away."
Military families are only slightly more patient: 35% are willing to stay until victory; 58% want the troops home within a year or sooner.
Here, too, the military families surveyed are in sync with the general population, 64% of whom call for a withdrawal by the end of next year.
"You generally expect to see support for the president as commander in chief and for the war, but this is a different kind of war than those we've fought in the past, particularly for families," said David Segal, a military sociologist at the University of Maryland.
"The man went into Iraq without justification, without a plan; he just decided to go in there and win, and he had no idea what was going to happen," said poll respondent Mary Meneely, 58, of Arco, Minn. Her son, an Air Force reservist, served one tour in Afghanistan. "There have been terrible deaths on our side, and it's even worse for the Iraqi population. It's another Vietnam."
...disapproval of Bush appears to have transferred to his party. Republican leanings of military families that began with the Vietnam War -- when Democratic protests seemed to be aimed at the troops as much as the fighting -- have shifted, the poll results show.
"We support the troops; we don't support Bush," said respondent Linda Ramirez, 52, of Spooner, Wis., whose 19-year-old son is due to be deployed with the Marines early next year. "These boys have paid a terrible, terrible price."
..most military families and others surveyed took no exception to retired officers publicly criticizing the Bush administration's execution of the war. More than half of the respondents in both groups -- 58% -- say such candor is appropriate. Families with someone who had served in the war are about equally supportive at 55%.