Now that President Bush has vetoed Congress’ irresponsible Iraq war surrender date, 61 percent of Americans favor setting nonbinding benchmarks for Iraqi progress.
As for Bush’s veto, the recent CNN poll found that 54 percent of Americans disapproved of it, and 44 percent approved.
That’s a fairly even split, considering how CNN’s question left out any “even if’s,” such as “even if a fixed withdrawal date would invite genocidal violence that could increase the killing in Iraq by two to 10 times.”
3 Iraq choices. The poll gave its respondents three options:
(1) Funding the troops but setting a withdrawal date.
(2) Funding the troops with no withdrawal date but with benchmarks for Iraqi progress.
(3) Not funding the troops and setting a withdrawal date.
Most Americans favored both Option 1 and Option 2 when each was offered independently of the others. But when they had to choose from the three, a 40 percent plurality favored Option 2, funding the troops and setting benchmarks for Iraqi progress.
Thirty-three percent chose Option 1, the funding with a withdrawal date, and only 24 percent opted for Option 3, no funding and a withdrawal date.
By the way, “benchmarks” aren’t explained in the poll questions, but the respondents probably inferred that benchmarks are much less intrusive than a fixed pull-out date.
War lost? The poll also asked if Americans think “the U.S. war in Iraq” is lost.
Yes, war is lost: 41 percent.
No, war is not lost: 55 percent.
No opinion: 4 percent.
Americans have heard 95 percent bad news from Iraq for more than a year. They’ve said they don’t see much hope. And yet most Americans have not yet given up.
Democrats good or bad? Asked if Democratic Party control of Congress is good or bad for the country, 51 percent of Americans said “good.” Just six months ago, that “good” number was 67 percent.
Maybe if they’d stop trying to lose the war, and focus on winning the peace, the Democrats could pull out of their dive toward disfavor.