Monday, December 12, 2005

"Right Now"

CQ has a post on the new poll that shows the numbers Senator Murtha used when calling for withdrawl from Iraq may have been sliiiightly inaccurate. But I have to question this as polls are involved.

Captain's Quarter's :

Another point also demonstrates the lies that Democrats have used in trying to
scare the American public into losing the war. It turns out that 80% of Iraqis
don't want the Americans out "right now", but only 26%. (emphasis mine)

Murtha's Quote: (Via WP)

"I'm absolutely convinced that we're making no progress at all. . . . Until we
turn it over to the Iraqis, we're going to continue to do the fighting. . . .
They'll have to work this out themselves. . . . We have become the enemy; 80
percent of the people in Iraq want us out of there;
45 percent say it's
justified to attack Americans. It's time to change direction." (emphasis mine)

Where does Murtha say "Right Now"? I don't see it? Maybe they cut it out. Or MAAAYBE it was never in there in the first place. I'm not going to go the "evil republican spin" route, but the addition of those two words" Right Now" really changes the meaning of that statistic.

Instead I will just point out that maybe 80% of Iraqi's wanting us to leave eventually isn't sucha far fetched number when compared to the ABC poll numbers. In fact, according to CQ 26% want us out right now and 52% want us out when their security forces are trained, well that's 78% total wanting us out, and I'd bet that's within the margin of error of that 80% number. (usually 2.5%, but I don't know what it is in this case)

Conversely, I found the theoretical source of Murtha's numbers(via media matters), this secret UK military poll. I don't see 80% wanting us to withdraw in there, the only even remotely comparable number from that article is 82% opposed to the presence of coalition troops, which is not the same as calling for immediate withdrawl. (If someone asked me if I was opposed to foreign guys with guns in my country, I'd probably say yes too, so this could have a lot to do with how questiosn were asked.) So it is possible Murtha misused/misspoke the statistic when he spoke, or that there is a more detailed report I don't have access too.

But it seems that neither side is really looking at the numbers carefully or critically in this case.


Anonymous said...


I think your thinking is very useful. In fact, why are there not more statistics junky fact checker types on the web... you'll have to cover for them I guess.

Also, I appreciate your balance, you do not take a parties position, and are fact based and flexible in your assayment of the facts, very good qualities.

This is an excellent post, thanks.


Shinobi said...

*blush* awww gorsh

I'm glad you liked it. I should probably trackback that CQ post.