CNN reports that a recently conducted poll has found that support for the war in Iraq is at an all time low:
n the latest CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 69 percent of those polled believe things are going badly in Iraq. Seventeen percent think the situation is improving.
Thirty percent of Americans polled say they favor the war, the lowest level of support on record. Two-thirds are opposed.
But there is more – not only are Americans as a whole more negative about the war, support for the war among Republicans is dropping as well:
Anti-war sentiment among Republican poll respondents has suddenly increased with 38 percent of Republicans now saying they oppose the war.
Moreover, 63 percent of Americans are ready to withdraw at least some troops from Iraq. Forty-two percent of Republicans agree.
Although those numbers speak in the advantage of the Democrats, there is a ‘but’: 54% believe that the war in Iraq is not morally justified. That is, of course, a majority, but it is not an overwhelming majority. It seems to me that Democrats are wise not to talk about the moral aspect of the war too much, but to, instead, focus on how badly the war has been handled and how much it has increased extremism, etc. Focus not on the moral aspects of the war, focus on the pragmatical aspects of the war, on how it has hurt American interests (in the region) etc.
Meanwhile, two Republican Senators have decided that the time has come to distance themselves from the war and from Bush if they want to be able to win re-election:
Sen. George Voinovich said Tuesday the U.S. should begin pulling troops out of Iraq, joining Richard Lugar as the second Republican lawmaker in as many days to suggest President Bush’s war strategy is failing.
He said the Iraqi people must become more involved and “I don’t think they’ll get it until they know we’re leaving.”
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., a longtime skeptic of the war strategy, said: “you’ll be hearing a number of statements from other (Republican) colleagues.”
I think that we will see more and more Republicans turning against the war and, thus, Bush. In the end, there is only one thing that matters to them, and that is re-election. Supporting a war that is going badly, and never seems to end (at least, that is how the majority of Americans perceives it), is not exactly politically intelligent behavior. Besides, I can imagine that Republican Senators get a bit tired of hearing that they should have “patience” and that two monts from now, really!, the situation will be improved considerably.
The situation on the ground has not improved considerably, and the Republican Senators know it.
All of this comes after reports that the surge will last a lot longer than originally planned / told. It seems to me that the US is in need of a completely new plan. Not just a surge, not just a withdrawal, but a completely new approach to the problem that is Iraq. It means that the US has to engage in diplomacy with its enemies in the region and that, yes, the US must – slowly but surely – withdraw most of its troops currently in the divided country. I do believe that the US should not withdraw all of its troops, doing so would be a disaster, but most, yes. Keep a significant force there, withdraw most, engage in diplomacy and put pressure on Iraq’s leaders to bring their country together. As some have said, it is time for the Iraqi government to stand up.