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October 14, 2003
Someone finally bothered to ask the Iraqis

With all of the debate about how long we should be staying in Iraq, and the UN demanding that we leave so that the Iraqis can take care of themselves, Gallup cut out the middlemen and just asked the Iraqis what they want. A novel approach, to be sure, but one that the UN apparently never bothered to try.

The Gallup poll found that 71 percent of the capital city's residents felt U.S. troops should not leave in the next few months. Just 26 percent felt the troops should leave that soon.

Bear in mind that Baghdad is part of the Sunni Triangle, where you could expect to find significant hostility to the US presence that eliminated the Sunni minority's hold on power (to the extent it was Sunni-based, anyway). Gallup's polling did not include areas outside the Sunni Triangle, where you would expect approval for the US occupation to be higher, because it's keeping the Baathists from reclaiming power.

These numbers indicate what the Bush administration has been saying all along -- that the rebuilding of Iraq, while dangerous and slow, is succeeding, and if we stay the course, we can expect an independent and democratic Iraq to be an enthusiastic ally of the United States. The worst possible move to make at this point is to hand over the whole thing to the cut-and-run UN, who brought us such debacles as Rwanda and the Congo.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 14, 2003 10:22 AM

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