Twelve years ago the United States invaded Iraq based on faulty intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. A new UtahPolicy.com survey shows half of Utahns still support the decision more than a decade later.
The survey, conducted by Dan Jones and Associates, shows 50% of Utahns still think invading Iraq was a good decision, even though the justification for the invasion turned out to be false. 42% say they oppose the decision to invade now that they know no WMD's were present. 7% say they are undecided.
The administration of George W. Bush manipulated intelligence and repeated falsehoods to get Congress to approve military action against the regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003. In addition to the WMD claim, Americans were led to believe Iraq was linked to the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
The United States has spent more than $1.7 trillion on the Iraq war so far. Nearly 4,500 American soldiers died during the conflict while thousands more were injured.
Republicans are still overwhelmingly in favor of the decision to invade Iraq. 76% say they favor the decision even though the facts are now known. 18% of GOP voters are opposed.
This is not much of a newsflash, but Utah Democrats overwhelmingly oppose the invasion. 90% say it was a bad idea while just 6% are in favor.
A majority of independent voters (53%) in Utah oppose the invasion while 38% think it was a good idea.
A very large number of Utahns who consider themselves to be part of the Tea Party still support the decision to invade Iraq. 79% of Tea Partiers say it was a good idea. Only 48% of those who say they don't belong to the Tea Party agree with with the invasion.
The justification for the invasion has become a bit of a hot potato for GOP presidential candidates. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother of President George W. Bush, flip-flopped after being asked if he would have invaded Iraq knowing what he knows now, originally saying he would have invaded but eventually reversing his answer. Other GOP candidates, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have distanced themselves from the decision to invade Iraq.
The survey was conducted June 2-8, 2015 among 601 registered Utah voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 4%.