Rasmussen: 51% support current Iraq strategy until September, but…

posted at 2:26 pm on July 16, 2007 by Allahpundit

It’s in line with the Gallup poll from last week that found 55% wanting to wait to hear from Petraeus. Note how the question is phrased, though:

Should we wait until September before making major policy changes in Iraq?

A change in course is presumed irrespective of what he might actually say, in which case what’s the point of waiting? The progress report, ostensibly, is supposed to tell us if the current strategy is working well enough that it should be continued. If people have already dismissed that possibility — as Harry Reid did long ago and which, per the poll, 54% now seem to do also — and are willing to wait simply out of polite respect for a guy in a tough spot by letting him play out his strategy for another 10 weeks, then just pull the plug. Either that or give him a mandate to use the time he has left to liquidate any and every militiaman and insurgent he can get his hands on so that they’re not around to make things worse when we start to withdraw and the “big disaster” of the power vacuum begins.

Here’s a thought experiment: what could Petraeus possibly say in September that would change war opponents’ minds? There’s plenty he could say to change some (but not all) war supporters’ minds — “the surge hasn’t worked as well as we hoped,” “there’s been some progress but we don’t expect stability for another five years at least,” etc, but what could he say realistically to the anti-war wing that might get them to rethink? If the answer’s “nothing,” then why humiliate him by making him try? I suppose there’s a certain political advantage to having him formally warn Congress of the consequences of doing what they’re going to do anyway, but he deserves better than to be used for those purposes. Let McCain do it.

Meanwhile, two worthy pieces for you from the NYT and WaPo, each of which shows the extent to which Shiites are trying to disrupt U.S. efforts to cultivate the Sunnis and bring them around to reconciliation. The Times piece is a profile of “the Volunteers,” a band of insurgents who have allied with American troops outside Baghdad to target AQ and other Salafists. Minor problem: Shiite units of the Iraqi Army keep trying to kill them.

Recently, and without warning, Colonel Pinkerton said, 80 Iraqi soldiers in armored vehicles charged out of their sector toward Nasr Wa Salam but were blocked by an American platoon. The Iraqis refused to say where they were going and threatened to drive right through the American soldiers, whom they greatly outnumbered.

Eventually, with Apache helicopter gunships circling overhead and American gunners aiming their weapons at them, the Iraqi soldiers retreated. “It hasn’t come to firing bullets yet,” Colonel Pinkerton said.

The WaPo piece describes the U.S. mission in western Baghdad, which used to be 80/20 Sunni and is now 80/20 Shiite thanks to Sadr. So extensive is the Mahdi Army’s control that American troops are actually trying to build parallel social services for the Sunnis in the area since they can’t use hospitals or gas stations safely. The conclusion:

“One of their techniques is they’ll pretty much just conscript a family — you’ll have no idea if those children and that woman are the guy’s actual wife and children,” said Lyons, the company commander. “They use them as cover all the time. If you see guys walking holding kids, holding their hands, it’s almost like a perfect indicator that they’re up to no good. It’s really sad.”


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It’s times like these when I have to admit a certain distaste for many of my fellow Americans. Too many of us are foolishly naitve and/or complacent and unwilling to shoulder even minor discomforts or ambiguity.

Let’s say the General does report in September that he does need five more years. My God, so what? Five more years for stopping these bastards and ensuring a safer middle east is NOTHING!

Kensington on July 16, 2007 at 2:33 PM

How come no one has taken the positon that wall street seems to like the progress of the surge in Iraq. If I am not mistaken, the surge began in full earnest in mid June. Overlay the surge date and the markets recent rally and see what you see.

swami on July 16, 2007 at 2:42 PM

If it from the NY Times and Wash. Post, can it be believed?

bopbottle on July 16, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Petraeus Bush and everyone else needs to get up and hammer home to the American gen pop that whether we like it or not we only have two options here.

1) Finish the dam thing

2) Give up retreat home watch the slaughter, then in 5yrs return to a super embolden enemy with 0 potential allies left a start all over again from scratch. See Warizistan/Pakistan forces retreated now returning to start over after attacks spread to Paki proper See Afghanistan we abandoned our allies against the Soviets N Alliance Radicals took over years later we are forced to return and start over.

You cannot just close your eyes and wish things away, we tried this idiocy for decades running up to 9-11 were 3k dead civilians burnt the image at least for a time into our eyelids. What we need is some leadership to get in front of the gen pop and rally the people.

The LLL’s/anti-war people can not be appeased or placated. They fully believe the US is the problem and are devotee’s to self inflicted suicide and punishment. The only way to check them is not attempting to debate with a idiot (that just results in you looking like a idiot) but just call them out challenge them. Question their patriotism, call their idiocy idiocy, call them out for their Seditionist actions, force them to prove themselves otherwise.

Americans are not pansies the majority are still strong proud Americans. But if you allow unchallenged attacks that never end people begin to question your resolve, and if you are worthy of their support.

C-Low on July 16, 2007 at 2:50 PM

swami, the war started in March 2003 and the market has been on a tear since that date.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EGSPC&t=5y

Must be all that cheap oil we are getting there.

The only real explanation I have is there was real concern that Saddam could have succeeded in taking control of world oil markets. Since then we see that no one over there can control much of anything.

The good news is we are inching closer to the day that region will no longer matter: http://hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/07/07/15/2111229.shtml

pedestrian on July 16, 2007 at 3:01 PM

How… I got a NEEWWWWW STRATERGERY…

Its time for the West to embrace its decadence… Porno for all… media blitz with a LOT of T&A pointed to the Moslems sayin… see??? wouldn’t ya rather be a Westy?

Get Hugh Hefner to put it together… yep… classy T&A…

And with Iran and Syria and Saudi Arabia???

The new Tit for Tat strategy… for every bomb your citizens plant, or you provide to Iraqi insurgents? We send a bomb to YOUR country… courtesy the US Air Force and US Navy… cruise missles and stealth baby….

Not total war… just an ole time relgion Eye for an Eye… and strength… which is the only thing they respect.

Two prong stategy baby….

Romeo13 on July 16, 2007 at 3:04 PM

Senator Web has said “I don’t care what Petraeus says in July and I don’t care what he says in September…”

Senator Reid has said “If the report is honest…”

If Petraeus gives a positive report the Dems will attack his credibility. That will be ugly coming with a Congress with only 4% who strongly approve of them.

TunaTalon on July 16, 2007 at 3:12 PM

What could Petraeus possibly say in September that would change war opponents’ media reporters’ minds?

Its not going to be Patraeus, Bush or Congress that will be able to claim Iraq a success or a failure. It will be the sole authority of the fourth estate to tell us what to think.

In conclusion: We’re boned

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 16, 2007 at 3:19 PM

Minor problem: Shiite units of the Iraqi Army keep trying to kill them.

Eventually, with Apache helicopter gunships circling overhead and American gunners aiming their weapons at them, the Iraqi soldiers retreated.

BEAUTIFUL!!!!

This is where the Shi’it finally hits the fan.

Stand back!!!! There’s more where that came from.

Mcguyver on July 16, 2007 at 3:20 PM

The page-top news-links includes a story about ‘MIT curing fear’. I guess the Dems and the RINOs got the sugar pills during the testing.

andycanuck on July 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM

McGuyver!

Brilliant, fricking brilliant. I bow in your general direction!

doufree on July 16, 2007 at 9:03 PM

Get Hugh Hefner to put it together… yep… classy T&A…

. . .

The new Tit for Tat strategy

You gonna have Hugh working overtime!

The Monster on July 16, 2007 at 9:40 PM

TunaTalon on July 16, 2007 at 3:12 PM

True. No matter what he says in September is gonna get twisted to whatever suits their agenda. Which fits AP’s point of let McCain do it. I just can’t stand all this posturing, after telling this guy here’s your job, now we won’t let you do your job your way.
After he was confirmed, they were told they’d be a progress report in September. But since confirmation, it’s been nothing but politics.

PowWow on July 16, 2007 at 10:51 PM

We should cede the region to the Iraqis when the the greatest percentage of jihadis are as dead as we can make them.

Sadr should have been one of them, but the decision was made not to fight that seriously.

So the oilfields, the Iranian incursions and the Kurds needs to be controlled.

The rest is up to the (semi)-savage tribal Iraqis, who are more thrilled with vendettas for Allah than building a stable society.

We’ve coddled them long enough.

Killing our way into a new position (guard the Kurds, the oil and Iran) seems about all that can be salvaged from this half-hearted enterprise.

But killing jihadis as we shift to a new stance is always a good thing.

The radical 5% is almost the most deadly and most motivation to their underlings.

Cut off that minority and the rest will be easier to cow.

profitsbeard on July 16, 2007 at 11:19 PM

We should cede the region to the Iraqis when the the greatest percentage of jihadis are as dead as we can make them.

Sadr should have been one of them, but the decision was made not to fight that seriously.

So the oilfields, the Iranian incursions and the Kurds needs to be controlled.

The rest is up to the (semi)-savage tribal Iraqis, who are more thrilled with vendettas for Allah than building a stable society.

We’ve coddled them long enough.

Killing our way into a new position (guard the Kurds, the oil and Iran) seems about all that can be salvaged from this half-hearted enterprise.

But killing jihadis as we shift to a new stance is always a good thing.

The radical 5% is almost the most deadly and most motivation to their underlings.

Cut off that minority and the rest will be easier to cow.

profitsbeard on July 16, 2007 at 11:19 PM

Lighting just struck and I got two postings!

Send one to GWB with my compliments.

profitsbeard on July 16, 2007 at 11:20 PM