TBA_C01.qxd 08/02/2007 11:19 AM Page 13 1 The rise of the moral agenda and American public opinion Moral and cultural concerns became frontline political issues from the late 1960s onwards.1 In the years that followed President Richard Nixon’s inauguration in January 1969, tensions around questions such as abortion, single parenthood, the role of women and the legitimacy of same-sex relations played an increasingly important and visible role in debates about public policy, the shaping of party loyalties, the appointment of judges and the electoral process. The
In promoting and prosecuting its war against Iraq, the administration of George W. Bush sought to accomplish two tasks in the management of American public opinion. In the run-up to the war, it tried to rally the public to support its planned venture, and, during the war itself, it tried to maintain public backing for the war even as costs increased. It failed in both of
This book examines the intellectual frameworks within which the case for war in Iraq has developed in the US and the UK. It analyzes the neoconservative roots of the decision to go to war. The book also analyzes the humanitarian intervention rationale that was developed in the context of the Kosovo campaign, Tony Blair's presentation of it, and the case of Iraq. It looks at the parallel processes through which the George Bush administration and Blair government constructed their cases for war, analyzing similarities and divergences in approach. The book considers the loci of the intelligence failure over Iraq, the lessons for the intelligence communities, and the degree to which the decision to go to war in Iraq represented a policy rather than an intelligence failure. It then complements the analyses of US prewar intelligence failures by analysing what post-war inquiries have revealed about the nature of the failure in the UK case. The book discusses the relationship between intelligence and policymaking. It looks at how US Congress dealt with intelligence before the war. The book also examines how the Bush administration tried to manage public opinion in support of its war policies. It then looks at the decisionmaking process of the Bush administration in the year before the war in Iraq. Finally, the book also provides excerpts from a number of speeches and documents which are key to understanding the nature of national security decisionmaking and intelligence failure.
political association and freedom of speech, imprisonment of journalists, restrictions on free press, etc. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and B’nai B’rith are the forefront of acting on behalf of Turkey in the United States however, often at a cost – the anger and distaste of other ethnic groups, especially the Armenian and Greek Americans, and criticism in the American public opinion. “I can not stress enough that for Americans, a free press – that is the freedom to express contrary views in print – is absolutely fundamental to our definition of a functioning
particularly important for the development of American public opinion that the appeasement at Munich was followed not long after by the vicious Nazi pogrom commonly known as Kristallnacht . This spasm of anti-Semitic violence, which erupted across Germany and was followed closely by people back in the United States, broke out only six weeks after the Munich Agreement and did much to erode what was left of Americans’ trust in Germany’s capacity for peaceful coexistence with anyone. ‘I myself could scarcely believe that such things could occur in a twentieth
Here, Barack Obama’s ‘unwavering support’ amongst the African American demographic is studied by taking a look at a satirical sketch from SNL as well as real data from Gallup’s analytics. The chapter discusses the dichotomy between this support and the worsening conditions generally for black Americans during the Obama Administration and comments upon why this may be.
The chapter then assesses the reaction of African American public opinion on the record of the Obama Presidency by turning to black citizens themselves to answer the question of whether ‘symbolic politics’ is enough. Using public opinion data, black Americans are asked how satisfied they are with President Obama’s performance on racial issues and determine the relationship between satisfaction with the president’s racial performance and general job approval ratings and enthusiastic electoral support for President Obama in 2012 by using qualitative and quantitative data sources.
Chapter 4 focuses on the months when the British and Irish governments each campaigned fiercely for America’s friendship and for the Roosevelt administration’s aid and sympathetic understanding of their nations’ competing wartime imperatives, as Winston Churchill and Eamon de Valera each defined them. Roosevelt, whose November 1940 re-election had boosted his political confidence, increased his administration’s moral and material support for Britain, although still not at the levels Churchill requested. Roosevelt proposed a program of “Lend-Lease” military aid to any nation that was defined as “vital to the defense of the United States” to the U.S. Congress, and, after much debate, Congress approved the Lend-Lease bill in March 1941. Roosevelt also sent a succession of personal emissaries to meet with Churchill and report back to him on Britain’s chances of surviving, if not destroying, the formidable German Wehrmacht and annihilating the Axis Powers’ fascist ideologies and imperial visions. With positive reports from Harry Hopkins, Wendell Willkie, and Colonel William Donovan, his new ambassador to Great Britain John Winant, and from David Gray, Roosevelt’s pro-British predispositions were strengthened and his willingness to put critical pressure on neutral Ireland increased. During this period, de Valera, Walshe, and especially Aiken, who was sent to the United States to meet with Roosevelt in April 1941, all engaged in propaganda campaigns in league with Irish Minister in Washington Robert Brennan. They tried to mobilize Irish American public opinion in support of Eire’s neutrality, but they only succeeded in alienating Roosevelt and David Gray.
balance of power for ever. Wilson wanted initially to act as a ‘mediator’ in the European war and, when this failed, to attempt to redefine the war aims of the participants so that such a war could hopefully not reoccur. Wilson was having to decide whether the United States should enter the war in the full knowledge that this was not wanted by much of American public opinion, as Roosevelt was to do during the next global conflict. Wilson tried to steer a middle path between ‘preparedness’ and not getting involved. However, events militated against isolation as American
return shortly.10 Many other key players in Washington were pro-British and, according to some surveys, American public opinion was solidly behind the Allies as early as October 1939, if not yet willing to go to war for them. This has led one historian to claim that ‘[n]ot for the first time in history, and certainly not for the last, what linked the two great English-speaking democracies was a genuine community of outlook – “friendship” in the human rather than the diplomatic sense of the word’.11 The long-term results of what must nonetheless be seen as an essential
aspired).14 The imperialistic attempt by US officials to impose the norms of liberal democracy, in an effort to appease American public opinion, would help to determine the later course of the war and the fate of the American intervention. “What the United States did was to allow itself to forget that it was in Vietnam as an ally, not as a conqueror.” In the “worst mistake we ever made,” the USA “conspired to replace the government of an ally in the middle of a common war against the Communist enemy, thus plunging South Vietnam and the war effort into a steep spiral of