Iraqis say they're not better off with Saddam gone

Posted on: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 09:24 By: Tom Swiss
An ABC news poll finds that a majority of Iraqis, fifty-two percent, say things in their country are going badly. Only a forty-six percent minority think the country is better off now than it was before the war, and half of Iraqis say the U.S. invasion was wrong.

How do things look for democracy? Overall 57 percent of Iraqis prefer democracy to either strongman rule or an Islamic state. That's a pretty slim majority for such an important idea. It's bad enough that 43% of the people don't prefer rule by the people, but it's even worse that the pro-democracy side makes a majority only because of strong favorable number in Kurdish and in mixed Shiite/Sunni areas. In Shiite areas and Sunni areas, only a minority (45 and 38 percent respectively) prefer democracy.

Twenty-six percent of Iraqi want U.S. troops to leave their country immediately, and another 19 percent say they should go as soon as the newly elected Iraqi government takes office. Almost sixty percent of Iraqis disapprove of how the U.S. has operated in Iraq, most of them disapprove strongly.

Only 18% of Iraqis say they have confidence in the U.S. and U.K. military forces that de facto run the country.

The poll also finds growing rifts between Sunni and Shiite communities. Sunni provinces show a strong negative trend in their views of the security situation, job opportunities, and protection from crime. Support for "coalition" forces in Sunni areas has gone 24 percent to 4 percent.