The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Figures don't lie - but a lot of liars figure

Dec 15, 2003

The Bush administration sometimes refers to "the polls" when it tries to defend its indefensible occupation of Iraq. "The polls," said Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz, "show that most Iraqis want us to stay." Vice-President Cheney cited "the polls" showing that Iraqis want a U.S.-style government.

Well, no. The polls of Iraqi citizens don't say those things at all. But in the hands of professional liars, anything can be twisted to serve their purpose.

The poll cited by Wolfowitz actually showed that 94% of Baghdad residents thought the city was more dangerous now than before the invasion, and only 33% thought they were better off now than before.

The poll cited by Cheney actually showed that only 21.5% of Iraqis wanted their new government to be like that of the U.S., and the same poll revealed that 58.5% said Iraq should be left alone to work out its affairs by itself.

Poll after poll shows in detail the same attitude among the great majority of Iraqis: the U.S. is making life worse and it should leave immediately. A poll which asked how much confidence Iraqis have in various leaderships showed that 78.8% said they have "little or no confidence" in the occupation forces of the U.S. and Britain.

That's putting it mildly!