Do Iraqis support the Interim government?

I think they do, reading from a number if Iraqi Blogs, gave me a broader opinion than the average media outlet (Al Jazeera CNN NBC CBS etc) the average Iraqi gives their support to the interim government.

Another aspect is some of the people on this board I notice feel that the Iraqis will never get democracy from the Americans because they wanna base, control the Oil etc etc. Well give me some reasons why it wouldn’t be in the American governments best interest to introduce democratic government and support it and help it get back on its feet to be an example to the rest of the region, than just installing another dictator for a proxy war. The majority of Iraqis want secular democratic government, why abandon them, why take such a defeatist stance to just prove the US wrong? This is what I’ve seen in alot of articles in the news and on the net from the West. What good would it achieve?

Your argument depends on the assumption that “a number of Iraqi blogs” present a more representative survey of “the average Iraqi” than do the media outlets to which you have access.

I see no reason to make this assumption. Both may give a quite unrepresentative picture. The media have been discussed before, but think for a moment about the bloggers. By looking at bloggers, you’re confining yourself to Iraqis who (a) speak English well enough to be comfortable writing extensively in it (you’re not reading Arabic-language blogs, are you?), (b) have regular internet
access and © have the kind of lifestyle and interests which enables them to maintain a regular blog. Just how representative do you think that subgroup is of the Iraqi population as a whole?

I’m not of the view that the US in in their for permanent control of bases, oil, etc. Nevertheless I think the US might reasonably fear that any pro-western democratic government they might introduce will collapse. Previous attempts to introduce western models of goverment to the Arab world have not been resounding successes.

There is no evidence that “the majority of Iraqis want secular democratic government”. I recall seeing a survey which canvassed Iraqi opinion as to what model of govenment they would most prefer, and the resounding winner was the model found in the Gulf states - stable, perhaps, but not secular and certainly not democratic.

The dilemma facing the US, I think, is that their rhetoric, their convictions and the expectations of their own electorate lead them to try to introduce a democratic and pro-western government in Iraq, but they have no confidence that such a government will command the kind of popular support that will enable it to survive for very long. I think the US will try to get out, succeeded by a government which is at least somewhat democratice, but I don;t think they can have much confidence that the regime they leave behind them will last all that long.

Overall historically the US has favored having stable governments… if they are democratic or not was always a second or third priority. Repressive regimes keep the workforce and the factories working. Or the commies under control. Democracies can become too rowdy.

So might this be an honest attempt at reversing this trend ? Possibly. 

Did it start well ? No.
Was the reconstruction giving emphasis to Iraqi control ? No.
Were there secular leaders leftover from Saddam’s brutality ? Not many.
Did the USA bring those few “leaders” that were mostly clerics into government? No.
Did Bush show respect to Iraq and to Arab pride and honor ? No.
Is their a political will to see Iraq fail from their neighbors ? Yes.
In the long term would the US care if Iraq became a bit despotic ? No.

Summarizing... not only is Bush swimming against the current... he also was heavy handed and humiliated Iraqi and pride. A UN mission would have given a legitimacy veneer that would help a lot to avoid the current situation... but Bush despised UN's "mild" manners.

Democracy in Iraq would be nice... but not necessary. "Democracies" are prone to elect some wierdos too. See Bush, Chavez, Lula and Putin. If someone rabidly anti-US got elected it would be horrible for the US.

Overall the Iraqi populace can’t avoid thinking Allawi is a US puppet. How can he prove he isn’t a US puppet is almost impossible short of confronting Bush in a stupid and dangerous manner.

Well, from everything I’ve read the definite answer to this is…some do and some don’t. I think for the majority the jury is still out and they are still sitting on the fence waiting to see whats going to happen. There are certainly a number of folks over there that DO support the current interim government. There are even some Iraqi’s over there that are happy the Americans are there. Obviously there are a number of folks who DON’T support the current government (though its unclear how many of these more militant types actually ARE Iraqi’s)…a certain militant cleric and his followers comes to mind. But the majority? IMO, the majority is sitting this one out to see how it will all fall out.

‘Will we be a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy or another secular dictatorship…or perhaps one of those democracy things? News at 11…’

Over all though I don’t think you can base a definitive answer on Iraqi blogs, as UDS pointed out. I don’t think they are highly representative of the average Iraqi (blogs in general I don’t think are representative…I think they are a more niche elite view, as the average Joe in any country I can think of isn’t likely to keep and maintain a blog).


The Sadrist’s for example, don’t, and as of May, Mr. Sadr was quite popular:

Rumor has it that his popularity has increased since that time.

How would ‘They speak English and are Iraqi therefore don’t count’ Translate into there support for their interim government would be not so broadly representative? These Bloggers live their day to day lives inside Iraq, they know whats going on alot more than journalists or media outlets ever will, and they are the average Iraq (barring them speaking English) there views I think reflect more than any news coverage will.

Iraqi bloggers seem to be alot more content with what the U.S has done than the media at large. And about the installment of dictatorships and pro western govs, I think it would be alot harder in these days than in the Cold War years to get away with it just for the exposure Iraq has. Besides, it would be totally detremental for what the U.S needs to do in the longterm, defeat Islamism and terrorism. The only way to do that is to allow for more open societies and democracies within the Islamic world. If it was the situation of just installing another dictator or pro western government, then whats the point of Afghanistan (I know it maybe not the perfect democracy in our eyes, but its a start none the less) doing this? Because its off our radar screen?

Yes, you’re right, but that ‘puppet’ has around 70% approval from his people.

:rolleyes: This really is about him standing up to the US rather than the Interim government. The majority probably support him in a way of admiration rather than actually supporting what his aims are. His ‘militia’ is a band of crooks and criminals rather than some well trained terrorist force.

Are those the only catagories you’re willing to slot Mr. Sadr’s supporters into? If everyone who doesn’t support Allawi is scum who’s opinion doesn’t count, then the question you asked in the OP is automatically answered in the affirmitive and there is nothing to discuss.

If you bothered to read it you would see that I described his militia that way. Which they are. I don’t see Allawis interim government looting and pillaging Najaf now do I? Or setting up Sharia courts and causing a great deal of sh*t to its resident population. If Sadr had any sort of decency he would of gone through the election route and if that didn’t work, then have the moral advantage of taking up arms, but no, he’s an opportunist using his fathers name to further his own political and power base.

To counter your assertion, it’s sufficient to point out that there’s insufficient reason to assume that these bloggers are something other than anecdotal evidence.
No need to make any other assertion about the amount their opinions vary from the norm of an averaged Iraqi opinion re the interim gov. Just to acknowledge that the bloggers are not necessarily representative and that there’s no compelling evidence that the bloggers are representative is enough to render your reference to them as support for your assertion ineffective.

In short, unless you can present compelling evidence that bloggers are in fact a representative sample of Iraqi opinion, there’s no reason to assume that they are.
Of, course, as you noted, there’s not been adequate reasons presented to show that the bloggers are not a representative of Iraqi opinion.
But, the default position when a sample is not randomly selcted and is very, very small compared to the population studied (how many are there? a few dozen?) is that the sample is not of a high enough quality to be representative. As I noted before, it is not impossible that these bloggers are respresentative of averaged Iraqi opinion. There’s just has not been effective evidence presented to think that they are.

If you have evidence that these bloggers are representative of averaged Iraqi opinions, now would be the opportune time to present it.

I hope that communicates what I was trying to say.

Do you have a citation as to where you acquired this fascinating statistic?
I would like to see it for myself just like you did.


Heres some of the blogs and links to them:

All in all, the establishment of the Iraqi Interim Government was a smart move. Now there is an Iraqi voice (claiming to be) the local government. That voice can denounce the troublemakers as (well) troublemakers.

It seems to be working and gaining momentum. The average Joe in Iraq seems to be sick of all this Iraqi-on-Iraqi stuff. The Resistance has shown itself to be quite inept at taking out many Americans. (Yes, I know the casualty figures, but given historical standards, the Resistance is not up to snuff.)

So the Resistance is increasingly (it seems to me and the Arabs in my office) to be ‘The Problem’ and not ‘The Solution.’

As the IIG gains more power, it can dole out more favors, it then gains more power and so the cycle goes.

As a cynic on this war, we can only wonder why it took so long.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Allawi had the support of a majority - even of a substantial majority. I suspect the Iraqis are hungry for some sort of stability, and are hopeful that he can give it to them.

Even if this is true, the problem is that a substantial dissenting minority are well-armed, and likely have access to support from neigboring states. Doesn’t take too many well-armed and highly-motivated people to wage guerrilla warfare.

And I wouldn’t expect these people, upon finding that they are in the minority, to say “Oh…Well, then…” and meekly lay down their arms.

Dumbass political moves, thinking that Bremer was somesort of Mac Arthur.

Who isn’t hungry for stability if you’re thrown into a situation like that? It doesn’t mean that democracy can’t flourish. Take the example of Israel and how that was created. Yet it has a democracy and still is the only democracy in the Middle East. If Allawi succeeds in bringing down the level of attacks, then he will give legitimacy to thh Iraqis that even under the harshest conditions, democratic and representative government can be a success.

So far, I’m thinking the guy who dissed the blogs saying they’re not representative isn’t looking at including those people in with others. heh, I mean, we make our conclusions based on a broader spectrum than just blogs, just newspapers, just tv, etc. How about talking to people who live there? I wonder if you think that counts.

As for a ‘puppet’, what the hell do these people think? That some Iraqi messiah will rise from the desert like Lawrence of Arabia to save Iraq? Sorry real life defeats this from happening.

What is the relevance of Israel as an example ? Only if you mean that the “west” has to colonize and finance them into prosperity. Israel was colonized by jews running away from Europe. Highly educated and with financial backing. Hardly a good example. Like bringing a piece of europe into the ME. Different culture altogether.

What many forget is that the insurgents have the backing or silence of a good number of the populace. You don't conduct guerrila war sucessfully without being supported by the "people". So either common Iraqis fall into these categories:
  1. Support the insurgents and give them cover and means to work

  2. Are being threatened by insurgents to collaborate and don’t see an alternative in the US troops or Allawi govt.

  3. Simply don’t care what happens with US soldiers… and don’t bother to report insurgents.

    So they might prefer a interim govt. to an american one, but they still don’t trust or support openly the Interim regime enough to turn on the insurgents.

    Even after elections (if they are able to hold them) any govt. will be seen as submissive to US interests, no matter what the truth is.

As for the Blogs I agree with what others have said… they are hardly a good example of the average iraqi. Take Orkut for example… there are way more american anti-Bush sites than there are american pro-Bush sites. That would mean that someone outside the US would clearly think that Bush is losing his re-election bid.

Bushin2004 has 420 members. AnybodybutBush has 4300 ! These are only the biggest communities.

The fact is that young and educated americans have more acess to the internet and therefore skew the numbers. Which Iraqis have blogs I don’t know… but I doubt they are representative of the general feelings.

Thanks. Do you have any link to the actual poll that Clwyd’s referencing?
Clwyd only says ‘recent’ as the date of the poll. Clwyd’s opinion piece was written July 05, 2004.

It is very important to note that given the date of the opinion piece, any poll in Iraq necessarily would have been conducted before the interim government actually took power. And, as such would not reflect opinions of how the interim gov has done since it actually has been in power.
This alone disqualifies the opinion piece that you have quoted as evidence that the current averaged Iraqi opinion shows support for the Interim Government.

Yet, I will concede that (if true and accurate) the statistics obliquely referenced in the politician’s letter would be an indication of a predisposition among many Iraqis to be kindly disposed toward Mr. Allawi.

However, without the ability to examine the poll myself, I can’t make a reasonable judgment about the accuracy and fairness of the politician’s comments.

In and of themselves, politician’s comments do not constitute evidence.
Notably, the statistics from the CPA’s public opinion poll taken in May 2004 that were published June 15, 2004 (just 20 days before Ann Clwyd’s opinion piece was published) paint a much different picture than what Clwyd suggests.
to wit:

Allawi garners only a 23% support rating (5% ‘strongly’, 18% ‘somewhat’) and carries a 61% oppose rating (40% ‘strongly’, 21% ‘somewhat’)

Public Opinion in Iraq

Perhaps there was another poll that came out between June 15, 2004 and July 05, 2004 that revealed the remarkable change in sentiment among Iraqis in the three week differential.
Or perhaps Clwyd merely ‘misspoke’.

As it is, given that the available evidence shows a different picture than what has come from a politician’s pen, I’m inclined to agree with the available evidence.
If you should happen to come across a CPA poll that was published between June 15, 2004 and July 05, 2004 that supports Ann Clwyd’s statement, please post a link.
If I come across such a poll report, I will certainly post a link as well.

Until then, it appears that Clwyd ‘misspoke’.

There has still been no evidence presented to show that the contents of these blogs in anyway constitute a representative sample of the Iraqi opinion.
Until such time, they are all but entirely irrelevant to establishing the averaged Iraqi opinion re the Interim government in Iraq.
If you would please be so kind as to demonstrate that this particular blog and the other blogs you mentioned are a representative sample of Iraqi opinions, then we could proceed to discuss these blogs in the context of this debate about the consensus of Iraqi opinion re Inter Gov.

Currently, they are interesting side notes that are examples of some segment of Iraqi opinions. The question is how representative are these examples? Are the positive opinions re the InterGov held by the bloggers shared with 66% of the populace or 0.66% of the populace?
Once you can demonstrate how widely these opinions are shared, then the significance of the opinions expressed in these blogs in regards to this discussion about how many Iraqis have a positive impression of the IG.