By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
August 23, 2010
Infowars.com Editor Kurt Nimmo’s recent piece entitled Corporate Media Poll Claims Majority of Americans Support Iran Attack, raises a number of key and timely points on the quality of Rasmussen’s poll sampling and whether such a poll actually represents American public opinion on this particular issue. But let’s take this a step further and try to construct our own independent poll on the Iranian question, one which will more accurately reflect real public feelings on this impending geopolitical face-off.
Far from being objective, the Rasmussen Poll was designed to lend support an existing policy- to test the public waters on a Pentagon-planned pre-emptive military strike on Iran. The actual results produced are far from useful in measuring the country’s true public opinion on the matter, much less America’s willingness to add a new front to its already bloated global “war on terror”.
In addition to this, their poll contains some obviously loaded questions- questions which solicit amateur opinions on facts which polling participants are not even privy to know one way or the other. The Rasmussen Poll contained questions like:
1. Iran is an enemy?
2. Iran’s uranium enrichment program is developing nuclear weapons?
3. If Israel attacks Iran, the United States should lend a helping hand?
Clearly, polling participants cannot have an opinion on a factual matter like whether or not Iran’s uranium enrichment program is developing nuclear weapons. Therefore, the results from such questions are fairly useless, unless, however, Rasmussen is trying to measure the level of the public’s disinformation on that issue (there is a touch of irony there). The last question is particularly loaded in itself, casually characterizing US support of Israel as a mere “helping hand”, but not considering for a second whether or not Israel’s pre-emptive strike is wrong in the first place.
The US mindset has become so conditioned in accepting Israeli policy objectives (regardless of their effects on real US interests), therefore this is reflected in standard language we see throughout corporate media polling. Here we can see the way in which these types of mainstream corporate polls are used to reinforce and construct a simplistic streamlined groupthink on very complexed issues.
By asking a series of loaded and pejorative questions as they have done, Rasmussen can only produce poll results akin to that of an uneducated angry mob, thus containing very little useful information which can be used later in intelligent political discourse on the subject. Rather, these type of polls are used as supports within a larger propaganda exercise.
The painful lessons of 2001 and 2003 should be clear by now- that the US and its allies can and will go to war on the basis of fabricated intelligence and will do so without a declaration from Congress, preferring instead to use a House Joint Resolution Authorizing a Use of Force against the country it wishes to attack. This has already been set in motion by HR 1553: Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to “defend itself” with a pre-emptive attack– you can’t get any more Orwellian than that. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that certain public opinion polls are key tools used by Washington and her major media outlets for bolstering any pre-emptive strike which is on the drawing board.
Alex Jones has commissioned polls in the past on very important issues, the results of which have been valuable in building a case for common sense. Of all the issues that are facing Americans directly today, none is potentially more hot than a US or US-supported pre-emptive strike on Iran. It would certainly be a valuable exercise should Infowars.com consider commissioning its own independent Zogby Poll into whether Americans really consider Iran a national security threat. A new poll should contain questions which gauge relevant public opinions and not whether participants believe general hearsay, rumours of possible intelligence on Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions, or general mainstream media propaganda designed to prime the war pump- all of which were demonstrated by Rasmussen’s latest hit piece on Iran.
An independent poll should probe into the essential and fundamental questions about Iran including:
1. Would you support a pre-emptive US strike on Iran?
2. Is Iran a genuine threat to US national security?
3. Do you think that the Iranian threat is being exaggerated?
4. Do you see parallels between the current campaign to characterize Iran as a WMD threat and the previous case against Iraq?
5. Should Israel be launching a pre-emptive strike on Iran?
6. Is the US obligated to support Israel if it carries out a pre-emptive strike on Iran?
With so much at stake, we cannot afford to get the fundamentals of this conversation wrong. What could be worse than another fake war that will cost our economy billions(trillions?) and our morality a priceless fortune?
The conversation about Iran must be set straight on record and free from the obvious spin we have become so used to in The New American Century. Together, conscious members of the alternative media must keep working to re-frame the conversation based on the principles of critical thinking, rather than the predictable mainstream media’s popular innuendo that caters to the whims of the mob.
One would hope that better and more intelligent polling might influence better and more intelligent foreign policy.