Polls show shift in attitudes on Iraq following military inroads
Still, there have been signs of changes in attitudes, some on the ground in Iraq, some in the United States:
— Two critics of Bush's recent handling of Iraq, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, both of the Brookings Institution, penned an op-ed opinion piece in The New York Times suggesting after a visit that "we are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms." They recommended Congress sustain the current troop buildup "at least into 2008."
— Leading anti-war Democrat Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania predicted that U.S. commanders will begin drawing down troop levels early next year and that Congress can be more flexible in setting a fixed deadline for ending the U.S. occupation.
— Polls suggest that Bush has had some degree of success in linking Islamic militants in Iraq with the al-Qaida terrorist movement.
"The administration is aggressively engaged in shifting (public) attitudes. And our side has been less aggressive than it needs to be," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. "The administration has been making inroads on their Iraqi argument, particularly linking it to terrorism."
After sliding to just 28 percent in June, within range of an all-time low, Bush's job approval rating on handling Iraq rose slightly to 31 percent in July, according to AP-Ipsos polling. And a recent CBS/NYT poll showed an increase in the percentage of Americans who think the U.S. did the right thing in going to war with Iraq, up to 42 percent from 35 percent in May.
So, finally, on August 9th, 2007, the AP deigns to acknowledge what we have told you multiple times since last month.
Here is a paragraph from my post on August 1st, 2007:
Over the last few days we have seen that according to Gallup's latest poll, the GOP presidential candidates are trusted and hold more public confidence in two very important areas, Iraq and Terrorism, we have also seen two liberal thinking critics of how the war was handled until this latest surge and General Petraeus took over, come back from Iraq with more optimism that they previously had, we have also seen two Democratic Politicians, namely Keith Ellison and Jerry McNerney, come back from Iraq to report undeniable progress, Gordon Brown has surprised many by showing a deep understanding of the challenges and dangers we face internationally and acknowledged ours, as well as his, responsibilities in Iraq, we have brought you news that Move America Forward will be joined by tens of thousands others in a caravan leading to capitol hill for General Petraeus and his September report, to encourage Congress to help our troops attain victory instead of doing everything in their power to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they are so good at doing, Vets For Freedom will be there a few days later with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans joining them to counter the anti-military voices that plan on converging on Capitol hill, we have seen a poll conducted that shows that Americans are just starting to see the success and progress in Iraq and are slowly inching up in support of our actions, this poll was conducted twice, both times with the same result.... it goes on and on, the good news, the turning tide has been coming to us, even through our MSM and all that has just been reported on in the last week.
I followed that up by showing that the Democrats were starting to panic.
Perhaps I shouldn't have said just Democrats, liberal papers that have done everything in their power to sweep any success and progress being seen in Iraq, right under the proverbial rug are all of a sudden noticing??
What took them so long?
If we, mere bloggers, have been able to find these stories, articles and polls, and put them together in a comprehensive manner, weeks ago, how is it that so-called professionals, like the AP, are just getting around to speaking up about the tide turning and acknowledging it?
Sure they would write a story or two, acknowledging this poll or that poll, but they deliberately weren't adding it all together to show the new "trend".
Were they hoping, actively wishing, that things would go to hell in a hand basket again so they wouldn't have to report the "news"?
of course, old habits die hard, so the latest AP piece wanted to hedge their bets by mentioning this:
Despite U.S. pressure, Iraq's parliament went on vacation for a month after failing to pass either legislation to share the nation's oil wealth or to reconcile differences among the factions. And nearly all Sunni representatives in the government have quit, undermining the legitimacy of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite.
I am glad they did. We, too, are a nation at war, and OUR own Congress, while having the Defense Authorization Bill sitting on their desk, because Harry Reid, in a fit of pique, decided to take it off the table when he could not win enough to support to try to force time lines into it, well, our Congress is taking a month off also.
Personally I think the Iraqi politicians should have done this last month... ever heard the expression "go to your corners"?
Well, our military still has not finished securing that country, there are many parts where they must go in and duplicate the successes and progress they are seeing now in other areas and I do not know how many of us have said, how many times, that SECURITY must come before political progress can be made.
So, with the tensions running high between the Iraqi Politicans, maybe they all need to just go to their corners, work behind the scenes (as our own politicians are doing), take a deep breath and calm down so when they come back, assuming the security situation continues seeing the progress they are seeing, they have a chance to get some important work done.
Anyone that has been criticizing the Iraqi's August month off, have they bothered to stop and think about the last days of our own Congress before their recess?
Tensions were so high, the Democrats actually stole a vote, denied it, saw themselves stealing it on public television for the whole world to see, came back and apologized because they couldn't deny it any longer, agreed to set up an investigative body into the affair, STILL after admitting their mistake, did not change the vote back to what it was, then the next day the whole body was a mess, people sniping at each other, making accusations, the tensions were so high that I would not have been surprised at all to see someone throw a punch.
Many people even said, they needed time off to cool down or nothing would get done.
Well, those were tensions between the Democrats and the Republicans, now imagine having THREE factions, not just political factions but religious factions all trying to get the same type of work done in the Iraqi parliament, tensions as high or higher than what we watched in our own chambers, via C-Span, and think about a point or two.
Politics can get rough as we have seen recently with our own politicians and we have decades upon decades more experience than the Iraqi's do in handling things.
Political progress will follow the military progress we are seeing, but to expect them to do a better job than we, ourselves, are capable of, is asking for miracles and is completely unrealistic.
It is a good sound bite, it is a good "liberal talking point" to point out that the Iraqi's are slow in attaining political progress, but the reality of it is, they are learning far faster than we did and it is simply the far left's way to distract from the good news and progress we are seeing from Iraq these days.
Distract, distort and in some case from our liberal media outlets, just downright lie to try to change the tide back again.
What I find so disturbing is people are so worried about being "right or wrong" they treat every bad news story as if it is good news for them!!!
They treat every good news story as if it is the end of their world as they know it.
One whole group, and I will say it is the far far liberal left, not all Democrats, not all liberals, but those on the very far left end of the spectrum, are actually wishing for failure and terrified of success in Iraq.
Amazing that a whole group wants America to lose. That includes some of our Democratic politicians.
How sick is that?
[Update] I see an editorial, via RCP, which makes some good points and does it more elequently than I have.
Military and political progress is heartening but with it comes a critical decision for war critics, especially Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, who declared the war lost months ago, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who last week pledged to continue seeking withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Public support for the war effort has been growing in recent weeks and the expected positive report from Petraeus to Congress in mid-September will likely generate additional support for giving victory a chance. In other words, the political ground on which Reid and Pelosi are standing is shifting beneath them. Do they now really want to bring our boys home just when they are poised to win?This is not the time to let arm-chair generals on Capitol Hill second-guess Petraeus by demanding arbitrary withdrawal dates, abruptly cutting off funding for the counterinsurgency, or interfering with his military decisions. If true bipartisanship was ever needed in Washington, it’s now — while our nation is engaged in a military struggle with a dangerous, determined enemy.
Well said. No worries, they will either completely deny it, try to distract from the progress, or jump on board claiming they helped, when we all know they have done everything in their power to demoralize our troops and encourage our enemies.
Their supporters will believe them. [End Update]