Consider the July 13-15 Rasmussen poll that asked likely voters if it is "possible for the U.S. to win the war in Iraq": 32 percent answered yes, 54 percent no. Yet when asked if Washington should wait until September before making major changes in Iraq, 51 percent said yes, 38 percent said no. If voters really thought the war cannot be won, they would not want to wait until September.
On Sunday, the Times also ran an opinion piece, "A War We Just Might Win," by war critics Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution, which has prompted Beltway biggies to notice that the surge is paying off.
Well, not everyone inside the Beltway. Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., dismissed the piece as "rhetoric." "I don't know what they saw, but I know this, that it's not getting better," Murtha told CNN. Since this war began, there always have been people rooting for failure.
With the death toll of U.S. troops surpassing 3,560, Americans have cause to be wary and distressed. They may tell pollsters that they are pessimistic, but that does not mean that they are prepared to lose.