Thursday, June 05, 2008


If the 2008 presidential election were all about Iraq, John McCain would win.

--David Frum in The Telegraph, 6/2/08

Wow. Just wow.

Please, David -- if you're going to make assertions like this, don't limit yourself to op-eds published in the UK. Please join the McCain campaign as an adviser. Hell, I'll pitch in to pay your living expenses if you're willing to offer McCain brilliant words of advice like this, and I'm sure I know a lot of other people who will, too.

Frum claims to have backup for this:

According to the authoritative Pew poll, Americans have become steadily more optimistic about Iraq over the past 15 months. Almost one-half the American public now thinks the Iraq war is going "very" or "fairly" well - up 18 points since before the surge.

Problem is, the Pew poll he's citing is from February of this year -- and even in that poll a plurality wanted to bring the troops home immediately, and the percentage who thought the war was the right decision had actually decreased when compared to February '07.

Now, here are current numbers, from a brand-new CBS poll:

Americans are more pessimistic than ever about the prospects for a stable Iraq.

Sixty-one percent say Iraq will never become a stable democracy - the highest number since CBS News starting asking the question in December 2003. Just one third think Iraq will become a stable democracy, and most of them think that will take longer than two years.

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed say things are going well in Iraq, down from 40 percent in April. Sixty-two percent say things are going badly.

Americans would like U.S. troops to come home from Iraq sooner rather than later. 42 percent are willing to have U.S troops remain in Iraq for only a year or less. 21 percent say troops should stay for one to two years more, while 30 percent are willing to keep troops in Iraq longer than two years.

(Oh, and by the way, in that poll Obama leads McCain by 6 points.)

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