Friday, September 29, 2006

Iraqis Agree: Killing US Soldiers Is OK

By now this is old and unsurprising news: Iraqis, by and large, think killing American soldiers in Iraq is OK.

AP reports the following: “About six in 10 Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and slightly more than that want their government to ask U.S. troops to leave within a year, a poll finds.

The Iraqis also have negative views of Osama bin Laden, according to the early September poll of 1,150.

The poll, done for University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, also found that almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.

About 61 percent approved of the attacks — up from 47 percent in January. A solid majority of Shiite and Sunni Arabs approved of the attacks, according to the poll. The increase came mostly among Shiite Iraqis.

It found an overwhelmingly negative opinion of terror chief bin Laden and more than half, 57 percent, disapproving of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Three-fourths say they think the U.S. plans to keep military bases in Iraq permanently.

A majority of Iraqis, 72 percent, say they think Iraq will be one state five years from now. Shiite Iraqis were most likely to feel that way, though a majority of Sunnis and Kurds also believed that would be the case…

The State Department, meanwhile, has conducted its own poll, something it does periodically, spokesman Sean McCormack said.  The State Department poll found two-thirds of Iraqis in Baghdad favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces, according to The Washington Post. McCormack declined to discuss details of the department's poll…

What I hear from government representatives and other anecdotal evidence that you hear from Iraqis that is collected by embassy personnel and military personnel is that Iraqis do appreciate our presence there," McCormack said.  "They do understand the reasons for it, they do understand that we don't want to or we don't intend to be there indefinitely."

Is it a surprise that a Bush Administration official so easily denies all the evidence and data in favor of vague conjecture and infallible ideology?

Even the fight against Al Qaeda seems to be made moot; they’re not popular in Iraq anyway since they kill Shiite Iraqis.  Only a continued comparison of Al Qaeda vs. US soldiers would boost Al Qaeda’s popularity.

Exactly what are we doing in Iraq, once again?  The results seems so distant from anything that could be described as advantageous that one cannot even claim it’s better than some other alternative.  What is this better than?  They hate us and want to kill us; they hate Israel and support its enemies; they are closer to Iran, the US’s greatest foe in the world, than ever before; Iraqis are now subject to even more violence than they were in recent years when Saddam Hussein was in charge and the no-fly zone was being enforced; Al Qaeda and its clones are more experienced andmore of a threat to the world thanks to this war than when Hussein ruled.

At this point it is clear that the best that can be hoped for is an American exit to somehow be engineered, leaving the rival Iraqi factions to solve their own disputes by themselves.  There is no chance that Iraq will be a reliable US ally, or a free country, or peaceful.  What better scenario is even imaginable at this point?

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