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Time/ABC News Poll of Iraqis / 12-12-05

Time Magazine

Monday, Dec. 12, 2005

What Do The Iraqis Really Want?

(Excerpts)

On the eve of their election, a TIME-ABC News poll shows, Iraqis are surprisingly upbeat--yet critical of the U.S.

The TIME-ABC News poll, for which 1,711 Iraqis were interviewed in person in October and November, also showed Iraqis overall to be fairly confident about the future.

IRAQIS HAVE STRONG FAITH IN THE FUTURE ...

::Overall, how would you say things are going these days ...

... in your life? Very well .......... 22% Quite well .......... 49% Quite badly .......... 18% Very badly .......... 11%

... in Iraq overall? Very well .......... 14% Quite well .......... 30% Quite badly .......... 23% Very badly .......... 30%

::What is your expectation for how things will be a year from now ...

... in your life? Better .......... 64% Same .......... 14% Worse .......... 12%

... in Iraq overall? Better .......... 69% Same .......... 11% Worse .......... 11% ...

BUT WANT SECURITY TO BE RESTORED

::What is your main priority for Iraq over the next 12 months? (Top five answers) Regaining public security .......... 57% Getting U.S. forces out .......... 10% Rebuilding infrastructure .......... 9% Increasing oil production .......... 7% Having a stable government .......... 5%

63% said dealing with members of the Saddam Hussein regime is no priority at all.

::How has the security situation changed since Iraq regained sovereignty in June 2004?

Those saying it's better Better: 41% Don't know: 10%

Who is responsible for the improvement? Iraqi police .......... 28% Government .......... 22% Iraqi army .......... 12% Security forces .......... 10%

Those saying it's worse Worse: 31% Same: 18%

Who is responsible for the deterioration? Americans .......... 34% Government .......... 30% Terrorists .......... 17% Iraqi police .......... 5%

::Do you think security will improve or worsen in a year? Improve .......... 70% Worsen .......... 12%

::How safe do you feel in your neighborhood? Very safe .......... 63% Not very safe ..........30%

OPTIMISM, BUT OLD DIVISIONS REMAIN Iraqi public opinion is remarkably upbeat, but behind the numbers are the ethnic rivalries that have long split the country. The Sunnis, who held power under Saddam Hussein, feel the most aggrieved

ENTIRE COUNTRY Life is better since the war .......... 51% U.S. was right to invade Iraq .......... 46% Feel very safe in neighborhood .......... 63% Approve of new constitution .......... 70% Oppose coalition forces .......... 64%

KURDISH AREA Life is better since the war .......... 73% U.S. was right to invade Iraq .......... 80% Feel very safe in neighborhood .......... 91% Approve of new constitution .......... 88% Oppose coalition forces .......... 22%

SHIIITE AREA Life is better since the war .......... 59% U.S. was right to invade Iraq .......... 58% Feel very safe in neighborhood .......... 82% Approve of new constitution .......... 85% Oppose coalition forces .......... 59%

BAGHDAD AREA Life is better since the war .......... 59% U.S. was right to invade Iraq .......... 47% Feel very safe in neighborhood .......... 70% Approve of new constitution .......... 79% Oppose coalition forces .......... 72%

SUNNI AREA Life is better since the war .......... 25% U.S. was right to invade Iraq .......... 16% Feel very safe in neighborhood .......... 21% Approve of new constitution .......... 36% Oppose coalition forces .......... 85%

THEY WANT A STABLE DEMOCRACY ...

::Which of these systems would be best for Iraq ...

... now? A democracy .......... 57% A dictatorship .......... 26% An Islamic state .......... 14%

... in 5 years? A democracy .......... 64% A dictatorship .......... 18% An Islamic state .......... 12%

::How much confidence do you have that the elections planned for this month will create a stable Iraqi government? A great deal .......... 42% Quite a lot .......... 34% Not very much .......... 14% None .......... 5%

::Percentage who think women should be able to ... 99% . ... vote 99% . ... be a doctor 84% . ... drive a car 80% . ... run for national office 78% . ... instruct men at work 77% . ... run for local office 51% . ... be Governor 46% . ... be President

BUT HAVE LITTLE PRAISE FOR THE U.S.

::Since the war, how do you feel about the way in which the U.S. and other coalition forces have carried out their responsibilities? Very good job .......... 10% Quite a good job .......... 27% Quite a bad job .......... 19% Very bad job .......... 40%

::Do you support or oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq? Strongly support .......... 13% Somewhat support .......... 19% Somewhat oppose .......... 21% Strongly oppose .......... 44%

::When should coalition forces leave Iraq? When security is restored .......... 31% Now .......... 26% After a new government is in place .......... 19% When Iraqi security forces are ready .......... 16%

This poll was conducted for TIME, ABC News, the BBC, NHK and Der Spiegel by Oxford Research International. Interviews were conducted in person from Oct. 8 to Nov. 13, in Arabic and Kurdish, among a random national sample of 1,711 Iraqis age 15 and older. Margin of error is +/- 2.5 percentage points.

 
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