The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has some very interesting findings on Iraq and terrorism. The major conclusion that I come to is that the American people want a change in policy. And they really want a change in the political situation in Iraq.

Only 17 percent of Americans favor keeping troops in Iraq, even if we are making military progress. Forty-six percent believe we must have political progress and a change in the governmental situation to keep troops on the ground. And 34 percent feel we should withdraw troops regardless of military or political progress. 

Seventy-seven percent of Americans believe that victory is not possible in Iraq. However, that number drops to 51 percent with Gen. David Petraeus’s testimony that the surge is working.

The American people are pretty convinced that troops should be leaving — hence the Bush speech trying to convince us that that is actually going to happen! Twenty-six percent say that troops should begin to leave now; 37 percent believe troops should leave but some should remain in the region to prevent conflict; only 24 percent believe that Iraq must become a stable democracy before troops leave.

Bottom line: It is about Iraq’s government getting its act together. It is about a stable political situation. It is about an end to the civil war, a strong police force and a military that can police the country. We need to begin the process of serious withdrawal now, not engage in the the Bush flim-flam of spending a year to go back to where we were last January.