Today, Vice President Cheney spoke to U.S. troops at the Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. During the speech, he defended the war in Iraq as part of the “long-term struggle” that “became urgent on the morning of September 11th, 2001.” He also argued that the longer the war goes on, the more Iraqis “trust” and feel “better” about Americans:
We made a surge in operations, and the results are now clear: more effective raids to root out enemies; better and more accurate intelligence information from the locals; and higher hopes for the future from the Iraqi people. And across this country, the more that Iraqis have gotten to know Americans — the nature of our intentions, and the character of our soldiers — the better they’ve felt about the United States of America.
They know, above all, that America can be trusted. They know we’re a nation that accepts a hard job, and keeps at it even if others may tire of the effort. And we’ll continue working to help this young democracy, to be an example to others, and to be an ally in the war on terror.
In reality, the longer the United States stays in Iraq, the more frustrated Iraqis become. According to a BBC/ABC/ARD/NHK poll released yesterday, the number of Iraqis who don’t have “very much confidence” in U.S. occupation forces is at 33 percent — the highest point since 2003. Forty-six percent of Iraqis have no confidence at all, compared to just four percent with a “great deal of confidence.”
Forty-six percent of Iraqis also believe that the overall security situation in Iraq would be better if U.S. forces left entirely, compared to 29 percent who believe the situation would get worse. Additionally, 53 percent say that Bush’s “surge” has “made overall security worse, not better.”
Iraqis aren’t the only ones souring on the United States. According to a 2007 BBC poll, global opinion of America continues to plummet each day troops remain in Iraq: