Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Zogby Poll: Who Duped the Troops?

"We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th."
-- George W. Bush, September 2003

"We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9/11."
-- Condoleeza Rice, September 2003

"If you're talking specifically about the September 11th attacks, we never made that claim."
-- Scott McClellan, September 2003

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
-- Voltaire, 18th century

I wasn't going to write anything about the Zogby poll of the troops in Iraq. That 72 percent of them think we should leave Iraq within the next year doesn't surprise me, nor am I shocked that only 23 percent think they should "stay as long as they are needed."

Sorry if this sounds cold, but what the troops think about leaving Iraq really doesn't matter, just as it wouldn't matter if they all wanted to stay. We don't go to war because our soldiers want to fight one, and we don't abandon wars because the troops are tired of fighting.

Sound reasons to withdraw from Iraq are manifest. We don't have to ask the troops' permission to bring them home, and it doesn't make a atom's bit of difference if 37 percent of the troops think that those of us who want to bring them home are "unpatriotic."

But here's something that does matter in this poll: 85 percent of the troops think the U.S. mission in Iraq is “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9/11 attacks,” 77 percent think the main reason for the war was to “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq,” and 93 percent think that "removing weapons of mass destruction is not a reason for U.S. troops being there."

All sentient Americans know by now that Saddam was not connected to the 9/11 attacks, that he had no weapons of mass destruction, and that al Qaeda didn't enter Iraq until we kicked Hussein out of it. We also know that those were the three key points the administration used to sell us on their woebegone war from the beginning.

How is it that our men and women in uniform can be so confused? The first answer that comes to mind is that somebody is confusing them on purpose. I'd really, really like to know what the troops in Iraq are hearing and seeing on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS).

Anyone who's served overseas with the military in the last twenty years or so realizes how tightly the Department of Defense controls access to radio and television programming. In some areas, AFRTS is the only English language broadcast medium available. It doesn't take much imagination to speculate as to what sorts of messages our troops are being bombarded with on a 24/7 basis.

To put the mind control effect a system like AFRTS has into perspective, think back to July 2003, when Knowledge Networks took a poll of Americans in the United States who had complete access to a supposedly "free and open" press. 52 percent believed the U.S. had found clear evidence that Hussein was working closely with the al Qaeda terrorist organization. 23 percent believed we had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that was down from 34 percent from a poll conducted the previous May.

The only people in America who believe these things today have stuck to a strict news diet of A.M. talk radio and Fox News. That should tell you what kinds of programming AFRTS is force feeding our troops in Iraq.


  1. You can get the schedules here:

    Looks like on TV for news they get a mix of ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and Fox.

    For radio they get Rush, but they also get NPR's All Things Considered and the Al Franken show.

    Doesn't look terribly weighted in one direction or another.

  2. I'm not sure that's the schedule for what they're seeing in Iraq, Scott, but even if it is, it doesn't show you propaganda spots that get shown six or more times per hour.

    I've been there and done it. AFRTS is downright Orwellian in peacetime.

  3. Yeah, I can imagine. I've never seen or listened to it, so I don't have any firsthand knowledge.

  4. Here's the link to the "Freedom Radio" programming being broadcast to the troops in Iraq.

    Trust me, it's very controlled.

  5. I'm glad you decided to write about this , Commander. Well put. This goes hand-in-hand with the USMC blocking blogs/websites that differ from the party line for our veterans. Nothing like being sent to 'protect freedom' at home and 'bring freedom' to Iraq yet have none of your own while you're doing it.

  6. They don't want the kids to know their benefits are being eroded.

    And here's Peter Pace on MTP saying things are going very well in Iraq.