Monday, September 10, 2007

The surge--what do Iraqis think

Not much, according to a new poll. I wonder if any of this will make it into the Congressional discussion of the merits of the surge.

Poll Highlights Disconnect Between U.S. Commanders, Iraqis -

By Megan Greenwell Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, September 10, 2007; 8:16 AM

BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 -- Seven out of 10 Iraqis believe the U.S. troop buildup in Baghdad and Anbar province has made security worse in those areas, and nearly as many say their own lives are going badly, according to a new poll conducted by ABC News, the British Broadcasting Corp., and the Japanese broadcaster NHK."

The poll reveals a disconnect between U.S. commanders' view of a steadily improving situation in Iraq and a bleaker outlook among Iraqis. As Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker prepare to testify before Congress on Monday and Tuesday about the results of the troop increase, poll numbers show that ordinary Iraqis are significantly more likely to say "things are going badly" than in the early days of the increased military presence in March.

Fewer than one-quarter of Iraqis report that things in Iraq are going well, down from 35 percent in March, while the number of people who expect conditions to improve in the next year has declined precipitously.

In November 2005, shortly before Iraq's historic open elections, 69 percent of residents said they believed life would be better in a year. That number decreased to 40 percent last March and 23 percent in the new poll.

Read the rest...

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