Support for Afghan War Hits New Low, Majority Say Pull Out Before 2014

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta rejected the legitimacy of the opinion of most Americans

A majority of Americans say the U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan before the 2014 deadline set by the Obama administration, according to a new poll.

The CNN/ORC International survey released Friday indicated only 25% of Americans support the war in Afghanistan, a new all time low. Most Republicans even voiced opposition to it, an unprecedented detail in the entirety of the decade-long war.

In denial of the abundant evidence of failure, a full 34% of those surveyed amazingly said America is winning the war.

The steep decline in support for the war has something to do with a number of high profile outrages occurring one after the other. In recent months, U.S. soldiers were video-recorded urinating on Afghan corpses, U.S. soldiers burned Muslim holy books, prompting nationwide protests, and the latest controversy comes from the savage massacre of 17 Afghan civilians by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and possibly several more unnamed criminals.

“We cannot fight wars by polls,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday. “If we do that we’re in deep trouble. We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we are embarked on. And the mission here is to safeguard our country by ensuring that the Taliban and al Qaeda never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan.”

This statement, coming from a Democratic administration, echoes almost verbatim the infamous statement from former vice president Dick Cheney when asked to respond to the low public support for the Iraq war, saying “you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in public opinion.” When Cheney said it, most liberals exploded in outrage. Apparently it’s acceptable so long as the president is on the blue team.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.