In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 8, 2006 / 8 Adar

U.S. troops seek Iraq exit strategy, too

By Clarence Page

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Pollster John Zogby says he has been asked by senior military brass to give a presentation at U.S. Central Command in Florida about his firm's recent poll of American troops serving in Iraq. Good. The troops have said things that their commanders need to hear — including their commander in chief.

Among them is a feeling that quickly made headlines: only 23 percent of the troops surveyed want to stay "as long as they are needed," even though that is President Bush's often-stated policy.

Instead, 72 percent of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq sometime within the next year, including a 29-percent minority who said we should pull out "immediately."

As soon as the poll was released last Tuesday (Feb. 28), commentators across the political spectrum rushed to their keyboards and microphones to distort what the poll actually says, inflating it or knocking it down to suit their various agendas.

For the record, the poll that Zogby International conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College's Center for Peace and Global Studies did not conclude that most American troops are "begging to get out of Iraq," as at least one blogger put it.

"We didn't ask them, 'When do you want to leave?'," Zogby said in a telephone interview. "We asked when did they think U.S. troops should leave." That was wise. If the question were all about our fighting men and women as individuals, I'd be surprised if most of them did not want to leave "yesterday."

It is also significant to note that Zogby's poll showed Marines and regular army troops to be more gung ho about staying in-country indefinitely than reservists and National Guard members, who were called away from their hometowns as if they had been drafted.

Yet, with all that in mind, the poll results remind me eerily of the ambivalent troop attitudes during the last days of the Vietnam War. I was drafted near the end of 1969. Americans had grown weary of that war by then, including the Americans who were fighting in it. By then, the original mission was a vague memory. America seemed instead to be aimed to some vague goal that President Nixon called "peace with honor." I never saw combat, by sheer luck, but the prevailing mission for many of my fellow troops had become simply keeping themselves and their buddies alive long enough to get "back to the world," which was G.I. jargon for home. I hope the Zogby poll, conducted with the permission of field commanders at five bases in Iraq, does not reveal a similar sense of 11th-hour fatalism in today's troops, even though they appear to have ample reasons to feel that way.

Curiously, an overwhelming 85 percent said the U.S. mission is mainly "to retaliate for Saddam Hussein's role in the 9/11 attacks." Some 77 percent said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was "to stop Saddam from protecting al-Qaida in Iraq." That should come as news to President Bush, Vice President Cheney and others who have said there's no credible evidence that Saddam had any role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Nevertheless, Team Bush often has pushed a double message, putting Saddam squarely in the middle of their "war on terror," whether he is credibly linked to the Sept. 11 attacks or not. That double message appears to have reached our troops, although not in a way that parrots administration policy. Only 24 percent, for example, gave "establishing a democracy that can be a model for the Arab world" as a major reason for the war, despite the president's pronouncements to the contrary.

It is more likely that our troops are saying they see themselves as engaged in a long-term war against terrorism and that Iraq is only one battlefront on which America is currently engaged. That sounds a lot like the way folks in my day saw Vietnam: It was a hot battlefront in our worldwide "cold war" against the Soviet Union communism.

Our side lost Vietnam, but eventually won the cold war. Iraq's future looks just as uncertain amid erupting signs of religious and ethnic civil war that have little to do with America's war against al-Qaida. We owe it to our troops to give them the support they need. But the success of their mission ultimately lies with the Iraqis. The longer we stay, the more we become an impediment to their self-rule and extra targets for violent attacks. Our troops appear to be keenly aware of that. So should the rest of us.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.


© 2006, TMS