Zinsmeister: “The results show that the Iraqi public is more sensible, stable and moderate than commonly portrayed, and that Iraq is not so fanatical, or resentful of the U.S., after all. Iraqis are optimistic. Seven out of 10 say they expect their country and their personal lives will be better five years from now. On both fronts, 32% say things will become much better. The toughest part of reconstructing their nation, Iraqis say by 3 to 1, will be politics, not economics. They are nervous about democracy. Asked which is closer to their own view – ‘Democracy can work well in Iraq,’ or ‘Democracy is a Western way of doing things’ – five out of 10 said democracy is Western and won’t work in Iraq.
“One in 10 wasn’t sure. And four out of 10 said democracy can work in Iraq. There were interesting divergences. Sunnis were negative on democracy by more than 2 to 1; but, critically, the majority Shiites were as likely to say democracy would work for Iraqis as not. People age 18-29 are much more rosy about democracy than other Iraqis, and women are significantly more positive than men. Asked to name one country they would most like Iraq to model its new government on from five possibilities – neighboring, Baathist Syria; neighbor and Islamic monarchy Saudi Arabia; neighbor and Islamist republic Iran; Arab lodestar Egypt; or the U.S. – the most popular model by far was the U.S.”
Do you hear me, my friends? More: “Younger adults are especially favorable toward the U.S., and Shiites are more admiring than Sunnis.” Of course we know that it’s always young people who make things happen. I’m getting to that age where I understand the phrase “youth is wasted on the young.” Zinsmeister closes by saying that none of this means the rebuilding will be easy, and that 50%-to-36% said the US would hurt Iraq over the next five years. Of course, they just lived through a war where we had to drop a lot of ammo on them so this is understandable.
The good news is, less than 30% knew or heard of anyone killed in the spring fighting. Meanwhile, 50% had a family member, neighbor or friend who had been killed by Saddam’s thugs. What about Democrat demands that we bring our troops home today? Well, the Iraqis disagree. Fully two-thirds of those surveyed want coalition troops to stay in their nation for at least another year. This survey is not all rosy, but it shows far more reason for optimism in it than we are hearing from any other source. It’s truly uplifting in its implications, and I’m happy to be able to pass it on.
Rush’s Brilliance Continues…
<a href=”/home/eibessential.guest.html”>(…in the Essential Stack of Stuff)</a>