Opinion Polls in Iraq
My allegation that the IraqTheModel website is far outside the norm of Iraqi public opinion as measured by polling has caused a stir in the weblogging world among, apparently, dittoheads who can’t read polls.
Here are the results of an April, 2004, Gallup poll, which was scientifically weighted and involved over 3000 face-to-face interviews all over the country.
On Balance, do you think of the Americans mostly as Occupiers or liberators?
Occupiers: 71 %
(43% reported that in April 2003, they had thought of the Americans as liberators).
How have the US Forces Conducted themselves?
58% said “fairly badly” or “very badly.”
Asked if the US was serious about establishing democracy in Iraq:
50% said “no.”
12% said “don’t know.”
Asked if attacks on US troops could be justified,
52% said “sometimes,” “somewhat,” or “completely.”
The United States had an unfavorability rating of
(and there wasn’t a significant difference between the Shiites and the Sunni Arabs).
Only 31% favored a separation of mosque and state! (But 66% of Kurds did).
Only 30% of the Arab population favored a multiparty parliamentary democracy!
I drew attention to Martini Republic’s questions about the independence of IraqTheModel without actually expressing any opinion myself one way or another, except to say that they are out of the Iraqi mainstream. The dittoheads who read them and can look at the above polling figures and come to a different conclusion are just innumerate (if only they were also so illiterate as to be unable to figure out my email address).
One of them complained that this poll was done last April. Does anybody really think US favorability numbers are up since then?
An IRI poll in September found that Muqtada al-Sadr was just about as popular as Iyad Allawi (45% and 47% favorability respectively). And Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the clerical leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, trumped them all.
By the way, Sunni Arabs have been celebrating the (limited) resistance against the British in Fallujah during the 1920 revolt for decades. IraqTheModel thought it all came from a Saddam-era film.
Here is what The New Yorker says (INVASIONS by JON LEE ANDERSON, “Nervous Iraqis remember earlier conflicts.” Issue of 2003-03-24:
“Colonel Leachman was a contemporary of T. E. Lawrence, and, like Lawrence,
he became famous for his exploits in the desert, living among the Arabs
and accomplishing great feats of endurance and daring. Lawrence was more
celebrated than Leachman, largely because of Lowell Thomass razzmatazz
presentation of his story, and because Lawrence lived to write his
memoirs, but Leachman was a heroic figure, and news of his murder both
inspired the Arab tribes to revolt and horrified the British public, which
was already having second thoughts about the occupation of the Middle
East. Leachman had come to Mesopotamia in 1907, after serving in the Boer
War and then in India. He spent a short time in the cosmopolitan society
of Westerners in the cities of Basra and Baghdad, but he made his
reputation moving among the tribes of the Euphrates. He wore traditional
Arab garments and rode horses and camels on long trips across desolate,
unmapped landscapes, reporting back on the intrigues among tribal
chieftains during the last days of the Ottoman Empire.
Leachman was a severe man, and by the time of the armistice, in 1918, he
had survived many savage battles and many attempts on his life. After the
war, he was ruthless in putting down Arab uprisings. The British used
aerial bombardments as a cost-efficient method of controlling the
resentful tribes, and Leachman was especially feared for his ideas about
quelling disorder. In August, 1920, he drove west from Baghdad toward the
town of Al Fallujah, about forty miles away, to meet with Sheikh Dhari,
perhaps to negotiate the waiver of a loan to the Sheikh, who had thus far
not participated in the Arab rebellion. Exactly what happened that day is
unclear, but the British tended to believe that Leachman was shot in the
back at a police post, and that he had been set up.”