Texas Rainmaker
Democrats Get Paralysis of Analysis
February 28th, 2006 10:19 pm

Much is being made about the Zogby poll released today that allegedly shows a mutiny of the military in Iraq. Nicholas Kristof has a hard time containing his excitement in The New York Times:

A poll to be released today shows that U.S. soldiers overwhelmingly want out of Iraq - and soon.

Editor & Publisher then jumps on the bandwagon and trumpets Kristof’s declaration with the headline:

Kristof: Poll Finds U.S. Troops in Iraq Urge Pullout

Overwhelmingly want out soon? Urge pullout? Sounds like a pretty strong indictment on the Bush administration and the war in Iraq. But things may not actually be as they appear… or as Kristof and the Democrats want them to appear.In looking at the poll’s executive summary (yeah, I paid $19.99 for it on zogby’s site), the question and results are broken down as follows:

How long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?

“They should withdraw immediately” - 29.0%

“They should withdraw within the next six months” - 22.4%

“They should withdraw within six to twelve months” - 20.6%

“They should stay as long as they are needed” - 22.9%

“Not sure” - 5.0%

While Kristof and the Democrats paint the picture that these numbers are evidence of a military ready to cut and run, they don’t take into account the fact that the Pentagon’s existing plan calls for troop reduction of almost half in the next 6 months and about 75% by the end of the year. So it’s reasonable to assume, since the responses are consistent with the existing troop reduction plan, that the respondents were taking this plan into account when answering the question. Hardly the bombshell the Left wanted to portray.

Why is it safe to assume this? The very next survey question sheds some light:

“According to recent polls, about half of Americans favor a rapid withdrawal and half favor an open-ended occupation of Iraq. Which do you believe best describes the motives of those favoring rapid withdrawal?”

36.9 percent said it was because “they are unpatriotic”. Unpatriotic! So if we’re to believe Kristof’s analysis, then over a third of our troops are “urging” something they believe is “unpatriotic”.

In fact, further down in Zogby’s report comes this little nugget:

A majority of troops (53%) said the U.S. should double both the number of troops and bombing missions in order to control the insurgency.

Wait… I thought the troops were “urging pullout”… So we’re to believe they are “urging pullout” and simultaneously want to double the number troops? What sense does that make?

This further supports my theory that the responses to the question about how long troops should stay in Iraq were based more on the actual military plans as than on the desire of a bunch of brave men and women crying to go home.

Another interesting tidbit we’re likely never to see in the MSM:

A large majority of the troops serving in Iraq said they were satisfied with the war provisions from Washington (adequate troop protection; body armor; Humvee plating, munitions).

In fact, only about 30% said their equipment is not adequate for the jobs facing them. So much for those media-planted mutinies.

Now that Kristof and the Old Gray Lady have given their marching orders, be prepared for the onslaught of coverage and endless analsysis by the rest of the MSM on this “bombshell poll”. I only hope I’m not the only one who spent 20 bucks to get the whole picture.

Update: This isn’t the first time the Left has tried to portray the military as opposed to Bush.

Update 2: I’ve been getting a lot of email (many asking why I’d waste $20 on a liberal poll - I reply, “I can afford it, I’m a Republican”) accusing me of “always attacking the polls because of who the pollsters are”. Just for clarification, this is actually one case where I don’t necessarily dispute the poll results themselves (even though John Zogby is an admitted Democrat), but rather the analysis of those results. And I do think the pollsters’ bias and/or agenda led them to their flawed conclusions.

Update 3: More details behind Zogby’s cohorts in this poll (and his alma mater), Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies.

Update 4 (03/02/06): Hugh Hewitt interviewed John Zogby today… at least until Zogby hung up on him.

I interviewed John Zogby about 1:00 Pacific today, but he hung up on me after objecting to my questions. Among the questions: Did he travel to Iraq to oversee the polling? (No.) Would he tell me who had overseen the polling? (Information International of Beirut.) Would he tell me who at Information International? (No.) What did he pay the survey takers? (He wouldn’t say). Had he been invited by the someone in the American military to brief on results? (Yes.) Who was that? (He wouldn’t say.) Why hadn’t he released the demographics? (He had, he said. I disagreed. He hung up.)

Update 5: Even more background info on “unbiased” Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies (hat tip: reader Jack):

Others:
Pamela takes a “critical” look at the pollster himself.Red State’s kingronjo, a member of Zogby’s polling panel takes a closer look at Zogby’s spam about this poll.

Mark reminds the world who these troops usually support.

Rusty looks at the strawman presented in this poll.

FacesFromTheFront examines who the interviewers were. (PS: Thank you for your service, guys)

Smash has two words for the pollsters.

 

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (3) Comments
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Via AFP, an interesting strategy by LBJ’s former Attorney General-turned-Saddam-defense-counsel:

Ramsey Clark, the former US attorney general who is helping to defend Saddam, has submitted a motion recently claiming the judge “is not impartial and has a manifested bias against the defendant”…

The defence claims Abdel Rahman is biased because he is a native of the Kurdish village of Halabja, the target of a 1988 chemical attack in which some 5,000 people, including women and children, were killed.

When defending a client accused of ordering a chemical attack that kills thousands of people, it’s probably not the best strategy to claim the judge is biased because he’s a native of the village targeted by a chemical attack that killed thousands of people.
Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
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I Told You So
February 28th, 2006 5:12 am

On Sunday, I highlighted why the Left continues to be shocked and surprised when elections don’t follow the trends of their mid-year polls. They get themselves all worked up over bogus poll numbers and media spin, then find themselves with a huge hangover the morning after the election. You’d think they’d have learned by now. Almost as if on cue, here is the headline for seeBS News’ latest poll: “Poll: Bush Ratings At All-Time Low“But look at the sample of respondents:

Total Republicans:……….289
Total Democrats:………..381
Total Independents:…….348

…and that’s the weighted sample. Look at the unweighted sample:

Total Republicans:……….272
Total Democrats:………..409
Total Independents:…….337 

It’s becoming so blatant, it’s comical.
Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
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Got a Better Idea?
February 28th, 2006 12:26 am

The Wall Street Journal has a surprisingly refreshing op-ed about the policy to promote democracy in the Middle East (hat tip: Jonathan). Some highlights:

But, say the critics, Islamic and particularly Arab countries are uniquely resistant to change. Between 1981 and 2001 the number of non-Islamic countries rated “free”–that is to say, both democratic and liberal–increased by 34, according to Freedom House. By contrast the number of free Islamic countries remained constant at one, in the form of landlocked Mali. During the same period, the number of Islamic countries ranked “not free” increased by 10.

No doubt deep-seated cultural factors go some way toward explaining these statistics. But why seek abstruse explanations? In the same period when the U.S. was encouraging democratic openings in Eastern Europe, East Asia and Latin America–areas previously thought impervious to liberty, often for “cultural” reasons–it was supporting or tolerating undemocratic and illiberal regimes in the Middle East.

That period also coincided with the rise of al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, the first World Trade Center bombing, the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole, the outbreak of the terrorist intifada in Israel, and September 11. Mr. Fukuyama may or may not be right that promoting democracy does not resolve the problem of terrorism in the short-term. What we know for sure is that tolerating dictatorship not only doesn’t resolve the terrorist problem but actively nurtures it.

Which brings us back to the question of what American policy should be. One answer is to retreat completely in the hopes of being left alone. This is the formula recently suggested by Osama bin Laden; those who would credit it must also entrust themselves to him.

This is not to say democracy is a cure-all. It is also not to say that the peril these democracies face, from terrorist insurrection or ethnic or religious feuding, isn’t grave. Nor, finally, is it to say that the “Hitler scenario” can be excluded in a democratizing Middle East; that possibility is always present, especially among nascent democracies.

But democracy also offers the possibility of greater liberalism and greater moderation, possibilities that have been opened with the courageously pro-American governments of Hamid Karzai, Jalal Talabani and Saad Hariri. And as we stand with them, it seems to us that America’s bets are better placed promoting democracies–even if some of them succumb to illiberal temptations–than acceding to dictatorships, which already have.

Or does someone have a better idea?

I think this article accurately sums up the Democrats’ problems. it’s evident that isolationism doesn’t work to keep us or the world safe, and while it is almost a guarantee that a policy of promoting democracies will lead to a handful of outcomes like the recent Hamas victory, it is stil better to have bad democracies than good dictatorships. But Democrats continue to focus on one or two exceptions and calling them “signs of incompetence” despite this understanding that not all will be perfect transitions.

And while they focus on the exceptions, the rest of us are recognizing the difference a free Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine are having on the world and asking the do-nothing complainers on the left… do you have a better idea?

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Byron York has the scoop:

CIA leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald argued at a hearing Friday that, as far as the perjury charges against former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby are concerned, it does not matter whether or not Valerie Wilson was a covert CIA agent when she was mentioned in the famous Robert Novak column of July 14, 2003. “We’re trying a perjury case,” Fitzgerald told Judge Reggie Walton. Even if Plame had never worked for the CIA at all, Fitzgerald continued - even if she had been simply mistaken for a CIA agent � the charges against Libby would still stand. In addition, Fitzgerald said, he does not intend to offer “any proof of actual damage” caused by the disclosure of Wilson’s identity.

So then what was this case about to begin with?

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AP:

About two dozen hurricane evacuees living on a cruise ship south of New Orleans were taking the federal government to court Monday in a bid to keep the ship docked and the government paying for it.

Maybe they ought to take the money they’re spending on lawyers and… RENT AN APARTMENT!

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The Enemy Within
February 27th, 2006 11:52 am

Confederate Yankee points me to a group that calls themselves “United for Peace and Justice” and they are calling for assistance in “Storm[ing] the White House“. The organizer of the event is the socialist organization, Political Cooperative.

TAKE THE WHITE HOUSE BY STORM - Stop Genocide, Torture and OccupationU.N. SOS - We need your help to end the reign of international criminals.

It is our duty and the duty of the United Nations to rescue the people of the world from the U.S. dictators. Murder for occupation and theft of land is illegal. Murder of journalists is criminal. Remove the traitors who have stolen the U.S. budget and used it to commit international crimes against humanity…

We must stop the criminals in our government NOW. There is no meeting with Congress that is going to change what they are doing. We must put the power of the people into action and stay there until they leave!

Last time I checked, “conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state” was still defined as sedition. And as far as I know, it’s still illegal. In addition, UFPJ is co-chaired by a longtime member of the Communist left. No wonder, when talking about the political left, it’s hard to tell the mainstream from the fringe. They’re all intertwined.

You know, we Republicans weren’t all that excited when Ross Perot stuck his nose into the 1992 Presidential election and allowed Bubba Clinton to assume residency at 1600 Pennsylvania, but instead of coming unwound like raving lunatics, we simple used the electoral system to get our way. THAT is the democratic way.

It seems that whenever the Left loses elections, they resort to undemocratic methods of changing the outcome. Whether by trying to steal elections, switching parties post-election, or advocating the overthrow of a democratically-elected government.

It’s no surprise some of them wear treason as a badge of honor.

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (1) Comment
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John Fund at The Wall Street Journal has this to say about former Taliban spokesman, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, becoming a student at Yale:

Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday’s New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa. This is taking the obsession that U.S. universities have with promoting diversity a bit too far….

I don’t believe Mr. Rahmatullah had direct knowledge of the 9/11 plot, and I don’t think he has ever killed anyone. I can appreciate that he is trying to rebuild his life. But he willingly and cheerfully served an evil regime in a manner that would have made Goebbels proud. That he was 22 at the time is little of an excuse. There are many poor, bright students–American and foreign alike–who would jump at the opportunity to attend Yale. Why should Mr. Rahmatullah go to the line ahead of all of them? That’s a question Yale alumni should ask when their alma mater comes looking for contributions.

First, who approved this guy’s student visa? Why are we worrying about business transactions involving port management, or even border security, if those who serve as enemies of the U.S. can simply trot on into our country on a student visa under the guise of “diversity”? Anyone remember that last time we gave student visas to our enemies?Secondly, I would be more than mildly ticked off if my application to Yale was denied because my spot had been awarded to a former member of the group that harbored Osama bin Laden.

‘In some ways,’ Mr. Rahmatullah told the New York Times. ‘I’m the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale.’”

Glenn thinks, “the food will be inferior to Guantanamo’s.”

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Guess who’s seeking new interns. (hat tip: Ian)You just have to love the fact that the Clinton Foundation’s Internship program includes:You just have to love the fact that the Clinton Foundation’s Internship program includes:

You just have to love the fact that the Clinton Foundation’s Internship program includes:

Hands-on experience: Interns have the responsibility of interacting directly with staff, volunteers and Foundation stakeholders, in such activities as communications, development, and scheduling. Through firsthand experience you learn how the Clinton Foundation functions on a daily basis, and assist with this process directly.

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