Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 31, 2006 / 9 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

The latest Iraqi polling, this time

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I screwed up. In my Thursday column, "Iraqis more upbeat than Californians," I cited a PIPA poll of Iraqis, but I used the January numbers, not numbers from the most recent poll, conducted in September. The new numbers support my arguments, but less so. Or as Clay Ramsay, the PIPA research director, kindly noted in an e-mail requesting a correction, "Apart from this problem, I do think there are a number of important questions in the September poll that support your general argument."


Consider this column a correction.


One point no longer holds. Most Iraqis are no longer upbeat: 47 percent now say Iraq is heading in the right direction, as compared to 64 percent in January. Note, however, that 47 percent of Iraqis beats the 44 percent of Californians who told the Public Policy Institute of California that the state is heading in the right direction.


The Washington Post was correct to report that 71 percent of Iraqis want their government to ask foreign forces to depart within a year — 37 percent within six months and 34 percent "gradually" according to a one-year time line. That doesn't quite match headlines that announced Iraqis want U.S. troops out "now."


Add those who support a one-year withdrawal plan with the 20 percent who want a gradual withdrawal within two years and 9 percent say they want to reduce U.S.-led forces as the security situation improves, and you could say that the poll found that 63 percent of Iraqis support a gradual withdrawal. If that figure is stretching it, it also is more than stretching it to say that the poll found the Iraqis want an "immediate" pullout, as the Post headline announced.


The majority of Iraqis still answer, despite all the hardships they have experienced since the U.S.-British invasion, that they personally believe ousting Saddam Hussein was "worth it." The latest number is 61 percent — 81 percent of Kurds, 75 percent of Shia Arabs and 11 percent of Sunnis — although the overall number is down from 77 percent in January. As Brookings Institution Director of Research Kenneth M. Pollack noted at a press conference on the poll last month, many Iraqis believe "living in Saddam Hussein's Iraq was like living on hell on earth."


I have to wonder if there is a strategic element to some Iraqi answers. I wonder if some respondents say they want U.S.-led troops out within a year, not necessarily because they believe a withdrawal would be in the nation's best interests, but to send a message that they do not want U.S. troops to remain forever. It is interesting to note the steep decrease in the percentage of Sunnis who want American troops out within six months — from 83 percent to 57 percent. As Pollack noted, "The Sunni leadership are the ones who are increasingly coming around and hinting sotto voce, we don't really mind you guys staying."


Some Iraqi answers certainly contradict other Iraqi answers. Of the 61 percent of Iraqis who approve of attacks on U.S.-led troops, only half said they want U.S. troops out of Iraq within six months, according to PIPA director Steven Kull. That just doesn't make sense.


One answer, Ramsay noted, clearly is not strategic. Iraqis — 77 percent of those polled — firmly believe that the U.S. government plans to retain permanent military bases in their country, and they don't like it. The folks at PIPA believe many Iraqis support attacks on U.S. troops because Iraqis want to put pressure on Washington to pull out. Only 20 percent of Iraqis said they believed the United States would withdraw troops within six months if asked to leave by the Iraqi government, while 78 percent U.S. troops would not withdraw.


Imagine the disastrous consequences that would follow if Washington set a withdrawal timetable — such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein's suggestion to The Chronicle editorial board that all troops be out by the end of 2007 — but then overstayed the timetable because the Iraqi government could not survive. U.S. troops would have to bear the brunt of renewed Iraqi furor.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles