Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Our special correspondent and translator Haider Ajina wants you to know about a new opinion poll from Iraq. It was published in the April 18 edition of Iraqi Arabic newspaper "Almidhar". 778 Baghdadis were asked:
"Do you support the pull out of foreign troops?Haider also writes:
"At once - 12.56%
"According to a future timetable - 81.80%
"Do not know - 5.64%
"Has the security situation improved since the start of the new government?
"Yes - 55%
"No - 35%
"No change - 10%"
"Most of us read, heard and saw the medias report of the April 9th demonstrations in Baghdad. Most of the U.S. media portrayed it as a massive anti American demonstration in the streets of Iraq. I noticed, however, from Iraqi Arabic newspapers that most the demonstrations were against terrorism & calling for Saddams trial & hanging (all these signs were in Arabic). I called my father in Baghdad to confirm this and he confirmed it. My father then confirmed that Al Sadr had asked his followers to demonstrate for the withdrawal of foreign troops, he also said that this group was very small and almost insignificant compared to the rest who were calling for Saddams trial & hanging and those against terrorism. My father said the Iraqi media reported the number like this 'about 200,000 demonstrators of which 8,000-10,000 were Al-Sadr & Sunni supporters' (strange bed fellows). He also said that when he listened to the Iraqi elected officials (on live T.V.) in the assembly, that every one (every one including those Sunnis initially opposed to the elections), every man and woman assembly member, reiterated the importance of foreign and specifically U.S. troops staying in Iraq till Iraq is ready to take over its own security. Most of them expressed their thanks for the troops being there and freeing Iraqis from Saddam. This I did not read, hear or see in any U.S. mainstream media outlet.The mainstream media fails yet again. Spread the word.
"These are the people Iraq elected, asking us to stay and thanking us. The poll shows only 12% want us to leave at once. This makes a complete mockery of the mainstream media coverage of the demonstrations. As my wife told me when she heard the coverage on CNN: 'Haider you are going to get mad when you hear this', and I am still mad. Forgive me for rehashing this point. I feel it really needs pointing out. Iraqis are grateful for what we did and continue to be grateful for us being there."