Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show
BAGHDAD, Sept. 26 -- A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.
In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.
Another new poll, scheduled to be released on Wednesday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, found that 71 percent of Iraqis questioned want the Iraqi government to ask foreign forces to depart within a year. By large margins, though, Iraqis believed that the U.S. government would refuse the request, with 77 percent of those polled saying the United States intends keep permanent military bases in the country.
The stark assessments, among the most negative attitudes toward U.S.-led forces since they invaded Iraq in 2003, contrast sharply with views expressed by the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Last week at the United Nations, President Jalal Talabani said coalition troops should remain in the country until Iraqi security forces are "capable of putting an end to terrorism and maintaining stability and security."
Re: Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show
These poll results are very interesting when combined with some other information that was gathered from the same polling agency. For example:
The Program on International Policy Attitudes poll, which was conducted over the first three days of September for WorldPublicOpinion.org, found that support among Sunnis for a withdrawal of all U.S.-led forces within six months dropped to 57 percent in September from 83 percent in January.
"There is a kind of softening of Sunni attitudes toward the U.S.," said Steven Kull, director of PIPA and editor of WorldPublicOpinion.org. "But you can't go so far as to say the majority of Sunnis don't want the U.S. out. They do. They're just not quite in the same hurry as they were before."
I point this out because it shows a distinct change in Sunni sentiment. Remember the insurgency is Sunni driven. The Sunni's despised our existence. The change in numbers indicates a change in understanding. They may be beginning to see that we are a necessary evil. Overall, if you go to the agencies website, there are a couple of articles that have some very interesting articles and polling charts. It seems that Iraqi's have a growing confidence in their government, and want militia's to be disarmed. Sunni's are obviously the most skeptical in most polls, which is why I wanted to point out the big change in Sunni sentiment toward US forces. Remember, prior to the last election the Sunni's were pressed from both the US, and from within, to join the political process. They had basically boycotted the previous two elections. This change in sentiment could be a result of their beginning to believe in politics. Could be. Anyhow, check out the site, there are a couple of very good articles.
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