The Military Times Poll: Spin or Substance?
"The majority of the nation no longer supports this w- the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military; nor does the majority of Congress."
There's a recent military poll out that the lefties are giddy over; and perhaps it is the basis for Senator Webb's claim.
Polls are a tricky business. As one person said, he can make you draw whatever conclusion he wants you to by how he chooses to frame the question.
If you examine the article, conclusions drawn from the poll are not so concisely neat and clearcut as laying claim that "the majority in the military no longer supports this war". Take for instance, the following:
While approval of Bush’s handling of the war has plunged, approval for his overall performance as president remains at 52%.I e-mailed CJ about his soldier's perspective on this; here's his response back:
The poll also found that while the personnel believe the public has a positive view of them, they are convinced the media do not — only 39 % said they think the media have a favorable view of the troops.
“Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of those surveyed said the senior military leadership has the best interests of the troops at heart. And though they don’t think much of the way he’s handling the war, 48 percent said the same about President Bush… And only 23 percent think Congress is looking out for them.”
I honestly don't believe that the majority of troops are against the war. I think the majority of the troops are against the WAY the war is being fought. The administration has recently lifted a lot of what was preventing us from doing our job. In the past two years, the insurgents and terrorists have been able to regroup and rearm because of our policies following everything that happened with Abu Ghraib and Haditha. While I was against the surge initially, now that I know we don't have as many restrictions, I think it will help in the long run. But, I digress.Well said, CJ.
I think a lot of the negative opinion about the war has to do with two factors: 1)media and political opinion and 2) battlefield restrictions. The media and left has done a SUPERB job of making this war a political hot potato and lost cause. Our politicians have done NOTHING to encourage the American people with facts and the Soldiers hear this from all angles. It's no wonder the troops don't feel we can win this when their own politicians are saying so. They say they support the troops yet don't have the confidence in us to believe we can win.
Patriot wrote a little about this, but didn't go into too much detail at the time for some reason. My thought is that poll is being misinterpreted to think that the troops are anti-Iraq war, and I don't think that's accurate.
One of the poll questions asks "Should the U.S. have gone to war in Iraq?" Of the 944 troops polled, 199 either had no opinion or declined to answer. 390 said yes, while 355 said no. So, if you look at it with the raw numbers, the media's claim that "only 41 percent of the military said the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place" in not correct. In actuality, almost 52% of that answered think we should have gone in the first place. we can't speculate on what the 109 respondents would have said had they answered.
When asked "We currently have 145,000 troops in Iraq and Kuwait. How many troops do you think we should have there?" only 121 answered "0". Yet, surprisingly 363 of the 584 troops (62%) said that we need more troops in Iraq. Only 125 said we need between between 1 and 144,000.
Those numbers weren't touted in the media. I wonder why. For the record, I got all this information from the publicly available raw data. Here's something else staggering. Under many columns, there were a lot of soldiers who simply didn't answer at all. However, under the "how does the media view the military" question, only 14 of 954 left that question empty. Of those, 207 said that the Media views the military VERY UNFAVORABLY while only 57 said that the Media views the military VERY FAVORABLY. So, when you only factor in those extreme opinions about the media, over 78% of them think the media is against us. That's very telling.
I know this was long and boring, but there is a lot in the raw data that wasn't covered and analyzed. And I think I've said enough.
Hat tip: MDConservative (who also reminds that The Military Times is NOT the military) for putting me on the path to posting on this; and Marie's Two Cents for getting bent out of shape by Senator Webb. Lol.
Another Military Times poll of note: Service members' job satisfaction still high