Seems 57 percent of the people polled believe the US can’t, or won’t win the war in Iraq.
I wrote the lucky/unlucky prez entry yesterday before seeing a CNN/Gallup poll last night that caused me to believe things are sliding downhill more rapidly than I’d imagined.
In the poll:
"For the first time, a majority of Americans, 53%, say the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — the reason Bush emphasized in making the case for invading. The administration's credibility on the issue has been steadily eroding since 2003.
"By 58%-37%, a majority say the United Stateswon't be able to establish a stable, democratic government in Iraq.
"About one-third, 32%, say the United Statescan't win the war in Iraq. Another 21% say the United Statescould win the war, but they don't think it will. Just 43% predict a victory.
"Still, on the question that tests fundamental attitudes toward the war — was it a mistake to send U.S.troops? — the public's view has rebounded. By 53%-46%, those surveyed say it wasn't a mistake, the strongest support for the war since just after the Iraqi elections in January."
It's evident there’s some fuzzy thinking going on among the polled herfords. Believing it wasn’t a mistake to send troops, but also thinking the US can’t, or won’t win is a pair a gambler wouldn’t draw to.
If times were good and this was a lucky man he could probably continue the war indefinitely without a lot of consequences to his status. However, he’s taken responsibility for this thing on himself, entirely.
Fuel prices are still high, forecasts for home heating this winter are through the roof, we’ve got a major hurricane disaster in New Orleans and another storm boiling in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s a potentially explosive package where the wibs and wobbles public opinion are concerned. And things are stretched. Not a good moment for placing bets.
The president’s betting the Iraqis can’t hit back, and that some fierce Shiite group based in, say, Iran won’t take out San Francisco or Washington D.C. with a Tactical nuke, or find a way to blow the power grid, simultaneously with a successful coordinated demolition of oil and natural gas pipelines on which the nation depends. No way of knowing whether it’s a good bet, or a bad one, but it’s a bet I wouldn’t make.
The prez is betting the winter’s going to be a light one so’s to allow people to just turn down the thermostats to cut heating bills, instead of having a lot of senior citizens freezing to death in Minneapolis.
The prez is betting this Rita out in the Gulf won’t rip Port Arthur and Beaumont up by the roots and submerge Galveston while leaving the Houston Port Authority intact.
If he’s lucky some, or all of these things mightn’t happen. But if there’s a terrorist attack originating, say, in Iran, he’s left himself little choice other than to extend the war into that country, which will be an entirely different cup of soup.
This president needs to spread the wealth around a bit while he still has almost half the people thinking he might win this war, while it still has an exit that doesn’t cause him to appear too much the fool. He needs to go to Congress and ask for a formal declaration of war to define what he’s supposed to be doing there. If he doesn't ask, or if they refuse to grant it, he needs to get the hell out.
Otherwise he’s just going to have to depend on a change of luck. Let’s hope Shiite Muslims don’t read the Gallup Polls and decide to stack the deck.