SDMB Iraq war poll 2003 vets: Where do you stand now?

On 3/16/2003, lightningtool started the following poll: War with Iraq. A simple poll.. And many dopers past and present weighed in.

38 currently active dopers supported going to war
MLS, Hyperjes, Weirddave, Jeep’s Phoenix, John Carter of Mars, NotWithoutRage, Norinew, Airman Doors USAF, t-keela, Caught@Work, kniz, Loopus, yosemite, Walloon, astro, JKilez, Jess, Ivylass, XJETGIRLX, labtrash, Grey, Balduran, Balle_M, siberia, sleeping, Tuckerfan, Bricker, Shodan, World Eater, stuyguy, BF, Gozu Tashoya, The Scrivener, Muad’Dib, t-keela, Weird_AL_Einstein, Debaser, Coil

40 formerly active dopers supported going to war
samarm, Zenster Tarantara, DrMoney, catdog, Violet, japatlgt, LolaCocaCola, anewthought, Michael Ellis, kknick34, Buck The Diver, Mnementh, austen, Lyllyan, Cessandra, DaToad, d_redguy, Tony Montana, it’sjustme, dead0man, Kendo, In Conceivable, Darkrabbit, merge, rjciii, tomyoung, southernfrog1, X-Slayer(ALE), Boxcar, gobear, -zorch, Grim Beaker, mouthbreather, Daoloth, Tster, HackDriver, Beagle, TeaElle, House

69 currently active dopers did not support going to war
lightingtool, clayton_e, Menocchio, Frostillicus, carnivorousplant, Angua, Ruffian, Calliope, ladyfoxfyre, Steve Wright, dragongirl, Johanna, Qadgop the Mercotan, twickster, Jophiel, Squink, whiterabbit, Eva Luna, Grendel’s Father, Spavined Gelding, Sublight, Asylum, ITR champion, II Gyan II, straykat23, jjimm, Coldfire, CBEscapee, RickJay, galen, Kyla, ElvisL1ves, Boscibo, Count Blucher, Hey you!, burundi, AHunter3, YWalker, Tabithina, shelbo, DesertGeezer, Angel of the Lord, Cervaise, Zoe, Shadez, cainxinth, DeadlyAccurate, Stoid, jabiru, yojimbo, FairyChatMom, Fiddle Peghead, MrO, Treviathan, DMark, Mona Lott, samclem, TheOnlySaneOne, rockle, truthbot, Theobroma, cuauhtemoc, Colibri, Brilharma, SolGrundy, Shmoo, Lissa, Vetch

46 formerly active dopers did not support going to war
Goodbeem, odd-socks, Davebear, NewUser1, Mephisto, Rocza, moi, Jervoise, Shana, CyberPundit, Kiting Illini, Beech, woolly, The Face, TV time, MrTuffPaws, Magickly Delicious, Leifsmama, elfje, 5-HT, John Kimble, dorkusmalorkusmafia, flapcats, mrsface, south333, Arcite, NutWrench, Tblue, torrent, Aro, auliya, Feynn, Kiralyn, Rooster, Mr Kami, Olentzero, Corky, Optihut, GlendaWitch, Mishaa, Essured, Marc, Laurasia, aeropl, Coilean, Badinage

In all, 40% of the participants supported going to war, with 60% opposed.

I’d like to ask all the current dopers (and maybe some past ones will re-up?) who posted to the original thread to weigh in and tell us where you stand on the war now: Continue the fight for as long as it takes? Pull out within a definite time frame? Or get the heck out now? Other?

I’m hoping to restrict this poll to those dopers who participated in the first one because I’d like to see what trends (if any) can be teased out of the data, based on the poster’s original stance vs. what they feel should be done now.

I’m not looking for a debate as to why each person’s opinion is wrong. I’d just like to get the opinion, and perhaps a brief rationale for why you hold it. So please try not to critique or respond to other poster’s opinions! :wink:

I’ll go first. I was opposed to going to war. I now believe we need to set out a definite timetable for getting our troops out. I would prefer the timetable to be less than two years. I believe that despite the fact that we have made a mess of it, the only solution that will work is for the Iraqis to work it out amongst themselves.

You have t-keela listed twice in the first list. That might skew your stats ever-so-slightly.

I missed this poll the first time around so not sure if you want new blood answering this or not. On the off chance you do, and as a vet myself I’ll answer:

Originally I did support the invasion, thinking it was the right thing to do. I did so uneasily, as I’m basically an isolationist where it comes to using US troops outside of the US. Since the original OP asked for simple responses: Yes, originally I did.

Where I stand now is firmly in the camp of ‘it was a big mistake’. Though I don’t support a hurried US withdrawl I’m not at all opposed to beginning the process of withdrawl…say 4 months ago. I’d like to see the US out of Iraq for the most part, or at least in a more defensive posture by years end (not that I have any great hopes of this with GW at the helm). In the same vein of simple responses desired in the original OP: No, I do not anymore and think it was a big and costly mistake.


Hey - my old thread! I was a no, and while I would like all the troops out of Iraq, I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do right now. I would like to see the beginning of a slow withdrawal (with some sort of timetable), but I just don’t know what the solution is at this point.

I’m a bit surprised to find myself missing. Tho I imagine that anyone who is even slightly aware of me already knows what I think. Ain’t like I’m shy, or anything.

The war? A debacle, a quagmire, and a turd-infested fever swamp. I curse the men who led us into this, and wish them only the speediest return on their karma.

Now? Still very swayed by the sense of responsibility for those poor schmucks who were the victims of this high school Geopolitics Club experiment. I detest the idea of abandoning them to their own devices and the compassion of their enemies. A dreadful prospect.

But I have become convinced that our presence is more an irritant than a pacifier. We have not made it better, and most likely cannot; it requires a level of power not mortally available. We sacrifice, and we make it worse.

With grave reluctance, out now!*

(*…meaning, in detail, complete withdrawal as soon as logisticly and practically possible. I don’t presume to those details. So long as the stated and effected goal is the earliest practical withdrawal, that’s “now” enough for 'luc)

Over all, it was a good thing to get Saddam and those two wastes of skin that were his progeny. There were some serious errors in attitude on the part of the military. Right now, we have to stay until the government in charge has the country under control and/or the elected government asks us to leave.

At the time of the first poll: agin it.

Still am.

t-keela voted twice!!! :eek:

It was obviously an attempt to undermine the democratic process.

I stand by my previous opinion that the invasion of Iraq was a stunningly ill-conceived idea.

Normally, I believe that those who make a mess should be responsible for cleaning it up. The trouble with Iraq, however (or one of Iraq’s many troubles, anyway) is that I’m not at all certain that it can be cleaned up in the near-to-medium term. And even if it can, I have even more grave doubts that the U.S. can pull it off.

Sigh. Heavy sigh. Because I just can’t see a happy ending to this story. So should the U.S. pull out? Not instantaneously, in any case. Could I design a sensible withdrawal plan? Can anyone? Well, maybe the folks who got the U.S. (not to mention the Iraqis) into this mess should have thought of that beforehand.

I’m still for it. It was the right decision then and it’s the right decision now.

Then: incredibly bad idea, very bad precedent, egregious foreign policy, and very clumsy handing of it at that

Now: I told you so

I’m not a veteran, but a reader of the linking thread. I hope that’s OK.

I thought it was an unbelievably stupid thing to do. Watching events unfold leading up to the invasion was like watching a bunch of people without parachutes gleefully hurling themselves out of an airplane. Trying to think of what to do about it is like trying to come up with a way to keep them alive. My guess is they figured there will be some soft person below they can land on. Messy, and a real bitch for the the guy on the ground, but a good ride all the same.

No change in my views. Things have turned out, if anything, even worse than I’d expected.

Well, I was against it in 2003. I’m glad my country made the decision to stay out.

IMHO, the US and UK would be best off getting out as soon as it can be arranged.

I was for the war before GW thought about running for office. My opinion hasn’t changed. Would have preferred if Bush Senior had demanded an unconditional surrender of Saddam so there would have been a definitive political defeat. This would have followed the liberation of Kuwait and by doing so carried with it a greater sense of world support. As it ended up, we had a war without an official ending and a military presence in the region.


My opinion in March 2003: “I’m against the war because a) I don’t see a compelling reason for it to begin with, and b) I believe that removing Saddam (particuarly in the manner being done now by Pres. Bush) will result in far more instability and terrorist activity than leaving him in his pre-war state of isolation.”

My opinion now: You broke it, you bought it.

I was against it then, and I’m against it now. I cited much the same reasons as Sublight gave.

Myself in 2003:

I was wrong. We never even reached the point where most of our troops could return and only a small peacekeeping force would remain. There’s been a high level of violence throughout the country for three and a half years, not merely skirmishes.

The problem with this war was not something simple, such as Rumsfield refusing to commit enough troops. The problem was that our goal was impossible. In short, our goal was to install democracy and combat Islamic extremism. But any fool could see beforehand that once democracy existed, the Iraqi people would support extremist Islamic politicians to some extent. In short, Iraq would end up with government by thugs, one way or another. Now we al-Maliki declaring his support for Hezbollah, and Shi’ite and Sunni goon squads in the major cities enforcing whatever rules they choose.

The whole experience, and others, explains why foreign policy ventures by the big western nations into the third world remind me of Calvin assessing his Dad’s repairman skills: “Even on the rare occasions when you actually know what the problem is, you usually make it worse and injure yourself in the process.” And in short, I more than ever believe G. K. Chesterton’s maxim: “The only defensible war is a defensive war.”

What we really kind of have to do (although no one in charge holds this opinion):

a) leave, because our presence is illegitimate and there’s no fixing that

b) help form a UN-sanctioned Iraq rebuilding authority in which we don’t participate “on the ground” (see a above)

c) pay for it. “you broke it, you pay for it”. Yeah, we fucked up so badly we should fund other countries in their efforts and willingness to mop up after us. Do hope we can keep Iran from ending up as head of the damn committee.

d) If George W Bush is indicted for war crimes, offer him up to be tried for them. I think he’s guilty but he should have a fair trial at the World Court.