Most in Baghdad want US troops to stay

Using Arab pollsters in a door-to-door poll of Baghdad citizens, the Gallup organization has found that 71% of Baghdad residents want US troops to stay in Iraq.

Gallup, one of the nation’s best-known polling operations, hired more than 40 questioners, mostly Iraqi citizens directed by survey managers who have helped with other Gallup polling in Arab countries. Respondents were told the poll was being done for media both in Iraq and outside their country, but no mention was made that the American polling firm was running it.

“This is the way we did polling in the United States before telephone ownership got to the point that we could do reliable phone surveys,” Burkholder said in an interview with The Associated Press. The poll of 1,178 adults was taken between Aug. 28 and Sept. 4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In other news, soldiers from the 101st captured another terrorist leader in Iraq.

Finally, a little recap of the first six months in Iraq without Saddam, via the CPA:

Six months ago there were no police on duty in Iraq.
Today there are over 40,000 police on duty, nearly 7,000 here in Baghdad alone.
Last night Coalition Forces and Iraqi police conducted 1,731 joint patrols.
Today nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are functioning.
Today, for the first time in over a generation, the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts—exceeding the pre-war average.
Today all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
Many of you know that we announced our plan to rehabilitate one thousand schools by the time school started—well, by October 1 we had actually rehabbed over 1,500.
Six months ago teachers were paid as little as $5.33 per month.
Today teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
Today we have increased public health spending to over 26 times what it was under Saddam.
Today all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
Today doctors’ salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.
Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.
Since liberation we have administered over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq’s many children.

The truth is out there. Why am I so Iraq-centric today? Well, I’m tired of hearing people say that things are “going badly” or that “this is just about the oil and stuff”. (Quotes from my office mates). That’s not the case at all. It’s simply beyond me how anyone can describe this war as about “oil” or about “imperialism” or about “greed” or “militarism.”

It remains one of the most humanitarian acts in modern history. And, if successful, it could turn an entire region around – a region that has been the main source of real danger to itself and to the West in my lifetime. I’m banging on about this not simply because it’s by far the most important issue in our politics right now, but because a wilful and petty disinformation campaign is being waged to distort this achievement, undermine it, and reverse it. We mustn’t let that happen. We cannot let these people – and ourselves – down again.

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