Where do soldiers get their news?

A new Zogby poll came out today. What is getting coverage in a New York Times article is that 72% of U.S. soldiers in Iraq believe we should substantially withdraw sooner rather than later. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, I have been to Iraq, and I would want to come home, too. But what did surprise me (and was not mentioned in the NYT) is that 85% believe that the primary reason we are in Iraq is “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” while 77% said that “the main or a major reason” for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.” This is a year and a half after the 9/11 Commission dismissed any meaningful relationship between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks or al Qaeda. Perhaps we cannot expect American soldiers to be better informed than the public at large and a large slice of the public has often linked Iraq and 9/11, in no small part because of innuendo from the Administration or direct claims, particularly from Vice President Cheney. Yet, today polls indicate that less than a third of the public still believe that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. Soldiers in Iraq get their news through media that the military controls or at least is aware of. It is a shame that they are so poorly informed about why they are fighting.

2 thoughts on “Where do soldiers get their news?

  1. This article is somewhat misleading. The poll does not say that the troops feel they should withdraw “sooner rather than later” but instead, according to Zogby International, 76% believe that “the U.S. should exit the country within the next year.” I believe that news on polls, especially from scientists, should quantify the results. “Sooner rather than later” is far too vague; some people would consider 1 year to be “later” and immediately to be “sooner” whereas only 29% of the respondents hold that view. The point is valid that the troops are misinformed, but the method of demonstrating that point ought to rely less on vague diction and more on legitimate facts.

  2. If you ask any(sane and rational) soldier fighting any war, they want to get away from the conflict.
    The Military was pumped – up with the belief that Saddam and 9/11 were linked. It is impossible to remove this belief from 100% of the Military, nor should it be removed. A soldier must have a clear mission in mind, as this gives them some strength and fortitude. Without that, there would be a rebellion within the ranks, and that is devasting, inside and out.
    I feel none of you have ever been in active battle, or you would not be so hasty in your desire to “reveal the truth.”
    If the entire truth were known about the entry into this war, there would be utter and total chaos within the Military.
    This “blanket” of Mis-information was at first meant to conceal the truth for entry into Iraq. Now that we have Thousands of troops in harms way, let it serve as a “reason” for their being in a deadly situation. Each soldier needs the fortitude of belief that they are serving the United States and all free Nations . This belief carries them through, and home.
    Once they have their feet back on American soil, safe with their loved ones, or flat on their backs, with missing limbs in a V A hospital, there will be time enough for them to understand the truth.

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