On Saturday war protestors numbering in the thousands marched on the Pentagon to protest the beginning of the fifth year of the Iraq war. Protestors crossed the Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial to gather as close to the Pentagon as they could get. A counter protest supporting the war shadowed the antiwar demonstration carrying signs with slogans like, “Peace Through Strength.” Before the march police separated the two groups who shouted at each other at the Lincoln Memorial. The anti-war group carried signs that read, “U.S. Out of Iraq Now,” “Stop Iraq War,” and “Impeach Bush.”

The march is just a small reminder of how much the Iraq war has fundamentally changed the political landscape of the United States. Public support for the war, and those who launched it in the Republican Party, has reached an all time low. The political climate has done a 360 degree shift from the heady post-9/11 months of 90% approval ratings for President George W. Bush. Things have changed to the degree that even the strongest of the Bush supporters are wondering what they signed up for with this war, and if the nation is on the correct track. “The war that we the Congress authorized the president to engage in is different than the one we’re in today,” said Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL). “I think we have to have a very serious appraisal of how you conduct yourself in that type of (sectarian violence) situation,” he said.

In January, when President Bush announced the sending of 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, many experts characterized this strategy as a last ditch attempt to get the security situation under control in Iraq. Democrats and Republicans alike feel that if the troop surge strategy fails, things look bleak for the U.S. in Iraq. “If this current strategy doesn’t work, the options aren’t good,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD). If the violence continues, Thune said, “you’re going to see more and more people suggest we’ve got to do something different.” The Iraq war was supposed to define the presidency of George W. Bush, and it has, just in a way that GOP supporters could never have expected.

I don’t know why the administration thought that Americans would support a war, even after the stated reasons for going to battle had been proven untrue. The biggest long term impacts of this war will probably be a reintroduction of the bad taste in the collective mouths of Americans towards the idea of going to war, and a revival of the Democratic Party. The Democrats had lost their identity, and were floundering as a political party, until they sensed the shifting of public support for the war, and picked up the anti-Iraq war banner. The Iraq war has changed America, but it hasn’t done any thing to protect or improve it.

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse  

Be Sociable, Share!