Iraqi People to White House -
You may have missed this. I did.
Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show
Leaders' Views Out of Step With Public
By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 27, 2006; A22
BAGHDAD, Sept. 26 -- A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.
The White House maintained only one consistent goal throughout the invasion and occupation of Iraq: safety and democracy for the Iraqi people. That implies that we care what the Iraqi people think. Heard much about what the Iraqi people think lately? Ever?
I didn’t until I looked. The information wasn’t difficult to find and the sources on Iraqi public opinion are credible. USA Today did a 3,400 plus Iraqi poll in 2005, World Public Opinion.Org of the University of Maryland conducted a 1,150 poll in 2006, and the U.S. State Department ran its own poll of the Iraqi people in late 2006 as well. There are others.
As citizens of the United States, we are concerned about the safety of our troops, the impact of this war on the Iraqi people, and the overall cost of this lengthy and complex foreign adventure. We know that over 3,200 U.S. soldiers have died and many times that number have serious injuries. More of us need to know that between 450 and 650 thousand Iraqi civilians have died since the first moments of the invasion.
But what of the one consistent rationale for the invasion; the grandiose cause of bringing democracy to the Middle East and improving the lives of the Iraqi people?
If the benefits of the invasion are substantial and openly appreciated, we should find that our troops and personnel are welcomed by the people. If we are not welcome, then it’s obvious that Iraqi’s see our presence causing more harm than benefit. Who would argue with that? Isn’t respecting the popular will what democracy is all about?
A Majority of Iraqis Support Violent Attacks on U.S. Forces
These figures answer any and all questions about an ongoing occupation quickly and decisively. Why isn’t this central to the debate and decision making on our presence in Iraq? Since a majority favors attacks on our soldiers, we must assume that a rapid U.S. exit tops the Iraqi public opinion charts.