I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Iraq - McCain's Waterloo?

This from Juan Cole
Over two-thirds of Americans think that getting out of Iraq will help the US economy a great deal (48%) or at least somewhat (20%).
Myself, I think that is the death knell of the Iraq War and spells very bad news for John McCain. McCain's argument is that if Iraq can be pacified, such that troops are not being killed, then there is no intrinsic objection to the US keeping bases there. But first of all, his premise is not evident, and the news of the troop deaths this week argues against complacency on that score. Besides, the public is noting an objection even in the case of no troop deaths, which is the extra expense.

If the war really is going to cost $2 trillion, they can think of other ways they'd like to spend that money, including on unemployment checks for themselves since they are afraid they are about to be fired because of the recession. Hearteningly, even after decades of Republican propaganda about the miraculous properties of "tax cuts" (mainly on their own rich selves), more Americans still think a good way to get out of the recession is for the government to spend more money on health care, education and housing than think it can all be fixed with a tax cut.

Only 28 percent think that anything Bush does is going to help them avoid economic bad times.

Since McCain is trying out for the role of Son of Bush, that is also bad news for him.
Although we have not seen much of it in the media there has been an up tick in violence in Iraq, Cole reports that five US soldiers were killed on Friday. And we have the wild card - Muqtada al-Sadr:
The dramatic decline in bloodshed in Iraq – at least until last week’s terrible market bombings in Baghdad – is largely due to Muqtada al-Sadr’s August 2007 unilateral ceasefire. Made under heavy U.S. and Iraqi pressure and as a result of growing discontent from his own Shiite base, Muqtada’s decision to curb his unruly movement was a positive step. But the situation remains highly fragile and potentially reversible. If the U.S. and others seek to press their advantage and deal the Sadrists a mortal blow, these gains are likely to be squandered, with Iraq experiencing yet another explosion of violence.
The American voter is worried about the economy and weary of wars. This is bad news for a chest pounding war hawk like John McCain.