Republicans Need to Confront Dem's Bogus Poll

Call me a silly optimist but I don’t believe ANY nation, let alone Iraq, has “millions of citizens” who support suicide attacks on the US!

Yet, the Democrats and Representative Murtha continue to use data from the same very questionable poll in order to argue for immediate US withdrawal from Iraq. According to Representative Murtha:

A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis.

Please note that I do not intend to question the Representative’s honorable service record for his country. But, like Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL) , I do not believe that Representative Murtha is infallible nor do I agree with his withdrawal position from Iraq. And, I certainly don’t agree with the polling data he is passing as truth in his arguments to leave Iraq.

Last month results from an “anonymous” poll were reported in the Sunday edition of The Telegraph from London by Sean Rayment. Here is what the Telegraph reported on October 23, 2005:

The survey was conducted by an Iraqi university research team that, for security reasons, was not told the data it compiled would be used by coalition forces. It reveals:

* Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified – rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;

* 82 per cent are “strongly opposed” to the presence of coalition troops;

* less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;

* 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;

* 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;

* 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.

The opinion poll, carried out in August, also debunks claims by both the US and British governments that the general well-being of the average Iraqi is improving in post-Saddam Iraq.

The findings differ markedly from a survey carried out by the BBC in March 2004 in which the overwhelming consensus among the 2,500 Iraqis questioned was that life was good. More of those questioned supported the war than opposed it.

Omar at Iraq the Model wrote about this confusing anonymous poll and concluded:

I will personally ignore the results as a whole as I think it cannot add anything of value to a view of the situation here in Iraq, which is a shame, as it might have done so, had they framed the questions in a more scientific manner. I tend to recommend that you not take it seriously as well for these reasons.

It was interesting that this poll did not get more attention at the time but because of Plamegate and the “grim reminder” articles not much was said about the controversial poll. There was enough negative press on Iraq that week, even though it was the same week that Iraqis ratified their Constitution, that this poll did not get much American attention.

But, the Democrats did not forget this poll and used the data over and over again this week to persuade Americans that a majority of Iraqis are hostile towards our forces and that a great majority of Iraqis are opposed to Americans being in country to protect them.

However, this poll is bogus.

There was never any information given on sampling and methodology:

-the number of people polled.
-the time of the day the polling was done.
-what areas the polling was conducted.
-the dates the polling was conducted.
-the exact questions asked.

There is still no other information available about this poll and it was never reported anywhere else except for repeat articles from the original piece by Mr. Rayment and in the Democratic talking points.

Mr Rayment has written numerous articles about the British Ministry of Defence including one earlier this month in The Telegraph on November 5, 2005 where he used another anonymous source to discredit American forces fighting in Iraq. This is what Rayment reported:

The officer, who agreed to the interview on the condition of anonymity, said that part of the problem was that American troops viewed Iraqis as “untermenschen” – the Nazi expression for “sub-humans”.

Pretty strong words!

This poll also contradicted every previous poll released from Iraq about how the Iraqis felt about terrorism and their American liberators.

But, Democrats have and will continue to repeat the bogus poll to make Americans think that their option of Cut and Run is the best option at this time.

The Bush Administration and Republicans have several options available to them in dealing with the Democrat’s mis-information:

1.) They can ignore that the Democrats are repeating a bogus poll and hope that the Democrats stop repeating it, that someone in the media will catch it, or that Americans will just not believe it.

2.) They can fight the Democrats on the poll and point out that it is bogus.

3.) They can have other more accurate polls taken.

4.) They can do a combination of 2 and 3.

5.) Other?

Let’s hope that the Administration decides to act on this.

The War in Iraq is too serious to ignore.

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