Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Public opinion in Iraq 

At various times in the last year, the mainstream media has heavily publicized results of public opinion polls in Iraq that purport to show that Iraqis want the United States out quickly. Zogby reported in January 2005 that "[m]ajorities of both Sunni Arabs (82%) and Shiites (69%) favor U.S. forces withdrawing either immediately or after an elected government is in place."

Do these reports reflect actual sentiment in Iraq today? Chrenkoff's special Iraq "correspondent" translates a recent poll by an Iraqi newspaper that suggests otherwise.
"Do you support the pull out of foreign troops?

"At once - 12.56%

"According to a future timetable - 81.80%

"Do not know - 5.64%

Now you might read this to say that at least 94% of Iraqis want foreign troops removed eventually. Well, that is not surprising. What proud people wants to have foreign soldiers patrolling around all the time, no matter how professional and benign they might be? I should think that a poll would be unnecessary to prove that virtually all Iraqis want American troops to leave eventually.

So the interesting part of this poll is that such a small percentage of respondants wanted the United States to withdraw at once.

The poll also reports that more than half of Iraqis perceive the security situation as having improved since the January elections.

Chrenkoff points out that this poll has received exactly no coverage in the mainstream Western media. There are obviously many possible explanations for this -- it wasn't commissioned by the Western press, for example, so perhaps ownership of the results is in doubt, or perhaps its methodology is suspect -- but the most likely reason is that the results do not conform with the MSM's dominating narrative.


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