But the insurgency is still in its "last throes," right?

Bush is said to be "puzzled" that Iraqi citizens don't appreciate his war.

Published August 16, 2006 12:49PM (EDT)

From the "Greeted as Liberators" Department comes word that George W. Bush is frustrated that Iraqi citizens aren't more appreciative of his efforts to invade and occupy their country. As the New York Times reports this morning, the president "expressed frustration" at a private meeting at the Pentagon this week "that Iraqis had not come to appreciate the sacrifices the United States had made in Iraq."

Specifically, the Times says, Bush was "puzzled" by a recent anti-American, pro-Hezbollah rally in Baghdad. "I do think he was frustrated about why 10,000 Shiites would go into the streets and demonstrate against the United States," someone who attended the meeting tells the Times.

We can only imagine how "puzzled" the president will be when he learns -- from a Fox News poll, no less -- that 58 percent of the American people want all U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year.

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey tells the Times that the White House is "listening to new ideas" and "listening to reality" on Iraq. Will it make a difference? Don't count on it. Although spokesman Tony Snow said the other day that this White House doesn't do "Amen choruses," a participant in this week's Pentagon meeting says he came away with what the Times called "no sense that the Bush administration was contemplating a shift in its Iraq policy."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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George W. Bush Iraq Iraq War Middle East War Room