June 23rd, 2014
12:22 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. GIJOE

    Folks are missing some strategic points.
    1. Obama withdrew troops from Iraq only because that was his campaign promise, unfortunately, he forgot to factor in the consequences of a destabilized Iraq as a result.
    2. While the liberals think the US has no stake in Iraq they need to recognize that if the ISIS terroritory becomes another islamist terror state then the US will be at risk at home and abroad. It is a grave error to believe non of what is going will have no affect or impact on US interests at home or abroad.
    3. An ISIS nation will have a effect on neighboring countries like Jordan, Israel and Turkey to say nothing of Iran moving into Iraq eventually to possibly save Baghdad from falling completely. The already have a substantial Quds force there now.
    4. Obama said he does not want to play wackamole but that is precisely what is needed to prevent any further ISIS adv advances and possibly push them back.
    5. Words and fancy smart ass speeches by Obama will not change the reality on the ground and if he does nothing the whole affair will get far worse.
    6. Remember in November and vote for NO democrats.

    June 23, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Amazed says:
    June 23, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm
    No matter what your views are on Iraq, one truth is undeniable. The U.S. removed the murderous, psychopath (Saddam Hussein) who had been terrorizing his own citizens for decades and gave the people of Iraq a chance to choose a better life.

    And what do they do? They collapse into a vicious civil war over ethnic disputes.

    Personally, I don’t care if in the end they all eliminate each other. Apparently Saddam Hussein was exactly the right person to keep Iraq “together”.

    Let this be a lesson to us just like Viet Nam, Somalia and Afghanistan should have been. If all these people want to do is fight each other, then go ahead and have at it. The trick for us is to find a way to manage the chaos so it does not disrupt the civilized world.

    Agreed. Maybe Saddam wasn't so bad..... I say let them work it out themselves. Nothing is worse than seeing the pictures of the dead American soldiers on the news, daily. These people have been fighting for 100's if not 1000's of years, we are not the world police. We have enough going on in this country to deal with. I'm sorry Iraqi's but it's time to handle your own business.

    June 23, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. freedom

    The fighting wouldn't be happening if Obama hadn't prematurely pulled our troops out, and emboldened the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and Syria.

    June 23, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. smith

    Stop giving aid to anti-Assad forces this was a very stupid move from the start. Assad would have crushed the ISIS and we wouldn`t have this issue.Remember Afghanistan in the 80`s? Don`t fund Sunni radicals, these are the idiots wanting to wage jihad against the US. smh.

    June 23, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Badly-Bent

    We could go back now. But, more than likely we will go back latter when the bad guys are more entrenched and the costs will be much higher in terms of dollars and lives. It's the American way.

    June 23, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. tds

    You are all missing the point the US, used the all about freedom story, it was all about Oil and dick and his buddies getting rich, don't kid yourselves they went to was to line the fat cats pockets. That is why the world dislikes the US
    not because of our freedom, (which most don't really have) it is the fact that we think we can go anywhere and do whatever we want. We steal from everyone and only go into help where the rich have their money.

    June 23, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |

    Saddam was an American puppet and once the US government didn’t need him anymore, he was no good.

    Support from the U.S. for Iraq was not a secret and was frequently discussed in open session of the Senate and House of Representatives. On June 9, 1992, Ted Koppel reported on ABC's Nightline,that the "Reagan/Bush administrations permitted—and frequently encouraged—the flow of money, agricultural credits, dual-use technology, chemicals, and weapons to Iraq." Starting in 1982 with Iranian success on the battlefield, the United States made its backing of Iraq more pronounced, normalizing relations with the government, supplying it with economic aid, counter-insurgency training, operational intelligence on the battlefield, and weapons President Ronald Reagan initiated a strategic opening to Iraq, signing National Security Study Directive (NSSD) 4-82 and selecting Donald Rumsfeld as his emissary to Hussein, whom he visited in December 1983 and March 1984. According to U.S. ambassador Peter W. Galbraith, far from winning the conflict, "the Reagan administration was afraid Iraq might actually lose The United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required. The United States also provided strategic operational advice to the Iraqis to better use their assets in combat... The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq. My notes, memoranda and other documents in my NSC files show or tend to show that the CIA knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, munitions and vehicles to Iraq

    Iraqi military personnel received various types of guidance from their American counterparts on U.S. soil. According to Roque Gonzalez, an ex-Special Forces officer with multilingual expertise, Saddam's elite troops received instruction in unconventional warfare at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. "The idea was that, in the event of an Iranian victory, the Iraqi soldiers would be able to wage a guerrilla struggle against the occupying Iranian force", writes Barry Lando, former investigative producer with 60 Minutes

    June 23, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    love344 says:
    June 23, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm
    I see CNN when it is a positive for the President.. the headline does put his name …so he doesn’t get credit…

    I think you meant doesn't and if so, concur.

    June 23, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. riccismiles

    NO. It would be nice if for one time since the late 1930s and before Pearl Harbor, Americans stood together and said "DO NOT SEND OUR YOUNG PEOPLE BACK TO THE MIDDLE EAST". Besides, has anyone noticed that 90% of these middle eastern terrorist are SAUDI? They get money from the Saudis, many are Saudi -yet we keep the Saudis as our "oil allies" and pay the middle east in American Soldier's blood. Is it worth it? HEck no.

    June 23, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. AllAmerican

    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= These are Republicans who wants to push Obama into Iraq war, so they can win 2016 and get majority in House and Senate again. They want to show there bases that Obama's early pull out let to fall of Iraq and he was eventually forced to go there to fix it.

    June 23, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. mornelithe

    "Religion poisons everything" – Christopher Hitchens

    June 23, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Roy Black

    As long as ME muslims are focused on killing each other, attacking America will be on their "back burner". US should wait for the dust to settle then work with, or against the winner. The outcome could take years to decide, which is fine with me.

    June 23, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. moakley

    And if Obama wanted to put boots on the ground in Iraq, then there would be near unanimous opposition. Democrats because they are opposed to putting boots on the ground. Republicans because they are opposed to Obama.

    June 23, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. disgusted

    Yes, let's get involved in a middle-eastern country's internal struggle over religion and power- again- because, we've made so many good friends over there, and we like, know what's best for them, and... well, you know, OIL.

    June 23, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Boo

    Hey freedom – Bush set the target date for withdrawal from Iraq.....take it up with the r e t a r d e d cowboy.

    June 23, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. hypocrites!

    We never belonged in Iraq and we don't now. GW and Cheney never thought beyond their bank accounts when planning and invading but we're stuck with the messes that naturally followed. Let's send GW and Cheney to Iraq!!!!

    June 23, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Malory Archer

    Democrats voted for the war, including the dems great white female hope, hilary clinton.


    Dems voted for the war based on the cherry-picked intel and outright lies fed to them by the lying liars who lied to get us into a war of THEIR making.

    June 23, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. sammy zoso

    We are not doing enough in Iraq. We need to send all Republican blow hard hawks to the front line ASAP. You want war, go fight it suckers!

    June 23, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Johnkc

    We got out of Iraq because the Iraqi President wanted American troops to fall under Iraqi laws, not US military justice.

    June 23, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    No matter what your views are on Iraq, one truth is undeniable. The U.S. removed the murderous, psychopath (Saddam Hussein) who had been terrorizing his own citizens for decades and gave the people of Iraq a chance to choose a better life.


    Yeah, except HE was the only guy who was holding the peace together in the ME because everybody was terrified of him – and deadeye dick KNEW that in 1992, yet somehow seemed to forget that by 2003.

    June 23, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Lolo

    You people on here need to remeber Obama is the first black president, not the first president. These treaty were made before he was elected and trying to clean up the mess that was created previously. If Bush and Chaney were not so greedy this would not have happened. We cannot continue to police the entire world. What about taking care of home first. Bush went to Iraq to get Saddam for threating his father and Chaney went to get the cash for Haliburton. Please look at the whole picture. Enough is enough. These countries have been fighting among themselves since biblical times. Let them handle their own problems.

    June 23, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    " Is U.S. doing enough to quell Iraqi fighting? "

    Since we destroyed their government, we have some obligation to help. Keyword: HELP!

    We do NOT have an obligation to take it on ourselves to solve all of their problems. Until Iraqis show a resolve to stand up for their own country, we should do very little.

    I think our President has a good handle on the situation.

    And, like the devastated World Economy Barry inherited, it's another W-cheney mess to clean up.

    June 23, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Day

    Remember, we tried to stay but they wouldn't give our troops immunity. I'm a Rep. but facts are facts, We would have never pulled every troop had Iraq simply agreed to the immunity clause. Why are all forgetting this?

    June 23, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "The fighting wouldn't be happening if Obama hadn't prematurely pulled our troops out, and emboldened the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and Syria."

    Boy are you completely and utterly misinformed and without a shred of understanding of the situation. We are looking at the natural, inevitable, unavoidable fallout of HAVING INVADED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Moreover, Dubya signed the SOFA, which Obama implemented as it was supposed to be implemented, pulling the troops out as agreed. THERWAS NO "EARLY ABOUT IT. Al-Maliki did NOT want any forces to remain, basically refused to negotiate on that point and we had no right, authority or power to force that on him and the Iraqi people. Keep on keepin' on in your cartoon fantasy land known as the conservative bubble though...actually informing you would likely prove totally impossible, so you may as well live in the delusions of your own making.

    June 23, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    the 47% of the USA that does not pay taxes are complaining the country is not doing enough for Iraq...


    Then perhaps it's time to start taking away conglomo incorporated's multitude of tax breaks that not only cancel out their tax burdens, but actually GIVES them $$$ since THEY'RE the only ones making a profit.

    June 23, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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