Re: OT: The Surge
- From: "The Librarian" <zootwoman@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 8 Jan 2007 21:06:12 -0800
The Military Times newspapers polled their readers -- active duty
subscribers to their papers -- and found that (surprise!) they don't
want to see the war escalated.
It has now been four days since the Military Times released its annual
poll of active duty troops. The poll, which came out last Friday,
contained some striking findings: It found that for the first time,
more military personnel disapprove of President Bush's handling of the
Iraq war than approve of it.
But there's a more important number in the poll. It also found that
only 38 percent of the troops think there should be more troops in Iraq
than there are now -- in other words, only 38 percent support an
escalation. By contrast, 39 percent of respondents think there should
be the same or less troops there.
Also in the poll:
Only 35 percent approve of Bush's handling of the war. 42 percent
Only 41 percent think the US should've gone to war with Iraq in the
first place, down from 65 percent in 2003.
Finally, there's this amazing bit:
In the three previous polls, nearly 60 percent of the respondents
identi fied themselves as Republicans, which is about double the popula
tion as a whole. But in this year's poll, only 46 percent of the mili
tary respondents said they were Republicans. However, there was not a
big gain in those identifying themselves as Democrats - a figure that
consistently hovers around 16 percent. The big gain came among people
who said they were independents.
Now the poll isn't of rank-and-file soldiers. As they explain:
The results should not be read as representative of the military as a
whole; the survey's respondents are on average older, more
experienced, more likely to be officers and more career-oriented than
the overall mil itary population.
In other words, we're talking about the most conservative segment of
the military. These are lifers.
But back to the poll's numbers on escalation -- they've of course been
ignored by the media. No one has mentioned them.
Here's why this is an astonishingly derelict performance: These very
same news orgs all lavished extensive coverage on another, completely
unscientific measure of the troops' opinions of a "surge." A couple of
weeks back, Defense Secretary Robert Gates convened a photo-op sitdown
with around a dozen troops to listen to their opinions. Myseriously,
all of those assembled agreed that they wanted more troops. The
thoughts of this handful of soldiers was granted extensive coverage by
The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, CNN and
Yet now those same news orgs are refusing to deem it newsworthy when
nearly 1,000 active duty troops -- the number that responded to the
poll -- offer their opinions and make it clear that there's little
support for a "surge" among the military personnel surveyed. Does this
poll represent a perfectly scientific measure of what the military
thinks on this question? No -- but it's without question the best thing
we've seen yet.
The survey of the views of military men and women is dependent on who
answered the survey. Because the people who answered the survey tended
to be older, longer-serving, and in the senior ranks, it is not
representative of the military as a whole, no matter what the sample
Nevertheless, assuming that the sample who answered previous surveys
was similar in composition, the identified trends (fewer respondents
identifying as Republican, fewer supporting the war) is the most
important point addressed in the article.
In interpreting the results, one also might want to ask: "Are these
respondents not more likely to be opinion leaders and trendsetters
since these are the men and women with the most experience and the
greatest commitment to a military career?"
This is an important survey because of what it says about troop morale,
a huge factor in any successful war. It suggests that our troops are
questioning more and more the rationale for the war. (And why shouldn't
they? Even with the Pentagon-sponsored news blackout in Iraq &
Afghanistan, the truth is out: every rationale provided by Bush/Cheney
& minions for attacking Iraq has been shown to be false. Moreover,
Bush/Cheney no longer have a clear military objective (assuming they
once had one.))
The other point, which wasn't in the original article but I have seen
reported elsewhere, is that the escalation is going to take place by
increasing the length of tours of duty (which of course is just about
the only way it could be done since there is not a spare group of
10,000-30,000 troops). Obviously, soldiers and marines who have already
done multiple tours in Iraq are going to have a problem with that.
Moreover, lengthy deployments are likely to lead to greater casualities
given the simple factor of fatigue, not to mention all the other
reports we are hearing about PTSD, etc.
Bush's incompetence, ignorance, and arrogance knows no bounds. He is
systematically destroying the ability of our military to defend this
country. He couldn't do a better job of weakening us if he was on the
payroll of Al-Qaeda.
- Re: OT: The Surge
- From: timepixdc
- Re: OT: The Surge