This really should be required reading for anyone out there laboring under the illusion that there is something uniquely awful and unAmerican about our involvement in Iraq — or in Vietnam, for that matter.
You think the American public is turning against the Iraq War in a big way? Well, get back to me when we’ve had a reaction as awful as the New York draft riots that Abe Lincoln had to deal with.
John Prine was not expressing such an unusual sentiment when he sang: "We lost Davy in the Korean war/And I still don’t know what for, don’t matter anymore."
Basically, it’s tough to maintain public opinion in favor of military operations in a democracy, even when they are necessary. The reasons why a war may be just and necessary are usually far too complex to keep before the electorate for an extended period of time. That’s why you see oversimplifications. All anyone who is now against the war seems to remember is "WMD," when it was and is much more complicated than that.
Anti-war activists almost always have the advantage, because their message is simple: Stop the killing. That’s why in the long term, opinion starts to sway their way. And that’s a serious problem when you engaged in something as extremely long-term as the War on Terror.