Crater: 69% in new NYT/CBS poll say U.S. should not be fighting in Afghanistan

posted at 7:52 pm on March 26, 2012 by Allahpundit

A new high since they started asking this question in 2009. That’s noteworthy but not surprising given the gruesome Rasmussen poll Ed blogged a week ago. How much of it is driven by a reaction to the massacre on March 11 allegedly carried out by Robert Bales and how much is a reaction to the Koran-burning riots and fragging of U.S. troops by Afghan “partners” before that? No way to tell, but for a clue, revisit this ABC poll conducted from March 7 to 10 and published on the very day that Bales is said to have gone on a rampage. Even before his actions, 60 percent of adults said the war hasn’t been worth fighting and 54 percent said the U.S. should pull out whether or not it’s done training the Afghan army. This is a long time coming, but the riots and aftermath were obviously a heavy nudge.

The poll found that more than two-thirds of those surveyed — 69 percent — think that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. That number is a significant increase from just four months ago, when 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, which began more than a decade ago.

There were even sharper increases when respondents were asked for their impressions on the state of the war. The poll found that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly,” compared with 42 percent who had those impressions in November. The latest poll was conducted by telephone from March 21 to 25 with 986 adults nationwide…

The poll showed that across all parties, negative impressions of the war in Afghanistan were growing. Among Republicans, 54 percent said the war was going somewhat or very well in November 2011, but just 34 percent said so in the most recent New York Times/CBS News poll.

More from CBS:

Fifty-five percent say they have no clear idea why we’re fighting in Afghanistan now that Bin Laden’s dead, but don’t read too much into the OBL angle of that question. Back in September of last year, after Osama had been fish food for four months, 50 percent said they did have a clear idea why we were still fighting versus just 43 percent who said they didn’t. It’s not that the goals of the mission have suddenly become murkier lately, it’s that people are having a harder time seeing how those goals justify risking the lives of U.S. troops for people willing to shoot them in the back of the head for accidentally burning a Koran. Speaking of which, one of Time magazine’s correspondents asked a good question: How come there were a week’s worth of riots and killings after the Korans were burned but no riots and killings after Bales allegedly went berserk and killed 17 people? The answer:

When mullah Abdul Rahim Shah Ghaa thinks back to the day in February when a couple of Afghan employees at a U.S.-run detention center outside Kabul yanked five partly burned Korans out of a trash incinerator, he shudders with anger and revulsion. “It is like a knife to my heart,” says the head of the provincial religious council. The March 11 slaying of 16 Afghan civilians by a lone U.S Army staff sergeant named Robert Bales in Kandahar province, however, has left less of a scar. “Of course we condemn that act,” he says. “But it was only 16 people. Even if it were 1,000 people, it wouldn’t compare to harming one word of the Koran. If someone insults our holy book, it means that they insult our faith, our religion and everything that we have.”…

Comparing reactions to the two atrocities is not just a question of the sacred vs. the profane, says parliamentarian Fawzia Koofi. As with everything else in Afghanistan, politics plays a role. While she has no doubt that antigovernment elements and even opposition politicians sought to capitalize on both events, she believes that Afghans have become savvy to the political opportunities presented by yet another case of civilian deaths and have learned not to react. Bales may have murdered nine children in his rampage, she notes, but just a few days later an insurgent bomb planted in the road of a neighboring province killed nine more. “Why don’t we stand strongly against the Taliban when they massacre people?” she asks. “People are clever enough to understand that this is a political issue and the Koran is not.”

Maybe, but I think a lot of Americans see their responses to the two incidents as so drastically different from how they’d react themselves — if there’s to be rioting, it’s for slaughtered innocents, not a book — that they conclude the two cultures are hopelessly incompatible and it’s time to call the whole thing off. And when you add what Bales allegedly did to that, the queasiness and exasperation become so profound that suddenly the thought of getting far away and leaving these people alone to make the best of it in their own country becomes irresistibly alluring.

Here’s Bales’s wife trying to come to grips with the charges against him. Three more allied troops, two British and one American, were shot dead today by Afghan soldiers.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

To all of you “nukers” out there, consider:

1) How do you think George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would feel about your stated intention that America nuke innocent people in a country where the majority of them have never even heard of 9/11?

2) The U.S. would have to hit a civilian center as there are no serious strategic targets. That is to say, the U.S. would be nuking Kabul. It would kill a majority of the 5% (guess) of Afghans who are literate and educated. Those people are probably the only hope, however slim, that their country may one day advance.

3) It would presumably cause a major falling out (no pun intended) among U.S. allies.

This is a terrifying (again, no pun intended) and immoral proposition.

WeekendAtBernankes on March 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Very interesting! I am one who favored leaving Afghanistan after we made our point in 2002. Anything after that was a waste of our time and effort — largely because of the crap culture and country we were dealing with.

Obviously, when trying to break the will of the enemy — as we did, say, in WWII by bombing civilian sites in Germany and Japan — depends on the enemy having something like the same values we do. In Afghanistan, that’s not the case, and we’re wasting our time trying to degrade the enemy as if they were civilized and normal.

What we should be doing — instead of attacking infrastructure and people — is attacking Korans. We should spend all our time rounding up and destroying — preferably burning — Korans. That’s the way to undermine these lunatic savages. Killing women and children — meh. No big deal to these degenerate Afghans. Destroying their crap infrastructure — huts and dirt roads — likewise. What really destroys their morale is burning Korans. Well — OK!

What we are engaged in now — trying to train these savages to police their own country — is a complete waste of time. More than 200 of our brave soldiers have been murdered by so-called Afghan soldiers and police — the people we have trained. Far better would be to put a bounty on Korans, round them up and burn them. At some point this attack will cause the complete destruction of our enemy…and, at no further cost to us.

str8tface on March 26, 2012 at 11:26 PM

WeekendAtBernankes on March 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Agreed. However, you are facing an uphill battle as some of these people are amoral nihilists. I am stunned at how the glib suggestion that we numeric Afghanistan is greeted with high fives and is treated like it is a credible strategic option. I actually got a self-described Christian here to say that he knew that it wasn’t a Christian POV, but it would make him feel safer, so that was enough justification for him to numeric another country that has never attacked us. Pretty sick stuff, but you’ll never find a group more assured of their own morality.

iwasbornwithit on March 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Damn autocorrect. “Nuke,” not “numeric” Afghanistan.

iwasbornwithit on March 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM

To all of you “nukers” out there, consider:

1) How do you think George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would feel about your stated intention that America nuke innocent people in a country where the majority of them have never even heard of 9/11?

The ones who were dancing in the streets have never heard of 911?

They have almost all heard of the great victory and think that its both a blow struck against the Great Satan and a Jewish plot.

I guess George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would also have refused to drop the bomb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well?

2) The U.S. would have to hit a civilian center as there are no serious strategic targets. That is to say, the U.S. would be nuking Kabul. It would kill a majority of the 5% (guess) of Afghans who are literate and educated. Those people are probably the only hope, however slim, that their country may one day advance.

The poor Afghani’s and poor Arab’s are not the ones who usually join the terror networks. Those recruits most often come from the wealthy and upper middle class of Islamic society.

3) It would presumably cause a major falling out (no pun intended) among U.S. allies.

So they will criticize and shriek from the sidelines with even more hysteria than normal?

This is a terrifying (again, no pun intended) and immoral proposition.

WeekendAtBernankes on March 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM

There may well come a time when no one really cares. You can push people only so far and then they will act, often in a terrifying fashion.

For the record I am not in the nuke till they glow crowd.

sharrukin on March 27, 2012 at 12:26 AM

“immoral” with regards to war…amateurs…have any of you served?

tank_killer69 on March 27, 2012 at 2:47 AM

I guess George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would also have refused to drop the bomb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well?

The strategic situations are clearly quite different.

WeekendAtBernankes on March 27, 2012 at 3:15 AM

“immoral” with regards to war…amateurs…have any of you served?

tank_killer69 on March 27, 2012 at 2:47 AM

I have. I didn’t follow the meaning of your comment though.

hawkdriver on March 27, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Every time a US soldier or Marine is killed by one of our “loyal Afghan allies” a mosque, somewhere, Kabul, Kandahar, a little village in Helmand, wherever, should be totally and completely destroyed. And all measures taken to make sure the Afghans understand that Afghans killing Americans is completely unacceptable.

Over 200 US military members have been killed by Afghans we supposedly trained to protect and serve and all that garbage?

And the Karzai government condemns what?

A couple old, defiled, ratty books taken from so-called innocent followers of the religion of peace, and burned lest they continue to be used as message passing devices among hard core talibanis??

And the Afghan people riot over what? The killing of women and children by the Taliban? By the Karzai government?

That little book, ink and paper, probably a good bit of camel dung and such…a book…this is what makes Afghanis go off their meds big time????

Their entire value system is totally inconsistent with anything anywhere else on the globe.

As is most of the current Islamic “culture.”

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Another Lost war for America….

Hundreds of Dead, a trillion dollars wasted…

Korea; sorta won, really a draw
Vietnam/Laos/cambodia : All went Communist, so have to put those in lost column (see iraq below)

Police actions

Lebanon: 250+ dead, tail between legs
Somalia: Blackhawk Down, nuff said
Iraq: Won the Surge, abandonned the country, no basing rights and watch it split along 3 lines ; have to consider it ,won war , lost the peace

bosnia/Libya, give me break, not real wars… They Phoned it in…

Afghanistan; total disaster, will finish with helicopters on roof of embassy with people baying for blood …

Sadly, since WWII, US has been getting it bum kicked from here to teh end of the world….

So sad.

J

Gauthijm on March 27, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Gauthijm on March 27, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Saved the Brits “bums” in WWII.

hawkdriver on March 27, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Where are the anti-war protests?

Dollayo on March 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Gauthijm on March 27, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Saved the Brits “bums” in WWII.

hawkdriver on March 27, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Yes you did
Last war you won too… really won.

JMG

Gauthijm on March 27, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Every time a US soldier or Marine is killed by one of our “loyal Afghan allies” a mosque, somewhere, Kabul, Kandahar, a little village in Helmand, wherever, should be totally and completely destroyed. And all measures taken to make sure the Afghans understand that Afghans killing Americans is completely unacceptable.

That is what the Nazis did during WW2. Not a good idea.

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/lidice.html

Old Fritz on March 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Old Fritz on March 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Small details….dammit. :-)

[Do I really need to add sarc tags anymore?]

The current alternative is to further limit our troops ability to leave their bases, conduct patrols and gather intelligence…as each time some Afghan gets a wild hair, Karzai tells NATO/US that some Afghan was offended…so stop what you are doing, K?

Either Karzai is running his country and is part and parcel to the overall problem, or Karzai has no control over his country and thus needs to be replaced by someone who can produce results…the old king would’ve been a good choice, a better choice than Karzai.

But, for us…trying to befriend the very same people who are part of those who are trying to kill you, and not offend them in the process is stupid.

They respect steady and confident force…they do…waver and waffle and they’ll eat you for lunch…which they are more and more.

The Left made damn sure we could never accomplish the simple military goals set back in 2002…and now the same folks are trying to prolong the conflict so their president won’t look bad in history…at the expense of American youth and blood.

Is this the objective, the mission, of US Forces Afghanistan…to be place-holders until Obama can get his act together as well as Karzai?

Time to leave, well past time to leave.

If we cannot conduct war…and all of what war brings…and conduct that war with a singular goal, mission, objective in front of us, in front of each and every soldier….then we’d be doing ourselves a favor if we destroyed everything we added to that country on the way out and made sure they’d never be able to venture outside their borders again.

And yes, reprisals are not a good thing….but response presented in a way that makes it perfectly clear that we will do what we say we will do in no uncertain terms has a way of making a foe stop and think a bit before acti8ng rashly.

Starts at the top.

Well…guess that is a non-starter…the current top has no intention of doing anything but marking time until somebody else has to take the rap.

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Yes you did
Last war you won too… really won.

JMG

Gauthijm on March 27, 2012 at 9:34 AM

No actually you mischaracterized a lot of the outcomes you were trolling on about and you omitted Grenada, Panama and a few score Central and South American countries we fought in to stem the tide of Marxist. Anybody but a Twain quoting idiot would be able to see that.

hawkdriver on March 27, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 2