Wednesday, April 23, 2008

survey of Arabs about Iraq

From the Brookings Institute's Shibley Talhami (hat tip: Bluegrass Roots) the latest polling on opinions about Iraq in the Arab world. Talhami surveyed 4,000 people in six Middle Eastern countries.

What do you believe would happen if the United States quickly withdrew its forces?
Civil war will expand rapidly: 15%
The situation will not change: 14%
Iraqis will find a way to bridge their differences: 61%
(vs. 24, 23 and 44 in 2006)

This parallels my contention that we are unlikely to improve Iraq's probability of success by staying there for two, five, ten, or 100 years...


Would you say your attitudes toward the US are based more on American values or American policy in the Middle East?
Based on American policy: 80
Based on American values: 12

This relates to my essay on Guiliani vs. Paul and the two views of why the terrorists come after us-- and Robert Pape's findings about the causes of suicide terrorism...

2 Comments:

At April 25, 2008 at 12:36 PM , Blogger Joel Harris said...

The only problem with surveys like this is that the people being interviewed are not always expert enough to have valid opinions. For instance, if you asked Americans if attacking "big oil" through eliminating tax loop holes and taxing their profits (more) would result in lower gas prices, at least 40% would answer 'Yes'.

A quick pull-out from Iraq would not result in the Iraq factions getting together--it would result in Iran coming in and taking over (probably through surrogates).

 
At April 25, 2008 at 1:17 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Actually, there's a lot of problems with surveys like this!

Still, it's interesting to see the results-- and in particular, the changes over time.

The big question, going forward: what happens to the probability of "success" if we stay in Iraq for another one, three, five, ten, or 100 years.

 

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