Thursday, January 11, 2007

Americans STILL Oppose Escalating War

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Percentage of Americans who oppose sending more troops to Iraq, after Bush's speech: 70.

Even in the South!

Opposition to boosting troop levels is highest in the Northeast, where 79 percent of those surveyed were against the idea. That compares with 68 percent in the South and 67 percent in the Midwest and West.

Bush's overall job approval rating: 32%.

Jon Cohen and Dan Balz in the Washington Post [bolds mine]:

Congressional Democrats strongly oppose the plan to send more troops and are weighing a series of steps to confront the president, with some advocating action to deny funding for the additional brigades being sent to Iraq. On that issue, the Post-ABC News poll found that 53 percent of Americans support Democrats' efforts to cut off funds for additional troops, with 44 percent opposed.

Seventy percent of Americans want economic and military aid to Iraq conditioned on Iraqis meeting performance benchmarks for stabilizing the country "politically and economically." Bush said nothing about doing this in his speech last night.

And still, John McCain is claiming that Americans want the opposite of what they have said they want:

Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona said it would be an oversimplification to think that people just want the United States out of Iraq.

"They're understandably frustrated, they're understandably saddened," he said. "But if you can show the American people that there is a way forward to success, and also describe to them the consequences of failure, I believe this policy can be supported."

Of course, Pres. Bush did not show Americans anything like this:

Barely three in 10 accept Bush's assertion that a troop increase now will end the war more quickly; instead two-thirds think it won't make much difference in the length of the conflict (48 percent) or instead will prolong it (19 percent). Similarly, while 36 percent think the surge will make victory more likely, more than six in 10 say it either won't change the odds of victory (53 percent) or will even make them worse (10 percent).

Intensity of sentiment, as well, is heavily against Bush. Just a quarter of Americans "strongly" support his proposal to send additional forces to Iraq; by contrast twice as many, 52 percent, strongly oppose it.

Nor do most Americans express faith in the Iraqi government, whose performance Bush portrayed as central in his strategy. Fifty-seven percent say they're not confident in the ability of the Iraqi government to meet its commitments in the effort to restore civil order.

Sen. Biden says the public must be along for the ride:

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del., warned Thursday that any solution to the Iraq problem must have public support. Harking back to Vietnam, he said: "No foreign policy can be sustained in this country without the informed consent of the American people. They've got to sign on."

Kevin Drum thinks Bush's speech may have increased the number of Americans who oppose sending more troops.

Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel called Bush's plan "morally, tactically, strategically, [and] militarily wrong":

When you were engaging Chairman Biden on this issue on the specific question of, Will our troops go into Iran or Syria in pursuit, based on what the president said last night?, you cannot sit here today — not because you’re dishonest or you don’t understand — but no one in our government can sit here today and tell Americans that we won’t engage the Iranians and the Syrians cross-border.

Some of us remember 1970, Madam Secretary. And that was Cambodia. And when our government lied to the American people and said, We didn’t cross the border going into Cambodia, in fact we did. I happen to know something about that, as do some on this committee.

So, Madam Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here, it’s very, very dangerous. As a matter of fact, I have to say, Madam Secretary, that I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam — if it’s carried out.

I will resist it.

Video here.

1 comment:

Chief said...

Will Bush’s hubris lead to a constitutional crisis?

Will the Dem Congress subpoena documents from the first 6 Bush years?

Will Bush Admin refuse to turn over subpoenaed documents?

Will Congress issue contempt citations?

Will the Dem congress worry that the American public will not follow them?

Will the Dem congress ‘cave in’ figuring half a loaf is better than none?

On what basis do individuals in Congress base their decisions? Framing issues?

I do not have any confidence in Bushco yielding if Congress strongly opposes him. Will Bush 41 or Carter publicly disagree with Bush?