Yesterday I got into conversation with two sibling members of my family, both of whom are opposed to the US invasion/liberation of Iraq. One is (approximately) an environmentalist, the other is (precisely speaking) a UKIPper, but both are agreed in opposing the war and Britain’s involvement in it. I am cautiously and pessimistically supportive, but am not sure. I hope Mark Steyn is right about it, but fear that he may not be.
Anyway, an hypothesis about the state of US public opinion surfaced, as interesting hypotheses will when people who disagree, and who hence bring varied ideas and attitudes to the table, but who wish to remain civil with one another, as I and my siblings do.
For the last few years, the Left in the USA has been saying: It’s all about oil, it’s all about oil. Now for many Americans, and for most people outside America, fighting a war for mere oil is evil. But what if lots of Americans hear that this war is all about oil, and are pleased? But what if the dime has now finally dropped that actually this war is NOT all about oil?
Could that be what Middle America is getting nervous about? For as long as they were convinced that it was all about oil, they were content. That is our kind of war. Simple, limited, clear, selfish. All the things you want, and not like Vietnam at all. But now that it is dawning on them that this really is about “democracy” and such like, for that exact reason they are getting fidgety. Will it be worth it? When will it end? Where will it end? etc.
It would be entertaining to think that the American Left have been the most energetic de facto supporters of President Bush because of what they regarded as their fiercest criticism of him, but that now that the Left is being defeated in the argument about the true nature and true purpose of the war by the war’s most energetic supporters, support for that war is, as a direct result, eroding.
One should probably not be looking for entertainment in such serious things, but, entertainment aside, is this not a rather interesting way of looking at it? I am sure that this theory does not apply to all American supporters or ex-supporters of the war. But to some, maybe?
No links in this I am afraid. I do not recall hearing anyone else saying anything quite like this, although some surely have.