Poll Highlights Disconnect Between U.S. Commanders, Iraqis
Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, September 10, 2007; 8:16 AM
BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 -- Seven out of 10 Iraqis believe the U.S. troop buildup in Baghdad and Anbar province has made security worse in those areas, and nearly as many say their own lives are going badly, according to a new poll conducted by ABC News, the British Broadcasting Corp., and the Japanese broadcaster NHK.
The poll reveals a disconnect between U.S. commanders' view of a steadily improving situation in Iraq and a bleaker outlook among Iraqis. As Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker prepare to testify before Congress on Monday and Tuesday about the results of the troop increase, poll numbers show that ordinary Iraqis are significantly more likely to say "things are going badly" than in the early days of the increased military presence in March.
It would seem that there has been a substantial disconnect ever since the invasion and, when one contemplates the run-up, considerably before the invasion.
Connection is an interesting word in the evaluation of this war. The ever-changing goals of the administration, as one after another destabilized like sand under their feet, is perhaps the best indication of disconnect.
Seven of ten Iraqis thinking things are worse in Iraq almost exactly mirrors American opinion. The vital matter of 'who is disconnected' has finally boiled to the top and the only remaining question is when we get the wisdom and courage to 'skim' them off.
Unfortunately, while we are wounded in both casualties and world-opinion, the Iraqis themselves are very nearly annihilated as a viable nation and will pay the price of our disconnect for decades.