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    17 March 2009

    Optimism about the future returns to Iraq

    Poll shows dramatic increase in confidence in security

     30 Percent of Iraqis who report feeling satisfied with the mission of the U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, still a bleak view of the United States.


    Iraq, embroiled for the past six years in clashing factions and sectarian violence, may finally be making a turnaround, according to an opinion poll published yesterday.

    The latest ABC News/BBC/NHK poll of Iraqi citizens reveals a startling optimism as death tolls dip and the country returns to a more solid economic footing. 

    The survey, ABC’s sixth since 2004, is based on random, in-person interviews with Iraqi adults.

    The gains represent a sharp contrast from the dark days of a few years prior, as 84 percent of polled Iraqis report a positive review of their own security, nearly double that of 2007 levels. Three times as many Iraqis feel safe moving about from place to place.

    A report on ABC.com yesterday said: “While deep difficulties remain, the advances are remarkable. Eighty-four percent of Iraqis now rate security in their own area positively, nearly double its August 2007 level. Seventy-eight percent say their protection from crime is good, more than double its low. Three-quarters say they can go where they want safely — triple what it’s been.”

    The poll counters the view in many U.S. political circles that little progress has been made in democratizing Iraq, and may provide comfort to those who claim that the military surges worked.
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