WaPo poll: 53% think Petraeus will spin report to make things look better than they are

posted at 2:35 pm on September 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

This isn’t news, really. A CNN poll a few weeks ago got the same result for the same question. By comparison, 39% think he’ll tell the truth, although there’s no way to tell how many of them are already in favor of continuing the mission and how many are skeptics willing to be persuaded. Only 36% say the military is making “significant progress” so there’s at least a few votes up for grab. MoveOn is going to try to rally the non-troops tomorrow with an ad in the Times referring to Petraeus as “General Betray Us.” Really.

The results for questions 12 through 14 are grim, especially the trend in the first of those three, but I was accused yesterday of being an Eeyorepundit and don’t want to ruin anyone’s good vibes, so go ahead and read the data for yourself. Or don’t; whatever. If you do, here’s some good news from another new poll to balance it out: almost twice as many people now think the surge has made things better as thought so in July. From 19% to 29% in August to 35% in September, no doubt on the strength of the reports from Anbar.

The big Iraq scoop today is WaPo’s behind-the-scenes account of the political progress of the surge, starting with Bush’s speech announcing it on January 10th and running through to the present with the allegedly ugly disagreement between Petraeus and Centcom commander Adm. William Fallon over whether we should re-commit to Iraq or pull out quickly so we’re ready to fight on other fronts — i.e. Iran — if need be.

Lawmakers were not alone. Fallon, who took command of Centcom in March, worried that Iraq was undermining the military’s ability to confront other threats, such as Iran. “When he took over, the reality hit him that he had to deal with Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and a whole bunch of other stuff besides Iraq,” said a top military officer.

Fallon was also derisive of Iraqi leaders’ intentions and competence, and dubious about the surge. “He’s been saying from Day One, ‘This isn’t working,’ ” said a senior administration official. And Fallon signaled his departure from Bush by ordering subordinates to avoid the term “long war” — a phrase the president used to describe the fight against terrorism.

To Bush aides, Gates did not seem fully on board with the president’s strategy, either…

A Pentagon official said Gates is “very concerned about all of our energy” being devoted to Iraq, an “overcommitment that is consuming and distracting us from everything else. On the other hand, he knows there can’t be another Saigon. There’s this balance.”

The Joint Chiefs are supposedly on Fallon’s side, but publicly at least Fallon says he and Petraeus are agreed on the forthcoming recommendations, which will reportedly involve staying the course with no more than a token drawdown of surge troops before spring. WaPo also makes it sound like the cabinet was surprised by the emergence and pace of the Anbar awakening, a point members of Petraeus’s inner circle confirm to Newsweek:

Two camps quickly emerged: those who wanted to crush all the various insurgencies in Iraq, and those who thought that task impossible. The latter won out, and the resulting 100-page report argued that U.S. forces—while trying to galvanize the government in Baghdad—should meanwhile seek out local leaders and cut deals with them, hoping eventually to unite them under a common banner. “Recruit locally, train locally, deploy locally” has become Petraeus’s favorite maxim, as exemplified by his efforts to build local police forces rather than waste more resources on the Shiite-militia-dominated national police.

Members of the brain trust freely admit that they are at some level simply trying to exploit events beyond their control. Meese says no one foresaw how quickly the tribes in Anbar province would flip. “There’s a slide that describes this joint campaign plan, and it’s got a picture of Iraq and it’s weaving everything together,” he says. “They didn’t have a part of the weave over Anbar because they didn’t think it would happen as well or as rapidly as it did happen.”

Odierno’s also been stressing to lower officers in Anbar that “reconciliation is local,” according to WaPo. Part of the incentive to reconcile is payments of what the paper calls “reward money” and what the Times of London calls “bribes,” although how the Times knows whether that money is going into the sheikhs’ pockets or towards reconstruction projects or towards supplies for their men escapes me. Either way, the new emphasis on local government is leading to what David Ignatius thinks is a Biden-esque soft partition of the country, with the national government overseeing Baghdad and not much else. Maliki’s trying to avoid that, announcing today that they’ve fired no fewer than 14,000 employees of the rotten Ministry of the Interior over the past months in an effort to make it less sectarian, but I think his ship has sailed. If Anbar stays relatively stable and one of the Shiite groups emerges in the south as a dominant power able to provide some form of tribal security, Bush will probably be willing next year to call that good enough.

18 hours to Petraeus. That grinding sound is the whirrr of ideological swords being sharpened…


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Patraeus and Crocker will have an “Exclusive” interview on Fox News with Brit Hume at 9pm. And the libs are mad:
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/09/09/petraeus-fox-pr/

Complete7 on September 9, 2007 at 2:54 PM

47% think that the DEMs take their marching orders from bin Laden.

Buzzy on September 9, 2007 at 3:19 PM

Allahpundit

and don’t want to ruin anyone’s good vibes, so go ahead and read the data for yourself. Or don’t; whatever.

Oh no worries, I totally agree with you, we failed. It’s time for our guys to pack up shop and come home, no since continuing to fight something that we have clearly lost. We need to get our boys home so that when the jihadist come here we have our defenses in place to fight them in New York City and L.A. Chicago and Detroit or where ever else they pop up at.

doriangrey on September 9, 2007 at 3:48 PM

53% also think the media will spin a poll to make it say something it doesn’t.

Limerick on September 9, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Dude, seriously; Uncle J has a very serious point. its like you’re listening to Linkin Park, or My chemical romance when you blog. You might very well be convinced that everything in Iraq sucks and we’re doomed to failure, but just make like Dennis Miller and lie and say you are.

Because, A/P; it’s waring people out.

liquidflorian on September 9, 2007 at 4:03 PM

“…but I was accused yesterday of being an Eeyorepundit and don’t want to ruin anyone’s good vibes…”
posted at 2:35 pm on September 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

Now why would anyone accuse you of something like that? Maybe…because your attitude has made this site less and less readable and enjoyable every day?

Anyway. Screw the stupid “surge”, lets tuck tail and git…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 4:07 PM

From the headlines of today’s Kansas City Star: “Setbacks outweight successes in buildup.”

Any interviews with military personnel here? Well, hell no. It’s based on “interviews with Iraqis, statistics on violence gathered independently by McClatchy Newspapers and a review of developments in the country…”

And who are the contributors from McClatchy Newspapers? Why Laith Hammoudi, Mohammed al-Dulaimy, Sahar Issa, Jamal Naji, and Ali Omar.
Objectivity, my a**.

And the Star keeps losing readers…

Kimmer on September 9, 2007 at 4:14 PM

What does it matter if 53% percent think he’ll inflate? According to a poll you posted earlier (months earlier, sorry no link) Petraeus is the most trusted source for information on Iraq. Which is very confusing, I tend to put less credibility in poll results in and of themselves.

Theworldisnotenough on September 9, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Any talk of the report that GEN Petraeus is going to give must have a link to this post by GRIM at Blackfive, stating the fact that the Democrats are the ones who wrote the law stating that the President will write the report.

Blackfive – GRIM: The “Petraeus Report” – 27 AUG 2007

14 links in this post and none to remind HotAir readers that the Democrats wrote the law stating the President must write the report. Interesting.

Michael in MI on September 9, 2007 at 4:27 PM

Now why would anyone accuse you of something like that? Maybe…because your attitude has made this site less and less readable and enjoyable every day?

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Yep. From his arrogance of insulting everyone from any religious affiliation to those who support Fred Thompson to those who support the war effort, I come to this site less and less.

Lately, HotAir seems to be more about depressing the American public than inspiring them to make a difference. Michelle Malkin should be ashamed to allow this to go on.

Maybe if AllahPundit stopped being arrogant, insulting and condescending to all his readers – except, of course, those who join him in making fun of Christians and celebrating their wonderful life of atheism – and letting his fatalism and negativity and defeatism permeate into every one of his posts, this site would get back to being popular instead of just an online version of the negative, fatilistic and defeatist crap we can all find in the mass media.

Michael in MI on September 9, 2007 at 4:33 PM

14 links in this post and none to remind HotAir readers that the Democrats wrote the law stating the President must write the report. Interesting.

Michael in MI on September 9, 2007 at 4:27 PM

More than interesting. It’s getting REAL annoying…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 4:33 PM

Again we need to differentiate two things

We are winning militarily

We are losing politically

Its veitnam all over in that sense. The dems have seized the war and make it so terrible just to win elections. And it is working. Doesnt matter how well our military does the political reality is that we arent winning the battle at home.

So maybe a step back from Iraq is needed to turn our attention to the appeasers in this country first.

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 4:41 PM

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 4:41 PM

I would agree with you if it were not for the fact the liberals have never answered for slaughter in Southeast Asia after they cut off all funding to South Viet Nam.

Total victory is the only answer and for that to happen requires ROE to change for war not policing.

Wade on September 9, 2007 at 5:20 PM

And based on its source, I suspect this poll is mathematical garbage.

rplat on September 9, 2007 at 5:53 PM

So maybe a step back from Iraq is needed to turn our attention to the appeasers in this country first.

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Does this mean you have the cure for BDS? Because short of giving the Democrat Party, the Left and the mass media the cure for BDS, there is no hope for getting them on our side. They care about power and what is best for themselves first and what is best for America second.

Seriously, the only way to defeat the enemy within (Democrats, American Left, mass media) is to expose, expose expose them. And to get the news from the likes of the milblogs and Michael Yon and Michael Fumento and Matt Sanchez and W. Thomas Smith, Jr. at NRO THE TANK and Bill Roggio and Pat Dollard and all the other milblogs linked at Mrs. Greyhawk’s DAWN PATROL into the mainstream.

If we all worked hard at getting their messages to the American public, we would turn things around here at home. Because the facts and the truth would win out and the Democrats, the Left and the mass media would be exposed to the majority of Americans as the liars and propagandists that they are.

But of course we could all just listen to AllahPundit and just give up, convert to atheism and enjoy our lives knowing we have no souls, there is no heaven, our loved ones who died are not in heaven, but are just gone, their bodies rotting underground in dirt and our lives have no meaning or purpose since we are all just coincidences of some big bang from years ago with absolutely no meaning, but for chance.

Yeah, I think I’ll do that. Eff the war, eff the troops, eff the illegal immigration issue, eff the United States and eff my fellow Americans. Everything sucks, there’s no point to trying, let’s just give up and live meaningless existences.

Man, maybe Michelle will hire me here at HotAir, since that seems to be the message of this site the last few months anyway. What do you say Michelle? I won’t even complain about not having an iPhone every other post.

Michael in MI on September 9, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Michael in MI on September 9, 2007 at 5:54 PM

The other morning I woke and read about 10 comments of yours you had made the previous night trying to rally the troops(the people at home) and present your point-of-view– which you do incredibly well. I meant to tell you then (but somehow couldn’t find that thread again)that you should consider running for office. Your picture shows you’re a young guy, you’re passionate about what you say, and you show leadership skills.

Thanks for commenting here. Don’t worry. On this site, people choose for themselves what to believe. Your message is being heard loud and clear.

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Ok while its true that Iraq is a big part of the WOT it isnt the only battlefeild. And sometimes you take a loss on one front to improve on another.

While its true that pulling out of Iraq doesnt mean that the WOT ends and we should feel safe the opposite is true that even if we leave Iraq the fight goes on elsewhere.

The dems have convinced the american people they have the answer. Maybe we need to let them fall on their faces and take them to task for that.

The dems are utterly convinced that the war ends when we leave Iraq and that Afganistan can be de emphasised as well. They have pushed that Bush has lied about Iraq. Well time to hold them up to the same standards.

If we pull out of Iraq and terrorism rises we have the opportunity to say “See told ya so the dems are the ones lying here”

Sometimes the way to win a fight is to give your foes what they want knowing they will screw up and give you and opening

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 6:03 PM

What makes you think, WA, that once the left has complete control of the government and the media, that they’ll give it back anytime soon? All subsequent setbacks, military, economic, at home and abroad, will be spun as the Bushhitler’s fault.

We were lucky after Vietnam that it took only 1 election cycle to get to Reagan – and look at all the damage that was done in the meantime. Even despite Reagan, the culture as a was sufficiently permeated by the Vietnam Syndrome that we’re still contending with it, and liberalism solidified its hold on the media, government bureaucracies, and educational institutions. Needless to say, it’s even worse in Europe.

Making Iraq into an unalloyed victory is out of the question – and maybe that’s not all bad – but the ramifications of letting it turn into a major defeat are incalculable. Over the long term, we might muddle through. Then again, we might not – or only at very great cost.

CK MacLeod on September 9, 2007 at 6:22 PM

How in dear God’s name did we get to this point were over half of our fellow countrymen side with our enemy? The absolutely vile statements that most of the left heap upon Petraeus far outweigh anything they have ever said about Osama Bin Laden. He hasn’t even said one word and he’s already a liar and a lap dog for the Bush.

Rod on September 9, 2007 at 6:38 PM

More than interesting. It’s getting REAL annoying…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 4:33 PM

what about post about RINO governors, when we have RINO bloggers to worry about.

atheist having a pessimistic outlook is actually a logical for them though.

jp on September 9, 2007 at 6:53 PM

What makes you think, WA, that once the left has complete control of the government and the media, that they’ll give it back anytime soon? All subsequent setbacks, military, economic, at home and abroad, will be spun as the Bushhitler’s fault.

We had 8 years of Clinton. And before that 4 years of carter. The Country survived them and we got stronger.

The dems have the advantage in that the media is in cahoots with the dems and with that lock is hard to get out our message. When (and I ahve no doubt it will happen) the dems screw up it will discredit both them and the MSM.

You have to fight the long war not just look for short term advantages. the dems had no answer to Al Qaeda just to run away. That is their ultimate weakness in that they dont face problems but try to either run away from them or buy them off.

With the dems in control of congress and threatening to take the White House I want our troops out of Iraq BEFORE the dems so serious screw up and put them all at risk. Its the troops I care about not some political squabble with the dems.

I want them safely out before Murtha and Clinton and any other dem makes a huge mistake and puts them all at risk.

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 7:18 PM

I used think of Hot Air as a place to poke fun at and expose the Dhimmis, to voice the concerns of true Americans, and yes, to root for OUR side. The differences between liberals and conservatives are painfully obvious, and which side is right is also painfully obvious. This place seems to be devolving into some sister FOX outlet-fair and balanced. Whatever. As MM wrote, liberals are freakin’ unhinged. EVERY position they hold, every “value” they have, every “vision” they have “for” America is WRONG. And there is nothing wrong, and nothing “unfair and unbalanced” with writing about issues with that in mind…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 7:24 PM

How in dear God’s name did we get to this point were over half of our fellow countrymen side with our enemy?

Rod on September 9, 2007 at 6:38 PM

How did “we” ever get to the point where some people think that over half of our fellow countrymen side with our enemy?

MB4 on September 9, 2007 at 7:36 PM

We had 8 years of Clinton. And before that 4 years of carter. The Country survived them and we got stronger.

The dems have the advantage in that the media is in cahoots with the dems and with that lock is hard to get out our message. When (and I ahve no doubt it will happen) the dems screw up it will discredit both them and the MSM.
William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 7:18 PM

I respectfully disagree. When the dems “screw up” this time it will mean turning Iraq over to terrorists, further empowering our enemies. They, and the MSM are already as discredited as they can be, and it makes no difference-they control what most Americans see and hear (look at the non-coverage that POS Hillary is getting re: the Hsu stuff. Any conservative connected with a guy like this and it would be all over). Only conservatives care to look elsewhere. As for the country surviving and getting stronger, half of this country is going to vote for an actual traitorous enemy of America to take over as CIC…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 7:43 PM

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 7:24 PM

Here’s a pick-me up. And here.

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 7:47 PM

MB4 on September 9, 2007 at 7:36 PM

What’s the number?

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 7:48 PM

I dont think the dems side with the enemy. They are only power hungry and that is ultimately always their goal.

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 7:51 PM

What’s the number?

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 7:48 PM

Bigger than a bread box, but WAY smaller than a majority.

MB4 on September 9, 2007 at 7:56 PM

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 7:47 PM

Thanks. I needed that…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 7:58 PM

Bigger than a bread box, but WAY smaller than a majority.

but with HUGE megaphones

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 8:03 PM

Believe in polls all you wish. Clinton governed by them and look what that got us. The Democrats are so invested in defeat, to please the radical left, they are desperate for bad news. They are desperate enough to call an honorable man a liar and to demean his efforts. They would sell this nation down the river just to govern it. They no longer deserve to be call Americans, after all they are Democrats. Shame, for you are small.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on September 9, 2007 at 8:28 PM

I dont think the dems side with the enemy. They are only power hungry and that is ultimately always their goal.

What does calling our troops cold blooded killers and illiterates who can’t find employment elsewhere have to do with gaining political power? Wanting us to lose is one thing, but demonizing our own troops while they are on the battlefield IS taking sides with the enemy.

Pure and simple.

fogw on September 9, 2007 at 8:29 PM

fogw on September 9, 2007 at 8:29 PM

Is it not effing amazing how many people split hairs like William Amos does? THAT is why we are in such trouble in this country. THAT is why islam even thinks they have a chance. We are losing the ability to see even the most obvious things because of the constant battering of PCness. And I’m not bashing WA. Tammy Bruce’s The Death of Right and Wrong should be mandatory reading for all conservatives…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM

As one of those poking at AP’s pessimism yesterday, I want to say a little bit on his behalf. His track record in the ‘sphere is long and distinguished, and I think he’s trying to make sure that HA doesn’t come off as unrealistically cheerleading for the mission in Iraq, so that when he does relay positive news, it’s credible.

Also, we should all recognize that AP is in a tough position. One one hand, I believe he is trying to be a clear-eyed realist on Iraq. OTOH, I think many of us believe — with more than a little justification — that the media (which is supposed to be clear-eyed) is rooting for a US defeat in Iraq. Consequently, a decent segment of visitors here would likely prefer that AP be more skeptical of some of the MSM reporting. But I think it would come across as fake if he did that and didn’t really believe in it. I would prefer to take bad news from a “friend” or ally trying to be honest than some media hack who is simply justifying his or her preexisting bias. So I would recommend to folks that they read widely, both at HA and at places more skeptical of the MSM take… and at least give some grudging respect for AP trying to call ‘em as he sees ‘em.

That being said, AP… when you’re spinning a negative NYT story even more negatively than the original, don’t be shocked that people liken you to Eeyore. If you’re in a mood or something, just say so; most will understand that everyone has down periods now and again.

Karl on September 9, 2007 at 9:59 PM

BTW, sorry about the length of that comment, but I really needed to do something else while the Olberdouche was on at halftime.

Karl on September 9, 2007 at 10:01 PM

What does calling our troops cold blooded killers and illiterates who can’t find employment elsewhere have to do with gaining political power? Wanting us to lose is one thing, but demonizing our own troops while they are on the battlefield IS taking sides with the enemy.

Pure and simple.

fogw on September 9, 2007 at 8:29 PM

They degrade the miitary so they dont have to finance it.

They want that money for their programs which ultimately keep them in power.

That is the true goal of socialism. The ability to use bribery via government to keep in power

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 10:08 PM

Is it not effing amazing how many people split hairs like William Amos does? THAT is why we are in such trouble in this country. THAT is why islam even thinks they have a chance. We are losing the ability to see even the most obvious things because of the constant battering of PCness. And I’m not bashing WA. Tammy Bruce’s The Death of Right and Wrong should be mandatory reading for all conservatives…

JWS on September 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM

Im not saying what I say to be PC. Im simply seeing that unless we offer something other then Iraq to the American people they wont follow us

We are by and large a peacefull people. Until seriously threatened. The whole tragety of the dems is that they have convinced the American people that they arent threatened.

Again let me say this. Iraq is not the whole WOT. We cant let it become that else we WILL lose. Iraq isnt under threat because we are there they are under threat because the enemy sees that as the area they can get us to focus on to the exclusion of all else.

If the dems focus too much on Osama as being the “be all to end all” of the WOT so to must we on the right not become too focused on Iraq being the “be all to end all”.

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 10:13 PM

Again goes back to the veitnam war. We could fight the veitcong all we wanted in the south but as long as China and Russia could supply them via the north we couldnt win the war.

Iraq is a battleground but it isnt the one we need to fight to ultimately win the war.

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 10:16 PM

They degrade the miitary so they dont have to finance it.

William Amos on September 9, 2007 at 10:08 PM

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) might have something to say about your whacky hypothesis. She saw to it that her hubby’s business got an Army contract worth up to $600 million back in April of 2003. Two months earlier URS Corp (hubby’s firm) won an army engineering and logistics contract worth $3.1 billion over an eight year period.

Yup William, the Dems want to avoid financing the military …. well, unless they can profit from it.

fogw on September 9, 2007 at 10:31 PM

Why are the libs mad that Petraeus and Crocker will be showing up on FOX News? Hey, Edwards, Obama, and Hillary (and the rest of the also-rans) don’t have the balls to show up on FOX… at least someone does.

D2Boston on September 10, 2007 at 12:28 AM

Allahpundit job here is to be an agent provocateur and that is exactly what he is doing, nothing more and nothing less. Those of you ranting and raving about him making the site less appealing apparently dont understand what it is he gets paid to do. His job is to introduce topics in a manner that provokes discussion. It’s not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination.

He is not a cheer leader for any ideology or philosophy but a professional provoker of discussion on a broad range of subjects. The fact that he is not a cheer leader is what sets the difference in tone and quality of HotAir and left wing sites like dKos Huff and Puff and DU.

Cut the man some slack and get off his back, he is very good at what he does and we are lucky to have him doing it here.

doriangrey on September 10, 2007 at 1:47 AM