Showing posts with label Terrorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Terrorism. Show all posts

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Debacle in Afghanistan was Bound to Happen No Matter How Long We Stayed

We are hearing a chorus of shock at how fast the Taliban took control of Afghanistan a few weeks after the US withdrew its combat forces.  By contrast, it took almost 2 years for the South Vietnamese government to fall after the US withdrew.  In both cases, we had no understanding of their culture and were propping up an unpopular puppet government.  

An argument was made that the invasion of Afghanistan was more justified than the Vietnam war was because the Taliban harbored al Qaida when they attacked us on 9/11.  The Taliban did offer to hand Osama bin Laden et al. over in return for showing them the evidence of their involvement in the attack.  It was rejected out of hand by the Bush administration.  We will never know sincere this offer was.  If Bush had complied with the request and the Taliban had reciprocated, thousands of lives and trillions of dollars could have been saved.


Polls have shown that the average Afghan never heard of the 9/11 attacks.  They only knew that we were attacking them 12 years after we supported them against the Soviet Union.  After we launched our invasion in 2001, the Taliban melted away just as quickly as they retook the country.  In the meantime, we launched our invasion of Iraq and turned it into yet another breeding ground for terrorism.  The Afghanistan papers discussed above showed many of the same private doubts by U.S. political and military leaders that they had in Vietnam but they kept pushing ahead in both cases and lied to the public.

Vietnam should have taught us the limits of US military power.  It is meaningless without popular legitimacy.  The Vietnamese and the Afghans used many of the same tactics against us that we used against the British in the American Revolution.

Concerns about how women will be treated there are legitimate.  We should remember that it was only 101 years ago that women won the right to vote in this country after many years of disappointment and struggle.  In the Victorian era it was considered obscene for a woman to expose here ankles.  These things were eventually changed without dropping bombs on people.  There are far fewer hard feelings when it works out that way.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Which Religious Group Supports Trump the Most?


Looking at Juan Cole's blog Informed Comment I came across this graph showing the preferences of the four major religious groups (Islam, Judaism, Protestant, and Catholic) in the US for the top 5 Presidential candidates from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.  The survey was conducted before Marco Rubio dropped out of the race.  The focus of the survey was how Muslims compare to other religious groups with respect to the 2016 election.  Predictably Muslims more strongly support Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders than the Republicans.  

The one number that jumped out at me n the graph at the top was the group that most strongly supported Donald Trump.  Donald Trump was supported by 4% of Muslims, 13% of Jews, 17% of Protestants and 28% of Catholics.  This number seems worth investigating.  Another graph in their report presented below shows that 47% of Protestants are more likely to identify as Republican compared to 34% of Catholics, 16% of Jews, and 6% of Muslims.  This comes as exit polls in the primaries show Trump doing well among evangelical or born again Christians with Ted Cruz doing better in some states. 
The graph below may shed some light Catholic support for Trump.  Immigration and National Security were listed as the top issues among Catholics while the economy and national security were listed as top among Protestants.  The economy was most important among the other groups.
It seems as though issues with the US and foreigners trumps the brief feud that Trump had with Pope Francis regarding his proposal to build a wall on the border with Mexico for 28% of US Catholics.  

**Update** 

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders won the Utah Caucus handily over Trump where the state is 70% Mormon.  The LDS church (aka the Mormons) might be a good group to survey on their political preferences which may differ from mainline protestants and Catholics.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Terrorism Boost for Trump?


Trump mocking a Disabled Reporter
Since the Paris attacks, Donald Trump has pulled away from the rest of the GOP field with a 13 point lead (according to the Real Clear Politics Poll Average) for the nomination with smaller boosts for Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  The latest CNN poll gives him a 20 point lead with 36% over Ted Cruz's 16%.  

The CNN poll showed an 11% increase in Trump's support from the last CNN poll on Oct. 14-17 to an all time high.  The poll/survey shows that Trump leads among GOP voters who believe that he is best able to handle the economy (55%, 11% gain), illegal immigration (48%, 1% gain), foreign policy (30%, 8% gain), ISIS (46%, 14% gain), and the federal budget (51%, question wasn't previously asked),  Trump also leads when respondents were asked who had the best chance of winning in the general election (52%), who would be most effective to sole the country's problems (42%), and who can best handle the responsibilities of commander in chief (37%).

Trump does somewhat better among men (38%) than women (33%) but still leads the GOP field among both genders.  His support is higher among GOP voters aged 50-64 (43%) than those aged 65+ (28%) but also leads both age groups.  He has more support among respondents earning less than $50k (40%) than those earning more than $50k (33%).  The starkest demographic difference for Trump's support was seen among those without a college degree (46%) to those with a college degree (18%).  Trump leads among those without a degree but Ted Cruz leads among GOP voters with a degree with 22% which is within the margin of error.  This means that Cruz and Trump are in a statistical tie among those with a college degree.





CNN produced this graphic showing how Clinton fares in hypothetical general election match-ups.  Not included in those match-ups was Bernie Sanders.  Quinnipiac did produce a poll this week which included Sanders as well as Clinton in match-ups against four GOP candidates: Trump, Carson, Rubio, and Cruz (interestingly Bush was not included).  The means from the Qunnipiac Poll are presented in the table below with means and standard deviations.  Sanders has a mean advantage of 6.25% while Clinton had an advantage of 3.75% of the four Republicans.  The difference between the advantages of Clinton and Sanders (2.50%) is borderline significant (p=0.09)  According to the CNN graphic above, Clinton has a mean advantage of 0.8%. 




Clinton
Sanders
Trump
6%
8%
Carson
3%
6%
Rubio
1%
1%
Cruz
5%
10%
Mean
3.75%
6.25%
St. Dev
2.22%
3.86%

When I looked at the poll differences between Sanders and Clinton against 6 GOP candidates before the Paris and San Bernadino attacks Clinton had an advantage of 8.33% and Sanders had an advantage of 8.17%.  These differences were statistically identical.  The Real Clear Politics head to head averages for these candidates gives a 1.55% advantage for Clinton and a 1.42% advantage for Sanders.  Before these attacks, Clinton had an advantage of 1.53% for Clinton and 1.23% for Sanders. The averages have a lot more polls for Clinton than Sanders.

Obviously Trump has had a boost in the polls among the GOP faithful and the general electorate.  Clinton may have been hurt more against potential Republicans than Sanders.  Next time I will look inside the numbers for the Democrats.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Post Paris Politics, Fear of Refugees, and Medicaid

The horrific attacks in Paris have sent a wave of fear around the world.  As of this writing, 28 governors in the US have said that they will not accept refugees from the civil war in Syria for fear that ISIS members will sneak into their states.  26 of these 28 governors (84%) are Republican.  10 out of the 18 Democratic governors (55%) have said that they will accept these refugees.  This difference is significant according to Fisher's exact test (p < 0.001).  The full numbers are displayed in the table below and the political affiliation of each states' governor is displayed below that.



Accepting Syrian 
Refugees     
Governor Political Party (% of Party)
D
I
R
Total
  no        
2 (11%)
0
26 (84%)
28
  undecided    
6 (33%)
1 (100%)
5 (16%)
12
  yes      
10 (55%)
0
0
10
Total
18
1
31
50

I have written extensively about which states have been willing to expand medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  Below is a current map of the states expanding Medicaid.  Currently none of the 17 states which are refusing or considering to expand medicaid are accepting refugees. 10 states (all with Democratic governors) which are implementing some form of Medicaid expansion. are accepting refugees.  This difference is not as sharp as that for states with Republican Governors (p=0.003).

Accepting Syrian Refugees     
Expanding Medicaid (% of Column)
considering
no
yes
Total
  no        
1 (20%)
14 (82%)
13 (46%)
28
  undecided    
4 (80%)
3 (18%)
5 (18%)
12
  yes      
0
0
10 (36%)
10
Total
5
17
28
50
 

  Where the States Stand
Via: The Advisory Board Company

The relationship between the party affiliation of governors and medicaid expansion is similar to that of accepting refugees and medicaid expansion (p=0.004).  16 out of 31 republican governors (52%) are either expanding or considering to expand Medicaid.  It could be that the party that controls the governor's mansion changed in the last election in states that are expanding.  Kentucky just elected a new republican governor who is promising to reverse expansion but other republican governors such as Chris Christie (NJ) and John Kasich (Oh) have implemented expansion and have not suffered adverse political consequences (but may have in their Presidential Campaigns). 



Political Party of Governor     
Expanding Medicaid (% of Column)
considering
no
yes
Total
  D
1 (20%)
2 (12%)
15 (54%)
18
  I   
1 (20%)
0
0
1
  R      
3 (60%)
15 (88%)
13 (46%)
31
Total
5
17
28
50


This analysis shows that there is high probability of a partisan component to the governors not wanting Syrian refugees in their state.  This shift in medicaid expansion among republican governors could similarly happen with the right public pressure for the Syrian refugees (even Jeb Bush who is advocating that only Syrian Christians be allowed in the US)Below is a discussion of the the true nature of the refugees from Syria.

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