President Bush held a press conference Thursday trying to persuade Americans to hang in there on Iraq. The president has a very tough road on that one.
All the polls show most Americans do not believe the war is going well and want to wind it down, feeling the effort is not worth much more American blood and treasure.
The president's argument for sustaining the war is largely theoretical and he is correct: A defeat in Iraq would harm the United States and could lead to a greater conflict down the road.
But there comes a time when enough's enough. The U.S. military did not lose the Vietnam War, the country just became exhausted by it and a deal was made to get out of there. Same thing is happening in Iraq. After four years many Americans are just sick of it.
Doesn't help the Iraqi government is incompetent and the people themselves largely ungrateful. A poll taken by D3 Systems asked Iraqis if they supported the coalition. Just six percent "strongly support" it. Sixteen percent "somewhat support" our efforts, 32 percent "somewhat oppose" us and a whopping 46 percent of Iraqis "strongly oppose" the coalition.
Numbers like that many Americans say, "See ya."
Talking Points believes America, Britain and our allies that tried to do a noble thing in Iraq. We despise those who are rooting against the effort. But we understand the frustration that good Americans feel over a country that may not want to be free despite the president's opposite belief.
It is certainly fair to give General Petraeus until September to improve security in this dangerous place. But with the Iraqi government failing dismally to build consensus and fight corruption there are long odds against Iraq actually becoming a democracy any time soon.
The whole thing is tragic and depressing, complicated and dangerous. But after more than four years, Iraq remains a huge stone around America's neck.
And that's The Memo.
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