by Sean Rayment
Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide
attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll
commissioned by senior officers has revealed.
The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday
Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks
and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to
improve security in their country.
It demonstrates for the first time the true strength of anti-Western feeling
in Iraq after more than two and a half years of bloody occupation.
The nationwide survey also suggests that the coalition has lost the battle
to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, which Tony Blair and George
W Bush believed was fundamental to creating a safe and secure country. . . .
The survey was conducted by an Iraqi university research team that, for
security reasons, was not told the data it compiled would be used by
coalition forces. It reveals:
- Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American
troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled
- 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;
- less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are
responsible for any improvement in security;
- 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;
- 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have
- 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.
The opinion poll, carried out in August, also debunks claims by both the US
and British governments that the general well-being of the average Iraqi is
improving in post-Saddam Iraq. . . .
Andrew Beatty, "Poll: Israel and US
Biggest Threats to World Peace," EUobserver, October 30, 2003