Military families, long a source of support for wartime Presidents, have had it with George W. Bush’s illegal and immoral war in Iraq and want their husbands, wives, sons and daughters brought home before any more die in vain.
A new poll by The Los Angeles Times shows nearly sixty percent of military families don’t support Bush’s war, believe invading Iraq was a mistake, and want the conflict ended now.
Opposition to the war among families of military personnel is only slightly less than the overwhelming public anger towards Bush’s war, the poll found.
Results from the poll adds to the ever-increasing and overwhelming loss support for Bush’s failed war from a wide cross-section of Americans. Even die-hard conservative Republicans are distancing themselves from the President and his war which evidence now clearly shows was based on lies and deception.
Nearly six out of every 10 military families disapprove of Bush’s job performance and the way he has run the war, rating him only slightly better than the general population does.
And among those families with soldiers, sailors and Marines who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, 60% say that the war in Iraq was not worth the cost, the same result as all adults surveyed.
“I don’t see gains for the people of Iraq . . . and, oh, my God, so many wonderful young people, and these are the ones who felt they were really doing something, that’s why they signed up,” said poll respondent Sue Datta, 61, whose youngest son, an Army staff sergeant, was seriously wounded in Iraq last year and is scheduled to redeploy in 2009. “I pray to God that they did not die in vain, but I don’t think our president is even sensitive at all to what it’s like to have a child serving over there.”
Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin — particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict. One-quarter say American troops should stay “as long as it takes to win.” Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or “right away.”
Military families are only slightly more patient: 35% are willing to stay until victory; 58% want the troops home within a year or sooner.
Here, too, the military families surveyed are in sync with the general population, 64% of whom call for a withdrawal by the end of next year.
“You generally expect to see support for the president as commander in chief and for the war, but this is a different kind of war than those we’ve fought in the past, particularly for families,” said David Segal, a military sociologist at the University of Maryland.
Today’s all-volunteer force is older and more married than any before it. Facing a shortage of troops, the Army increased the maximum enlistment age from 35 to 42 and called up reservists, who tend to be older and more settled than recruits fresh out of high school. The result is a fighting force that left thousands of spouses and children behind.