Don't Blame the American People

A recent opinion poll shows that many Americans have serious misgivings about the war fever that currently dominates Washington politics. "A majority of Americans say that the nation's economy is in its worst shape in nearly a decade and that President Bush and Congressional leaders are spending too much time talking about Iraq while neglecting problems at home," reports the New York Times. "The number of Americans who approved of the way Mr. Bush has handled the economy -- 41 percent -- was the lowest it has been in his presidency. Many people said they worried that a war in Iraq -- which most Americans view as inevitable -- would disrupt an already unsettled economy. The poll found that despite the emphasis by Mr. Bush since Labor Day on the need to move against Saddam Hussein, support for such a policy has not changed appreciably since the summer. ... Americans said they feared a long and costly war that could spread across the Middle East and encourage more terrorist attacks in the United States. ... They thought members of both parties were trying to manipulate the issue for their political advantage."