oppose paying ransom for hostages: Reuters-IPSOS Poll
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[August 26, 2014]
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly two out of
three Americans say governments should not pay ransom to terrorists in
exchange for hostages, despite the posting of an Islamic State video
last week depicting the beheading of a U.S. journalist, a Reuters-IPSOS
Poll showed on Tuesday.
Sixty-two percent of adults surveyed said they agreed with U.S.
and British policy of refusing to pay ransom, in response to a
question about the killing of American journalist James Foley and
the multimillion dollar ransom demanded by Islamic State militants
for his release.
Just 21 percent of respondents said they disagreed with that policy
in the online poll conducted from Aug. 12-25. A sample of 4,685
Americans aged 18 and over were interviewed in the survey.
In the same poll, most Americans felt the United States should
intervene somehow in Iraq, although overwhelming numbers oppose any
U.S. troops on the ground in support of the Baghdad government.
There was little disparity in the overall response among Democrats,
Republicans and independents.
Just 29 percent of adults felt the country should not get involved,
even by sending humanitarian aid or weapons.
Thirty-one percent said the United States should provide
humanitarian aid to refugees from the conflict areas and 21 percent
said Washington should launch air strikes to support Iraqi
But just 12 percent said Washington should fund and support a
multi-national intervention, 11 percent said the United States
should send Special Forces troops to support Baghdad, 10 percent
said it should provide weapons to Iraqi troops and just 7 percent
said U.S. troops should be sent.
The United States has begun a program of limited air strikes in Iraq
in response to advances by the Islamic State. The group released the
video titled "A Message to America" on Aug. 19 showing a black-clad
fighter beheading Foley in retaliation for the strikes.
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But only about a third of the poll respondents - 36 percent - said
they thought President Barack Obama was setting appropriate
conditions for U.S. involvement, when asked about the limited
strikes and Washington's assertion that it would not do more until
Iraq's current Shi'ite government undertook significant reforms.
The numbers were not significantly different for a sample including
only veterans, active-duty troops and their families, except that 29
percent versus 18 percent backed air strikes to support Iraqi
Fifteen percent also favored providing weapons to Iraqi government
troops, compared with 9 percent of those who were not veterans,
active-duty military or their families.
The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a
credibility interval. In this case, the poll had a credibility
interval of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points for all adults.
(Editing by Diane Craft)
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