"I don't support military action: 12%"
September 18, 2001 1:13 PM   Subscribe

"I don't support military action: 12%" Online CNN poll asks, "For how long would you be willing to support U.S. military action against terrorism?" There are a lot more pacifists then I would have expected, given the circumstances. Of course, "As long as it takes" sits at 76%, which is also not surprising. We'll see what that number is in six months...
posted by tranquileye (25 comments total)
 
Or six years if you believe Dan Rather...
posted by ColdChef at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2001


'4 to 10 years' was the quote from Rather on Letterman last night.
posted by jasonshellen at 1:26 PM on September 18, 2001


I think a poll should also ask, how many body bags do they expect ?

and also how many body bags are they willing to accept in order for a not-so-sure-victory.

Keep in mind, the war against terrorism will only be won when there are no more terrorist attacks. How do we judge that. How do we know that ? Is it like.. we wait for 6 months after the last terrorist attack ? And in within those 6 months there has been no terrorist attack, then do we declare victory ? What if an attack happens the next day. Are we going to war again ?

What are we doing to eradicate the so-called-reasons for these and such attacks ?
posted by adnanbwp at 1:26 PM on September 18, 2001


those polls are always too simplistic, anyway.

support under what circumstances? support *which* military action? etc.
posted by rebeccablood at 1:32 PM on September 18, 2001


The interesting thing is that when the poll first went up, there was NO option "I don't support military action". I guess whoever does those polls assumed that everyone was a good, red-blooded American and is hungry for war. They probably only changed it after they got complaints. I was getting ready to write a nasty little comment to CNN myself before I saw it had been changed.
posted by rbellon at 1:37 PM on September 18, 2001


They should make a survey asking people to point on Afghanistan on a map of the world.
posted by arf at 1:38 PM on September 18, 2001


I'm not sure that 12% is entirely made up of pacifists, per se. I'd bet there are plenty of moms with children in the service, for example, who dropped a brick last Tuesday.
posted by jpoulos at 1:39 PM on September 18, 2001


hahaha @ arf.. good one.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:45 PM on September 18, 2001


These polls have been so tilted. The favored response is sooooo put out there.

Should we go to war?

a. i am a pinko commie
b. i am a tree-huggin' pacifist
c. i hate America because I don't want to go to war.
d. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! Kill 'em all!!!
posted by adampsyche at 1:47 PM on September 18, 2001


Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hate
Hate leads to violence
Violence leads to Suffering.
posted by grengiant at 1:50 PM on September 18, 2001


Well, first off, internet "polls" are biased towards people with an interest in a response offered. It's like asking 100 bankers if they support banking. Even when adding a peace option, the numbers will skew towards people already thinking about this question, i.e. the extremes. (Everyone already knows this, of course.)

However, and secondly, I've seen polls that put the peace number higher. Whatever, who cares? Practically no one wants peace in any poll. It's like gauging a stress/aggression response at this point. It's not an measure of an attitude, but of an emotion.

Consider this: what if I asked 500 people "Do you approve or disapprove of your neighbor flying a UN flag at half-staff?" what if I asked about neighbors flying other recognizable non-US flags? I expect that we'd see 70-80% disapproval. Now does that mean that 70-80% actually currently think the UN flag is worthy of disapproval? Do they actually think the UN is worthy of disapproval? Do they actually think the neighbor is worthy of disapproval?
posted by rschram at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2001


Bush has not yet defined what he is callling terrorism. Is what is taking place in N. Ireland and the West bank terrorism? If so, do we go there? If not, does terrorism consist only of what might impact directly on the US?
Is Iran, Iraq, Lybia , Sudan, Afghanistan each a terrorist state and therefore to be attacked? Is a country that we label "rogue" a terror state and we should go after it?
Is a terrorist state any state we so designate? Is Syria, that has an occupation force in Lebanon and supports Hizbala? Is Saudi Arabia that pays the bills to keep Afghanistan afloat therefore a terrorist state?
I would be leery of giving up my place on a nice bar stool to fight all those countries. After all, Chaney and Bush stayed about here rather than scuttle off to do battle with yesterday's enemies.
posted by Postroad at 1:55 PM on September 18, 2001


14% now, which is a lot of people.
posted by tranquileye at 1:57 PM on September 18, 2001


I believe that pacifism is a inaccurate word. I, for one, consider myself a war-resistor, not a pacifist. Pacifism has an inneffective moralism about it that does nothing more than get your ass kicked by authority. If the US is going to war with a faceless enemy, the target is countries assumed responsible. The target is civillians. This means we as citizens have to ask our selves if killing millions of innocents is an exceptable consequence to, in the words of Dubya, "rid the world of evil."

If the answer is yes, it seems as if this "evil" just might proliferate into full blown Fascism, devouring the Crusaders themselves. The comparasons to WWII rehtoric are astounding.

peace in the middle east.
posted by abulafia at 1:59 PM on September 18, 2001


grengiant - could I see the logical proof for that, please?

Here's a thread of reason for you:

Fear leads to anger
anger leads to elevated adrenaline levels
elevated adrenaline leads to hunger
hunger leads to chocolate chip cookies
chocolate chip cookies lead to bloat
bloat leads to sloth
sloth leads to innaction

Everybody needs to get as angry as possible. 'See the problem with over-simplifying this with platitudes and polls yet?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:01 PM on September 18, 2001


grengiant - could I see the logical proof for that, please?

Of course it's true; Yoda said it.
posted by boaz at 2:14 PM on September 18, 2001


14% now, which is a lot of people.

Actually its an unscientific poll, its volunteer only and not a random sample. I see polls and these in particular as about meaningless and irrelevant as approval ratings and the opinions of swing voters.

Considering that we have no information on how any military actions will actually be performed it kind of makes it all a moot point.
posted by skallas at 2:33 PM on September 18, 2001


Keep in mind, the war against terrorism will only be won when there are no more terrorist attacks. How do we judge that. How do we know that ? Is it like.. we wait for 6 months after the last terrorist attack ? And in within those 6 months there has been no terrorist attack, then do we declare victory ? What if an attack happens the next day. Are we going to war again ?

Good questions. I suspect this will turn out to be far more costly and just as ineffectual as the "war" on drugs (which landed something on the order of 2% of the nation's population in prison (and counting)). The rhetoric all points that way, at any rate -- kill all the "bad" guys so the "good" guys can live in peace.

Right.
posted by Kikkoman at 2:51 PM on September 18, 2001


Wulfgar!: How dare you mock the wisdom of Yoda!
posted by ed at 3:05 PM on September 18, 2001


16%
posted by tranquileye at 3:15 PM on September 18, 2001


I suspect this will turn out to be far more costly and just as ineffectual as the "war" on drugs

Excellent point.

The cold-war crowd has now fully siezed this situation and are using it to push their old political agenda.

This "war" is a major diasater in the making.

How stupid do you have to be to actually believe that terrorism can be eradicated?

All we can do is show them what happens to morons that attack our people here.

That's what most people want.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 3:20 PM on September 18, 2001


Wulfgar!: How dare you mock the wisdom of Yoda!

Here's one for ya'

Yoda can be my sex-toy if he believes that a movie's philosophical underpinnings can teach us the correct path now! ;-}
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:37 PM on September 18, 2001


"Backwards too would you talk if Frank Oz's hand up your ass you had!"
posted by kindall at 4:14 PM on September 18, 2001


kindall is the true champion.
posted by darukaru at 11:31 PM on September 18, 2001


The "100th Monkey Syndrome" (close to the title of a book some years ago, maybe a decade) says when an idea has obtained a foothold on 13 percent of a population (which is just over 1/8), it has the potential to go all the way to majority acceptance.
posted by truth2Btold2001 at 5:14 AM on September 19, 2001


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