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#176096 - Tue Jun 03 2003 06:08 PM Poll 70% of US believes all is well in Iraq.
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
From USAtoday


Poll: 70% say things going well in Iraq
By Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Most Americans still say things are going reasonably well for the United States in Iraq, despite reports of continued civil disorder there, escalating attacks on American troops and failure to find weapons of mass destruction, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows. (Related link: Poll results)
Overall, 70% say things in Iraq are going very or moderately well, down from 85% in late April, shortly after the major fighting ended.

The findings suggest that the public is less concerned about the messiness of the Iraq situation than many critics of the Bush administration, including Democratic presidential candidates, who charge that President Bush misled the nation about the severity of the Iraqi threat and failed to adequately plan for the war's aftermath.

"Despite the media coverage of the chaos in Iraq, the public is saying, 'The war is over. We won. We knew that it was going to be messy after the fighting ended. We don't necessarily want to know about it,' " says Andrew Smith, a University of New Hampshire pollster.

Indeed, much of the news coverage over the weekend, while the poll was being taken, focused on continued violence in Iraq and the administration's failure so far to find weapons of mass destruction. At least 10 American servicemembers were killed in ambushes or accidents in the past week.

Sunday, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said two Senate panels would hold hearings on how the administration gathered and used intelligence data on Iraq's weapons and whether that information might have been misinterpreted.

Regardless, the poll sketched out a portrait of a public still unwilling to get exercised over the issue. Overall:

• 56% say the Bush administration has a clear plan for improving conditions in Iraq; 41% say it does not.

• 56% say the war in Iraq would be justified even if weapons of mass destruction were not found; 41% say it would not.

• 31% say Bush deliberately misled the American public about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction; 67% say he did not.

Those who side with the critics tend to be mostly Democrats and people who opposed the war before it began.

People who do not approve of Bush's overall leadership are also among them.

Karlyn Bowman, a polling analyst with the American Enterprise Institute, says getting public opinion to turn around on the war in Iraq will not be easy because Saddam Hussein had been a nagging problem for more than a decade and there is relief that he is gone.

"The American public has long been realistic in its expectations about the difficulties of the task, so they are going to be somewhat patient with the administration and not be in a mood to second-guess," she says.

The poll of 1,019 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, has an error margin of +/-3 percentage points.

This is despite reports that the city is in a state of chaos and unrest, and that the occupation forces are very far from welcome there.


P-I in Iraq: Baghdad a city in chaos
As security, services lag, anger over occupation grows


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The boy's smile faded when he heard the word "American."

"Ishta!" he said to the American. "Leave!" And he waved his hand as if he were chasing away flies from his fruit stand.

In 1999, a visiting Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter-photographer team was warmly welcomed even though most people in Iraq and some international agencies such as UNICEF blamed U.S.-backed United Nations sanctions for the deaths of some tens of thousands of Iraqis, mostly children.

Last fall, a P-I team was again warmly welcomed to a Baghdad that was beginning to come alive, despite the continuing sanctions and despite the looming threat of war.

Then, UNICEF figures showed, the malnutrition rate was declining, the vaccination rate was going up, and there had been improvements in communications, agriculture and the electricity supply. Also, everywhere, from Baghdad to Basra, there was a surge of housing construction.

Now, another P-I team has found a drastically altered Iraq.

After two devastating wars and 12 years of economic sanctions, Iraqis are being crushed physically, economically, socially and spiritually. Health conditions are in a downward spiral; the vast majority of the work force has no work; the once burgeoning middle class has almost disappeared; and they are under the occupation of a conquering army.

That many of them are no longer able to muster their famed hospitality for American visitors comes as little surprise.

Electricity is still rolling on and off in the city. Water is available, but humanitarian workers warn that it is of poor quality. Some streets are awash in sewage. The shells of burned-out buildings, from government ministries to shopping malls, dot the skyline. Garbage rots along the sidewalks. Without traffic lights and almost no police officers, the streets are chaotic, and if not for the young men in various communities who volunteer daily to risk life and limb to help direct traffic, they would be parking lots.

There is a U.S. military-enforced curfew from 11 p.m. until 4:30 a.m., but because of the increasing violence, most people begin heading indoors much earlier. By nightfall, the streets are almost empty.

The American Friends Service Committee reports that physical danger remains the gravest concern of most Iraqis. In a recent report, the AFSC said, "Unexploded ordnance punctuates neighborhoods, fields, schools and streets. Stalls sell guns for as little as $2. Looting and robbery are pervasive. ..."

Every day there are demonstrations in front of the Republican Palace, where the U.S. administration has set up shop. Some rally for back wages. Others seek pensions. Still others want someone to make their communities safe again.

The United States has given out $20 apiece in compensation to some 65,000 government workers. But, before the war, 60 percent of workers, about 6 million people, were employed by the government, which means that they have had no income since February.

"Iraqis are facing real hunger as their food rations run out," said Rick McDowell of the AFSC.

McDowell said food rations are being distributed again for the first time since the war, but 10 to 20 percent of the system won't be in operation until August.

"That means that 2 (million) to 4 million people won't get any food rations in June and July," McDowell said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reported last week that it has just a fraction of the money it needs to support Iraq's hospitals, which even before the war were short of equipment and medicines.

The WHO is trying to collect $180 million for a six-month program that aims to restore basic services such as cleaning and trash disposal and pay salaries at hospitals across Iraq, said David Nabarro, one of the executive directors of the U.N. health agency.

It currently has only $10 million for the program, he said.

Iraqi hospitals, many stripped bare by looters after the fall of Saddam Hussein, are running at just 20 percent capacity, Nabarro said.

"The current situation is not a direct result of the war," he said. "It is about the power vacuum, the breakdown of the system that kept the country going in the past."

Some reasons for the breakdown of the system were apparent yesterday at a meeting of non-government organizations serving Baghdad.

The Iraqi health official in charge of the meeting was trying to coordinate 70 so-called NGOs without the benefits of computers, most of which were destroyed or looted after the war, and without any phones.

One result was that about a third of the NGOs were missing. in action. No one had heard from them in weeks and no one knew if they were still pursuing their health care projects or even if they were still in Baghdad.

Of the other NGOs at the meeting, many were still conducting health care assessments despite the fact that Iraqi health officials had completed an overall health assessment just last week.

There were many complaints of duplication of services and lack of many urgently needed services.

"This is a lesson in chaos," McDowell said.

#176097 - Tue Jun 03 2003 06:26 PM Re: Poll 70% of US believes all is well in Iraq.
ozzz2002 Offline

Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 18921
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
And 80% of Americans believe that there are kangaroos in Austria...

Cosmos, I distrust surveys like this, as people will usually only only make their decisions on what the media outlets are feeding them. A VERY large grain of salt is being consumed here.
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it.

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#176098 - Wed Jun 04 2003 07:08 AM Re: Poll 70% of US believes all is well in Iraq.
chelseabelle Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 07 1999
Posts: 10282
Loc: New York USA
This poll did not indicate the "70% of U.S. believes all is well in Iraq"--as the title of this thread asserts.

The poll found that 70% of those in the polling sample believe that things are going very well or moderately well in Iraq.

I doubt that anyone would say "all is well in Iraq".

Let's not distort things.

The poll question referred to the overall situation in Iraq, so that would be affected by which aspects the respondents had in mind when they answered the question. We did win the war, we did get rid of Saddam, we did not suffer the heavy military casualties we feared, we did not get hit with a retaliatory terrorist strike here at home, we are in the process of restabilizing Iraq, etc.--so there are many positive aspects of the situation which would support a perception that things are going "well".
The survey seems not to have asked any questions about the problems which still exist, particularly in Baghdad--looting, chaos, lack of electricity, etc. Had direct questions been asked about about those things, i.e., "How do you think things are going in Baghdad?" the responses might have differed considerably from the perception of how things are going with regard to Iraq as a whole.

Some things about the situation in Iraq are going well, others clearly aren't. The survey made no attempt to get attitudes about things that aren't going well in Iraq from the perspective of the Iraqi people--instead it focused on things like justification for the war and whether the government misled people, which are U.S. domestic political issues.

While polls like this one are interesting, they have definite limitations which affect the conclusions that can be drawn.
A site that offers good info on how to evaluate public opinion polls is:

My personal opinion would be that things in Iraq are going only "fairly well" to "not well". I think that things in Baghdad are not going well at all. But I didn't really support this war to begin with and that likely influences my overall perception--and this poll found that more negative attitudes were prevalent among those who did not support the war.

The really interesting poll would be one taken of the Iraqi peoples' attitude toward the war and the current situation. Personally, I would find that one more illuminating.
Still Crazy After All These Years

#176099 - Wed Jun 04 2003 02:24 PM Re: Poll 70% of US believes all is well in Iraq.
Blue_Cosmos Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132

The poll found that 70% of those in the polling sample believe that things are going very well or moderately well in Iraq.

I doubt that anyone would say "all is well in Iraq".

Let's not distort things.

Agreed, i knew this already, but the maximum title size is very small, so i had to compromise.


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