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Monday, September 29, 2003

Polls of Iraqis

Monday's Washington Post digs into the details of the opinion polls of Iraqis that the administration has been touting as evidence the Iraqi people really do like the American occupying force. What they find is--surprise!--the administration has been selective in the findings they've been talking about. Walter Pincus reports:

"In testimony before Congress, L. Paul Bremer III, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz both cited a recent Gallup Poll that found that almost two-thirds of those polled in Baghdad said it was worth the hardships suffered since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein. Bremer also told Congress that 67 percent thought that in five years they would be better off, and only 11 percent thought they would be worse off.

"That same poll, however, found that, countrywide, only 33 percent thought they were better off than they were before the invasion and 47 percent said they were worse off. And 94 percent said that Baghdad was a more dangerous place for them to live, a finding the administration officials did not discuss.

"The poll also found that 29 percent of Baghdad residents had a favorable view of the United States, while 44 percent had a negative view. By comparison, 55 percent had a favorable view of France.

"Similarly, half of Baghdad residents had a negative view of President Bush, while 29 percent had a favorable view of him. In contrast, French President Jacques Chirac drew a 42 percent favorable rating."