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Tilting at Windmills

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September 27, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

POLLING IRAQ....The Washington Post quotes three different polling firms today who say that by a wide margin Iraqis want American troops to leave:

In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.

....Another new poll, scheduled to be released on Wednesday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, found that 71 percent of Iraqis questioned want the Iraqi government to ask foreign forces to depart within a year.

....The director of another Iraqi polling firm, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared being killed, said public opinion surveys he conducted last month showed that 80 percent of Iraqis who were questioned favored an immediate withdrawal.

The PIPA poll suggests that Sunnis are a little less likely than Shiites to want U.S. troops to withdraw, which isn't surprising since they're the ones who would be massively outnumbered if we left. The State Department poll, however, doesn't appear to bear this out, showing a stronger desire for U.S. withdrawal in mixed areas than in predominantly Shiite areas.

Overall, though, the results are clear and discouraging for "stay the course" fans. The Iraqi leadership may be reluctant to see us go, but what are the odds that an occupation force can succeed in quelling violence if three-quarters of the population wants them to leave?

Kevin Drum 1:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (192)

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Comments

We're building democracy in Iraq. We can't be distracted by polls.

Posted by: Al on September 27, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham devoted a segment of her show this morning to the poll methods used in the 3 polls.

Put it this way, the John Kerry for President exit polls were more reliable.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Then here is the Democratic plan for Iraq: We let the Iraqis vote on our presence (call it "Democracy and Dignity"). After all, they voted for a constitution and a government. Why not let democracy work on our presence.
If we really are making a positive difference, and are the only thing keeping the country from exploding into a massive civil war (as opposed to a limited civil war) they ask us to stay. If we are hurting things and generally screwing up, they'll ask us to go.
We'll earn respect in the Muslim world for heeding the wishes of the Iraqi people to boot.
See here for a more detailed plan:
http://agorabum.blogspot.com/2006/08/iraq-solution-put-it-to-vote.html

Posted by: agorabum on September 27, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

And by the way, you guys seem like you could use some good news.

The Dow is at near record highs today, and

The unemployment rate is at near record lows.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'm one who thinks that getting out Iraq ASAP is probably not a good idea for the wider war against jihadists. But if such a wide majority of the populace wants our troops out (we'll see if these polls are borne out, I guess), I don't see how we can say no and claim we're trying to bring them control of their own country.

Posted by: Brian on September 27, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham devoted a segment of her show this morning to the poll methods used in the 3 polls.

I listened to Laura and thought her analysis of the polls was devastating. The polls simply can't be believed.

Posted by: Al on September 27, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Pie charts are cool and all, and I want to believe these figures, since it fits my personal view. But before I embrace these results, where can I find the actual methodology used and the raw data that was organized and analyzed to come up with these figures? Can I duplicate the results (without fudging data) if I crunch the numbers myself?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham devoted a segment of her show...

well then, that settles it. renowned statistician and pollster, totally a-political, Laura Ingrahm has come down from the mountain and given her considered opinion.

everybody! stop talking about this! there is nothing left to say!

Posted by: cleek on September 27, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if she's convinced Al, she convinced me. Al is a contrarian and a skeptic, and no one ever puts anything over on him.

Posted by: humble blogger on September 27, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

We are building quite the violent democracy over there. What a joke. These polls piss on all the neocons / republicans that say we need to stay the course. They don't want us there, the least we can do, after coming in ruining the infrastructure, killing their woman and children, is to honor this request that most of the people want. This also backs up the idea that we are making it worse (they are more scared) by being there. 2 strikes for the neodicks. Get out now. Right now. Not tomorrow. Now. Or let's stay and create more terrorists because that's all we are doing. Bush blows.

Posted by: dee on September 27, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Put it this way, the John Kerry for President exit polls were more reliable.

Really? Polls by three different agencies with different methodologies giving roughly similar numbers that happen to match up with the British Ministry of Defence poll taken a year or so ago -- and Laura Ingraham with a few hours to examine their methodology (with her extensive background in statistics, no doubt) determines that they're all crap.

You wish.

Wingnut Tactic #47: when the facts are against you attack the source.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I would imagine the usual and customary polling methods do now work well in areas where people may be kidnapped, killed, encounter bombings or IED's, have little to no electricity, phone systems are undependable.

I have a vague recollection that some alternate methods have been used there. But, yes, it would be much easier to do exit polling in Ohio than any polling in Iraq.

D'uh, Laura.

Posted by: jawbone on September 27, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Hav there been any recent polls where the Iraqi people beg us to stay?

Posted by: Alf on September 27, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

The methodology of these polls is terrible... probably intentionally, by democrat pollsters with an agenda.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 27, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

well then, that settles it. renowned statistician and pollster, totally a-political, Laura Ingrahm has come down from the mountain and given her considered opinion.

She's a hard-core conservative, no doubt about it. But as far as she is to the right, these polls are to the left. That's how bad they are.

I made reference to the John Kerry exit polling in '04. They're just like that.

Global Citizen, that's a very responsible question at 1:34. I wish I had a link for you. I'll dig for something to link to.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Put it this way, the John Kerry for President exit polls were more reliable.

I do not think your point is what you think it is.

But I do dig your "We're there to help the dumb Iraqis and goddammit, we're going to help them whether they like it or not!" argument.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

But but what about Haliburton how will they get there money then.You libs are always harping on big biz get over it.

Posted by: Mann Coulter on September 27, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham--

Wow, the brownshirts aren't even trying anymore, are they?

Posted by: dave on September 27, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the kurds are very scared that if we leave, they won't have their autonomy. If you took the Kurds out of the aggregate number it would be interesting to see the result.

Posted by: Jim on September 27, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

But as far as she is to the right, these polls are to the left.

prove it. show your work, cite your sources.

i'll wait

Posted by: cleek on September 27, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

More interesting results from the PIPA poll. The most telling result? 60% of Iraqis now believe attacking U.S. troops is justified, up from 47% a while back.

Just who are we protecting again?

Six in 10 Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, up from fewer than half in an earlier PIPA poll in January.

Nearly eight in 10 say the U.S. presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it's preventing (as opposed to being "a stabilizing force.")

Forty-seven percent say the country is headed in the right direction, down from 64 percent in January.

Sixty-three percent say the Maliki government is doing a good job (17 percent "very good.")

Most have confidence in the Iraqi army (64 percent) and police (71 percent) to protect their security. More than eight in 10 lack such confidence in U.S. troops.

Thirty-seven percent want U.S. troops to withdraw within six months; an additional 34 percent want them to withdraw within the next year.

Fifty-three percent are confident that Iraqi security forces will be strong enough to deal with security challenges in six months, up 14 points since January.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=2497076

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it more pertinent to poll us Americans on whether we want to stay?

Given the enormous wealth that we have, people in a lot of countries would actually vore for us to occupy them. Hell, you can even get their leaders to invite us to bomb them.

Posted by: gregor on September 27, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Wingnut Tactic #47: when the facts are against you, lie.

Fixed your typo...

Posted by: dave on September 27, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Methodology, schmethodology (feel free to use that one). They just took a count.

When you read: "..who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared being killed..", yet hear them say they believe they would be safer with us gone, you really can't give any credence to either the methodology OR the results.

Irrational anti-Americanism. I suppose that's really the biggest battle we face.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on September 27, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

1- Polls shmolls

2- Polls are totally bogus, except when they show a bump for Bush

3- So what if the polls are true? Freedom is hard work!

4- Hey things are swell here in these united states huh? So shut up commies.

-rinse and repeat-

Posted by: rickygee on September 27, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Sportsfan - now I have to go teach a class...(drumroll please...) Statistics! Back in 90...Sportsfan, if you find a link, the email I post under works. Thanks.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Scientists are saying that the earth is now hotter than it has been in 12,000 years - and yet the administration is trying to kill the public release of science that is TRYING TO SAVE OUR PLANET! You think they give a rat's ass about what the Iraqis or American people want? They're willing partners in the destruction of our planet.

They will leave the withdrawal of troops to the next administration. If Democratic, they will blame the loss of the war on the Democrats. You'd have to be blind, deaf and retarded (or Republican) not to know that is exactly what's going to happen.

This country is screwed. The death of 100,000+ Iraqis and destabilizing the entire Middle East to the advantage of radical Islamists and terrorists is just a "comma" in history to these people.

What do the Iraqis want? That's a laugh. This administration doesn't care about what the American people want, they don't care about dead Iraqis, they don't care about the troops, they don't care about thousands of people drowning to death in our own cities, they don't care about our nation's laws and constitution, they don't care about right and wrong, they don't even care about Jesus (how pathetic and gullible do you have to be to believe they do?), all they care about is their own power and wealth, PERIOD.

This administration has by a wide margin done more real damage to this nation than al Qaida ever could have. They'd crippled our military, destroyed our goodwill and respect in the world, bankrupted our treasury (our grandchildren will be paying for the tax cuts to the Ken Lay's) and made us subservient debtors to Red China and Saudi Arabia, they'd destroyed our constitution, tossed out habeas corpus, and may even have subverted the integrity of our national elections... and no one seems to care enough to do anything about it. And the Democrats don't even put up as much of a fight as Colmes does to Hannity.

How about a blog entry every now and again about what we can do to stop this madness before all is irretrievably lost?

Posted by: Augustus on September 27, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody wants foreign troops on their soil. Everybody wants us gone [except the germans losing jobs because we are moving to Poland] However, they would like Iranisn armies less.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on September 27, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

When reality conflicts with wishful thinking, deny reality. The polls must be wrong. They must be!

Posted by: lucidity on September 27, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

The PIP poll is here. Link is slow. We'll have to take the Post's word on the other ones for now.

Posted by: ein on September 27, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

"The Dow is at near record highs today,"

Yes, Corporate America has done very well under Bush. The people in general, not so much.

"The unemployment rate is at near record lows."

Especially if you don't count those who are unemployed and have just given up looking, and it sounds even better when you neglect to compare people's previous good-paying jobs to the Wal-Mart/McDonald's jobs they are working now. Everything's just fantastic! Labor costs are down because we are paying workers less and giving less benefits, and consumer debt is skyrocketing as they try to make up the difference, so we will own them forever. It's good to be part of the new American aristocracy! And for President Bush, it's good to be the King!

Posted by: liberalrob on September 27, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

So what if they want us to leave? What do they think this is, a democracy?

Posted by: Stefan on September 27, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Let's review a little history. Ike got elected based on the slogan, "I will go to Korea." To do what? Flush a toilet? He never had to say and was elected anyway - and we are living with the unresolved consequences 55 years later. Nixon campaigned on his "secret plan to end the Vietnamese War." No wonder he kept it secret; his idea of bluffing Ho Chi Minh into submission had "failure" stamped all over it. But it got him elected.

So history teaches us that, in order to get elected, the Democrats need a resolute-sounding slogan that commits them to no particular course of action. How about, "I will end the disintegration of our armed forces in Iraq."? Maybe tack on: "...with honor."

Posted by: RonG on September 27, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Al, if you go there will be trouble, if you stay it will be double.

Posted by: HozenAl on September 27, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Wingnut Tactic #47: when the facts are against you attack the source.

Uh...I think that is wingnut tactic #1.

For example:

The methodology of these polls is terrible... probably intentionally, by democrat pollsters with an agenda.

and

I listened to Laura and thought her analysis of the polls was devastating. The polls simply can't be believed.

What can be believed is that Iraqis keep killing our soldiers. Perhaps that is a more concrete example of how they feel than a poll.


Posted by: Pug on September 27, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

If you look at the article, the Iraqi "man on the street" doesn't seem to be very rational about this.

"I really don't know what I want. If the Americans leave right now, there is going to be a massacre in Iraq. But if they don't leave, there will be more problems. From my point of view, though, it would be better for them to go out today than tomorrow."

Okay. What exactly are "more problems" than a massacre?

Posted by: jimmyk on September 27, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

No al Anbar polling? Probably because it's crawling with al Qaeda.

Posted by: Chris on September 27, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

The Dow is at near record highs today

All that means is that the Dow, which closed yesterday at 11,669.38, is back to where it was in January 2000, when it hit a high close of 11,444.84. So in six years Bush has succeeded in getting us back to exactly where he started! Wooohooo!

Contrast that to Clinton, who at his inaguaration in January 1993 inherited a Dow standing at approx. 3,200 and left office with the Dow at approx. 10,700 -- a 7,5000 point gain. Bush, by contrast, will be lucky to eke out a 100 point gain by term end.

Posted by: Stefan on September 27, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

I love mhr. I think he's my favorite parody troll.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

agorabum: Then here is the Democratic plan for Iraq: We let the Iraqis vote on our presence (call it "Democracy and Dignity"). After all, they voted for a constitution and a government. Why not let democracy work on our presence.

agorabum, democracy IS working on our presence. Iraq has a representative democracy, just like the US. The Iraqi people's elected representatives have asked us to stay.

Your suggestion impose on the Iraqi people a different way of making decisions than the one that they voted for when they adopted their Constitution.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 27, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

And chocolate rations have increase too, Sportsfan!

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqi people's elected representatives have asked us to stay.

well duh... they know they'd be killed the second we left.

Posted by: cleek on September 27, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

mhr--Ha ha ha ha ha! If John Stewart ever leaves his gig, apply man! You certainly have the comedy chops! George Bush, man of backbone! Oops, I just peed my pants and fell off my chair. Please, stop! You're killing me!

Posted by: biggerbill on September 27, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans are "factually challenged." There is no fact that will convince them they are wrong. Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said, "Facts are stupid things"?

My solution to those who continue to support this war? Sign up or shut up. Believe me, the Army needs volunteers - some of those troops are on their third or fourth extension of duty.

Posted by: madamab on September 27, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

The latest Fox News poll shows that 114% of Iraqis want to rename the country Bushistan!

News from the front line: We have captured and/or killed over 10 million terrorists in the last 2 days.

Americans by the tens of millions are lining up to enlist; people are actually being turned away because we have too many troops!

Now back to our feature story: If Democrats cause Cancer, can we just get rid of all Democrats?

Posted by: Wingnut on September 27, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Of course the Iraqis want us to leave. No one wants a foreign army on their soil, even if that army is fixing things.

It reminds me of that scene from the Life of Brian, where the zealots are plotting to over throw the Roman empire:

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

Posted by: Orwell on September 27, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan needed no polls.

Nope, they all polled.

Neither does the current occupant of the White House.

Whaddaya know, Bush polls too -- guess that means he man lacks character, has no back bone, and has difficulty deciding what he believes in.

"Rove Blames Iraq War for Low Bush Numbers"
AP, May 15, 2006

Presidential adviser Karl Rove blamed the war in Iraq on Monday for dragging down President Bush's job approval ratings in public opinion polls. "People like this president," Rove said. "They're just sour right now on the war."....

Despite low approval ratings, "I'm sanguine," Rove said. "I know our own polls."

He said that Bush's likeability, his personal approval ratings, were in the 60s in some polls.... [yes, the polls in Cloud Cuckoo Land].

Posted by: Stefan on September 27, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

[i]Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan needed no polls. Neither does the current occupant of the White House.[/i]

So the current occupant of the White House doesn't spend any money on polling? Because I'd hate to think he was spending millions on polls and just throwing the results away. Doesn't sound very discally conservative.

Posted by: Butch Manly on September 27, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

If these same polls had shown that most Iraqis wanted us to stay, would the wingnuts be stampeding to the commenting boards to discredit them?

Posted by: Speed on September 27, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sportsfan79:

"Laura Ingraham devoted a segment of her show this morning to the poll methods used in the 3 polls."

WaPo on the methodology:

"Using complex sampling methods based on data from Iraq's Planning Ministry, the pollsters selected streets on which to conduct interviews. They then contacted every third house on the left side of the road. When they selected a home, the interviewers then collected the names and birth dates of everyone who lived there and polled the person with the most recent birthday."

Seems to me that's a pretty randomized sampling.

Sportsfan79, exactly how to you believe the above method of selecting interviewees would bias the sample?

"I guess the kurds are very scared that if we leave, they won't have their autonomy."

The Kurds have a very positive view of the U.S. and Britain, because the no-fly zones proposed by John Major enabled them to establish de-facto autonomy long before OIF. But I'd have thought, given that the Kurdish peshmerga are the best current Iraqi fighters, that they'd be least affected by a civil war (unless Turkey throws its hat in the ring).

Posted by: Urinated State of America on September 27, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I think Rove is using Hitler's pollster from April 1945.

"Yes, mein fuhrer, our polls show that most Germans will gladly throw their children in front of Russian tanks!"

Posted by: Nuthouse on September 27, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

The methodology of these polls is terrible... probably intentionally, by democrat pollsters with an agenda.

I must have missed something - when exactly did Condi Rice's State Department retain all those Democratic pollsters? From the linked article:

In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.

Posted by: rod on September 27, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sportsfan79, exactly how to you believe the above method of selecting interviewees would bias the sample?

Everyone knows that only America-haters live on the left side of the street in Iraq, something to do with ancient Islamic zoning requirements.

And every third house? Puh-leeze. Terrorists to the man. Iraq is one-"third" Sunni...every "third" house....

C'mon people, do the math!

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Well, initially while reading the thread I was going to note the bald hypocrisy of the wingnuts who justified all our actions in Iraq in the name of those democratically electing purple fingers and who now find pulse-taking of the Iraqi people fundamentally flawed.

Then ex-liberal comes along to give the logic the final pretzel twist. We have to ignore the polls, see, because the Iraqi government is elected by the people!

All I can do is scratch my head at that in an awe-inspired wonder at such open-faced disingenuity ...

No wonder the Republicans have mastered the art of winning elections while governing as undemocratically as it is possible to govern this side of a military dictatorship.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

""All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?""

If only we had provided... well any of those things in Iraq.

Of course here in the US that is exactly the attitude the right has toward a government, our own, which actually has provided all those things.

Posted by: jefff on September 27, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I got an idea. Pull all the troops out, then take another poll about two months later. See what that one says.

Posted by: oregonian on September 27, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

"However, they would like Iranisn armies less"


Well, there's a ringing endorsement ...

Posted by: megisi on September 27, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

One poll method:

Using complex sampling methods based on data from Iraq's Planning Ministry, the pollsters selected streets on which to conduct interviews. They then contacted every third house on the left side of the road. When they selected a home, the interviewers then collected the names and birth dates of everyone who lived there and polled the person with the most recent birthday.

Go back and re-read the first sentence. Ambiguous, no? I'd be interested in what Global Citizen has to say about that sentence, since she seems to be an accomplished statistician.

At the very least, a great deal more needs to be known about the methods cited in that first sentence to make an assessment of poll bias.

Also, Laura reported that pollsters had been killed, and poll areas were changed from the random sample due to risk to life. These are things that inject bias into the sample.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

"However, they would like Iranisn armies less"


Well, there's a ringing endorsement ...

Posted by: megisi on September 27, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

"If you look at the article, the Iraqi "man on the street" doesn't seem to be very rational about this."

When has nationalism ever been rational?

If you'd polled Northern Ireland Catholics about pulling out the British troops during the troubles, you'd have got a majority or plurality in favor of a British withdrawal, even though the troops were initially sent it to protect Catholics from Protestant reprisals, and even though the Catholics, being the minority, would have had the s**t kicked out of them.

Nationalism ain't rational. If you think of the current GOP as expressing a form of US nationalism, things become a lot clearer.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on September 27, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Laura reported that pollsters had been killed, and poll areas were changed from the random sample due to risk to life. These are things that inject bias into the sample."

That's right. You know, pollsters are killed every day in the US, which accounts for the well-known liberal bias of the resulting polls.

Posted by: Wingnut on September 27, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan79:

Answer me as honestly as you can.

If three polls (one of them by the Bush State Dept) showed the opposite result -- that the majority of Iraqis wanted us to stay -- would you be trashing the result and putting the methodologies under the same microscope?

Judging by the wingers on this blog who have cited less recent polls allegedly showing just that -- I'd have to answer a resounding NO -- at least as far as wingnuts in general go.

But maybe you're an exception, sportsfan. Maybe you have some consistency and integrity, who knows ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

About 65% of Americans want us out of Iraq, too. But then there's that pathological 30%, the True Believers, who want their Armageddon and they want it now.

Posted by: Gaia on September 27, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan, dude, we're not going to keep writing your posts for you. The proper phrasing is this (and no need to thank me for saving you a big talking-to from Ken Mehlman if he'd seen this before I corrected it for you):

Also, Laura reported that pollsters had been killed, and poll areas were changed from the random sample due to risk to life. However, all those dead pollsters should in no way be construed as indicating that life in Iraq today is remotely dangerous. Those pollsters probably offed themselves to make Bush look bad.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

80 percent of Iraqis who were questioned favored an immediate withdrawal.

Yeah, but that's probably the same 80% who are shooting at our guys. What do the silent majority think?

Posted by: tomeck on September 27, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

If elected I will start a draft,All Republican voters will be drafted and must spend three years in Iraq.Vote for me.

Posted by: Mann Coulter on September 27, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

You know what though? Even if pre-form bias raised the poll margin of error to +/- 25%, that still means that perhaps 35-40% of Iraq wants us to leave within 1 year. I will admit that is a significant stat.

We cannot conduct a military operation based on polls. But we cannot fight overwhelming public opinion either (I'm not talking about Americans, I'm talking about Iraqi's). We need to accelerate the training of Iraqi security forces and make the maximum effort to increase their numbers.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Rod, if you're familiar with far-right "thinking," you know that the State Dept (even under Republican presidents) is a hotbed of hate-Americanism.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

You know what though? Even if pre-form bias raised the poll margin of error to +/- 25%, that still means that perhaps 35-40% of Iraq wants us to leave within 1 year. I will admit that is a significant stat.

We cannot conduct a military operation based on polls. But we cannot fight overwhelming public opinion either (I'm not talking about Americans, I'm talking about Iraqi's). We need to accelerate the training of Iraqi security forces and make the maximum effort to increase their numbers.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

The only poll I truly believe in is the Diebold Hacker Leaving the Election Board Poll.

Posted by: stupid git on September 27, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

We need to accelerate the training of Iraqi security forces and make the maximum effort to increase their numbers.

That's a really good idea, sportsfan. I wonder if anyone else has ever pointed this out?

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I have results from a very un-scientific poll consisting of only one person, my son, a PFC currently in the US Army and stationed in Ramadi. I spoke to him by phone last week and asked he if saw many Iraqui children. He answered that he saw lots and that the kids threw rocks at them. At least they used to throw rocks, he said now they were also throwing circular saw blades. I wonder how their parents would answer the poll?

Posted by: Lucy on September 27, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I have results from a very un-scientific poll consisting of only one person, my son, a PFC currently in the US Army and stationed in Ramadi. I spoke to him by phone last week and asked he if saw many Iraqui children. He answered that he saw lots and that the kids threw rocks at them. At least they used to throw rocks, he said now they were also throwing circular saw blades. I wonder how their parents would answer the poll?

Posted by: Lucy on September 27, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Go back and re-read the first sentence. Ambiguous, no?"

Based on my knowledge of statistics, I'd take 'selected' as being based on a random or pseudo-random method. Deviations of ethic groupings sampled from known compositions caused by the streets selected could be compensated by weighting.

As for the data coming from the Iraqi planning ministry, why don't you spell out your problem with that.

The biggest problem I might see with the study would be that from the description of the method, it seems to primarily urban. This was probably necessary because of logistics and security for the pollsters, but I can see a difference in opinion between urban and rural Iraqis existing even within the same ethnic group, because urban Iraqis would be more affected by the poor security situation.

"Also, Laura reported that pollsters had been killed, and poll areas were changed from the random sample due to risk to life. These are things that inject bias into the sample."

And so the polls are biased against the occupation, because of all the pockets of pro-Coalition support in the most violent areas (i.e. those controlled by Sunni or Shia militias)? (I guess maybe they're happy from sniffing the paint fumes of all the schools we repainted.)

Come on sportsfan79, arguing that the poor security situation made three separate polls unreliable ain't exactly helping your overall case here.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on September 27, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop wrote:

That's a really good idea, sportsfan. I wonder if anyone else has ever pointed this out?

Establishing Iraqi security forces has received widespread bipartisan support, Shortstop. So I don't think your comment is entirely fair, unless I am misinterpreting.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Rod, if you're familiar with far-right "thinking," you know that the State Dept (even under Republican presidents) is a hotbed of hate-Americanism.

"I have in my hand a list...."

Posted by: rod on September 27, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Those polls sound mighty suspicious to me. Diebold did some polling just a few weeks ago that showed over 122.7% of Iraquis not only wanted us there, but supported more saturation bombing of their neighborhoods to rout out insurgents, and wanted Bush to run for a third term even if it was illegal. They posted the results on their website, shortly before the poll was taken. Excellent pie chart.

Posted by: Dr. Ida Fuchter on September 27, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

My first question was "what is the margin of error?" That is pertinent information when considering the veracity of a statistical study, and that information was not provided. therefore I am skeptical, even though I want to believe it.

now, just for fun, lets brush up on elementary stats. To obtain data, statisticians use various methods. We are not going to concern outselves with surveying records or direct observation - although a case could be made for the latter, but that is a debate to be had among real statisticians (and I am not one, but thanks for that vote of confidence - I'm a scientist who was smart enough to realize that a firm grasp on statistics would aid me in the long run when I went to analyze data. I teach elementary stat at a community college and take a grad level course at the University. I am not a statistican per se, but I do have a firm grip on the concepts that apply and govern the field.)

There are four basic sampling methods used for collection of data: Random, Systematic, Stratified, and Cluster. The methodology described - Selecting a street at random, then picking a number at random, then interviewing a resident of every Kth house is an example of systematic sampling. (The argument could be made that this was a hybrid poll of systematic methodology coupled with convenience sampling. Convenience sampling uses subjects that are convenient, rather than representative of the population at large. When areas are too unsafe to poll the residents, the convenience factor must be given weight. But that too is an argument for the PhD's.)

My point, and I believe I had one although I might be mistaken about that, is that I need to know more than "this poll tells me what I want to hear" before I embrace it.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Laura reported that pollsters had been killed, and poll areas were changed from the random sample due to risk to life. These are things that inject bias into the sample.

Yes, of course, the poll was biased away from polling the terrorists, who we all know want the US to stay in Iraq.

Guess you got us there....

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Polls reflect reality, and reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Move on. Nothing to see here.

Posted by: Kman on September 27, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

WorldPublicOpinion.org poll methodology:

The survey was designed and analyzed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes for WorldPublicOpinion.org. Field work was conducted through D3 Systems and its partner KA Research in Iraq. Face-to-face interviews were conducted among a national random sample of 1,000 Iraqi adults 18 years and older. An over sample of 150 Iraqi Sunni Arabs from predominantly Sunni Arab provinces (Anbar, Diyalah and Salah Al-Din) was carried out to provide additional precision with this group. The total sample thus was 1,150 Iraqi adults. The data were weighted to the following targets (Shia Arab, 55%, Sunni Arab 22%, Kurd 18%, other 5%) in order to properly represent the Iraqi ethnic/religious communities.

The sample design was a multi-stage area probability sample conducted in all 18 Iraqi provinces including Baghdad. Urban and rural areas were proportionally represented. Only one rural sampling point of the 115 employed were replaced for security reasons with substitutes in the same province and urban/rural classification. Among all the cases drawn into the sample, a 93% contact rate and 72% completion rate were achieved.

Posted by: PaulB on September 27, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

My first question was "what is the margin of error?" That is pertinent information when considering the veracity of a statistical study, and that information was not provided.

I've never seen a poll or survey with a margin of error greater than 6%.

Even assuming these polls have a margin of error of, say, 10%, the result is still the same: the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want us out.

Posted by: Kman on September 27, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

"So I don't think your comment is entirely fair, unless I am misinterpreting."

You're misinterpreting. He was pointing out that what you were proposing is bloody obvious. And that if such acceleration could be done, it would be taking place now.

Posted by: PaulB on September 27, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

USA wrote:

As for the data coming from the Iraqi planning ministry, why don't you spell out your problem with that.

That's just the problem, USA. I would spell out my problem, but the background information isn't available. That presents a problem. I think Global Citizen would agree on that one.

Can you agree that polls overseas are probably not as reliable (or sophisticated) as US polls?

Either way, the point is moot, because even if there is a very high margin of error, it likely indicates that opposition to the occupation is increasing among Iraqi's, and that is a serious situation. I already conceded that at 2:46.

Let's look at it this way. If we agreed that opposition to the occupation is increasing among Iraqi's, what would be the consensus? We certainly shouldn't leave the security forces and fledgling government high and dry. If we did that, the same people who hate us for being there would hate us for leaving.

Also, I feel strongly that we need to maintain some presence for a stabilized Iraq (relatively speaking - there is going to be continued violence for a period of years). The reason I think this is that I do believe Iraq is the starting point for the growth of democracy in the ME. This will be a slow process, like all fledgling democracy, even ours.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and the margin for error on the WorldPublicOpinion.org poll was +/- 3%.

Posted by: PaulB on September 27, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Look, folks, this "attack the methodology" crap from people who are not only not statisticians, but in many cases anti-science, was all tried against the Lancet paper, and was all thoroughly debunked. Tim Lambert has catalogued much of the "debate". Google him for his website to revisit the wingnut tactics used then.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham

Has anyone noticed how the MSM uses radio talk show hosts as specialists to refute real analysts? Radio talk show hosts are not even journalists, just demagogues who appeal to the base emotions of Americans, yet they are paired with real analysts on news programs to balance reporting of a story for the hysterical right wing faction. Laura Ingraham may know how to obtain decent radio program ratings, but that is all she knows.

Posted by: Hostile on September 27, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Rove's Poll:

"What do you think Mr. President?"

"I think we should do it."

"Me too." end of internal poll.

Posted by: Orwell on September 27, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

"I made reference to the John Kerry exit polling in '04. They're just like that."

You mean they're accurate to withing 3 points or so?

OK.

Posted by: joe on September 27, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

And that poll had comparison numbers from an earlier poll, so you can review the data not just in isolation but against a previous poll that presumably used identical sampling techniques.

Posted by: PaulB on September 27, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

the background information isn't available.

Of course it is available, you numbnut. You're just too stupid to do any research beyond reading the WaPo article.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, I wanted to avoid thinking today, but I am going to hop off and go do some research.

If I hung out in AOL chat rooms, I bet I wouldn't have to do any real thinking.:)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'll give sportsfan credit for at least recognizing that the bottom line conclusion is that the majority of Iraqis want us to leave. He seems to realize that quibbling over methodology is kinda silly when you're staring at 80% results.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Of course it is available, you numbnut. You're just too stupid to do any research beyond reading the WaPo article.

And your post isn't helpful or useful. Very typical.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

And your post isn't helpful or useful. Very typical.

I know that this will come as a shock to you, but the world doesn't revolve around your hemorrhoidic ass.

I'm not here to help you. Butch up and do your own work. Or keep sounding like an idiot, and get treated accordingly. Your choice.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sportfan, neither have yours. You cite Laura Ingraham, of all people? And you are unable to come up with a single rational objection or concrete data point? How "helpful" or "useful" is that?

If you want to interject a note of caution on the accuracy of polls in Iraq, by all means, do so. It's warranted. If you want to pretend that you have any real knowledge about the reliability of these polls, though, then you're going to have to do a hell of a lot more than you've done thus far because right now, you have nothing.

Posted by: PaulB on September 27, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote:

I'll give sportsfan credit for at least recognizing that the bottom line conclusion is that the majority of Iraqis want us to leave. He seems to realize that quibbling over methodology is kinda silly when you're staring at 80% results.

Well yes, Bob.

And I've read enough of your stuff on other threads to get the idea that your position is that we need to rely more on capitalism (ie. trade, etc) to bring about change in the ME. I actually agree with this a great deal. Capitalism and democracy aren't the same thing, but they are modalities that seem to work well together.

However, I don't think trade and capitalism is enough on it's own. I think we need an occupying force until security forces are well established, and a military base presence after that.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqis have nothing to do with us "being there."

Our president says that he can't be bothered with polls (in The US) to help him decide what's best for our country.

God told our dear bud, George, to take out Sadaam and establish an Oz in the heartland of arabiaticmuslimdoom, or whatever the ____ he's got us into.

We have spent (and flung) untold billions in Iraq. Us Amelicans ain't leaving no time soon.

Sorry folks, you may think otherwise, but God isn't through talking George past his comma.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 27, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Remind me one more time, how you "win" an occupation of a foreign country???

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 27, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Remind me one more time, how you "win" an occupation of a foreign country???

Well, it wouldn't be a "win" specifically for the United States. More like a win for the civilized world.

And to answer your question, you do it very much like the U.S. did during the Marshall plan.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Sportsfanny wrote: At the very least, a great deal more needs to be known about the methods cited in that first sentence to make an assessment of poll bias.

but you already told us "But as far as she is to the right, these polls are to the left. That's how bad they are."

make up your mind!

Posted by: cleek on September 27, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

However, I don't think trade and capitalism is enough on it's own. I think we need an occupying force until security forces are well established, and a military base presence after that.

Great. So it's back to gunboat diplomacy -- capitalism at the barrel of a gun. What a thoroughly repugnant fellow you are.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Two threads ago, I posted a very brief overview on how and why we should leave Iraq pretty darn soon. Bottom line: we dont have any other workable options that are in our interests.

Link to No Ponies Left comment

Posted by: Keith G on September 27, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Leaving for a couple hours.

Thanks Bob and Global Citizen for some interesting points.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on September 27, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bob is a very eloquent writer and the points that he makes are spot on for their accuracy and their analysis.

Perhaps sportsfan79 should pay more attention to what Bob has to say and he or she might learn a little something about this topic.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Bob is a very eloquent writer and the points that he makes are spot on for their accuracy and their analysis.

Please ignore Charlie/Thomas1. This attempt to give Bob (rmck1) a sockpuppet is pathetic.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on September 27, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Since sportfan is just another sockpuppet of charlie/thomas, I find this all extremely hilarious.

wheels within wheels.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, I think sportsfan is real. He doesn't have that smirky tone Charlie has.

On the other hand, GOP sounds nothing like Charlie, and there's some sort of weird symbiotic relationship between them.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on September 27, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Alek Hidell:

Thanks. Indeed it is.

sportsfan79:

Don't misconstrue me, though. I'm no Thomas Friedman acolyte; I simply think that vigorous trade with Iran is a more intelligent, productive and humane alternative than attempting to bomb/bully them into submission -- which will only play directly into the hands of the hardline government.

The fury at our undue influence in that region isn't just over military presence -- it's also over cultural imperialism, too. We need to understand how consumer culture is an acid bath against religious traditionalism. While this may work in our favor long-term (ask any Iraqi or Irani expatriate), in the short run it's also a factor which creates deep resentment. Religious ideology -- unlike Communism -- does not try to answer material needs so much as it attempts address cosmic notions of justice. So, unlike ultimately with Communism, we're never going to be completely victorious against religious extremism by producing prosperity in the Mideast alone. We can help minimize its support in the greater population (who indeed does begin to care more about having a job than planting IEDs), but at the expense of further radicalizing a fraction. And this is much like the religious radicals in our own country, who love nothing more than to fulminate against the comfortable decadence of our prosperity.

So yes, I think trade is better than bombs. But it's not a magic bullet against religious extremism, either.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

And to answer your question, you do it very much like the U.S. did during the Marshall plan.

So, in other words, if you want to win you do it like a Democrat would, and nothing at all like what George Bush has done.

Posted by: Stefan on September 27, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

So, in other words, if you want to win you do it like a Democrat would, and nothing at all like what George Bush has done.

Touche, mon amie, touche.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

anyone who relies on Laura Ingraham for poll analysis should be put on your ignore list. Surprised anyone indulged this moron.

and Charlie is easy to spot--for one, you can just bring up the bible or religion, and you can instantly tell it's him by all the end times nonsense. That's just one of his many tells.

Posted by: haha on September 27, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Globe: Touche, mon amie, touche.

Stefan, etes vous un hermaphrodite?

Posted by: shortstop, being a smartass on September 27, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Alek: On the other hand, GOP sounds nothing like Charlie, and there's some sort of weird symbiotic relationship between them.

Is there, though? Other than Charlie trying desperately to be Don P/GOP's pal? And taking over his original Don P handle for a while when Don wasn't using it?

I've never seen Don P/GOP pay the least attention to Charlie, other than to once tell Charlie to stop pretending they were on the same side when Charlie started a "you and me against the world, Don" routine. It embarrasses Don to be placed in the same category as Charlie. Why, I can't imagine.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

oops. Damned gender specifics in the romance languages.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

You may not like Thomas1 or sportsfan, but you will learn to like Bob. He has a rapier wit and he writes better than most people on this site.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

No offense, Globe; I was just funnin' with you.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Red: You may not like Thomas1 or sportsfan, but you will learn to like Bob. He has a rapier wit and he writes better than most people on this site.

Okay, that was quite funny, but would you give it a freaking rest anyway?

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

Your standard of humor is starting to slip.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, I think sportsfan is real. He doesn't have that smirky tone Charlie has.

Check the threads. Whenever sportie is on a thread, thomas1 is absent, and vice versa; in this thread "sportie" announced he was leaving and the very next post was from Bob's stalker, "thomas".

It's not hard to alter tones. (I myself vaccilate from genteel erudition to rude ass kicking depending on the circumstances and my audience/target.)

At the very least sportie and thomas are working together to create chaos.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Besides which, you can't laugh "with" a troll if your intent is to tell them to get lost.

You can only deny them attention.

And I speak as someone in Troll Response Recovery.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Don and Charlie are definitely not the same person. They both make idiotic arguments, but from different angles.
That, plus the fact that Don/GOP is a militant atheist, while Charlie/Cheney/Thomas is a nutjob endtimes rightwing christian fundamentalist.

They don't usually argue with each other, since they're both against most of the regulars here--but for different reasons.

Posted by: haha on September 27, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: It's not hard to alter tones.

Not for most people, no. Charlie's an interesting case, for someone so boring, that is. He's either an extremely--I mean unbelievably-- good alterer, or, as I pointed out eons ago and others have since echoed, he's got a single voice with some very distinctive linguistic/rhetorical tells and he's hopeless at recognizing or changing them for long.

My money's on the latter, and while I don't profess to having many huge talents, an ear for other people's voices is one of them.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

I dunno, I'd go with Alek on this. I think sportsfan is a Steve White-class right winger; more here to try to have real debate than to snark at leftists. (Notice I don't put Mike K in this category.)

I've never bought into those inferential arguments that if so-and-so leaves and such-and-such shows up, this must "prove" that they're the same people. So-and-so and such-and-such could be the same person alternating handles. It could also be a simple coincidence. There's no way to really "prove" any of this kind of speculation.

The only thing that offers evidence trustable enough to say something about it is observation of behavior over a considerable period of time. When Thomas first showed up I was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Now, of course, it's plain as day to me that his persona is the spitting image of Cheney's. Too bad I wasn't here for Charley so I could make that mental comparison as well.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

"That's just the problem, USA. I would spell out my problem, but the background information isn't available. That presents a problem. I think Global Citizen would agree on that one.

Can you agree that polls overseas are probably not as reliable (or sophisticated) as US polls?"

Your American exceptionalism is showing: guess those furregners haven't heard of statistics, because heroic Merkins like Gauss, Poisson, and Poincare (and "student" in the Guinness brewery in Dublin) invented them.

Polls overseas that aren't in a war zone are as good or bad as those in the US. Often it's the same organization (e.g. Gallup, Pew) that are conducting the surveys.

Polls taken in a low-level war zone will, of course, face more challenges. But I haven't seen you *yet* give a substantive problem in their methodology that might bias the polls *upwards*.

I've even given you one, gratis, and you haven't taken the invitation to riff on it.

"Either way, the point is moot, because even if there is a very high margin of error, it likely indicates that opposition to the occupation is increasing among Iraqi's, and that is a serious situation. I already conceded that at 2:46."'

Good on you for at least conceding a hopeless case.

"Also, I feel strongly that we need to maintain some presence for a stabilized Iraq (relatively speaking - there is going to be continued violence for a period of years)."

Right now, if Lucifer appeared to Rumsfeld and said that in exchange for the Joint Chief of Staff's gonads, Baghdad could be reduced to the level of violence in Belfast in the 1970s or even Beirut in the 1980s, I don't think Rummy would wait for an anesthesiologist before using the knife on Gen. Meyers. Heck, Rummy might not even wait to get a knife.

But we are very, very far away from the socially acceptable rate of slaughter that prevailed in those two cities. Think of how long those societies took to get a semi-stable polity (and still don't really have one) after the peak of their civil conflicts.

"The reason I think this is that I do believe Iraq is the starting point for the growth of democracy in the ME. This will be a slow process, like all fledgling democracy, even ours."

I missed the bit during product launch in September '02 where Ari Fleischer mentioned a decades-long occupation.

I'm in the pottery barn school of thinking in this - we have a moral duty not to leave Iraq to deteriorate in a Balkans-like scenario.

But that also means we have a moral duty to accept solutions short of an (unattainable) ideal, even those that are humiliating to our country, to avoid the slaughter of a full-blown civil war (as opposed to the low-grade one currently).

I've no desire to see the U.S. lose its place as global hegemon, because I fear the results of a return to a bipolar or multipolar world, but the decisions that might cause us to lose our hegemonic status may have already been made for us. [Hence the moniker, if you want to know.]

Posted by: Urinated State of America on September 27, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK


The polls simply can't be believed.

Surely, you can provide better spin than that. These poll seems perfectly logical. People in Kurdish areas don't want Americans to leave. A slight majority of Shiite Iraqis want us to leave. The Sunnis, the denomination of OBL and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, overwhelming want us out. But overall, the Iraqi populace wants us out.

Posted by: Andy on September 27, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

I went to the website, but I have a new PC and can't open the .pdf file. But it looks sound to me. Not that this is news, and I am certainly not disappointed. I just wanted to know more before I believed something I wanted to hear.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

haha: Don and Charlie are definitely not the same person...That, plus the fact that Don/GOP is a militant atheist, while Charlie/Cheney/Thomas is a nutjob endtimes rightwing christian fundamentalist..

I'm less convinced that Charlie is a believing/practicing Christian than I am that Don is an atheist. Charlie's Christian routine is carried on with a good deal of almost palpable wink and nod. Don, who has claimed at various times to be an American (not), a Democrat (double not) and I can't remember what all else, will take literally any position just so he can argue with every single person here. The argument, not the defense of a particular position, is what drives him.

Still, there are two things that will get him exercised no matter which personality he's playing: a) religious people in general, and Catholics in particular, and b) abortion. So whatever else he is (and does it matter, given what's most noticeable about him?), he's probably a genuine pro-choice atheist.

But all this stuff is an art, not a science, and I could certainly be wrong. Besides, science doesn't count, right, trolls?

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

USA:

Generally agreed, except that I think being the global hegemon is ultimately always a sucker's game. Every world empire that's ever existed has succumed to imperial overstretch -- and right now the Cold War days of relative stability (even with all those pesky and atrocious brushfire wars) look pretty durn appealing in comparison to losing so much of our credibility by preaching high ideals while acting in naked self-interest.

Gahh -- Thomas must be in seventh heaven watching this thread. Time for a quick and definitive change of subject.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Just don't ask me to fund that "art" of yours through an NEA grant!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Last word:

Agreed with shortstop: GOP is a classic sophist. His game is to refute absolutist arguments -- which is why he shows up the most on religion, abortion and torture threads. Show him a moral principle and out come the rhetorical chainsaws. He's all about destroying without leaving anything in its place. Which, I guess, at the end of the day reduces to nihilism.

Thomas, OTOH, is a concern troll, a patholotical (nay, sociopathic) liar and an attention slut's attention slut. Christian Dominionist? Only coupled with an antinomianism that would make a medieval Jesuit blush.

And that's about the alpha and omega of both of them.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

So-and-so and such-and-such could be the same person alternating handles. It could also be a simple coincidence.

Suffice it to say that I have taken that temp on several occassions, but of course twenty incidences may still be twenty coincidences.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed with shortstop: GOP is a classic sophist.

I agree with Bob. He said it far more eloquently than any other poster could possibly say it. Bob is a world class writer and a very talented individual with a discerning eye.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Red:

My best friend and I argue all the time. If he ever responded to me the way you do, I'd either tell him to quit busting my chops or seriously consider calling 911.

You're not fooling anybody with your attempt at leaving bread crumbs so "rmck1 WATCH" can link these posts as further evidence of my alleged sock puppetry.

Cut it the fuck out.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bob, maybe you're right about trade -- although history is replete with episodes where "free trade" and military force represented two sides of the same imperial coin.

But I think we need look no further than our actual policy decisions in the region to find the source of all the rage:

Our one-sided treatment of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Our support of Israeli actions against the democratically elected governments of Lebanon and Palestine.

Our invasion and the subsequent disintegration of Afghanistan and Iraq. The continuing occupation of both countries. The deaths of tens of thousands as a result.

Our backing and defending of a whole slew of authoritarian regimes in the region: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the gulf states.

Thus, as simple as it would be to paint all Muslims as adherents to a religion/ideology that is irrational and violent to its core (I mean, you would be hard pressed to find any American, or Vatican acolyte, who doesn't equate Islam with irrationality and violence) -- which is also precisely the argument our government uses and which the media blindly circulates in order to soften up the population for the next military Crusade -- we need look no further than our own anti-democratic and shamefully imperialistic behavior in order to locate the root of fundamentalism (I mean, aside from the fact that we nutured the fundamentlists from their inception in order to counterbalance the gowth of Arab secular nationalism, much like Israel fostered the growth of Hamas to challange the PLO, but this is just meaningless and tangential historical footnote...)

Posted by: smedleybutler on September 27, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

The exit polling data in Ohio was probably right!

Posted by: Indeed on September 27, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I am a real person. I am not Bob. Earlier, someone said that I was Bob. Bob is a very good writer. I agreed with his points. I like the style with which he uses words. Bob has a complete mastery of words and is very adept at using words to paint a picture for the imagination to see in vibrant colours and tones.

FYI: I am a real person. I posted earlier in complete agreement with Bob.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Sobering Conclusions On Why Jihad Has Spread.

That's the headline for the WaPo's analysis of the NIE. I don't know about y'all, but I've been ``sober'' since the day Bush ordered the first bomb dropped and said ``Feels good.''

Posted by: secularhuman on September 27, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

smedleybutler:

Generally agreed. I also agree with a post that SecularAnimist likes to put up which shows that suicide terrorism is more closely correlated with nationalist struggles than it is with religious extremism. I'm inclined to believe that religious ideology is an after-the-fact justification that Muslims have to use, because otherwise all flavors of Islam consider suicide a mortal sin every bit as much as Catholics do.

I think a lot of the twisting of fundamentalist Islam by ideologues like Sayyid Qutb and his ilk have been merely looking to find religious rationalizations (and the hadiths -- a compendium of traditions of the Prophet -- are extremely contradictory so every imam and religious school emphasizes different sets of them) has been done for this reason: to find justifications for the tactics of assymetrical warfare in an age of military and culturally imperial dominance of the West, to both secure oil and formerly as a bulwark against the Soviets.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Cut it the fuck out.

Yes, Red. Bob is correct. He has eloquntly and forcefully made a compelling case for you to consider.

FYI: I am a real person.

Posted by: Green on September 27, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Globe: Just don't ask me to fund that "art" of yours through an NEA grant!

Seltzer burns, dear GOD the BURNING, when it comes through my nose.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham devoted a segment of her show this morning to the poll methods used in the 3 polls.

Put it this way, the John Kerry for President exit polls were more reliable.
Posted by: sportsfan79

Wow, you can't get a much more incisive, unbiased critique of polls than you'd get from Laura Ingraham. What better source than someone who thinks the popularity of ``24'' justifies making torture official U.S. policy?
Very humorous, sportsfan.

Posted by: secularhuman on September 27, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Red:

If you're a real person -- then please rest assured that you're not doing me any favors. Nor are you meaningfully engaging any of the ideas that you so claim to love that I articulate.

Everybody likes to have supporters in arguments.

Bot most people find groupies and shameless ass-kissers the sine qua non of annoying. And a little creepy, too. You sound like a fucking stalker.

Once again: Either engage in ideas in a non-personalized fashion or STFU.

Thanks.

Your *cough* "Pal,"

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham devoted a segment of her show this morning to the poll methods used in the 3 polls.

Put it this way, the John Kerry for President exit polls were more reliable.
Posted by: sportsfan79

Wow, you can't get a much more incisive, unbiased critique of polls than you'd get from Laura Ingraham. What better source than someone who thinks the popularity of ``24'' justifies making torture official U.S. policy?
Very humorous, sportsfan.

Posted by: secularhuman on September 27, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK


I'm in the pottery barn school of thinking in this - we have a moral duty not to leave Iraq to deteriorate in a Balkans-like scenario.

"The Fountainhead" was on the other night, and I think Ayn Rand would counter the "moral" argument of staying in Iraq with, we shouldn't stay in Iraq because we feel we have a moral obligation to stay. We should stay only if we honestly desire to, and see a benefit to our self-interest. Following the "ethical doctrine of altruism" will lead to disaster.

Posted by: Andy on September 27, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

I'm obviously breaking my own self-imposed rule here.

I just need to leave context when the inevitable compilation of this episode shows up a few days later.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Andy:

What Ayn Rand thinks is worth considering isn't worth doodling on the back of a cocktail napkin.

I have sympathy with the Pottery Barn Rule, too. I'm in favor of strategic withdrawal -- but I think it's the last thing from an easy issue to sort through.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Red and Green prevent Bob from analyzing and commenting effectively on the topic at hand. Bob is a pretty good writer.

FYI: I am for reals.

Posted by: Burnt Sienna on September 27, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Bob is cool beans, ya'll.

Posted by: Blue on September 27, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

assorted colors:

please go away.

you're boring.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on September 27, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bob -

I'm not an Objectivist in the Ayn Rand sense, and I'm not an expert in her views, but I do believe there are nuggets of truth in what she says, although she does sometimes say hypocritical things..

ariwatch.com/HonoringVirtue.htm

In 1967, Ayn Rand wrote:

Wars are the second greatest evil that human societies can perpetrate. (The first is dictatorship, the enslavement of their own citizens, which is the cause of wars.) When a nation resorts to war, it has some purpose, rightly or wrongly, something to fight for and the only justifiable purpose is self-defense. If you want to see the ultimate, suicidal extreme of altruism, on an international scale, observe the war in Vietnam a war in which American soldiers are dying for no purpose whatever.

Posted by: Andy on September 27, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Andy:

Ayn Rand is warmed-over secondhand Nietzsche. Any number of perspectives would have gotten you to the same place on Vietnam in that era -- including good ol' fashioned Robert Taft isolationism.

But it never would have intervened in the Balkans, either. And that was the morally and strategically right thing to do.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ayn Rand is warmed-over secondhand Nietzsche.

And, to be certain, Ayn Rand is not as good at writing as Bob.

FYI: I am a real person.

Posted by: Red on September 27, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

"USA:

Generally agreed, except that I think being the global hegemon is ultimately always a sucker's game. Every world empire that's ever existed has succumed to imperial overstretch -- and right now the Cold War days of relative stability (even with all those pesky and atrocious brushfire wars)"

I think you're looking at the Cold_war through rose-tinted glasses. When I was a teenager, I didn't think I'd live to see 30 before the Big Ones got dropped. And those proxy wars were pretty feckin' awful.

" look pretty durn appealing in comparison to losing so much of our credibility by preaching high ideals while acting in naked self-interest."

Agree with you on the awfulness of having our principles sold out for a mess of pottage.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on September 27, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

POLLING IRAQ....The Washington Post quotes three different polling firms today who say that by a wide margin Iraqis want American troops to leave

Ive been ready to give them what they want for a long time. However, all those same people who told me how foolish and naive I was for opposing the invasion are still telling me how foolish and naive I am.

Of course the fact that they still get so many facts wrong gives me concern.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on September 27, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ayn Rand was an idiot and one of the worst writers in human history.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 27, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

mhr is an idiot and one of the worst regurgitators of bullshit in human history.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 27, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Fake Sock Puppet Troll:

Ayn Rand isn't as good a writer as *Thomas1*, so it's not like you're saying anything meaningful.

Incidentally, you're busted. When "rmck1 WATCH" comes up with the inevitable links to your posts to accuse me of sock puppeting you, it shall be noted that you used the spelling "colour."

So you're obviously a Brit/Commonwealth type. Which is interesting, because my last batch of persecution trolls used British phraseology as well.

USA:

Nahh, I don't think I'm much of a nostalgia artist for the Cold War. I remember it quite well, too (was active with the nuclear freeze people). I also have a fairly counterintuitive view of why the Soviet Union collapsed. I believe it could have done so much sooner had we dropped much of our beligerence, saw local conflicts in nationalist terms and pushed for trade in places like Cuba. Which makes me a perfect ComSymp, and I wear that label proudly :)

I just think that the current unipolar world is decidedly more dangerous today. With the cold war, at least you could expect a continuation of policy across regimes, and certain hard constraints against beligerence toward established states. In the new era, it's hunky-dory with a president like Clinton and then turns immediately to shit under a president like Bush.

Prefer the era or not -- it is decidedly more unstable in those terms.


Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

A public opinion poll taken in an area still as risky as Iraq is

Risky? Iraq is risky? I thought things were going great! Why must you always focus on the bad news?

Posted by: Stefan on September 27, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to see the ultimate, suicidal extreme of altruism, on an international scale, observe the war in Vietnam a war in which American soldiers are dying for no purpose whatever.

This demonstrates, if nothing else (actually, delete the "if"), that Rand would stop at no lengths to attribute all evil to altruism.

Altruism is (was) to Ayn Rand as Clinton is to wingnuts.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Damn! Risky! It's amazing that those Iraqis managed to vote in a way that could be considered a legitimate expression of democracy at all !

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Iraqis risked sudden and violent death when they came out to vote on the government they wanted. They considered that event important enough to take that risk for. A public opinion poll taken in an area still as risky as Iraq is must be about as statistically unreliable as a poll can be.

I marvel at the wingnut ability to spin data that counters their view as proof of their view.

Unfortunately, I have been handicapped with possession of the logic gene, and so lack that talent.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

So you're obviously a Brit/Commonwealth type. Which is interesting, because my last batch of persecution trolls used British phraseology as wel

Crikey!

FYI: I am a real person.

Posted by: Turquoise on September 27, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

"The Dow is at near record highs today,"

The economy has been great for the haves and have mores, whose economic interests Bush and the Republicans represent

"and The unemployment rate is at near record lows."

Most of those are low paying jobs with poor if any benefits. Incomes for workers, corrected for inflation, are decreasing.

If you are a member of the haves and have mores, the economy is doing great. For ordinary Americans the economy sucks.

Posted by: CaptainVideo on September 27, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

*sigh* Why do the Iraqis hate America?

Oh, wait...

Posted by: craigie on September 27, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

So the Iraqis are all out of touch liberals? Who knew?

Posted by: craigie on September 27, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Of course the Iraqis want us to leave. No one wants a foreign army on their soil, even if that army is fixing things.

Aside from Orwell's usual dishonesty of presuming by his/her/its statement that the US army is "fixing things" (hine: the consensus of 16 US intelligence agencies disagrees), his comment is a useful insight into the bush cultists' dolschtoss plans.

Sure, the Bush Cultists will blame the Left for Bush's failures in Iraq (although since, unlike Vietnam, there isn't a draft, and the chickenhawk syndrome looms correspondingly larger, their whining will have much less potency). Heck, our ol' buddy tbrosz was foreshadowing this a year or more ago.

But they'll also blame the Iraqis once Iraqification fails.

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

The unemployment rate is at near record lows.

What the so-called unemployment rate hides is all those people who didn't look for work in the week preceding the survey and aren't counted as unemployed, which is at near record levels, and the underemployed (as long as you worked one hr during that survey week, you are not considered unemployed).

What the whole picture tells us is that the econ is still so bad that people aren't going back into the pool of those looking for work.

Note to all he econo-illitates out there: the unemployment rate is not an indicator of the health of the economy or even the number of people who are out of work. The unemployment rate merely tracks the demand for employment, so that businesses can assess whether in the near-term they will need to cut or increase wages to attract new hires.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Iraqis risked sudden and violent death when they came out to vote on the government they wanted.

Nice to see mhr agrees that the Bush Administration's failure to secure Iraq -- and thus provide the most basic form of legitimacy to Iraq's government, the ability to keep order -- was a betrayal of democracy in the Middle East.

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

"I remember it quite well, too (was active with the nuclear freeze people). I also have a fairly counterintuitive view of why the Soviet Union collapsed. I believe it could have done so much sooner had we dropped much of our beligerence, saw local conflicts in nationalist terms and pushed for trade in places like Cuba."

I think that the peaceful end of the Soviet Bloc seems more inevitable in retrospect than it actually was. I was in Moscow in 1991 during the August putsch and for a few days a peaceful end did not look likely. A Russian op-ed writer wrote that if Burkharin or Trotsky had been in charge of the putsch (instead of the drunken incompetents who were), it would have went a lot differently.

But thank God Bush Senior knew when not to overreact in both 1989 and 1991.

I just don't have a good enough feel for what led to Gorbachev's ascension to assess your theory. Personal observation based onthe limited time I spent in the USSR made me feel that the economic crisis was brought on by the military absorbing too much of GDP. Of course, it's ridiculous to think that was part of our cunning plan, as our estimates of Soviet GDP were close to an order of magnitude too large.

"I just think that the current unipolar world is decidedly more dangerous today. With the cold war, at least you could expect a continuation of policy across regimes, and certain hard constraints against beligerence toward established states. In the new era, it's hunky-dory with a president like Clinton and then turns immediately to shit under a president like Bush."

Agreed: I'm still in the Clintonian mindset, though I think that Clinton did not go sufficiently far to strengthen international institutions. He squandered the years of 1993-1994, and after Speaker Gingrinch, there wasn't really a lot of hope for progress on any front.

My big concern is how after managing 60 years post-WW2 without nukes going off, we manage to repeat that into the next century. I think that a stronger system of international governance (including more trade) is needed, but have a hard time seeing that developing in a bi- or multi-polar world, without a global hegemon to force through the difficult issues.

Of course, a hegemon that's motivated by a narrow nationalism marketed to a subset of its population is going to take us to hell in a handbasket.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on September 27, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

USA:

Very good post. No substantial need to comment.

Historical counterfactuals are pure speculation, so boil my "theory" down to an intuition.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 27, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think that a stronger system of international governance (including more trade) is needed, but have a hard time seeing that developing in a bi- or multi-polar world, without a global hegemon to force through the difficult issues.

Of course, a hegemon that's motivated by a narrow nationalism marketed to a subset of its population is going to take us to hell in a handbasket.

My view is that the US has viewed itself for so long (since WWII) as the benevolent dictator of the world, that not only do we have a hard time distinguishing obvious malevolence in our actions, but we also have pretty much lost the ability to work with others, or even see how working with others can, well, work.

My hope lies with Europe, though they continue to disappointment at every opportunity.

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

sorry, that second paragraph should be quoted (italicized).

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

I got an idea. Pull all the troops out, then take another poll about two months later. See what that one says.

This white man's burden stuff is sure hard.

Posted by: patriotboy on September 27, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

My hope lies with Europe, though they continue to disappointment at every opportunity.

liberalism in a nutshell.

Posted by: bobwire on September 27, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Some other answers from that poll discussed by Judith Klinghoffer.

Posted by: harry on September 27, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

(Shhhh, bobwire, the adults are talking)

Posted by: Disputo on September 27, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Polls in Iraq are simply not reliable. First of all, pollsters risk their lives by doing their work in Iraq. Many have died. Secondly, Iraqis risk their lives by answering the pollsters, particularly if they give the wrong answers. Not all Iraqis have phone service, so pollsters have to get out on the streets to pose their questions, and this introduces a great deal of selection bias. The problems go on and on. I wouldn't trust ANY poll out of Iraq, not even this one, which supports my own views.

I think a better indicator of Iraqi hospitality for our occupying troops is the number and frequency of insurgent attacks on our forces. Going by these numbers, it is clear that each month we are less welcome than the last. What proportion wants our troops dead? Does it matter? The costs to us are the same regardless, and we know that for an insurgency to be as successful as the one in Iraq, it must have broad support within the populace. I've read that, based on studies of the French occupation of Algiers, each insurgent had the support of 20 non-insurgents. I don't know if that translates to Iraq, but surely the general point does: the insurgents cannot eat, sleep, recruit, etc., without a good many civilians who are willing to keep quiet.

As for the comment about the 2004 presidential election exit poll results, bear in mind that exit polling is the most accurate of all polling. In fact when the US or the UN wishes to monitor elections in a "fledgling" democracy, they use exit polls, and if the exit poll data varies significantly from the poll returns, they are treated as evidence for election fraud.

Posted by: Banal Terror on September 27, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

I regret that the US polls so poorly in Iraq, but we come out a whole lot better than al Qaeda. History News Newwork reports:

Overall 94 percent [of Iraqis] have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).
Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very).

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 27, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

I regret that the US polls so poorly in Iraq, but we come out a whole lot better than al Qaeda. History News Newwork reports:

Overall 94 percent [of Iraqis] have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).
Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very).


Posted by: ex-liberal on September 27, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

All the more reason to think that Iraq wouldn't fall into the hands of the terrorists if the US withdrew.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on September 28, 2006 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Well, so long as we are less unpopular than al Qae'da..

That can be our new rallying cry - Trust us! We are less untrustworthy than al Qae'da!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 28, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

"Can you agree that polls overseas are probably not as reliable (or sophisticated) as US polls?"

Sportsfan79 was starting to sound almost reasonable up to this point.

Yeah, that's right. Only us 'murkins are capable of statistics, opinion research, and all that math/science stuff.

To answer the question- no, we cannot agree on that.

When will the American Exceptionalist myth finally die?

Posted by: RobW on September 28, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: mmf铃声 on September 28, 2006 at 5:31 AM | PERMALINK

Funny how poll results like these never seem to match very well the only poll that really counts, an election. If overwhelming majorities of Iraqis really wanted immediate withdrawl from Iraq, then the political parties pushing such a position would have won overwhelming majorities in the election. But they didn't, how about that.

Posted by: Brad on September 28, 2006 at 5:44 AM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham scooped the mainstream press on this one.
First of all, based on their abysmal record, the U.S. Department of State has neither the judgement nor the capabilities of conducting a true poll. Condoleeza is a bit too liberal minded these days, judging by her recent round of Israel bashing. Perhaps she is pulling a Kissinger at this late stage of her term.
Secondly, why has this not been confirmed by Washington's other paper of record, the Times? Methinks I smell a rat.
And last of all, if the Iraqis really want us out, where are the protests, the rallies, the spokespeople?
Frankly I don't think we even have enough people in Iraqi who speak the Iraqi language to actually conduct a poll, a fact confirmed by my two nephews who recently returned from jobs in Mosul.


Posted by: Conklin on September 28, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

I regret that the US polls so poorly in Iraq, but we come out a whole lot better than al Qaeda.

Yeah! At least we're better regarded than a mass-murdering band of violent fanatical terrorists! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Wow, better than al-Qaeda...talk about setting the bar low....

Posted by: Stefan on September 28, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

I like the vote idea...let them vote us out and then we go. We look like winners because we honor democracy and respect the will of the people. However I do think this country owes that country a great amount of support for reconstruction and caring for the wounded and the disabled. I doubt if we will do it because Americans tend to walk away from the real causalties of war once they have gotton what they really wanted and many have. Many have gotton rich...let's be real that why we went in.

Posted by: bob bruman on September 28, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

You can argue about the methodology all day, but people show what they really believe by what they do.

And if the "overwhelming majority" of Iraqis love us and want us to stay, one must admit they have a pretty strange way of showing it.

Posted by: chuck on September 28, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

This is amazing. We got sidetracked quite easily into a dispute over technology and technique, and not discussing the actual poll results, which would take less than 200 replies.

I find that the unending belief in that 30% that constantly back Bush seemes to defy any logic whatsoever.

What is it that rightwingers really really really recieve from Bush? Is it a sense of security that must not be diminished? Or is it a need to stand behind a perceived strongman? Is it that way of governing that is kind, generous and fair is a problem?

What is it with this concentration on Iraq by rightwingers? They dont seem in a hurry to be sending 150,000 troops to other countries that have present dictatorships - theyre there for the Iraqi people? Oh come on now.

Do you rightwingers SOOO believe this is all for them, but dont give a stuff about people living in your own country? When did a set of people in the eastern section of the political Middle East ever rate a worthy mention in your eyes?

I'm making a case that you guys dont actually give a stuff about Iraq. Iraq Smraq. Rushing off to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's dictator? He's been killing 10,000s of people - by logic, we must now invade his country. Oh, he's got oil....

Oh, thats right, Venezuala. Oh, while youre at it, Bolivia. Oh what a coincidence, they are the 2 most antiamerican governments. They were elected - oh that doesnt matter, they arent democratic.

How can you guys sit and boldfaced pump out lies? Does this give you erections? Self confidence? 'Being on the winning team'. Coz all of that means that more Iraqis have died than Saddam ever knocked off.

Yawn....

Posted by: Eric Vigo on September 28, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

of course the poll that says the Iraqis want the Americans to leave immediately was anonymous. Par for the course Lies and Propaganda from the Left.

Posted by: schizm on September 29, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK


says schizm from his comfortable chair at the heritage foundation....

Posted by: laffin@you on September 30, 2006 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

Pretty soon all you males 18-40 are going to be seein this firsthand once we go to Iran we will have the draft and you boys won't have time to bitch and wonder.

Posted by: AnnieDevlin on September 30, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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