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mattbrowne's avatar

September 2009 - What is the current percentage of US citizens linking the reason for the Iraq war to 9/11?

Asked by mattbrowne (31719points) September 8th, 2009

Here’s a poll from September 2003:

Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists’ strike against this country. Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda.


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46 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Of course I have no idea, but it is far too many. I am appalled by my countrymen. How can people be so badly misinformed?
<shakes head in disgust>

eileenfleming's avatar

Then 7 out of 10 Americans are idiots or just ignorant regarding The Wolfowitz Doctrine/WD.

President Bush 1 said NO to it; but W resurrected it when 9/11 happened.

The WD is based on several policies written by several people, but Wolfowitz was its dark guiding light and the WD supports pre-emptive actions to prevent ‘rogue’ countries from developing WMD’s.

I was in the audience on Feb. 10, 2007 when Dr. Phyllis Bennis, Mid East analyst spoke about the NPT:

“The 185 non-nuclear states have agreed to give up the right to have nuclear weapons and the five nuclear powers that signed the NPT agreed to get rid of their nuclear weapons. Iran is not in violation of the NPT, but America is! The USA has been in violation ever since the day they signed it. The USA is acting like a rogue state.”

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, 6 years have passed. Education must have changed the statistics!?

wildpotato's avatar

I don’t know how many Americans in general, but apparently Cheney is still one of them.

Hard stat to find. Maybe there’s a way to ask Google how common the search term “saddam 9 11” or “iraq 9 11” is? It popped up in the search suggestions when I got to “saddam 9”.

avvooooooo's avatar

Far too many. Then again, there are people who don’t know basic geography and can’t locate states like New York on a map if they’re not from the North East. I have a sinking feeling that if you mentioned New Mexico that some people would go off about the Mexicans, not realizing that NM is a state and has been one for a long time. Unless they’re a sports fan and learn their geography that way…

JLeslie's avatar

I actually remember a few years ago some journalist pinning Bush down about a link between 911 and Iraq, and he said that he knows Saddam was not repsonsible or 911, I guess his followers missed that interview I saw. Don’t get me wrong, I think he and his administration inititally used 911 to gather support to go into Iran. @avvooooooo is on target in my opinion. Americans tend to group regions together and think the people who live there are all the same. I bet you took a pole on whether Iranian’s are Arabs and if they speak Arabic, over half of Americans would get the answer wrong.

One of my smartest friends in college used to call my exboyfriend Mexican (not to be confused with my current husband who is Mexican) his family was from Ecuador. I used to say to her, “he is not Mexican he is Ecuadorian.” Her reply was, “well it is south of the border.” I tried to explain it is not the same, it would be like saying
Canadians and Americans live in the same country. She just didn’t care. She also thought Brazilians spoke Spanish. I was shocked that my witty, intelligent friend thought this, and was so ignorant on the topic.

But just to defend my country a little…people raised outside of the states do seem to know world geography a better, but also keep in perspective that learning the geography of Italy, France, Germany, England, and throw in some other European countries, still doesn’t compare to the vastness of the US. We have a lot to learn just in our own country.

Even within a country I think it is important to realize that not the entire citizenry thinks the same, and that the government in power does not always well represent atitudes in a country.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think the confusion was generated on purpose when scoping the “war on terror”. Afghanistan, Iraq. Same thing.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t know the answer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that percentage didn’t decrease by much. I am no longer surprised at the ignorance of Americans.

Darbio16's avatar

Imagine this for a moment. First we were told that 19 hijackers using 3 planes brought damage to 4 buildings. These 19 men were supposed to be apart of a terror organization (Al Qaeda) Then we invade Afghanistan and Iraq. But what if we reversed the role?

What if Iraq was the victim that day? What if 19 American terrorists had crashed planes into Iraqi buildings? Then a strong world power started a war here in America as a response. We would all be saying “NO! Don’t punish all of America for what 19 rogue men had done!” There are over 1,000,000 dead Iraqi’s. What if the reverse had happened and It was America in the cross hairs? How can we justify killing one million people for the ill-deed of 19 men? Do you think that 1,000,000 American people should have been killed if 19 American terrorist had committed those acts in a foreign land?

Our country has been involved in near endless war since 1914. Are we really that gullible? Is the entire world an enemy to the U.S.? Check this quote from Herman Goerring during the Nuremberg trials.

“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

I think we have been hoodwinked.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Darbio16 – The objective in Afghanistan was to shut down the terror training camps and remove the Taliban allowing the camps to be formed in the first place. Well, the Taliban is still alive and kicking. This should have been the focus in the “war on terror”.

Darbio16's avatar

Exactly, some good that did huh? 1,000,000 dead iraqi’s but the terror cells, whose numbers were far less than 1,000,000, are still around.

Darbio16's avatar

Look at it this way too. Like i said above what if we reversed roles? America would have been invaded and you can bet that many Americans would fight against the invaders. Right now young men and women on both sides of this coin are being sent to die. Can you blame insurgents? The 1,000,000 dead Iraqi’s weren’t fighting to support terror cells, they were protecting the sovereignty of their nation. Allied forces came into Iraq and they fought back because we had no real reason for being there. You can’t tell me that Americans wouldn’t fight back too.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darbio16 You make a great point. But what if we, Americans, had someone in power who was genocidal? Gassed our own countrymen, what then do you think? Would we want help to get rid of him/her? I think of the Cubans, they continue to be pissed off that we do nothing to oust Castro. My statement here does not represent my own opinion on the best thing to do, I am just curious what you think.

Darbio16's avatar

There are ‘legal’ restrictions on assassinating leaders of countries. We have no trouble killing millions in the name of freedom while keeping brutal dictators alive.

This article deals with that subject a bit.

Zuma's avatar

According to a series of Newsweek polls asking “Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?”

Sep 2003 responses: 47% Yes, 37% No, 16% not sure.
Jan 2004 responses: 49% Yes, 39% No, 12% not sure.
Sep 2004 responses: 42% Yes, 44% No, 14% not sure.
Oct 2004 responses: 36% Yes, 51% No, 13% not sure.
Jun 2007 responses: 41% Yes, 50% No, 9% not sure.

New York Times / CBS News have conducted a number of polls asking the question:
“Was Saddam personally involved in 9/11?”

Apr 2003 responses: 53% said Yes, 38% said No.
Oct 2005 responses: 33% said Yes, 55% said No.
Sep 2006 responses: 31% said Yes, 57% said No.
Sep 2007 responses: 33% said Yes, 58% said No.


mattbrowne's avatar

@Darbio16 – In April 1945 my grandfather asked my grandmother to get a white bed sheet so he could make a white flag as the American tanks started rolling into the tiny village in southern Germany. My mother was 6 years old watching. Let me tell you the whole family was so relieved that the horror was finally over. The American soldiers handed out sweets and chewing gum to the little children. Just 2 weeks earlier a German soldier was hanged in the village for everyone to see because he thought it made no more sense to fight and that the Nazis lost the war. Parents failed to keep the kids indoors not to see the ghastly scene. So you see, most people welcomed the American soldiers.

Some Afghan people also welcome the foreign forces to fight the Taliban, but not all. Iraq was not a clear and present danger to the rest of the world. It invaded Kuwait and had to leave, UN mandate and all.

Darbio16's avatar

It is irrelevant what the common people believe. To prove it just look at the election of Adolf Hitler. He won the election with a commanding 90% of the vote.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Darbio16 – Hitler’s NSDAP got 43.9% on March 5, 1933, the last election in Germany before WWII.

Thanks for the article with the more recent polls!

JLeslie's avatar

From what I understand Saddam was fine with women wearing western clothing, getting educations, I bet most Americans think women were stoned like in Afghanastan and forbidden to go to school. Saddam was an ally for us against Iran. Politically it seems very unclear why we would actually go as far as we did when we did to get rid of him, except for the rummblings I hear abot it having to do with oil.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne The Germans welcomed the soldiers when the war was basically over? Or, they were happy the Americans joined the war effort in the first place?

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – Yes, Saddam was not a religious fanatic. He was a cruel dictator. But the UN debate wasn’t about removing Saddam because he tortured and killed his own people. It was about the WMD which never showed up.

Darbio16's avatar

Its like being stuck in “1984”. We are always at war but the enemy changes often,but the feeling of hatred stays the same.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne Yes, but for instance in Afghanastan, aside from Osama, I am outraged at how women are treated, so if we make that better under some other guise I am ok with it. No one is going to ok military action to protect women unfortunately. Well, saying I am ok is actually too strong a statement, I am not a fan of military action.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – This is a more complex question. America entered WWII in the Pacific first (after Pearl Harbor), supported the British and got involved in Europe after that (late 1941/early 1942). This was a time when most Germans didn’t terribly suffer from the effects of the war. The war was still “elsewhere”. They feared for the lives of their soldiers of course. I think only a minority of intellectuals who understood the true dangers of Nazism welcomed the American involvement right from the beginning.

Darbio16's avatar

This is the article i was referring to about he 90% vote.

Darbio16's avatar

@mattbrowne What is your take on the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq? Was it ethical, necessary and totally founded? Or, was it fueled by propaganda and lies and we do not belong there at all?

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – Human rights violations of fundamentalist Islam and the Sharia: well, it would mean we’d have to invade many countries including Saudi-Arabia where like in Afghanistan women are robbed of their freedom and personality and treated like cattle. When men rape women it’s the women who get stoned (literally!). Can we invaded all those countries? Does it make sense? Of course not. Afghanistan was about closing the terror camps and not about rescuing women from the mobile prisons called Burka.

I am not a fan of military action either, but it can make sense as a last resort.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Darbio16 – Afghanistan, yes. Iraq, no.

Darbio16's avatar

What is your take on the Bush family ties with the royal bin laden family? @mattbrowne

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne But, were the Jews and others being killed systematically even when Germans were not initially happy about the American soldiers coming to town? Hitler is complex, similar to Saddam and most dictators. I think many focus on Hitler killing millions, but he also wanted to take over Europe and the world I would bet if he could. I don’t think most countries went in to the war to protect the Jews or the disabled who were being killed, or tortured, or whatever, I think they went for geopolitical reasons, to stop him from gaining more and more power.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Darbio16 – If you are a terrorist and your brother is not, should this be a reason not to be a friend of your brother?

Darbio16's avatar

It is just scary is what I’m saying. Coincidences in this matter are really starting to make me sick.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – Earlier during the war many people had no idea of the systematic killings of the Jews.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne I have always thought that; I figured many people were not aware.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Darbio16 – Bush Jr. and Sr. can be blamed for a lot of things, but if others in the Bin Laden family are honest I wouldn’t worry about this too much (I don’t know the details about his family) I just know that Osama is a perverse and dangerous psychopath.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – People were aware of the persecution in general. Many were witnesses during the

in November 1938.

Zaku's avatar

Hmm, but we do have an idea that people in America can be arrested and imprisoned without due process or any public information. And we have a new state police department which spies on our own people and requests us to denounce each other, and which is even pretty much named “Gestapo” in English:

Geheime Staatspolitzei
homeland state police

Darbio16's avatar

I’m saying that if we don’t wake up here we are all going to be truly globally screwed. You gotta wonder who comes up with all the money for all this war. Can anyone say Central Bank? Paper Fiat Money fresh off the press. Iraq (pre-invasion), Iran, North Korea are all enemies of the U.S.. Coincidentally these countries are 3 out of the 6 countries in the world that do not have a central bank linked with the world bank and the IMF. It’s all about the money. Getting these countries bankrolled is vital to the world bankers, especially since they all invest a great deal into war which is quite profitable.

christine215's avatar

one of the problems here is that the terrorists who were involved in the 9/11 attacks had no TANGIBLE backing by any government… they were backed by AlQaeda…

@Darbio16, that’s a really interesting point to ponder…

JLeslie's avatar

I think we, I’ll just speak for all American’s here (I’m kidding), wanted the 9/11 attacks to be denounced by Arab countries and Muslim leaders all over the world, and especially in the middle east. I don’t know if this is a media problem, or if Muslim’s are intimidated or what? I certainly had Muslim friends here in the states who were horrified by what happened. But, just a few months following 9/11 I was asked a man I know from Iran about it and basically he said that the religious leaders don’t get out there in front of any cameras, because they agree with some of the basic premise for the destruction done on 9/11.

So I bring all of this up because if some crazy rogue group from Canada had done the same thing the Canadian government would have been right there to capture and punish the people. They would have condemned the acts. We would have confidence that the government was not supportive of it in any way. Did the Saudi, Afghan, Pakestan, etc. governments and people really do that? Maybe I misssed it on tv? I don’t think we would have thought we need to bring our military into Canada, I think we would have leaned towards more undercover type operations.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zaku – Your comparison of the two forces is flawed. The homeland state police is like a small cat chasing mice while the gestapo was like a t-rex as depicted in Jurassic Park.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Darbio16 – There are enough people who have woken up. This is what living democracies are all about.

mattbrowne's avatar

@kevbo – An excellent article. Thanks for sharing!

christine215's avatar

@JLeslie you’ve made a great point! which kind of reflects what I was trying to say… there was no government backing the terrorists on those planes…15 of the 19 came from Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Goverment denounced the attacks… but outrage? dunno…

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