9/11 and the War on Terror: Polls Show What People Think 10 Years Later

Polls Show that Americans Think We Overreacted, Overspent and Weakened Ourselves Through the War on Terror

As the Brooking Institution reported yesterday, Americans believe that the government overreacted and overspent in reaction to 9/11:

These are a summary of findings of a new poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) and the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland.


Six in ten Americans believe that that the United States weakened its economy by overspending in its responses to the 9/11 attacks. In particular, respondents felt this was especially true of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Two out of three Americans perceive that over the decade since 9/11, U.S. power and influence in the world has declined. This view is highly correlated with the belief that the United States overspent in its post-9/11 response efforts – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


At this point, a large majority (73%) wants the United States to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan, but less than half (44%) want troops withdrawn completely.

Fifty-five percent say that the United States has spent too many resources in the Iraq war, while a plurality of 49% called the Iraq war a mistake (45% right decision). This criticism is a bit lower than other polls that asked similar questions in 2010 and found a majority ranging from 51 to 62% saying that it was not the right decision.

Support for the decision to go to war is highly correlated with beliefs held by substantial and undiminishing minorities that Iraq was providing support to al Qaeda (46%) and either had a WMD program or actual WMDs (47%). Among those with such beliefs, large majorities say the war was the right thing while among those without such beliefs large majorities have the opposite views.

A modest majority (53%) believes that the U.S. should withdraw its troops according to schedule even if the Iraqi government asks the US to stay another year.


A clear majority (61%) says that the United States should not take sides in its efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while just 27% want the United States to lean toward Israel (5% toward Palestinians).

(Incidentally, top American military leaders agree, saying that the war on terror has weakened our national security).

Rasmussen has repeatedly noted that Americans are strongly opposed to further military or other types of intervention in Arab countries:

As with the recent turmoil in Egypt, most Americans (67%) say the United States should leave the situation in the Arab countries alone. Just 17% say the United States should get more directly involved in the political situation there, but another 17% are not sure.

This was true for Libya. And it is true elsewhere. For example, the overwhelming majority of Americans are also opposed to intervention in Syria.

Polls Show Widespread Doubt About Official Explanations

The results of polls on peoples’ beliefs about 9/11 around the world might surprise you:

  • In its January 2011 issue, the popular German magazine “Welt der Wunder” published the results of a poll conducted by the Emnid institute on 1005 respondents. The poll indicated that nearly 90% percent of Germans are convinced that the government of the United States is not telling the whole truth about the September 11 attacks
  • A new poll conducted in France by HEC Paris shows that 58% of French people doubt the official version of 9/11, and 49% believe the U.S. government might have intentionally allowed the attacks to happen
  • A Zogby poll conducted in August 2007 found that 51% of Americans want Congress to probe Bush/Cheney regarding the 9/11 attacks, two-thirds (67%) of Americans say the 9/11 Commission should have investigated the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7
  • A poll conducted by CNN-IBN in August 2007 found that only 2 out of 5 of those polled in India – the world’s second most populous country – believe that al-Qaeda is responsible for the 9/11 attacks
  • Indeed, a poll taken by World Public Opinion, a collaborative project of research centers in various countries managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, College Park, polled 16,063 people in 17 nations outside of the United States during the summer of 2008. They found that majorities in only 9 of the 17 countries believe Al Qaeda carried out the attacks. The poll showed that in the world’s most populous country – China – only 32% believed that Al Qaeda carried out the attacks.
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  • Well hindsight is 20/20. The Bush administration offered up a big old sh#t sandwich and we willingly took a giant bite.

  • anonymous

    “The poll showed that in the world’s most populous country – China – only 32% believed that Al Qaeda carried out the attacks.” An explanation for that is most Chinese don’t know what al Qaeda is hence the high prevalence for answering ‘don’t know’ and not that they’re undecided. Al Qaeda has been a long time asset of the US government since the Soviet-Afghan war. Steel reinforced concrete hard targets will not implode from jet fuel fires. NORAD stood down and allowed the airliners to reach their targets. The only explanation is the event was orchestrated by powerful people within the United States government.

    • scott

      Why is it that the Chinese don’t know anything about Al Qaeda…? Is it perhaps the fact that China never got involved in the nation building and bombing of the Mid East in the 10 yrs before 911 or could it be that they had the crazy notion to mind their own business, which is what we should have been doing all along…! How long do you thing it take for a people to get mad enough to kill for the revenge of us killing their men, women and children…!? Well, I can tell you, it was about 10 yrs…! It’s sad when a professed Christian nation can’t stop in look in the mirror…!!!

  • jacqlynsmith

    The sad thing is the MEDIA WHORES are out in full force peddling their wares for these criminals today and everyday….


    New World – Ron Paul 2012 – Dubstep

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  • Wolfer

    9/11/01 = INSIDE JOB
    AlQaeda = CIA + Mossad + MI6
    WTC 7 (Salomon Brothers Building) = CONTROLLED DEMOLITION
    AA Flight 77 = CRUISE MISSILE (AGM-86 ALCM)

  • Ed

    Enough with the “We” crap. It was Bushco and it’s supporters. End of story.

  • Blurtman

    So went the Bruce Springsteen pop hit of the 1980s, first produced as an anti-Vietnam War song in 1969. ”

    Not quite true. The song “War” was a definite hit for Edwin Star in the ’70’s. It was never a hit for Springsteen, but merely another interesting cover song.

  • osamabeendeadforyears

    Yeah jet fuel does melt through steel and the planes were two different colours black and grey with white wings the two paths the second plane had the dive-bomber and the straight path and you can work out that osama bin laden attacked the towers and why in 33 minutes and report it on the news.

  • Elefant

    The year 2001 should not be repeated

  • Jason Farris

    Not surprising. Only nut jobs believe the governments official conspiracy theory. I mean you really have to be a retard to believe that line. But hey if you do; I got a bridge I’ll sell ya! Or better yet; I got a vaccine you can take!
    Indict Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the whole lot of them.

    • Albury Smith
      • Pete

        albury = obvious shill nutjob.


        • Albury Smith

          Albury isn’t the topic here.
          Since rethink911 is your answer to everything, please explain this:

          That ~$314.5 million lawsuit against Silverstein Properties and its SE and CM for damages done by WTC 7’s 5:21 PM collapse on 9/11/01 was appealed in 2012 and decided in December of last year, and contains no mention at all of Richard Gage, ae911truth, rethink911, secret demolition, etc., despite the fact that the federal courthouse where it was argued is ~3 miles south of the huge rethink911 billboard in Times Square. ConEd, Aegis, and the many other plaintiffs sued only for negligence. The FDNY testimony in that court summary completely contradicts Gage’s claims that the fires were minor and inconsequential. Are all of those plaintiffs crazy, or just stupid?

          • στεφανος

            the judicial system is really made to protect the strong, and many times aligned with the governement’s agenda. so i don’t trust them that much. lately its shown how corrupt is as well, with all these narcotic convictions, so they can give more inmates to feed these slavery like private jailing contractors

          • Albury Smith

            Thanks for sharing, but Aegis Insurance Services, Inc. v. 7 World Trade Company, L.P. is a CIVIL SUIT, not a criminal trial.

          • Abundantz

            The fact is Silverstein (Jewish, for whatever its worth) made BILLIONS off insurance after buying the under-occupied building in July 2001, which came down under the attack in Sept 2001. And, oh, gee, he was at an appointment instead of the WTC where he always was at that particular time and day, so he survived.

            The lawsuit is based on the premise that [the unacknowledged U.S.-led] Al Qaeda was the attacker, so the entire case is built upon falsehoods, and the defendant, billions in hand after just a few month’s ownership, no doubt lost zero sleep that he may have to pay damages. Who knows the plaintiffs’ complicity in the clearly underhanded events occurring to produce this lawsuit?

            Stupid plaintiffs? Oh, no. Crazy like a fox? You bet.

  • Daryl Revok

    There is no “war on terror”…it’s just an empty buzz phrase that’s wearing thin. People see through the chicken hawk scum bags who are running the show..complete and total liars. I am disgusted with both parties that are still continuing along with this charade like WE don’t know it’s a facade. They arm them, they fund them, they set them loose…and then point and say LOOK!! terror!! boogeymen!! This is a war on the American people, a ruse to rob them of their liberties and wealth, nothing more, nothing less. Treason.