Troops Still Believe Saddam was Involved in 9/11
Zobgy recently surveyed 944 troops at several undisclosed locations throughout Iraq. The most disturbing finding: 85 percent of those surveyed still believe they are in Iraq "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9/11 attacks."
"Before 11 September 2001, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents and lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans - this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known."
-Bush in his State of the Union address, January 2003. He made these comments in the context of the links he perceived between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda
"We don't know."
-Cheney when pressed on whether there was a link between Iraq and 11 September during a TV interview, September 2003
"We will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who've had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11."
-Cheney in the same interview, commenting on the war against Iraq
"[Saddam Hussein posed a risk in] a region from which the 9/11 threat emerged."
-Condoleezza Rice defending the reasons why the US went to war against Iraq, September, 2003
"We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11 attacks."
-Bush, speaking to reporters on September 17, 2003
The poll also found that 72 percent of troops think the U.S. should leave Iraq within the next year; nearly one in four say they should leave immediately:
Different branches had quite different sentiments on the question, the poll shows. While 89% of reserves and 82% of those in the National Guard said the U.S. should leave Iraq within a year, 58% of Marines think so. Seven in ten of those in the regular Army thought the U.S. should leave Iraq in the next year. Moreover, about three-quarters of those in National Guard and Reserve units favor withdrawal within six months, just 15% of Marines felt that way. About half of those in the regular Army favored withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months."A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
The troops have drawn different conclusions about fellow citizens back home. Asked why they think some Americans favor rapid U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, 37% of troops serving there said those Americans are unpatriotic, while 20% believe people back home don't believe a continued occupation will work. Another 16% said they believe those favoring a quick withdrawal do so because they oppose the use of the military in a pre-emptive war, while 15% said they do not believe those Americans understand the need for the U.S. troops in Iraq.
The wide-ranging poll also shows that 58% of those serving in country say the U.S. mission in Iraq is clear in their minds, while 42% said it is either somewhat or very unclear to them, that they have no understanding of it at all, or are unsure. While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks," 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was "to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq."
-Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) commenting on the House floor after former Marine colonel Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) called for troop withdrawl