Morass or not, this war seems to be especially unpopular on the homefront.
Actually, a substantial minority has opposed almost every war prosecuted by our nation. This was true right from the American Revolution—which a large proportion of Tory elites (including most New York City residents) insisted was an ill-considered and quixotic mistake.
Only in 20/20 hindsight have our wars been reinterpreted as righteous and widely supported by a unified nation. Even World War II, the ultimate “good” war fought by the “greatest” generation, was deeply controversial at the time. Fully 6,000 Americans went to prison as war resisters during the years our troops were conquering fascism in Europe and Japan.
There’s no reason to think of the Iraq war as more unpopular than any other U.S. war. If it is prosecuted to success, there’s little doubt that the war against terror in Iraq will in retrospect look just as wise and worthy as previous sacrifices. But there is a wild card: Would the nation have retained the nerve to finish previous successful wars if there had been contemporary-style news coverage of battles like Camden, the Wilderness, or Tarawa?