Shock: Shocking Iraq Poll Shock

Heartening news for Australian patriots in today’s Age (A hotspot of soft-Leftism if you believe the paranoid fantasies of Gerard Henderson on Sunday’s Insiders).

According the Nielsen Poll  Labor’s primary vote jumped three points to 42 percent ahead of the coalition on 39 percent, and is leading the government 54-46 per cent in two-party terms.

And part of the reason appears to be Iraq, because nearly 60percent of Australian want our troops out of Iraq now.  This supports the Lowy Institutes findings last week that found that 84 percent of Australian believed the Iraq war increased the risk of terrorism.    Even the Fox News cable captives know in their waters that Iraq has been a complete disaster, and although they probably don’t see Mr. Howard as a neocon, they do see him as having enthusiastically supported President Bush and his neocon madarse mates.   And where it got us?   Just more terrorism in the Middle East with virtually no prospect of either winning or extracting ourselves without disaster.
Downer tries a bit of blame shifting, a formula specially concocted in the coalition spin hothouse

The central question is: should we now ¢â¬â whatever people think about the past ¢â¬â should we now and the Americans now surrender to the terrorists in Iraq, or should we stay the course?

No Mr. Downer.   The central question is whether you should be allowed to continue in your job after a monumental stuff up that has increased the threat of terror to Australians.  Don’t try and shirk this one buddy boy.

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derrida derider
derrida derider
15 years ago

Yeah, if you find yourself trapped in a major stuff-up the first thing you do to fix it is to not let the people who stuffed up be in charge of the extraction.

While Bush, Howard, Blair and all their enablers are still in power there is every reason we should dig over the past and keep loudly pointing out their murderous deceit and incompetence. Only when they’re gone – and not until – should we take the line of “never mind how we got in this mess, how do we get out?”

Rex
Rex
15 years ago

When the CEO of the company you own shares in, pursues a losing strategy, and continues to ignore the fact that the strategy is losing, then the day must come that the shareholders realise there is no choice but for him to go, no matter how dire the company’s predicament.

Only a new CEO, who is not tainted by the appalling strategy of the past, and not beholden to any vested interests in the losing strategy, is free to make clear headed decisions about how to best get out of the mess.

Lyn
Lyn
15 years ago

John Howard’s response was interesting too. Couldn’t give a stuff what his adored ordinary Australians think, we’re staying there until Iraq has a successful democracy. According to the Lowy poll, nobody much believes that’s ever going to happen.

So much for all the fuzzy drool over average battlers and their values.

Katz
Katz
15 years ago

I’d like to think that Iraq is a millstone around the Rodent’s neck.

But I don’t believe that to be the case.

Until one of four things happen, Iraq is a small country far away from Australia:

1. Casualties. May happen. Hope not.
2. Conscription. Won’t happen.
3. Islamic nations chuck our ambassadors out. Will worry some, but not many.
4. Massive gestures of civil disobedience like the Moratoria of 1970. No leadership. Little public interest in such a gesture.

Iraq’s a loser for Howard, but a very marginal one. It’s best effect is as part of a campaign to nail the Rodent as a craven, lying toady. These aren’t acknowledged to be core Australian values, even though they may be.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

Should Western forces leave Iraq? I would have thought not. They may be the only thing holding the country back from the complete civil slaughter that our intervention threatens to unleash. Though according to Amused the Iraqi’s want us to piss off which, if true, should count for something.

Supposing that the West should not leave Iraq, the question still remains whether Australia should. Our actual numbers are trivial and our pulling out would not make much difference militarily. It would however represent an open challenge to the Americans and with the Libs in power it ain’t gonna happen. And it wouldn’t happen with Labor in power either, not only because the Beazer loves America but because a large majority of Australian voters worry about maintaining the American alliance as the cornerstone of our national security strategy.

Yet”

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
15 years ago

Rex [post 2]:
That’s what should happen ….. but this is Howard’s Soviet Australia and so it cannot happen.

Katz [post 4]:
Well considered.

Your points
1. Howard and his chums have been cunning – and ruthless – enough to have already draped themselves in the national flag, ignored the sneers of diggers (=combat veterans) and stood proud on ANZAC Day and done everything else to lay the foundations of an unchallangable and very successful “Our Glorious Dead” campaign for when we suffer heavy casualties. The mugs will fall for it just as mugs did in the First World War – and grieving families who ask awkward questions will silenced, again.

2. Conscription will happen – just as soon as influential employers get their way and just as soon as the issues of “substitutes”, foreign mercenaries (under whatever name) and exemption for the privleged are worked out.

3. If this government can’t comprehend what is happening right in front of their eyes in the Pacific, how do you think they will understand the significance of our ambassadors being expelled over our Iraq policy.

4. Since ‘seventies-style moratoria would only strengthen Howard and his chums, I myself would look for not-so-covert Young Liberals or agent-provocateur involvement in any anti-Iraq-War rallies, especially before an election.

Oracle
Oracle
15 years ago

Howard is a war criminal, having conducted an illegal war and used endless lies to justify the invasion of Iraq and thus caused the death of many thousands of innocent people. As occupiers the civil war now raging in Iraq is the responsibility of Howard, Bush and Blair. The time has come for Australians to demand Howard and and Downer to take full responsibility for their crimes against humanity and boot them into the history books. Only then will Australia be able to recover from Howard’s moral bankruptcy.

Andrew Norton
Andrew Norton
15 years ago

Katz is right, I think. We’ve been in Iraq for 3 years, during which time the polls have bounced all over the place. Nothing has happened there in recent times is likely to have caused a shift in the polls. More of the same, unfortunately, but already ‘factored in’.

The only Iraq-related possibility I can think of is that the pollster asked the question about Iraq before the question about voting, which would have made a negative issue for the government salient. But this is unlikely, as pollsters know that asking policy questions first can throw results.

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

Iraq is only a negative for the government in the event that there are Australian troop casualities. If that happens, Howard will be in deep trouble. Until that happens, Iraq is a third order issue for most of the electorate, since they have correctly judged there is nothing they can do about it, unless of course they choose to elect the ALP.

In the meantime, Howard must be praying that the Dems don’t win the Congressional elections in November, because if they do, there will be a full throttle debate on a number of issues, and that debate, more than arguments about troop pull out, will be the tipping point for the government’s phony credentials as ‘reliable on national security’.

The other thing that will happen if the Repubs lose, is that there will be a lot more attention paid to what the Iraqi people actually want. And while this way of doing foreign policy is absolutely anathema to the neocons ‘values jihad and to hell with the consequences’ method of doing FP, it will provide the most delicious wedge opportunity the evidence based community has had for a generation. Bring it on!

Katz
Katz
15 years ago

In the meantime, Howard must be praying that the Dems don’t win the Congressional elections in November, because if they do, there will be a full throttle debate on a number of issues, and that debate, more than arguments about troop pull out, will be the tipping point for the government’s phony credentials as ‘reliable on national security’.

I agree with Amused that this would create difficulties for Howard.

The scenario is likely to evolve thus:

1. Democrat-controlled congressional committees will start nibbling around the edges of the decision-making process re decision to invade and subsequent stuff-ups. As long as Bush fights back, Howard won’t have to do anything.

2. Democrat-controlled Congress will choke financially Bush’s activities in Iraq. This will be the cause of most of the political angst in the US for the next two years. It started recently with a unanimous Senate decision to restrict funding for permanent bases in Iraq and plans to control Iraqi oil. Congressional chain-pulling will become more determined during the next two years. But again, Howard doesn’t have to do anything about that until the US begins significantly to draw down troop numbers. Then Howard can do the same thing, citing “facts on the ground”.

As long as there are few soldiers’ funerals, this by itself won’t hurt Howard.

In any case, the big stoushes in the US are likely to take place after the next Australian Federal election.

If Howard loses that election, it won’t be because of Iraq.