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. PHgil

    Gotta ask: If USA were energy independent, would we stay out of these religious wars? I believe the answer would be Yes. So here's an idea: Get our men and women out of these countries who are bent on killing each other .Bring the military home-all of them! Provide generous opportunities for them to further their educations in sciences leading them to careers to help develop technology which eliminates our dependence on foreign oil.
    This beefed up reserve can strengthen home security and /or provide back up as needed for police, border patrols, et al.
    Added costs for this can be financed by increased tax on companies NOT engaged in energy conservation projects.

    June 23, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    I thought America had taken care of Iraq in 2003 ? I saw a Big Sign that Read MISSION ACCOMPLISHED !!

    June 23, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Raid

    The US installed a sectarian regime in Iraq, and it invited this way Iran to take over Iraq. Undo it.

    June 23, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Amazed

    I am ashamed to admit it, but I find myself asking the question"what would Putin do about Iraq.?" Who knows how many people has or had murdered, but you have to give him credit, he knows how to operate on the world stage.

    After having made that statement, I feel the need to go take a shower.

    June 23, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. VEW2012

    Basically the Iraqi people have not learned to share a democratic government with each other. It is a case of: "all for me, and none for you"; with either one side or the other being up or down. We as an outside force cannot fix that; that is a problem they have to want to fix for themselves. Iraq is a situation of three different groups wanting to be the top dog. The GOP thought they could replace Sunnis with Shia and that has proved to not be a solution, it has only made the problem more pronounced.

    Our biggest flaw was those who thought that we could fix this from the beginning. Yes, Saddam was a bad man, our meddling replaced him with a fractured government and with the spoils going to his opposition who it seems are just as self-centered and greedy as he was.

    It is doubtful if a SOFA extension would have solved the problem; and we certainly can't deliver them a democratic government by force, only they can do that. It is possible that the only peace might be in a separation and split which allows each peoples to form a government suited to their own interest.

    It is time that we quit eating our young in the defense of people who do not appreciate the sacrifice.

    June 23, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. Patrick Apollon

    First things first, it's important to understand one of the major difficulties to the matter at hand. You can kill a people, but how much harder we see it is to kill a belief! According to Eckart Tolle, in A New Earth, he speaks of the disadvantages of destroying the enemy. Furthermore going into detail about how such acts usually cause resentment, which, in turn, lead to revenge. Giving an example of when scientists go above and beyond to eradicate a disease only to have that disease adapt and come back stronger.. much more deadlier. It is my view that this is what we are all witnesses too in the evolution of Al Qaeda. From their veins the scion of death known as ISIS. So uncontrollable that Al Qaeda finds it difficult to join in with them in one accord. This belief, this unstoppable force, is set and geared to meet the U.S. Unfortunately, our options are limited due to our foreign policy principles attached by the jugular by the doctrine of not negotiating with terrorists. This unmovable stance is slated to this unstoppable force. To me, the answer to this paradox under the parameter's giving by the present- day situations and circumstances at hand could only mean war. There will at times be peace, but, due to laws of chaos, it will only be a matter of time before the worst of fears comes to fruition.

    June 23, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Kevin Quail

    As long as the sectarian strife continues between Sunni and Shia, they will be to busy to start trouble over here. Let's hope this drags on for years. Logic never works with religious nutjobs- muslim, Christian, etc. As Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1758, "To see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

    June 23, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Dennis KY

    The only reason Republicans say we have a resposibility to do something is because Democrats say we shouldn't. If we sent troops tomorrow then in a couple of months Republicans will start complaining that the Obama administration isn't doing enough to get them out. Born and raised in Kentucky but every day becoming a little more anti-American from our government's games.

    June 23, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. getu

    USA doesn't have to do anything in Iraq, it is Iraqis people business, Why Iraqi president wants American kids to die for him and not his own citizens?

    June 23, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. WhiteISaColor

    Yes, and at that time sonny chapman, the mission was to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In that sense, it was mission accomplished. However, leftists (Democrats) want to own both sides of the issue. The want to be able to call "heads" and "tails" at the same time. It was mainly this same crowd that complained about Bush's "daddy" not finishing the job in the first place back in 1991, right?

    June 23, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Tom l, it was still up to Obama to implement the agreement as written, the withdrawl was carried out under his watch, so he can claim credit for it. Now, what other events do you care to pick apart simply because you feel the need to tear down Obama, or can you simply let sleeping dogs lie for once? Its amazing to watch you attempt to act as some kind of truth meter, when all you are doing is injecting your own, very biased spin into things under the guise of being an " independent". Please. it was politically unsustainable for the Bush administration and the GOP to continue with the occupation of Iraq, so they set a timetable for withdrawl which the GOP would have cheerfully ignored had they won the 2008 election and felt the need to change the SOFA conditions or timetable. Give Obama credit for sticking to the timetable and for honoring his promise.

    June 23, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Poll: Is U.S. doing enough to quell Iraqi fighting?
    I notice that the question assumes that we should be doing something to quell the sectarian civil war in Iraq. Should we?

    June 23, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Don

    We are continuously amazed at the lack of morality in the US. Why not stand by and watch the mess we created in Iraq turn in to a state that will cultivate/strengthen the terror threat to our country. We seem to have little terpretude for getting the job done right. Most countries view us a fair weather friend, ready to cut and run on a wave of US popular opinion. In a global sense, we have spent our leadership capital very unwisely; and appear as a discombobulated member of a former great nation in decline. If we can't muster the fortitude to stand up for the principles our forefathers visioned for our nation, who will?

    June 23, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Vijay

    Sonny Chapman – Comment of the day...

    June 23, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. tinykhan

    For all the people who want to send soldiers back into a religious civil war that has spanned centuries...please, volunteer your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives to join the military. Send them over to fight and die, and then see how involved you think we should get.

    June 23, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. bk

    We are deeply involved , stop supplying arm and rocket launchers, they are used against us, Not a good idea to have a terrorist state. There are no good options. Do nothing or full military involvement with take of Iraq Govt, maintain good politics for few years, eliminate terrorist govt. Use the oil revenues to benefit our people and veterans. Help people of Iraq to have a good Gove.

    June 23, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. bspurloc

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED in handing Iraq to Iran. Thanks Bush... NEVER has anyone been so wrong WMD LIE and the expense of SO MANY.... 5000+ soldiers dead, 55,000 wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead...
    Thanks Bush. Thanks Cheney

    June 23, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Eddie Haskell

    Well i see the remaining wmd's from Iraq are leaving Syria today . That is a great thing . The world is a little safer place .

    Uh, Yeah, OK... Whatever that means.

    June 23, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Before the chaos erupted in Iraq liberals gave credit to Obama for ending the war and the GOP gave credit to Bush. Now, the liberals say it was Bush and the GOP say it was Obama. smh. Glad to be an Independent.

    Thanks for pretending that there's no difference between signing the SOFA and successfully executing it. I'm sure the MSM will get around to playing that ridiculous false equivalence game with this as soon as they're done trying to help the GOP/Teatrolls launch their nontroversy narrative that blames Obama.

    June 23, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. GenPatton

    Is the President doing enough to give away America? This President has done the most for Islamist Extremism, that I bet the next al queda leader will be named Barak.

    June 23, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. Dead Bear

    I think if Republicans keep insisting that other people's children go off to Iraq and die for oil that they'll be the ones getting slaughtered at the polls come November. So keep up the saber-rattling, all of you chicken hawk/draft dodgers in the GOP! And I personally love the inability to admit fault combined with the insistence of always being right.

    June 23, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. John

    Funny, how republicans indicate we should be involved, but when it comes to coughing up the money to pay for the effort, their typical response is NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

    June 23, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Under The Desk

    Under SOFA we left Iraq in pretty good shape (2011).
    Al Maliki ran his government into the ground.
    This is on him, and him alone.
    Now he wants help ?
    Too bad.

    June 23, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    "Moreover, Dubya signed the SOFA, which Obama implemented as it was supposed to be implemented, pulling the troops out as agreed"

    I keep reading this from some of the members of the gang. I find this a fascinating quote. So, basically, it was Bush who got us out of Iraq and not Obama as demonstrated by this comment yet they love to take credit for Obama getting us out of Iraq. How does Biden say this:

    "I am very optimistic about – about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration."
    The Obama administration didn't renege on the SOFA treaty that Bush had signed, which was contrary to what the neo-cons had wanted him to do. They wanted to stay there, even without an agreement. A Pres. McCain would have most likely reneged on the treaty.

    June 23, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. salty dog

    Dr.gil, your assuming the gop.wants to stop war, they don't that's why their answer to all foreign problems are the same: invade .

    June 23, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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