USA Today: Americans Continue to Support Afghan War–in 2001

A USA Today story by Susan Page (7/27/10), on the impact of the WikiLeaks revelations, reports that despite some erosion, “Most Americans continue to support the war in Afghanistan.”

To back up this assertion, Page cites Gallup poll findings (7/8-11/10) that 58 percent of Americans think it was “not a mistake” for the U.S. to have sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001. Clearly, though, it’s possible to believe that U.S. troops should have been sent to Afghanistan in 2001 without thinking that they should still be there almost nine years later.

Much more to the point was the July 11 ABC/Washington Post poll, where just 42 percent of respondents said that the Afghan War was, in the present tense, “worth fighting”–with a majority, 55 percent, saying they did not think it was. Or the CNN poll (5/29/10) that asked respondents if they favored or opposed the war, and found 56 percent opposed, with 42 percent in support.

And Americans could not “continue” to support the war, because public opinion, as measured by polls that stick to the point, have found a majority of the American public opposing the Afghan War for most of the past two years. As Extra! reported in December 2009:

In three surveys since July, the AP/GfKpoll has reported that at least 53 percent of respondents say they oppose the Afghanistan War. In September, 51 percent told the Washington Post/ABC News poll (9/10â┚¬“12/09) that the war was not “worth fighting.”

About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.