Friday, September 29, 2006

Thanks For Coming -- So When Are You Leaving?

The University of Maryland (for World Public polled Iraqis on the Iraq war and their attitudes toward the U.S. Some fun numbers – 37% want our troops out within 6 months, 34% want us out within a year, 20% within 2 years, and only 9% when the security situation improves. So the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield position has the support of a whopping 9% of Iraqis. For those of you who are mathematically challenged, nearly eight times as many Iraqis want us out within a year than wants us to stay until they are secure.
Breaking that down by ethnic group – 91% of Sunnis want us out within a year and 74% of Shiites do. On the other hand, 31% of Kurds want an open-ended commitment. The last time this poll was held (in January) only 22% of Shiites wanted us out in 6 months, now 36% do. They seem to have an urgency about all this that is lacking in Washington. When asked if the U.S. presence is “provoking more conflict than it’s preventing” 78% of Shiites said yes and an astonishing 97% of Sunnis said yes. Not coincidentally, 82% of those who believe we are provoking more conflict want us out within a year – the others are apparently enjoying the gunfire. 84% say they have little (22%) or no (62%) confidence in the U.S. military – although the Kurds like us, by 55-45. Ah, but what would happen to the government if we withdrew? 53% of Iraqis say our withdrawal would strengthen the government, while just 23% say it would weaken it. But what do they know, they’re only there. By the way, even the Kurds (39-37) agree with that premise.
One other thing – 61% of Iraqis (27% strongly, 34% somewhat) favor attacks on U.S.- led forces. So much for winning the hearts and minds of the population. 92% of Sunnis favor attacks, 62% of Shiites – again, the scary news is that the Shiite number has jumped 21 points since January. Hey, but there is good news in there too (the Nattering Nabob doesn’t want to be accused of negativity) -- of the 92% of Sunnis who are in favor of attacks, only 55% are strongly in favor – that’s down from 77% in January. I guess the difference between being strongly in favor of attacks on troops and somewhat in favor is just how loudly you cheer and how many times you fire your rifle in the air on hearing the news.
So let’s make sure we have this straight – our people don’t want our troops there and their people don’t want our troops there. If only there was a form of government where the actions of the leaders reflected the will of the people.

World Public Opinion Poll Results


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