Monday, 17 March 2008
What do Iraqis think five years on?
There has been a lot of repetition of fixed opinions in the British press over the last few days as they look back at what went wrong after the overthrow of Saddam. So, it is worth looking at what Iraqis themselves think. Here's what the BBC pollsters found (to the profound disappointment, one senses, of John Simpson and his colleagues). 55% of Iraqis are happy with their lives, including 62% of Shias and 73% of Kurds; 50% more people than last year say security is good in their areas; and 50% of people have confidence in their government (rather more than say the same in their own countries about many Western governments). Yes, utilities remain erratic; and as many Iraqis want the Americans to go as want them to stay. But this is hardly the picture of a country of hopelessness, as portrayed in the anniversary pullouts.