Saturday, August 27, 2005

Shock poll: dissent will not be silenced (or necessarily listened to) 

No great surprises here:
Nearly three weeks after a grieving California mother named Cindy Sheehan started her anti-war protest near President George W. Bush's Texas ranch, nine of 10 people surveyed in an AP-Ipsos poll say it is OK for war opponents to publicly share their concerns about the conflict...

Overall attitudes about the war - while negative - haven't changed dramatically in recent weeks and a solid majority, 60 percent, want US troops to stick it out until Iraq is stable.

The poll found that most people disapprove of the Bush administration's conduct of the war and think the war was a mistake. Half believe it has increased the threat of terrorism. Democrats overwhelmingly question the president's policies, while Republicans overwhelmingly support them...

Support for Bush's handling of the war was stronger among those who know someone who has served in Iraq - almost half - compared with about a quarter of those who don't know someone who served in Iraq.
More on this last point here. It's clear that the families back home are receiving different information out of Iraq than an average American gets out of his or her newspaper and TV station - sad, though, that a grapevine is a better source of news that the news. As for the other results, a very American position: I disagree with what you say, but you have every right to say it. Some news editors are probably scratching their heads right now that the red state Jesusland bigots do not have any intention of burning Mother Sheehan at the stake.

Yet despite opinion polls like this one, many are increasingly deluding themselves that the voice crying out in the Crawford wilderness somehow cries for us all. Take for example another grief-stricken parent, Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son Jesus was killed in Iraq in 2003. Fernando has recently penned an open letter to President Bush, including this hyperbole:
Cindy Sheehan is all of us. She is our representative but across the United States there are more than 1800 faces like hers who wait to meet you and receive your apology and your heartfelt explanation.
Never mind that President Bush has already met with some 900 family members of almost 300 fallen servicemembers (including the Sheehans), and never mind that a lot more of the 1800 parents seem to proud of their sons' and daughters' service and support the President rather than blaming him for soldiers' deaths.

Del Solar has previously traveled to an anti-American hate fest of the Anti-imperialist Tribunal of the 16th World Festival of Youth and Students in Caracas, Venezuela, to accuse George Bush of killing his son. It seems that the loopy left is once again making a mistake of overestimating their reach and appeal, stuck as they are in their own echo-chamber, ably amplified by the media.


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