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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Survey on ‘Surge” Recalls MLK Challenge

The 2007 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday finds a growing portion of Americans opposed to increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. As the first poll of Americans following President Bush’s ‘surge’ address (PDF here) indicates, 66 percent of Americans oppose sending another 20 thousand plus troops to Iraq, while 32 percent are in favor. CNN notes further:

Half the respondents said they “strongly oppose” sending more troops, while 16 percent “moderately oppose.” Only 19 percent “strongly favor” sending additional troops, and 13 percent “moderately favor” the idea…With Democrats controlling Congress, Americans show substantially more support for the Democratic Party on the issue of Iraq. Just more than half — 51 percent — said they have more confidence in the Iraq policies of the Democrats in Congress, while only 34 percent said they have more confidence in Bush’s Iraq policies.

If this rising tide of dissent rings a bell, go back almost 40 years to February 25, 1967, when Dr. King had this to say in his speech “The Casualties of the War in Vietnam”:

It’s time for all people of conscience to call upon America to return to her true home of brotherhood and peaceful pursuits. We cannot remain silent as our nation engages in one of history’s most cruel and senseless wars. America must continue to have, during these days of human travail, a company of creative dissenters. We need them because the thunder of their fearless voices will be the only sound stronger than the blasts of bombs and the clamor of war hysteria.

The entire speech may be read The King Papers Project website.