Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Petraeus Flop

According to a review of a number of public opinion polls published in today's Washington Post, the Petraeus/Crocker stage show last week has utterly failed to ease the American public's rejection of the Iraq war.

A USA Today/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday found essentially no shift in views on whether U.S. forces are likely to win the war -- two-thirds predict they won't. .
A CBS News poll... found that the public still overwhelmingly opposes keeping any troops in Iraq longer than two years. And the percentage who feel the surge had "made things better" actually declined, to 31 percent from 35 percent a week earlier.
A Pew Research Centre Poll concluded, "Opinion about whether to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq has remained stable for most of this year. Currently, 54% support a troop withdrawal, which is virtually unchanged from measures dating back to February."

Pew once again asked an open-ended question, asking respondents for the word that best describes the situation in Iraq these days. The most frequently volunteered expressions were mess, bad, terrible, sad, horrible, disaster, hopeless, chaos, confused, disappointing, bring troops home, disgusting, tragic and unfortunate.

...a new Reuters/Zogby poll finds "[o]nly 29 percent of Americans gave Bush a positive grade for his job performance, below his worst Zogby poll mark of 30 percent in March."
His, and I mean "his", Iraq war gambit firmly in a quagmire - both in Iraq and in America - Bush is now widely believed to be ready to move on - to air strikes against Iran. Peter Galbraith states a view shared by many outside the wobbly Bush administration and neo-con lobby:

"Sustained air strikes probably could halt Iran's nuclear program. . . . But the risks from air strikes are great. Many of the potential targets are in populated places, endangering civilians both from errant bombs and the possible dispersal of radioactive material. The rest of the world would condemn the attacks and there would likely be a virulent anti-U.S. reaction in the Islamic world. In retaliation, Iran could wreak havoc on the world economy (and its own) by withholding oil from the global market and by military action to close the Persian Gulf shipping lanes.

"The main risk to the U.S. comes in Iraq. Faced with choosing between the U.S. and Iran, Iraq's government may not choose its liberator. And even if the Iraqi government did not openly cooperate with the Iranians, pro-Iranian elements in the U.S.-armed military and police almost certainly would facilitate attacks on U.S. troops by pro-Iranian Iraqi militia or by Iranian forces infiltrated across Iraq's porous border."

If there's any message in this it may be that the delusional ways of George w. Bush are set to continue until he's out of office or finally stopped by Congressional Republicans bailing out to side with the Democrats.
(Thanks to Matt for the graphic)

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