Another Example of Spin?

Zogby International released a poll of troops serving in Iraq that has become rather controversial. The poll supposedly shows that an overwhelming majority of the troops (72%) think that the US should exit the country within the next year. They also report that only 23% said that the US should stay in country for as long as we are needed.

There are other issues that the poll covers. 93% of the respondents allegedly stated that removing the threat of WMD’s wasn’t sufficient reason for the Iraq invasion, and 68% said that the real reason was to simply depose Saddam. 85% said that the invasion was to punish Saddam for his role in 9/11.

I’m deeply suspicious of this poll for a variety of reasons. The most compelling is that none of the troops I’ve come in contact with have expressed these views. It could very well be that all of the people serving in the military that have spoken to me have a minority opinion, but this seems to stretch probability a bit.

Murdoc Online has been talking about the poll, and he has the same reservations that I do. The money shot is the assertion from Zogby that four out of five of the troops oppose using internationally banned weapons such as napalm and white phosphorus. Murdoc isn’t shy about voicing his opinion on this little nugget, and I agree completely with him.

As a firearm instructor I’ve had many conversations with people serving in the military about weapons that have been banned due to political considerations. Unless there is some compelling reason presented that will change my mind, the statement that the troops agree with these bans looks like a complete fabrication.

Another compelling reason for caution is that this poll seems to align almost perfectly with the Democrat’s talking points in most areas. This looks too good to be true so far as the Dems are concerned, and you know what they say about things that are too good to be true.

Murdoc is still tracking down the particulars, and anyone interested in this issue should check his blog regularly. The main issue now seems to be that it is very difficult to get Zogby to own up to any details about their methodology. You know, which questions were asked and how they were presented. They won’t even tell you if you pony up $20 USD for their big summary. Very strange.

If you are interested in reading what other milbloggers are saying then Glenn has a roundup.

10 thoughts on “Another Example of Spin?”

  1. There’s an all out assault on Bush this week. AP is pushing a video of Bush talking about potential for levy breach the day before Katrina and selling it as contradition of his statement that the disaster was “unforseeable”. It was on MSNBC last night.

    I’m currious, what do you think the strength of the storm was when the admin considered the possibility of levy breaches. The storm hit at a 3, at which case the levies were supposed to hold. At 4 and up they would breach.

    Also, it’s kind of odd that AP and MSNBC are pushing this while Bush is away in India.

  2. Let me get this right. A ‘poll’ whose methodology and process are somewhat cloudy [who did you ask, how many told you to -off, how did you create a random sampling?], compared to the very open record accounting by the services on their reelistments [since reenlistments are at record level, for peacetime or wartime, and are highest among units which served in the line in Iraq], should cause anyone with a bit of common sense to know that something is total inconsistant. Do I buy into a ‘poll’ or do I buy into hard numbers? Doesn’t anyone in MSM have a clue?

  3. This a little off the track in not being about Zogby but,rather, the CBS poll from a couple of days ago. That poll made big hay about the President being at 40% in job approval ratings. That same poll had the Congress at 28%. This is the same relative case in all of these political job ratings polls.

    Therefore, the money story is “Public Uniformly Disgusted with the Way the Federal Government is Doing it’s Job”. With that true statement as the overall meme, perhaps something useful could begin to happen in Foggy Bottom that would restore some faith in the American electorate.

    I long for the days of D.P Moynihan and Alan Simpson.

  4. Others have observed that one point this poll seemed to make was that the soldiers thought we could get the job done if we ramped up the number of soldiers. I wondered if they would rather withdraw only if we aren’t going to pour in enough of our troops to whip Iraq into shape.

  5. Zogby’s brother is the head of the American Arab Institute. The Saudis are heavily involved. You do the math.

  6. One other option on the withdrawal question. With the accelerated pace of battlespace handover, these troops may be seeing that they won’t be needed a year from now. With the Iraqi army performing above expectations in the aftermath of the Golden Mosque attack, withdrawing a year from now may *be* “as long as we’re needed”. In any case, so long as the Iraqis don’t have to cede battlespace back to the Coalition and the Coalition continues to hand it to the Iraqis, we’re well on our way to getting out with a victory, whether the pollsters and the MSM admit it or not.

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