But when he said that a majority of the military opposed the war, I wondered where he got his information. His exact statement was:
The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military.
Well it turns out that this statement was deliberately misleading, applied as it was to Webb's opposition to Bush's new plan to send additional reinforcements to Iraq.
Here is the survey that Webb was citing, I'll quote the relevant potion:
For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war, ac cording to the 2006 Military Times Poll.
But it turns out that this poll was done just after Rumsfeld was fired, but before Gates took over, and before Bush started discussing the troop reinforcement plan. And in fact, the survey shows that, far from opposing Bush's new plan, the troops were ASKING for it:
Almost half of those responding think we need more troops in Iraq than we have there now. A surprising 13 percent said we should have no troops there.
So a lot of those who oppose the way Bush is fighting the war were complaining that they needed MORE troops, which is Bush's new plan. Meanwhile, only 13% support Webb's plan, which is to pull out all the troops.
It didn't take Webb long to settle in as a Senate Democrat.