Skip to comments.Iraqis see U.S. troops as necessary evil - poll
Posted on 06/19/2003 7:52:11 AM PDT by Pikamax
19 Jun 2003 14:03:35 GMT Iraqis see U.S. troops as necessary evil - poll
By Hassan Hafidh
BAGHDAD, June 19 (Reuters) - Your taxi-driver will tell you, or you can watch the surly protests on Baghdad streets, but now it's official: Iraqis are fed up with U.S. troops.
At the same time, they don't want them to leave yet.
According to Iraq's first opinion poll, released on Thursday, around 73 percent of Baghdad residents say U.S. troops have failed to bring security to their troubled city.
However, only 17 percent of respondents said U.S.-led forces should quit Iraq forthwith. Around 51 percent wanted them to stay until a permanent government can be elected.
The survey, conducted by the independent Iraqi Institute of Strategic Studies, polled 1,100 people between June 8 and 10 -- two months after U.S.-led invaders toppled Saddam Hussein.
"We must be honest enough to say that the coalition has not prevented us from conducting the survey," the institute's director Saadoun al-Dulaimi told a news conference, adding that another poll covering all of Iraq would be published next week.
"Such a free opinion poll couldn't have been carried out during the defunct regime," he said.
Independent public opinion polls were unthinkable under Saddam, who scored a perfect 100 percent in an unopposed election that renewed his presidential mandate last year.
The institute was set up recently by a group of Iraqi statisticians, planning experts and university professors.
U.S. forces have struggled to contain the lawlessness and disorder that have swept Iraq since Saddam's downfall, while a U.S.-led administration has been trying to restore basic services and revive the shattered economy.
The survey showed 56 percent of respondents were unhappy with U.S. efforts in the health sector and more than 50 percent faulted shortcomings in utilities such as electricity.
Only one percent were satisfied with a U.S.-led postwar reconstruction drive, while 94 percent said it was inadequate.
The poll showed widespread distrust of Iraq's political parties, with 63 percent favouring a government of technocrats and only 5.5 percent saying politicians should take over.
Over 70 percent disapproved of last month's U.S. decision to dissolve the armed forces, security agencies and the defence and information ministries, making 400,000 people jobless.
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