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Iraqis see U.S. troops as necessary evil - poll
Reuters ^ | 06/19/03 | Hassan Hafidh

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

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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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TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iraq; iraqicivilians; poll; postwariraq

1 posted on 06/19/2003 7:52:11 AM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax; eureka!
Actually the numbers are a bit better than I expected to see, given the hardships most in the country are enduring. Not to mention the media's and Quagmire Queans' pessimism. But I did like the quote from the poll administrator, pointing out they could not have conducted this poll a few months ago under Saddam's tyrannical regime.
2 posted on 06/19/2003 8:12:48 AM PDT by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: Coop
The paleo-cons and the Loony Left don't care baout that, though.
3 posted on 06/19/2003 8:19:04 AM PDT by hchutch ("If you donít win, you donít get to put your principles into practice." David Horowitz)
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To: Pikamax
Did somebody call me? :) What an enlightened bunch. I'll get on a plane right away.
4 posted on 06/19/2003 8:24:28 AM PDT by Technocrat
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To: Pikamax
Was any poll conducted to determine if the services the Iraqis are griping about actually worked during Sadaam's regime?
5 posted on 06/19/2003 9:51:39 AM PDT by Chewbacca (Start colonizing the Moon and Mars so I can get off this loony bin they call Earth.)
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