Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Majority Says Iraq War a Success, Poll Finds

Daily Kos is pumping up the results from the new Wall Street Journal poll, which finds Americans optimistic about the direction of the country, and confident in President Barack Obama's leadership abilities.

But one of the most interesting findings is that
a majority says the U.S. was successful in Iraq:

There was widespread approval of Mr. Obama's plans for Iraq, with 80% approving of his move to pull out most U.S. troops within 19 months. Two in three Americans said the U.S. has accomplished as much as can be expected in Iraq, compared with 27% who said more can be done.

And the public is mostly satisfied with the results, with 53% saying the war has been successful, up from 43% in July 2008. Sixteen percent say it is very likely there will be an all-out civil war in Iraq when U.S. troops leave, compared with 40% who thought that in June 2007.
Read the rest of the poll findings here. Most of this is good news from the Democrats, certainly.

But the results on Iraq have to constitute one of the greatest partisan travesties in the history of American foreign policy. I mean think about it: Here we have
Daily Kos now boasting about the success of the war on its front page, yet just months before the Bush administration committed to a new counterinsurgency plan in Iraq, Daily Kos was adamantly announcing that the United States had alreadly lost the war, "It's Not Defeat, Dammit!":

STOP TALKING ABOUT "DEFEAT" IN IRAQ. Hear it from your own thereisnospoon. Say it with me slowly, loud and clear.

There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. Defeat. In. Iraq.

There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. Victory. In. Iraq.

Get over it. Stop using those words because they are MEANINGLESS.

While I appreciate insightful diaires like L C Johnson's, talking about our "defeat" in Iraq is not only misguided and incoherent, it plays into Republican frames about how "we want America to lose", and how we're "defeatists in the face of the enemy." Which is bullshit - because I, like every other patriotic Democratic American, want America to come out a winner every time.

And it's not just diarists here. The James Baker Commission just came out and Ruled Out Victory in Iraq. Whatever that means.

The reason that terms like "victory" and "defeat" in Iraq are meaningless is because you can't "win" an OCCUPATION. Wars you can win or lose; occupations can only end in withdrawal or annexation.

We can no more "win" or "lose" in Iraq that the British could have "won" or "lost" in India, or the French could have "won" or "lost" in Algeria.

That really has to be the biggest "epic fail" post I've ever read.

And to think, just yesterday Daily Kos was still dissing the deployment,
promoting an even more rapid acceleration than the 18-month withdrawal plan President Obama announced this week. The Democratic-left has for the past six years agitated, demonstrated, lobbied, and voted for an American defeat in Iraq. Now websites like Daily Kos - and no doubt the rest of the hard-left cadres of the "party of defeat" - are pumping up such triumphant poll findings as if these are some confirmation of leftist wisdom on the war. This is truly a disgrace.

What can you do, I guess? The most signal achievement of the Bush administration - preventing another Vietnam - has resulted in a strange historical twist of not only helping to elect a Democratic administration in the first place, but in propping up the new aministration in foreign policy as well.

Of course, just in case anything goes wrong - like a new round of terrorist attacks at home - leftists
are already preparing talking points to blame Republicans for "intelligence" failures.

In any case, stay tuned ...

And here's a big thanks, irrespective of politics, to America's service personnel in all of wars abroad.)


JBW said...

Don, you do know that the Daily Kos isn't just one guy right? I fail to see how finding disparities between the writings of several different authors on a collaborative blog with over 200,000 contributors makes any kind of point.

"This guy thinks we won the Iraq war but this other guy doesn't. And this different guy thinks we should get out now while yet another guy thinks we should go slower. They don't agree with me or each other so they're stupid. I rest my case."

I'm not a Kossack but I'm fairly certain that Moulitsas doesn't personally read and approve every post in every diary that every member writes to guarantee a unanimous and consistent message. Finding differences of opinion within a large group of people does nothing to vindicate your own.

AmPowerBlog said...

JBW: Kos' policy is literally to endorse everything at Daily Kos as community content, even the comments.

Take it from me, or check my archives. This is an old, old issue ...

(P.S. I think you're actually doping out on this one, or you've had too many drinks. "One guy"? Wow, that's a memorable query! Duh!)

JBW said...

The question I asked was rhetorical, Don. "Rhetorical" is a really big word that means to exaggerate or embellish, sometimes in a comical or sarcastic manner. A "rhetorical question" is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply. If somebody actually answers a rhetorical question it can be an indicator that they are a little slow on the uptake or a bit lacking in the humor department.

It's OK, I get confused sometimes too. Here, I'll just jingle my keys for a while so you can enjoy the shininess and loud noises.

Philippe Öhlund said...

I don't think the Iraq war is a success, now that I'm going back to Sweden, after living 9 years in Belgium.

There used to be plenty of houses and apartments available in Sweden.

Now they are filled with Iraqis...

LFC said...

The Iraq war was and is not a "success" under any possible definition. 2 million Iraqis internally displaced, another 2 million as refugees -- some of whom will no doubt never return but stay in the places (e.g. Sweden and elsewhere) they have emigrated to. Hundred of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed, not to mention Iraqi soldiers and police and members of the 'awakening councils' (Sunni para-militaries paid by the U.S.) Plus the U.S. and allies' casualties. Plus the damage to U.S. standing in the world from Abu Ghraib, Haditha, etc. We still don't know whether Iraq will emerge as a really functioning democracy, as a viable polity and economy. Violence continues (Iraqi police were killed across the country just today) albeit at considerably lower levels than in '05-'07, when there was effectively a civil war in the country. (Finally there are the geopolitical results: diversion of U.S. efforts from Afghanistan, and a Shiite regime installed in Baghdad, removing what had been the main factor balancing Iran in the region.) The shift in U.S. strategy might have prevented a complete disaster, but it did not make the Iraq war a "success."
No way.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

There was widespread approval of Mr. Obama's plans for Iraq, with 80% approving of his move to pull out most U.S. troops within 19 months.

This is utter bullshit. Basically, Obama's plan is Bush's plan; he's merely riding out the decisions made- including the SOFA- before his watch. It's successes that happened in 2007-8 prior to his presidency that has made the current withdrawal plans possible.

JBW said...

TWFN, if you have anything more convincing than your opinion to present here I'd be glad to read it. Until then, Obama ran on saying that he'd get our troops out of this quagmire. I don't remember Bush setting any goals for withdrawal. Am I wrong?

Don, did you forget how to type or something? You talked some shit to me, I answered and it seems as if you were wrong in your assumptions. I've seen others crack on you for not admitting when you were wrong or when others issued a good point and you stayed silent.

Are you agape at my sarcastic invective or are you just hiding from looking foolish? I've called out a lot of pompous right wingers on your site (to little effect, thus far) but I reserved another category for yourself. Call it professional courtesy or just respect for the house I'm in but either way, I don't think I'm out of line for expecting a response from the master of the house.

So tell me: am I still doping out on this one or have I once again had too many drinks? I await your response with baited breathe...

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

What else is there other than opinion? You've given your own set. Here's more from me, comprised mostly of others with "opinions".

Troop drawdown was already underway before President Obama took office; he'd like to speed up the process, but is bound by the SOFA, which includes the flexibility to keep troops there, should the situation on the ground change.

Anonymous said...

The American people trust that Barack Obama will conscientiously address Iraq issues.


Speaking of Barack Obama:

Barack Obama is a racial-minority individual and does not like racism:

(I) I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention. Many people know what Bush did. And many people will know what Bush did—even until the end of the world. Bush was absolute evil. Bush is now like a fugitive from justice. Bush is a psychological prisoner. Bush often worries. In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

(II) It is opined that Bill Clinton committed terrifying, racist, hate crimes during his presidency, and I am not free to say anything further about it.

(III) What if basically all racial-minority people would subscribe to the interpretations that George Herbert Walker Bush committed monstrous, racist, hate crimes while he was the President of the United States? It will eventually come out: it is only a matter of time.

(IV) I know it may be hard to believe. However, it is absolutely true that Ronald Wilson Reagan committed horrible, racist, hate crimes during his presidency. Numbers 32:23: “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

Respectfully Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang, J.D. Candidate
B.S., With the Highest Level of Academic Honors at Graduation, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

(I can type 90 words per minute, and there are thousands of copies on the Internet (by March 29, 2009) indicating the contents of (I), (II), (III), and (IV). And there are thousands of copies in very many countries around the world.)


‘If only there could be a ban against invention that bottled up memory like scent & it never faded & it never got stale.’ Off the top of my head, it came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.