A clear majority of Americans continue to want a withdrawal of US troops, and about half say that President Bush's proposed draw down does not go far enough to reduce their numbers, according to a new CBS news poll.
About 50% of respondents say they want large number out of Iraq within the next year, while an additional 23% say they can wait until the following year to see a reduced American presence, numbers that did not change when compared to polling done the week before the Bush-Petraeus-Crocker presentations.
Petraeus's report on the progress of the surge did little to convince the public, with only about one in three reporting that the influx of troops has made any improvements to the situation.
Perhaps the Administration's credibility played a part in the lack of impact last week's debate had on public opinion, as 65% believe the President tries to make things in Iraq sound better than they are.
Overall, the American public expresses some pretty dim views about the status and future hopes of Iraq. More than 50% believe it is not very likely that the US will succeed in Iraq, and 63% report things are going badly for the Americans. Over 50% believe the US should not have embarked on the war in the first place, and the population is roughly split on whether or not the US now has a responsibility to help Iraq restore stability.
Some of the view of US responsibility could result from the perception that the Iraqi government is not pulling its own weight, with 69% of Americans reporting Baghdad is not doing all it can to make progress.
The pessimism about the capabilities of the Iraqi government likely contributed to the view, held by a majority of Americans, that Iraq will never become a stable democracy.
Read the full CBS polling report here. sep07cbsIraq.pdf