for April 2003 Poll
for November 2003 Poll
for April-May 2004 Poll
for September 2004 Poll
Answers for September-October
Answers and Citations
to September-October 2002 Poll
My name is ___________________________. I'm calling for Retro Poll,
a non-profit public interest group.
Are you willing to take a few minutes of your time to respond to our poll?
The general topic is war, terrorism, and the U.S. response.
Are you 18 or over?
According to other Polls we've read, most Americans support a war against
1) In your personal opinion concerning the US government policies since
the 9-11 World Trade Center attack, those policies known as the War on
Are those policies:
a) lessening world tensions.
b) having little or no impact.
c) worsening world tensions.
d) not sure/ don't know.
In this poll, we are interested in exploring whether Americans agree
with each other on what they mean by a war on terrorism. You will notice
that the first part asks for factual information to test your background
knowledge and the second part for your opinions. In the first part it
is better to say you don't know than to guess the answer to any question.
Some of the factual questions are very difficult. Please try and be honest
and complete the poll.
2) Who invaded Kuwait in 1991?
Was it: Russia, Israel , Iraq , or don't know.
Correct answer: Iraq
To read about Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, see: Iraq
3) In the 1980s which nation provided the money and military training
to Osama Bin Laden and his Islamic fundamentalist followers to build them
into a fighting force against the Russian Army in Afghanistan?
Was it: Cuba , Iraq , the U.S , or don't know.
Correct answer: U.S.
To read about the U.S. support of Osama Bin Laden, read John Cooley,
Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism.
Pluto, 1999, 2001. Noam Chomsky, 9-11. Seven Stories Press, New
York, 2001, pp. 82-84.
4) In 2001 China carried out 2,468 documented executions of prisoners.
The next 3 countries in number of executions were: prisoners.
Among the 4 are
a) Saudi Arabia, Iran and the U.S.
b) Russia, Greece, and Laos
c) Neither of these groups
d) Don't know
Correct answer: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the U.S.
The vast majority of executions worldwide were carried out in a tiny
handful of countries. In 2001, 90 per cent of all known executions took
place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA. In China, limited and
incomplete records available to Amnesty International at the end of the
year indicated that at least 2,468 people were executed, but the true
figure was believed to be much higher. At least 139 executions were carried
out in Iran. In Saudi Arabia, 79 executions were reported, but the total
may have been much higher. Sixty-six people were executed in the USA (Amnesty
International). For an analysis of the use of the death penalty throughout
the world, as well as in leading countries, see: Executions.
Please answer yes or no to the following questions:
5) Is there evidence that Saddam Hussein of Iraq has developed nuclear
(Yes or No)
Correct answer: No
For analysis showing that Iraq does not have nuclear weapons, see: Iraq's
nukes. A recent article in the Washington Times exposes how
the President is deceiving the public on this issue. Bush
deception. A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor
raises serious questions about the misuse of intelligence information
to moblize public opinion against Iraq. Intelligence.
While President Bush marshals congressional and international support
for invading Iraq, a growing number of military officers, intelligence
professionals and diplomats in his own government privately have deep
misgivings about the administration's double-time march toward war; see:
evidence. Bush's findings of threat disputed; findings often contradict
CIA; See: Bush
6) Is there evidence Saddam Hussein worked with Al Qaeda?
(Yes or No)
Correct answer: No
For analysis showing the lack of contact between Iraq and Al Qaeda,
see: Iraq and Al Qaeda.
7) Do many nations of the world support the U.S. government's stated intent
to overthrow the government of Iraq by force?
(Yes or No)
Correct answer: No
Leaders of virtually every nation have said they oppose a war, including
U.S. allies in Germany, France and Saudi Arabia. Only the leaders of Great
Britain and Israel are supportive so far, and British prime minister Tony
Blair faces strong public disapproval for his support. Washington
Post, September 1, 2002, p A01. For an analysis of a possible war with
Iraq and lack of international support, see: Brent Scowcroft, Wall
Street Journal, OP-ED, 8/15/02 Scowcroft.
8) In 1973 did the CIA work with Chilean army generals to overthrow Chile's
elected president, Salavador Allende resulting in the torture of many
thousands of Chileans?
(Yes or No)
Correct answer: Yes
CIA, Report of CIA Chilean Task Force Activities, 15 September
to 3 November 1970, November 18, 1970: The CIA prepared a summary
of its efforts to prevent Allende'sratification as president and to foment
a coup in Chile. The summary details the composition of the Task Force,
headed by David Atlee Phillips, the team of covertoperatives "inserted
individually into Chile," and their contacts with Col. Paul Winert, the
U.S. Army Attache detailed to the CIA for this operation. It reviews the
propaganda operations designed to push Chilean president Eduardo Frei
to support "a military coup which would prevent Allende from taking office
on 3 November."
Department of State, Memorandum for Henry Kissinger on Chile, December
4, 1970: In response to a November 27 directive from Kissinger,
an inter-agency Ad Hoc Working Group on Chile prepared this set of strategy
papers covering a range of possible sanctions and pressures against the
new Allende government. These included a possible diplomatic effort to
force Chile to withdraw--or be expelled--from the Organization of American
States as well as consultations with other Latin American countries "to
promote their sharing of our concern over Chile." The documents show that
the Nixon administration did engage in an invisible economic blockade
against Allende,intervening at the World Bank, IDB, and Export-Import
bank to curtail or terminate credits and loans to Chile before Allende
had been in office for a month.
Department of Defense, U.S. Milgroup, Situation Report #2, October
1, 1973: In a situation report, U.S. Naval attache Patrick Ryan,
reports positively on events in Chile during the coup. He characterizes
September 11 as "our D-Day," and states that "Chile's coup de etat [sic]
was close to perfect." His report provides details on Chilean military
operations during and after the coup, as well as glowing commentary on
the character of the new regime.
National Security Council, Disarray in Chile Policy, July 1, 1975:
This memorandum, from Stephen Low to President Ford's National Security
Advisor, General Brent Scowcroft, conveys concern about wavering U.S.
policy toward Chile in light of reports of human rights violations. The
memo reveals a division within the U.S. embassy over dealing with Chile,
with a number of officials now believing that all U.S. military and economic
assistance should be terminated until the regime's human rights record
improves. According to Low, by reducing aid and sending "mixed signals"
to the Chileans, the United States risks precipitating a crisis situation
in Chile. Low concludes his memo by recommending that Scowcroft schedule
a special meeting in which U.S. agencies can "clarify guidelines for future
For declassified documents between the US and Chile relating to the
U. S. support of the military coup see: US
9) Was the U.S. found guilty by the World Court for its sponsorship of
terrorist crimes by the Contra army in Nicaragua in the 1980s? (Yes or
Correct answer: Yes
To read about the World Court decision against the U.S. and in favor
of Nicaragua, see: World
The next two questions about terrorism sound similar.
The first asks your opinion of the best description of terrorism;
the second asks about state sponsored terrorism.
For each choose the best answer.
10) Terrorism is:
a) the use of violence against Americans and the hatred of American ideals
b) hatred directed against an entire nation or people
c) the purposeful
use of violent acts targeting civilians with the intent to instill fear
d) don't know
Correct answer: the purposeful use of violent acts targeting civilians
with the intent to instill fear and panic.
For a definition of terrorism, see U.S. Code and Congressional
and Administrative News. 98th Congress, Second Session, 1984, Oct.
19, vol 2, par 3077, 98 STAT.2702, West Publishing Co. 1984; Noam Chomsky,
9-11. Seven Stories Press, New York, 2001, pp. 16-17 and Appendix A;
also see UN
11) State terrorism includes:
a) a government's use of brutal tactics that have been outlawed by international
laws and agreements in order to crush the will of a people to resist domination
b) a government's purposeful targeting of civilian populations in warfare
designed to cause fear and panic
c) both a) and b) are true
e) don't know
Correct answer: Both a) and b) are true.
For a definition of State terrorism, see Noam Chomsky, Culture
of Terror. South End Press, 1988.
12) In the Palestinian uprising of the past two years 84 children were
killed on one side before the other side killed a child.
Were these killings committed by a) the Israeli Army
b) Palestinian militants
d) don't know
Correct answer: the Israeli army.
To read about the large number of deaths of children in Palestine,
see:(Click on "children remembered") deaths
To review latest Amnesty International study of deaths of children in
Israel and Palestine, see: AI
study of deaths of children.
In the next set of questions we are asking for your own personal opinion
on recent events. Please answer these questions yes, no, or no opinion.
13) You may have heard there was a recent, short lived, military coup
against the elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.
There are many reports that substantial funding for the coup came from
the U.S. Government.
a) might backing a coup cause hatred of the United States in Latin America?
(Yes or No)
b) do you approve of this U.S. intervention? (Yes or No)
To read about the U.S. support for the coup against Hugo Chavez,
see NY Times, April 23, and April 24, 2002.
14) President Bush has demanded that Palestinian President Arafat be removed
before the U.S. will support the Palestinians' right to their own country.
a) Would this demand cause hatred of the United States among Palestinians?
(Yes or No)
b) Do you approve of such demands by our government? (Yes or No)
To read about President Bush's demand for the ouster of Arafat,
see: Washington Times, June 24, 2002.
15) In 1967 Israel's army seized the lands known as the West Bank of the
Jordan and the Gaza strip from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
Since then millions of Palestinians who live in these areas have been
under persistent Israeli military control. In your opinion
a) Is suicide bombing a terrorist act? (Yes or No)
b) Does Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders and activists
without arrest or trial constitute State Terrorism? (Yes or No)
c) As Israel's main sponsor could the U.S. government be held responsible
for backing State terrorism? (Yes or No)
d) Would you support an American policy which required Israeli withdrawal
from the occupied territories as a condition for receiving U.S. military
and economic aid? (Yes or No)
Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. aid and loan guarantees,
more than $6 billion per year. Therefore, it is likely that Israel would
be susceptible to a policy that the U.S. would hold up that aid unless
the occupation ended. In our view, ending the occupation with its 380
thousand Israeli settlers now occupying illegally seized Palestinian lands
(a move agreed upon in the Oslo Agreements) is the number one obstacle
to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. For a summary
of U.S. aid to Israel, 1949-2001, see: Aid
to Israel. For a summary of U.S. military aid to Israel, see: Military
Israel does have a policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders and activisits.
Assassination. It is illegal according to international law; see:
of state assassinations.
For general information about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, see:Palestinian-Israeli
For the views of Arab and Jewish Americans on the outlines of a final
settlement between the two peoples, see Results
of a Poll, November, 2002.
16) Do you Support or Reject including the following elements in a war
a) That the U.S. should support international attempts to prosecute war
crimes and crimes against humanity. (Support or Reject)
The United States refused to sign on, support or ratify the International
Criminal Court designed by the world's nations to prosecute war crimes
and crimes against humanity. On September 30, 2002 upon pressure by the
U.S., the European Union granted special exemptions to U.S. military and
civilian leaders so the U.S. (only) will not be subject to extradition
orders by the Court for trial on such war crimes.
b) Lengthy detention for anyone, citizen or not, who the U.S. government
decides to arrest without providing criminal charges, proofs or trials.
(Support or Reject)
International law and standards provide that all persons who are arrested
or detained should be informed immediately of the reasons for the detention
and notified of their rights, including the right of prompt access to
and assistance of a lawyer; the right to communicate and receive visits;
the right to inform family members of the detention and place of confinement;
and the right of foreign nationals to contact their embassy or an international
organization. These rights are contained, inter alia, under article 9
of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR), ratified by the USA in 1992; and the Body
of Principles for the Protection of All Persons Under Any Form of Detention
or Imprisonment, adopted by consensus by the United Nations
General Assembly in 1988. The Human Rights Committee has stated that Article
9(1) is applicable to all deprivations of liberty, including ''immigration
control.'' See: Detention.
c) The use of outlawed interrogation techniques such as torture. (Support
The question itself makes clear that torture is outlawed, yet some
American citizens do support its use. The use of torture for any purpose
consititutes a violation of international law and is construed as a crime
against humanity and, under conditions of war, as a war crime. Endorsing
such action by the U.S. government could be construed as complicity in
terror. See: Torture.
d) A requirement that the U.S. government must prove accusations against
nations before attacking them. (Support or Reject)
e) War against Iraq or other countries the U.S. labels as "supporting
terrorism" when they are not attacking anyone. (Support or Reject)
Unfortunately, many countries of the world, including the U.S.,
harbor and support terrorists and terrorism. If the U.S. were to attack
every country that has in any way supported terrorism the U.S. would be
at war with many or most of the nations of the world. Just for example,
today a leading terrorist lives in New York under U.S. protection, despite
extradition orders from the government of Haiti. His name is "Toto" Constant
and he led a network of death squads that killed thousands of Haitian
citizens during the Duvalier and subsequent dictatorships. We at Retro
Poll do not believe there are "good" terrorists and we also
have heard the addage about living in glass houses and not throwing stones.
Please provide your
Family income greater or less than $50,000 a year___________
Thank you so much for participating in our poll and for caring enough
to share your views. For answers to the factual questions please check
our Web Site (RetroPoll.org). The poll results will appear there within
a few weeks.
reading about history of the 20th century, Howard Zinn, The Twentieth
Century, A people's history. Harper Perennial, New York, 1998.
For an analysis of 9-11, see Howard Zinn, 9-11. Seven Stories Press,
New York, 2002.
For a history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, see: Palestinian-Israeli