What Iraqis really think

Karl Zinsmeister is the editor of the American Enterprise magazine and an enterprising journalist. He served as an embedded reporter with the 82nd Airborne; his new book about the experience, Boots on the Ground, has just been published. In August he commissioned a poll of Iraqis whose results he summarizes in today’s Wall Street Journal: “What Iraqis really think.”
Among the results, all of which are interesting, is the following: “Asked to name one country they would most like Iraq to model its new government on from five possibilities–neighboring, Baathist Syria; neighbor and Islamic monarchy Saudi Arabia; neighbor and Islamist republic Iran; Arab lodestar Egypt; or the U.S.–the most popular model by far was the U.S. The U.S. was preferred as a model by 37% of Iraqis selecting from those five–more than Syria, Iran and Egypt put together. Saudi Arabia was in second place at 28%. Again, there were important demographic splits. Younger adults are especially favorable toward the U.S., and Shiites are more admiring than Sunnis. Interestingly, Iraqi Shiites, coreligionists with Iranians, do not admire Iran’s Islamist government; the U.S. is six times as popular with them as a model for governance.”

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