Why Don't Americans Trust Republicans on Foreign Policy?

Riddle me this, fellow Republicans. An NBC survey April 9 reports that a huge majority (70%) of Americans doubt that Iran will abide by any agreement to limit its nuclear arms--but a majority (54%) still thinks Obama will do a better job than the Republicans in dealing with Iran!

A majority of Americans – 54 percent – trust Barack Obama to do a better job handling an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, compared to 42 percent who say they trust the Republicans in Congress. But nearly 7 in 10 Americans say that Iran is not likely to abide by the agreement that has been reached.

Fifty-three percent think Iranian nukes are a "major threat," and only 37% think they are a "minor threat." Most Americans, in short, think Iran is a major threat to American security and think that Obama's nuclear deal is a joke--but they still want Obama in charge of the negotiations, not us.

Maybe NBC made the numbers up. Maybe a proofreader got the numbers reversed. And maybe pigs will sprout wings.

There is a much simpler explanation: Most Americans don't trust Republicans on matters of war and peace. Not after the nation-building disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, that is. Why should they trust us? Our leadership has never admitted it made a mistake. Sen. Ted Cruz, to be sure, had the gumption last fall to say that "we got too involved in nation-building" and that "we should not be trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland"--and was excoriated for his trouble by the Bushies. The Republican mainstream is too busy trying to defend the Bush record to address the distrust of American voters.

One gets weary and grows shrill sounding the same note for a decade. I wish the problem would go away.  A couple of weeks ago a friend who served in senior defense positions in the Bush administration remonstrated, "Why do we have to worry about what mistakes were made back then?" The American public doesn't remember a lot, but it does remember the disruption of millions of lives after the deployment of 2.6 million Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan--not to mention 6,000 dead, 52,000 wounded in action, and hundreds of thousands of other injuries.