2003 October 14 Tuesday
Iraqis Resent And Prefer Continued US Troop Presence

Most residents of Baghdad want US troop presence at least in the near term.

The Gallup poll found that 71 percent of the capital city's residents felt U.S. troops should not leave in the next few months. Just 26 percent felt the troops should leave that soon. However, a sizable minority felt that circumstances could occur in which attacks against the troops could be justified. Almost one in five, 19 percent, said attacks could be justified, and an additional 17 percent said they could be in some situations.

What does it say about the residents of Baghdad that only 26 percent of them want the US troops to leave in the next few months while 19 percent plus 17 percent for a total of 36% can see circumstances under which the troops should be attacked? This seems to indicate a resentment of the troops in combination with an acceptance of their necessity.

The remaining elements of the old regime aren't aiming their guns at the broader Iraqi public any more.

"Sure we're afraid of all these guns on the streets," said Mustafa Salman al-Kaisi, 47, a businessman and oil drilling engineer, who sat waiting for an appointment last week with an Iraqi trader to discuss importing new goods. "But in fact, most of the guns are aimed at the Americans moving around in Humvees."

As long as the US troops are there the Baathists and the Islamists will focus on those troops and most ordinary Iraqis will have the luxury of simultaneously resenting the troops while benefitting from the fact that troop presence effectively means that the Islamists and Baathists won't be coming for them.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 October 14 02:03 AM  MidEast Iraq Opinion Polls


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