Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Troop Poll

I recently came across an important poll courtesy of an anonymous (and liberal) contributor on the University of Washington College Republican Forum. The poll itself is from Stars and Stripes, a daily paper for U.S. servicemen and women authorized by the Department of Defense. Here are some of the most significant findings:
  • "85 percent believe a major reason they were sent into war was 'to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks.'"
  • Only 43% said their equipment was adequate
  • An entire 72% thought the U.S. should pull out within one year; 29% believed the U.S. should leave immediately

I don't particularly want to discuss how long we should stay, except to say that I believe we have a responsibility to ensure peace in Iraq. The destabilization is an indirect (arguably direct) result of the U.S. invasion and we shouldn't ignore that. We are, however, in desperate need of an exit strategy - we must know what the ideal withdrawal situation looks like and decide how best to bring that about. We should have had such a plan when we went in there, but our hubris and lack of planning are not excuses.

There are, however, bigger issues raised by this poll. One is the complete disconnect between the Bush Administration/Republicans and reality. Remember Rep. Jean Schmidt's (R-Oh) shameful attack on Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa), a retired Marine when she charged "Cowards cut and run, marines never do"? Well, apparently a significant number of our troops on the ground think that what conservatives consider "cutting-and-running" isn't such a bad idea and who can blame them? They were assured they would be "greeted as liberators" and now 2,300 of them are dead. Just awful.

A second imporant issue raised by this poll is the disinformation perpetuated by the Bush Administration making connections between Iraq and 9/11, connections that, as most anyone who bothered to actually investigate the claims knew (our 9/11 Commission, for instance), never existed. Even the Administration, when confronted, said they had never directly made such a connection. 85% of our troops disagree, Mr. President. (More analysis by Dan Froomkin here).

It's a bit terrifying, really, how pervasive the Bush Administration's misinformation has become. I suppose it just highlights that if you get enough people to reiterate the same false information time and again, even Truth can be conquered.


sevenpointman said...

In the year before he succumb to cancer, Col. Hackworth. a gung-ho marine from the Nam era, was barred from the media, because he wanted to bring to our attention his feedback from those serving in Iraq.
He had asked those serving to send him e-mail's expressing their views about life on the ground in Iraq. He received numerous horror stories of endangering troops, poor logistical tactics, an environment made more and more insecure and dangerous, fear, enormous stress, and confusion about the reasons for serving. A full two-thirds of the service personel (in a sample of about 2000 e-mails from way back in late 2003 to mid 2004) wanted us out in less than a year.
This information, like hundred's of other stories that question the lunacy of this war, was suppressed by the corporate neo-con mass media.

If you and your friend and realtives want a more reasonable approach to this war-with a comprehensive exit strategy that will get us out safely, with honor, and will not lead to a civil war-go to my blog:sevenpointman

Don't just browse there.
Leave your comment.
Make copies and circulate my plan which has been approved by many activists and scholars including:
Bejamin Ferencz-Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials, Tom Hayden, Tony Benn, Mattew
Rothschild, Reggie Rivers and Danny Schecter.

Most people want us out as soon as possible.
I have the way to do it.

Alex Kim said...

I swear you capitalized "Truth" at the bottom of your post just to get me to post something of my own for once... and it'll work, too. Damn.