‘Greatest Generation’ opposes Iraq war

Here’s some food for thought: Which age group do you think is the most opposed to a possible war in Iraq? Go ahead, take a guess. Is it my generation, full of bleeding-heart college liberals? Or perhaps Generation X, those unapologetic cynics who are opposed to pretty much everything? Or could it be my parents’ generation, the onetime hippies who protested Vietnam?

No, no, and no. As it turns out, according to two recent polls, the age group most opposed to (or at least skeptical of) war in Iraq is the generation that really knows what war is: the World War II generation.

According to a poll in the Los Angeles Times, 54 percent of Americans aged 77 and older oppose the war, while just 35 percent support it. By contrast, among respondents of all ages, 58 percent support the war, and just 35 percent oppose it.

The Pew Research Center, meanwhile, found a 50-50 split among Americans 75 and older, compared with 2-to-1 support among the public at large.

The L.A. Times has a fine article in today’s paper discussing these findings. Two representative paragraphs:

The Rev. Bill Berglund, 82, was a Marine who served, proudly, in World War II and Korea. He entered the seminary in 1969 at age 49. He is not, however, a pacifist. Berglund said he would have fought in Afghanistan too, “if I weren’t so old and feeble,” and if they had let him on the battlefield in his golf cart. And he has not ruled out going to war with Saudi Arabia. “They financed 9/11, and their young men flew the planes,” he said.

But ask Berglund, who lives in a retirement community in Elizabethtown, Pa., about Iraq, and he all but bristles. “I am dead set against it,” he said. “It is a needless exercise of power by a certain group of people in Washington.”

Very interesting.

On the other hand, there may finally be a smoking gun, and I’m not talking about those chemical warheads. Also, the U.K.’s liberal Guardian is apparently supporting war, and that’s saying something. (Both links courtesy of InstaPundit, which also has a ton of antiwar protest pics.)

On a totally unrelated note, did you hear the one about the guy with monkeys in his underpants on a flight from Thailand to L.A.?

4 Responses to “‘Greatest Generation’ opposes Iraq war”

  1. Andrew says:

    I was wondering when you’d finally have a new post. ;-)

    I’m not surprised that the old people oppose the Iraq war. You also have to remember that they were the same people who opposed going into WWII–until the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor. Then, with the Soviet menace, they were staunch supporters of action in Korea and Vietnam, mostly because the Soviets were seen as the aggressors (like the Japs) and we were the defenders.

    However, with Saddam, it looks too much like we’re flexing our muscle to pick on a guy who’s really done nothing to us. Sure he went after Kuwait, and sure he’d love to lob a nuke at Israel if he could, but that’s an Arab-Arab and a Jewish-Muslim problem, respectively. I see this same attitude in my grandmother (a staunch Kennedy liberal Democrat originally from Mass.). She just doesn’t see how we should be meddling in other countries’ business, so the burden of proof is very high for her. But the burden of proof has already been met for Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia for her generation, and that’s why they have the views they do (generally speaking). I’m sure there are other variables involved, but from what I’ve seen, this explains the most of it.

  2. Andrew says:

    Not to mention, seniors seem incredibly predisposed to not trust neocons and think-tank types. They may love Rummy and Powell, but they distrust Wolfowitz, Rove, and some of the others who tend to be more hawkish.

  3. Brendan says:

    Wait… is Rummy not hawkish? :)

  4. Andrew says:

    Of course Rummy is hawkish, and so is Dubya, but the old fogies generally love those guys anyway. Well, my grandma isn’t big on Dubya, but she’s soft for Rummy.