Looking inward

US citizens are slipping towards isolationism:

Nearly half of Americans believe their government should mind its own business internationally and only one third approves of how US President George W. Bush is handling Iraq, a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll said.

Bush’s rating, which rose from 32 percent in September to 39 percent in the ensuing months, has fallen back to 32 percent in the latest survey, the USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll said.

Amid growing opposition to the US-led war in Iraq, the number of Americans who think the United States “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along as best they can on their own,” has risen from 33 percent to 46 percent over the past three years, the poll said.

The pollsters said their April 7-9 survey reflected similar results during the Vietnam War, when only 20 percent of Americans said their country should mind its own business in 1964, one year before the war began, compared to 40 percent who thought so in 1972, when the Vietnam War was in full swing.

And just as US president Lyndon Johnson failed to convince his countrymen between 1966 and 1968 that the Vietnam War was being won, Bush has been unable to turn the tide of opposition to the Iraq war since he began a series of speeches in September.

Johnson’s war-handling ratings dropped from 57 percent to 39 percent in two years.… 

These results are unsurprising, but a large number of Americans still support military action against Iran, though distrust Bush in handling the situation.