Poll: Most Americans Believe Iraq Civil War is Likely
According to a new Washington Post poll, two thirds of Americans think there will be civil war in Iraq.
An overwhelming majority of the public believe fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq will lead to civil war and half say the U.S. should begin withdrawing its forces from that violence-torn country, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey found that 80 percent believed that recent sectarian violence made civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third said such a conflict was “very likely” to occur. Expectations for an all-out sectarian war in Iraq extended beyond party lines. More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents believe civil war was likely.
Neither the political leaders in Iraq, or generals in theater, the world’s intelligence agencies, nor all the Middle Eastern experts in academe have anything more than a good guess as to where things in Iraq are headed. Polling people who could not differentiate a Shiite from Shinola about something so complicated as this is just silly.
Such polls are useful barometers of the public mood, which has some bearing on public policy in a democracy. But they are nothing more than that.