Thursday, January 06, 2011

Removing polls from the sidebar

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 Although the US has not fully withdrawn from Iraq, I don't expect the results to change much over the next year.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.

2 comments :

Dolly said...

So when Hitler invaded Poland, would you say that it was important to RESTORE SECURITY in the wake of that occupation?

Hell no, the important thing is to end the occupation.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Iraq is not Poland and America is not Nazi Germany.

July 16, 2006: "As sectarian violence soars, many Sunni Arab political and religious leaders once staunchly opposed to the American presence here are now saying they need American troops to protect them from the rampages of Shiite militias and Shiite-run government forces.

The pleas from the Sunni Arab leaders have been growing in intensity since an eruption of sectarian bloodletting in February, but they have reached a new pitch in recent days as Shiite militiamen have brazenly shot dead groups of Sunni civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad and other mixed areas of central Iraq.

The Sunnis also view the Americans as a “bulwark against Iranian actions here,” a senior American diplomat said. Sunni politicians have made their viewpoints known to the Americans through informal discussions in recent weeks.

The Sunni Arab leaders say they have no newfound love for the Americans. Many say they still sympathize with the insurgency and despise the Bush administration and the fact that the invasion has helped strengthen the power of neighboring Iran, which backs the ruling Shiite parties.

But the Sunni leaders have dropped demands for a quick withdrawal of American troops. Many now ask for little more than a timetable. A few Sunni leaders even say they want more American soldiers on the ground to help contain the widening chaos."