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Monday, March 20, 2006

# Posted 11:42 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

ANYONE KNOW WHERE MURTHA GOT THAT STATISTIC? Here's what the man said on Meet the Press. Twice:
I talk to the military commanders all the time. I know what’s going on in the military. And, and most of the military in Iraq, 70 percent of our troops say we want out of there, and 42 percent say they don’t know what their mission is for heaven’s sake...

So our troops are caught in a civil war. Forty-two percent of them don’t even know what their mission is, and 70 percent want out of there.
My sense of Murtha is that he doesn't make things up. But his worldview is so contorted that he doesn't seem to a very good job of analyzing his evidence. So I'd be curious to know which poll he's referring to and what it really said.
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Comments:
He is probably referring to this poll:

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075

72% say U.S. should pull out within a year.
58% say mission is clear, 42% say "hazy."
 
Thanks, John. The really interesting paragraph in that Zogby link was as follows:

The survey included 944 military respondents interviewed at several undisclosed locations throughout Iraq. The names of the specific locations and specific personnel who conducted the survey are being withheld for security purposes. Surveys were conducted face-to-face using random sampling techniques. The margin of error for the survey, conducted Jan. 18 through Feb. 14, 2006, is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

The critics are going to have a field day with that one. I'm not sure it invalidates the poll, but it sure makes things hazy.

Also, I was under the impression that polling soldiers is not allowed. Or is that soldiers aren't supposed to answer poll questions?

Either one of those would really complicate this whole story, since it would strongly suggest that the sample was biased.
 
Mystery Pollster has some good stuff on this.
 
Thanks, Jacob. Lots of great material there. No surprise that Murtha presents as a virtual certainty what is highly doubtful.
 
Anybody that thinks that Murtha is spouting anyting other than the latest Party talking points doesn't know the guy. He's a party hack, and not the brightest bulb on the tree.

Remember back when the party line was that a large call up of the IRR was imminent? Murtha joined the chorus, but added his own special fillip; he got it from his inside contacts in the Pentagon.

We all know where that went, don't we?
 
Also, I was under the impression that polling soldiers is not allowed. Or is that soldiers aren't supposed to answer poll questions?

I don't know what military you served in, but private firms conduct polls, including active duty areas often enough. So does Military Times (yes in war zones).

I guess some of you might be stunned at this:
While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,

I can say first hand this is exactly the type of indoctrination fed to the grunts by the officers day in and day out.

As far as the numbers of gaurd and reserve that want out asap, the numbers look low to me! My unit has been decimated.
 
"As far as the numbers of gaurd and reserve that want out asap, the numbers look low to me! My unit has been decimated."

What the heck does that comment mean? Decimation means that a tenth of the unit was summarily executed by the command for failure to obey orders. Somehow, I doubt it. And since that's an obvious hyperbole how could one take the rest of the comment seriously?
 
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