June 23rd, 2014
12:22 PM ET
2 months ago

Poll: Is U.S. doing enough to quell Iraqi fighting?

Washington (CNN) - Half the public says the U.S. doesn't have a responsibility to do something about escalating bloodshed in Iraq, according to a new national poll.

The CBS News/New York Times survey released Monday also indicates a plurality of Americans say President Barack Obama has had the appropriate response so far to the aggressive drive by radical Sunni militants in capturing city after city in northern and central Iraq as they march towards Baghdad.

According to the poll, which was conducted over the weekend, 50% of those questioned say the U.S doesn't have a responsibility to do anything about the fighting, with 42% saying Washington does have a responsibility to get involved.

There's a partisan divide, with a majority of independents and Democrats saying the U.S. doesn't have a responsibility and a majority of Republicans disagreeing.

Latest CNN reporting on bloodshed in Iraq

The survey's release came as Secretary of State John Kerry, in Baghdad Monday, said that U.S. support for Iraq will be "intense" and "sustained," and will be effective if Iraqi leaders unite to face the militant threat.

President Obama's actions

Forty-one percent of those questioned say the President's response to the crisis has been appropriate, with nearly three in 10 saying Obama should do more and 22% saying he should do less. As expected, there's a wide partisan divide on that question, with a majority of Republicans saying the President should do more, and more than six in 10 Democrats saying Obama's had the right response.

The poll also indicates that 44% of Americans say the violence in Iraq will cause the threat of terrorism in the U.S. to rise, with half of those questioned saying it will stay the same.

The CBS News/New York Times poll was conducted June 20-22, with 1,009 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

 


Filed under: Iraq • Poll
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. yolanda

    @Silence, with all due respect to the 4,000+ Americans and the untold number of Iraqis who died as a result of our "mistake", the fact that we lost over 58,000 US dead in Viet Nam and hundreds of thousands (if not more) Vietnamese dead makes Viet Nam the most costly mistake that the US has committed in modern history. Having had the "pleasure " of serving in Viet Nam, I can assure you that the debacle was bipartisan in nature, both in origin and in lack of execution. Though Bush is the boogie man for Iraq (and rightly so), that endeavor(Iraq war) was also bipartisan in nature, as are all wars. Sadly, most posters seem to think little about the people who died, and only want to score cheap political points.

    June 23, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    @smith – "@Rudy-I never said military aid, I said aid. There is a big difference. What does the surge have to do with Clinton`s statement about the troop withdraw? Hmm, nothing. On this issue the Dems and Repubs are flip floppin` big time."

    You're off the deep end, buddy. I said something. You said "Clinton said something different than you." How does that prove anyone is flip flopping? What you don't seem to understand is that nobody is disagreeing about Iraq falling apart because we left. It is. And for us to leave we had to have invaded in the first place. The fact is, WE HAD BOUND OURSELVES TO LEAVE AND HAD NO WAY OF STAYING. Maliki didn't want us to continue our presence. To force ourselves upon his country after we invaded and pretended that installing him in power (this was during the BUSH administration) was our success in bringing democracy to Iraq, etc. etc., helping them create their own sovereign democratic state, etc. etc....to essentially "invade" again by refusing to leave and refusing to obey the SOFA that BUSH negotiated and signed would have been nothing but hypocrisy and the kind of tyranny and colonialism we claim we're not involved in and are fighting against when we do things like invade another country and kill 100,000 of its innocent civilians. The point is that all of this is occurring because we went there in the first place and it was inevitable that we would, at some point, have to leave. Pretending we could stay when we couldn't and pretending that this all would have been avoided if we just stayed longer to "make sure everything was ready for us to leave" or any other number of rationalizations for trying to shift the blame to Obama is all just idiocy and ignores the long-standing history of the region, Iraq itself as a cobbled-together state and the kind of glaring lack of long-term foresight it required to get involved in Iraq in the first place. This ALL rests on the shoulders of Dubya, Cheney, Rummy and anyone who voted for it...altho those who voted do get some level of forgiveness since they were lied to. NOTION BUILDING DOES NOT WORK. But the MSM and GOP/Teatrolls are in love with the romanticized notions of it and the naïve "world power" mentality of the neocons, so they continue to push it and allow it to be pushed as an idea. It's no different than when 2008 disproved all the "free market" deregulatory "the economy polices and fixes itself" nonsense the GOP has been pushing for 5+ decades and the MSM and GOP/Teatrolls quickly did everything in their power to blame the collapse of the financial markets and the eeconomy on gov't spending and debt instead of Wall Street and the failure of the conservative ideology.

    June 23, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    @yolanda
    @Silence, with all due respect to the 4,000+ Americans and the untold number of Iraqis who died as a result of our "mistake", the fact that we lost over 58,000 US dead in Viet Nam and hundreds of thousands (if not more) Vietnamese dead makes Viet Nam the most costly mistake that the US has committed in modern history. Having had the "pleasure " of serving in Viet Nam, I can assure you that the debacle was bipartisan in nature, both in origin and in lack of execution. Though Bush is the boogie man for Iraq (and rightly so), that endeavor(Iraq war) was also bipartisan in nature, as are all wars. Sadly, most posters seem to think little about the people who died, and only want to score cheap political points.
    ----------------
    Agreed. Both were horrible. I pray to God our President stays the course of diplomacy and measured responses.

    June 23, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Sadly, most posters seem to think little about the people who died, and only want to score cheap political points."

    Yeah, defending Obama by saying "hey, it's not his fault, it's the fault of the people who actually caused this by invading in the first place" is totally just "trying to score cheap political points." Meanwhile, we get treated to one of the architects of the power vacuum in Iraq, the destruction of its infrastructure, the people who promised that we could train their armies to protect themselves (which promptly fell apart and abandoned their uniforms in the face of ISIS), that we could build democracy in the region through abject murder and violence, a show trial and botched execution of a known dictator, and walking the people in the region through the motions of one vote...that we could somehow build their nation as a major democratic ally in the region and that a couple epochs of sectarianism and ethnic clashing would somehow all fall by the wayside in the glorious face of democracy...we have to listen to the people who said those ridiculous, daydreamy, naïve, ideologically handicapped things try to spin it all to be Obama's fault that we're watching chaos break out...and the MSM uncritically helping them make and broadcast these claims because it will get more viewers if Obama's being blamed instead of Bush. What a joke.

    June 23, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    Amazed
    Oh yes I remember Viet Nam and will never forget..... I remember urine coated pungi sticks, I remember bamboo cages, I remember napalm, I remember when we bugged out leaving (abandoning hundreds) who stood by us at the American Embassy too be tortured and murdered, I remember the Bui Doi, I remember Tet, I remember thousands who never saw home again....I remember all those things and way way more. Obviously many of the posters here do not, or choose not too. You go back and we will repeat the outcome of Viet Nam. Then truly every man and woman who died in the jungle there, and every one who have died in Iraq so far will have died in vain......because we did not learn not to repeat our mistakes.

    June 23, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Our biggest mistake was not moving faster at installing fast food restaurants and connivence stores all over Iraq , AMPM's , 7/11s , Chucky Cheese's , Jack in the Box's, Micky D's , Carl's Jr and Wings & Things .

    We wasted 21 billon on an embassy in Bagdad and it doesn't have a drive thru window !

    June 23, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Thomas

    The one question America should be asking is where is Ahmad Chalabi and why is the guy a free man .

    June 23, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. smith

    @Sniffit-Both sides have totally flopped on Iraq. How you don`t see that is beyond me. As far as not going to war in the first place, whats done is done and living in past won`t accomplish a thing. Newsflash, our goverment doesn`t learn from past mistakes.

    June 23, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    That's a joke.

    June 23, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Tom l

    Sniffit,
    As someone who was opposed to Iraq I can say that all you're trying to do is score cheap political points. When the thrust of your argument is all based upon WHO gets blamed then. Yes, your concern is only political in nature. The main reason is that you fa to even mention that President Obama CHOSE to follow the SOFA agreement. Obama made THAT decision and he must deal with those repercussions. Your comments are very very transparent. All you care about, and nothing else, is Obama NOT bearing any responsibility. Plain and simple

    June 23, 2014 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Tom l

    AND it must be said this is NOT all Obama's fault. Not at all. But he's president now. He now has responsibility so he absolutely shares in the "blame" (and I know that's all you care about so I want to abundantly clear)

    June 23, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. AnnaBelle

    Stupid, naive government. Really, when will it learn that some creatures are just inherently what they are. Like scorpions. You can't trust it not to sting, it's in its nature. Plain and simple. Same with Muslim jihadists. Thousands of years of unevolved ways. Unenlightened to the joys, beauties and goodness of life. It's in their nature. Can't change them, can't trust them, can't try to think because we are of a higher sense of self realization and self actualization that these hardened and heartless creatures are of the same make up. They aren't. Let them just be as they are. Kill off each other and run around like rabid dogs. We can pity them for who they are, but we should never, ever, get tangled up in their dog fights. We win nothing, we learn nothing, we benefit nothing. A thousand years from now these same tribal factious creatures will STILL be murdering each other in cold blood. We are NOT like them and need to stay away from them or their heartless and cruel ways may start rubbing off on some within the government.

    June 23, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. yolanda

    @sniffit....case in point.

    June 23, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. j.v.hodgson

    Iraq and Afghanistan represent to me the same problem civil war that is fundamentally caused by severely different interpretations of the Qu'ran namely Sunni / Shiite or Taliban/Pashtuns and other more moderate Muslims in Afghanistan. Also both these countries are and remain very multi tribal tribal..... where religion and law version is dictated by the leaders of the tribe and his council. If thy choose have civil war ( Jihad) for that reason we should stay out of it as long as it stays out of attacking USA or European nation by respecting their right to freedom of religion.
    We can use diplomacy and aid carrots to improve the economic and educational aspects of those countries but it will not change the extremists who within any faith are minority, and the citizens will revolt if the extremists try to enforce their version of religious belief by force on all citizens there have been Sunnis and Shiite and wahabi for centuries and so it will remain.... the US going to war will not change that.
    The debate about who started these two wars and whether leaving troops behind 10,000 or so In Iraq and Afghanistan and whether pulling out those from Iraq is the cause of ISIL or ISIS will depend on your party affiliation and will be a futile debate in congress or the Senate., and this blog.
    Please remember everyone these religious groups were fighting amongst themselves before, during, and after invasion. any reasonably stable Arab Islamic states are run by monarchy or dictators even Iran the Ayatollah has edict power to control everything.
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    June 24, 2014 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
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