Remarkable Numbers

Jeff Alworth

Two polls came out this week that amaze for different reasons.  The first, released yesterday by Zogby, was a survey of 944 active troops serving in Iraq.  In the findings receiving the most press, the troops side not with "Stay the Course" Bush, but "Time to Go" Murtha: 

"An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately."

Another finding: only 58% have a clear sense of the US mission in Iraq; 42% are unclear or don't understand it at all.  But here's the most remarkable finding of all (quoted verbatim from Zogby:

While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”

Commentary feels somewhat unnecessary, but for any of our Fox-fed conservatives who happen by, it is well to recall that no evidence of a link between Iraq and either al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks has ever been found.

Meanwhile, Bush's poll numbers continue to fall.  In a CBS poll released Monday, they had reached an all-time low.  A few key findings. 

Number approving of Bush's...
Job as president: 34%
Handling of Iraq: 30%
Handling of war on terror: 43%

I'm not sure how the administration can spin these, but I'm sure we'll find out soon.

  • Varner (unverified)

    I'm glad Jeff wrote on these numbers. I think they hint at how bad things are on the ground in Iraq. Even though the majority believe that Saddam had a role in 9-11, they still don't support the war effort how it is being managed.

    This is even more startling taken in relationship to the article in today's Oregonian about how the intelligence community was saying very different things to the President about the nature of the insurgency than what the President was telling us.

  • Matt (unverified)

    Thanks Jeff, that was a good post one thing to tack on...

    I think that its about time we stop giving the Republican lead Congress a pass on this stuff. They have allowed Bush to dig deeper and deeper into this hole without any oversight. Now, they are breaking ranks but, only on issues that are politically easy to do so.

    The port deal is one example, same with NSA wiretapping. Its easy to brank ranks, go home and claim independence from Bush (with his low numbers) all the while thye are still advancing the core of his agenda.

    Go it alone foreign policy, go it alone economics and go it alone to the states. Bush is done in 2008, the party and the Congress will still be around...

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    On Iraq and al Qaida: once the Big Lie has been sold, the public becomes quite resistant to the truth.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Y'all see David "Cut-and-Paste" Reinhard's column on the Gold Medal Moms who support the war despite the fact they are burying their sons and daughters as fast as the gravediggers can work?

    Poor Davey... voted twice for Bush... but when the Army came calling... Davey hid and cried.

    Just like in Vietnam.

    Or when his editorial page editor wants something that wasn't cut and pasted from Lee Atwater's "My View From Hell" talking points memo.

  • Jeremiah L (unverified)

    I just read about this poll over at They also posted some "startling" numbers on the 1st Amendment in the same article. Only one of the 1,000 people interviewed could name all the rights given under the First Amendment! Granted, many people don't remember the right to petition the government for grievances, but only 2% (20 participants) could name at least four of the five* rights! That is uncomfortable to think about.

    *Just in case you're one of the ones who doesn't know: speech, assembly, religion, press, petitioning

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    *Just in case you're one of the ones who doesn't know: speech, assembly, religion, press, petitioning

    Thanks. Its helpful for those of us who don't practice memorizing the answers to the media's trivia questions. As long as people know those rights exist, I don't think it really matters whether they remember which amendment they are in. Quick, what rights does the third amendment protect?

  • (Show?)


    The third sez that you can't store your combat boots in my bedroom or hang your kevlar vest on my TV lessn I invite you in.


    'Course I've got a nice large copy of the BOR hanging right here next to my (perhaps optimistically named) workstation.........

  • Richard (unverified)

    Just so you guys don't think you're alone out there I'll throw in a counter view.

    The polls: 1) Do you guys know any real grunts? Any poll in any army in any generation would get pretty much the same results. The guys never think the brass is doing everything right. A large percentage will always prefer to go home. The difference between warriors and you or me is they do the job regardless.

    2) Bush approval: down, si. Pero hay muchas cosas going on. Note the pollsters Zogby and CBS NYT are uniquely biased. There are plenty of articles breaking down their flawed samples and analysis. The good one's like Rasmussen, Battleground have Bush's number 8 or 10 points higher. Regardless, none of these darn polls ask why the people disapprove. I guarantee that at least 10% of GW's drop (pretty much all that puts him below 50%) is from guys like me who want more Shock & Awe; double the troops, hit Syria and Iran now, Nat'l Guard on the border etc. Bush is pissing off his base and that's the real story. You guys see his numbers drop and think all those people agree with you? Put the bong away, dudes.

    3) Iraq/Al Qaeda: Just because you say it doesn't mean it's so. WTC '93, Ramzi Yousef, I believe. Iraqi intelligence agent operating with the identity of a Kuwaiti citizen apprehended and executed during Saddam's seizure of Kuwait. In league with the blind sheik, mentor of Zawahiri. Of course there's the Czech intelligence report which the MSM ignores but which the Czech's stand by that Atta was observed meeting Iraqi intelligence prior to 9/11. It's undisputed that Saddam sent intelligence agents and funds to the Abu Sayaf Al Qaeda cell in the Philipines prior to 2001. It's also known that the WTC airplane plot was first planned in the Philipines. Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, moved into Iraq from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan shortly before or after 9/11. He apparently was given medical aid and sanctuary for his new terror organization by Saddam or his sons in late 2001.

    The idea that there are no links is a lie. We can honestly debate their significance and the wisdom of the Iraqi campaign but the "no link" mantra is bullshit.

    Nice site though.


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