Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Washington Times:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday said he is concerned about U.S. forces withdrawing from Iraqi cities within 24 hours.

Mr. Cheney told The Washington Times' "America's Morning News" radio show that he is a strong believer in Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and that the general is doing what needs to be done.

"But what he says concerns me: That there is still a continuing problem. One might speculate that insurgents are waiting as soon as they get an opportunity to launch more attacks." ...

Andrew Sullivan makes the obvious point:

...he is gearing up to blame Obama if the withdrawal leads to bloodshed or chaos.

You know what? Fine. Let him. The American people -- including Republicans -- just don't care anymore:

A new national poll suggests that nearly three-quarters of all Americans support the plan to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns, even though most believe that the troop movements will lead to an increase in violence in that country.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll [was] released on Tuesday morning....

"This plan has widespread bipartisan support," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Seventy two percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Republicans favor this move."

The poll indicates that 52 percent think the level of violence in Iraqi cities will increase after U.S. troops withdraw, with 32 percent saying things will remain the same and 15 percent feeling that the level of violence will decrease. If violence does increase, the poll suggests Americans are quite clear about how to respond.

"Nearly two-thirds say that the U.S. should not send combat troops back into Iraqi population centers even if there is a significant increase in the number of violence attacks." Holland notes. "Americans seem to believe that once the Iraqis are in charge, it's up to them to solve any future problems."

I think, beyond a simple fight-your-own-battles message, Americans are overwhelmingly rejecting the core of the Bush-Cheney argument, which is that the Iraq War has prevented a second 9/11. Maybe Americans have finally figured out that Al Qaeda is still out there, in Waziristan rather than Iraq. Maybe they don't really see the difference between American kids dying in roadside bombing in Iraq and Americans dying in the towers. Maybe it's just that they see a lot of nasty stuff on the news -- terrorist attacks in Mumbai, brutal repression in Iran -- and they're thinking, in a general way, Wasn't the point of the Iraq War that it would get all these people to stop fighting and make nice? Whatever's going on, Cheney can lay all the groundwork he wants for attacks on Obama if Iraq worsens, but America just doesn't give a crap.

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