Myers said the Pentagon is "trying to walk that very fine line between being seen as an occupier and being effective and winning this war, and helping the Iraqis stand up on their feet and take the fight to the enemy."While Cindy Sheehan's point of view may not have been altered by her meeting with Sen. McCain, but McCain's seems to have been altered by meeting with Sheehan and her supporters.
McCain offered a blistering reply on the state of the conflict, suggesting Myers' comments were detached from reality.
"Gen. Myers seems to assume that things have gone well in Iraq," the senator said. "Gen. Myers seems to assume that the American people--the support for our conflict there is not eroding. Gen. Myers seems to assume that everything has gone fine, and our declarations of victory, of which there have been many, have not had an impact on American public opinion."
UPDATE: Or maybe McCain has just been listening to the majority of Americans. From your Chicago Tribune:
As doubts grow about U.S. military involvement in Iraq, a new poll shows a majority of Americans think that using force to promote democracy is a bad idea.emphasis added.
According to a survey conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and released Thursday, only 35 percent of those polled favored using military force to overthrow dictators while 55 percent opposed the idea. Less than 17 percent supported the idea of threatening countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan with military force if they did not institute democratic reforms. ***
Asked if they thought the goal of overthrowing Iraq's authoritarian government and establishing a democracy was by itself a good enough reason to go to war, 74 percent said no and 19 percent said yes. Among those who said no, 60 percent identified themselves as Republicans and 86 percent said they were Democrats.
"The sense I get from this is that the American public has become far more skeptical about what is happening in Iraq," said Christopher Whitney, director of studies at the council.
"They don't see the benefits," he said. "They don't see the Iraq war as justifiable in terms of democratization." ***
The findings are consistent with other polls in which a majority of Americans now say they think the Iraq war was a mistake.