Voice in the Wilderness

The news about the "war on terror" your local newspaper won't print.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Iraqis Say They Want Troops Dead: Poll

U.S. policymakers knew that winning the peace in Iraq was just as if not more important tnan wining the war. If a poll taken for the British Army is to be believed, that struggle has been hopelessly lost.

In fact, most Iraqis questioned for the poll, as reported Oct. 23 by the Sunday Telegraph of London, said that attacks on invading troops were justified and should continue. The newspaper's Sean Rayment writes:
The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country.

It demonstrates for the first time the true strength of anti-Western feeling in Iraq after more than two and a half years of bloody occupation.

The nationwide survey also suggests that the coalition has lost the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, which Tony Blair and George W Bush believed was fundamental to creating a safe and secure country. (Read the entire article.)

The results, according to The Telegraph, tell a harrowing story:

• Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;

• 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;

• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;

• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;

• 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;

• 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.

And what's worse, the respondents say, is that the situation has deteriorated from a year ago:

The findings differ markedly from a survey carried out by the BBC in March 2004 in which the overwhelming consensus among the 2,500 Iraqis questioned was that life was good. More of those questioned supported the war than opposed it.
The main reason is that the reconstruction of the country, vital for winning hearts and minds, has not occurred. According to The Telegraph, the poll reports that 71 per cent of people rarely get safe clean water, 47 per cent never have enough electricity, 70 per cent say their sewerage system rarely works and 40 per cent of southern Iraqis are unemployed.

Incidentally, the poll results made news all over the United Kingdom, of course, and much of Asia. In North America, of course, it has been ignored (despite Reuters picking up the story). Which may explain why just under half of Americans still support the war.