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Poll: Americans Split on Iraq

November 17, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Americans are divided over whether the United States should take military action against Iraq for the expulsion of U.S. arms inspectors, but there is more support for retaliation in the event of a stronger provocation, a Newsweek poll found.

About half, or 49 percent, of those polled say Iraq’s decision two weeks ago to ban Americans from United Nations inspection teams warrants military action. But nearly as many, 41 percent, oppose military action.

Support for a military response runs much higher for other scenarios:

_ 82 percent if Iraq shoots down an American surveillance plane;

_ 65 percent if Iraq shoots at, but doesn’t hit, such a plane;

_ 74 percent if Iraq imprisons or detains other Americans.

Newsweek’s poll, released Sunday, included interviews with 752 adults on Thursday and Friday. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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