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Iraqis 'pessimistic' about future
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Monday Mar 19th, 2007 6:56 AM
Iraqis are feeling increasingly pessimistic and insecure about their future, four years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, according to a poll.
Only 26 per cent of 2,000 people questioned across all 18 Iraqi provinces said they felt safe in their own neighbourhoods, the survey by pollsters D3 Systems indicates.

Forty per cent said they thought the general situation in the country will improve.

The poll, commissioned by the BBC and US broadcaster ABC News, said 39 per cent of Iraqis questioned believed their lives were going well, while 35 per cent said their lives will improve over the next year.

About 78 per cent of Iraqis opposed the presence of coalition forces, and 69 per cent said their presence worsened the security situation.

Fuel and water shortages

Basic necessities were found to be lacking, with 88 per cent of respondents saying the availability of electricity was either "quite bad" or "very bad".

About 69 per cent gave similar responses for the availability of clean water, and 88 per cent said so for the availability of driving or cooking fuel.

D3 Systems questioned more than 2,000 people across all 18 Iraqi provinces between February 25 and March 5 for the survey, which was published on Monday.

A survey conducted for the BBC in November 2005 had painted a much brighter picture, with 71 per cent saying their lives were going well, 64 per cent saying their lives would be better in 12 months, and 69 per cent saying the situation in the country would be improved in a year.

The increased pessimism was reflected in a 14 per cent drop in support for democracy, with eight percentage point rises in support for both a strong leader and for an Islamic state.

Lack of confidence

According to another survey of 5,019 Iraqi adults published by ORB, a research company, 26 per cent of families have had a family member or relative murdered in the last three years, rising to 34 per cent among Shias.

Fifteen per cent of Iraqi families have had a family member leave the country due to the security situation, while the figure was 35 per cent among families in Baghdad.

Both local authorities and coalition forces were blamed for security failures - 53 per cent were dissatisfied with the performance of the Iraqi government and 82 per cent said they lacked confidence in foreign troops.

Fifty-three per cent of the population felt the security situation in Iraq would improve with troops leaving Iraq, according to ORB

by BBC (reposted)
Monday Mar 19th, 2007 7:02 AM
A new survey carried out in Iraq suggests people are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future and unhappy about their lives.

Less than 40% of those polled said things were good in their lives, compared to 71% two years ago.

However, a majority of those questioned said that, despite daily violence, they did not believe Iraq was in a state of civil war.

More than 2,000 people took part in the BBC/ABC News poll.

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

There are also regional differences, with pessimism most keenly felt across central Iraq, including Baghdad, where Sunni Arabs are most numerous.

But despite their differences, 58% overall said they wanted Iraq to remain a unified country. Almost all said they did not want Iraqi to be broken up along sectarian lines.

The poll produced conflicting views on the role of the US and its allies.

Only 18% said they had confidence in US and coalition troops, and 51% said they thought attacks on coalition forces were justified.

However, only 35% said foreign troops should leave Iraq now. A further 63% said they should go only after security has improved.

'Deteriorating lives'

The poll was commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, ARD German TV and USA Today. It was conducted by D3 Systems.

by BBC (reposted)
Monday Mar 19th, 2007 7:03 AM
In Baghdad, the most common sound you hear in the streets today is the insistent racket of small private generators.

The most common sight, apart from police and army roadblocks, are the black banners on walls and fences announcing people's deaths.

And the most common feeling you come across is a kind of slow-burning, gloomy anger.

These things represent a major failure of the hopes and expectations which many Iraqis entertained four years ago.

The generators are there because the Americans and successive Iraqi governments have failed to sort out the power situation. And the deaths happen because they have not established peace here.

'They will help us'

It is easy to forget how high the expectations once were.

"I don't like the feeling that my country has been invaded," a shopkeeper in Haifa Street told me, a day or so after the fall of Baghdad.

"But thanks to God that it is the Americans who have done this. They are the richest country on earth. They will help us."

But they did not. They did not even protect the ministries and public buildings and museums from being looted.

We filmed as people shouted "Do something!" at an American soldier, while thieves were running out with valuable medical equipment from the hospital behind us.

by IOL (reposted)
Tuesday Mar 20th, 2007 8:59 AM
CAIRO — Four years after the US occupation of Iraq, two-thirds of Iraqis are painting a gloomy picture for their future, have lost all confidence in their "liberators" and feel increasingly insecure, a new survey showed on Monday, March 19.

"You can't see your future, and you can't even try to put an outline for your future," said Zaid Hisham one of the 2,212 Iraqis interviewed by the USA Today newspaper to supplement the poll jointly conducted with ABC News, the BBC, and German TV network ARD.

"It's worry, worry all the time," Hisham, a Shiite engineer, added.

The survey showed that six in 10 Iraqis believe that their lives are going badly. Only one-third expect things to improve in the next year.

Worried about what the future might hold for them, most of the surveyed report symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Three in four say they have feelings of anger and depression, trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating on work.

Most of the surveyed worry most about the future of their children.