The Latest Misleading Poll From The Media

New poll reflects growing U.S. worry over Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new survey shows the U.S. public is unhappy with U.S. handling of Iraq and with how the Bush administration deals with the Muslim world in general.

The latest poll reflects a growing disquiet seen in other recent surveys over U.S. involvement in Iraq and a dip in President George W. Bush’s overall job approval rating.

The poll, to be published in next month’s edition of Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, found nearly six in 10 Americans were worried about the outcome of the war in Iraq.

Nearly 60% of Americans are worried about Iraq. Why is that news? Talk about a useless poll result…

What does it really tell us? I have, since the beginning, been four-square in favor of the war in Iraq…but I’d probably fall into the 60% of people who are worried about the outcome, because I am worried about it. I worry about the terrorist attacks over there. I worry about our soldiers getting killed by IED’s. I worry about the success of the new Iraqi government. I worry about the Iraqi security forces. None of this means that I think we’re doing a poor job over there, I just worry about it. The only thing that surprises me about this 60% figure is that its not 100%. How can you be an American right now and not be worried about our troops in the middle east?

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And, given this below, where does Reuters get off saying that this poll reflects “growing” worry over Iraq?

“Soon the grumbling may become too loud for the Bush administration to ignore,” wrote Daniel Yankelovich, who heads Public Agenda, a nonprofit research group that did the poll for the council. It is the first in a new “foreign policy index” to be conducted every six months.

This is the first in a series of polls. It can’t, by definition, show a trend. For all we know this poll would have shown that 60% of Americans were worried about Iraq the day after we invaded. There are no previous polls in this series to base a trend on, thus saying there is “growing” worry about Iraq and using this poll to back that claim up is beyond misleading to the point of being a flat-out lie.

And the confusing nature of this poll doesn’t stop there.

Asked whether the United States was meeting its objectives in Iraq, 56 percent in the poll said the United States was not while 39 percent said it was.

If you’re asked this question: “Is the United States meeting its objectives in Iraq?”

How do you answer with a yes or a no? Its a complicated question. We haven’t met all of the objectives in Iraq yet because the mission isn’t complete. There are still things to be done. Security forces to train. Government administration to set up. If you answer yes to the question you make it sound as though the mission is over, which it isn’t, and we can go home. If you answer no you make it shoud as though America is doing a bad job.

Put mildly, its a stupid poll question and the answers to it by the poll respondents tells us nothing.

This from the article made me sick to my stomach:

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll last month found a majority of the U.S. public doubted the United States would win the war in Iraq and believed the Bush administration deliberately misled Americans over Iraq’s weapons capabilities when it went to war in 2003.

Well of course the majority of Americans think we’re going to lose. All they ever see in the news are the stories about death and destruction. And when they’re not reading about death and destruction they’re reading about stupid polls, misleading polls like the one described above.

By Rob Port of Say Anything.

Bonfire of the Vanities - Week 111
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