More numbers - secret poll results
Yiikes. But this reflects worries that have been plaguing me for the past few weeks. Do I like what this implies? Nope. But you deserve the truth and you shall have it.
Poll results from a secret poll commissioned by Britain's Defense Ministry In Iraq, and obtained by London's Telegraph:
Eighty-two percent of respondents said they "strongly oppose" troops being in their country, 67 percent feel less secure and 72 percent have no confidence that the occupation will succeed.
45 percent approve of attacks on foreign troops.
In some areas 65 percent support attacks, and less than one percent think the occupation is improving security.
Is it really any surprise?
Sources: telegraph.co.uk the ScienceDaily, and the World Peace Herald (if only we had some).
Update: Tellingly, even Iraq The Model are having trouble explaining this poll to their regular visitors, having conceded that "maybe even 90% of the people in any country do not want foreign troops" and "it could be true or close to the truth that 82% of Iraqis do not want the troops to stay indefinitely". I would venture that staying indefinitely or not is a mute point, opposing the presence of troops is opposing the presence of troops. Quoting the article:
82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops.
Re article authenticity queries. Sean Rayment is a London Telegraph Defence Correspondent, a few web searches will throw up other articles of his (yes and some as controversial too - go to the tele, key "sean rayment" into the search box and click go). I do-not sense fabrication and do recognise the journalistic style, typical in that poll reportage is in itself formulaic and generally closely follows questionnaire wording. For example. How the question behind the finding that "such and such per cent are 'strongly opposed' to the presence of coalition troops" might typically be phrased:
Overall, do you support or oppose the presence of coalition troops in Iraq? Is that strongly/somewhat support or somewhat/strongly oppose?
1. Strongly support
2. Somewhat support
3. Somewhat oppose
4. Strongly oppose
Nuff said. Question forensically reconstructed. Good poll reportage sticks closely to questionnaire wording because, as many astute netizens are aware, different answers can be obtained by asking different questions.
As for queries re the time frame and researchers, the Telegraph article states the poll was conducted in August and:
by an Iraqi university research team that, for security reasons, was not told the data it compiled would be used by coalition forces.
While the article states the team weren't told who the client was for security purposes, it's not uncommon for client names to be with-held from interviewers in some reknowned international research organisations because it helps prevent interviewer bias. So far, methodology sounds legit to me.
Very fairly, I thought, the article also compares the results to another earlier poll and notes that:
The findings differ markedly from a survey carried out by the BBC in March 2004 in which the overwhelming consensus among the 2,500 Iraqis questioned was that life was good. More of those questioned supported the war than opposed it.
And queries re polling areas? The article specifically mentions results from Maysan (one of the four provinces under British control) and Basra. Given that Maysan is "traditionally the home to many Marsh Arabs" and that the Marsh Arabs are amoung the few who have faired well under this war with the reclamation of marshlands, it is striking that even so "65 per cent of people in Maysan - believe that attacks against coalition forces are justified". Why is this? Could it be that, though the marshes are irrigated again, the people are still largely poor and brassed off? In citing results for "Justification for Violent Attacks", results from Basra are compared with Iraq as a whole:
The report states that for Iraq as a whole, 45 per cent of people feel attacks are justified. In Basra, the proportion is reduced to 25 per cent.
Again, I cannot help but notice how even keeled the whole article is - having published "less sensational" results along with the damning 82 per cent finding. I also find it interesting that Basra is not as supportive of violent means and think this is consistent with cities globally. I have a theory that people in larger population centres are generally more passive. Town dwellers might fight the rat race but they are also the ones out on the streets en mass during anti-war demonstrations, they like to eat and shop and have electricity and don't like it when this is disturbed by having everything around them blowing up all the while.
Are Iraq The Model correct to question poll results? Yes, by all means question anything when the fog of war is all about us. I just wish those two were as critical of all the pro-war drivel their visitors feed them.