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[casi] Iraq opinion poll

>From Agence France Press, October 23:

BAGHDAD (AFP) - More and more Iraqis view the US forces
as "occupiers" not liberators and say they want an Islamic-
style democracy, citing Iran as a model, said a new poll.

The results found 67 percent of Iraqis view the US-led
coalition as an occupying force, while only 46 percent of
the population considered them as such when US troops rolled
into Baghdad April 9, said the Iraqi Centre for Research and
Strategic Studies.

Over the same timeframe, those who viewed the US forces as
liberators slumped from 43 percent to 15 percent, the study

Asked about a future Iraqi government, 33 percent said they
favoured an Islamic model as opposed to 30 percent who said
yes to a Western-style democracy.

Asked what country offered the best model for Iraq (news -
web sites), 14 percent said Iran, followed by 13.5 percent
who opted for the United Arab Emirates and 9.6 percent for
the United States, it said.

Nonetheless, people still want US forces in Iraq, with 30
percent saying they strongly supported the US presence in
their country, compared to only 10 wanting the US troops to
leave now.

However, 23 percent said they "somewhat opposed" the US

"The figures represent Iraqis' conviction that the presence
is necessary to prevent an eruption of internal
dissensions," said Nabil al-Zuheir, the centre's director of
political research.

Concerning security conditions, 46 percent of Iraqis said
the situation had deteriorated, while only 23 percent said
it had improved.

Iraqis expressed little confidence in the coalition's
ability to make Iraq a safer place.

Only 23 percent of those polled said they believed the
coalition could make their cities more secure.

Iraqis also said they had little faith in their political
leaders, with 61 percent saying none of them were

The Iraqi leaders, with the highest ratings, were clerics
and members of Iraq's Shiite majority community.

Shiite leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme
Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, received a
positive rating of 58 percent. Fellow Shiite leaders
Mohammed Bahr al-Ulum and Ibrahim al-Jaffari followed with
positive ratings of 57 and 54 percent respectively.

Sunni Muslim leader Adnan al-Pachachi came in next with a
positive rating of 41 percent, trailed by Kurdish leaders
Jalal al-Talabani and Massud Barzani at 39 and 36 percent

Pentagon favourite Ahmad al-Chalabi weighed in at 26
percent, giving ammunition to his critics who claim he
represents no real constituency at home and appeals more to
the exile community.

Despite his fugitive status, fallen dictator Saddam Hussein
managed a rating of three percent.

Shiite fundamentalist Moqtada Sadr, who has stridently
demanded that US forces exit Iraq, received a weak rating of
one percent.

The rating reinforced the image of Sadr as an incendiary
figure who has made little inroads beyond a hardcore group
of young followers.

The poll had a margin of error of three to four percent and
was carried out between September 28 and October 10 with
1,620 interviews in Baghdad, Basra, Najaf, Ramadi, Fallujah,
Arbil and Sulaimaniyah.

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