A poll of 1,150 Iraqi adults published yesterday by WorldPublicOpinion.org presents a complex view of the occupation and insurgency. As reported on Wednesday by the Associated Press, the results of the poll show increasing animosity towards American soldiers, with about six out of 10 Iraqis surveyed supporting attacks against coalition forces and seven out of 10 wanting them to leave within a year. On a slightly more positive note, Iraqis seem to hold no love for Osama bin Laden, as more than nine in 10 professed to having an unfavorable opinion of the al Qaeda leader.
Afterwards, a horde of bloggers debated the meaning of it all.
The Democracy Project writes, “As a teenager expressing his or her independence is welcomed, even though often shrouded in surliness, the latest poll of Iraqis’ desires for independence from any external presence in their affairs should be welcomed.”
Some commentators found reasons to remain upbeat.
“So the Iraqi’s hate Al-Qaeda, absolutely hate them.” remarks Flopping Aces. “Good news, since this would also be the opposite of what the Democrats are screeching about lately with the NIE that was leaked out recently. Mainly that our presence in Iraq is breeding more hatred, while in fact it appears Al-Qaeda’s presence in Iraq is the one breeding the hatred.”
“To sum up - Iraq is coming along better than the news project,”adds the History News Network. “Indeed, more and more Iraqis believe that they will be soon ready to stand on their own two feet. This optimistic assessment may to a large degree reflect their disappointment in the efficacy of the American forces but, all in all it is a positive development.”
Others, however, offered their own assessments with considerably less enthusiasm.
Blogs Balloon Juice, “Jalal Talabani doesn’t completely agree with the Iraq people on this. Rather than a complete pullout, he merely wants greater than 90% of Americans to leave, with just enough staying behind in Kurdistan to discourage the Turks and Iranians.” Juice continues, “Of course it goes without saying that America knows what is good for the Iraqis better than the Iraqi people do. Why else would we airily dismiss the strategy favored by three quarters of the Iraqi people? This freedom thing must be new to them. Give it time.”
The blogosphere was teeming with questions about the poll’s results. Answers, however, were slightly more scarce.
“What are we still doing in Iraq?” asks Citizens Against Lies. “Does the deluded Bush administration really think you can kill all the terrorists via fighting them in Iraq?…What is our mission there? What would victory be defined as? No one has the answers to any of these questions, and in fact we’re not even supposed to be asking the questions.”
Finally, the poll inspired one pundit to question the relationship between occupation and ownership.
“Whose country is Iraq, anyway?” inquires Dr. Chadblog. “If it’s the Iraqis clearly then the occupation should end since 7/10 want the US to set a deadline within a year and leave. But in reality, it’s not the Iraqis country and their opinion doesn’t matter much; it belongs to a bunch of politicians in Washington. They are the deciders.”
Dr. Chadblog concludes: “It’s their country, the Iraqis just happen to be living in it.”