Iraqi Public Wants US Troops Out within a Year
Sunni Parliamentarian Accused of Links to Bombers
A poll of Iraqis commission by USA Today and several other news organizations revealed that:
“In all, 83% of Shiites and 97% of Sunni Arabs oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq; 75% of Kurds support them. By more than 3 to 1, Iraqis say the presence of U.S. forces is making the security situation worse.”
They want the US out, but only 35% want the troops to leave immediately. The time frame for most of the others is six months to a year. There are hardly any Iraqis who want US troops in their country past August, 2008. I.e., the Iraqis would have voted for the Democrats’ plan, which the Republicans shot down in the Senate.
In other results, 40% of Shiites want a theocracy governed by Islamic law and 58% of Sunnis want rule by strongman. Even among Kurds, 34% reject democracy. There may not be a majority for democracy any more.
Nearly half of Shiites and Kurds expect either a soft or a hard partition on ethnic and religious lines.
The USA Today et al. poll results are available here in pdf format.
A poll by the British Opinion Research Business organization gave strikingly different results on some issues.
One difference is that the USA Today et al. poll explicitly includes over-samples from al-Anbar Province, Kirkuk, Sadr City and Basra. Someone expert in polls should explain the divergence and why different methods were chosen and were thought appropriate.
Reuters reports that on Tuesday:
KIRKUK – Two car bombs and four roadside devices killed at least 12 people and wounded 39 in the northern city of Kirkuk, 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad, police Brigadier Sarhat Qader said.
BAGHDAD – A bomb in a plastic bag inside a Shi’ite mosque killed four people and wounded 25 others in central Baghdad, police said.
SAMARRA – Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint, killing a policeman and wounding three others in Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.’
In addition, the mayor of the southern Shiite city of Wasit was kidnapped and killed.
The Iraqi government alleges that it found explosives residue in the automobile of Dhafir al-Ani, a Sunni member of parliament from the Iraqi Accord Front. He denies links to guerrilla bomb makers and alleges that the Shiite government of Iraq is attempting to frame him.