Fifty-two per cent of Americans believe the Iraq war was not worth fighting in what amounts to a repudiation of President George W Bush’s argument that winning in Iraq is key to prevailing in the war on terror, according to a new opinion poll.
The joint survey by ABC News and the Washington Post also indicated that seven in 10 Americans found US casualties were “unacceptable,” while the number of those confident the war has enhanced long-term US security has slid 11 points this year, to 51 per cent.
The findings follow a report by a bipartisan commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States that found that, contrary by the administration’s claim, there were no cooperative ties between the former Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
Mr Bush and other administration officials had also insisted Baghdad had a massive arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
No such weapons have ever been found.
The poll also found that 76 per cent of Americans now believe the Iraq war has damaged the US image in the rest of the world, 13 points up from last summer.
Another 63 per cent said it has caused long-term harm to US relations with countries that opposed the war.
As a result, approval of the President’s handling of the US campaign against terrorism has fallen to 50 per cent, according to the poll.
In an ominous sign for Mr Bush, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry now runs slightly ahead of him in trust to handle terrorism, 48 per cent to 47 per cent, the survey showed.
Maybe there’s some hope for this country yet.