Thursday, December 01, 2005

Poll: Most doubt Bush has plan for Iraq victory

This is from CNN.Com:

(CNN) -- As President Bush launched a new effort Wednesday to gain public support for the Iraq war, a new poll found most Americans do not believe he has a plan that will achieve victory.

But the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday night also found nearly six in 10 Americans said U.S. troops should not be withdrawn from Iraq until certain goals are achieved.

Just 35 percent wanted to set a specific timetable for their exit, as some critics of the war have suggested.

First, a little comment on this result. I'll admit that Americans want some type of success from Iraq--they don't want another "Vietnam fiasco." I would certainly like to see some type of salvageable success in this disaster of an Iraqi war. That doesn't mean there is going to be success. This is just a simple "hope for the best, but expect more of the worst." Continuing on:

White House officials unveiled a 35-page plan Wednesday to achieve success in Iraq, and Bush used a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to tout what he said was progress in getting Iraqi security forces in place to protect their own country.

The poll conducted Wednesday does not directly reflect how Americans are reacting to Bush's speech, because only 10 percent of the 606 adult Americans polled had seen it live and two-thirds had not even heard or read news coverage about it.

But it does indicate the scope of the battle ahead as the Bush administration seeks to regain support for the war among an increasingly skeptical public.

So ten percent of Americans polled had seen the speech and two-thirdsof Americans have not heard or read news coverage? And where is President Bush delivering all these speeches regarding Iraq? Military bases, airfields, Army barracks--certainly not the places where the president would have to face ordinary Americans, and certainly opposition to his war. And if there is any news coverage of significance--considering Bush's Iraq-war speeches are basically "stay-the-course" speeches--the most information that Americans will get from these speeches are network TV news blurbs saying, "The president made another speech at an undisclosed military base, touting the same stay-the-course message."

Now here's the real kicker:

Among poll respondents, 55 percent said they did not believe Bush has a plan that will achieve victory for the United States in Iraq; 41 percent thought he did.

And the Bush White House had just released their 35-page National Strategy for Victory plan. How many Americans are actually going to read that plan?

This poll is just another example of the fantasyland that Bush is living in. If the president wants to connect with ordinary people regarding his plan for winning the war in Iraq, he's going to have to go out and talk to the ordinary people. But with his poll numbers plummeting, the only public appearances his White House spin-meisters are willing to take are appearances in military bases, or foreign trips. The public appearances at military bases provide Bush with an almost instant gratification of pseudo-support by a military that is being mauled with falling enlistments and worn-out troops serving their second or third tours in Iraq. Trips to foreign nations allow Bush to escape from the hard decisions regarding a failing domestic policy, and continuing violence in Iraq. While this approach has shielded Bush from bad news and the growing discontent of the American public, it has also isolated and alienated him from any semblance of reality. What's worst, this cycle is almost self-perpetuating: Falling poll numbers force White House spin-meisters to send Bush out on more public appearances at military bases, further disconnecting himself from the American public, causing a continued slide in his poll numbers.

The train wreak is coming.

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