2013 March 25 Monday
52% Think United States Should Have Stayed Out Of Iraq

Slow learners.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% of Likely U.S. Voters think, looking back, that the United States should have gotten involved with Iraq. Fifty-two percent (52%) disagree and oppose that involvement. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

I can understand the 17% who just do not want to learn much or think much. But what about the 31%? Got too much invested in their original support for the decision? Reflexively oppose anti-war types?

What amazes me about American foreign policy is the extent to which some competing countries (e.g. China) oppose our folly when, really, they benefit when we waste so much blood, money, and popularity by doing incredibly stupid things. It is not like we get some sort of big national ROI from the vast majority of our foreign interventions.

Update: I see Mangan's post Are we really that stupid? explores a similar theme. Our enemies think we have some grand plot to dominate the world. Some of our leaders think they are executing some clever plot to change the world in ways they desire. Instead we are putting governments opposed to us in power (e.g. the Shias in Iraq who are now quite close to the Iranians). I've hit similar notes in my recent posts John Kerry Mad At Iraq For Supporting Bashar al-Assad and Chinese President Xi Jinping: West Stop Foreign Interference. The costs of the Iraq war (in the trillions when you cost debt costs and hundreds of thousands of brain damaged veterans from IED blasts) are huge. The ROI is negative.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 March 25 08:18 PM 

Black Death said at March 26, 2013 7:19 AM:

When it comes to costs, wars just keep on giving (or taking, depending on your perspective). There have been no US troops in Vietnam for forty years, but the costs of benefits for these veterans and their dependents exceeds $22 billion annually. The costs of WW II benefits peaked in 1991 but still run about $5 billion per year. World War I? $20 million. Want to go back still further? How about the Spanish-American War? Ten living beneficiaries draw about $50,000 per year. But wait, folks - we're not done yet! There's still the Civil War! What? How can that be? The conflict ended in 1865! That's right, sports fans, but two living beneficiaries still draw $876 per year apiece. How can such things be? Easy:

Surviving spouses can qualify for lifetime benefits when troops from current wars have a service-linked death. Children under the age of 18 can also qualify, and those benefits are extended for a lifetime if the person is permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before the age of 18.

Randall Parker said at March 27, 2013 9:57 PM:

Black Death,

Surviving spouses: So an 80 year old veteran of some war can marry an 18 year old and pass on spousal benefits?

45+ year peak. So then the Iraq war benefits cost peak will probably be after 2050. But it might come sooner due to a sovereign debt crisis.

Black Death said at March 28, 2013 6:57 AM:

RP -

Yes to both points. The Iraq/Afghanistan benefits will probably peak in the 2050's or 2060's. But they will continue to run in ever diminishing amounts for the next century or so thereafter. I don't think the country will survive in its present form until then.

Just Chillin said at March 28, 2013 11:56 AM:

Randall said at March 25 Monday: "Our enemies think we have some grand plot to dominate the world."

And don't we? Is that perception really that mistaken? I think the "Are we really that stupid?" article is very good indeed, so as it says, Yes we really are that stupid, I mean 52% now think we should've stayed out of Iraq? Well, things have changed since 2003 back when the invation was so popular. What was the percentage against the invation then, 10% perhaps?

Well of course we should've stayed out of Iraq and we also should've stayed out of any other country that is not invading our country. As simple as that. We should only defend ourselves of an ACTUAL attack and only from those who REALLY attacked us.

Maybe we should check the fluoridation in our water supply, really.

Randall Parker said at March 29, 2013 8:08 PM:

Just Chillin,

Really? How is American foreign policy going to lead to our domination of the world?

Which "we" are you referring to? You a member of it?

Just Chillin said at March 30, 2013 10:41 AM:

"How is American foreign policy going to lead to our domination of the world?"

Right. And to think that for many, your statement is still held in their minds without sarcasm.

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