There were a couple of stories in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News today about the Iraq War and its impact in Pullman.
In the first story, it was disclosed that the approximately 60 Pullman-based members of Detachment 2, Company B, 1-161st Infantry Battalion, 81st Brigade Combat Team (Heavy), Washington Army National Guard received their mobilization orders yesterday. After a stop at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin for training in August, they will be headed to Iraq once again this fall.
In the second story, it was reported that a group of five gathered at St. James Episcopal Church in Pullman last night for a vigil to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. This pathetically small number (for a college town) can perhaps be explained by a Gallup Poll that came out last Friday. The success of the surge has convinced a majority of Americans that victory is possible in Iraq and that U.S troops should not leave before the job is done.
65% of Americans feel the U.S. has an obligation to establish a reasonable level of security and stability in Iraq before withdrawing. That's exactly what our Pullman boys in the National Guard will be doing. 63% feel that it is likely al-Qaeda will use Iraq as a base for terrorist operations if the U.S. withdraws and 57% believe that even greater number of Iraqis will die if the U.S. withdraws. This despite the fact that 59% say of Americans think that involvement in Iraq was a mistake.
Not only is this bad news for the protesters at St. James, it's bad news for presidential candidate Barack Obama and his pledge to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.