Nearly two-thirds of Americans say Iraq in civil war

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Byline: n/a
Date: September 28, 2006

(CNN) -- Nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed consider Iraq to be in a
civil war, a CNN poll said Thursday, and more people view the three major
architects of the U.S.-led operation there unfavorably than favorably.

Iraq, particularly its capital, Baghdad, has endured months of Sunni-Shiite
sectarian killings, and debate has simmered over whether the country has or
has not entered into a full-blown or low-grade civil war.

Asked whether Iraq is "currently engaged in a civil war," 65 percent of the
poll's respondents said "yes," and 29 percent answered "no." By comparison,
a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll in April found 56 percent of the
respondents believed Iraq was in a civil war, while 33 percent disagreed.
(Read full poll results - PDF)

The poll found that most Americans polled -- 60 percent -- said they have a
clear idea of what the United States is fighting for in Iraq, while 39
percent said they did not.

The same question was posed 39 years ago, when America was deeply divided
over Vietnam. At the time, 49 percent said they had a clear idea of what the
United States was fighting for there; 48 percent said no.

Of those questioned now, more people -- 48 percent of those surveyed --
considered themselves doves than hawks (44 percent). When the Iraq war
began, the numbers were not that much different: 45 percent of those polled
considered themselves doves, while 43 percent called themselves hawks.

The poll defined a hawk as "someone who believes that military force should
be used frequently to promote U.S. policy" and a dove as "someone who
believes the U.S. should rarely or never use military force."

The poll's results came a day after a separate poll by the University of
Maryland found that 71 percent of Iraqis favor a commitment by U.S.-led
forces in Iraq to withdraw in a year. (Details)

As for the nation's leaders, half or more of the respondents of the CNN poll
expressed unfavorable views toward President Bush, Vice President Dick
Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The new poll found that 50 percent of those surveyed held an unfavorable
view of Rumsfeld, while 35 percent held a favorable view. The poll found a
five percentage point rise in his unpopularity since April. (Graphic:
Rumsfeld approval rating)

By contrast, Rumsfeld's popularity was riding high in February 2003 as
preparations were under way for the war in Iraq: 58 percent had a favorable
view of him, while 20 percent did not.

Bush's popularity has risen since April, when 57 percent of those surveyed
viewed him unfavorably, and 40 percent favorably. The latest poll found that
52 percent had an unfavorable view of him, while 46 percent saw him

As for Cheney, 37 percent have a favorable view of him, compared with 57
percent who do not. In April, 35 percent saw him favorably, while 52 percent
did not.

In contrast, first lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
emerged popular. The poll said 68 percent have a favorable opinion of the
first lady, while 23 percent have an unfavorable opinion of her.

Rice's numbers are 57 percent favorable and 30 percent unfavorable -- the
same favorable rating as in April, but she had a lower unfavorable rating --
22 percent -- at that time.

The Opinion Research Corporation conducted the poll by surveying 1,009 adult
Americans by telephone Friday through Sunday. The poll has a sampling error
of plus or minus 3 percentage points.