Tuesday, February 28, 2006

If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question

A Le Moyne college/Zogby poll has come out, and the responses are interesting, to say the least.

In the poll, which surveyed American troops serving in Iraq, 72% of respondents replied that they think the U.S. should leave Iraq within the next year, and nearly 1 in 4 say they should leave immediately.

29% said they should leave "immediately"
22% said they should leave in the next six months
21% said the troops should be out between 6 and 12 months
23% said they should stay "as long as they are needed"

89% of reserves and 82% of the National Guard said the US should leave within 1 year, while only 58% of Marines felt the same way. Marines are typically the most gung-ho, and I think it's interesting that over half of them support withdrawal within the next year.

When asked about why some Americans in the states favor a rapid withdrawal (which I don't):
37% of treeps overseas said those Americans were unpatriotic
20% said those Americans didn't believe continued occupation would work.
16% - they oppose the use of the military in a pre-emptive war
15% - they don't understand the need for the US troops in Iraq.

Only 58% of those polled said that the US mission in Iraq is very clear in their minds.

On the object of the mission:
85% said it was to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks
77% said they also believe the war was to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.
93% said that removing WMD is NOT a reason for being there
68% said the real reason was to remove Saddam Hussein
24% said that Establishing a democracy that can be the model for the Arab World was the main reason
11% said we were there for oil and 6% said to provide long-term bases for troops in the region.

74% of the troops wee on their second or greater tour in Iraq, 26% were there for the first time.

There is plenty more in the article; it's worth looking at.

I think the scariest things in there are the high number of respondents who believe this is retaliation for 9-11 and the low majority percentage of respondents who said that our reason for being there were clear.

Perhaps it's better to follow the teachings of the Charge of the Light Brigade when you're active duty and not reason why.


heatherfeather said...

it is terrifying that that many believe they are there in retaliation for 9-11... if anyone should know why they're there, i'm guessing it should be the people with boots on the ground.

and i don't favor a rapid withdrawal either.

i wonder how THOSE numbers would change if they had a better understanding of their function over there.

English Professor said...

Good info, Steve. Half a league, half a league, half a league onward . . .