What the Iraqis say
: Channel 4 News took a survey of Iraqi opinions with many fascinating results:
Right now, would you prefer to see the US (and Britain) stay in Iraq or pull out?
Should stay for a few years 31
Should stay for about a year 25
Should stay for a while, but leave inside 12 months 20
Should leave Iraq IMMEDIATELY 13
No opinion/not stated 11
So don’t buy reports that say they all want us out now.
On the other hand, they want power now:
How soon should Iraqis be handed political power? (Even if the American forces remain in Iraq).
Straight away 40
Within three months 11
Within six months 11
Within one year 11
More than one year from now 9
Iraqis should not be handed political power 7
Don t know/not stated 10
Note that a majority do not say immediately. They know as well as we do that a structure has to be set up so local authority can succeed.
What kind of government do they want? Now what you’ve been hearing from many sources in the news:
What kind of political/governmental system would you like to see in Iraq?
British/American style democracy. With various political parties competing openly for power 36
Islamic rule, but tempered to modern ideals of justice and punishment 26
A single presidential ruler, but not Saddam 7
Islamic rule in strict accord with the Koran (with Mullahs in charge) 6
A single party state, with open elections for political post 6
Return of Saddam Hussein 5
Don t know/not stated 12
So they don’t want Iran. And wouldn’t you love to see that poll taken in Iran?
On their quality of life today vs. a year ago, not surprisingly at all — in a nation that has just come through a war, duh — more say life is worse: 47 percent say worse, in varying degrees; 32 percent say better in varying degrees; and 22 percent say it’s neither better nor worse or have no opinion. That’s hardly surprising. They just came through a war. Uh, duh.
But now look at their expectations for the future now that Saddam is gone. They were asked, “How do you expect your life to be in 5 (FIVE) YEARS time? (Compared to the way it was BEFORE the American/British actions).” A majorityi 52 percent said better in varying degrees; only 11 percent said worse; 7 percent said unchanged; and 31 percent said they didn’t know.
There’s much more. The Channel 4 story (also in the Spectator) leads with the bad; no surprise. [via Astigma]
: Update: Read the poll and then read this to see how Kofi Annan does not and should not speak for the Iraqi people:
Annan calls for quick handover of power to Iraqis
UNITED NATIONS – In his first major report on postwar Iraq, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Iraqis did not want democracy imposed on them by outsiders and rated lawlessness as their primary concern.