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. Peggy McGregor

    Attention all you folks writing in from the RNC. Why don't YOU or your sons and daughters get out your fighting gear and fly on over and instill some good old "democracy" in one of the most violent places on earth? You folks got us into this mess – go on, fight your way out. We'll save a spot at Arlington for you.

    We are not the policemen for the world and sorry to the fat cats – but how many bodies do we sacrifice for your precious oil?

    June 23, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

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


    No SoFA, no troops – as it SHOULD be!

    June 23, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Let the Iraqi deal with Iraqi problems. We SHOULD have let them all along. US keep out!

    June 23, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "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."
    The U.S. removed the murderous, psychopath (Saddam Hussein) who had been holding the disparate ethnic and religious factions that make up the ridiculous "country" of Iraq based on a very ill-informed and stupid agreement made and maps drawn by Europeans in Germany in 1916 because they thought they were masters of the universe.

    Now what happens in Iraq? They collapse into a vicious civil war over ethnic disputes.


    Big honkin' surprise that, eh?

    June 23, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Karl Jones

    Some of the same arguments where made during the Vietnam war..the domino effect..it will threaten us here at home..We send advisers(apparently advisers are not boots on the ground if we call them advisers) I digress.. back to my point...We have to show american leadership...If we pull out of the country we will be seen as week...etc..etc..etc....ENOUGH OF THIS ..ITS NOT OUR PROBLEM..IF IT COMES HERE THEN WE DEAL WITH IT...ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH

    June 23, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Joe

    Yep, Obama's fault the middle east is/always will be a mess...

    Lets send 100K of our fine soldiers and have them get maimed/killed by roadside bombs as they "police" the region...?
    Lets send them with no timeline and just replenish as needed (as they die needlessly)

    Better yet, lets send all the Repubs who think policing region with US lives is answer?

    June 23, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Did I say Germany? I meant France. Meh.

    June 23, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Just a little known fact it was indeed Bush who decided when the troops would be pulled out, before he left office.

    The Bush Administration later sought an agreement with the Iraqi government, and in 2008 George W. Bush signed the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. It included a deadline of 31 December 2011, before which "all the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory".[12][13][14] The last U.S. troops left Iraq on 18 December 2011, in accordance with this agreement.[1][13][12]

    June 23, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Orygun Duck

    We need to find Saddam's son's and put them back in power. Oh yeah, we killed them. Won't work.

    June 23, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Obama withdrew troops from Iraq only because that was his campaign promise

    NO. He did that because it was the law as part of the SOFA.

    Since that was your first point, you've made it obvious that the rest of them are likely to be just as misinformed and ridiculous, having been drummed into your skull by your RWNJ propaganda machine. live the neocon daydream, live it.

    June 23, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Chris

    Why is it the responsibility of the US to monitor or manage the internal affairs of another country? Our presence is not going to stop Iraq or any other country from fighting a civil war over race, religion or whatever 'cause' they want to blame. I'm tired of our government spending money on lost causes and I'm really tired of too many people making this all a Democrat vs Republican issue. We need to take care of our own peeople for a change, not everybody who comes crying for a handout.

    June 23, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Sammy Z

    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.

    Wow that's funny....if only someone who was in a position of power was able to factor in the consequences of a destabilized Iraq back in 2003...

    June 23, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Johnny Vee

    When Obama promised to pull troops from Iraq in his campaign I thought the consequence would be disasterous. Similarly, closing Guantanomo bay seemed to be a good idea, but where did he planned to detain those terrorists? He brought them into the mainland. I don't think it's a better solution. We need to be realistic here. Whether we agree to a policy or not, we can't undo what the previous administration has done. Sometimes we need to choose the lesser evil between two options. I hope troops won't be withdrawn prematurely from Afganistan, keep the G-bay open. Think realistically and not use these issue as political stunts.

    June 23, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Lily

    @ GIJOE
    We will all welcome and be happy that the Iraq debacle be the voting issue come Nov and beyond. If things are not settled quickly, it looks like it will.

    June 23, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Mesa

    The Obama administration should have been in there telling them to be more inclusive the entire time for a more representative government. Obama wanted to get out there as fast as possible and that's what happened. At this point it looks like we will just let the blood bath resume. In all reality now there is not much we can do about it without playing terror favorites. Its a no win deal and even if it was our inept leader does not and will not have a viable solution.

    June 23, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. PaulCat

    Only if the republicans put that much effort on helping the American people right here at home.

    June 23, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    Ask cheney and bush the original liberators and their mission accomplished failure of a war of lies.

    June 23, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Loathstheright

    If we are doing anything, then we are doing too much.

    June 23, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Justin

    @GIJOE "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."

    Ummm, you do realize that the order to withdraw all troops by 2011 was signed by W, right? The Iraqi gov't would not guarantee our soldiers' safety once the transition was made. Did you expect our men and women to continue fighting and getting maimed and killed while also fearing prosecution for the Iraqis? Please look at the facts before you continue to spew thoroughly-debunked FOX talking points at us.

    June 23, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Phil in KC

    I was opposed to the invasion in Iraq. We did not have enough justification at the time and we were already fighting a war on another front. However, now that we have, we have to live with the results. In essence, we own it. And now that we've toppled a ruthless dictator, it appears he will be replaced with a different type of dictatorial regime if we continue to do nothing. I know that there will be a large number who disagree with that assessment, but I don't see how we can distance ourselves from the situation short of just sticking our heads in the sand.
    I also think that it demeans the sacrifice of all who died in that war if we just walk away and let the extremists take over.
    That said, I can also appreciate the argument against – do we want more of our young people to die for this country? Let's face it, there are only 2 reasons why Iraq is important – the oil we get from them and the fact that they happen to include within their borders an area acknowledged as the cradle of civilization – a thought that seems laughable now.

    June 23, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Nodack

    All these Republicans keep saying Obama pulled our troops out too early, otherwise Iraq would peace a beacon of peace and tranquility. None of them remember Bush signing the order to withdraw our troops. There was to be some left over, but the Iraqi government said they wanted the ability to prosecute our troops in Iraqi courts and NO US President would ever allow that, so Iraq asked us to leave. I know Republicans know that, but they still keep up with the BS.

    Now Republicans are torn. They desperately want to destroy Obama any way they can and were waiting to pounce on whatever decision Obama made in Iraq. If he sends in troops then he will be labeled a war monger and is getting us right back into Vietnam again. If he does nothing than they label him weak. Obama chose the middle ground and now Republicans have had to choose their official response and they are split. Most want Obama to send in the ground troops again, but some like Paul say no to any help at all. You guys can't even decide yourselves what you think should be do e, but you are certain that Obama is doing the wrong thing no matter what he does out of spite.

    June 23, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. earache88

    Why are we talking about this? I thought George W said the war was over?? Mission Accomplished??

    June 23, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Tychi

    First we do not have enough troops in Iraq, then we have too many. Hey, we had thousands of troops in Japan and Germany for more then 30 years. Lets stay in Iraq. We can really fix things in Iraq by making it the 51st state and moving in.

    June 23, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. Bill

    Well, the way gas is going up at the pumps now and when ISIS takes over the oil fields, Iranean Oil will solve the nuclear problem.

    June 23, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Robert N. constant

    Once again you see the Chickenhawk Republicans wanting to send young American men and women to spill their blood for no good cause or for the benefit of the profits of the Military Industrial Complex who fill the Republican coffers with "campaign contributions". These are the same people like Rand Paul who "will not send my son" and Dick Cheney who took five draft deferments rather than fight in Vietnam.
    Although not one in ten Republican Congressmen has ever fired a shot in defense of the US, these are the people wh want to send the sons and daughters of the rest of us off to die for phantom "weapon s of mass destruction" lies.
    This alone is reason to never vote for another Republican again. .

    June 23, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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