Zogby: Iraqis Want U.S. to Leave

March 20 21:40 2005 Print This Article

U.S. officials were delighted at the turnout of voters for Iraq’s first free elections in more than a generation.

But according to an analysis of the demographics of voters by pollster John Zogby, the results should be carefully examined by Bush administration officials trying to bring order to the disorderly nation.

While Zogby estimates voter turnout to be between 43 percent and 60 percent — a respectable figure, given the threats of violence by insurgents — a large portion of Iraqis were not included.

“The turnout was sectarian,” Zogby said in his analysis. “Shi’a voting for control of the government; Kurds voting as an expression of their freedom; Sunni Arab failure to vote as a function not only of threats, but a clear expression of their growing sense of disenfranchisement.”

Simply taking the overall numbers as marking the election a success is “invalid and dangerous,” Zogby warned.

That’s because key pieces of data could point to future trouble.

First, most Sunni Arabs believe the insurgent-led violence in Iraq is legitimate.

Second, a substantial majority of both Sunni and Shi’a Arabs want the U.S. to leave, now that elections have been held.

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