Eighty-one percent of Americans believe the US is headed in the wrong direction, says the latest NY Times/CBS poll conducted recently. This is the worst ever reading of dissatisfaction since this particular poll began in the 1990s. Although the public unhappiness has been rising since the early days of the Iraq war, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant problems.

While it is not clear from the polls whether the people see a direct connection between the misguided conduct of the war on terror, the recent books such as "The Three Trillion Dollar War" by Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz are helping make that connection.

This poll confirms that Pakistanis are not alone in how they feel about the negative impact of the US policies on economy and security. Like their American counterparts, Pakistanis share similar feelings of dissatisfaction . Pakistanis have already spoken in recent elections. All the indications are that the Americans will also send a similar message in the November elections to the US Congress and elect a Democrat as the new President. The real question is whether the new governments in US and Pakistan will listen and act on what they are hearing from their people.

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