WaPo/ABC poll: Majority approves of airstrikes in Iraq …

posted at 8:01 pm on August 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The White House got some good news  in today’s Washington Post/ABC News poll, which framed the situation in Iraq prior to the beheading of Foley. The majority of Americans support Barack Obama’s decision to conduct airstrikes on ISIS.  The bad news? It hasn’t impacted the approval rating of Obama on that issue at all, even though support for the policy has risen sharply over the last two months:

A majority of Americans now support airstrikes in Iraq, up 9 points since June, as President Obama targets an Islamist extremist group, according to a new poll.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 54 percent support the strikes hitting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), while 39 percent oppose them. …

In June, before the operation began, 45 percent supported airstrikes, while 46 percent were opposed. At that point, Obama had said only that the U.S. was prepared to take military action if necessary.

Wednesday’s poll is the third in a week to show majority support for the strikes. A Pew Research poll on Tuesday found similar results, while a Fox News poll last week showed 65 percent support.

The rise in support for the policy is easy to explain. The media didn’t cover the ethno-religious cleansing of Christian communities in Mosul and Nineveh in the spring to nearly the same extent as they did the genocidal threat to the Yazidis, which dimmed the reaction to the former. The imagery of the men, women, and children trapped in the mountains without food and water created a reaction of global outrage and a demand to do something to alleviate the situation. The settlement of the Iraqi political situation may play into that too, allowing Americans to feel as though the effort didn’t amount to becoming Nouri al-Maliki’s personal air force.

Obama deserves credit for taking action, if belatedly and perhaps not as robustly as some would like. So far, though, Americans aren’t inclined to think that his policies in Iraq have improved. His approval rating in June on the question was 42/52, and today it’s 42/51. In fact, slightly more strongly disapprove now (36%, from 34%) and slightly fewer strongly approve (16% from 17%) than in June, although all of those moves are within the margin of error.

Interestingly, the American public likes the air strikes, but not arming the Kurds, which seems like more of a slam-dunk. A slight plurality opposes providing arms to the Kurds fighting ISIS, 49/45. Those who feel strongly about this have an even bigger gap toward opposition, 29/22. That’s a shame, because the Peshmerga has been an effective force in tandem with Iraqi special forces and the air strikes, as the New York Times reports today:

All bore testament to the deadly effect American airstrikes were having on the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, who until this month were marauding over northern Iraq with little resistance and who two weeks ago seized control of the dam.

It was not until President Obama authorized airstrikes by the United States military on Aug. 7 that the Sunni fighters’ advance was halted. Two days of concerted air assaults starting Sunday around the dam then paved the way for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim the site. …

The pesh merga have received the majority of the credit for retaking the dam. But the Iraqi Special Forces troops who worked alongside them, who were created in the image of their American counterparts, have gotten far less attention. Known as the Golden Force, fighters interviewed Tuesday said they came from Baghdad and were called into the fight several days ago.

One Special Forces group, stationed by a cluster of homes close to the site’s power plant, said they were the first to enter the area after a series of airstrikes Monday afternoon. A cheery banner over the road passing by the enclave read “Tourist City in Mosul Dam.”

The fight against ISIS will have to be waged by someone that can retake ground from the terrorist army that controls it. If Americans don’t want to send US forces to do that job, the Peshmerga look like a pretty good option, as long as they can get arms and ammunition for the fight.


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Extreme predujice

jaywemm on August 20, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Something along these lines as an ISIS policy. Make them afraid of things that go bump in the night. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ft7kkXO98c

guido911 on August 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

MeanWhile,………..:

https://twitter.com/AP

The Associated Press @AP · 5h

MORE: A senior U.S. official says the number of troops currently under discussion would be fewer than 300: http://apne.ws/XAHZMh

The Associated Press @AP · 6h

BREAKING: US officials: Military weighs plan to send a small number of additional troops to Iraq.

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Lol sorry. Extreme prejudice

jaywemm on August 20, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Target Prioritization:

Head Choppers……………#1

Knife/knive Sharpeners…….#2

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Lol sorry. Extreme prejudice

jaywemm on August 20, 2014 at 8:08 PM

jaywemm: Close enough!:)

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 8:10 PM

I don’t Ed, maybe the public feels that if we had had a nice shiny base near the Kurdish section of Iraq after WE WON the war none of this crap would have happened in the first place.

Cindy Munford on August 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Why is overwhelming force and destruction never an option anymore?

KCB on August 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Nothing like realizing the bad guys really are.

As for Barry, nice to see people waking up.

BREAKING: US officials: Military weighs plan to send a small number of additional troops to Iraq.

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Barry did this to McChrystal.

Because he’s smart enough to do everybody’s job, you know.

formwiz on August 20, 2014 at 8:14 PM

OK…..give us back the keys to the car you Dumbass!

Privatize It on August 20, 2014 at 8:15 PM

This is depressing – determining foreign policy by polling LIVs? I bet 99% of them couldn’t accurately describe what exactly constitutes an “air strike” strategy, what is the goal, or what is the cost.

Heck, I can’t even come close to comprehending the efficacy of any air-strike program against ISIS.

I guess anyone with seat time behind a first-person shooter video game is now a General Patton.

Reuben Hick on August 20, 2014 at 8:17 PM

They’ll just hang across the border in Syria and wait us out, or embed in the civilian population.

They aren’t going to sit around and be bombed.

wolly4321 on August 20, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Obama deserves credit for taking action, if belatedly and perhaps not as robustly as some would like.

BHO is a typical Gumming Worker. Lazy, slow, incompetent on many levels, but yet a protected “class” of worker. He’s over 50, Black, and Unionized.

He can’t be fired. He’ll go to some Unionized Rubber Room but he will not be fired. He special.

/Spit.

Key West Reader on August 20, 2014 at 8:27 PM

what a depressing comparison Twitchy has done on Cameron and little barry.

http://twitchy.com/2014/08/20/depraved-lets-compare-david-camerons-response-to-foley-beheading-to-obamas-its-enraging/

i’m sure people have already seem it…but still…ugh

r keller on August 20, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Obama Doctrine: 300 new troops every time he gets pulled off the golf course

faraway on August 20, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Me thinks, a bunch of US AirCraft Carriers,
in the Persian Gulf, for around the clock
airstrikes,

and turn every Highway into Death, and hammer
the livi’n hell out of every Islamic NutJobs,

maybe some belligerent “Moderates” too!!

Highway of Death

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_of_Death
=============================================

“Highway of Death” Iraqi Army Armed Retreat from Kuwait 1991

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhmXleZXAr0

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 8:30 PM

They’ll just hang across the border in Syria and wait us out, or embed in the civilian population.

They aren’t going to sit around and be bombed.

wolly4321 on August 20, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Even if Assad himself gave his go ahead for the anihalation of ISIS terrorists inside his own borders, Obama wouldn’t do a thing.

Let the middle east burn. Extricate the Yazidi’s, Christians and women/children from these hell holes and just be done with it. Let them fight eachother to the death.

Obama. What an effin traitor, liar, thief, disappointment, and failure.

Key West Reader on August 20, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Well, I am sure I am not the only mean as$ old vet who is enjoying watching the lib lame stream media hacks try to make excuses for this worthless part of crap in our White House.

There is no way in hell they can make up enough lies to fill the deep dark hole in sanity he leaves every time he trys to lie out of one of his many, many, screw ups.

I know the country is in great danger from this Putt Putt Golf King, but to watch them skrim and pucker up to kiss his dirty as$ makes me just laugh my as$ off.

It get worse and better every hour seems now.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 20, 2014 at 8:32 PM

I don’t Ed, maybe the public feels that if we had had a nice shiny base near the Kurdish section of Iraq after WE WON the war none of this crap would have happened in the first place.

Cindy Munford on August 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

AMEN to that

gophergirl on August 20, 2014 at 8:34 PM

The fight against ISIS will have to be waged by someone that can retake ground from the terrorist army that controls it. If Americans don’t want to send US forces to do that job, the Peshmerga look like a pretty good option, as long as they can get arms and ammunition for the fight.

The peshmerga are the wrong people for the job. They are a lot of infighting and rivalry. I am worried that if we give them too many guns in a rush to fight IS, we will end up with another problem that will lead to a civil war between Kurds or between kurds and iraq government down the road.

The better trained Kurds for the job are definitely the YPG in Syria. This is where the action is. There is a strong possibility that Assad may be courting them to fight IS with him. The Americans sure hell should too.

Syria is where we need to focus our attention. It is ground zero. pruning around the hedges in Iraq will not do much. They are running scared back to Syria little by little and we need to have snipers ready for them there as they arrive.

America is in toughest space right now because to truly defeat IS it has to either invade Syria, which is not going to happen and should not happen, or coordinate with two groups it has designated terrorist groups. Hezbollah and YPG. And let’s not forget Assad.

I know there are people who would say let the terrorists kill each other. Let the terrorists kill each other is not a strategy and never will be a strategy if you’re end goal is to defeat IS.

coolrepublica on August 20, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Dear former Pres. Bush,,,

“Relegion of Peace uh?”

Be a man admit you were total wrong.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 20, 2014 at 8:38 PM

My judgement of this is that he now knows how far under water he is, he knows he can not handle the job, he knows he has screwed up royal, and now he knows he can not escape the judgement of history on how total a screw up he in fact is, and it is eating him up more every day..

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 20, 2014 at 8:43 PM

I don’t know Ed, maybe the public feels that if we had had a nice shiny base near the Kurdish section of Iraq after WE WON the war none of this crap would have happened in the first place. Cindy Munford on August 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

We do. In Irbil. And all we are doing is reinforcing it to prevent it getting over run.

It’s another spook base.

wolly4321 on August 20, 2014 at 8:46 PM

People were being slaughtered way before a reporter was beheaded. But all of a sudden Cameron is the darling for cutting his vacation short and Obama should follow suit post-haste. There were reports of the butchery being committed by these terrorist before either went on vacation. So I am trying to understand why now, that a reporter has been beheaded, is it so urgent that they must end their vacations immediately. In reality they should never have gone on vacation until they had put in place some plans to confront this incredibly evil and well funded organization that was murdering and torturing the innocence in Iraq and are hoping if not planning to do the same in the UK and US one day.

Buckshots on August 20, 2014 at 8:47 PM

My conversation with an Obama voter today

Her – “Who is this guys in orange all over the Internet”

Me – “That’s James Foley he was beheaded by ISIS yesterday”

Her – “Who is ISIS”

Me – (explains who ISIS is while she is gasping in disbelief)

Her – “I’ve never heard of them – are they brand new”

Me – “They’ve been all over the news for weeks – they are why we are bombing Iraq”

Her – “We are bombing Irag again”

Sometimes I feel there is no hope

gophergirl on August 20, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Nobel Peace Prize update.

Galtian on August 20, 2014 at 8:54 PM

People Killed While Waiting On Obama Rescue:
- 90 Yazidis
- Amb Stevens
- James Foley

faraway on August 20, 2014 at 8:59 PM

That’s because all his efforts will be half-assed, timid and essentially ineffective.

rplat on August 20, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Obama deserves credit for taking action, if belatedly and perhaps not as robustly as some would like.

You know, I REALLY hate it when HA bloggers do this “Obama deserves credit…” blah blah. NO HE DOESN’T.

You don’t give a medal to someone who runs OUT of a burning building. Nor do you give credit to someone for acting to do something where this really is no alternative.

I hate this O-Reilly sort of opinion….trying to act as if you are even and fair -handed by trying so so so so so hard to show how yes, you can say something decent about Obama….It’s a fool’s errand. I stopped watching OReilly a few years ago for just this reason. Obama (and HA readers) needn’t be patronized. It’s darned annoying.

MistyLane on August 20, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Buckshots on August 20, 2014 at 8:47 PM

REALLY GOOD QUESTION Buck.
In essence, nothing changed yesterday, other than the public was FORCED to see a small sample of what has been going on for months now (centuries really, but you know what I mean).

JusDreamin on August 20, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Obama deserves credit for taking action, if belatedly and perhaps not as robustly as some would like.

Hundreds of dead Yazidis would disagree.

faraway on August 20, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Her – “We are bombing Irag again”

Sometimes I feel there is no hope

gophergirl on August 20, 2014 at 8:50 PM

GG:

I was at the supper market, a few days ago,
and somehow got on to the M.E. topic, and
yes, we have some ill-informed Canadians as
well!

Nothing will educate people, till EVIL is breathing down
there necks, yes sad and pitiful!-:)

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Ya know,…they could have B’1 and B-2′s
from the US or Diego Garcia, bombing the
Goons into oblivion sumpins!!!

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Why is overwhelming force and destruction never an option anymore?

KCB on August 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Because not all those Muslims around there are bad, mean Muslims. We wouldn’t want to hurt anyone that doesn’t deserve to get hurt.

Has anyone suggested that Obama or Kerry goes to Iraq or Syria and just tries talking to some of these IS people?

It can’t hurt.

And maybe they will keep one of them… or both.

Walter L. Newton on August 20, 2014 at 9:11 PM

So I am trying to understand why now, that a reporter has been beheaded, is it so urgent that they must end their vacations immediately. In reality they should never have gone on vacation until they had put in place some plans to confront this incredibly evil and well funded organization that was murdering and torturing the innocence in Iraq and are hoping if not planning to do the same in the UK and US one day.

Buckshots on August 20, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Buckshots: Helluva good points,

I’m going with Political Optics,
as it don’t look good, on VaCa
as the slaughtering continues,
however I do believe either way,
Obama doesn’t give a rats *ss about
it!!!!

canopfor on August 20, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Barry, it might be time to call Academi (formerly XE, formerly Blackwater). Provide Or support and $1000 bonus per confirmed kill.

can_con on August 20, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Provide air support.

can_con on August 20, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Extricate the Yazidi’s, Christians and women/children from these hell holes and just be done with it.

Key West Reader on August 20, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Extricate them and put them where? and filter out the salvageable from the dreck? and pay for it how? and for how long?

Do you know what kind of logistical nightmare that sentiment brings?

How do you advertise an extrication and not get a bunch of free-loaders? You can’t even crash an out-of-service bus without turning around and seeing it instantly filled with passengers grabbing their own necks while calling slip-and-fall lawyers.

Reuben Hick on August 20, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Why is overwhelming force and destruction never an option anymore?

KCB on August 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

>> PRESIDENT BARAK HUSSEIN OBAMA. <<

Tard on August 21, 2014 at 12:52 AM

Why is overwhelming force and destruction never an option anymore?

KCB on August 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

The aftermath looks bad on TV and politicians have no stomach for it.

If there was TV in WWII we would have lost.

dogsoldier on August 21, 2014 at 5:25 AM

Obama deserves credit for taking action

If it’s too little too late, and mostly an ineffective demonstration just for the press? Saturday’s sortie to free up the dam was ok.

That doesn’t get much credit in my book. The other strikes have had no real effect of ISIS.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 20, 2014 at 8:43 PM

I think he’s stoned out most evenings, that he is either a sociopath or a psychopath, AND is so totally self focused that everything out here in the world is just TV to him. He does not care one little bit.

If he did, he would have been smart enough to avoid the fist bump photo op at the gold course yesterday.

Remember the scandal of him taking the selfie at Mandella’s service? He is unconscious of, or doesn’t care about the way he comports himself.

Do you recall the photos of Moochelle at that service and the way she openly displayed her disgust as his childish behavior?

All the libturds know this about him: There is something wrong. Now the whole world sees it. The cat is well and truly out of the bag.

Even the French are up in arms.

dogsoldier on August 21, 2014 at 8:10 AM

everything out here in the world is just TV to him.

dogsoldier on August 21, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Exactly right. He himself didn’t think he was ready to run for President. I think they recruited him by assuring him that he would have a Clinton presidency – all he would have to do is give speeches and party while they implemented their prog policies that would save the economy and the world. Instead, he’s had to watch as everything they do blows up in his face with his name on it. He definitely seems over it at this point.

inmypajamas on August 21, 2014 at 9:44 AM