Thursday, September 28, 2006

Most Iraqis want America to leave; Many feel America is causing violence as excuse to stay

"A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.
. . . Interviews with two dozen Baghdad residents in recent weeks suggest one central cause for Iraqi distrust of the Americans: They believe the U.S. government has deliberately thrown the country into chaos.
The most common theory heard on the streets of Baghdad is that the American military is creating a civil war to create an excuse to keep its forces here." [1]

"I've spoken to many Iraqis who no doubt want the U.S. troops to leave. They usually give two main reasons: 1) they don't want to see their nation occupied, and 2) they blame the U.S. occupation for the ongoing sectarian chaos, the lack of social services like electricity and health care. . . . Yet when I speak with Sunnis and Shiites in extremely violent Baghdad neighborhoods they often tell me that they want American troops to secure their streets and not leave. They don't trust the Iraqi security forces to protect them.
. . . I constantly hear from Iraqis who are stunned by the sectarian violence unfolding in their lives. For centuries, Iraq was a place where Sunnis and Shiites, at least in their daily lives, rarely cared about their sects. Now Sunnis and Shiite are killing each other. That scares Iraqis." [2]

[1] The Washington Post. Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show: Leaders' Views Out of Step With Public. September 27, 2006.
[2] The Washington Post. Sectarian Violence Plagues Iraq Neighborhoods. (online question and answer session between Washington Post reporter Sudarsan Raghavan and Post readers). September 27, 2006.

posted: thursday, september 28, 2006, 1:52 PM ET
update: thursday, september 28, 2006, 2:33 PM ET


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