The Definition of Insanity

Bush Implores Nation, Congress To Show ‘Courage and Resolve’, By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post Staff Writer

President Bush asked skeptical Americans for additional patience as the Iraq war entered its fifth year yesterday, saying that the United States can be victorious, but “only if we have the courage and resolve to see it through.”

Poll Shows Dramatic Decline in How Iraqis View Lives, Future, By Cameron W. Barr and Jon Cohen, Washington Post Staff Writers

More than six in 10 Iraqis now say that their lives are going badly — double the percentage who said so in late 2005 — and about half say that increasing U.S. forces in the country will make the security situation worse, according to a poll of more than 2,200 Iraqis conducted for ABC News and other media organizations.

The survey, released Monday, shows that Iraqis’ assessments of the quality of their lives and the future of the country have plunged in comparison with similar polling done in November 2005 and February 2004.

Asked to compare their lives today with conditions before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the proportion of Iraqis who say things are better now has slipped below half for the first time. Forty-two percent say their lives have improved, down from 51 percent in 2005 and 56 percent in 2004. Thirty-six percent now say things in their lives are worse today, up from 29 percent in the 2005 poll, which was taken during a period of relative optimism ahead of parliamentary elections. Twenty-two percent say their lives are about the same. …

In November 2005, 27 percent of Baghdad residents polled said their lives were going badly; in the new survey, that percentage rose to 78.

In the more comprehensive ABC News poll, conducted in partnership with the German television network ARD, the BBC and USA Today, Iraqis were asked whether the country was involved in a civil war; 42 percent said it was. Of the 56 percent who said the country was not in a state of civil war, more than four in 10 said such a conflict was likely.