Monday, March 19, 2007

Bush, Rice Ask Wrong Group for Patience in Iraq

While President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice plea with the American populace for patience in Iraq, the people of the war torn country are becoming unglued.

Sec. Rice even told the Sunday morning news shows when asked to share what the administration could have done better in Iraq, “I don’t know. When we look back over time we will know the answer to that question.”

Meanwhile National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley claimed Democrats would assure failure in Iraq and waste the sacrifice of U.S. soldiers with their plans to remove troops.

What do the customers of U.S. intervention in their country have to say? Among the findings of a survey, the third since 2004 by ABC News, USA Today, the BBC and ARD German TV:
The number of Iraqis who say their own life is going well has dipped from 71 percent in November 2005 to 39 percent now.
  • About three-fourths of Iraqis report feelings of anger, depression and difficulty concentrating.
  • More than half of Iraqis have curtailed activities like going out of their homes, going to markets or other crowded places and traveling through police checkpoints.
  • Only 18 percent of Iraqis have confidence in U.S. and coalition troops, and 86 percent are concerned that someone in their household will be a victim of violence.
  • Slightly more than half of Iraqis _ 51 percent _ now say that violence against U.S. forces is acceptable _ up from 17 percent who felt that way in early 2004. More than nine in 10 Sunni Arabs in Iraq now feel this way.
  • While 63 percent said they felt very safe in their neighborhoods in late 2005, only 26 percent feel that way now.

It appears President Bush asks the wrong people for patience. Condi could use this data to assess the American led coalition’s work to date. And for Stephen Hadley, this is the stamp of Republican success? The U.S. just agreed to arm a Sunni militia with more than 9 in 10 Sunnis feel it OK to harm U.S. soldiers?

When the customers in a democracy are unhappy, expect major changes. That is if democracy really is “of the people, by the people and for the people”?

No comments: