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Below is an interesting piece on opinion polling of Iraqis. A deeper look at the data shows that views on the war and occupation are less optimistic and more conflicted than has been made out. Peter Kiernan The Washington Post September 29, 2003, Data Reveal Inaccuracies in Portrayal of Iraqis Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer Top Bush administration officials in the past weeks have been citing a pair of public opinion polls to demonstrate that Iraqis have a positive view of the U.S. occupation. But an examination of those polls indicates Iraqis have a less enthusiastic view than the administration has portrayed. For example, in testimony before Congress, L. Paul Bremer III, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz both cited a recent Gallup Poll that found that almost two-thirds of those polled in Baghdad said it was worth the hardships suffered since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein. Bremer also told Congress that 67 percent thought that in five years they would be better off, and only 11 percent thought they would be worse off. That same poll, however, found that, countrywide, only 33 percent thought they were better off than they were before the invasion and 47 percent said they were worse off. And 94 percent said that Baghdad was a more dangerous place for them to live, a finding the administration officials did not discuss. The poll also found that 29 percent of Baghdad residents had a favorable view of the United States, while 44 percent had a negative view. By comparison, 55 percent had a favorable view of France. Similarly, half of Baghdad residents had a negative view of President Bush, while 29 percent had a favorable view of him. In contrast, French President Jacques Chirac drew a 42 percent favorable rating. Earlier, on Sept. 14, Vice President Cheney on NBC's "Meet the Press" discussed findings from a Zogby International poll of 600 Iraqis done in August in conjunction with American Enterprise magazine. He described the poll as "carefully done" and said it found "very positive news in it in terms of the numbers it shows with respect to the attitudes to what Americans have done." "The U.S. wins hands down," Cheney said, when Iraqis were asked what model of government they would prefer among five choices. Cheney's information, according to an aide, came from the American Enterprise essay on the poll that said 37 percent of respondents chose the United States, and 28 percent selected Saudi Arabia. But a look at the raw data from the poll on the magazine's Web site revealed different figures. According to the data, only 21.5 percent chose the United States, while 20 percent refused to select any model, and 16 percent selected the Saudi government. Cheney also said, "If you want to ask them do they want an Islamic government established, by two-to-one margins they say no, including the Shia population." He said that when asked how long they want the Americans to stay, "over 60 percent of the people polled said they want the U.S. to stay for at least another year." But the poll also found that half of respondents said Western democracy would not work well in Iraq, while 40 percent said it would. Asked whether the United States would help or hurt Iraq over the next five years, 35 percent said the U.S. would help but half said it would hurt Iraq. Also, on the question of an Islamic government, the alternative offered was "or instead let all people practice their own religion," which implied that could not be done under the former. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk