Articles and Analysis


US: Terrorism, Iran (CNN 2/12-15)

Topics: poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
2/12-15/10; 1,023 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)


As you know, a man has been charged with attempting to use an explosive device on Christmas Day to blow up a plane that was flying to Detroit. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama has responded to that incident?
45% Approve, 47% Disapprove

If you had to choose, would you rather see the man who has been charged in that incident brought to trial in a criminal court run by the civilian judicial system, or would you rather see him tried by a military court run by the U.S. armed forces?
40% Criminal court, 59% Military court

Half sample: As you know, after the man in that incident was turned over to the FBI, agents read him the statement of his rights, including the right to remain silent, that is read to all people who are arrested by the police or the FBI in this country. Do you think the FBI should or should not have done that?
65% Should, 33% Should not

Half sample: As you know, the police and FBI agents always inform suspects of their constitutional right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during any questioning. Do you think law enforcement officials should or should not follow this practice for people who are suspected of attempting to commit an act of terrorism?
56% Should, 43% Should not

What do you think the United States should do to get Iran to shut down its nuclear program - take military action against Iran now, use economic and diplomatic efforts but not take military action right now, or take no action against Iran at this time?
23% Take military action now, 63% Economic and diplomatic efforts only, 12% No action



Talk about mixed messages. I'm confused here. Folks think that this guy should get a military trial, but should also be read his rights? Huh?



Well this poll is typical of the mass hysteria that develops after the Christmas day terror suspect. What could have happened? Did he deserve to be read his rights? Should be be tried in a military tribunal?

I sort of thought the liberal media tried to go out of their ways to look for reasons the administration didn't act quick enough. People like Chuck Todd on MSNBC, who loves a good fight, and you never know where he stands politically. He spent days in front of Obama's vacation place in Hawaii. I actually was hoping Obama was going to fly back to Washington for a few days, just so the impressionable American people wouldn't get the wrong idea. I actually wanted Obama to do that.

It gave fuel to the conservatives, many of whom no nothing about terrorism. Dick Cheney opened his mouth again and again and again. THe bottom line is the chain reaction led to the talks about Iran's nuclear problem.

They probably are making Nukes, but life goes on. I am sick of the US telling other countries to put sanctions on Iran, just because of their regime. We can put sanctions on them, but I am sick of politicians intimiditating other countries to tell them how to run things.

Anyhow, Islam in America is still thought my most Americans as something to be scared of. This fear we get from many Americans stereotyping Islamic people publically has gotten back to these countries. It has made the US their number 1 target. I do believe that IRan and other countries in that part of the world, don't have a good opinion of Obama, but see him as a man who can reach out to them. The fact he isn't white is probably one more reason why these nations in the middle east can see a future in talking things over.

You right wingers who believe in the philosophy of Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin and Tim Tancredo, I'll stand up to you. There is clearly a "fear machine" that has been fueled by these people and through setting people straight and communicating more progessive and reformist ideas rationally will be the key to a better America.



Of course he should be read his rights. It is up to a cop to uphold the law. You are innocent until proven guilty in America and regardless of one's citizenship they deserve at least a fair arrest. I think if procedures are not followed, there are greater chances the suspect could delay a trial and get a conviction. Some suspects who ended up being serial killers weren't read their rights right away and were released to kill again. What kind of conservative law and order does this send to a suspect from another country.

Besides, if a illegal alien with a assault rifle robs a bank and he is from Mexico and kills someone, he isn't treated as an enemy combatant just because he is from another country.


Field Marshal:

Farleft, what about the one's caught in foreign lands?



Why can't everyone just love obama no matter what he does, just like me?



Obama is doing fine. He must have days where he is truly frustrated, when so much of the country is misinformed and just doesn't get it. He at least tries to "love his neighbor". He reaches out to those who won't go along with any of his ideas and to those who choose to win political points rather than finding common ground. I don't think that Hillary or Kerry had they been elected president could come close to having Obama's discipline and patience.




"Talk about mixed messages. I'm confused here. Folks think that this guy should get a military trial, but should also be read his rights? Huh?"

Consider the fact that half the population would score less than 100 on WAIS III. If you ever wondered why the founding fathers did not trust the mob, this is why.




Do you really think most of the country is stupid? I know that by definition half are below average. But I gotta think that there are plenty of people out there who have sense enough to know you can't just keep printing money to fix all of our problems.

Love his neighbor? In foreign policy? Are there any Dems that read Machiavelli. But then again I am not one of those right wingers who believe in the philosophy of Cheney and the others you mentioned. They aren't hawkish enough for my taste.

I am floored by the statement that if Iran has nukes "life goes on." Isn't that the concern, that life won't go on. At least in places like Tel Aviv and DC.



"Obama is doing fine. He must have days where he is truly frustrated, when so much of the country is misinformed and just doesn't get it."

That's Obama's biggest problem, he thinks he knows what is best for us, and thinks that he should force those beliefs on everyone whether we like it or not. That will be what will lose him a second term if he keeps it up. He mistook an election that was largely an "I hate Bush" statement as a "we believe in everything that you have [vaguely] said" statement.

He needs to realize that the problem isn't that he hasn't communicated his message clearly enough, it's that we heard the message, and we don't like it. The more clearly he states it, and with more details, people like it even less.



Well to answer Bigmike's question, I wouldn't say I think most of the country is stupid, but they are misinformed. Because different states have such different laws, and what is accepted in one state isn't in another makes it impossible to get anything done in this country.



@Ryan: Not sure where you're getting your information, but it's ironic that you're pulling subjective interpretations out of the air (or some other nether regions) when there's plenty of objective information out there -- objective information that directly refutes the notion that 2008 was an "I hate Bush" election, as well as information that shows that many policies proposed by President Obama are actually quite popular.

For instance, the "bank tax" that President Obama proposed is quite popular. Health care reform is still viewed popularly ; majorities deem it necessary. The rescission reforms, insurance exchange, and desire to expand coverage -- all of which constitute the meat of the healthcare plan proposed by President Obama -- are actually quite popular when polled. Even mirandizing suspected terrorists is supported by majorities.

So, clearly, it's not simply that people "don't like" what's proposed, because they actually do like much of what has been proposed. Instead, it seems that people don't like the process and/or the filters (which often, intentionally or unintentionally, wholly distort or misrepresent the process) through which they're gaining insight on the process.

So, while it may make a good (and, dare I say deluded) talking point that people "don't like" what President Obama's agenda, it's simply not true. How do we know that? Based on objective assessments of what he's proposed. Thankfully, we don't have to rely on skewed, subjective, talking-point-based assessments to know the truth.



I've never understood how the GOP (in an attempt to make Obama look bad) state that this dude shouldn't be in civil courts... and further, that Guantanamo Bay residents can't be in maximum security prisons. The direct implication is that our criminal justice system isn't capable of handling them.

At any rate, an American gets read their rights and treated as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, regardless of the crime, every time. Our criminal justice system WILL be incompetent if we lose our faith in it.




The GOP is currently gripped with the sort of insanity that led William F. Buckley to purge the conservative movement of the John Birch Society in the '50s. They have been so traumatized by Obama's victory in '08 that they are now against their own positions of yesteryear. It was amusing watching Bob Barr and John Aschcroft defend Obama's anti-terror policies.



Jamesia is right. Bob Barr and Ashcroft defend Obama's terror policies, and even Dick Cheney said it may be time to consider changing Don't ask don't tell. That is one thing Obama has to get done before health care. He has to take charge and realize that anyone who serves our country and goes into harms way and risks their life for their nation, should not be fired or discharged, because of their sexual orientation.

Recently Gov. Mcdonnell, an alumni of Regent University and has clear direct ties to the hardline Christian right, decided to no longer protect gays in the workplace. It was a huge setback and in this case something that will bring him many new enemies. It was an executive order, not a law that was voted on by the state senate.

For me, it makes me unable to trust any Republicans. The moderate ones like Snowe and Collins never stand up to injustice in their own party, and that is almost as bad as actually being guilty of it. I stand up to Democrats who are not doing their job such as Baucus taking money from big pharma as well as Blanche lincoln, who allowed some rowdy people at town hall meetings to intimidate her into going soft on health reform.



It's not that people don't like the vague idea of the proposals, it's that when these ideas interact with reality, people don't like the manner with which they would have to be implimented. For example, as you stated, most think that the health system needs to be reformed. But at the same time, the overwhelmingly disapprove of the specific manner in which this administration wants to go about reforming it. Most people think that there should be no pre-existing conditions clause in health insurance so that everyone can buy in, but when you have to mandate coverage to do that, people aren't willing to go that far. So while they might like the general idea, it loses popularity when one considers what strings are attached.

And if you really think the 2008 election wasn't at least as much about Bush as it was Obama, then you must live in a different reality than I do. Any of the main Dems would have won after Bush (with the possible exception of Edwards, if all his kid stuff had come out as the candidate).



2008 was about George Bush. And a lot of Dems could have won against virtually anyone in the GOP. Bush's inadequacies did plenty of damage to the GOP. And it is much harder do campaign as "I'm not Dubya" when you are not in the same party.

I read a really good piece years ago. Can't remember who wrote it or I would give them credit. The argument was that the American people get what they most need at the time from a presidential election.

With Carter, we got someone we were pretty sure was honest. After Vietnam, Agnew, Nixon, and Ford practically appointed to the WH, we wanted soone we could trust. And for all of his failings, Carter was indeed honest.

After Carter, we needed hope and optimism, and a govt that actually worked, and along came Reagan.

Clinton got elected because we were on the same track for 12 years and there was a recession.

Dubya got elected because we were tired of all of the drama that came with Clinton. Indeed, it was time for the adults to be in charge again.

And Dubya made such a mess of things that hope and change is what we wanted and got in 2008.


In general terms, a lot of things on BO's agenda are indeed supported by a large part of the population, myself included. But the devil is in the details. Sure we need health care reform. Pre-existing conditions leaves too many gaps in the system. But I don't trust the govt to run health care. I don't support that at all. I know what libs will say, it was not a govt takeover of health care. But it was a really big first step in that direction. And a bigger one than I, or a lot of other Americans judging by the various polls, want to take.

On to Blanche Baby

I can hardly wait for the next round of polls in AR. Congressman Boozman from the 3rd district entered the race right before the last poll I saw. The 3rd district is by far the most conservative of the four. So a heavy percentage of GOP primary votes should be cast there. Former state Senator Jim Holt is also from the 3rd district. Lincoln beat him in 04 and he also lost in 06 when he ran for Lt. Gov. The only reason he is intersting is because his radio adds say he is the "Tea Party" candidate. Kinda sounds like he is jumping on that band wagon to try and ressurrect a political career that was pretty much over. I will be shcoked if it isn't Boozman vs Lincoln with Boozman winning easily.

I don't suppose there will be much polling for Boozman's old house seat. There are several Republicans already announced for that and even one Democrat. What makes that newsworthy is that a lot of years no Dem runs. It was the GOP vs the Green Party in a not very close election in 2008.


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