72% of US troops Want Out of Iraq

With Iraq descending into sectarian warfare between Shi’ite and Sunni factions, a new poll released on Tuesday reportedly shows that 72 per cent of US troops serving in Iraq want the US out within a year. More than a quarter — 29 per cent — said the US should leave immediately.

Zogby International and Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies conducted the poll over the last month and released some results on the Zogby International website. According to the pollsters, Zogby/Le Moyne looked at the views of 944 US troops at various locations in Iraq, giving the poll a margin of error of +-3.3 per cent.

Among other results, the Zogby/Le Moyne poll claims that “85 per cent said the US mission [in Iraq] is mainly ‘to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9/11 attacks,’ 77 per cent said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was ‘to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.’”

The poll of American troops comes amidst steadily descending support in the United States itself for the War in Iraq. It also arrives at a time when the Bush Administration faces other crises over the UAE-ports flap and its response to the hurricane that devastated New Orleans and parts of the US Gulf Coast UAE-ports flap.

According to the release, “Only small percentages [of the American troops in Iraq] see the mission there as securing oil supplies (11 per cent) or to provide long-term bases for US troops in the region (6 per cent).”

The Bush Administration has faced increasing criticism for perceived attempts to link the Iraq War to a response to the attacks on aircraft and buildings in the US in 2001 and its shifting rationales for the war. Most recently, veteran US television journalist Ted Koppel wrote in the New York Times on Saturday, “The Bush administration’s touchiness about charges that we acted — and are still acting — in Iraq ‘because of oil’?”

He further added that “H L Mencken is said to have noted that ‘when someone says it’s not about the money — it’s about the money.”