When people acknowledge that they disapprove of the President's handling of the war, what does that mean? You might answer that way to say you're unhappy that we haven't yet won decisively. If you think Bush ought to be handling things better, moving us along toward victory along a clearer, more well-defined path, do you feel motivated to go out on the street and protest? What would you chant? I know you're in the middle of a difficult task, but would you please try to figure out a more effective way to complete it?
As most of my readers are aware, I am a staunch supporter of the Iraq war. If I have any dissatisfaction at all it is precisely because of all the politically correct limitations that have been placed on our troops that have kept them from responding "decisively" throughout this entire conflict. To the extent that Bush has attempted to pacify the war's critics both nationally and internationally, we have seen our troops hands tied behind their backs--and even then they have been blasted mercilessly; ridiculed and accused of the most horrible crimes for their staunch heroism and courage.
The truth is that most of the "antiwar" crowd is more anti-Bush. anti-US Military, and anti-America than anything else. Certainly being "antiwar" does not appear to translate well to being pro-peace or pro-justice. (just consider Ramsey Clark or Jimmy Carter as two prominent examples - neither have ever met a dictator or tyrant they couldn't sympathize with).
The MSM responds to any success in Iraq by changing the rules of their engagement with the Administration so as to make things appear in the worse possible light at all times. The most recent efforts in this can be seen in the change of memes regarding the Iraqi "insurgency"--which, if you follow the MSM is hardly talked about much anymore now that they have "sectarian violence" and "civil war" to bruit about. When that dies down, we will go back to hearing how clever Zarqawi is and how viable the insurgency is and how hopeless it is to fight them.
And, of course, when everything is going well; when troop casualties are at their lowest point, it is always a good idea to (1) announce that a new and tragic "milestone" has been passed; (2) Remind everyone about Abu Ghraib (without noting that the perpetrators have all been punished of course); or, if things there really look good, go back to harping on (3) the fact that there were no WMD's found and that Saddam was not a threat;(shouting "VALERIE PLAME" is always useful, too to demonstrate how Bush absolutely crushed any opposition to his policies); (4) Make sure you quote someone politically powerful who will predict some impending disaster or horrible event that will happen in Iraq--and never NEVER go back and review how wrong all the prediction were; or the most frequent stand-by: (5) cite polls to show how much disapproval there is at Bush's handling of the war.
How frustrating it must be to all the people who desperately want America to be humiliated and defeated to realize that no matter what they write; or how often they write it; no matter how many polls they take or how low they make them come out; that the President will press forward with his strategy.
I aggree with Ann Althouse. It is not really the President's overall strategy that is disliked so much as it is the diluted, tepid and indecisive aspects of this war. And for that I lay the blame directly on the left's perverted input through their Democratic puppets in Congress; and the rather pathetic majority Republicans for not shutting them out of the discussion completely and totally when it became obvious they had not a single alternative to offer.
Two things the left should remember no matter how much it goes against their ideological conditioning: Americans are not stupid; and they really like to win.