Iraq: Americans DO Want to Win, so Dems Backtrack

Yesterday, I asked if Americans had patience to see the war in Iraq through. Maybe they do, at least according to a poll published last week (which I missed):

“The survey shows Americans want to win in Iraq, and that they understand Iraq is the central point in the war against terrorism and they can support a U.S. strategy aimed at achieving victory,” said Neil Newhouse, a partner in POS. “The idea of pulling back from Iraq is not where the majority of Americans are.”
– By a 53 percent – 46 percent margin, respondents surveyed said that
“Democrats are going too far, too fast in pressing the President to
withdraw troops from Iraq.”
– By identical 57 percent – 41 percent margins, voters agreed with these
two statements: “I support finishing the job in Iraq, that is, keeping
the troops there until the Iraqi government can maintain control and
provide security” and “the Iraqi war is a key part of the global war on
– Also, by a 56 percent – 43 percent margin, voters agreed that “even if
they have concerns about his war policies, Americans should stand behind
the President in Iraq because we are at war.”
– While the survey shows voters believe (60 percent- 34 percent) that Iraq
will never become a stable democracy, they still disagree that victory
in Iraq (“creating a young, but stable democracy and reducing the
threat of terrorism at home”) is no longer possible. Fifty-three percent
say it’s still possible, while 43 percent disagree.
– By a wide 74 percent – 25 percent margin, voters disagree with the
notion that “I don’t really care what happens in Iraq after the U.S.
leaves, I just want the troops brought home.”
“How Americans view the war does not line up with the partisan messages or actions coming out of Washington,” said Davis Lundy, president of The Moriah Group. “There are still a majority of Americans out there who want to support the President and a focused effort to define and achieve victory.”

Add to this the fact that President Bush is still supported by a large majority of Republicans (75%), which will probably limit any of that magical “bi-partisan” support that any Democratic Iraq draw-down plan would hope to garner, and we can start to understand why the Democrats now seem to be retreating from any too-cute-by-half Iraq pullout plan.

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17 years ago

(excerpts from that link)
“Democratic leaders backed away from aggressive plans to limit President Bush’s war authority, the latest sign of divisions within their ranks over how to proceed. …
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq. …
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn’t support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.
The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress’ spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.”
Wow, good news, Marc. Glad to hear some Dems in Congress are slowing down and doing a little thinking.

Jon Scott
17 years ago

While there is a large vocal group of Americans who disagree with the way that the US entered Iraq, I have never believed that the majority of Americans are in favor of “cashing in” and giving up. As I have said repeatedly: we are there and the debate should be centered on moving forward and not looking back. The simple fact of the matter is that withdrawing our commitment and our forces is an act that puts our soldiers, sailors and airmen in danger today and in the future. If we allow our enemy to dictate the terms of our retreat we have lost and radical Islam will be steeled by their discovery of a proven plan to defeat the “Great Satan”. The pressure will be incredible the next time there is conflict… and there will be a next time. Putin has shown his true colors and is moving towards a military resurgence in Russia. He has seen our week underbelly each night on CNN and knows that a nation without commitment is a weakened foe. We must win in Iraq in order to protect future generations of Americans. That means that we need to be able to turn over a Iraqi nation with a functioning government and an indigenous military force that can secure their borders and protect their citizens. Without that base, education, infrastructure and commerce can not flourish. I am happy to see that there is data to quantify Americans’ understanding of this fact and their support of our troops. The next debate becomes whether our citizenry is supportive enough to lift the litmus tests of political correct thinking and understand that wars cannot be fought, let alone won, without a single American soldier or Iraqi civilian perishing. It is an unfortunate fact: There is no such… Read more »

17 years ago

I think the poll shows the desperation of the pro-war beltway insiders to manufacture consent in light of waning public support. Sleazy push-polls hardly present the most convincing argument.
It’s particularly hard to buy the contention that Congressional Dems are swayed by this. They certainly know as well as I that the poll as been criticized for the leading nature of it’s questions.
GOP Pollster Says Poll Showing War Support Is Bogus

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