Polls Show that Americans Think We Overreacted, Overspent and Weakened Ourselves Through the War on Terror

As the Brooking Institution reported yesterday, Americans that the government overreacted and overspent in reaction to 9/11:

These are a summary of findings of a new poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) and the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland.

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Six in ten Americans believe that that the United States weakened its economy by overspending in its responses to the 9/11 attacks. In particular, respondents felt this was especially true of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Two out of three Americans perceive that over the decade since 9/11, U.S. power and influence in the world has declined. This view is highly correlated with the belief that the United States overspent in its post-9/11 response efforts – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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At this point, a large majority (73%) wants the United States to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan, but less than half (44%) want troops withdrawn completely.

Fifty-five percent say that the United States has spent too many resources in the Iraq war, while a plurality of 49% called the Iraq war a mistake (45% right decision). This criticism is a bit lower than other polls that asked similar questions in 2010 and found a majority ranging from 51 to 62% saying that it was not the right decision.

Support for the decision to go to war is highly correlated with beliefs held by substantial and undiminishing minorities that Iraq was providing support to al Qaeda (46%) and either had a WMD program or actual WMDs (47%). Among those with such beliefs, large majorities say the war was the right thing while among those without such beliefs large majorities have the opposite views.

A modest majority (53%) believes that the U.S. should withdraw its troops according to schedule even if the Iraqi government asks the US to stay another year.

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A clear majority (61%) says that the United States should not take sides in its efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while just 27% want the United States to lean toward Israel (5% toward Palestinians).

(Incidentally, top American military leaders agree, saying that the war on terror has weakened our national security).

Rasmussen has repeatedly noted that Americans are strongly opposed to further military or other types of intervention in Arab countries:

As with the recent turmoil in Egypt, most Americans (67%) say the United States should leave the situation in the Arab countries alone. Just 17% say the United States should get more directly involved in the political situation there, but another 17% are not sure.

This was true for Libya. And it is true elsewhere. For example, the overwhelming majority of Americans are also opposed to intervention in Syria.

Polls Show Widespread Doubt About Official Explanations

The results of polls on peoples’ beliefs about 9/11 around the world might surprise you:

  • In its January 2011 issue, the popular German magazine “Welt der Wunder” published the results of a poll conducted by the Emnid institute on 1005 respondents. The poll indicated that nearly 90% percent of Germans are convinced that the government of the United States is not telling the whole truth about the September 11 attacks
  • A new poll conducted in France by HEC Paris shows that 58% of French people doubt the official version of 9/11, and 49% believe the U.S. government might have intentionally allowed the attacks to happen
  • A Zogby poll conducted in August 2007 found that 51% of Americans want Congress to probe Bush/Cheney regarding the 9/11 attacks, two-thirds (67%) of Americans say the 9/11 Commission should have investigated the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7
  • A poll conducted by CNN-IBN in August 2007 found that only 2 out of 5 of those polled in India – the world’s second most populous country – believe that al-Qaeda is responsible for the 9/11 attacks
  • Indeed, a poll taken by World Public Opinion, a collaborative project of research centers in various countries managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, College Park, polled 16,063 people in 17 nations outside of the United States during the summer of 2008. They found that majorities in only 9 of the 17 countries believe Al Qaeda carried out the attacks. The poll showed that in the world’s most populous country – China – only 32% believed that Al Qaeda carried out the attacks.

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “9/11 and the War on Terror: Polls Show What People Think 10 Years Later”

  1. ByteMe says:

    Support for the decision to go to war is highly correlated with beliefs held by substantial and undiminishing minorities that Iraq was providing support to al Qaeda (46%) and either had a WMD program or actual WMDs (47%).

    Lack of facts are stubborn things.

  2. yuvalw says:

    I wonder what the majority of Americans thought about the war against the Nazis and stopping the Holocaust (which is exactly what’s going right now in Syria).

  3. ByteMe says:

    I wonder what the majority of Americans thought about the war against the Nazis and stopping the Holocaust

    No need to wonder. It’s out there in history books. Why do you think it took until 1941 and an attack on US soil to get us into the war? We were very much non-interventionists in the early 20th century.

  4. ilsm says:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken

    Polling is used to measure the results.

  5. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken

    Polling is used to measure the results.

    x2

  6. theexpertisin says:

    I maintain that if the US went back to the military draft, foreign adventures such as Iraq would be held to a minimum. Skin in the game does make a difference……

    In fact, a compulsory draft would be helpful to the US in other ways, amongst them: reduce the cost of the defense department, take up where failing public schools and slovenly parent(s) leave off in areas of work ethic/personal responsibility/ literacy skills/physical fitness and job skill exploration,reduce the physical mayhem on our urban streets,reduce the mental mayhem of higher education which presently resides to a large degree in Naiveville, reduce the inflow of illegal immigrants who want the benefits but not the responsibilities of American citizens, reduce the number of legal residents who want the benefits but not the responsibilities of American citizenship, learn that the acquisition of “stuff” is not the end-all to personal satisfaction, dealing with fear and challenges foreign (yet complimentary) to daily life, etc.

    I do not see any signicant downside to universal military (or ancillary skills-type) training. You can see the results of cutting out the draft through direct observation within practically the entire fabric of our society. We can decide to become focused, vitalized and less prone to pull the trigger on the international stage. Or, we can continue the present path to our detriment.

  7. Greg0658 says:

    a reprint:
    “as far as who builds who (or what) .. stuff exists** because of teams (& societies)
    ** – stuff exists because society makes us build stuff to survive”

    I wonder if that above was a NOT ..
    guns & then butter OR butter & then guns

  8. Raleighwood says:

    Architects & Engineers – Solving the Mystery of WTC 7 – AE911Truth.org

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZEvA8BCoBw&feature=player_embedded

  9. Kris Dannon says:

    Surprising that many conspiracy theories and proponents still abound even 10 years following 9-11.

    Psychiatrists say some people are driven by a deep need to gain control over complex and horrific events. And they can to do this best by providing some provocative over-simplification of them. Such imaginary fabrications are often tailored to reduce the number of unknowns. Theories such as : WTC buildings blown up by demolition crews secretly hired by the Bilderbergs, the CFR or Bush and Cheney whose primary benefactors were no less than US weapons manufacturers or oil buddies. Therefore I have copied and posted a set of old notes on the topic.

    Refutation of 9/11 conspiracy theories and videos -

    9/11 Mysteries is a conspiracy video that attempts to portray the Sept 11 2001 attacks as a conspiracy of sorts involving the Bush administration and the government’s planning of 9/11. The video 9/11 Mysteries plays up numerous rather apparent shortcomings of the Bush administration and then twists them into conspiracies.

    Michael Moore has had a part in both on camera interviews and in the material that has been gathered and edited for numerous conspiracy videos. This includes Farenheit 911 and also apparently the “9/11 Mysteries” video. Moore has become known principally in making and distributing a number of short and full-length “documentary” videos about the Bush administration which usually portray Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld as culpable or creating the 9/11 attacks.

    Clearly Bush and his administration executed an often clumsy and incompetent handling of the terror incidents and exhibited poor reasoning in executing such an ill-conceived and much too broad “war on terror”. But the conspiracies such as Moore presents in his “documentaries” are mostly embellished nonsense.

    As one who has never voted for Bush in an election, either the father or son, I am no fan of either. Moore however goes way too far in his implications of Republicans and the Bush administration in its subsequent actions in dealing with 9/11 and their follow up to the Iraq war. We must remember that an overwhelming majority of the US congress voted to invade Iraq (Senate 77 to 23; House 296 to 133).

    Moore also makes much hay with assertions about the Bush’s decades-long friendships with the ruling Saudi family. There are many stupid and extremely costly mistakes made by the incompetent Bush administration that have provided fuel for the fires that many conspiracy theories have helped to keep alive but there are few real facts that support any of the long-touted conspiracies.

    Refutation of 9/11 Mysteries video (point by point):

    Note: This refutation is thorough. Previous refutations have usually been inadequate in addressing conspiracy theories by creating exactly what many conspiracies depend on, straw-man arguments. A straw-man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “set up a straw man” for use in a straw-man argument one must create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent.

    Refutation of 9-11 conspiracy theories (continued):

    NIST Report on WTC disaster –

    Detailed investigation of cause of WTC Collapse:
    http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201.pdf

    http://www.debunking911.com

    On thermite claimed to be found among Bldg 7 debris: http://www.debunking911.com/thermite.htm

  10. Kris Dannon says:

    And … to eliminate any remaining doubt:

    Complete analysis and evidence detailing the physics behind the fall of WTC buildings:

    Journal of Engineering Mechanics American Society of Civil Engineering, Vol. 134 (2008), in press. What Did and Did not Cause Collapse of WTC Twin Towers in New York
    by Zdenek P. Bazant, Jia-Liang Le, Frank R. Greening and David B. Benson

  11. theexpertisin says:

    Bush could have used commentor Kris Dannon in his administration.

    Well executed on this day of national reflection, Kris.