By: E&P Staff
So General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker have spoken. Now, will the press listen to certain other interested parties in the debate over the future of the ?surge? and the U.S. in Iraq: The Iraqi people?
By chance or design, a credible new poll was released today shortly before the testimony on the Hill. Findings could prove sobering, and seem to challenge much of the Petraeus/Crocker reporting.
For example, by 57% to 43%, those polled back ?attacks on coalition forces.? This broke down to 93% of Sunnis in favor, 50% of Shia, and 5% of Kurds. In contrast, only 7% of the sample supports attack on Iraqi forces.
Asked separately, 48% said attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq on U.S. forces were “acceptable” with 51% finding them unacceptable. Yet only 1% backed al-Qaeda attempts to take over any areas. So sympathy for al-Qaeda was extremely low — except when it comes to hitting U.S. troops.
The poll was conducted in mid-August by ABC News, Britain’s BBC, and Japan’s public broadcaster NHK. More than 2,000 Iraqis were interviewed.
By 46% to 35% the Iraqis believed that a U.S. pullout would make a civil war LESS, not more, likely.
Among other findings:
— 63% say the U.S. invasion in 2003 was wrong, up from 52% in March
— 79% say they oppose U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq, up 1% since March
— 47% want U.S. troops to ?leave now,? up from 35% in March
–72% said the U.S. presence is making security ?worse,? up from 69% in March.
— 75% said they still felt not safe in their neighborhoods, virtually unchanged since March.