By Editor-in-chief
updated 11/30/2006 9:12:43 AM ET 2006-11-30T14:12:43

How grim is the public’s mood about Iraq? It’s come to this: Even his critics wish President Bush well. “It is sad when you consider that if we had a breakthrough – a possibility of peace in Iraq followed by a period of re-construction – a lot of us would gladly give (the president) credit,” said Badger38, a frequent critic of president at HOTSOUP.com. “I would. I want him to succeed. He refuses.”

But the president is not the only source of the public’s frustration, judging by polls and comments at the issues-based online community. A  HOTSOUP survey found that while just 7 percent supported Bush’s policies in Iraq, only a third backed the Democratic position. Eight of 10 said the United States will not win the war in Iraq. The website’s forum on the Baker Commission offers suggestions for the panel, but little hope that the congressionally mandated review will yield results.

  • It will be “a face saving for the president,” wrote George, a technology consultant. “They are not going to go totally against the grain.”
  • “AJH” said Bush’s trip to the Middle East was designed to give Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki “a last chance to get on board with the program,” but the writer seemed to have little hope for success. “I wish the president well. We need a decent way out for all our sakes.”
  • “It's time for Bush to reach out and open the lines of communication with Iran and Syria at the very least lest we end up the isolated ones,” wrote Katana.
  • “1averagejoeusa” urged Bush to uses personal diplomacy. “If the president can be a charmer to so many Americans who say he is a very likable person, then I think he could do it,” he wrote. “Let’s all hope he can.”

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