Erik Svane says that the media is not reporting the good poll news from Iraq:
Indeed, one reason that “the global image of America has slipped,” that “pessimism about the future of Iraq was widespread,” and that “Iraq is sapping good will to the United States” may be that they see so few polls from Iraq. As it happens, polls from Iraq — both Western and Iraqi — do exist. To mention only four (that are quoted in my book on anti-Americanism in France and Europe, La BanniÃ¨re Ã‰talÃ©e): in March 2004, a BBC poll found that 56% of Iraqis said life was better than before the war (only 17% thought it was worse) while 71% said life would improve and only 15% wanted foreign troops to leave the country. A January 2005 poll by the Iraqi daily Sabah found that 88% of respondents supported military action against the so-called “insurgents,” while only 13% in a poll by the Al Midhar newspaper wished for the immediate departure of foreign troops. In polls conducted by Iraqi universities in the Fall of 2005, two thirds of respondents said life was better than under Saddam while no less than 82% expected their personal lives to be even better one year in the future.
OK, but why doesn’t Svane report the results of any 2006 polls from Iraq? I found one:
A new poll released by the International Republican Institute (IRI) revealed 45 percent of Iraqis favor the formation of a unity government compared to 25 percent who think the winning coalition should occupy top posts and eight percent who think the distribution of power should be reflective of the distribution of votes.
With concern growing over the present security situation, 48 percent of Iraqis believe security should be the number one priority of the new government and 80 percent believe armed militias make Iraq more dangerous and should be abolished. As Iraq’s police and military become better trained and more professional, 87 percent prefer that their safety be ensured by a national force versus 10 percent who prefer specific militias.
More good news that the media didn’t report, I guess. But when you look at the detailed results (PowerPoint) this graph jumps out at you:
As recently as April 2005, 67% of Iraqis felt that the country was heading in the right direction, but now they’re no longer optimistic with only 30% thinking that it’s heading in the right direction. Answers to other questions reveal that Iraqis think things have been getting worse over the previous three months. 76% think wages have gotten worse (6% think better), 68% think corruption has gotten worse (3% better), 61% think unemployment has gotten worse (9% better) and 55% think security has gotten worse (21% better).
So that’s the poll news from Iraq that the media isn’t reporting.