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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Thursday, 4 January 2007
Asking Iraq
Topic: Politics
I've been meaning to write a long piece about Iraq for a few weeks now, but a nasty cold and the Christmas holiday have put this on the back burner. At the end of it I was going to link to an opinion poll taken in Iraq back in September, which I really should have brought up at the time. It now occurs to me that it's worth a posting in its own right. I'm surprised how much gets written about Iraq without any reference to the polls taken there. I'm sure many people aren't even aware that polls are taken there at all. Here is one -

There are many findings. Of note is that when asked the question:

'Thinking about any hardships you might have suffered since the US-Britain invasion, do you personally think that ousting Saddam Hussein was worth it or not?'

Sixty-one per cent said 'Yes', that it was worth it. Obviously very few of these people have read the Guardian and thus have not had the benefit of Polly Toynbee's wisdom on the matter. They may have been forced to rely on their own first hand experience instead.

The poll shows that Iraqis want US forces to withdraw within a year to two years, but only a minority (37 per cent) want the withdrawal to take place within six months. There is support for attacks on US troops, but the main reason for this is not because of what the US army has done in the war, but because of a widespread view that the US is building permanent bases in the country (77 per cent believe this) and that it would not remove its forces if asked to by the Iraqi government (78 per cent believe this). Support for attacks on US troops drops by half when those who support them are asked whether they would still support them if the US made a firm commitment to go when requested to by the Iraqi government.

There is growing confidence in the ability of the Iraqi security forces. There is majority support for US forces training Iraqi security forces, though most feel that they aren't doing well enough at it. The poll shows strong disapproval of Al Qaeda and bin Laden, which rather dismisses the idea that the occupation is creating new Al Qaeda terrorists.

There's plenty to read. Check it out.

_ DY at 3:32 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007 3:56 PM GMT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Tuesday, 9 January 2007 - 5:28 PM GMT

Name: "anonymous"

Who'd have thunk it?


Polls you say? We can lall play at that game. 

Tuesday, 9 January 2007 - 6:17 PM GMT

Name: "anonymous"

Opinion polls as some metric on what actually is, largely useless, except as a gage on precisely the thing being measured: public opinion.  The public don't think US are doing a good job with the police force, well so what? How informed can this opinion be? What comparable reality is there to make such a judgement?  

The 61% testifies to the beliwf that the majority of the populaton believe their hardships endured thus far have been worth it. For one it's opinion rather than reality but also consider the cost of war. The majority of  the terrible suffering endured lay with the minority.  If suffering were somehow spread evenly across all those polled, I'm quite sure you'd see a vastly different response.



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