Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bush losing support on Iraq

Pat Buchanan:

According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, 67 percent disapprove of how Bush is prosecuting the war. Only 32 percent approve. Three in five think America made a mistake going in. Close to two-thirds of the American people think we should start withdrawing troops now.

By a CBS/New York Times poll, only 7 percent of the nation is willing to cut domestic spending to pay for this war, only 20 percent, one in five, is willing to raise taxes. A majority of Americans wish this war had never happened and would just go away.

How, then, does President Bush, for the three and a half years left to him, persuade the American people to keep spending the blood of their soldiers and the treasure of the nation to fight it?

Undeniably, there is progress. The enemy is suffering losses. U.S.-trained Iraqi troops are more often taking the initiative. But the British army's jailbreak of two commandos locked up in Basra has ignited an explosion in the Shia south and revealed that militia tied to the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al Sadr, perhaps aided by Iran, is embedded in, if it does not control, the Basra police

As for the victory in Tal Afar, a Turkmen city, the Iraqi troops we assisted were apparently Kurds, which has further inflamed our estranged NATO ally Turkey.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, here last week, put no gloss on Riyadh's alarm. Iraq is hurtling toward a civil war that may become a regional war, he said, with Iran intervening to aid the Shia, Turkey attacking the Kurds and Sunni Arab nations aiding their dispossessed and embattled Sunni brethren. "All the dynamics are pulling the country apart," said Prince Saud.

The White House sees the constitution holding Iraq together until elections are held, but Prince Saud is dismissive: "[E]lections won't do it. A constitution alone won't do it."

David Frum in the WSJ


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