Poll: Broad Optimism in Iraq

I think not
Dec. 12, 2005 Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high. But views of the country's situation overall are far less positive, and there are vast differences in views among Iraqi groups a study in contrasts between increasingly disaffected Sunni areas and vastly more positive Shiite and Kurdish provinces.

An ABC News poll in Iraq, conducted with Time magazine and other media partners, includes some remarkable results: Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.

Surprisingly, given the insurgents' attacks on Iraqi civilians, more than six in 10 Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in a poll in June 2004. And 61 percent say local security is good up from 49 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.

Nonetheless, nationally, security is seen as the most pressing problem by far; 57 percent identify it as the country's top priority. Economic improvements are helping the public mood.

Average household incomes have soared by 60 percent in the last 20 months (to $263 a month), 70 percent of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively, and consumer goods are sweeping the country. In early 2004, 6 percent of Iraqi households had cell phones; now it's 62 percent. Ownership of satellite dishes has nearly tripled, and many more families now own air conditioners (58 percent, up from 44 percent), cars, washing machines and kitchen appliances.

There are positive political signs as well. Three-quarters of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week, 70 percent approve of the new constitution, and 70 percent including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike want Iraq to remain a unified country.

Interest in politics has soared.

Preference for a democratic political structure has advanced, to 57 percent of Iraqis, while support for an Islamic state has lost ground, to 14 percent (the rest, 26 percent, chiefly in Sunni Arab areas, favor a "single strong leader.")

Whatever the current problems, 69 percent of Iraqis expect things for the country overall to improve in the next year a remarkable level of optimism in light of the continuing violence there. However, in a sign of the many challenges ahead, this optimism is far lower in Sunni Arab-dominated provinces, where just 35 percent are optimistic about the country's future.

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I have to say its great to hear some good news from Iraq finally! I too think that 2006 will hopefully see a troop withdrawl...while increasing focus on training iraqi police force and the army to defend themselves.
It's should only be "surprising" to the left and those that are anti-American.

I've been reading about major successes in Iraq for months now. Many more schools and hospitals have been opened than anyone on the left would care to admit.

3 elections in one year with barely any disruptions. I can assure you that the percentage of Iraqis that voted in all 3 elections will be higher than Canada's election.

Shia muslims are able to return to some of their customs that were banned under Saddam.

Iraq's economy is up 30% and for the first time there is an Iraqi stock exchange.

Before all the US haters jump all over me for the deaths in Iraq, I would challenge you to show me where "any" country on the face of this planet gained thier freedom without a tragic loss of life. Canada and the US included.

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