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August 23, 2006



I think that's a terrible measure of whether Iraqis want the US to pull out. The question should be whether they want the troops to leave, not whether they support their presence. Of course they don't, who would support the presence of an occupying army?


That's a distinction without a difference. Ask any crime victim, does he want the intruder to simply stop pointing the gun at him and quit stuffing his belongings into a big black bag or does he want him to leave the premises too?

As ought to be amply evident by now 135,000 US troops can't stop 25 million people from killing each other if they want to. Whether we stay another 10 years or start leaving tomorrow the outcome will be the same. They are having a nasty internecine war that will likely rachet up in our wake for a short time and then finally settle down all sides agree that killing each other doesn't solve their problems. The longer we stay the longer it takes them all to realize that. In the meantime many more people die so George Bush can try to once again dodge responsibility just as he's always done. I hope historians are as kind to him as he's been to Iraq.


It's not a distinction without a difference at all. This isn't about George Bush or Iraq or anything else, it's just about solid research methodology. I'm saying that if you want to find out whether a group of people wants X to stop, you have to ask them "do you want X to stop?" Not, "do you like X," or "are you against X?" Those are related, but different, questions. It's entirely possible for me to be against X and dislike X while simultaneously wanting X to occur (or continue) because I believe that the likely alternatives are even worse. Ask the question you want answered, not another one about the same topic.

Arthur Davidson Ficke

Wow. Those numbers are encouraging. I wonder if that shows some level of confidence on the part of the Iraqis that they are ready to handle their own security?

A couple of other encouraging things to point out: according to the original data on the referenced page, the number of Muslims that would like to see religion separated from politics has risen over the past two years from 36% to 55%, and among Kurds in particular from 41% to 65%.

"Democracy as ideal system" has grown from 42% to 58%, and national identity as Iraqis has grown from 30% to 62%.

Also, it's interesting that a public opinion poll can be conducted in Iraq at all given the chaos that we always hear about.

In my mind it doesn't matter if they like the Americans right now or not; they sorts of opinions that these polls show emerging are exactly what was hoped for when the coalition first went in.

Good luck Iraq!



I think you made an excellent point. I do remember reading an Iraqi poll a year ago and the same people who opposed presence of american troops in Iraq answered negatively when asked if they want american troops to leave. I am also suprised about high numbers of Kurds opposed to the presence of american troops on their territory.

the aardvark

Adam - I think you're right, to a point. Tessler and Moaddel didn't go out looking for an answer to the question "should the US withdraw?" If they had, they would have asked it differently. The question reported in Table 3 was only one part of a massive, NSF-funded study asking a long battery of questions about identity, politics, religion, and more. At the same time, it's not so terrible a proxy for the question at hand, either - it wasn't a question about who should win the American League pennant, interpreted as something to do with Iraq. It's the best data we've got relevant to the question at hand, even if it isn't perfect.

Five Percent Nation

markg8 said: I'm saying that if you want to find out whether a group of people wants X to stop, you have to ask them "do you want X to stop?" Not, "do you like X," or "are you against X?"

Except the question wasn't "do you *like* the coalition forces," it was "do you *support or oppose the presence of* coalition forces in Iraq?"

Over 90% answered that they *opposed the presence* of coalition forces. If that doesn't mean "we want them to leave," then what else could it mean?

Dean Esmay

It means exactly what it says: they don't like the troops there.

However, every single survey I've seen--and I've seen more than one--that asks the question properly, as in, "How soon do you think coalition forces should leave?" has shown that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis give some variation of "not right away." They give answers ranging from a few months to a few years, typically.

These people are not stupid you know. They know what will happen if we leave--a REAL civil war, and not just the isolated hot spots of ethnic conflict now.

Bush is right to say the Iraqi people don't want us to leave--at least, not immediately.

Furthermore, their elected government, which does have popular support, ALSO has made it clear they don't want us to leave.

The survey question is a joke. Bush is correct.


For my money, the question about the American League would make a better proxy. Less misleading, at least.

the aardvark

Hey, I already said upthread that this obviously wasn't a perfect measure - since the researchers didn't set out to answer this question, they didn't directly ask it. That said, if you are seriously arguing that the question "do you support or oppose the presence of coalition troops" tells us nothing important about whether Iraqis want coalition troops in Iraq, I guess we'll just have to respectfully disagree.


It might be interesting to compare percentages of responses to the different formulations of these questions, perhaps even in existing polls, though they may not tell you how the question sounded in Arabic. For example, "support" could be tad`am, rather tu'ayyid, which would imply active support, wouldn't it? I was listening just recently to some fellow on "Shar`iya wal-hayat" ranting with fine balagha about "al-shi`a al-kha'ina" in Iraq. Heady stuff.

the aardvark

Michael - that's a good question - I'll try and find out what the Arabic wording of the question was.

Ben P

"The survey question is a joke. Bush is correct."

Yep, we still need more "sound science" before we reach a definitive conclusion on global warming, too.


Lets see, now if I come to your country and murder your neighbors, torture some of your family members, kill you children, and smash everything to smithereens, do you think I would still be welcome? Apparently some people here are stupid enough to think the answer would be yes, we still like you and want you to protect us, yeah, right. No wonder this country is the laughing stock of the world.

clarence swinney

"I'm a Recovering Drunk"
My interpretation of this statement by Bush to a group of recovering addicts in Iowa.
"I'm on a Walk just like you and it is a never ending Walk as far as I'm concerned"

Here is validation of that remark. No sober person would say these things.BUSH WAFFLE HOUSE
“I say what I mean and mean what I say”
“ Promises made-Promises kept”
“When I make up my mind it stays made up”
“I do not take cues from anyone”
“You can’t say one thing and do another”
“Trust me I’m a straight shooter”
“I’m the commander, I don’t need to explain, I do not need to explain why I do things”
“I need a WAR to be a successful president”
“A Leader never admits mistakes”
“I’m the Decider and I decide what is best”. God Bless the King!
“Lucky Me, I hit the Trifecta”
“God told me to attack the terrorists in Iraq to keep them from attacking us”.
Exact words of Hitler except he said Poland not Iraq.
“I’m a Recovering Drunk” said Bush. Judy Keen USA Today12-29-05

1.Osama Bin Laden is my number one priority. (at least this week)

2. We need an Office of Strategic Influence (Next decade maybe)

3. I will follow the UN Resolution as long as it takes-10-27-02
10-31-02—The UN needs to act now
2-13-03—The UN needs to show courage (like I did during Vietnam.)

4. I am a strong believer in Fair Trade—(except steel and softwood lumber) (votes first)

Ed Crane—Co-Founder and President of The Cato Institute-“Everything this
Administration does is political”

5. We do not need for the Homeland Security Department to be a Cabinet position.
I made up my mind on it. Boston Globe—6-9-02 “Bush Flip Flop”

6. I will get Osama Bin Laden “Dead or Alive”—(go get em cowboy)—5-13-02-(“I don’t know where he is, I have no idea and I really don’t care.) (It’s not that important. It’s not out first priority”) (“I say what I mean”). (“When I make up my mind it stays made up”).

7. I will use the bully pulpit with OPEC. (Sic em bulldog my gas now 1.65 per gallon)
Supply went down and Prices went up and (“This is just the Free Market at Work”)

8. I will never apologize to the Chinese for “stealing our plane”. Please guys! Be nice.
Return our plane. “I regret it” was later comment.

9. I mean what I say—“We can expect an attack”. Each month warning. When BOY?

10. Wash. Post-2-8-03—Bush seeking a promise from IRAN (Evil) for humanitarian help
in event a slaughter is done in Afghan. (Sounds like Reagan?)

11. NYT-1-23-03—Bush (Man of steel will) “rescinding” old policy and implementing a new policy that allows managed care organizations to limit and restrict coverage of emergency services for poor people on Medicaid. This was after criticizing HMOs for refusal to allow treatment. If this is a Devout Christian I am Jesus Christ.

12. We will not negotiate with North Korea. Wash Post 1-16-03—Bush is now willing to consider agricultural and energy aid. (Hold on! This is EVIL of axis)

13.Individual investors who borrow money to buy dividend-paying stocks should be penalized. (Gosh! What did I say—I did not mean it) NYT 2-5-03

14. I mean what I say until yelling starts. Military pay increase of 2% then 4%.
Stars & Stripes-12-30-02—Bush asked Defense Dept. to lower the announced pay raise for the military from 3.7% to 2%. Congress finally got 4 in 2004 budget.

“I am tired of all the Lying and Deception”—Amen! Halleluiah! Then stop it Boy.

15.I mean what I say—I am the education president. Please. First budget increased by 1.5% which had averaged 5% increase per year over five years. (Sounds like Clinton was the educated educator to me.)

16.Wash Post-12-2-02—In June 2002 Bush promised 500 Million to fight mother-child transmission of Aids . In Aug he vetoed the first transfer of the 500 million. In 111 days since his promise 222,000 babies have been infected with Aids. (I wonder if Jesus Christ is tossing in his bed)

17.“Secretary O’Neill is doing a good job. The economy is improving. I have faith in him”. (Your faith lasts two weeks boy)

18.The Homeland Security Bio-Terrorism Bill is too expensive. I will veto it. An Ok is not a veto boy.
(I mean what I say” but maybe I will not this time.)

19. I do not approve of an Independent Investigation of 9-11. (“I mean what I say” but—yelling is too loud).

20.I am against international money laundering controls. (9-11—“I changed my steel mind”) They may catch daddy.

21.We will have major social security changes. Wash Post. 11-11-01—Andrew Card on Meet the Press on 11-10-02 “I am not sure we will reform it” This was a Centerpiece of his campaign..

22.-12-30-02—We will not tolerate a North Korean nuclear arsenal. (Act nice guys if you want our $$$)

23.We do not hit civilian targets(in Afghan). There is no evidence. (Red Cross building not civilian—Veterans Hospital is military—Warlord Party heading to Kabul to celebrate was armed with .22 rifles—Wedding Party was violent and firing in the air at our planes 20,000 feet above them)

24.Wash Posr-11-15-02—“If you are not happy with the administration’s policy toward Iraq at any given moment just wait a week or two. A new policy, more to your liking, is bound to appear”.

A. Go it alone week
B. Let us wait for UN week
C. “Regime change” is goal
D. remove wmd is goal
E. Secretary of State is nor speaking for the president
F. Attorney General is not speaking for the administration.
G. I am sick and tired of this waffling and waiting.

25.Steel Tariff—I really did not mean that much. I angered some people. Reduce it.
(When I make up my mind it stays made up)

26.Carbon Dioxide is a power plant pollutant I will control.. (Oh! It will be too costly to my energy contributors so forget it suckers—cough cough)

27.Reuters-6-26-02—‘I have confidence in the Palestinians when they understand we are saying they must make the right decisions”—“I can assure you we will not be putting money into a society which is not transparent and which is corrupt”.
(Was he referring to his administration? Sounds like it—transparent—corrupt)

28.I am against human cloning in any form. (well, not quite “any”)

29.“I knew nothing about dangers of 9-11”. Eight months later. “I knew a damn bunch (but I was too busy on Vacation and looking for more to blame on that President who stomped my dad. Darn it is tough being dumb, inarticulate and following such a brain and great success)

30.“I am in excellent physical condition.” (Darn, staying up till midnight in Paris zapped all my energy—Boy—try conditioning your mind))

31.I am on top of everything. (Why did you say twice on TV—“I am not in control the Pentagon is running the War (Afghan)—You have a White House base—same as Al Qaeda. Only more secretive)

32.I will veto bill increasing benefits for disabled military retirees (Yep! He was war hero.. 6-20-02 in Wash Post. I do not change my mind. Until 2004 Budget).

33.-6-14-02—released 23,653 of ”cherry picked” Reagan papers after refusing to do it. “When I make up my mind it stays made up” Is this BOY real ?”

34.I mean what I say—‘I will provide 100 million to help preserve the Rain Forest” 12M is not 100. And he has MBA.

35.Budgeted funds for his dad’s Crusader cannon then demanded that Congress kill the big sucker.

36. Airline Security is very important to me. Then, why did you fight so hard to keep guns out of cockpits?

37.Barred part-time Mexican and Canadian students from U.S. schools after 9-11. Then, after howls reversed his decision. “When I make up my mind”

38.Simon (candidate for Gov. of California). “He is a breath of fresh air.”
Bush sho hated that California Smog for he avoided Simon while in his presence.

39.“I will not engage in bailing out countries.” 30 billion to Brazil just a tip?

40.NY Times-Richard Stevenson-2-14-03—“Bush eases Ban on AIDS money to pro-abortion groups abroad.What will he tell Falwell?

41.-March 6—“We will call for a UN Security Council vote.” Geo. Bush
March 13—“There may be no vote” Colin Powell
NY TIMES-“Bush promises to adopt peace plan”. The Guardian-“Bush reversed his previous insistence that the Middle East Peace effort must wait till after Iraq SLAUGHTERAMA

42.NY TIMES--Edmund L. Andrwews-2-26-03—Less than a month after President Bush proposed a radical overhaul and expansion of individual retirement and savings account the White House has abandoned their idea. (“When I make up my mind it stays made up”) (“Promises made promises kept”) (“I say what I mean and mean what I say”)


43. NY Times-Patrick e. Tyler-5-17-03—“In reversal, plan for Iraqi self rule by June 1 put off indefinitely. “When I make up my mind(scorched?) it stays made up”? Sho!

44.BIG WAFFLE—Washington Post-8-19-03-Dana Milbank & Bradley Graham—
“Bush revises view on combat in Iraq”.---May I on USS Desertion he said-- “Combat Operations are over”.. Now—“Actually, Major military operations continue because we still have combat operations going on”. Is this boy of scorched brain or what?

45. TEACH FOR AMERICA PROGRAM ZAPPED BY BUSH. I am pissed off. Big time. In 2000 campaign Bush promised President Wendy Koop to expand it. His aides asked President Wendy Koop to quadruple it. . On July 11,2003 she got a letter “We regret to inform you your application was not selected for funding”. Gone. Zapped totally. Bush is one of sorriest not just worst in history. Read TIME—8-17-03. Joe Klein article headed “WHO KILLED TEACH FOR AMERICA”? Sorry, but I am so furious I have difficulty writing. I do not like to curse but xxxxxxx.

45.OBL not priority or is he?

A 9-13-01—“The most important thing is for us to find Osama Bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him”.
B. 9-17-01—I want justice. Wanted :Dead or alive.”

C 12-28-01—“Listen awhile ago I said to the American people our objective is more than Bin Laden—Press pool in chapel on ranch

D. 3-13-02 “I am truly not that concerned about him. ”The New American 4-8-02

E. 3-13-02—“I don’t know where Bin Laden is. I have no idea and I really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” Wow!

46. Bush told bob Woodward in his book “Bush War” that “he didn’t feel that sense of urgency” about Al Qaeda prior to 9-11”. Now claims had great sense of urgency.

47.Nov 2003 Bush made highly touted speech about spreading democracy in the entire Middle East. NYT reported he backed away after it was denounced by Egypt Mubarak and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

48. 2-2-04 Budget Director Bolton-“we will not need additional funds for 04.”
5-5-04 Bush “I am requesting that Congress establish a 25 Billion contingency reserve ”

49. 3-9-04 Press Secretary McClellan-“Condoleeza Rice will not testify before 9-11 commission it is matter of principle.” President Bush on 3-30-94 “Dr. Rice will testify.”

50. 3-19-02 Ari Fleischer-“Creating a Cabinet Office will not solve the problem.”
6-6-02 President Bush “Tonight I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single permanent department securing the homeland of America.”

51. NYT 1-29-04 “Bush resists outside investigation on WMD intelligence failure.”
2-6-04 Bush “Today, by executive order, I am creating an independent commission, to look at American intelligence capabilities.”

52. Wash Post-1-19-04-“Bush opposes extension of time for 9-11 commission.”
CNN-2-4-04---“Bush supports time extension for 9-11 commission.”

53.NYTimes 2-26-04-Bush limits testimony to one hour.”
Spokesman McClellan-3-10-04 “Bush sets no time limit for testimony.”

54.Larry King Live 2-15-00 Bush says Gay Marriage is a state issue.
2-24-04-Bush “Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, an amendment to our constitution defining andprot4cting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife.”

55. 3-6-03 Bush vows to have a UN vote no matter what 3-18-03-Wash Post-“Bush withdraws request for UN vote.”

56. Columbia Journalism Review—Bush vetoed Patients Bill Of Rights as Governor but boasted how he got it passed. Now, flip flop to double straddle. He touted the Texas law as super duper.
When a challenge to the Texas Law went before Supreme Court Bush joined with two HMO’s in opposing the law. Could it be because the HMO’s are Pioneers in his campaign. Doesn’t this man have any honor or integrity?

57.Remove troops from Korea. A proposal by Cheney. Bush on 3-13-02 “There is no question we have obligations around the world, which we will keep. There is a major obligation for the 37,000 troops in South Korea. It is an obligation that is an important obligation. I know it is important and we will keep that obligation.
US Newswire-8-19-04.

58. Speech in Michigan 8-16-04—“We have got to use our resources wisely, like water
It starts with keeping the Great Lakes water in the Great Lakes Basin.. My position is clear : we are never going to allow diversion of Great Lakes water.”
Per Associated Press in July 2001 Bush said “I want to talk to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien about piping Great Lakes water to the west and southwest. A lot of people don’t need the water, but when you head South and West, we do need it.”
AP 7-19-01—White House release 7-17-01 “remarks by the President in Roundtable interview with Foreign Press.

59. Cheney in Elko, Nevada 8-14-04 “Kerry recommended sensitivity for terrorists. No war was ever won by sensitivity”. Interview with Hugh Hewitt—8-12-04—“From the standpoint of the shrine (Najah), obviously it is a sensitive area, and we are very much aware of it’s sensitivity.” The Daily Howler-8-17-04

60. NYTimes-8-31-04---
April 13,2004—“Can you ever win the war on terror? Of course you can.”
July 19,2004----“I have a clear vision and a strategy to win the war on terror.”
August 30,2004—“I don’t think you can win the war on terror”
“I say what I Mean and Mean what I say”
“When I make up my mind it stays made up.”

61. March 5,2000—on CBS Face the Nation—Independent group attacking his opponent John McCain---Bush said: ‘That is what freedom of speech is all about. People have the right to do what they want to do, under the-under the First Amendment in America.

August 23,2004 Bush said: “the practice of independent groups to run smear ads is bad for the system. They should be banned. ”Never heard of Swift Boat?

62. Bush said over and over in late 2005—“I will veto the McCain Bill on Torture”
The Bill passed overwhelmingly in Congress and old --“When I make up my Mind it stays made up” --said “This is a great bill and I will sign it”.

63. Many times Bush stated “I will not negotiate with terrorists”. Many times he called Iraq insurgents “terrorists”. Newsweek-2-6-06—Military leaders admit they are in negotiations with “Insurgents”.
Ho! Hum! Just another day in Bush Waffle House.

64. Speech in LA—Belliaco—Peter Fredson—4-24-06
Bush—“I know peoplehere are suffering at the gas pump. I feel your pain. I Pledge to the people here f I find any price gouging it will be dealt with firmly

He did not note the simple obvious. Exxon demand is down but PROFITS are at all time high for any corporation.

65. National Anthem in Spanish—Bush says it is wrong. In 2001 Campaign he had singers sing it in Spanish and applauded them.
“When I make up my mind it stays made up.”

66. “A leader never Admits mistakes”
Press conference with Blair in 6-06 Is he normal?
“I regret saying “Bring Em On” and “Get OBL Dead Or Alive”

67. 4-9-99-Bush said-“Victory means exit strategy and it’s important for the president to tell us what the strategy is”
6-5-99—Bush said—“I think it’s also important to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn”
6-24-95—Bush said—“It doesn’t make any sense to have a timetable. You know, if you give a timetable you’re-you’re conceding too much to the enemy”.
“I say what I Mean and Mean what I say”. Moogumboo.
68. Bush at Twin Towers—“I take a sacred vow that we will never stop looking for Osama Bin Laden”
7-5-06—Osama Bin Laden Search Group disbanded by Bush.
(I say what I Mean and Mean what I say
69.Bush Press Conference on Lebanon crisis—8-06-Chris Elliott seaboard on line
”I’m not prejudiced. As a matter of fact Dick Cheney’s daughter is Lebanese. I think a marriage should be between a man and a woman not a woman and a man.” So clear George! Snort! Snort!


clarence swinney
political historian
lifeaholics of america
burlington nc

These inane comments explain this comment Bush made in 2000 campaign to a group of recovering addicts in Iowa:

“I’m on a Walk just like you. It is a never ending Walk as far as I’m concerned.

Is anyone treating him?

Professor Smartass

Reporters should ask Bush how ignoring the opinion of the majority of Iraqis, Arabs, Americans, and even US troops is teaching anyone democracy.

Unfortunately, a lot of Democrats are afraid to address this too because they don't want to earn the wrath of the oil companies that are the only ones happy about us having invaded.

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