Saturday, March 29, 2003

Rallying round the flag

Steve Sailer writes an interesting piece on growing British support for the war. Although Steve sort-of supports the war, he doesn't think that the upturn is because the British were always for it but had a funny way of showing it (unlike others, such as Iain Murray):

This offers a lesson about the long-term relationship-building value to the United States of getting foreign countries not just to make positive statements about U.S.-led wars but to also put some of their soldiers' boots on the battlefield. Seeing television coverage of young people from one's own country fighting alongside Americans seems to foster martial enthusiasm and warm feelings for the United States.

There is a certain rally-round effect. Even as staunch a cynic as myself wants to see the troops home without losing any troops, time or pride - and that means a quick victory. Middle Eastern peace and (especially) Iraqi civilian casualties play a minor part, if any, in my feelings. That does not mean to say that this is support for the war.

What would be interesting would be to see any opinion polls (they may be out there - but I haven't looked) asking "Regardless of your support for British troops, do you think that that we should have been over there in the first place." The fact that the opinion poll companies (or perhaps headline writers) are conflating the perceived need for the war and support for the troops confuses the issue.


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