Polls have found that support for the war and expectations about its outcome have reached their lowest level since the invasion. A Pew Research Center poll this week found that 66 percent of respondents said the United States was losing ground in preventing a civil war in Iraq, a jump of 18 percent since January.
The Pew poll also found that 49 percent now believed that the United States would succeed in Iraq, compared with 60 percent last July. A CBS News poll completed two weeks ago found that a majority (54 percent) believed Iraq would never become a stable democracy.
Richard B. Wirthlin, who was the pollster for President Ronald Reagan, says he sees the beginning of a decisive turn in public opinion against the war. "It is hard for me to imagine any set of circumstances that would lead to an enhancement of the public support that we have seen," he said. "It is more likely to go down, and the question is how far and how fast."
Even more problematic for the administration, pollsters have found, is that Americans who have soured on the war include many independent voters and some self-described Republicans.
The above is from David D. Kirkpatrick and Adam Nagourney's "In an Election Year, a Shift in Public Opinion on the War" in this morning's New York Times which, believe or not, despite Nagourney's co-byline, actually has some passages worth reading. E-mails this morning, and there are probably at least fifty on this story, are filled with quotes of people quoted in the article. I'd rather go with an actual person, however, everyone seems to have their favorite.
So we're noting polls. Polls -- plural. A single poll is not front page news (despite how the paper likes to play their own polls). A consistent trend in public opinion, backed by numerous polls, is news. So we went with the above (which was Dominick's choice for the pull quote, by the way). The nation has turned against the war.
I'm assuming (and I could be wrong) that the protests against the vile immigration plan Bully Boy, et al wants will be covered on Democracy Now! today (if not, we'll pick up highlights later today that members have selected). These protests were nationwide and should get a great deal of coverage from all media. In Tennessee, protests have been going on for some time now as people fight for the rights of the disabled. That includes something that a member e-mailed on -- but without permission to quote and I'm having trouble tracking down a story on it. What we can highlight is Chris Lugo's "Forty Five Arrested in Disability Rights Protest" (Tennessee Indymedia) on one of last week's actions:
Forty five people, including at least five Tennesseans, were arrested in a stepped up day of action at the ADAPT National Days of Action in Nashville, TN. The activists, mostly in wheelchairs, were demanding a meeting with Governor Phil Bredesen to discuss the Community Choices Act, which would give Tennesseans the option to leave nursing homes and receive home health care instead. An estimated 6700 Tennesseans currently live in nursing homes against their will and are not allowed to get care in their own homes. The Governor of Tennessee, Phil Bredesen, has refused to meet with the protesters and calls their protest a "spectacle." The protesters, who were arrested for blockading traffic on Charlotte Avenue, were booked at the South Precinct and released. Among the Tennesseans arrested were Don DuVall, Randy Alexander, Matt Leber, Karl Meyer and Pam Beziat. The disability rights activists say they plan to return to the streets again tomorrow.
Meanwhile Micah e-mails to ask if I knew Roberta Flack was being interviewed on WBAI tonight? No, and I still don't know what program. Micah left that out. I've e-mailed him back and when we hear from him or Ruth on what the program is, we will note it in the DN! entry later this morning. Micah notes that she's growing in popularity (Flack) and he notes that her latest collection has become very popular with his friends. (With a number of people. In fact, last night, the person ahead of me was in fact purchasing the new collection of Flack's hits.) Flack's always been a popular artist but there does seem to be a revival of interest and appreciation in her work (deserved, in my opinion) and this interview will be part of WBAI's women's history month programming.
Remember to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today. And one of Ruth's favorite programs airs this morning on WBAI, Law and Disorder.
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the new york times
david d. kirkpatrick
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