Monday, July 24, 2006

We still have some work to do...

If this Harris poll is any indication. While the poll shows most Americans have a pessimistic view of the war and believe that it has made our country less respected in the war and has motivated more Islamic terrorists to attack America, there are some other, pretty disturbing numbers:

64% of poll respondents said they believe Saddam has strong links to Al Qaeda and exactly half believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when we invaded.

These statements, of course, are painfully inaccurate and just goes to show the depth of the misinformation that was, and still is, given to the American people by the Bush administration and their right-wing allies in the media. Who knows how big the majority would be against the war if these numbers were made lower.

This is why it is important our side continues to build an infrastructure in the media and other places to fight against the conservative tide. And without tooting our own horn or overstate our importance, why we at TWM should continue to do our small part as well.


Harold Thomas said...

Saddam didn't have strong links to Al Qaeda, but he did have links to other terrorists. Also, it has been widely reported that Saddam still had chemical weapons left over from the first gulf war. Although these were believed to no longer be operational, I, for one, wouldn't want him sharing this technology whith anyone.

Xanthippas said...

I agree. But I think it's at disturbing that much of the public continues to believe Saddam had any contacts with Al Qaeda, or at least any significant contacts in the years leading to 9/11.

Also, I guess if you want to characterize old shells dug up in the desert as WMDs, then you could honestly answer the question about WMDs saying that he did have some. But that completely misses the point that he didn't have the WMDs he was accused of having, and certainly did not have anything that could threaten us.

And I believe Adam is right that this public ignorance is largely a result of a deliberate campaign of disinformation or spreading of dubious information by Republicans and the conservative media and bloggers.

Battlepanda said...

What I don't understand is how the proportion of those who know the truth could have dropped...surely, once the shoe finally drops, it cannot be undropped. The only reasonable, though scary, explanation is that Americans go about mostly oblivious on most issues. When they are polled as to what's going on in the world, they think back to the last media reports on the subject they were exposed to -- probably in the background as they were making the toast for breakfast. So if it happens to be Rick Santorum waving around a few canisters of mustard gas as "evidence" of WMDs, they're influenced by that.

Sad, really. The fact that we're living in a democracy means that we're ruled by two sets of idiots.

Nat-Wu said...

I think it's obvious that most "Americans go about mostly oblivious on most issues". Just in my personal experience, I find that more people know more about fictional tv shows (or so-called reality tv) than they do about current events. The level of news intake by the average person is about nil, except when a network actually has the guts to interrupt their show with a special report. And the level of investigation by the average American into news stories is even worse. Even though the assertion of WMDs in Iraq had no "slam-dunk" evidence in its favor, that didn't stop many journalists or politicians from making the claim that it was a known fact. But for those of us who actually took the time to look up the news behind that story, we found that not only was there no credible evidence, the people in the best position to make that claim (the UN inspectors) did not. Heck, even when there's ample reporting on a subject such as Iraq or even Afghanistan, after a week of watching headlines they just tune it out and wait for something new to happen. I'm sure it will come as a surprise to many Americans when we finally bring all those soldiers home and they describe the unending nightmare that Iraq has become.