Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Quick Poll from Iraq

Via Chrenkoff comes this poll from an Iraqi newspaper. It's pretty revealing, especially given the coverage of the April 9 supposed 'end the occupation!' protest that we heard so much about. I wish I was armed with this information when I encountered that silly protester last week. Wait, nevermind, trying to reason with unreasonable people is an exercise in futility. It would have only wasted five more minutes of my time. On to the poll:

Our special correspondent and translator Haider Ajina wants you to know about a new opinion poll from Iraq. It was published in the April 18 edition of Iraqi Arabic newspaper "Almidhar". 778 Baghdadis were asked:

"Do you support the pull out of foreign troops?

"At once - 12.56%

"According to a future timetable - 81.80%

"Do not know - 5.64%

"Has the security situation improved since the start of the new government?

"Yes - 55%

"No - 35%

"No change - 10%"
Haider also writes:

"Most of us read, heard and saw the medias report of the April 9th demonstrations in Baghdad. Most of the U.S. media portrayed it as a massive anti American demonstration in the streets of Iraq. I noticed, however, from Iraqi Arabic newspapers that most the demonstrations were against terrorism & calling for Saddam's trial & hanging (all these signs were in Arabic). I called my father in Baghdad to confirm this and he confirmed it. My father then confirmed that Al Sadr had asked his followers to demonstrate for the withdrawal of foreign troops, he also said that this group was very small and almost insignificant compared to the rest who were calling for Saddam's trial & hanging and those against terrorism. My father said the Iraqi media reported the number like this 'about 200,000 demonstrators of which 8,000-10,000 were Al-Sadr & Sunni supporters' (strange bed fellows). He also said that when he listened to the Iraqi elected officials (on live T.V.) in the assembly, that every one (every one including those Sunnis initially opposed to the elections), every man and woman assembly member, reiterated the importance of foreign and specifically U.S. troops staying in Iraq till Iraq is ready to take over its own security. Most of them expressed their thanks for the troops being there and freeing Iraqis from Saddam. This I did not read, hear or see in any U.S. mainstream media outlet.

"These are the people Iraq elected, asking us to stay and thanking us. The poll shows only 12% want us to leave at once. This makes a complete mockery of the mainstream media coverage of the demonstrations. As my wife told me when she heard the coverage on CNN: 'Haider you are going to get mad when you hear this', and I am still mad. Forgive me for rehashing this point. I feel it really needs pointing out. Iraqis are grateful for what we did and continue to be grateful for us being there."

The mainstream media fails yet again. Spread the word.

Wow, I often question whether or not I am/have been overly optimistic on Iraq. Then I read something like this and I realize the picture is just too damn complicated to boil down to one sound-bite or one narrative. There are certainly problems, it's hard to erase 30 years of authoritarian slaughter with a couple years of war, irons, and blood, but things sure are looking up. You would never know that though from reading only the mainstream media in the US. Certainly this kind of information provides important context to the random car bombings, RPG attacks, and jihad snuff film beheadings that make up the daily headlines. Who would have know that of the 200,000 demonstrators, most were demonstrating against terrorism and for Saddam's hanging?


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