The new Iraqi Poll

Comes to us via TheTimes Online via Drudgeshowing that Iraqis think life is better now than with Saddam. Yeah.
America’s North Shore Journal digs a little deeper and shows that Iraqis think violence will go down when we leave. hmmmm.

The poll suggests several conclusions.

The majority of Iraqis think of themselves as Muslim first, and not Sunni or Shia.
A significant number of Iraqis don’t know why we are doing the surge.
Iraqis believe things will get better after we leave.
Iraqis have a great deal of belief that the current government will do what it says it will.
Massive numbers of Iraqis are not fleeing the country or becoming internal refugees.
About half of Iraqis believe things are better now. Only a quarter still pine for the good old days.

(ht instapundit)

In the meantime Omar as Iraq the Model notes that al-Qaeda is screwing themselves bigtime and attacking people who would be their friends in Anbar.

The tribes in Anbar are stubborn and they have many ruthless warriors. That’s a proven fact and it looks like Al-Qaeda had just made their gravest mistake—their once best friends are just about to become their worst enemy.

2 thoughts on “The new Iraqi Poll

  1. I’ve done a complete breakdown on this survey here.

    The Time’s statement that “most Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein” is highly misleading, as they are basing this claim on a question which asks people whether they prefer the previous political system or the current one, and not one which specifically asks whether they believe life is better.

    There are also many things the poll finds that the Times aren’t reporting on:

    Amongst other things, the poll says:

    – 26% of those surveyed nationwide said they’d had a family member or relative killed within the past three years. These numbers are even higher outside of Kurdish territory, where only 5% report losing a family member.

    – Less than 1/3rd of Iraqis believe that the recent U.S. surge was intended to increase security in Iraq. More Iraqis believe the actual goal is to depose the existing government, establish U.S. control of Iraq, attack Iraq’s neighbors, or to kill and destroy Iraqis.

    – 53% of Iraqis believe that the security situation will improve in Iraq once Coalition forces withdraw, as compared to only 32% who disagree. The percentage of Iraqis who think a Coalition withdrawl would be beneficial increases very significantly if you disregard the Kurdish region of Iraq, where only 15% of the population think that security would improve without Coalition forces.

    – Only 15% of Kurds approve of the current governmental system. Most want an independent government. Shi’a, however, overwhelmingly support a strong, central government that imposes its will over the rest of the country. This could lead to significant conflicts in the future.

    Among those with a clear preference, the Sunni in Iraq prefered the political system under Saddam by a nearly 2-1 margin. Over 26% of Iraq’s Shi’a believe that the current political system in Iraq is just as bad or worse than the political system under Saddam.

    – Approximately 60% of respondents considered themselves unemployed. Those percentages are even higher if you disregard the Kurdish region, where only about 50% were unemployed. These unemployment figures are approximately the same as was seen in the months following the invasion — they have not improved noticeably in years.

    Lastly, although the survey polled residents in “every one of the eighteen governorates within Iraq”, the choice of places within those governates for their clusters seems skewed. Indeed, it appears that the data gathered in Anbar province, for example, was gathered in the far west of Iraq near Ar Rutbah, with no data from cities such as Fallujah, Ramadi, or Samarra. Much of the Sunni triangle is simply overlooked, even in situations such as Fallujah where there is a strong U.S. pacification presence allowing for surveys.

    Similar issues could be raised with their Baghdad surveying. Did they go into Sadr City? I suspect not.

    So, while the poll tries to represent Iraq, there are a lot of questions as to whether it is representative of Iraqis.

  2. Thank you so much for the comment. The North Shore Journal mentioned a number of your points, but not all. I haven’t dug into the poll myself.

    Most polls are suspect in my opinion but having a poll of 5000 people is a also a lot of people. So while methodology is often times not on spot, numbers often times make up the difference.
    We see many polls here with what may be great methodology but with 200 participants. So I always take away the whatevers. All and all I gather from this that a) most Iraqi’s prefer this system to the Saddam system and b) they think they can handle whatever comes up after we leave.
    Unemployment, members of the family dead etc are not the take away points for me.
    If most Iraqis preferred to live under Saddam I might rethink my whole train of thought.

    Just like I give the idea that they think there would be less violence if we leave a “hmmm”.

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