Gallup: 61% oppose surge; Update: "Put 'em on the glass"

Including 30% of Republicans. Although if you squint, you can make out some good-ish news:


Gallup plays up how modest the increase in support for a surge has been, but isn’t the real story there the remarkable stability of the numbers during a period when the country began to deterioriate in earnest? Plus, 48% still think the U.S. can achieve its goals (23% by sending more troops, 25% with the current number) versus 47% who say it’s impossible. That’s probably all the political cover Bush needs.


Iraqslogger says open civil war has been going on in western Baghdad since last Thursday. The Iraqi army launched an operation on Haifa Street today to clear out Sunni jihadis, but U.S. troops and jets had to be called in for support. Says CBS:

“What is particularly interesting about this is that for two years the U.S. military has held the street up as a part of their success in Baghdad,” reports CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan. “There was much violence along Haifa Street two years ago, and a deal was made between the Iraqis and insurgents living there to keep everything quiet as long as they didn’t attack in that area. That deal now seems to be off.”

Why Haifa Street and why now? The Telegraph answers:

Saddam Hussein’s execution has inspired a gruesome cycle of revenge, with scores of Shia Muslims found hanged from lampposts in Baghdad.

The residents of the city’s Haifa Street will long remember the events of Sunday morning. As shop owners raised their shutters and stall holders set out their stock, three minibuses roared to a halt.

Gunmen jumped out and pulled blindfolded prisoners on to the street. Ropes were tied to lampposts and electricity poles. Those hostages who resisted were shot. Others who were still alive had nooses tied around their necks and were then suspended in mid air to choke to death…

“We watched as all these blindfolded men were hung up and some were shot in the head,” Imad Atwan, a supermarket worker said.

“Altogether there were 23 bodies. We are all Sunni people here so we supported the gunmen. Some of them are the guards of our neighbourhood.


They recovered 102 Shiite corpses total around Baghdad, said one Iraqi officer, 90% of whom they believe were revenge for Saddam.

Update: CNN gets a scoop: Bush wants a full Iraqi takeover by November.

Update: Ace wants the Democrats to do what he knows they can’t and mustn’t, namely, take a clear, committed position on the surge. They don’t want to support it or else they’ll antagonize the nuts, but they don’t want to oppose it either just in case Bush pulls a rabbit out of the hat in the next six months. So they’ll end up taking the Reid/Biden approach — there’s nothing we can do, our hands are tied, and here’s a non-binding resolution expressing our deepest misgivings about the surge plus a check granting you almost everything you’ve asked for just in case you end up winning.

Congressional leadership, baby. It’s back.

Update: At Slate, John Dickerson joins the calls for Democrats to put ’em on the glass:

Senate Democratic leaders say they are merely being sensible. They don’t want an effort to stop funding for the new strategy to be misinterpreted as a lack of support for American troops. In two days of reporting on the House and Senate side, it is clear that Democratic leaders are more worried about being tagged as anti-G.I. than being penalized by liberals for not doing all they can to end the war. Their posture may change, but for now, what seems likely is that the Democrats will do no more than put together a nonbinding resolution that would show disapproval.

There are reasons for Democrats to be cautious in challenging the president on Iraq. As Sen. Joe Biden argues, the president has the authority to conduct his war, so why provoke an ugly fight that the Democrats would lose and that would also expose them to easy caricature? Polls show that Democrats do still have to convince the country that they can be stewards of America’s national-security interests. The tepid measure also could fracture the GOP. By promoting the less confrontational nonbinding resolution, Democrats can corral uneasy Republicans like Susan Collins, Chuck Hagel, and Richard Lugar, who have said they are against a surge. A bipartisan piece of weak legislation would make more of a public statement than a partisan effort to limit funding.

These arguments will not sit well with the liberal activists who are planning to deluge their Democratic representatives in the coming days with petitions, rallies, and phone calls demanding a strong against the troop increase.


If Reid and Pelosi cave, the nutroots is going to go berserk.

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