A new Gallup poll of Baghdad residents finds that two-thirds believe that the hardships they have borne in the past five months was a price worth paying to rid themselves of Saddam:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 23 — After five months of foreign military occupation and the ouster of Saddam Hussein, nearly two-thirds of Baghdad residents believe that the removal of the Iraqi dictator has been worth the hardships they have been forced to endure, a new Gallup poll shows. Despite the systemic collapse of government and civic institutions, a wave of looting and violence, and shortages of water and electricity, 67 percent of 1,178 Iraqis told a Gallup survey team that within five years, their lives would be better than before the American and British invasion.
Only 8 percent of those queried said they believed that their lives would be worse off as a result of the military campaign to remove Mr. Hussein and his Baath Party leadership from power.
The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4 across the ethnically diverse landscape of the battered capital.
The results, which have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, showed that Iraqis in the capital still maintained a great deal of skepticism about the motives of the United States and Britain, and residents said they held France and its president, Jacques Chirac, in higher regard than President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair, who supported the American military action. [via Drudge]
Keep in mind, these are the results of a survey taken in Baghdad, the heart of the so-called "Sunni Triangle" where support for Saddam's regime is supposedly highest, and Baghdad residents have suffered the greatest hardships during the occupation. Support in other parts of the country for the invasion is higher still.
A recent Zogby poll also found Iraqis optimistic about the future. And a country-wide poll referenced in an August 24 opinion piece by Con Coughlin in the Telegraph found over 70 percent support for Saddam's ouster:
A recent survey of the Iraqis showed that more than 70 per cent supported the removal of Saddam's regime, which probably explains why the different factions and ethnic groups in Iraq have not allowed their age-old rivalries to degenerate into open civil war, as was so confidently predicted by pre-war doom-mongers.
Foreign commentators who still oppose the war must now claim to know better than the Iraqis themselves what's in their [i.e., the Iraqis'] best interest.