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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Who Knows More About Iraq? The Iraqi's or the Americans?

You might think the titled question is silly but I am dead serious here.

Who knows more about the situation and the feelings of the Iraqi people? The Iraqi's who live there and have been dealing with violence their whole lives or the Americans that watch our headline news or, god forbid, CNN, and decide that by watching they are experts about the Iraqi people and the situation over there?

Times Online has a new poll out and anybody that reads this blog regularly knows by now I always say take these polls with a grain of salt, EVEN when the answers match what I have been saying here all along.

So, for the usual disclaimer, take this with a grain of salt but notice the differences between the polls given here as to what Americans think and the polls given to the Iraqi people showing what they think.

Then ask yourself.... who is in a better position to know the truth? You or the Iraqi's.

Try to be honest with yourself when you do.

From reading the blogs from the left and the right side of the aisle, as is common these days, the right sees things one way, the left sees them another way and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

The ORB Poll was carried out by 400 pollsters accross the region, surveying 5019 Iraq adults over the age of 18.

Here is the final tables via a PDF file and here are the charts via a powerpoint file.

The most surprising finding out of everything is that the poll shows that despite the horrendous personal security problems only 26% of the country preferred life under the previous regime of Saddam Hussein, with 49% preferring life under the current political regime of Noori al-Maliki.

The opinion poll was conducted by O.R.B. and the survey details are as follows:

•Results are based face-to-face interviews amongst a nationally representative sample of 5,019 adults aged 18+ throughout Iraq.
•The standard margin of error on the sample size is +1.4%
•The methodology uses multi-stage random probability sampling and covers every one of the eighteen governorates within Iraq.
•Interviews conducted 10th – 22nd February 2007.

The sample consisted of 50% men and 50% women, but we must also take into consideration that 42% sampled were Sunni Muslims and 50% were Shia Muslims, to be fair.

Another surprising answer from the Iraq people sampled is something Biden, in all his expert glory, would do well to understand.

When asked the views on a "Federal Iraq" (Joe Bidens bright idea) 57% of the Sunni Muslims and 69% of the Shia Muslims, equaling 64% of ALL Iraqi's surveyed prefer The CURRENT SYSTEM, Iraq a single country run by central national government.

21% agrees with Joe Biden on a NEW FEDERAL SYSTEM, with independent regional governments 72% of those being the Kurds, naturally.

6% said Neither and 9% didn't know or refused to answer.

Found on page 9 of the powerpoint file with all the charts from this poll.

Another thing that this poll taught me was that our media is even MORE skewed than I originally thought and we all know my opinion on the MSM stinks as is...this makes it worse.

The question: Do you have any members of your family that have left Iraq over the previous 4 yrs as a result of the security situation? Base: All Respondents n=5019.

4% Refused to answer
72% said NO
9% said Yes- but they moved to Kurdish areas
15% said Yes- They moved outside Iraq

Compare those to the news we have been given and make your own call if we have been misled or have had information deliberately distorted from our MSM.

By the way that chart is on page 11 of the powerpoint file with all the charts.

To understand the full poll you must look at the charts and questions for yourself, but it IS interesting to see the Iraqi's thoughts and feelings and compare them to what WE view as the situation in Iraq.

That speaks more to our media than anything else I have seen so far to date.

They speak from experience and we speak from what we see and hear on the news.

From one of the two Times Online articles titled "Resilent Iraqi's ask what Civil War?"

DESPITE sectarian slaughter, ethnic cleansing and suicide bombs, an opinion poll conducted on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq has found a striking resilience and optimism among the inhabitants.

The poll, the biggest since coalition troops entered Iraq on March 20, 2003, shows that by a majority of two to one, Iraqis prefer the current leadership to Saddam Hussein’s regime, regardless of the security crisis and a lack of public services.

The survey, published today, also reveals that contrary to the views of many western analysts, most Iraqis do not believe they are embroiled in a civil war.


The poll suggests a significant increase in support for Maliki. A survey conducted by ORB in September last year found that only 29% of Iraqis had a favourable opinion of the prime minister.

Another surprise was that only 27% believed they were caught up in a civil war. Again, that number divided along religious lines, with 41% of Sunnis believing Iraq was in a civil war, compared with only 15% of Shi’ites.

The survey is a rare snapshot of Iraqi opinion because of the difficulty of working in the country, with the exception of Kurdish areas which are run as an essentially autonomous province.

Most international organisations have pulled out of Iraq and diplomats are mostly holed-up in the Green Zone. The unexpected degree of optimism may signal a groundswell of hope at signs the American “surge” is starting to take effect.

This weekend comments from Baghdad residents reflected the poll’s findings. Many said they were starting to feel more secure on the streets, although horrific bombings have continued. “The Americans have checkpoints and the most important thing is they don’t ask for ID, whether you are Sunni or Shi’ite,” said one resident. “There are no more fake checkpoints so you don’t need to be scared.”

The inhabitants of a northern Baghdad district were heartened to see on the concrete blocks protecting an Iraqi army checkpoint the lettering: “Down, down with the militias, we are fighting for the sake of Iraq.”

It would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Residents said they noted that armed militias were off the streets.

One question showed the sharp divide in attitudes towards the continued presence of foreign troops in Iraq. Some 53% of Iraqis nationwide agree that the security situation will improve in the weeks after a withdrawal by international forces, while only 26% think it will get worse.

“We’ve been polling in Iraq since 2005 and the finding that most surprised us was how many Iraqis expressed support for the present government,” said Johnny Heald, managing director of ORB. “Given the level of violence in Iraq, it shows an unexpected level of optimism.”

Despite the sectarian divide, 64% of Iraqis still want to see a united Iraq under a central national government.

One statistic that bodes ill for Iraq’s future is the number who have fled the country, many of them middle-class professionals. Baghdad has been hard hit by the brain drain — 35% said a family member had left the country.

Here is the second Time Online article titled "Iraqi's: Life is getting better".

Once again here is the ORB page and at the bottom are the links to the two files, one PDF and one Powerpoint which has the charts and information.

Others discussing this:

Wapo, Captain's Quarters, Strata-Sphere, Don Surber, Protein Wisdom, Jules Crittenden, Outside the Beltway,, PoliPundit, Pajamas Media, Blogs for Bush, America's North Shore Journal, TigerHawk and Gateway Pundit.

Memeorandum has a rundown of blogs discussing this on both sides of the aisle.

Tracked back by:
Iraqis Say Life Better Without Saddam from Amy Proctor: Bottom Line Up Front...