Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Polling in Iraq, a Cesspool of Journalistic Intent

Many polls have been conducted in Iraq over the course of the last three years. It is a rare news cycle that we don't hear about how Iraqi's want the U.S. out, or that they support attacks on American forces. Inevitably, I get emailed articles touting how horrible the war is progressing, how we have become the evil imperial occupiers of Iraq. Today is a mixed bag, but I find the actual poll amazing. Lets begin with the article and its corresponding liberal comments. We are looking at Jim Lobe and the piece "Biting the hand of friendship", which you can view at the Asia Times Online. An aside, if you thought the NYT oped was liberal, you haven't been reading the Asia Times. Here are the relevant passages and the snippy lib ad-ons:

Large majorities of Iraqis believe that the United States has no intention of ever withdrawing all its military forces from their country and that Washington's reconstruction efforts have been incompetent at best, according to a survey released here on Tuesday.
Gee, ain't that a surprise!

This is some fancy dancing! Lets look at the origin of the first statement form the question itself, number fifteen out of twenty: "Do you think the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq or to remove all its military forces once Iraq is stabilized?" In response roughly 80% said the U.S. planned on having a permanent presence. Ok, it looks a little less garish in this light. And consider, we have forces in many Arab states, in a pretty permanent condition, so the question is wide open as to what form the permanent presence takes, whereas the bias in reporting is pretty clear. How about the "incompetent at best" reconstruction effort? That comes from question number thirteen, which is a multiple part question, where each part has four answer choices: approve and U.S. doing a good job, approve but U.S. doing a poor job, disapprove, and no opinion. So, if we just look at the approval rating for reconstruction we get around three quarters of all Iraqis in favor of the U.S. reconstruction, with a little less that half saying the job was being done poorly. Do I need to point out the sever difference between the poll itself and the reporting? Let us move forward to the next obfuscation:

At the same time, however, only 35% of Iraqis - most of them Sunni Arabs - believe coalition forces should withdraw within six months, although if they did so, a majority said it would have a beneficial impact, as many prominent Democrats and other war critics in the US have argued.
Small wonder that it's the Sunni…they know what's coming after the occupying powers are chased out.

What is the obvious twist here? Oh, that it would be beneficial for us to cut and run, the socialist liberal peacenik's stated policy on Iraq. And don't forget, it will be a civil war between Shia and Sunni factions! what interests me, is that this question comes directly after ones dealing with the effectiveness of Iraqi security forces. The respondents do not think their own security is ready, and predict at least one or two years of additional help to maintain effectiveness, yet then proceed to say the security situation would improve if the U.S. left in six months? I would gage this as very confused sentiment, but it certainly is not an endorsement of the journalists bias. The next statement from the article we will discuss concerns attacks on U.S. forces. Regarding the Sunni population:

...a whopping 88% of the community approves of "attacks on US-led forces" in Iraq, with 77% voicing "strong approval"...
But, but, we saved them from Saddam!! And we only killed about 100,000 of them to do it, destroyed their fragile infrastructure and want to steal their oil…..how can they be so ungrateful?

Now its interesting that the author groups "strongly approve" and "somewhat approve" to make a point, but that is irrelevant. Of course the Sunni contingent doesn't like us. They were in power, and received the benefits of that power at the expense of other groups. Tough luck. But if it is only 80% of one fifth of the population that is on the sidelines cheering attacks on U.S. forces, thats a pretty small number. And this follows a question asking whether they support terrorism, and across the board it was a resounding no. Of course that brings into question what they consider terrorism, but I would still view this as extremely favorable. At this point lets dispense with the sniveling journalist, who for good measure tosses in (regarding GWB):

His approval ratings in the US have fallen dangerously over the past year, ...

I guess he missed the recent up-tick in the approval rating. And what pray tell, does "dangerously" mean? Typical socialist liberal drivel. Now that we've gotten that out of our system, lets return to the numbers. I want to emphasize two major results from this poll, first how positive the response was regarding the future of Iraq and whether Saddam's removal was a good thing, and second, the attitude towards the U.N. In the first three questions of the poll roughly two thirds of the country have a favorable outlook on the direction of Iraq, the governments future, and the viability of the recent elections. That is a remarkable statistic, and indicates a national desire to participate in a fair and democratic country.

The second interesting quirk I see in the numbers is the sentiment displayed toward the U.N. Here is the organization that went to bat for Saddam in a big corrupt way, yet still is perceived in a semi-favorable light. The U.N. is split 38% for, 38% against in regard to being a positive influence on Iraq. But when it comes to question sixteen and whether it would be better for the U.S. or U.N. to rebuild Iraq, 59% of Iraqi's would prefer the U.N. What? This one I can not explain. But it may just reflect the current sentiment, and nothing more. If they don't like the current efforts in rebuilding infrastructure, it may just be a vote for change.

My overall assessment of this poll is very positive. There is a clear reflection of positive outlook, and what seems to be a increasing national unity. With that said, it is amazing that doom and gloom Moonbats will paint any poll in a negative hue. The standard peacenik journalist can not seem to crawl out of the slime, and there is no deviation in this case. Of course everyone is biased, myself included, but objective journalism has shrunk away to nothing in this age of opinion, yet late to the party in realization is the current crop of journalistic offenders.

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