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The Therapy Sessions
Saturday, October 25, 2003

Questions For The Inquirer

U.S. eyes quicker self-rule in Iraq
With attacks worsening, strategy is under review.

WASHINGTON - Amid increasing attacks on U.S.-led forces, the top U.S. civilian and military officials in charge of Iraq are coming to Washington for deliberations on improving security and pushing the country down the path to self-rule more rapidly, officials said yesterday...

...Iraqis also appear to be growing more disenchanted. A new poll this week suggested that the goodwill produced by Saddam Hussein's ouster had been lost, with only 14.8 percent of Iraqis viewing U.S.-led forces as liberators, compared with nearly 43 percent of Iraqis six months ago.

I've grown very skeptical of the Inquirer lately, and each morning's scare story about Iraq is part of the reason.

This poll - unreferenced to any organization - shows something that other polls in Iraq have not shown. It hints that Iraq has completely turned against us.

This would be a huge story, and this poll (wherever it is) would be the key piece of evidence.

So let's hear more about this poll!

Who did it? What methods were used? What was the sample size? Where was it taken? This isn't a poll like NPR's Anne Garrels does - going to an anti-American demonstration and noting hatred of the US! Or is it?

The Inquirer says nothing.

While it is entirely possible that this is a fair assessment of the situation on the ground in Iraq, it would be useful to know what the other 85% of Iraqis think. Are they now growing hostile to the US (as the story implies)?

This would be a new development and the poll should be THE STORY.

I think it is likely that - as in past polls - Iraqi opinion can be broken down this way: one fifth of Iraqis strongly support the US, One fifth hate our guts, and three fifths are adopting a wait and see attitude (noting improvement and hoping it will continue). In all cases, strong majorities favored the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

So what is the real story? The Inquirer is reluctant to say, and it is bending numbers from a mystery poll to fit its story.

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