Sunday, November 21, 2010

A huge number of Afghans have no idea why the U.S. is in Afghanistan

Well, we have something in common, I guess.

Except these guys aren't using "no idea" as a figure of speech. They really have no idea. Ninety-two percent of males in the Kandahar and Helmand provinces have never even heard of the 9/11 attacks.

I've always wondered about that. It's not like they get CNN. A lot of them probably don't have electricity.


Anonymous said...

Who takes a poll asking them if they've heard of the 9/11 attacks or if they have any idea why we are in Afghanistan? 92% seems like a tremendous amount of men, true. Women don't particularly count due to the fact of the typical role of a female there. My point being, how many people were polled for this? What was their demographic. The population of the Kandahar Province alone is almost 1 million souls while the Helmand Province is closer to 1.5 million. That makes for a HUGE margin for error in my honest opinion. Also being some of the most populous areas, wouldn't you agree that those would be the areas to feel the least amount of impact from the war? These people are trying to make living and get educations. Had those going to universities been polled, I bet 92% of them would know both why we are there and what 9/11 means.

This is another case of the press telling us what they want us to know. What percentage of residents in Kabul do you think can answer those questions? I can tell you WHY we are in Afghanistan. I can't necessarily say I agree with it completely but that is not a tough question to answer at all, especially for someone with access to media outlets around the world, via the internet and their computer.


Yes, I realize you posted this a couple of months ago.

Brad Raple said...

Yahoo! removes links soon after the stories are published. Here's a current link:

There were 1000 people sampled, out of roughly 1 million people, using your numbers. 1000 people is a higher raw number than most U.S. presidential tracking polls in the last election cycle:

Obviously, the surveyed sample in the Afghan poll is a much higher percentage of the total population than the tracking polls. I'm not a statistician, but I know that the larger sample sizes result in more accurate numbers. I'm not sure the margin of error, but it's probably less than the ones used in the presidential tracking polls as well.

Also, while maybe more Afghan college students would know about 9/11, what does that have to do with anything? What percentage of Afghans are in college? That would be like running a survey to determine the percentage of people on food stamps, but only inteviewing people with country club memberships.

I'm not convinced that many people here in the US really know why we're in Afghanistan. I think almost everyone knows why we were there in 2001, but why we're still there a decade later is a different question. If I call a plumber to fix my sink, I know why he's there in the morning. If I wake up in the middle of the night and find the plumber in my house, I'm going to have some real questions.

And even if people with access to international media outlets via the internet have this figured out, again, that doesn't describe many Afghans.