Friday, March 18, 2005


AP: "Two years after the U.S.-led invasion, Iraqis are split between hope and despair."

Undoubtedly so, but not evenly. While the Associated Press piece does mention, right at the end, the last September's survey by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, based on wide-ranging interviews and polls, which has found that Iraqis have remained optimistic, "despite failures in security, services, economic opportunity," the AP article sadly omits
the latest poll from February/March this year, which has found that 62% of Iraqis are optimistic about their future, versus 23% who are pessimistic.

Curiously, the
latest Gallup poll has 42% of Americans satisfied with the direction their country is going and 56% dissatisfied. Not only are the Americans an unhappier and more pessimistic bunch than the Iraqis, they also have to do without headlines like "Americans are split between hope and despair". OK, I know, it's a bit of a cheap shot - for all of America's problems, compared to Iraq there's hardly any reasons for despair. Still, the basic point stands.

Speaking of pessimistic Americans, don't miss this post from Seeker Blog which
juxtaposes in a graph form the American and Iraqi attitudes and asks the question: why are Americans becoming increasingly pessimistic about Iraq at the same time as Iraqis are becoming increasingly optimistic about Iraq? "Is this possibly a consequence of the unwavering media pessimism regarding Iraq as well as WW IV? Is there any correlation with Al Qaeda’s Combat Doctrine? ('television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.’)"

Cori at Rantingprofs, too, has been watching the media. So
what story does the "New York Times" publish on the day the optimistic polling comes out of Iraq? "Many Iraqis Losing Hope That Politics Will Yield Real Change." Yep.

Still, not everything is lost
in the (semi-)real world:

"Marking the two-year anniversary of the war on Iraq, the [University of Pennsylvania] Anti-War Group organized an antiwar gathering yesterday afternoon -- consisting of a booth manned by a few individuals on Locust Walk.

"Few students, however, took notice of the efforts, planned by members of Penn Staff and Students Against War, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the Peacebuilding and Demilitarization group."


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