A disturbing new poll out of Iraq, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." The survey was commissioned by the coalition itself, and asked more than 1,000 Iraqis a number of questions about the war.
The headline is only two percent of Iraqis consider the U.S.A. liberators. Ninety-two percent see us as occupiers. And 41 percent want American troops to leave right now.
So it's obvious that the Iraqi people, with the exception of the Kurds, are not grateful for the sacrifice America has made to give them a shot at freedom. And while things may improve a bit over the next few months, I believe the Iraqi people in general are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to live in freedom, just like the South Vietnamese were not.
So what should America do now? Well, first, we have to accept the poll. We tried to help, our intentions were noble, but the Muslim world is very difficult, and reasoning with zealots is almost impossible.
So the U.S.A. should give the new Iraqi government a fighting chance to succeed by sending in more troops now, training as many new Iraqi police and soldiers as we can and ordering our special forces to hunt down and kill as many terrorists as possible.
But we need to have a timetable. And we need to learn a lesson. Some countries simply will not respond to democracy. What is working in Afghanistan is not working in Iraq.
Now personally I don't want to see one more American die for people who will not help themselves, but I do realize that we are fighting for America in Iraq, not just for the Iraqi people. The possibility of democracy in Iraq is enormously threatening to the Islamic fascists, which is why they are fighting so ferociously against that possibility.
But again, most Iraqis will not fight the terrorists and indeed, are sympathetic to them. According to the poll, 81 percent of the Iraqis surveyed actually approve of or refuse to condemn the killer cleric Al Sadr.
So we Americans are in a bad place, fighting for a people who don't appreciate it. As "Talking Points" has said before, it's a mess. We can't cut and run. We have to stabilize the situation. I believe we will in the short run, but we must use targeted power to do that.
In the long run, however, the Iraqis will most likely wind up under the boot of another vicious dictator, because you get the government you deserve.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Howard Dean (search) told a group in [Washington] D.C. that cable news was responsible for his demise because he wasn't really screaming when he was screaming. He was just trying to make himself heard in a big crowd. OK, then. It's just another example of how the far-Left is spinning things out of control these days:
The latest thing, vis-a-vis The Factor, is to take things that we say facetiously and quote them as serious. I do three hours of commentary every day, an hour here, two on the radio. So it's a pretty easy and sleazy thing to do. Last week we showed you how Michael Moore took a joke and turned it into an accusation in "Playboy" magazine.
And now to other lefty bomb-throwers have done the same thing on the net. They're looking for publicity, I'm not playing. I would like, however, to thank "The Toronto Star" for correcting, on the record, Mr. Moore's remarks. I appreciate that newspaper's honesty. And honesty is never ridiculous.