It seems that Gen. Petraeus is the only one who DOESN’T know what’s going on in Iraq

Here’s an important and valuable news story from AP and the Boston Globe:

Poll results on surge differ sharply from general’s view
Data suggest most view war as failing

By Alan Fram, Associated Press | September 12, 2007

WASHINGTON – The public sees the Iraq war as a failure and thinks the US troop buildup there has not worked, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll indicated, suggesting the tough sell President Bush faces in asking Congress and voters for more time.

The pessimism expressed in the poll, taken in the days before General David Petraeus’s long-awaited appearance before Congress, contrasted with the brighter picture Petraeus offered…

By 59 percent to 34 percent, more people said they believe history will judge the Iraq war a complete or partial failure than a success.

I mean, why even involve the military leadership at all when we have AP-Ipsos polls telling us what John Q Public thinks? I mean, the general is just one guy while the poll got input from 1000 people.


  1. Since we seem hell bent on deciding our foreign policy by poll, we might as well just join the EU, put all our troops under UN command, and be done with it.

  2. Yeah, what does he know? Its we who constantly listen to the MSM and read the NY Times who know best the situation in far-off Iraq. Not some guy who’s actually there. On the ground. So there!

  3. Someone I worked with asked me what made me think I was any sort of military expert. I asked him what made him think I wasn’t, and he told me he had been with the Marine Reserves during the invasion of Iraq. I told him, what did he know? He didn’t even have internet access out there. How could he possibly have a clue?

  4. Seems legitimate to me that the people who pay for the war should have some say in how or whether it is prosecuted. We’ve had Generals tell us 25 years is not too long to spend developing a fighter jet, do you believe them on that one too? We’ve had Admirals tell us a few rounds from a 5′ gun are the equivalent of a broadside from a battleship, do you believe them on that one too? Seems to me the average American is a whole hell of a lot smarter than anyone gives them credit for. We’ve had Generals tell us what we really need is to spend billions developing small member bombs because carpet bombing with B-52s dropping 54,000 lbs of dumb bombs might cause too much ‘collateral damage’. I suppose you believe that one too?

  5. Agreed. Murdoc, your clar implication that you believe everything that ANY general would EVER say is just DUMB! I can’t believe you would clearly imply such a belief. Foolish.

  6. If I read that right, the poll was taken prior to the report to congress, which means that the average Joe had not had a chance to hear what someone with first hand experience leading the effort had to say yet. Would the poll be different now? I’m betting not, but more because most people haven’t heard a damn thing about his report. Its funny how when a bomb goes off and kills two or three soldiers (always a tragedy of course), everyone knows about it, but when the supreme commander of the whole theater has something to say about things, most people don’t pay attention.

  7. DiscalimerL I was a fence sitter on the Iraq War choice. as I read it in places like StrategyPage, the point of invading Iraq was to begin to change dictatorships into democracies and republics. The theory being that when there are dictatorships, there are terrorists. Change the former, the latter is eliminated. A defining element of dictatorships which supposedly promotes terrorism, is corruption. So more generally speaking, when there is less corruption there is less terrorism. So ultimately the mission in Iraq is to make it less corrupt. Another important factor is that rebellions happen when a significant section of a society is disenfranchised; in this case the Sunni segment of Iraq. So get less corruption while keeping Sunnis feeling enfranchised with the system. How are we objectively (prefearbly measurably) doing? (a few days back I linked to a RollingStone article about our wonderful cost-plus system for civilian contractors in Iraq. That sort of American style corrupt practice can’t be helping the situation, but I don’t know how objective the article was either; I am sure the Iraqis have more important things to worry about.)

  8. Basically what it comes down to is when an independant agency went into Iraq to evaluate how we were doing they came back and said we had only achieved a few minor objectives. Now when the General who’s butt is on the line for the ‘surge’ plan comes to us and tells us everything is just ducky over there we are supposed to believe him without question. There is a pretty obvious conflict of interest in the General’s testimony. Unfortunately I cannot say there is no conflict of interest in the GAO’s evaluation. This illustrates why we need to enforce our treason laws. We cannot fight a war when a major political party stakes its future on losing a war. That’s insane. It should not be tolerated or allowed. How can we have a realistic debate about what is going on when it has all been allowed to become so political? And how can we allow it to become political when our boy’s lives are at stake?

  9. DFens, the Treason Laws only apply legally when there is a formal Congressional Declaration of War; there hasn’t been one since WW2. There have been informal ‘Police Actions’ etc, but no real declarations; wrt Iraq, all we have is a tepid ‘general support for…’ Noone wanted to commit with commitment.