A chilly reception for the "return on success"

As polls show little movement at home, the U.S. orders civilians to stay behind walls in Baghdad.


Tim Grieve
September 19, 2007 6:45PM (UTC)

So how is the "surge" surge going? Not so well, it seems.

In a CBS News poll taken just before Gen. David Petraeus testified before Congress and President Bush addressed the nation, 29 percent of Americans said the United States should remove all of its troops from Iraq. In a CBS News poll taken just after Petraeus testified and Bush spoke, that number rose to 30 percent.

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That's a statistically insignificant difference, but it's sure not the bump the White House was hoping to get out of Petraeus' performance.

Another sign that Americans weren't all that impressed with what they were hearing: A Zogby poll conducted mostly after Bush laid out his Iraq plan last week has just 29 percent of Americans approving of the president's job performance, the lowest number he's ever received in a Zogby poll. The CBS poll has Bush's approval rating at 27 percent, up from 23 percent before his speech and Petraeus' testimony.

As for the success of the "surge" itself? The president said last week that "ordinary life is beginning to return" in Baghdad. The news today: The United States has ordered all of its diplomats and other civilian officials not to travel outside Baghdad's heavily fortified "Green Zone" because it's too dangerous to do so without the services of the private security firm Blackwater.


Tim Grieve

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

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