The Surge's Political Goal Poll (Moving)
By: Mark W Adams

Our blood and our treasure was never about them.

A year after approval of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq dipped to an all-time low, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds discontent toward the war easing slightly, with Republicans and independents significantly more positive about the situation than they were 12 months ago.

Baseline judgments about the war are unchanged -- six in 10 in the poll said the war is not worth fighting -- but the public is somewhat more upbeat about progress in Iraq. Optimism about the year ahead is also higher than it was a year ago.

Although a majority say the United States is not making significant gains toward restoring civil order in Iraq, the public's views are more positive than at this time last year. About four in 10 say the United States is making progress, an increase of 10 percentage points over last year.

Looking ahead to the new year, the public is somewhat more hopeful about the situation in Iraq. Forty-six percent said they are optimistic about the situation in Iraq in 2008, six points higher than in December 2006.

Okay, maybe I'm just too damn negative about all this killing in the name of peace, but I'm not alone.
Democrats remain overwhelmingly negative about the situation on the ground now and in the year ahead.

Democrats are still largely disapproving of the decision to go to war, with 85 percent saying that, given the costs and benefits to the United States, the war is not worth fighting. More than six in 10 independents agree, whereas three-quarters of Republicans call the war worth the effort.
A sampling of the comments to this, "news" is telling. (Remember, when the Versailles Villagers on the Potomac are bored, and up against their editor's deadline to fill space, they do a poll to reinforce their preconceived notions.)
SouthStar wrote:
Is not optimism. It is RESIGNATION. ...

I got 1/3 thru the article. And gagged. I think I have a new understanding of being "poled"

weRnotFree wrote:
sounds like a drug addict or alcholic in denial...gee, this weekend i drank and didn't throw up!

Mair1 wrote:
I guess that, if you're not the one being shot at, it's easier to say yhat the war is 'worth the effort'.

Jesus H. Christ, the Post will say ANYTHING to try to sell this turkey of a war -- and the Broderish delusion of a rebound for Commander Codpiece.

irratical wrote:
Iraq goes from being an unmitigated disaster to a slightly mitigated disaster, and this is the victory we were led to expect in 2003?

thecrisis wrote:
Why isn't this titled appropriately:
"fewer republicans hate bush than a few years ago" how does that sound?
Why are we still there again? What's the rationale this week? Wasn't it something about calming things down so the parties in interest could get some kind of political solution done? Lindsay Graham's deadline is fast approaching.

Graham first hinted at a 90-day clock in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee September 19. In his comments before that panel, he merely predicted the world would see progress by Baghdad in the next 90 days.

In his conversation with TIME, he held out a stick in the event that progress does not materialize. Said Graham: "We've won the day here politically, to give them the infrastructure they need to do this. It's been missing up until now. I am vocally saying it's up to [the Iraqis] to deliver. We've done our part."

Though he would not elaborate on what kind of plan he would push if the Iraqis fail to meet the deadline, Graham did say a change in strategy would be warranted. "If they can't do it by the end of the year," he said, "how do you justify a continued presence?"

So the Iraqis need to show some progress by ... Wednesday, if we hold Graham to his original statement, or New Years if we round up and give him the benefit of a Senator's sense of time.

So, how's that going Gomer?

By the way, is there any movement towards that referendum (pdf) they were supposed to have on who gets Kirkuk? Are they even going to have another "purple finger" day? Did the Carlyle group get it's Oil Law yet?

Probably not. At least not on the original timetable. But that doesn't mean there hasn't been any political movement whatsoever. At the risk of having my ACLU card canceled, here's a few pieces of optimistic news that the Villagers have said little or nothing about.

Over a week ago, the Sunnis ended their year-long boycott of the Iraqi government, a power-sharing move which promises to bring some political stability to the Northern areas of the country, and maybe that referendum will be late, but doable.

The U.N. plans to come back to Baghdad. That's a plus, but you'd never hear this as a positive development from a neocon.

Some refugees are returning, but a few thousand is a spit in the bucket and the U.N.H.C.R. is warning that the country isn't ready for a massive influx of of even a fraction of the country's 4.5 million ex-patriots.

Turkey cooled off it's threats to invade "Kurdistan" after signing a Counter-Terrorist Agreement with Iraq. Unfortunately this has as much to do with Turkey's desire to become a full-fledged member of the E.U. as any hope it might have that the Iraqi Government can live up to it's end of the bargain -- or that Turkey will put up with nonsense from the Peshmerga or the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) who don't give a hoot what anyone in Baghdad has to say.

In another sign at least the diplomatic corp of the Iraqi Government is awake, they're telling us (not the other way around) that our military commitment isn't open ended. Nice to see we're on the same page.

I have no idea why these stories are not being picked up by the Village's Town Criers, and they don't change my general attitude about the whole mess -- but they would move the opinion polls a great deal if they were more widely reported. It probably gives enough political cover to folks like Lindsay Graham to say we could afford to wait another Friedman Unit or two to see what happens. We can talk tough, keep the pressure on, but as long as nobody believes we will just up and leave, we really have little leverage on what they do or when the Iraqis can finally get their act together.

Hey, Why stop now? They keep pushing our withdrawal out long enough, no Democratic Congressman will have any credibility left whatsoever -- another "victory" for Bush.