ABC News has published the results of a poll it commissioned of Iraqi public opinion, with some surprising results. The findings are neither all rosy nor all dire, which suggests they may in fact be a reasonably accurate reflection of Iraqis’ attitudes a year after the invasion.
Among the more interesting results:
–By 48 to 39 percent, Iraqis believe the US-led invasion was right.
–Although 51 percent oppose the presence of coalition forces, only 15 percent want them to leave now.
–By 56 to 23 percent, Iraqis say their lives are better compared to a year ago. And 71 percent expect their lives to be even better a year from now.
–Forty-nine percent prefer a democratic political system, compared to 28 percent for a strong leader “for life” and 21 percent for an Islamic state.
–Seventy-five percent said they would never join a political party and 70 percent said they would never participate in a demonstration. More reassuringly, 82 percent said they would never use force or violence for political reasons.
–Religious leaders have the confidence of 70 percent of the population, and the police have the trust of 68 percent. By contrast the Iraqi Governing Council (39 percent), the CPA (28 percent) and the US and UK occupation forces (25 percent) are held in much lower esteem.
Just over three-quarters of Iraqis — 77 percent — say they personally never have had any encounter with coalition forces. Those who’ve had such encounters divide on the experience: about half call it a positive encounter; half, negative.