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Old 05-11-2004, 11:37 AM   #1
Lurikeen
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Default Iraq War not so popular anymore.

Poll: War opposition up amid Iraqi abuse scandal
Posted on Tuesday, May 11 @ 10:21:01 EDT

By John Ritter, USA TODAY

Americans say they're disgusted and embarrassed by the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of grinning U.S. troops. The soldiers' behavior at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, captured so vividly in photographs, is inexcusable to an overwhelming majority of the public.

So offensive is the scandal that it appears to be having a profound impact on public opinion about the war. For the first time, a majority of Americans say they're dissatisfied with President Bush's performance, and 58% disapprove of his handling of the situation in Iraq, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. (Related item: Poll results)

The poll finds war opposition growing since news of the prisoner abuse broke 12 days ago: More than half of Americans 54% vs. 47% just a week ago now say going to war was "not worth it." But 54% say it wasn't a mistake to send troops in the first place. Polling experts explain the difference this way: Americans are often reluctant to call something a mistake when U.S. troops are involved.



Regardless, nearly half 48% consider the news about the prison incidents a major setback to the U.S. mission in Iraq.

Prisoner abuse could become a pivotal event in turning public opinion against the war just as the disastrous 1968 Tet offensive galvanized Americans against the Vietnam War. Nearly half of those polled 47% think the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, up 10 percentage points since mid-April.

"This war was already wobbling in a state of ambiguity, and I think these photos and this incident really were a tipping-point moment," says Orville Schell, dean of the journalism school at the University of California-Berkeley.

Americans clearly abhor the prison images: 79% say they're bothered by the abuse, 71% consider the incidents serious offenses, 79% say they violated policy and 73% see no circumstances under which such conduct is justified. More than 8 in 10 believe U.S. soldiers have higher standards of behavior than soldiers from other countries.

Still, most think the abuses were isolated instances of soldiers acting on their own. While 83% say the soldiers who carried out the abuse are most to blame, 42% assign at least some responsibility to President Bush. But only 29% think he should fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

In interviews across the nation from affluent La Jolla, Calif., to an Arab-American enclave in Paterson, N.J. people say they're appalled by images of troops gloating over naked Iraqi POWs.

"People our age are going over there and dying, being put in awful situations, because we have an awful president who put them there," says Milie Joshi, 19, a sophomore women's studies major at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. But her friend, Gigi Tucker, 19, a French major, says troops "get carried away" in war zones. "In a situation where you've been sent to kill people, stuff happens," she says.

A string of bad news

The poll comes at the end of a rough week at the White House. April was the deadliest month yet for American troops in Iraq. War costs are soaring by tens of billions of dollars. The administration still isn't sure who'll take power in Baghdad after the June 30 U.S. handover. And more photos and video footage of prisoner abuse are expected to become public.

Some see that as a glass half full. "This will be a short story unless there's some sort of cover-up," says Peter Brookes, a senior fellow for national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation. "If you step back, there's been tremendous progress. Most Iraqis are going on with their lives. The country is not up in flames."

John Cimino, 48, an unemployed Navy veteran in Colorado Springs, agrees that the incidents were a "bump in the road" and spoke for many when he said: "There will always be a small group of individuals that will bypass the chain of command."

The images are jarring to Army Sgt. Jason Rogers, an Arabic-speaking interpreter who dealt with both civilians and combatants during his year of duty in Iraq.

"I left Iraq feeling I had witnessed the most professional and compassionate army," says Rogers, 28, of Detroit. "I never saw anything like this. Nothing but professionalism."

He acknowledges that it will be harder now for Iraqis "to give their hearts and minds" to their American liberators. "Saddam was a monster. The Iraqi people are not unaccustomed to abuse," adds Rogers, who is due to leave the Army in another month. "But to hear it done by Americans ... it breaks my heart."

Two Navy veterans scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean near San Diego also have misgivings.

"I'm a former troop myself. But if I were a prisoner, I sure wouldn't want to be treated like that," says Gil Miranda, 33, of nearby La Jolla. Miranda and friend Dave Sekhon say that if soldiers were ordered to mistreat prisoners, refusing to comply would have been difficult, but not impossible.

"The worst thing you can do to morale is to go against the chain of command," says Sekhon, 28, of Oceanside, Calif. "You do have the right to question, and in this situation, there should have been questions asked."

Debating the next step

While some say the prison photos have hardened their opposition to the war, others are wary of a pullout. "It would be very damaging to the U.S. internationally to pull out immediately," says Vietnam-born Thanh Nguyen, 33, a graduate student in finance at Vanderbilt. "They need to correct what's been done before they pull out, as opposed to sending the troops home and almost admitting a mistake or failure to accomplish anything."

But Mary Lou Locke, 54, who teaches history at a community college outside San Diego, is more troubled by the prison incidents than by atrocities in the Vietnam War "because at least what happened in Vietnam was in the heat of battle. What's even more appalling is that I can tell the administration didn't take it seriously until it became public."

Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, says the military's image could suffer. "Whatever people's attitudes toward the war had been, they had a very favorable attitude toward U.S. troops," he says. "And this comes as a shock."

In interviews, some insist that the U.S. soldiers' behavior paled next to Saddam Hussein's treatment of his own prisoners or the killings of four American contractors by Iraqi insurgents.

Jeanie Walker, 20, a sales clerk in a boutique in Colorado Springs, near the Army's sprawling Fort Carson, says the abuse is disgraceful but "it blows my mind" that grisly images of a mob killing the four Americans in Fallujah March 31 didn't get the same explicit airing in the media.

"If we're going to show our soldiers pointing guns at naked men, why not show what they've done to us?" Walker says. "I went on the Internet and saw the pictures (of the Fallujah mob), cutting our men, limb from limb, for no reason. You don't see that on Fox or CNN."

But most Americans "don't judge ourselves on the same basis of what Saddam does," Kohut says. "No American would say, 'Well, look what he did,' because we're different."

The prison abuse is the talk of Paterson, the nation's second-largest Arab-American community. "Saddam Hussein was bad and the Americans are just as bad that's the consensus of the neighborhood," says Abraham Halaad, 58. A Turkish-American and U.S. Army veteran, he disagrees: the United States should stay the course.

But many of Paterson's 20,000 Arab-Americans want the United States to withdraw. "We were there to get Saddam," says Chad Hato, 32, who was raised in Jordan. "Saddam's gone. Leave them alone. Let them do democracy their way."

Hani Awadallah, of Clifton, N.J., a chemistry professor at Montclair State University and president of the Arab American Civic Organization, says the scandal reinforces his perception of U.S. action in Iraq "as an illegal war against the will of the international community."

"I love this country," says Awadallah, who was born in Jerusalem and has been in the USA for 37 years. "No question about it. But we are very misguided."


*Edited length of article to fit on page.

Reprinted from USA TODAY:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...ll-cover_x.htm
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Old 05-11-2004, 12:10 PM   #2
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They may have to pull off their October Surprise now. Be a good time to catch OBL.


Oh, this was about the war being unpopular now? What a pity.
Guess the majority of people think Bum was right after all.
Hey cons, how does it feel to be in the minority again?

THE TRUTH SHALL ALWAYS PREVAIL!!!!!!
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Old 05-11-2004, 12:34 PM   #3
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LOL!! I guess when the polls were showing support for the war you were afraid to post that.

When the numbers go back up are you going to post those numbers?
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:12 PM   #4
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Flub, what makes you think the numbers will go back up?
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:17 PM   #5
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I called Dionne Warwick and she told me.
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Flub Man
I called Dionne Warwick and she told me.
Why would you call her for phone sex? Like'em "mature" huh?
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:23 PM   #7
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Damn right!! You have obviously never had a 'gum job'.
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:29 PM   #8
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I thought John Ritter was dead
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:33 PM   #9
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He is. And he put me in charge of taking care of his daughter
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:00 PM   #10
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Fool! That is John Ritter in drag!

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Old 05-11-2004, 02:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
Fool! That is John Ritter in drag!

I know!!
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:22 PM   #12
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Fool! That is John Ritter in drag!
Conservatives Don't Do Nuance.
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:50 PM   #13
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What's next for you, Flub.... this?


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Old 05-11-2004, 06:23 PM   #14
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After the beheading of an American contractor, the rateings would go way up if we went in and leveled certain places in Iraq. I hope Bush and company are aware of this now!
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Old 05-11-2004, 06:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bumblefuck
They may have to pull off their October Surprise now. Be a
good time to catch OBL.
The only surprise you're receiving is a demotion for stupidity.

Originally Posted by Caelie123
I hope Bush and company are aware of this now!
The libs are Caelie. Very aware. And the October Surprise bumblefuck speaks of
is a pipe dream conspirasy thats been dispelled by every human being capable
of thinking.



God Bless America
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Old 05-11-2004, 07:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Vireil
What's next for you, Flub.... this?


Naw, with shim(she/him) there posing in for PETA. I'm afraid shim might not be a meat eater.
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Old 05-11-2004, 07:31 PM   #17
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After the beheading of an American contractor, the rateings would go way up if we went in and leveled certain places in Iraq. I hope Bush and company are aware of this now!
If we do that, they win.

They do something horrific, and we do something horrific in return. Brilliant plan: Let's become the animals some of us are so quick to accuse them of being.
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:38 PM   #18
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They do something horrific, and we do something horrific in return

That should read....

They do something horrific, and we do something pretty bad...







* Sorry Flub... My mistake... carnivores only. I should know better.
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:47 PM   #19
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Yeah, cuz killing civilians in the process of "Leveling certain places in Iraq" is just peanuts compared to beheading one civilian U.S. contractor on video.

Silly me.
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Old 05-11-2004, 09:08 PM   #20
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It feels kinda weird saying "popular" when talking about a war.

I feel like we're justified in being in Iraq, but I don't always agree with the ways we go about accomplishing our goals. In spite of the fact that I consider my beliefs to be largely conservative, I'm certainly not sitting here just thrilled that we're at war with another country.

Whether we were justified or not...whether we accomplish our goals or not...war is still ugly, lives are still lost, and we still participated. I don't think anyone, in spite of political affiliation, is particularly happy that we're at war.
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Old 05-12-2004, 05:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brigiid
In spite of the fact that I consider my beliefs to be largely conservative, I'm certainly not sitting here just thrilled that we're at war with another country.
Careful, you'll lose your membership card!
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Old 05-12-2004, 05:43 AM   #22
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If we were still at "War", fighting it like a "War", it would be a different story. This policing up/mopping up, is killing our resolve and morale.
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Old 05-12-2004, 05:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Felessan
This policing up/mopping up, is killing our resolve and morale.
Not to mention our soldiers.
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Old 05-12-2004, 06:20 AM   #24
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Fanon, we ARE all just animals, deal with it!
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Old 05-12-2004, 06:35 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune
Not to mention our soldiers.
Indeed...though if it was still a "War"...the ROE would be different and there would be far less deaths on or side.
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