Gallup recently released a poll of Baghdad residents on their views of the U.S. occupation. We thought you might be interested in the results of that poll in comparison to what Bush administration officials have been saying. The poll was conducted through face-to-face interviews of 1,178 Baghdad residents between Aug. 28 and Sept. 4, 2003. Analyses of the data can be found on the Coalition Provisional Authority Web site.

Mood in Baghdad

Baghdad residents, by a 14 percent margin (47 to 33 percent), think that they are worse off after the invasion than they were before. Fifteen percent say they are much worse off; only 4 percent say they are much better off.

“We know that the lives of Iraqis have improved greatly in seven short months.” – President George W. Bush, November 11, 2003

Purpose of U.S. occupation

Although 41 percent of Baghdad residents prefer some form of democratic government, only 1 percent of Baghdad residents believe that the United States invaded Iraq to establish democracy. Forty-three percent think that it was an attempt to “rob Iraq’s oil.”

“Our men and women are fighting to help democracy, and peace and justice rise in a troubled and violent region. And the United States once again is fighting in the cause of our nation, the great cause of liberty. ” – President Bush, November 11, 2003

Security situation

Ninety-four percent of Baghdad residents say that their city is “a more dangerous place than it was before the invasion.”

Eighty-eight percent are afraid to go outside of their home at night for safety reasons. This is in comparison to 8 percent of people who said they had this fear before the invasion.

“The most immediate priority is providing security. We have already made considerable progress.” – Paul Bremer, U.S. Civil Administrator In Iraq, at the National Press Club, July 23, 2003

“Without security, we can't rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure. . . nor can we expect Iraqi political life to revive if Iraqis don't feel secure enough to travel, go to meetings, express their views without intimidation.” – Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, July 8, 2003.

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