Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Iraqi Poll

Via Political Animal, the Telegraph is reporting that the results of a poll commissioned by the British Ministry of Defense show that Iraqi support for military occupation is dangerously low. Here are some of the numbers.
• Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;

• 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;

• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;

• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;

• 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;

• 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.
Kevin Drum rightly points out that this is only one poll, but even if these numbers are slightly exaggerated, they don’t look good. Let’s assume that the 67 percent of Iraqis who feel less secure because of occupation are wrong, and that occupation is actually making them safer. Does it make a difference? At some point, the benefit of added security is offset by Iraqis’ negative perception of the U.S. occupation, and our presence there becomes more harmful than helpful. I’m not certain that we’ve reached that point yet, but it seems like we’re getting damn close.

On the bright side, it looks like Iraqis have approved the constitution. Hopefully this development brings U.S. troops one step closer to getting out of Iraq.

--Matthew McCoy