This jives with emails I've been getting from soldiers over the past several months and it confirms that those serving on the ground in the war don't share the rosy optimism painted by the Bush administration about the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
"Man, this gig has FUBAR written all over it," says a Marine who has served in Iraq for seven months. "Morale is the pits and nobody in our unit thinks we should be here."
The poll, conducted by Zogby International, offers a rare look into the mindset of fighting men and women serving in a war zone. That mindset is, to say the least, reflective of growing American unrest over a war based on false information and outright lies.
* Only 23 percent agree with the President's position that we should "stay in Iraq as long as needed."
* 85 percent of those surveyed felt they were fighting the war "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks," although the 9-11 commission in 2004 found "no credible evidence" that Iraq had cooperated with al-Qaida in the attacks.
* 68 percent said they believed that the real reason for the war was simply to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
* 40 percent say the Iraqi insurgency is mostly homegrown, with very little foreign involvement - a direct contradiction of claims by the Bush administration.
* 55 percent flatly oppose using torture and other harsh interrogation methods on prisoners.
"Ninety-three percent said that removing weapons of mass destruction is not a reason for U.S. troops being there," says John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International. "Instead, that initial rationale went by the wayside and, in the minds of 68% of the troops, the real mission became to remove Saddam Hussein."
Zogby interviewed the 944 soldiers at various locations throughout Iraq. Three quarters of the troops had served multiple tours and had a longer exposure to the conflict: 26% were on their first tour of duty, 45% were on their second tour, and 29% were in Iraq for a third time or more.
The Pentagon did not cooperate with Zogby in the survey and is trying to downplay the significance of the soldiers' responses but offered conflicting responses. In one released statement, the military brass said the troop comments were not valid because "troops in a combat zone are likely to express negative views of their situation."
Then Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Venable tried a different spin.
"The poll's findings certainly aren't reflective of the attitudes we see displayed by the majority of troops, who are performing in a remarkable manner in a combat situation far from home," Venable said. I asked Venable's office for any polls the military had conducted on troop attitudes and morale and they admitted they had not done any surveys but added that they based their conclusions on reports from "commanders in the field."
Emails received almost daily from soldiers in the field confirm Zogby's findings and say Pentagon claims of success and high morale are, as one National Guardsman said: "Pure unmitigated bullshit."
Originally published at and © Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue
Who the hell is this Thompson guy anyway?