of April 2003 Poll
of November 2003 Poll
of April-May 2004 Poll
Results of September-October
Results for each question are presented within (%)
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 (18.0%).
b) having little or no impact (15.3%).
c) worsening world tensions (36.7%).
d) not sure/ don't know (30%).
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 (0.7%), Israel (1.4%), Iraq (67.3%), or don't know (30.6%)
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 (0.7%), Iraq (11.6%), the U.S (43.8), or don't know (43.8%)
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 (15.1%).
b) Russia, Greece, and Laos (4.8%)
c) Neither of these groups (5.5%)
d) Don't know (74.7%)
Please answer yes or no to the following questions:
5) Is there evidence that Saddam Hussein of Iraq has developed nuclear
Yes (55.5%) No (28.1%) Don't know (16.4%)
6) Is there evidence Saddam Hussein worked with Al Qaeda?
Yes (44.8%) No (22.8%) Don't know (32.4%)
7) Do many nations of the world support the U.S. government's stated intent
to overthrow the government of Iraq by force?
Yes (30.3%) No (50.3%) Don't know (19.3%)
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 (25.2%) No (2.8%) Don't know (72.0%)
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 (10.5%)
No (24.5%) Don't know (65.0%)
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 (25.2%)
c) the purposeful
use of violent acts targeting civilians with the intent to instill fear
and panic (63.6%)
d) don't know
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 (3.5%)
c) both a) and b) are true (63.8%)
d) neither (7.1%)
e) don't know (13.5%)
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 (10.0%)
b) Palestinian militants (12.9%)
c) neither (1.4%)
d) don't know (75.7%)
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 (54.7%) No (10.1%) No opinion (35.3%)
b) do you approve of this U.S. intervention? Yes (25.9%) No (43.2%) No
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 (68.3%) No (12.2%) No opinion (19.4%)
b) Do you approve of such demands by our government? Yes (51.4%) No (35.7%)
No opinion (12.9%)
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 (91.6%) No (1.4%) No opinion
b) Does Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders and activists
without arrest or trial constitute State Terrorism? Yes (65.7%) No (15.7%)
No opinion (18.6%)
c) As Israel's main sponsor could the U.S. government be held responsible
for backing State terrorism? Yes (39.3%) No (39.3%) No opinion (21.4%)
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 (46.0%) No (32.4%) No opinion (21.6%)
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 (89.2%) Reject (5.7%) No opinion
b) Lengthy detention for anyone, citizen or not, who the U.S. government
decides to arrest without providing criminal charges, proofs or trials.
Support (19.5%) Reject (71.0%) No opinion (9.4%)
c) The use of outlawed interrogation techniques such as torture. Support
(14.4%) Reject (80.4%) No opinion (5.0%)
d) A requirement that the U.S. government must prove accusations against
nations before attacking them. Support (82.7%) Reject (10.7%) No opinion
e) War against Iraq or other countries the U.S. labels as "supporting
terrorism" when they are not attacking anyone. Support (42.4%) Reject
(48.2%) No opinion (9.4%)
Among people who know there is little or no evidence
works with Al Qaeda, opposition to war in Iraq is an amazing 75.8%;
See Data Table.
For answers to the factual questions see Correct
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