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Who’s next?

Great. Just great.

President Bush last week said the rest of the world should join the United States in declaring that it “will not tolerate” nuclear weapons in Iran — a vow that most Americans appear willing to back with force. By 56 percent to 38 percent, the public endorsed the use of the military to block Iran from developing nuclear arms.

If you’ll pardon me for a moment, that wall over there is calling for a little head-banging…

OK, that’s better. There’s actually a fair bit of encouraging news for us objectively pro-Saddam hippie peacenik types in there, not that the article delves into it:

As the war ended and weeks passed without the discovery of such weapons, some Democrats questioned whether Bush or members of his inner circle deliberately exaggerated the threat to justify going to war — an argument that the latest Post-ABC poll suggests has had negligible effect on the president’s public standing.

Concerns over mounting U.S. military casualties have soared largely among Democrats and independents, the survey found. In April, 56 percent of all Democrats believed U.S. troop losses had been acceptable; now 35 percent share that view. The proportion of those who viewed current casualty levels as acceptable dropped by 23 percentage points among political independents, to 43 percent. There was no change among Republicans.

Concern among women also has increased, with the proportion calling the casualties unacceptable increasing from 33 percent to 50 percent in the past seven weeks.

If “public standing” means “overall approval level”, then I suppose that’s an accurate statement. I’ll note that Bush’s approval rating is headed back to where it was before we headed off to kick a little Baathist ass. In addition, given that Bush won’t win in 2004 with Republican support alone, the fact that independents and women are starting to question casualty levels sounds like a leading indicator to me.

So then. Am I a cynic or a realist if I believe that the odds of an invasion of Iran are tightly correlated to Bush’s overall approval numbers?

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6 Comments

  1. Mike Thomas says:

    CNN is reporting that six more British troops were killed today in fighting in Iraq. Recent reports on casualties in Iraq have focused on U.S. losses exclusively, but this is a big enough one-day death toll to probably shake some folks up.

  2. Morat says:

    We won’t invade Iran. We can’t, much as Bush would like to. We have half our army (literally. We have 4 divisions in Iraq, and one supporting in Kuwait. There are 10 active Army divisions) stuck in Iraq. And, rather obviously, that’s not enough soldiers to begin with.

    Our Reserve and Guard units are overcommitted. Some have been on duty more than a year.

    And now, with the rise in guerilla assaults (even in Shia territory), and the Brit’s finally getting hit, it’s unlikely Blair is going to keep British troops stationed there, and it’s certainly unlikely we’ll convince many nations to stick their own soldiers in the buzzsaw.

    We’re not going to invade Iran because we simply lack the requisite number of soldiers. It’s possible Rummy might try a 60,000 man invasion force like he wanted to do with Iraq, but the end result of that isn’t going to help Bush.

    Neither Iran nor Syria is Iraq. They both have active, well-equipped militaries. And lots and lots of chemical weapons. Unlike Iraq.

    We’ld need every division on the ground in Iraq to invade. If we send in 4 Divisions to Iran, who is going to occupy Iraq?

  3. Charles M says:

    We won’t invade Iran.

    This article from the Evening Standard agrees saying “British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months.” I guess this time, we just go in take the government down and make no pretense of restoring order.

  4. Patrick says:

    I’d be more likely to believe this is a bit of sabre rattling is more related to the ongoing protests in Iran.

    The intent, perhaps, is to “encourage” Iran to grant some concessions to the protestors…or to scare them into a crackdown to consolidate power which could set off another revolution from within. Both of which would be viewed as good outcomes by the administration.

  5. I’d be more likely to believe this is a bit of sabre rattling is more related to the ongoing protests in Iran.

    I’ll grant that that’s a possibility, and if so I’ll support it as far as it goes. Obviously, I don’t have much trust for the Bush administration’s motives, though.

  6. Patrick says:

    Obviously, I don’t have much trust for the Bush administration’s motives, though.

    I don’t think any politician can be taken at face value. That doesn’t mean you’re a cynic, just in touch with current events. But in this case, the timing is too early. Of course, they could be just laying groundwork….File that one in your anxiety closet.