December 18, 2015

30% or Republicans and 19% of Democrats said they supported the bombing of Agrabah — which is the fictional place in the cartoon movie "Aladdin."

A new Public Policy Poll revealed.

This isn't a basis for saying Republicans are stupider, except to the extent that it's stupid to be enthusiastic about bombing the enemy and trust that polling firms are asking questions about what they seem to be asking.

Now, the smart answer is to decline to answer either yes or no. You don't need to know the name is from a fictional movie. It's enough to recognize that you don't know Agrabah. The yes + no total for Democrats is 55. For Republicans it's 43.

79 comments:

David Begley said...

How clever of the PPP people.

Are Americans supposed to know the names of all those backwater towns in the Mideast?

Why doesn't PPP do a poll and ask residents in Saudi Arabia if they want to work jihiad on Podunk, Wisconsin?

Qwerty Smith said...

The partisan distribution might have flipped if they had asked about bombing Texas.

FWBuff said...

What an unethical polling company! The only possible reason for polling on such a question is to mock the respondents; no useful information could be gathered from such a poll. How do they ever expect to gather reliable data in the future if they've shown themselves to be so untrustworthy?

wenbrobar said...

I think the democrats at Yale are the dumbest for signing a petition to repeal the 1st amendment. They may know more about cartoons, but they obviously don't know the constitution.

readering said...

The smart answer is no if you are against bombing cities in retaliation for a Michigan-Punjab couple shooting up a California office park in the name of the Prophet. If I was called I'd assume the minimum-wage poll-taker was mispronouncing someplace, not that the question concerned a fictional city in the heart of the Abbasid Caliphate.

jr565 said...

agrabah sounds like a middle east location. Why would a pollster ask if you were ok with bombing a fictional place, unless they were trying to do a gotcha.
But the thing is, there are a lot of obscure places in the ME that non one living in the west knows about, and similarly if we do bomb places, no one actually knows every precise location where we bomb, or conduct military operations. So if you are for bombing and a pollster tells you they will bomb Agrabah, your natural inclination is to assume its a real location.

The discrepancy is not the smartness of democrats in recognizing Agrabah. The discrepancy is that republicans are more likely to be ok with bombing jihadis than Democrats. If this were a question about bombing ISIS in Iraq, you'd find more repubs being ok with the bombing than democrats.

traditionalguy said...

You mean its not true? We would celebrate Agrabah's becoming a glassed over spot that glows in the dark.

That would make the earth so much more peaceful. And it's a replay of what what the Muslim Turks did to the Armenian Christians.

jr565 said...

"The yes + no total for Democrats is 55. For Republican's it's 43." So then from this we glean that more democrats have seen Aladdin?

Todd said...

Questions:

a) Why do they say "30% of GOP voters support..." versus "30% of polled GOP voters support..."?

b) Why do they include the actual number of GOP voters polled (532) but not the actual number of DEM voters polled?

c) Why don't they include the number of DEMs that believe Arabs in New Jersey cheered on 9/11?

d) and they close with "One of four of those polled..." agree that Islam should be illegal in the US but don't say what percentage are GOP and what percentage are DEM. Is that because too many DEMs agreed with that?

There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and polls...

robother said...

Why anyone would answer questions put by a complete stranger about one's party affiliation, support for particular candidates or controversial public policy issues is beyond me.

A polling firm that asks trick questions like this of people willing to talk to them is pissing in their own well.

Amanda said...

My first response to seeing Agrabah in the title of the blog post before reading the rest of the sentence was, "never heard of it".

Nonapod said...

I thought this response on Reddit was fairly witty:

I'm a liberal democract, and while I generally support the overthrow of Assad, the fact is Jafar is far-and-away a definite threat to the stability of the region and the human rights of residents of the region. Removing him from power would be a win for the world.

Consider the contrast with ISIL. Though the militants in that organization use Wahhabist doctrine to fuel their pursuits and recruit members, Jafar relies on an ancient mix of proto-Islamic teachings and "Jin" magic that was practiced by tribal groups some 2000 years ago. Its a highly vitriolic and alluring strain of thought -- recruits are promised "three wishes" when they "find the bottle", which is a literal translation of an idomatic phrase that basically means retrieving what was once hidden away (read: stolen) by Western colonialists.

Moreover, his relationship with the local leaders, primarily with the ineffectual leadership dating back to the era of the Sultans, is cause for concern. In the same way Rasputin ingrained himself in the royal affairs of the Czarist court, Jafar has parlayed his own cultural and religious influence into political influence. Coupled with the obvious pro-Western behavior of the so-called Sultan's royal family -- the princess and her rather progressive views and dress come to mind -- and you have the recipe for aggravation from the rather destitute population.

Sean Gleeson said...

You are failing to allow for the possibility that a respondent knows perfectly well that it is the fictional setting of Aladdin, and supports bombing it anyway.

n.n said...

55 Democrats and 43 Republicans claim to live in Disney Land.

SOJO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

What if I recognized it as the fictional place in the cartoon movie Aladdin, and I still think we should bomb it?

Matthew Blaine said...

We have always been at war with Agrabah.

Bay Area Guy said...

Reminds me of the Tennessee voter in the 1964 Presidential election:

Reporter: Who are you supporting this election?

Voter: Definitely Johnson. That crazy Goldwater wants to take away my TV.

Reporter: I think that's the TVA -- the Tennessee Valley Authority -- Goldwater wants to cut the TVA to help balance our budget.

Voter: I don't care. Not gonna take any chances.

Big Mike said...

So people heard "Agrabah," and assumed that "Al-Raqqah" was the city in question. Big whoop. Al-Raqqah (alternately transliterated as "Rakka") really is a city worth bombing that doesn't mean very much.

Since 100% of registered Democrats can generally be persuaded to ban "dihydrogen monoxide" because of the annual number of fatalities attributed to being immersed in it, not to mention that it's powerful enough to corrode steel, I don't think one can conclude that Republicans are dumber than Democrats.

(For the benefit of the Democrats among the Althouse readership, dihydrogen monoxide is a molecule consisting of two hydrogens and one oxygen.)

Yikes said...

Reminds me of the poll about the (nonexistent) "1975 Public Affairs Act", taken to see if people are willing to state an opinion on something they know nothing about: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/survey-questions-fiction_n_2994363.html
There, both Democrats and Republicans took the bait.

Also reminds with the old Jimmy Kimmel / Adam Carolla video where they get women to sign a petition to "end women's suffrage".

Fernandinande said...

Gosh, I wonder how PPP decides which results to advertise?

Here's their poll:
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2015/PPP_Release_National_121715.pdf

Page 71:

% Support/oppose/dunno bombing Agrabah:
All: 30 / 13 / 57
Very Liberal: 24 / 45 / 31
Somewhat liberal: 50 / 10 / 39 - WINNER.
Moderate: 35 / 16 / 49
Somewhat Conservative: 25 / 12 / 63
Very Conservative: 31 / 11 / 58

rehajm said...

"Is it safe?"

rehajm said...

Republicans realized it was a cartoon place and assumed you meant a cartoon bomb.

Michael said...

I would bomb it. After it closed, at least. It is in Disney World/Orlando

Snark said...

The thing that struck me first was that the measures of what must be almost purely ideological thinking on either side is pretty close at 30 and 36 %. So roughly one in three of either political stripe doesn't need much in the way of specifics to double down on their go-to position.

mpeirce said...

You're all assuming people are not gaming the pollsters. It's not like people are under oath.

David said...

Fernandinande said...
Gosh, I wonder how PPP decides which results to advertise?

Here's their poll:
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2015/PPP_Release_National_121715.pdf

Page 71:

% Support/oppose/dunno bombing Agrabah:
All: 30 / 13 / 57
Very Liberal: 24 / 45 / 31
Somewhat liberal: 50 / 10 / 39 - WINNER.
Moderate: 35 / 16 / 49
Somewhat Conservative: 25 / 12 / 63
Very Conservative: 31 / 11 / 58


Hmmm. Perhaps "The Stupid Party" tag might be removed? Not that Republicans are not the stupid party (as opposed to the dishonest and venal one), but the tag does not seem to fit the event based on what Ferdinand found.

Sounds almost like the pollsters were dishonest and venal.

harrogate said...

"What an unethical polling company! The only possible reason for polling on such a question is to mock the respondents; no useful information could be gathered from such a poll. "

Come now. If a vast plurality of Americans were reticent to bomb places they had never heard of and knew nothing about whatsoever , that would be a great--and useful!-- thing to know . Oh well, the poll was worth a shot anyways

Robert Cook said...

"Are Americans supposed to know the names of all those backwater towns in the Mideast?"

If we're being asked whether we support bombing them, absolutely yes! If we don't know what or where a location is, how can it be necessary for us to drop bombs and kill the residents therein?

Robert Cook said...

"Are Americans supposed to know the names of all those backwater towns in the Mideast?"

If we're being asked whether we support bombing them, absolutely yes! If we don't know what or where a location is, how can it be necessary for us to drop bombs and kill the residents therein?

Bob Ellison said...

Agrabah has been a den of thieves since 1992. They've all got swords.

Robert Cook said...

"The only possible reason for polling on such a question is to mock the respondents; no useful information could be gathered from such a poll. How do they ever expect to gather reliable data in the future if they've shown themselves to be so untrustworthy?"

The information gained is awareness of the degree to which Americans are willing to support bombing people they don't know in a place the don't know, either because they are happy to bomb people or because they accept without question that if our government is bombing them they must deserve to be bombed.

It's nice to know that some people didn't agree bombing was necessary or acceptable.

Clyde said...

Kill 'em all, let Disney sort 'em out.

buwaya said...

There are at least three places in the Muslim world called El Grabah, Grabha, etc., transliteration being iffy from Arabic.
One each in Morocco, Algeria and Oman, and of course there may be more.
The one in Oman is not far from the straits of Hormuz, and like all of Oman, occasionally threatened by its bigger of more messed up neighbors, it being in a rather strategic spot. At some point, possibly, there may be some reason to bomb it if there is trouble in or near Oman.
Algerian Ghraba is in the countryside near Algiers. Given that there has been quite a lot of Islamist trouble in Algeria, its not entirely out of the question that at some point the US may want to bomb something there, but for now the Algerians seem to have any bombing requirements covered.
Moroccan Bou Graba is some hill country in a desolate part of Morocco (and in Morocco, that is saying something), not too far from the Algerian border. Assuming there is some way to survive there it seems like a reasonably good spot for a guerrilla hideout.

Johnny Sokko said...

I favor bombing Agoraphobia.

Johnny Sokko said...

I favor bombing the 57 states of the US.

Gahrie said...

The information gained is awareness of the degree to which Americans are willing to support bombing people they don't know in a place the don't know

I wonder what the numbers would be if they went to any Muslim country and used the name of a Western city? Or if they went to Russia and used an American city?

Guildofcannonballs said...

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They do.

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11141 Chicacgo ae

Chicago.

Chicago.

Go to to to..

Wait, we done cum youse.

We cum 'youse.

Think.

Think decades ago,,,

Decades from now Musl... and Christ followers like me acted even spurieiosly tghroughtg mere words toward none if not all, forever, always.

buwaya said...

"If we're being asked whether we support bombing them, absolutely yes! If we don't know what or where a location is, how can it be necessary for us to drop bombs and kill the residents therein?"

Because nobody can know where the people you need to kill are. Its a big world with many obscure spots, some of which are the hunting grounds of very dangerous people. Take, for instance, the isle of Basilan. No American should wander the countryside there with, probably, less than a platoon of infantry, and likely not even with that. The odds of murder or kidnapping (followed by murder at some point) are so high as to be a certainty. Its also a wonderful place for some villain to hide, given the hostile population (to Christians and foreigners) and the thick jungle. Some fine day some fool of an American may be kidnapped or murdered, or some band may commit an atrocity and flee there (as did some of those that invaded Zamboanga a couple of years ago, and the favorite haunt of kidnappers that plague Zamboanga). Then you could, I suppose, ask Americans whether their Navy should be bombing Tipo-Tipo.

The Godfather said...

Agrabah sounds like a place that ought to be bombed. I bet Obama is already getting ready to drone it.

More seriously, this is yet another example of what Ilya Somin calls rational ignorance. We citizens don't get to pick targets; we (supposedly, anyway) get to pick the leaders who pick the people who pick the targets. So if the poll is intended to show that the average citizen isn't capable of deciding what sites to bomb, so what? And if you want to find out if the citizens are capable of picking leaders who pick the people who pick the targets, you need no more evidence than the last two presidential elections. Right now it looks like we're going to make it three in a row.

Dan Hossley said...

This is the polling equivalent of "click bait". You should tag this "polling bias".

harrogate said...

The ones who said "yes" without knowing anything about it at all are showing that they have a reflexive openness to dropping bombs wherever , whenever. In other words they are pretty bad people. It doesn't matter which fucking party or ideological demographic they designated for themselves .

sostander said...

About as stupid as all those Yale kids on that video signing the petition to repeal the First Amendment.

Writ Small said...

I was curious as to who were the most gullible (defined as those who chose a definitive yes or no answer to the Agrabah question) based on which candidate the person supported. Ann already noted that Republicans were less gullible than Democrats. Among Republicans, Carson voters are the least gullible (76% declines to say either yes or no) and Trump voters are the most gullible (51% declined to state a preference). Also, Trump voters were far and away the most in favor of bombing (41%).

But even Trump voters are less gullible than the average Democrat (only 45% declined to answer). Among Democrats, Hillary supporters are the least gullible (50% declined - statistically tied with Trump supporters), Bernie supporters are more gullible still (39%), and O'Malley supporters are the least savvy by far (just 26% declined to answer and fully 39% want to commence bombing - close to Trump-supporter levels of knee-jerk aggression).

Unfortunately, the poll also suggests that Trump's negatives are coming down among Republicans. I guess more R's are getting used to the guy as his polls rise. On the other hand, the percentage of Republicans who put winning (52%) ahead of ideological purity (36%) is some encouraging news, although I have no idea how this compares to previous cycles.

@ Fernandinande

You are not reading the poll properly. The section you quote is from the Republican primary voter section only. All that implies is that "somewhat conservative" Republicans are the least gullible and "somewhat liberal" Republicans are the most.

You have to scroll to the very bottom of the PDF to get to the responses of Democrat primary voters who for some reason were asked far fewer poll questions.

Mark Hamilton said...

It is stupid that 30% of Republicans respondents favored bombing the fictional city of Agrabah, but not for the reason that the respondents don’t know their geography. Rather, it’s stupid to favor bombing a city without sufficiently compelling reasons. Cities have innocent civilians who would die in massive numbers if bombed. If 30% of respondents favored bombing Roqqa I’d call that stupid as well.

Matt said...

Fernandinande,

The poll was only GOP voters so those were GOP voters who identified as "liberal". *shrug*


Separately, I am glad to see that liberals expressing their daily dose of hatred. It is odd... conservatives hate the people who would happily saw off a liberal's head whereas liberals hate the people who wish to stop the head-sawers.

Static Ping said...

I totally support bombing. We must narrow the magic carpet gap somehow.

I agree with The Godfather on the logic here. Asking trick questions is rarely useful as they become semi-proxies for other things. Asking obvious questions can be useful because there is an assumption of non-ignorance, that the polled have at least put some modest thought into the matter.

For that matter, I have a higher opinion of people who want to bomb fictional places than people who do not want to bomb fictional places but want to give terrorists hugs and yoga mats, which seems to be the approximate policy of a significant part of the Democratic base.

rcocean said...

Actually, a subset of the "No"answers are people who don't think we should bomb imaginary places.

Someone should ask the public if the Federal government should ban the immigration of Jawa's to the USA. I bet a majority of Democrats would say No.

JCC said...

Public Policy Polling is a well-known shill for liberal and Democrat organizations. They are also well known - notorious is better - for masssaging the data - by selecting amongst the actual respondents to get the numbers you want, shocker, right? - in order to find some sub-set of those who replied until you can fine-tune a mix that gives the required number. PPP also is known for asking completely ridiculous questions, kind of tongue-in-cheek but with the idea of holding conservatives and Republican up to ridicule, as in "What candidate is likely to ruin Thanksgiving dinner?" (Answer: Donald Trump, natch). 2nd place was Hillary, but we didn't get that lede.

So, in this survey, among the Republicans, a fully 50% of those cited claim to be Evangelical Christians. That's a pretty healthy number I'd say. And 63% were over the age of 45. See where this is going? But among the Dem respondents, 37% were young people, 64% said Hillary was a nice lady and 50% thought Sanders was a great guy. 79% agreed that those on a terror watch list should never, ever get guns. And so on. So, using qualifiers like some of these, you shake out some of the finer distinctions, and Viola! 30% of Repulicans want to bomb the H*ll of a Disney character while only 19+% of Dems feel the same way. Major difference.

Why is this a story? Because it's in the Guardian...GB's verison of the NY Times, only more butch.

PPP. Like the Kaiser Family Foundation only with a sense of humor.

Mac McConnell said...

I'd like to think those answering "yes" actually know what Agrabah is. They think Disney should be bombed for the crap they produce.

Fernandinande said...

David said ...
Sounds almost like the pollsters were dishonest and venal.


Releasing the one tidbit certainly was.

They had so many categories...but they didn't advertise the fact that 59% of "very liberal" people support shutting down mosques (pg 69) - about twice the % of any other group.

Similar for "Believe thousands of Arabs in New Jersey"; liberals 2X or more than conservatives.

"Islam should be illegal in the United States" - most popular among liberals: 59% 55% 23% 16% 37% - from "very liberal" to "very conservative".

Rhythm and Balls said...

This isn't a basis for saying Republicans are stupider...

Yes it is.

On almost every score, FOX News viewers rank as the least informed of all. And you can bet that Republicans as a whole aren't much better.

Republicans vote based on every emotion the limbic system can contain.

Except empathy. They think that engaging the electorate with empathy is a disaster.

Every other motivation is ok. Anger, hatred, vengeance, FEAR (big time with that one) and shock.

But any policy that engages empathy or love for our fellow citizens is wrong, to them.

How long do you think a human mind can problem-solve when it shuts out a good half of what allows it to interact with and engage productively with others?

Electing another damn Republican in 2016 should help us find out the answer to that.

Chuck said...

Public Policy Polling is a Democratic front operation working out of North Carolina. They frequently do odd little polls with a clever p.r. angle. In the midwestern U.S., for example, they do little polls on Big Ten football teams and coaches, which naturally get the blood boiling among lots of college-educated consumers and voters.

This is of a piece with other vanity polls that they do. They do them on their own; nobody commissions them. They try to make them compelling and current, so that they get lots of press coverage and then secondary coverage on places like... the Althouse blog!

The goal, very simply, is to keep "Public Policy Polling" in the news. And it works. Polls prove it (haha just kidding).

What I like about Public Policy Polling is the concept. Particualry polling members of the opposing party. You see, what I dream about is having the time and the resources and the inclination to do a poll of Democrats in my state (Michigan) and surface all of the bizarre notions that they harbor. You had better believe that there are about a million people -- all Democrats -- scattered through Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Saginaw and Benton Harbor, who harbor some of the freakiest ideas for which a poll would be hilarious. Fox News fans; think Jesse Waters.

clint said...

"Big Mike said...
So people heard "Agrabah," and assumed that "Al-Raqqah" was the city in question. Big whoop. Al-Raqqah (alternately transliterated as "Rakka") really is a city worth bombing that doesn't mean very much."

This.

There's been tons of talk about bombing Al-Raqqah.

In a phone interview, failing to distinguish Agrabah and Al-Raqqah is reasonable. We make routine corrections to slightly misspoken words all the time without consciously thinking about it.

Laslo Spatula said...

Ask the question about the bombing of Alderaan.

Democratic Pajama Boys will surely get it.

I am Laslo.

jr565 said...

Robert cook wrote:
If we're being asked whether we support bombing them, absolutely yes! If we don't know what or where a location is, how can it be necessary for us to drop bombs and kill the residents therein?

Oh! oh! Raises hand. I'l answer that one.
Beause the assumption is we are bombing a city or a location because it has terrorists in it. Not just BECAUSE. No one is for bombing random locations that have civilians (except maybe Trump, if those are the relatives are terrorists. I kid) simply because we wish to bomb a location.

jr565 said...

David wrote:
Page 71:

% Support/oppose/dunno bombing Agrabah:
All: 30 / 13 / 57
Very Liberal: 24 / 45 / 31
Somewhat liberal: 50 / 10 / 39 - WINNER.
Moderate: 35 / 16 / 49
Somewhat Conservative: 25 / 12 / 63
Very Conservative: 31 / 11 / 58

LOL. so the place they wanted bombed is fake, as are the posted results

Aussie Pundit said...

The respondents support US military action in the middle east. They don't follow the details and are not going to weigh it up on a case by case basis. If they see a question along the lines of "do you support [military action] in [middl eastern location]" the answer is yes.

You could have played the same game in 1944 with European place names.

"ha ha, that's not a real German town, you dummies."
"We don't care.... we're in favor of fighting nazis."

Same thing here.

JHapp said...

And now that I know its not real a real city I would bomb it twice. Logical conclusion is 30% of repubs knew its not a real city. I would not even try to predict what the dems where thinking.

Aussie Pundit said...

Actually, a subset of the "No"answers are people who don't think we should bomb imaginary places.

Well, all of them.

Why are the "yes" crowd dumb, but the "no" crowd (they are against bombing fictional towns) not dumb?

Surely everyone who answered is dumb, whether they said yes or no.

MrCharlie2 said...

For me the default answer is NO.

If someone asked if we should bomb a place I have never heard of, should I really say I'm not certain? I need a strong reason to want my country to bomb a place, not just that it sounds like the kind of place we like to blow up. Only if I believed myself to be ignorant of geography or world politics would I be undecided.

Bombing and "military action" are not synonyms. Bombing is more brutal and indiscriminate than almost other military action.

I suppose I can give the not sures the benefit the doubt, but those who said yes are either nuts or half asleep from a bunch of stupid questions.

Bob R said...

A. What kinds of people are dumb enough to spend time answering a public opinion poll?
B. What kinds of people are dumb enough to be interested in the opinions of those people?

Ambrose said...

Where is Bob Hope when we need him? "Ladies and gentlemen, the Democrats are such pacifists that in a recent poll 39% of them opposed bombing Agrabah."

Rusty said...

Bob R said...
A. What kinds of people are dumb enough to spend time answering a public opinion poll?
B. What kinds of people are dumb enough to be interested in the opinions of those people?

A. People who wander around malls during working hours because they have nothing useful to do. So answering a pollsters questions is like having a job.
B. People who used to walk around malls during working hours, but now get paid to ask stupid questions of people who wander around malls.

Quaestor said...

Perhaps some Republicans are more ignorant about Middle Eastern geography than some Democrats, however this survey proves Democrats don't know dick about chemistry. Or does it?

Well, well, well.. the years later and the prolodytes still haven't taken science to heart.

Steve said...

All Americans test positive for the chemical compound dihydrogen monoxide. About ten people die every day due to exposure and African Americans die at three times the rate of others.

Would you support regulations to ban dihydrogen monoxide?

I'll bet you a dollar democrats will answer yes to this questions at much higher rates than republicans.

If you want to make Fox News views look dumber than CNN viewers it is just a matter of question selection.

marcwinger.com said...

It's a false comparison. There are always going to be a segment of the population, irrespective of ideology, that wants to bomb everything that is perceived to be an enemy.

iowan2 said...

So who is uneducated? Obama's spokesman related that Obama declared Trump disqualified to be President. Huh?
Several Democrats suggested suspending the 2010 mid term elections. Who's dumb?

Char Char Binks said...

Bombs away! I know it seems as appetizing to the left as a steaming plate of braised trake and buttered ermal, but they've always been soft on Jafarism.

Joe said...

What would the results be if the same people were asked, "Should we bomb Chicago?"

Freeman Hunt said...

World's biggest exporter of all-poweful genies and malevolent wizards, so perhaps the hostility is warranted. They even allowed their king to be hypnotized and controlled by an evil wizard. That's irresponsible governance.

Or maybe the people who wanted it bombed are peace lovers. "Yes, yes, if you're going to bomb a place, let it be fictional!"

jr565 said...

Bombs away
But we're ok
Bombs away
In old Bombay

Robert Cook said...

"Oh! oh! Raises hand. I'l answer that one.
"Beause the assumption is we are bombing a city or a location because it has terrorists in it."


So you're willing (or eager) to bomb a city you've never heard of because the assumption is the city has terrorists in it? What does that even mean? Even if there is a city among whose residents are terrorists--a meaningless term, given its indiscriminate usage, but I'll use it here for rhetorical purposes--shouldn't the assumption be that they are a tiny minority, that the city is largely populated with non-violent, apolitical people whose only daily concerns involve raising their kids, making their daily bread, providing for themselves and their families?

The United States is more actively dangerous and violent toward the masses living in the Middle East than those same masses are actively dangerous and violent toward the United States. From their perspective, we are a nation that has terrorists in it. Do they have a valid basis to launch bombing attacks against us?

grackle said...

The polling was idiotic and signified nothing. Previous commentors have already destroyed its credibility. What interests me are the side issues raised in the comments.

So you're willing (or eager) to bomb a city you've never heard of because the assumption is the city has terrorists in it?

I doubt the average American during WW2 knew the names of every Japanese, German and Italian town that was bombed. Does that mean for the commentor that Americans of that era would have been wrong to want them to be bombed? Apparently so. If not the commentor needs to explain.

… the city is largely populated with whose only daily concerns involve raising their kids, making their daily bread, providing for themselves and their families?

I wouldn’t be so sure about the “non-violent, apolitical” and “daily concerns” stuff if I were the commentor. After all the town is fictitious.

In real towns in Muslim countries where the terrorists concentrate you wouldn’t want to be an apostate from Islam, or a girl who wanted an education; you wouldn’t want to be alone, even by accident, with a male not a member your family, go without head covering in public, object to a marriage arranged while you were a child or have the bad luck to be raped. All these could mean your death and by the hands of seemingly “non-violent, apolitical people,” sometimes who are members of your own family. If you are lucky your death will be swift. Many are not lucky.

The same might be said about the families in towns of Bergen, Bernburg, Buchenwald, Dachau and all the other German concentration camps where so many innocents perished. Some readers may recall that Ann Frank died at Bergen.

The towns nearby were “largely populated with[seemingly] non-violent, apolitical people,” most of who just happen to welcome the rise of Hitler. And of course one of their “daily concerns” was acquiescing in the killing of Jews, gypsies and other groups Hitler didn’t like. Who stood by while German Jews were rounded up. Who cheered when Hitler took the Sudetenland. Who willingly basked for awhile in the terrible glory that was Nazism.

grackle said...

In a war if a populated area has terrorists I certainly believe something should be done to kill the terrorists. That’s Anti-Terrorism 101. Rather than just have our soldiers attack the town cold I believe bombing first might save some American soldiers’ lives. If I were POTUS, if it were militarily advantageous, I would certainly bomb the hell out of any town containing a concentration of terrorists.

“Non-violent, apolitical” Muslims should do everything in their power to not be in the vicinity of concentrations of terrorists. They need to realize that to do otherwise may sometimes be fatal. Ideally, they themselves should drive the terrorists from their vicinity. Failing that American bombs and soldiers should do it for them. And just for the sake of their own humanity they should strive mightily to disavow and eliminate the daily violence and subjugation that is so common in their lives.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, that's idiocy.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook, that's idiocy."

Bob Ellison,

Not in the least, though I know people will tie themselves into pretzels to support ghastly actions they support, so they can deny to themselves the behavior is ghastly, (or if that cannot be denied, so they can accept and approve the behavior as necessary and therefore justified).

Robert Cook said...

"I doubt the average American during WW2 knew the names of every Japanese, German and Italian town that was bombed. Does that mean for the commentor that Americans of that era would have been wrong to want them to be bombed? Apparently so. If not the commentor needs to explain."

What is happening in the M.E. today is not analogous with WWII. That said, the purposeful aerial bombing of civilian cities and towns were war crimes. (General Curtis Le May even said: "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.")

"In real towns in Muslim countries where the terrorists concentrate you wouldn’t want to be an apostate from Islam, or a girl who wanted an education; you wouldn’t want to be alone, even by accident, with a male not a member your family, go without head covering in public, object to a marriage arranged while you were a child or have the bad luck to be raped. All these could mean your death and by the hands of seemingly 'non-violent, apolitical people,' sometimes who are members of your own family. If you are lucky your death will be swift. Many are not lucky."

To the extent this is true, it reveals a people unfortunately, even tragically, mired in primitive fundamentalism, but it does not justify our killing them wantonly, either on purpose or "accidentally" in trying to kill one or two or five or ten terrorists believed to be (or actually) residing in the area.

"If I were POTUS, if it were militarily advantageous, I would certainly bomb the hell out of any town containing a concentration of terrorists."

And you would be a mass murderer and war criminal, no better than any we condemn on their side, and considerably worse in terms of degree of innocent lives exterminated.

grackle said...

My comment: If I were POTUS, if it were militarily advantageous, I would certainly bomb the hell out of any town containing a concentration of terrorists.

A reply: And you would be a mass murderer and war criminal, no better than any we condemn on their side, and considerably worse in terms of degree of innocent lives exterminated.

Is killing the enemy “mass murder” because civilians may be killed in the process? To believe such a thing is to abandon military action altogether since modern warfare could not be conducted without civilian casualties.

The days, as in the first days of the American Civil War, of civilian bystanders gathering with picnic baskets to watch from the sidelines as battles rage, are long gone. Back then the military participants were still possessed of compunctions. Battles were fought only between armies on sites mostly devoid of civilians. It would be nice, or at least nicer, if that same sensibility were present in today’s warfare. But it’s just not.

The enemy hides among civilians, using them as shields, yet for the commentor I am the criminal not the terrorists who use the civilians as shields. Wow.