Media: The Associated Press
Byline: BARRY SCHWEID
Date: 27 September 2006
WASHINGTON_A majority of Iraqis _ 61 percent _ say they approve of attacks
on U.S. forces and 71 percent want their government to ask U.S. troops to
leave within a year, according to a University of Maryland poll.
The findings, which conflict with the views of the Bush administration and
Iraqi officials, include an overwhelmingly negative opinion of Osama bin
Laden and a bare majority of 57 percent disapproving of Iranian President
Among the results: Almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in
Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents and six in 10 Iraqis approve of
attacks on U.S. forces. A solid majority of Shiite and Sunni Arabs approved
of the attacks, the university's Program on International Policy Attitudes
found in the poll.
Support for attacks on U..S.-led forces has risen sharply, the pollsters
reported _ from 47 percent in January to 71 percent, with the increase
coming almost entirely from Shias.
The State Department, meanwhile, conducted its own poll, something it does
periodically, spokesman Sean McCormack said.
The Washington Post said 65 per cent of Iraqis polled said they favored an
immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces.
McCormack declined to comment on the poll numbers and said the State
Department poll would not be released.
However, he said, "what I hear from government representatives and other
anecdotal evidence that you hear from Iraqis that is collected by embassy
personnel and military personnel is that Iraqis do appreciate our presence
"They do understand the reasons for it, they do understand that we don't
want to or we don't intend to be there indefinitely," he said.
Iraqi officials have said Iraq's security was improving and expanding
throughout the country, and most U.S. troops might be able to leave
Last week, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told the United Nations that
coalition forces should remain in Iraq until Iraqi security forces are
"capable of putting an end to terrorism and maintaining stability and