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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Iraq still matters

Many adults in the US still regard the situation in Iraq as vitally important, according to a new poll by CBS News. Indeed, it is the most pressing issue according to respondents, followed by the economy/jobs and terrorism.

Before last year's Federal election, Australians overwhelmingly thought that the Iraq war increased the terrorist threat to our shores. The recent announcement of a further deployment of 450 troops has also left the public feeling great unease.

These results are hardly surprising. Australians are wary of engaging even further in Iraq when more and more countries are withdrawing. What has John Howard promised that we aren't being told?

Former US Presidential candidate and consumer advocate, Ralph Nader, claims that a US withdrawal from US is now more likely than ever. Frankly, I think he's deluding himself. The US have never set a timetable for withdrawal because they intend to maintain a sizeable presence in the country for the foreseeable future - Iraq remains a key strategic asset in the region.

5 Comments:

Blogger DREADNOUGHT said...

Ranking Iraq as the number one concern doesn't mean the poll respondents disagreed with the war.

I also think Iraq's a big deal, which is precisely why we need to stay on the ground to help the Iraqis rebuild their government, economy, etc.

Don't you think it's strange that this 'uneasy' public returned both Bush and Howard with larger majorities?

It's time for the Left to leave the war - it's lost and won - and find something inspirational to fight for. Otherwise, you're unlikely to match the right's stunning recent successes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 12:07:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Time for the Left to leave the war? Not sure I agree. Perhaps the frames of debate need to be shifted? Surely we should be worried about the US invading Iran/Syria/Nth Korea. Many people are.
Staying on the ground in Iraq? The true result of January election was the fact, rarely reported in the West, that most Iraqis voted for the occupation to end.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 1:06:00 pm  
Blogger Guy said...

I would agree that the broader Left should not cease criticising the foreign policy of the United States while such criticisms remain valid.

Having said that, I can empathise with the general point that the Left need to find other avenues for convincing the electorate to vote progressively besides the ongoing turmoil in Iraq.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 1:42:00 pm  
Blogger CB said...

Was 'ending the occupation ' running as a prospective member of the Iraqi National Assembly? Surprising that it didn't make the news. Well, you must be right. If you can't answer the question 'reframe, reframe, reframe'. You've been reading too much of George Lakoff.

Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:19:00 am  
Blogger DREADNOUGHT said...

Well said CB.

I'd imagine the people most worried about the US invading Iran/Syria/Nth Korea are the Mullahs, Assad and Jong-il.

Keeping those crazies anxious is perhaps the best goal of any nation's foreign policy.

Thursday, March 31, 2005 10:53:00 am  

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