The optimism that helped sustain Iraqis during the first few years of
the war has dissolved into widespread fear, anger and distress, a survey
The poll - the third in Iraq since early 2004 by ABC News and media
partners - draws a stark portrait of an increasingly pessimistic
population under great emotional stress. Among the findings of this survey
for ABC News, USA Today, the BBC and ARD German TV:
-The number of Iraqis who say their own life is going well has dipped
from 71 percent in November 2005 to 39 percent now.
-About three-fourths of Iraqis report feelings of anger, depression and
-More than half of Iraqis have curtailed activities like going out of
their homes, going to markets or other crowded places and traveling
through police checkpoints .
-Only 18 percent of Iraqis have confidence in US and coalition troops,
and 86 percent are concerned that someone in their household will be a
victim of violence.
-Slightly more than half of Iraqis - 51 percent - now say that violence
against US forces is acceptable - up from 17 percent who felt that way in
early 2004. More than nine in 10 Sunni Arabs in Iraq now feel this way.
-While 63 percent said they felt very safe in their neighborhoods in
late 2005, only 26 percent feel that way now.
The major cause for this sharp reversal in Iraqi attitudes is the
continuing violence - bombings, attacks and kidnappings - that has
overwhelmed the country since the US invasion four years ago this week.
Eighty percent of Iraqis surveyed reported some kind of violence
nearby, according to the nationally representative survey conducted Feb.
25 to March 5 among 2,212 Iraqis.
Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000, possibly much
higher. More than half of Iraqis surveyed said a friend or relative has
been hurt or killed in the violence, while almost nine in 10 worried that
a loved one will be hurt.