Friday, April 30, 2004
I was listening to Hafez El Marazi, Al-Jazerah’s reporter in the USA, in a recent interview on CNN. I heard him say delightedly that the recent USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll found that 57% of Iraqis want the coalition to leave Iraq. El Marazi was surely delighted by this number especially after all previous polls indicated that the majority of Iraqis do not want the coalition to leave before helping in creating a strong government and that the vast majority are against attacks on coalition troops.
I became so angry when I saw his delight. I hate it when those AJ guys score a point and feel happy about it. I immediately logged on the internet and printed the entire survey results. A closer look at the question would indicate why the majority answered that way. The question asked was: Should the US/British forces leave immediately (next few months) or stay longer? 57% said immediately, 36% said stay longer. Now, any sane Iraqi would say that the coalition should leave in the next few months. I would say the same thing if the US was occupying Egypt. Now, compare this question with this question: If coalition left today, would you feel safer or less safe? 53% said less safe and 28% said safer!!! I’m wondering why Hafez did not comment on this. In addition, I am sure that if the wording of the question changed to something like “should the US/British forces leave immediately even BEFORE a strong government takes over” the majority will definitely respond by no. The last poll (the one before this one) asked this question and the majority were willing to tolerate US presence until a strong government takes over. That’s what I have been begging the US for: help in establishing a stable government and then say goodbye. That’s the best thing the US can do since it cured Europe with the Marshal Plan.
The most striking aspect of the poll was the attitude of the Kurds. They seem to live in a world of their own. Consider this: 95% of Kurds have favorable view of President Bush (that’s more than the USA)!!!!, 92% have favorable view of Paul Bremer!!! 94% would feel less safe if the coalition left, and 96% want them to stay longer.
The attitudes of the Kurds lead us to ponder about who are the most pro-America people in the world. After listening to the news for several years, I can come up with this list:
2) Eastern Europeans (USA helped them in defeating communism and establishing freedom; 100,000 Romanians stood in the pouring rain to listen to a speech by Bush)
4) Older generation of South Koreans (those fought along with US soldiers so that they won’t end up starving under the yoke of the North Korean leader)
5) A large number of Iranians (the only Muslims who automatically held street vigils after 911 all by themselves)
6) French who live around Normandy!
7) A good number of Kuwaitis.
8) Secular Iraqis and moderate religious Iraqis.
Of course there might be more groups but I can only think of those. Now, the US can learn a lot from why those groups love her. That’s for another post.