From Editor & Publisher:
NEW YORK While most public opinion polls this week show a slight bounce in President Bush's approval ratings, the most recent Gallup Poll, taken June 9 to 11, reveals that Americans continue to have a negative view of what the war has really accomplished for Americans.
Gallup asked Americans if the war in Iraq had made things better off, the same, or worse off for six entities: the American people, the Iraqi people, the strength and preparedness of the U.S. military, the war on terrorism, the prospects for democracy in the Middle East, and the image of the United States around the world.
The result for that final category was the most clearcut: 6 in 10 Americans said the image of the U.S. was "worse off," with only 11% saying "better off."
You've got to wonder who that 11% is, huh? Can they tie their shoes? Ask them what the positive benefit is and they'll say something crazy like 'getting rid of Saddam Hussein makes us safer' or that we're fighting terrorists 'over there, so we don't have to fight them over here.' But we've proven beyond any doubt that Hussein was never a threat to us and the latest foiled terrorist plot in Toronto proves there's no such place as 'over there' (unless you're willing to argue that having terrorists 150 miles from Buffalo, NY is the same as having them in Baghdad).
After all this time in Iraq, we have very little to show for it. We have an elected government, sure. But so what? The way things are now, the moment we leave it'll fail. And it isn't getting any stronger. Iraq is fractious, with the sunni insurgency already on the outside of any coalition and, as middle east expert Juan Cole reports, the kurds are preparing to jump ship as well.
Cole quotes a pro-Kurdistan Democratic Party newspaper editorial:
Although the president is a Kurd and there are many Kurds in the federal government, nothing solid has been done for the Kurdish regarding the Kurdish involvement in the foreign policies. There is lack of real cooperation and trust. The former Iraqi (government's) policies were planned, Bath's policies were clear and the actors were known. Regrettably, in the name of democracy, current (Arab) officials tell hundreds of lies and use tricks with Kurdish officials every day. Above all, we have sent our prominent figures to the hell of Iraq and they are at risk due to the lack of security.
Now, it is clear for the US, Europe and their opponents in the region that the Kurds in Iraq believe in democracy and do not represent any threat to anyone. Our neighboring countries are changing their foreign policies and we have always helped them in that and will continue to assist them for democratization.
Today more than any time in the past, Kurds have a united stance. We have a strong leadership and powerful government in Kurdistan. Our people out side Kurdistan are supporting the political leadership more. It is time to work genuinely and strongly to build our own state and to employ all our resorts to build a pleasant and peaceful society?
As I wrote in an earlier post ( Risk of Civil War in Iraq? Sorry, that Train's Left the Station), the kurdish dream has always been an independent Kurdistan and it may be that the only way that the current Iraqi government will survive the ongoing civil war is to ally themselves with the kurds by promising them a Kurdistan. Iraq and Kurdistan could remain friendly nations and allies after the smoke clears or even join in a two state confederacy, sharing military power and little else.
But I can't think of any way that the current situation will ever change if the US and coalition forces don't leave.