Friday, January 06, 2006

ABC News Poll (II)

Back to the poll, another question:

- How effective or ineffective have the reconstruction efforts in the area where you live been since the war of spring 2003?

The rate of those who consider it effective is 36%, while 52% consider it ineffective. The most important matter for Iraqis is electricity. Iraq has been in a continuous case of electricity shortage since decades, and none of the contemporary generations can recall a period of time when electricity was sufficient. During the few months before the invasion, the Iraqis dreamed about how their life would change on the hands of the most developed nation in the world, I mean the US. But till nowadays, as we approach the third anniversary of the invasion, nothing tangible in the reconstruction efforts has taken place. As I’m writing these lines, we have electricity for less than three hours per day here in Baghdad. The irony is that people compare the situation with that of days after 1991 war. At that time, Iraqi specialists managed to restore electricity within three months, though there was a blockade which prevented any maintenance materials, and lot of damage caused to the power stations. Some people consider it a matter of conspiracy to keep Iraq deteriorating.
This question could be related to another in the poll which says:

- Since the war, how do you feel about the way in which the United States and other coalition forces have carried out their responsibilities in Iraq? Have they done a very good job, quite a good job, quite a bad job or a very bad job?

The highest rate (59%) goes for bad way in carrying their responsibilities in Iraq.

Two questions which I recognize as amusing ones are:

- Which national leader in Iraq, if any, do you trust the most?
- And, if any, which one do you not trust at all?

It is astonishing to find that Saddam Hussein has got more trust than that of Ahmed Chalabi or Al-Sistani.

Answers to another question reveal that the Iraqi collective mentality still obsessed by the paternalistic state. A rate of 91% agrees that Iraq needs (A (single) strong Iraqi leader).

A remarkable question (How long do you think U.S. and other coalition forces should remain in Iraq?); its answers show that Iraqis are aware of the challenges they have to face ahead. The highest rate 31% goes for (They should remain until security is restored).

If I had been asked the following question I’d choose the whole bunch of answers:
- In order to avoid trouble, how often if ever have you done any of the following over the past year? Is it very often, quite often, not so often, never?

The (more often) choice rates are as follows (%):

a. Avoiding going out of your home 73
b. Not sending your children to school 55
c. Avoiding passing/driving by police stations and other public buildings 74
d. Avoiding markets and other crowded areas 69
e. Avoiding checkpoints 77
f. Avoiding US and other coalition forces 86
g. Avoiding travel 68
h. Being careful about what you say about yourself to others 74

But the highest rate goes for (f); the US & coalition processions still represent a real nightmare for the Iraqis in the streets. Personally, I turn back 180 degree to avoid any military force.

A promising future could be awaited for women rights. The last question in the poll asks (Do you think that women should…), those who say (YES) are as follows for each item (%):

Be able to stand for public office such as local council…77
Be able to stand for public office such as national assembly…80
Be able to be governor…51
Be able to be president…46
Be able to instruct men in their work…78
Be a medical doctor…99
Drive a car…84


I believe that freedom of speech and human rights are the most important factors in making any society moves forward. A person who has a novel idea won’t be able to declare it. And if he/she does, then he/she must be protected from the social repression. A repression which has no limits in our retrograded societies. Reactionary forces are very effective in Iraq. A wide spectrum of religious doctrines, traditions, accumulated sufferings, fear…etc, represents a useful pool of reactionaries for any opportunist. An opportunist could be an individual, a group of people, a political party, a sect, foreign intelligence, international interests, and the most important opportunist is the Saddamists.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddamists hardly exist. Bush made up the term and the group. Nobody in Iraq wants Saddam Hussein back in power. That is a lie that the media didn't even pick up on.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, IA, interesting post. I just heard on the news today that three large generating units are expected to come on line this month or next. That should be some help, but the increased usage of electricity will be hard to keep up with for a while, I'd guess (i.e. more air conditioners, washers, etc). They are trying to establish a power grid that will serve the entire country, not just favored neighborhoods.

The part about women's rights, I would guess they are not far from those attitudes in the US. I'm not sure the entire population here is ready for a woman president yet either.

If I were in Iraq, I would keep away from the soldiers, too. After all they are targets and I wouldn't want to find myself in the middle. A l80 turn is appropriate!

Regarding a strong leader, I believe every government needs one. Take Karzai in Afghanistan. He has great support among the people. As long as he operates within the laws and leaves when his term is over, I don't feel you can argue with it. Al Jafari didn't seem to be much of a leader
and I think some things could have been better there. A strong leader should be one who is able to pursuade and guide the country to good decisions under the law -- and then leave. Just thoughts.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I can sympathize with the people regarding the reconstruction, their expectations are unrealistic given that the country was in serious decline for decades. The initial reconstruction of the electrical grid has been repeatedly interrupted by terrorists destroying power stations, etc. No different than the destruction of portions of the pipeline and refineries causing fuel shortages and price spikes. When the foreign terrorists are destroyed, the reconstruction will improve in leaps and bounds. But as stated above, the goal is the entire country fixed not just favored neighborhoods. That I think is the biggest issue to overcome, the favoritism practiced under soddom insane. The mindset has to change to one Iraq not divided along religious lines. Your country has been handed a chance to really move into the light after so many years of darkness. To throw the chance away now because of hardships you’ve dealt with before, is extremely shortsighted. I hope for Iraq’s sake, the people can develop some patience with the reconstruction. The end result will be well worth the struggle. Just look a germany and Japan. Take care and keep the faith.


8:55 PM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

I've wondered about the electricity bit. Is not supply-and-demand a huge factor? From the little available here in the U.S. on this matter, I gathered that after the invasion what little electricity remained was available for free, so Iraqis rushed to buy air conditioners. Thus, the present demands for electricity far exceed electricity demands before the 2003 or 1991 wars.

4:20 PM  

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