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RE: [casi] Opinion polls

Muhamed, you are still hopelessly drowning in a polemic black and white
caricature of good and bad.

And, what do you mean by "ultra-left" anyway. You are using categories
without really thinking about them carefully.
Sami Ramadani, as many other Iraqis, is against the occupation, but he was
opposed to Saddam Hussein.

We women, in Act Together: Women's Action on Iraq have long distanced
ourselves from those (and they tend to be men without wanting to
essentialize) who either became apologetic of the Saddam Hussein regime
because they hated US politics that much, or became fervent supporters of
war monger George Bush & Co. , because they hated Saddam Hussein so much.
Unfortunately there are too many people in the world who think in these
either/or categories and are therefore missing large complexities in life.

Nadje Al-Ali

  At 16:54 23/09/2003 +0100, Muhamed Ali wrote:
>Dear colleagues,
>                  How come "occupation" allows you to visit Iraq, set up
>shop, or is it political party headquarters, criticise it LEFT, right
>and centre in your bulletins and leave it unscathed when you yearn for
>your creature comforts back in the ivory tower of the imperialist
>motherland ?
>Could you in your wildest dream have done that during the previous 34
>years of "not occupied" Iraq and why didn't you? It is precisely because
>34 years of occupation by Saddam's fascist dictatorship has ended that
>facilitated the return of thousands of exiled Iraqis to their homeland.
>Not only the sadist Saddam's apologists, loony leftists, but also some
>of his victims are missing him already. The latter are psychological
>masachists displaying withdrawal symptoms of love-hate syndrome.
>The Iraqi people, regardless of their political views, their
>reservations about the means used and by whom to achieve this, are very
>grateful for this basic right to be able to visit their country and
>leave whenever they want to. Incidentally, from now on, those
>expatriates can keep their dual nationalities without forfeiting their
>Iraqi nationality. Moreover, those still in Iraq can use mobile phones,
>satellite TV dishes and criticise their rulers without fear of loosing
>their ear, tongue or even head. Incidentally, even a personal manual
>typewriter was banned under the rulers of "Pre- occupation". Good
>riddance dictatorship. Welcome freedom, long time no see ! 34 years in
>the case of our ultra-left Iraqis.
>         Muhamad
>-----Original Message-----
>From: John Smith []
>Sent: 23 September 2003 01:02
>To: Daniel O'Huiginn; Peter Brooke
>Cc: casi
>Subject: Re: [casi] Opinion polls
>Johann Hari/Iraq Prospect Organisation's pro-imperialist propaganda
>piece in
>18 September 'Independent' was refuted by this letter printed in the
>paper on the 20th:
>Sir: Johann Hari is still doing his best to justify his support for the
>on Iraq.
>I too returned to Iraq to see for myself after 34 years in exile. But I
>arrived at conclusions contrary to those of Mr Hari and his Iraqi
>informants. He is happy to quote his informants' nonsense that "even
>liberation, they [the Iraqi people] couldn't understand that they were
>they didn't understand what it meant." This I presume is his answer to
>plain fact that the Iraqi people refused to shower the invaders with
>I talked with scores of people in Baghdad and, with only two exceptions,
>they opposed the US occupation and regarded it as the US "master"
>replacing the "apprentice" (sani). For it is almost universally believed
>Iraq, even among some supporters of the invasion, that the US was the
>that not only backed Saddam's tyranny and armed him with WMD, but worked
>decades to keep him in power. Saddam's old right-wing friends, Rumsfeld
>co, are recruiting Saddam's security men and are prepared to derench
>Iraq in
>new bloodbaths precisely to stop its people from achieving democracy and
>true liberation.  (signed: Sami Ramadani, Senior lecturer, Dept of
>Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University)
>As for opinion polls.... how do you capture something as complex and
>contradictory as human consciousness, hopes, and emotions, in a land
>the imperialist devil runs amok, putting the population in greater peril
>than they have ever been? Are we so unsure of ourselves that we can be
>swayed by pollsters who think that they can measure minds in the same
>that fascists once measured craniums? The Zogby International opinion
>has provided the material for a plethora of pro-occupation articles in
>newspapers in the US and UK. It is interesting, therefore, to read how
>Financial Times reported the same poll:
>Opinion poll underlines Iraqi distrust of America
>By Guy Dinmore in Washington
>Financial Times/September 11 2003
>Braving bullets, arrests and hot pursuit while carrying out the first
>scientific survey of Iraqi public opinion, pollsters commissioned by a
>conservative US think-tank have discovered that most Iraqis do not trust
>Americans and want to be left alone.
>John Zogby, president of Zogby International, which completed the poll
>month, summed up the findings yesterday, saying that, like most Arabs,
>Iraqis want to "control their own destiny", without the intervention of
>outside forces, and are confident in their own ability.
>"Now that tyranny is over," he said, "it is time to move forward but not
>a colony."
>In that sense Iraqis broadly agree, but for different reasons, with the
>administration's stated goal of handing over power and getting out as
>as possible.
>Commissioned by the American Enterprise Institute, the pollsters sought
>survey a representative cross-section of Iraqi society by going to four
>cities: Mosul and Kirkuk in the north, Ramadi in the mostly anti-US
>area of central Iraq, and Basra in the Shia south. A total of 600 people
>were interviewed in public places.
>In Ramadi the pollsters were caught in crossfire in an ambush of US
>One was arrested by Kurds in the north, while others were chased by car.
>Basra some were detained for 24 hours.
>Asked if the US and UK should help make sure a fair government is set up
>Iraq, or if the Iraqis should work this out themselves, 31.5 per cent
>help while 58.5 per cent did not.
>Some 38.2 per cent agreed that democracy could work well in Iraq, while
>per cent agreed with the statement that "democracy is a western way of
>things and it will not work here".
>Asked whether in the next five years the US would "help" Iraq, 35.3 per
>said yes while 50 per cent said the US would "hurt" Iraq. Asked the same
>the UN, the figures were almost reversed, with 50.2 per cent saying it
>  help and 18.5 per cent the opposite.
>Reguarding US and British troops, some 31 per cent wanted them to leave
>six months and a total of 65.5 per cent in a year. Some 25 per cent said
>they should stay two years or more.
>Interviewees were given a list of five countries they would like to
>Iraq after.
>A total of 36 per cent chose the four Middle Eastern countries listed
>per cent for Saudi Arabia, 11 per cent for Syria, 6.5 per cent for Egypt
>2.8 per cent for Iran) while 21.5 per cent settled for the US, the only
>western country listed.
>Seven out of 10 Iraqis think their country and their personal lives will
>better five years from now.
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