Was the U.S. invasion of Iraq ever popular?

I remember the country turning against the war, but did the country ever really support the war?

Democrats won control of Congress in 2006, in part because the catastrophic War On Terror™ turned voters against Bush and Republicans. At least that’s how I remember it.

This morning I read a newspaper column I wrote in November 2002 (13 months after the Afghanistan invasion, 5 months before the Iraq invasion). It was about public opinion polling and whether the then-pending invasion of Iraq actually had the support of the public.

Was the Iraq war ever popular with the American public? It depended on how pollsters asked the question. Me in 2002:

To witness first-hand how small wording changes can alter answers, try asking these two questions next you’re at a bar. Question : Do you enjoy having sex? Question : Do you enjoy having sex with me?”

I then share bits of a Pew Research Center poll from October 2002 showing that a majority of Americans favored the invasion in general, but a majority disapproved of an invasion if there were significant U.S. casualties or we proceeded without support from allies.

Put another way, the public approved of the hypothetical best-case scenario (an internationally supported invasion with few casualties) that was sold to them by Bush and credulous journalists, but the public disapproved of a go-it-alone invasion that killed and injured huge numbers of people, which is what countless people who were actually paying attention (ex. me!) warned was about to happen.

Americans didn’t really support what the war was going to be. They only supported the fantasy version. 

Speaking of fantasies, check out how much a 3-bedroom house with a yard cost in East Atlanta in 2002. From the classifieds of the same November 2002 issue of Creative Loafing:

My column from that week, if you’re curious.

Atlanta’s Best Season

Autumn gets the glory and the cinnamon and nutmeg-flavored coffee drinks, but Atlanta’s best season is late winter. The mornings are cold, the afternoons are warm, the trees are naked.

Sleepfluencer

I was recently interviewed by WebMD about one of my hobbies.

Nouraee, who lives in a suburb of Atlanta, made some changes that typically lead to better sleep – not eating close to bedtime, drinking less alcohol, and decreasing evening screen time. He also cut down on caffeine, switching from black to decaffeinated tea. And he sets his watch to vibrate 15 minutes before bedtime as a reminder to start winding down.

“I’ve absolutely changed my behavior. It worked,” he said. He now gets deeper sleep.

Everybody’s good at something. Turns out I’m very good at lying still in my bed for eight hours at a time.

Read more about how sleep technologies can help you get a better rest on WebMD.

Tips for reporters who can’t get Taylor Swift tickets

Taylor Swift tickets are the most in-demand concert tickets in my social circle since 2001 when Radiohead played at Stone Mountain. I’m not comparing their commercial stature – I’m saying my social circle has changed. In 2001 it seemed like all of my friends wanted Radiohead tickets. In 2023 it seems like all of my friends and their kids want Taylor Swift tickets.

When Radiohead played Atlanta in 2001 I was writing Creative Loafing’s entertainment and nightlife column. It was a job that gave me easy access to concert tickets, but in this case demand was higher than supply.

It was still the biggest concert of the summer in the alt-weekly world and I had to cover it, with or without tickets. So I did what any resourceful young reporter in my position would have done, I found a man with the same name as Radiohead’s lead singer and invited him to the Toco Hills Caribou coffee for an interview.

From Creative Loafing, August 2001:

Thom York has no memory of recording Amnesiac. He doesn’t really have much to say about any of Radiohead‘s albums. He does, however, have an important message for fans of the band. He wants you to know that a 30-year mortgage with no prepay penalty is preferable to a 15-year mortgage. That’s because, you can pay a 30-year in 15 years, but you can’t pay a 15-year in 30.

The Thom I spoke to is Thom York, the real estate agent, not Thom Yorke, the singer of Radiohead. Although the band’s Stone Mountain Park concert Monday happened after this newspaper’s publishing deadline, it’s too important to ignore, so I called Thom after I saw one of his signs on someone’s lawn. Thom prefers country music over rock, but when the Radiohead song “High and Dry” played on the stereo of the coffeehouse where we spoke, he liked it.

If I were still a reporter I’d have spent the past couple weeks trying to interview a swift tailor, or perhaps I’d be meeting Conyers, Georgia resident Taylor Sweet at Yankee Candle, where I’d buy her a lavender candle.

Incidentally, Thom is still in real estate if you need a house.

RIP: Oakhurst Cheeto?

(RIP = Restoration In Progress)

Shocking news from Oakhurst — a city crew is right now removing the Cheeto sculpture from Harmony Park. What’s going in its place? Something safer such as giant, spinning razor blades? Maybe a cauldron of molten iron?

I’ll always be grateful to the Cheeto. It taught me that my children’s bones are not as brittle as I feared.

UPDATE: It’s being removed for maintenance and will return soon.