Today I am removing from the sidebar the two polls that have been there since this blog was started. The polls are not scientific, but their results are interesting nevertheless.
One poll asks "When should the U.S. withdraw from Iraq?" With 1,506 votes, 37% voted "Immediately" and 47% voted (like I did in 2006) "The U.S. should stay in Iraq for as long as it takes". A commenter asked "For as long as it takes to do what?" It's a good question. To restore security, I was thinking. A majority of respondents voted for the US to leave immediately or within two years. Although I suspect that more people voted in this poll in 2006 and 2007, it should be noted that the poll represents opinions over a period of four years and that peoples' opinions have changed over those four years. 60 American soldiers lost their lives in Iraq in 2010, compared to 904 in 2007. Although the US has not fully withdrawn from Iraq, I don't expect the results to change much over the next year.
"According to a February-March 2007 poll, 51% of the Iraqi population approve of the attacks on Coalition forces. The same poll indicated that over 90% of Arab Sunnis in Iraq approve of the attacks." I would say fewer Iraqis approve of such attacks today. The polls compel one to ask some questions. Who voted in the polls and why did they vote the way they did? Is it because they believed most Iraqis did not want the US there, or did they care more about what was good for America? The overwhelming majority of readers of my blog live in the US, UK, and Canada (see "Total Visitors" widget in sidebar). But how many of those readers are of Arab descent? How many of them are Muslim? Are the people who voted in my polls representative of the readers of my blog? Do they represent the opinions of most Americans, Canadians, and British?
The second poll asks "Should Iraq be split up?" 63% voted "No", 10% voted "Yes, into two states: Kurdish and Arab", and 27% voted "Yes, into three states: Kurdish, Sunni Arab, and Shii Arab". Again I wonder who voted in the poll and what influenced their decision at the time.
And how many people voted more than once? I must admit that I voted twice in the poll about Iraq splitting up. In 2006, when this blog was started, I was in favor of three separate states because of the incredible sectarian violence between the Shia and Sunni Arabs at the time. But then I discussed the subject with my father and other Iraqis, and I realized that most Iraqis don't want Iraq to be split up. My mother reminded me of my uncle and cousin, who both married Sunni Arabs. There are many inter-sect marriages in Iraq. In 2007 I voted again, that time voting for an Arab and Kurdish state. But I realize that most Iraqi Arabs don't want to lose Iraqi Kurdistan and a majority of respondents to this poll don't want Iraq to be split up at all. I don't expect the results of this poll to change either.