Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Figures you Dont See

In view of what the armys top dog has been saying and the way Bad News Iraq has taken on renewed momentum with the Lancet report I thought the following interesting. Originally posted at Harrys Place earlier in September it is the same survey from which we see a lot of stats to support the anti war agenda in the media. It does seem to be a fair review and poll - conducted in September for the by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

As HP notes:

The "bad news" for the 'Imperialists' is that 71% of Iraqis want US-led forces to withdraw within a year. 61% approve of resistance attacks against US forces.

To support the anti war agenda this is the info that gets published and makes the headlines. The following echoes remarks made today by Sir Richard.

If US-led forces were to withdraw within the next 6 months, 58% of Iraqis believe this would lead to a fall in inter-ethnic violence, and 61% believe there would be an improvement in improve day-to-day security.

"An overwhelming majority believes that the US military presence in Iraq is provoking more violence than it is preventing".

Ok - Na'sogood - cue those headlines.

Interestingly though the report suggests that this hostility to US troops is related to the belief, held by 77% of Iraqis, that the US is planning permanent military bases.

So, say the Allied forces make a clear agenda on withdrawal in some support of Mr Army here and the propaganda is dispelled about an 'Occupation' then the approval ratings for hostility might diminish?

This is significantly supported by the following that Harrys Place extracted from the same survey:

61% who support attacks on US-forces, more than half say that their support would diminish if the US announced a commitment to withdraw its forces.

As we have started to see tribes group to oust Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are rejected by overwhelming majorities of Shias and Kurds and large majorities of Sunnis: 94% expressed an "unfavourable" view of Al Qaeda, with 82% expressing a "very unfavourable" view.

The "unfavourable" figure included 77% of Sunnis. 93% expressed an unfavourable view of Osama bin Laden, with 77% very unfavourable. The unfavourable figure included 71% of Sunnis.


Support REMAINS for a US presence in a non-military capacity, with 63% approving of the US continuing to train Iraqi security forces, and 68% supporting the US in "helping Iraqis organize their communities to address local needs such as building schools and health clinics".

Again, as HP notes, this is linked to the withdrawal of US forces. Of those expressing disapproval of a non-military US role, more than half said they'd be more likely to support such a role if a timetable for withdrawal was agreed.

Fair enough.


Confidence in the Iraqi security forces is rising: 70% expressed confidence in the police, 64% in the army and 62% the Interior Ministry. 56% said they believed that in 6 months Iraqi security forces would be strong enough to cope with security challenges on their own, up from 39% in January. 63% believe the government is doing a very or somewhat good job.

Isnt that good news? How comes these figures aren’t banded about as they should be?

Militias are seen as the problem rather than the solution: 77% support "a strong government that would get rid of militias", while only 21% preferred to continue to have militias. Support for militias was highest among Shias, but even then only 33% preferred militias to a strong central government. 68% of Iraqis said that they'd be able to rely on the government to ensure security if the militias were to disband.

Isnt that good news???

The report states that "majorities of all groups do not favour a movement towards a looser confederation and believe that five years from now Iraq will still be a ****single state****" (72%). Only 37% believe that the central government has too much power, and 65% see it as "the legitimate representative of the Iraqi people".

Isnt that good news?

61% continue to believe that ousting Saddam Hussein was worth the hardships entailed.

This includes 75% of Shias and 81% of Kurds. The 61% figure is down from 77% in January 2006, but is consistent with previous polls from 2004.

The report suggests that the high January figure "may have been influenced by optimism over the election in December 2005".

Nothing wrong with optimism unless youre a Bush hating westerner and want to flog the chaos theory. Im not surprised the army is fed up when the media brow beats them via their prescence there the while time, how demoralisizing. It doesnt surprise me he has spoken out but i do think it is wrong to do so publicly on this issue, certainly wrong of him in his position as it gives succour to the terrorists and suggests we want to give in. Surely it is in our troops interests to publicize the rest of these figures which present a more encouraging picture and echo what the Iraqi government finally came out and said today.

So in summary yes have a clear agenda for withdrawal leaving behind support as they require. Frankly id like our troops home asap (though they are more likely to be moved to Afghanistan). But get out of Iraq and leave them to it? Er nope. Suggest young men died for nothing? Er nope. Condemn Iraq as a total failure? Well, consider the immediate lack of planning after the ousting a partial failure yes.

But consider the prospects for (an imperfect) democracy emerging supported by the people a good result ~ even more so as North Korea plays its part in the Axis of Evil, an Axis minus one more nutter.

Have a look for yourself at the complete report


At Saturday, 14 October, 2006, Blogger kate said...

ok I didnt have the time to read much here on the blog but wanted to tell you I thought your 'how about rooting for america photo was soooooo funny!


At Saturday, 14 October, 2006, Blogger Chas said...

Alison, I don't put too much stock in those figures. I don't believe that the Iraqis are going to truthfully say (to some poll taker at the door) that they want us to stay. All I would trust is a secret ballot.

At Saturday, 14 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just get the troops out regardless of 'polls'. No-one can win against undiminishing supplies of young men wanting to blow themselves up. The Middle East is not ready for democracy, their systems are light years behind. Just leave them to whatever system they come up with and if they wipe themselves out in the process then so be it.

At Saturday, 14 October, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Saturday, 14 October, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

You or i may not always Chas but the point i was making was the media and Stoppers do. They are running the show and they are putting lives at risk. We are there. They need to get over it.

At Saturday, 14 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But anonymous they were busy trying to wipe New York out with 'undiminishing supplies of young men wanting to blow themselves up', when we never had men there. So much for the leave them to it theory. Bow to your Terrorist Overlords.

At Saturday, 14 October, 2006, Anonymous pete said...

You are right about those figures - the media cherry pick whats useful to them to present their anti war agendas. I agree with you and Chas that these figures are probably not reliable but where they are used we should be given a much better insight. Interesting post. Thanks

At Tuesday, 17 October, 2006, Blogger Alison said...

Cheers Kate...


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