As it stands right now, Americans feel no pressing need to go to war with Iraq. And until they do, President Bush should leave the troops at home.
In all the increasing rhetoric on the world stage concerning Iraq’s potentially nuclear threat, one thing remains forgotten: without strong American support, any war will ultimately fail.
History teaches this well. America fought in Vietnam with no clear objective, shaky public support and a vast underestimation of her opponent. The only thing different today is that we know what the objective is: to remove Saddam Hussein.
But how? We don’t know. How long is too long? We don’t know. How do we fight a land battle on Hussein’s turf? We don’t know. Perhaps the Defense Department knows, but right now it isn’t telling the public.
Putting international opinion aside for the moment, domestic support is there but quickly eroding. And the support isn’t strong. As long as Americans feel we might as well get rid of Iraq now because we should have done so 10 years ago, they will turn violently against the war if it becomes long and bloody.
If a war with Iraq turns for the worst without vehement public support for it, Bush can start packing his bags for a return to Texas now.
Americans hate war, unless they are provoked to action. We saw this last September, and we may see it again concerning Iraq. But until that happens, Congress and the president should spend more time collecting evidence and letting that speak for itself.