This week, Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and George Voinovich (R-OH) joined a growing chorus of conservative voices dissenting from the administration on the war in Iraq. Lugar said that victory in Iraq is “almost impossible.” Voinovich predicted that “many of us are going to look at legislation that will limit the number of troops.”
But while conservative lawmakers are dissenting in greater numbers, the White House is still insisting that we are making progress in Iraq. As recently as June 18, Tony Snow maintained that President Bush is “impressed and reassured by the progress [Iraq is] making on political, security and economic reforms.” Despite these rosy assessments however, recent public opinion polls suggest that most Americans aren’t buying what the President is selling.
According to an analysis of public opinion polls by American Progress fellow Ruy Teixeira, 54 percent of Americans believe that the situation in Iraq has gotten worse and only 29 percent believe that the United States is winning the war on terrorism:
Despite Lugar’s criticisms of the Bush administration, he has no intention of acting on his rhetoric. Earlier this week he said that congressional measures aimed at curtailing U.S. military involvement in Iraq, including “so-called timetables, benchmarks,” are “very partisan” and “will not work.” But the American public broadly supports pulling out troops:
As Teixeira notes, the “public’s verdict on the surge is clear. We can only hope that this overwhelming opinion will embolden more and more members of Congress to call for (as Sen. Voinovich put it) ‘a comprehensive plan for our country’s gradual military disengagement’ from Iraq.”