Al Qaeda losing the hearts and minds battle in Iraq

Judith Apter Klinghoffer:

Al Qaeda has desicively lost the Iraqi battlefield.

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally—71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very).

Iraqi confidence in Iraqi forces (as opposed to militias) is increasing while its confidence in US forces is decreasing. Given US policies there can be little doubt but that US forces have lost significant Shia support and gained some Sunni support. I suspect increasing number of Shia no longer believe that American forces are capable of protecting them and with increased confidence in their government's capabilities no longer fear the consequences of an American withdrawal.

...

There is much more. The results that covers the US troops is inconsistent with the reception they have recieved when they were brought back into Baghdad. The people welcomed them and began going out in public and opening stores. For some time, Iraqis have said they wanted US forces with any units that were arresting other Iraqis, because they knew the Americans would not permit the prisioner to be abused or killed.

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