2/3 of Americans oppose Iraq occupation


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Terrorism & Security
posted September 1, 2006 at 12:15 p.m.
Polls show opposition to Iraq war at all-time high

Sixty percent also say terrorism is more likely in US because of Iraq.

By Tom Regan  | csmonitor.com

A series of polls taken over the last few weeks of August show that support for 
the war in Iraq among Americans is at an all-time low. Almost two-thirds of 
Americans in each of three major polls say that they oppose the war, the highest
totals since pollsters starting asking Americans the question three years ago. 
Many of the polls were conducted in advance of the fifth anniversary of the 
September 11, 2001 attacks on Washington and New York.

A new Associated Press/Ipsos poll that surveyed the country, and more 
specifically residents of Washington and New York, shows that many feel the cost
in blood and money in Iraq may already be too high and that Osama bin Laden will
never be found. The poll also showed that 60 percent of Americans believe that 
the war in Iraq has increased the chances of a terrorist attack in the US.

"I think there's a fatigue about the price of doing these activities," said 
Robert Blendon, a specialist in public opinion at Harvard's Kennedy School of 
Government. "There's also a concern about the competency of how well we're doing

Some of the divisions are from political differences. For example, Democrats are
twice as likely as Republicans to think the cost of the terror fight may be too 
high and twice as likely to think Iraq is making terrorism worse. And this comes
when the nation has gone five years without an attack  possibly making the 
terror war seem less urgent to some.

Popular support for the war on terror helped neutralize opposition to the Iraq 
war for a long time, said political analyst Norman Ornstein of the American 
Enterprise Institute. "Now the negative effect of Iraq is dragging down support 
for the war on terror," he said.

On the question of which political party can do a better job of protecting the 
US, both parties lost support since an April poll. But in another sign of 
trouble for the Bush administration, the AP/Ipsos poll also shows that more 
Americans believe the Democrats will do a better job than Republicans, 47-40 

A new CNN poll shows that only about one-third of Americans now support the war 
in Iraq, with 61 percent opposed. Fifty-one percent of Americans see President 
Bush as a strong leader, although he doesn't do well in other areas of the 

Most Americans (54 percent) don't consider him honest, most (54 percent) don't 
think he shares their values and most (58 percent) say he does not inspire 
confidence. Bush's stand on the issues is also problematic, with more than half 
(57 percent) of Americans saying they disagree with him on the issues they care 
about. That's an indication that issues, not personal characteristics, are 
keeping his approval rating well below 50 percent ...

Bush dismissed a question about his popularity during a news conference Monday.

"I don't think you've ever heard me say: 'Gosh, I better change positions 
because the polls say this or that,'" he told reporters. "I've been here long 
enough to understand, you cannot make good decisions if you're trying to chase a
poll." He added, "I'm going to do what I think is right, and if, you know, if 
people don't like me for it, that's just the way it is."

A Princeton Survey Research Associates International poll conducted Aug. 24-25 
for Newsweek shows that 63 percent of Americans disapprove of the way the 
president has handled Iraq. A CBSNews/New York Times poll conducted Aug. 17-21 
shows 65 percent of Americans disapprove of the way the president is dealing 
with Iraq. Among those who identified themselves as independents, 67 percent 

Finally, a survey by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute found that 60 
percent of Americans believe screening of people who look "Middle Eastern" at 
airports and train stations is OK.

Quinnipiac's director of polling, Maurice Carroll, said he was surprised by the 
apparent public support for racial profiling. "What's the motivation there -- is
it bigotry, or is it fear or is it practicality?" he said.

The Quinnipiac poll also found that Americans considered the 9/11 attacks of 
more significance than the attack on Pearl Harbor. But the findings varied 
considerably among age groups, with 9/11 being the most important event among 
those 35 and under, but with Pearl Harbor being more important those 65 and 

"People have fresh memories of 9-11 and many don't have any memories at all of 
Pearl Harbor, and those who do don't have fresh memories of it," said Bruce 
Schulman, a Boston University professor of history and American studies. "We 
also feel pretty confident that we know how the results of Pearl Harbor turned 
out, and we certainly don't know what the consequences of 9-11 are going to turn
out to be.


€  Court backs right for teenager to wear anti-Bush shirt to school (Guardian)

€  Bush whacked: Fury grows over British TV movie that depicts assassination of 
Bush (Daily Mirror, UK)

€  Its the enemy, stupid (Newsweek)
€  There is fascism, indeed (MSNBC)

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