The British Ministry of Defence conducted a secret poll in Iraq and here are the results as reported by the Sunday Telegraph and as summarized by Juan Cole:
• Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;
• 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;
• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;
• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;
• 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;
• 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.
If 100% of the people of Iraq said they wanted us out, Bush would still stay, for reasons having nothing to do with terrorism and insurgents -- oil; strategic position vis a vis the Saudis, Iranians, Syrianjs and Russians; and personal pride .
In a related story, the Sunday Times of Britain reports that a British army colonel did something so rare in the military that it is particularly noteworthy -- he quit his position in protest of the lack of armor for his men. The accompanying story details the increased danger that British troops are facing in the south, and describes areas those troops never patrol.
One senior British source said that British troops were now using tanks or convoys of up to 12 Warrior armoured vehicles to mount patrols with some areas deemed too dangerous to be patrolled at all.
“We’re in survival mode right now, we can’t do anything at all,” he said.