What the Iraqi people want?
In a press conference last week, George Dubya Bush insisted there would be no withdrawal of US troops from Iraq while he was president. Among the reasons he gave was that the continuing occupation was helping establish "democracy" and giving the Iraqi people what they want.
Here in Britain the government and tame media like to pretend that the occupation forces are keeping order and welcomed by the Iraqi people as protectors. Former lefties and liberals who have rallied to the colours (metaphorically you understand) still insist the invasion was a liberation, and that Iraqis welcome their occupiers, and if we differ we must be for Saddam Hussein or worse.
A survey of Iraqi public opinion suggests that however smart their columns for the chattering classes here, their arguments have failed to impress Iraqis. The figures released by Mark Tessler and Mansoor Moaddel show all three of Iraq's major ethnic and religious sections feel a growing sense of insecurity. The number of Iraqis who "strongly agreed" that life is "unpredictable and dangerous" jumped from 41% to 48% of Shiites, from 67% to 79% of Sunnis, and from 16% to 50% of Kurds.
The most recent survey, done in April this year, also asked for "the three main reasons for the U.S. invasion of Iraq." Less than 2% chose "to bring democracy to Iraq" as their first choice. The list was topped by "to control Iraqi oil" (76%), followed by "to build military bases" (41%) and "to help Israel" (32%).
The survey also asked a direct question about the presence of American troops in Iraq, which for some reason was not included in news reports or the University of Michigan press release, but has written up and is due to appear in the newsletter of the American Academic Research Institute in Iraq. In responses to the question "Do you support or oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq?"
91.7% of Iraqis oppose the presence of coalition troops in the country, up from 74.4% in 2004. 84.5% are "strongly opposed". Among Sunnis, opposition to the US presence went from 94.5% to 97.9% (97.2% "strongly opposed"). Among Shia, opposition to the US presence went from 81.2% to 94.6%, with "strongly opposed" going from 63.5% to 89.7%.
Even among the Kurds, who might have been said to gain most from the break up of the Ba'athist regime, opposition to the US presence went from 19.6% to 63.3%.
Whatever the reasons for keeping American troops in Iraq, "it's what the Iraqi people want" can't be claimed as one of them.
Thanks to Saleh Mamon of Iraq Occupation Focus for drawing my attention to this report. And thanks to IOF's online newsletter for drawing attention to these item below:-
...Or the American people?
Poll: Opposition to Iraq war at all-time high
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Opposition among Americans to the war in Iraq has reached a new high, with only about a third of respondents saying they favor it, according to a poll released Monday.
Just 35 percent of 1,033 adults polled say they favor the war in Iraq; 61 percent say they oppose it -- the highest opposition noted in any CNN poll since the conflict began more than three years ago.
Despite the rising opposition to the war, President Bush said the U.S. will not withdraw from Iraq while he is president.
"In this case, it would give the terrorists and extremists an additional tool besides safe haven, and that is revenues from oil sales," the president said. "Leaving before the job is done would be a disaster," he said. A bare majority (51 percent) say they see Bush as a strong leader, but on most other attributes he gets negative marks. Most Americans (54 percent) don't consider him honest, most (54 percent) don't think he shares their values and most (58 percent) say he does not inspire confidence. Bush's stand on the issues is also problematic, with more than half (57 percent) of Americans saying they disagree with him on the issues they care about.
That's an indication that issues, not personal characteristics, are keeping his approval rating well below 50 percent.
Majority disapprove of Bush
Bush's disapproval rating exceeds his approval, 57 percent to 42 percent.
That's in the same ballpark as was found in an August 2-3 poll: Bush garnered a 40 percent approval.
And that was up slightly from a 37 percent approval in a poll carried out June 14-15.
Fewer than half of respondents (44 percent) say they believe Bush is honest and trustworthy; 54 percent do not.
And just 41 percent say they agree with Bush on issues, versus 57 percent who say they disagree.
Americans are about evenly split on whether their commander-in-chief understands complex issues, with 47 percent saying yes, and 51 percent saying no.