Who runs the planet Earth? Is it the United Nations or the White House? A particular somebody or something, or no one at all?
I believe I know who the Big Boss is, and not because I am the possessor of occult insight. I'm intimately aware of who the leader of the world is because our InsiderAdvantage polls speak with them on a regular basis. That most powerful entity is you, the American people. And saying so isn't just patriotic blather. It's a profound truth that's known by world leaders, good and evil alike.
In a recent poll, we asked:
Do you think the situation in Iraq is improving?
Yes 45 percent
No 49 percent
Don't know 6 percent
The survey was conducted earlier this month among 600 Americans. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
Polling questions like this seem old hat. The percentages move a little this way and a little back the other. What endures so far is the rough balance between those who approve and disapprove of what's going on in Iraq.
From an international perspective, this polling question will continue to be the most important one of all. If at least 40 percent of Americans continue to check off on the war, President Bush and his Pentagon team likely will be able to stay the course for the time it takes to more or less stabilize Iraq. But if public support ever drops below 40 percent, the Bush war could be in serious trouble.
Right now, both military and diplomatic events look comparatively good for the president. Most major developments since his re-election seem to have borne out the iron-fisted resolve he has demonstrated overseas.
The Iraqi elections went off surprisingly well. They exposed the insurgents politically and further isolated them militarily. Much trouble remains, but media is shouting less that, "Things are out of control in Iraq."
As President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travel overseas, the Bush Doctrine they continue to articulate is starting to make more and more sense. The people of Lebanon are now openly protesting the occupation of their country by Syria. Does anyone doubt their new boldness is an offshoot of the fledgling democratic movement in Iraq? Likewise, the mullahs of Iran continue to squirm as the heat turns up on them to grant new political freedoms to their people. And the Israeli government and the Palestinian authorities are seriously talking peace again for their perpetually troubled peoples. There is a region-wide wave of hope washing across the Middle East as there hasn't been in a long while.
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