By MARC MCDONALD
To hear George W. Bush and the right-wing noise machine tell it, one might be under the impression that the Iraq War has turned from a disaster to a major success story in the past few months.
But make no mistake: the American people aren't buying this spin---and support for the Iraq War remains toxic for any candidate seeking the White House.
Barack Obama, one of the few candidates who has opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, rolled to victory in the Iowa caucuses. (Note that polls show that Iowa Democrats still consider the war in Iraq the top issue facing the country).
Obama's success shows that the American public simply isn't buying the White House's recent desperate spin of the Iraq War as a "success story." And it shows that candidates who don't distance themselves from the Iraq fiasco severely diminish their hopes for the White House.
It's this toxic association with the war which continues to haunt former Dem front-runner Hillary Clinton, who voted to authorize the invasion and has never apologized for doing so.
In recent months, the mainstream media, including The New York Times, has worked overtime, trying to depict a turn-around in the Iraq War.
But the American people clearly aren't buying it. Bush's approval ratings remain in the toilet. And although one can find plenty of fault with Obama's anti-war credentials, they were clearly enough to power his victory in Iowa over Clinton's mighty, well-funded campaign machine.
On the GOP side, the public's weariness with the Iraq fiasco is apparent as well. Ron Paul is clearly picking up steam and his campaign earnings this quarter amounted to an incredible $19.5 million, possibly the largest haul among GOP candidates. It's quite remarkable for for a candidate who is more sharply critical of the Iraq War than any other White House hopeful.