First Published: 2003-12-01

79% of Iraqis do not trust US-led coalition

Poll finds 73% of Iraqis have similar lack of trust in Coalition Provisional Authority, 70% trust religious leaders.


Middle East Online

First truly representative national study in the recent history of Iraq

OXFORD, England - The vast majority of Iraqis are deeply mistrustful of the US-led coalition that is occupying their country, even if they're happy Saddam Hussein is history, suggests the preliminary results of a major public opinion poll released Monday.

Fewer than one percent of the 3,244 Iraqis interviewed by Oxford Research International, in conjunction with Oxford University's sociology department, bemoaned the fall of Saddam's regime after the March invasion.

But 79 percent said they have no confidence in the US-led forces now occupying Iraq, according to a summary of the poll's findings released Monday by Oxford Research International, a private research organization.

Seventy-three percent had a similar lack of trust in the Coalition Provisional Authority, led by Paul Bremer.

On the other hand, 70 percent had confidence in Iraq's religious leaders, and 54 percent in their "mukhtars" or local leaders.

Oxford Research International said its survey was "the first truly representative national study in the recent history of the country," with a total of 46 fieldworkers fanning out across Iraq for a month from mid-October.

Christopher Sahm, an Oxford University sociologist who co-ordinated the project, which used Oxford-trained Iraqi interviewers, said he was struck by the mixed feelings among Iraqis.

Whereas 42 percent said the best thing of the past 12 months was the fall of Saddam's regime soon after the US and British invasion in March, 35 percent said the worst thing was the war, bombings and defeat.

"There appears no obvious link between best and worst thing," Sahm said. "The very troops which liberated Iraqis from Saddam are the most mistrusted institution in Iraq today."

Other findings from the survey:

- For the next 12 months, 36 percent of Iraqis said they worry most about their security and the spectre of Iraq drifting into chaos or civil war. Only one percent fret over a withdrawal of US-led forces.

- The number-one priority for 67 percent is restoring public security. Dealing with members of Saddam's regime was "no priority at all" for 91 percent.

- Ninety percent said Iraq now needs democracy. Sixty-four percent said a future administration cannot include a role for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

- Fifty-four percent disagreed with the idea of a UN transition government, although the United Nations enjoys the best confidence rating (35 percent) of any non-Iraqi institution.

- For all they've gone through, "people in Iraq are not particularly unhappy with their lives," the poll found, with Iraqis having a life satisfaction rating of 5.7 on a scale of one to 10. That's roughly comparable with South Africa and South Korea (6.0 each).

- Monthly net household incomes in Iraq average 124 dollars (103.50 euros), though 22 percent make do with 50 dollars or less.

- Just one respondent said "dying for Islam" would be the best thing in 2004.

Oxford Research International said its results were "mainly based on simple statistics such as percentages," and that some of the findings might not stand the test of secondary analysis to be carried out in the coming weeks.


Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery

Malaysians, Indonesians protest US move on Jerusalem

EU, Jordan voice backing for Palestinian state

Clashes in West Bank over US Jerusalem move

Macron appeals for calm over US Jerusalem embassy move

World leaders to 're-legitimise' Lebanon PM at Paris talks