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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's not all fire and brimstones in Iraq

BBC.CO.UK just released a survey indicating that the Iraqis have a bit more positive idea about the future of their country than the rest of the world (excluding George Bush and me) does:

"An opinion poll suggests Iraqis are generally optimistic about their lives, in spite of the violence that has plagued Iraq since the US-led invasion.

Although most Iraqis were optimistic about the future, the poll found significant regional variations in responses.

In central Iraq respondents were far less optimistic about the situation in one year's time than those in Baghdad, the south and north.

The BBC News website's World Affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds, says the survey shows a degree of optimism at variance with the usual depiction of the country as one in total chaos.

The findings are more in line with the kind of arguments currently being deployed by US President George W Bush, he says.

Interviewers found that 71% of those questioned said things were currently very or quite good in their personal lives, while 29% found their lives very or quite bad.

When asked whether their lives would improve in the coming year, 64% said things would be better and 12% said they expected things to be worse

However, Iraqis appear to have a more negative view of the overall situation in their country, with 53% answering that the situation is bad, and 44% saying it is good.

But they were more hopeful for the future - 69% expect Iraq to improve, while 11% say it will worsen."

The survey also reveals what the Iraqis think the new government (to be formed) should have as its priorities: Improving security, getting foreign troops out and rebuilding the infrastructure. Support for democracy has increased while support for political parties remains low.

Senator Lieberman (a Connecticut Democrat and an idiot who opposes violent video games) also sheds some light on what's going on:

"Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress." Via Fred Fry International

More at BBC.

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