Rising war support makes Reid more desperate for defeat
The White House believes it has made significant progress over the past month in swaying public and political opinion toward supporting a continued U.S. military effort in Iraq, one of President Bush's closest advisers said in an interview.This probably explains why Harry Reid is looking to work with "anti war" Republicans to find a way to insure defeat.
"The end of the August feels a lot better than the beginning of August when it comes to where we are relative to perceptions of our Iraq policy and what is working," said Ed Gillespie, counselor to the president.
Congress returns Tuesday from a monthlong recess that did not go according to plan for Democratic leaders and the antiwar movement, who were looking to September as a time to force Mr. Bush into changing course in Iraq.
That moment may still come. But August brought numerous reports from regional specialists and even Democratic members of Congress that the president's surge of 30,000 troops is producing positive results.
"It is clear that the surge is producing significant results. And that does not seem to be an object of controversy really, significant controversy, anymore," said White House spokesman Tony Snow.
Political reconciliation among Iraqi Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds remains problematic, but even there, all three factions reached a still-nebulous power-sharing agreement last weekend, which Mr. Gillespie cited as an improvement.
"Even [the lack of political reconciliation] has changed since last week. We are seeing progress now," Mr. Gillespie said. "I do think there is a general view that the surge is having its desired effect."
The latest poll by United Press International/Zogby Interactive showed that 54 percent think the war is not lost, with respondents splitting sharply along party lines on that question.
Saying the coming weeks will be "one of the last opportunities" to alter the course of the war, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said he is now willing to compromise with Republicans to find ways to limit troop deployments in Iraq.Got that. We are winning and it is getting harder for Democrats like Harry Reid to alter the course of the war toward the defeat they desire. As other Democrats have said success in Iraq would be a problem for them. It is a double problem for them. It means their alienation from those in the middle who want to win and a disappointment from those on the left who want to lose which means that Democrats like Reid see their political candle burning rapidly from both ends. When you have put yourself in the position where a win for the US means a loss for your party, you have really messed up. See also Captain's Quarters comments on Reid's desperation for defeat.