American Majority Says Bush Misled on Iraq


(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in the United States are questioning their president’s motives to launch the coalition effort, according to a poll by Hart/McInturff released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. 57 per cent of respondents think George W. Bush deliberately misled people to make the case for war with Iraq, up 10 points since June 2004.

The coalition effort against Saddam Hussein’s regime was launched in March 2003. At least 2,065 American soldiers have died during the military operation, and more than 15,500 troops have been injured. 64 per cent of respondents disapprove of the job Bush is doing in handling the situation in Iraq, up six points since September.

The final report of the Iraq Survey Group—presented to the U.S. Congress on Sept. 30, 2004—concluded that Saddam Hussein’s regime did not possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, and had not implemented a significant program for their development.

On Nov. 11, Bush defended his rationale to launch military action, saying, "While it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments related to Iraq’s weapons programs."

Bush has rejected to set a timetable for the eventual withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq. 58 per cent of respondents think their president has not given good reasons on why the U.S. should keep troops in Iraq.

Source: Hart/McInturff / The Wall Street Journal / NBC News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,003 American adults, conducted from Nov. 4 to Nov. 7, 2005. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.