Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Unpopular Americans

The Sunday Telegraph reports on the findings of a new poll commissioned by the British military in Iraq:

Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed.

The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country.

It demonstrates for the first time the true strength of anti-Western feeling in Iraq after more than two and a half years of bloody occupation.

The nationwide survey also suggests that the coalition has lost the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, which Tony Blair and George W Bush believed was fundamental to creating a safe and secure country.
What's italicized above is bullshit. Polls can be fickle, but virtually every one since 2004 has shown a majority of Iraqis want the occupation to end as soon as possible and view the Americans as a negative, destabilizing force in their country. As Juan Cole says, this poll doesn't reveal anything new, but it does suggest a growing sense of hostility to the American presence:
A USA Today poll in April, 2004, came up with similar findings. Then, 57 percent of Iraqis wanted coalition troops out immediately, and about half said that there were circumstances in which it was legitimate to attack US troops. Attitudes now are more negative, but the attitudes revealed in the British Ministry of Defense poll have been there for some time on about the same orders of magnitude.