Last week, a colleague commented that he only put credence into international polls. As if the poll gods were listening, today ABC News released the most affirming poll for President Bush’s Iraq strategy ever conducted.
It must have pained the ABC News editors to write such a glowing headline:
Poll: Broad Optimism in Iraq
So pained, in fact, that they felt compelled to immediately qualify that statement:
But Also Deep Divisions Among Groups
And the story, on the front page of ABCNews.com, begins by exposing the MSM liberal bias:
Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high.
“Suprising,” indeed, if you’ve spent the past two years intentionally ignoring the good news in Iraq while willfully embellishing the bad and spinning everything in between.
The story is so full of suprises that the text reads like ABC has just discovered quantum mechanics:
Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.
Surprisingly, given the insurgents' attacks on Iraqi civilians, more than six in 10 Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in a poll in June 2004. And 61 percent say local security is good — up from 49 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004.
Average household incomes have soared by 60 percent in the last 20 months (to $263 a month), 70 percent of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively, and consumer goods are sweeping the country. In early 2004, 6 percent of Iraqi households had cell phones; now it's 62 percent. Ownership of satellite dishes has nearly tripled, and many more families now own air conditioners (58 percent, up from 44 percent), cars, washing machines and kitchen appliances.
Three-quarters of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week, 70 percent approve of the new constitution, and 70 percent — including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike — want Iraq to remain a unified country.
This was the classic “Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago” poll. The answer among Iraqis is a resounding, “YES!”
Unlike the news filtered daily through the eyes of anti-American news editors, the Iraqis themselves, through this poll, had a chance to speak loudly and clearly to the world: Thank you, President Bush.
Expect most of the MSM—those who didn’t cough up a nickel for the survey—to ignore this. (For that matter, Time.com has nothing on the poll, and they helped pay for it.) The AP's headline finds only negatives: "Most Iraqis Oppose US Troops, Poll Says." This close to Christmas, the last thing the media want is good news for the President. But this poll can’t be ignored. The White House will trumpet it. The blogosphere will dissect it. Americans will heed it.
The final analysis, though, is too obvious to miss: President Bush’s Iraq policy is vindicated by the very people it sought to liberate. The Iraqi people are better off now than they were four years ago.