Soldiers in Iraq know they are fighting and dying for a lie


    Nearly three-quarters of the American troops serving in Iraq think
    the U.S. should withdraw within the next year and 29 percent feel we
    should get the hell out of the war immediately, a poll of military
    personnel serving in country reveals.

    This jives with emails I’ve been getting from soldiers over the past
    several months and it confirms that those serving on the ground in the
    war don’t share the rosy optimism painted by the Bush administration
    about the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

     “Man, this gig has FUBAR written all over it,” says a Marine who
    has served in Iraq for seven months. “Morale is the pits and nobody in
    our unit thinks we should be here.”

    The poll, conducted by Zogby International, offers a rare look into
    the mindset of fighting men and women serving in a war zone.  That
    mindset is, to say the least, reflective of growing American unrest
    over a war based on false information and outright lies.

    Among the findings by Zogby:

    • Only 23 percent agree with the President’s position that we should “stay in Iraq as long as needed.”
    • 85
      percent of those surveyed felt they were fighting the war “to retaliate
      for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” although the 9-11 commission in
      2004 found “no credible evidence” that Iraq had cooperated with
      al-Qaida in the attacks.
    • 68 percent said they believed that the real reason for the war was simply to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
    • 40
      percent say the Iraqi insurgency is mostly homegrown, with very little
      foreign involvement – a direct contradiction of claims by the Bush
      administration.
    • 55 percent flatly oppose using torture and other harsh interrogation methods on prisoners.

    “Ninety-three percent said that removing weapons of mass destruction
    is not a reason for U.S. troops being there,” says John Zogby,
    President and CEO of Zogby International. “Instead, that initial
    rationale went by the wayside and, in the minds of 68% of the troops,
    the real mission became to remove Saddam Hussein.”

    In another direct contradiction of stated White House policy, just
    24% said that “establishing a democracy that can be a model for the
    Arab World” was the main or a major reason for the war.

    Zogby interviewed the 944 soldiers at various locations throughout
    Iraq. Three quarters of the troops had served multiple tours and had a
    longer exposure to the conflict: 26% were on their first tour of duty,
    45% were on their second tour, and 29% were in Iraq for a third time or
    more.

    The Pentagon did not cooperate with Zogby in the survey and is
    trying to downplay the significance of the soldiers’ responses but
    offered conflicting responses. In one released statement, the military
    brass said the troop comments were not valid because “troops in a
    combat zone are likely to express negative views of their situation.”

    Then Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Venable tried a different spin.

    “The poll’s findings certainly aren’t reflective of the attitudes we
    see displayed by the majority of troops, who are performing in a
    remarkable manner in a combat situation far from home,” Venable said. I
    asked Venable’s office for any polls the military had conducted on
    troop attitudes and morale and they admitted they had not done any
    surveys but added that they based their conclusions on reports from
    “commanders in the field.”

    Emails received almost daily from soldiers in the field confirm
    Zogby’s findings and say Pentagon claims of success and high morale
    are, as one National Guardsman said: “Pure unmitigated bullshit.”

    Their emails, and now Zogby’s findings, show these men and women who
    put their lives on the line day in and day out do so for a war they
    fully know was based on false pretenses and they are fighting and dying
    for a cause that doesn’t exist.