The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Iraqis Polled by Zogby International (and Spectator/C4 News)

1) US Poll of four Iraqi cities published 11 September 2003
2) UK poll of Baghdad published in the Spectator/Channel 4 published 16
July 2003

Overview: Occupation '76 per cent want them to stay for the time being –
with a majority, 56 per cent, wanting them to remain for at least 12
months.' YouGov poll, Baghdad, July.
'Asked whether they would like to see the U.S. and British forces leave
Iraq in six months, one year or two years or more, 31.6 percent wanted them
out in six months while 34 percent favored one year and 25 percent said it
should be in two or more years.' Zogby poll, Basra, Kirkuk, Mosul, Ramadi,
My interpretation: people are so frightened by the social chaos and the
prospect of even worse conditions that even though they do not support the
idea of the occupation, they want some form of foreign intervention for the
time being.

Milan Rai

1)Zogby Iraq poll

Chicago Tribune article below. Good summary in the FT that day also, but
that is no longer accessible on the web. If you have $99 spare and want to
buy the whole poll, it's at Zogby International:

Most Iraqis see brighter future, poll says

By Lisa Anderson
Chicago Tribune national correspondent

September 11, 2003

NEW YORK -- The majority of Iraqis believe that they and their country will
be in better condition five years from now, but half of them think the U.S.
will do them more harm than good, according to a rare public opinion poll
of Iraqis released Wednesday.

The poll, done by Zogby International for The American Enterprise magazine,
also asked a sampling of 600 Iraqi adults their opinions about democracy,
the presence of American and British forces on their soil, terrorist leader
Osama bin Laden and whether they favored creation of an Islamic state in

The survey was conducted Aug. 3-19 in four major cities: Basra in the
south; Mosul in the north; Kirkuk in the northern Kurdish region, and
Ramadi in the so-called Sunni Triangle in central Iraq. Zogby said the
survey used a random representative sample that included Iraq's major
ethnic groups--Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Assyrians--and its religious
groups, Shiite and Sunni Muslims and Christians. Interviews were done in
public places in neighborhoods of various social levels. Zogby said the
poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

A majority of Iraqis surveyed, 67 percent, said it will be harder to
rebuild their country politically than economically.

Many are not sure that democracy is the most desirable form for their
government. Only 38.6 percent of the Iraqis polled said democracy could
work well in their country, while 50.8 percent agreed that "Democracy is a
Western way of doing things and it will not work here."

When asked whether they would like their new government to be modeled on
that of Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Iran or Egypt, the largest number,
23.3 percent, chose the U.S. Saudi Arabia took second place with 17.4
percent, followed by Syria at 11.9 percent, Egypt at 7.1 percent and Iran
at 3.1 percent.

Iraqis might not be highly enthusiastic about democracy, but neither are
they eager to form an Islamic government. Less than a third of those
polled, 32.9 percent, said they favored an Islamic government, while 60.3
percent said they wanted a government that "let everyone practice their own

One reason for this result may be that Iraqi society, according to the
survey, is more secular than many Westerners might imagine. When asked how
many times they had attended Friday prayers in the past four weeks, 42.6
percent of those surveyed said "never." Less than a third, 31.7 percent,
said they had participated four times. Shiite Muslims made up 57.5 percent
of the sample, Sunnis 36.2 percent and Christians 6 percent.

Iraqis expressed mixed feelings about the presence of U.S. and British
troops. Asked whether they would like to see the U.S. and British forces
leave Iraq in six months, one year or two years or more, 31.6 percent
wanted them out in six months while 34 percent favored one year and 25
percent said it should be in two or more years.

Less than a third of Iraqis wanted the U.S. and Britain to "make sure a
fair government is set up"; 58.5 percent believe Iraqis should be allowed
to "work this out themselves."

Only 35.3 percent believe the U.S. will help Iraq over the next five years;
50 percent thought the U.S. would hurt the country. Half said the UN would
help Iraq, while a quarter thought it wouldn't have any influence.

Asked their opinion of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, 35.8 percent viewed
him favorably, 46.7 percent unfavorably.

2) YouGov poll for Spectator/Channel 4 News published 16 July 2003

What Iraqis think

Published: 16-Jul-2003
By: Peter Kellner

Baghdad is on a knife-edge. Three in four of its residents say the city is
now more dangerous than when Saddam Hussein was in power.

View the survey online here

Two in three fear being attacked in the street. Most think we went to war
to grab Iraq’s oil.

Yet despite these deep concerns, only a minority oppose the Americans and
British invasion, and as few as one in eight want the invaders to leave the
country straight away.

Channel 4 News and the Spectator have commissioned the first comprehensive
independent survey in Baghdad since the conflict.

Among the findings of the YouGov poll was that Iraqis want the occupying
troops to restore normality quickly and then hand the country back to the

In effect the people of Baghdad are telling the Americans: “You say you
came to make our lives better. You need to prove you can – and fast.”

Altogether YouGov questioned 798 people last week in all parts of Baghdad.
We cannot pretend our figures are perfect. There are no reliable
demographic statistics with which to compare our data.

However, we sought to interview broadly equal numbers of men and women in
all parts of the city, to obtain a wide spread of age groups, religious
affiliations and social backgrounds.

In general, we found relatively little difference in the views of different
groups. We believe that, as far as is feasible in the circumstances, we
have captured the mood of Baghdad at a crucial time in its history - and,
indeed, ours.

We started by asking the basic question: was the war against Saddam’s
regime right or wrong? 50 per cent said “right”, while just 27 per cent
said “wrong”.

However 23 per cent declined to offer an opinion. This does not appear to
be reticence. Respondents generally were keen to give their views, and on
most questions there were few “don’t knows”.

It looks as if for a significant minority of the people of Baghdad, the
jury is still out on whether the war was worthwhile.

If most of these people can be won over, then – and only then – will it be
possible for the Americans to claim that a large majority of the people of
Iraq’s capital are on their side.

What must the Americans (and British, for that matter) do? One urgent need
is to convince Iraqis that their cause was just.

We offered a list of five possible reasons for the war, and asked people to
identify the most important.

The top two by a mile were “to secure oil supplies” (47 per cent) and “to
help Israel” (41 per cent). Just 23 per cent said our aim was “to liberate
the people of Iraq”, while 7 per cent said “to protect Kuwait”.

The formal reason for going to war, “to find and destroy weapons of mass
destruction” came last. Just 6 per cent think this was America’s and
Britain’s main motive.

What, though, do the people of Baghdad think of the Americans today, three
months after they occupied their city? More people feel friendly (26 per
cent) than hostile (18 per cent), but fully 50 per cent feel “neither
friendly nor hostile”.

GIs might feel relieved to learn that only 9 per cent of Baghdadians say
they are “very hostile” – but this small percentage amounts to around
250,000 adults.

It would take only a tiny proportion of these to be armed, angry and
willing to act to make life a continuing misery for the occupation forces.

We pressed the issue a little further: “If you HAD to choose, would you
rather live under Saddam or the Americans?” The good news is that very few
want Saddam back – just 7 per cent.

The bad news is that fewer than one in three (29 per cent) positively
favour the Americans. As many as 46 per cent express no preference. There
is plainly a lot of work to be done to convert relief that Saddam has gone
into support for America’s strategy to build a new Iraq.

One reason is that just 32 per cent say that everyday life is better now
than it was a year ago. Twice as many say it is either just as bad (16 per
cent) or actually worse (47 per cent).

Indeed, one respondent in four told YouGov it is much worse. This bleak
mood even extends to many of those who say we were right to go to war. Just
half say life is now better, while one in three of the pro-war camp say
life is now worse.

Asked to list the biggest day-to-day problems “affecting you personally”,
an unsurprising 80 per cent mention power cuts and the lack of reliable
electricity supplies.

More alarming is the 67 per cent who fear the danger of being attacked in
the streets – a fear that afflict men and women in equal numbers. 50 per
cent also fear being attacked at home or at work.

Other widespread concerns include the lack of clean water, doctors and
medical supplies. No wonder that fully 75 per cent say Iraq is more
dangerous than it was before the war (including 54 per cent who say it is
“much more dangerous”). Just 14 per cent reckon the country is safer.

Yet there are signs of cautious optimism, especially about the long term.
By almost three-to-one, Baghdadians expect life in one year’s time to be
better (43 per cent) rather than worse (16 per cent) in one year’s time
than it was before the war. Looking five years ahead, optimists outnumber
pessimists by five to one (54-11 per cent).

By then, most people hope that the occupation will be over; but, despite
the criticisms, fears and acute day-to-day problems, only 13 per cent want
the Americans and British troops to leave immediately.

As many as 76 per cent want them to stay for the time being – with a
majority, 56 per cent, wanting them to remain for at least 12 months.

That does not mean YouGov’s respondents want to put off the day when the
Iraqis once more rule themselves. As many as 71 per cent want power handed
over within 12 months. But what kind of government do the Iraqis want? Our
poll offered six choices.

The most popular is western-style democracy with competing parties. This
was chosen by 36 per cent. But 50 per cent opted for one of the five
variants of Islamic, presidential or single-party rule.

This suggests that the battle to make Baghdad a less fearful city where
normal life can resume is vital not just for the immediate future but for
the longer-term task of rebuilding civil society. Without clean water,
reliable electricity and safe streets, democracy is unlikely to be achieved
– or even wanted.

Peter Kellner is Chairman of YouGov

The Unmissable Grassroots Anti-War Conference
With US Grassroots Network Speaker
26-28 September 2003 Make the Most of Your Weekend
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]