In the aftermath of the War in Iraq, the media have continually portrayed the democratization of Iraq as a complete failure and never fail to acknowledge the instances in which a suicide bomber ran into a building and three or four American soldiers lay dead from the incident. This must prove that indeed anti-American sentiment in Iraq is growing and, in response, America should consequently remove itself from an instant failure. Negative post-war news has since been plastered on the televisions of millions of Americans, in which an explosion in a school is perpetuated as a week-long crisis while the other 10,000 re-habituated schools are overlooked.
However, the results of the first scientific poll of the Iraqi public, conducted by Zogby International and The American Enterprise magazine, have brought a sound reality to the negative and biased reporting by the mainstream press. By consulting Eastern European pollsters about the best methods for eliciting candid answers from people long conditioned to repressing their true sentiments, researchers made sure the results would accurately reflect the views of Iraq’s diverse people by reflecting a nationally representative sample of Iraqi views. The results seem to contradict the media’s negative statements of a failing democratization program and a growing anti-American sentiment. According to the survey, seven out of ten expect both their country and their personal lives will be better five years from now. After being offered five possibilities- Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, or the U.S. – and asked to name one country they would most like Iraq to model its new government on, the most popular model was the U.S., preferred by 37 percent of Iraqis, more than Syria, Iran and Egypt combined. Saudi Arabia came in second with 28 percent.
The constant portrayal of a failing democratization program as well as the growth of anti-American sentiment in Iraq is indeed bias and not supported by the true sentiments of the Iraqi people. Whether or not the democratization in Iraq will turn out to indeed be a failure is for future generations to judge. In the meantime those who claim that the alleged failure of this initiative is “undisputable” proof of hatred for the cause of democracy would do well to take a second glance. For more information on statistical figures of the Iraq Poll, go to www.taemag.com.
Nathalia Gillot is a sophomore majoring in political science and psychology. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.