Reading the entrails
Idiot at NRT is going to be screaming at the top of his voice that this validates his opposition of the war
According to the poll, most Iraqis hate Saddam (%) and are glad to be rid of him (61%), but increasingly (71%; or 81% if you don't count the Kurds) view the Americans as occupiers rather than liberators. The CNN version has self-reported historical data, indicating that the split was much more even a year ago. Then there's the really interesting result:
Asked about when they wanted U.S. and British forces to leave, 57 percent chose immediately, as in the next few months, the poll said; 36 percent said troops should stay longer.
At the time the question was asked, 53 percent said they would feel less safe if the U.S.-led coalition left immediately.
Contrast this with the result from a mere six months ago, when 71% of Baghdad residents said that US troops should not leave in the next few months.
(As an aside, USA Today notes that the polling was conducted before the recent uprising. Given the way the US have handled things since, those numbers will probably have got worse)
So what's going on? It can be summed up as "thanks, now goodbye". Of course Iraqis think that getting rid of Saddam was worth it - who wouldn't? It's the subsequent clusterfuck by the Americans that is pissing them off. The American's inability to guarantee basic services or security, unwillingness to hold elections, and casual disregard for Iraqi civilian lives has taken its toll. When people want you to leave despite the fact that they think it will hurt them, then they're pretty pissed off.
I regard it as axiomatic that if Iraqis want the US to leave, they should leave. Iraq's destiny should be decided by Iraqis, not Americans. It's an indictement of America that they have not been able to win over the Iraqi people and gain broad consent for a transitional government. But what did they expect when they insisted on working with Chalabi...?
Can this situation be rescued? Not by the Americans, I think. They've simply got too much baggage now. Replacing US troops with international peacekeepers may help, and while there are some hopeful signs in that area, I think recent decisions by the US (notably with regard to Israel and Iraqi sovereignty) are working against it. I suspect that the only way to ensure serious international cooperation in Iraq is regime change in the US. But by November, it will almost certainly be too late...