March 16, 2004

Iraqi Poll

ABC has the results of a Poll: Iraqis Report Better Postwar Life.

While all is not rosy, the optimism expressed in these numbers encourage me greatly:

Ratings of Specific Local Conditions
     Today    Compared to prewar      Expectations 1-yr.
  Good Bad Better Worse Same Better Worse Same
Schools 72% 26 47% 9 41 74 3 14
Household basics 56 41 47 16 35 76 3 10
Crime protection 53 44 50 21 26 75 4 11
Medical care 51 47 44 16 38 75 3 12
Clean water 50 48 41 16 40 75 4 13
Local gov't 50 38 44 16 29 69 4 12
Additional goods 49 46 44 17 35 75 3 10
Security 49 50 54 26 18 74 5 10
Electricity 35 64 43 23 32 74 5 11
Jobs 26 69 39 25 31 73 4 11
More at the BBC.

I hope their optimism is rewarded. Posted by richard at March 16, 2004 01:42 PM


If you listened to the newscasts or read the headlines you certainly get a different picture than what these numbers indicate, though not quite as bad as "testing landmines". I wish the US had half of the optimism about the next year that the Iraqi's have. Maybe we would if, like the Iraqi's, we didn't listen to or read our own media.

Posted by: Dick V at March 16, 2004 03:15 PM

The dead Iraqis, of course, were not available for comment, as they were on landmine duty in Cajun Country. But as they say, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

Posted by: Brad A. at March 16, 2004 04:19 PM

My favorite was the political poll:

Preferred Political System
Democracy 49%
Strong leader "for life" 28
Islamic state 21

Fewer than half of Iraqis say they want a say in their government. If they get democracy, a majoirty won't get their wish. If they get something else, then they won't have a say. Kind of a catch-22. What happens if the Iraqis simply vote away their right to vote?

And Dicky V, always great to read your posts, but wasn't it "our media" that published this poll? I think a lot of it is an election year problem. Republicans have to say everythin is going well in Iraw and Democrats have to say it's all going to hell. But if the bar is simply, "are you better off?" then aren't we setting the bar pretty low? If only 56% say they are better off than under Saddam Hussein, that's not a terribly rosy picture. Chaos, insecurity, poverty, lawlessness, etc. are all better than Saddam Hussein, fine, but that's not saying a whole lot.

Don't get me wrong, I do have hope for Iraq and think that a chance for a better future is certainly better than certain misery. Just like with Afghansitan where warlords, drug trafficking, poor infrastructure, subjigation of women, etc. are all better than life under the Taliban. But again, it's a pretty low bar. It would have been great if we could have held off on Iraq and invested resources in fixing up that mess instead of abandoning it so early. But then again, all those weapons of mass destruction meant we had to deal with Iraq immediately . . .

Posted by: Mike F. at March 16, 2004 05:14 PM