Pessimism 'growing among Iraqis'

BBC
Monday, March 19, 2007

A new survey paints a pessimistic picture of Iraqis' confidence in their own government and in coalition forces.

Only 18% of Iraqis have confidence in US and coalition troops, while opinion is almost evenly split on whether to have confidence in Iraq's government.

About 86% of those questioned expressed concern about someone in their household being a victim of violence.

More than 2,000 people were questioned. The poll was commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, ARD German TV and USA Today.

The survey was conducted by D3 Systems.

The latest findings contrast strongly with the outlook among Iraqis in 2005, when respondents to a similar survey were generally hopeful about the future.

Asked whether they thought reconstruction efforts in Iraq had been effective, some 67% said they felt they had not.

Religious divide

The poll paints a picture of an increasingly polarised Iraq, with acutely diverging views between Sunnis and Shias - Sunnis appearing more pessimistic.

Pessimism is most keenly felt across central Iraq, including Baghdad, where Sunnis are most numerous.

Religious differences are particularly displayed in attitudes towards the execution of Saddam Hussein.

Sunnis questioned largely regarded the manner of the former Iraqi leader's death as inappropriate and unlikely to help the cause of reconciliation; Shias predominantly took the opposite view.

No one however wanted Iraq divided along sectarian lines.

Full details of the poll will be available on this website at 1200 GMT on Monday.

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