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.


More strikes hit E. Ghouta as UN delays truce vote

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Egypt presidential race starts with Sisi likely to win

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Blatter supports Morocco bid for 2026 World Cup

Turkey says US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying'

Lebanon says both suspects in Kuwait murder of Filipina maid held

38 dead in Mogadishu car bombings

Morocco police arrests prominent newspaper publisher

Syria regime continues to pound Ghouta as world stutters

UN rights commission wants S.Sudan war crimes charges

Iran grounds airline's ATR planes after crash

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote

Turkey navy threatens to engage Italian drillship near Cyprus

Iran police shoving headscarf protester sparks social media storm

UN Security Council to vote Friday on Syria ceasefire

Dubai says Djibouti illegally seized African port

Dutch parliament recognises 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

Heavily bombarded Eastern Ghouta awaits UN resolution

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea

African migrants start hunger strike over Israel expulsion

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

Three militiamen killed in Libya car bomb attack

Russia denies ‘groundless’ accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus

PKK attack near Iraq kills 2 Turkish soldiers