It's about 10 months too late, but U.S. citizens - even in those fabled red states - are starting to realize that this war in Iraq wasn't a smart thing to undertake.
Last week the Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed that President Bush's approval rating had dropped to 42 percent, the lowest a president's rating has been since Tricky Dick Nixon got snagged in the Watergate mess. The AP poll's approval rating on the war was even lower - 38 percent.
Then this week USA Today/CNN's combined poll showed that 57 percent of Americans now believe that the war in Iraq has actually made the United States less safe from terrorism, not more, as Bush and his neocon cabal keep insisting is the case. Just 34 percent of those polled agreed that the country is safer today.
But that's what many people, some in positions of power and other just ordinary involved citizens - like all those here in Madison who put up "War is not the answer" signs in their front lawns - tried to warn this administration about back in early 2003. And they weren't all liberal Democrats, as Karl Rove would have us believe. Many Republicans and independents were pointing out that invading Iraq risked the danger of producing a quagmire that would drain our resources and our resolve.
That, of course, is exactly what's happened.
For sure, Saddam Hussein was a bad man who needed to be removed from power. But he wasn't a threat to our country and he certainly wasn't exporting terrorists as we know full well now. Instead of working with the United Nations and the Europeans to weaken Saddam through diplomatic avenues and try to prop up Saddam's opponents, Bush took us to a full-scale war. Nearly 2 years later that war is costing increasing numbers of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars while the U.S. groans under mountains of unprecedented debt.
But, worse, it has turned Iraq from a totalitarian backwater into a war-torn country that now produces more terrorists every day than we can kill, no matter how hard we try.
And now Americans, after watching what's transpired in London, are concerned that those terrorists aren't just confined to Iraq and other Mideast trouble spots.
It's some kettle of fish for citizens who were supposed to have been made safer.
Dave Zweifel is editor of The Capital Times.
2005 Capital Newspapers