In June, outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace argued that U.S. success in Iraq “is not about levels of violence” but that “it’s about progress … in the minds of the Iraqi people“:
What’s most important is do the Iraqi people feel better about today than they did about yesterday, and do they think tomorrow’s going to be better than today? If the answer to those two questions is yes, then we’re on the right path.
By Pace’s own metric, the U.S. is on the wrong path. An ABC/BBC/NHK poll released today shows that since the escalation began, Iraqi opinion has starkly turned against the U.S. occupation, as most Iraqis see “deepening dissatisfaction with conditions in Iraq, lower ratings for the national government and growing rejection of the U.S. role there”:
On the escalation:
65 to 70 percent of Iraqis say the escalation has “worsened rather than improved security.”
78 percent say “things are going badly for the country overall,” up 13 points since winter.
39 percent say “their lives are going well,” down from 71 percent in Nov. 2005.
23 percent say things will be better in a year, one-third of the Nov. 2005 level.
23 percent report “effective reconstruction efforts in their local area,” down 10 points since March.
On the U.S. presence:
79 percent oppose the presence of coalition forces, unchanged since winter.
63 percent say it was wrong for the U.S. to have invaded Iraq, up from 52 percent in March and 39 percent in Feb. 2004.
47 percent now favor “immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces,” a 12-point rise since March.
Last week, Bush proclaimed that “normal life is returning” in Anbar, but 74 percent of Anbar residents believe their children’s lives will be worse than theirs. In June, Petraeus said life in Baghdad was showing “astonishing signs of normalcy,” but zero percent of Baghdad residents report feeling “very safe” at home. Overwhelming majorities of those surveyed give negative ratings to electricity, jobs, and access to health care.
RawStory has more.