New Survey: Iraqis Want a
Speedy U.S. Exit -- and Back Attacks on Our Forces
By E&P Staff
-- -- NEW YORK Past surveys have hinted at this result,
but a new poll in Iraq makes it more stark than ever: the
Iraqi people want the U.S. to exit their country. And most
Iraqis now approve of attacks on U.S. forces, even though
94% express disapproval of al-Qaeda.
At one time, this was primarily a call by the Sunni
minority, but now the Shiites have also come around to this
view. The survey by much-respected World Public Opinion (WPO),
taken in September, found that 74% of Shiites and 91% of
Sunnis in Iraq want us to leave within a year. The number of
Shiites making this call in Baghdad, where the U.S. may send
more troops to bring order, is even higher (80%). In
contrast, earlier this year, 57% of this same group backed
an "open-ended" U.S. stay.
By a wide margin, both groups believe U.S. forces are
provoking more violence than they're preventing -- and that
day-to-day security would improve if we left.
Support for attacks on U.S. forces now commands majority
support among both Shiites and Sunnis. The report states:
"Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a
majority position—now six in ten. Support appears to be
related to widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups,
that the U.S. government plans to have permanent military
bases in Iraq and would not withdraw its forces from Iraq
even if the Iraqi government asked it to. If the U.S. were
to commit to withdraw, more than half of those who approve
of attacks on US troops say that their support for attacks
The backing for attacks on our forces has jumped to 61% from
47% in January.
Among Iraqis overall, 77% percent prefer that a strong
government get rid of militias, including 100% of the Sunnis
polled and 82% of Kurds.
But "the Shia population in Baghdad is more skeptical than
elsewhere about the wisdom of disarming the militias," a
report by WPO states. In Baghdad, Shias say they want
militias to continue to protect their security (59%).
The national survey reached 1,150 Iraqis. It was conducted
by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at
the University of Maryland.
Nearly every opinion poll in the U.S. has shown that roughly
6 in 10 Americans also back a withdrawal within a year.
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