Polling Iraqis: The Bad News
Some grim news in Gallup polls from Iraq, as reported by the Cato Institute's Ted Galen Carpenter:
Take the question of whether Iraqis regard U.S. and allied forces as liberators or occupiers. Only 19 percent of respondents consider them liberators. The results are even more dismal when sentiment in the Kurdish region is excluded. Ninety-seven percent of Kurds view those forces as liberators. In the Sunni and Shiite regions that sentiment is 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
The belief that U.S. troops are occupiers rather than liberators has grown steadily, but it is not a new phenomenon. When asked how they had viewed coalition troops at the time of the invasion, 43 percent indicated that they had seen them as occupiers-the same percentage that regarded them as liberators. That result debunks the myth that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis welcomed the invasion…..
The poll results also belie the notion that a majority of Iraqis want U.S. and British troops to stay on for an extended period. Instead, 57 percent want those troops to leave "immediately." Again, the contrast between the opinion of Kurds and Arabs is striking. Only 3 percent of Kurds want the forces to depart immediately. In the Shiite areas, the sentiment is 61 percent and in the Sunni areas it is 65 percent. (And in Baghdad it is a stunning 75 percent).
Even more discouraging, support for armed attacks on coalition forces is not confined to a tiny minority of extremists as the Bush administration has insisted. Twenty-two percent of respondents stated that attacks were justified "sometimes," and another 29 percent endorsed attacks without any qualification.
Details on how the polling was done from Gallup here.