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Re: [casi] On Gallups.. again..

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

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

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

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