If you – like me – think that we still MUST succeed in Iraq, you’re probably no stranger to being hooted down by enlightened Washington types. Surprise – you may not be as lonely as you think:

“According to the latest IBD/TIPP poll, a majority of Americans recognize that the U.S. still has a lot of work left to do in Iraq. For example, the vast majority (82%) believe it’s important for the U.S. and coalition countries to continue training Iraqi security and police forces.

“Beyond showing common sense, these findings also show that ordinary Americans are concerned about the security not only of our troops but also of Iraqis – people who, for the most part, they have little relation to or interaction with.

“Furthermore, our poll also found that 75% of Americans believe the U.S. should continue to provide economic aid to Iraq. And 71% believe we should continue to help rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure.

“Interestingly, these percentages have remained consistent since June 2005, when we first started polling on these issues. What’s more, when they first appeared two years ago, they generated considerable surprise among fellow pollsters who were used to seeing poll numbers that painted a darker picture.

“If nothing else, our figures demonstrate the compassion and generosity of the American people. They also demonstrate to me, as a pollster, that ordinary Americans see the war in Iraq, and the consequences of our actions or inaction in Iraq, in a clear light – clearer, perhaps, than the nation’s media elites. Many of them seem to prefer to report on the negatives rather than the positives, and their analyses tend to always cast a dark shadow on reality.

“This bias is pervasive.

“Out of a random sampling of about 75 war-related news headlines drawn from 2006, 80% generally had a negative view of the war, while about 20% had some positive undertones.

“I haven’t yet done any statistical analyses on this year’s headlines. But one that accompanied a CNN story Tuesday night read, ‘Poll: Less than half of Americans think U.S. can win in Iraq.’

“Do such headlines help anyone? Remember, we’re in the middle of a war; we are not playing games.”