BBC : In a video published on the Internet, Ayman al-Zawahiri called Mr Bush a "lying failure" and said al-Qaeda was stronger than ever. T
September 28, 2006


zawahri.jpgIn a video published on the Internet, Ayman al-Zawahiri called Mr Bush a "lying failure" and said al-Qaeda was stronger than ever.

The Egyptian militant, who is seen as the group's ideologue, has eluded capture despite a $25m bounty on his head.

In the latest video, Zawahiri said: "We have gained more strength and we are more insistent on martyrdom.

"Bush, oh failure and liar, why don't you be courageous for once and confront your people and tell them the truth about your losses in Iraq and Afghanistan." Read on...

Okay, granted, you have to expect that the "Number Two" guy for Al Qaeda (a dubious distinction, how many of them are there?) would be less than glowing in his references to our presence in the Middle East.

The only problem is, he's not alone. World Public had PIPA run a survey in Iraq and came up with some disturbing results:

(S)even in ten Iraqis want US-led forces to commit to withdraw within a year. An overwhelming majority believes that the US military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing and there is growing confidence in the Iraqi army. If the US made a commitment to withdraw, a majority believes that this would strengthen the Iraqi government. Support for attacks on US-led forces has grown to a majority position-now six in ten. Support appears to be related to a widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the US government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq.


Support for US withdrawal appears to be derived from a widespread perception that the presence of US-led forces is having a net negative effect on the situation in Iraq. Large numbers say that the US military presence is "provoking more conflict than it is preventing." This view is held by 78 percent overall, and by 82 percent of Shias and a near-unanimous 97 percent of Sunnis. The Kurds diverge, with 56 percent taking the opposing view that the US military presence is "a stabilizing force."

Among those who believe that US presence is provoking more conflict 82 percent favor withdrawal of US forces within a year. Among those who believe that it is a stabilizing force, just 33 percent favor withdrawal in this time frame.

More broadly, 79 percent of Iraqis say that the US is having a negative influence on the situation in Iraq, with just 14 percent saying that it is having a positive influence. Views are especially negative among the Sunnis (96% negative), and the Shias (87% negative). However, a plurality of Kurds (48%) say that the US is having a positive influence, while just 34 percent say it is having a negative influence.

Confidence in the US military is quite low. Eighty-four percent say they have little (22%) or no (62%) confidence in the US military. An extraordinary 98 percent of Sunnis take this view (no confidence 85%, a little 13%) as do 91 percent of Shias (no confidence 66%, a little 25%). However a majority of Kurds-55%-express confidence in the US military (some 37%, a lot 18%), while 45 percent do not express confidence (no confidence 17%, a little 28%).


Support for attacks against US-led forces has increased sharply to 61 percent (27% strongly, 34% somewhat). This represents a 14-point increase from January 2006, when only 47 percent of Iraqis supported attacks.

This change is due primarily to a dramatic 21-point increase among Shias, whose approval of attacks has risen from 41 percent in January to 62 percent in September. A very large majority (86%) of Kurds disapprove of attacks (59% strongly), with only 15 percent supporting them. Kurdish disapproval is up slightly from January, when it was 81 percent, but approval of attacks has held constant. Similarly, Sunni support for attacks has remained relatively constant with 92 percent approving (up only slightly from 88% in January).

More details on the survey and graphs available here

So if I have this straight, Al Qaeda may sneer at your efforts, the Iraqis may want you to get the hell out of their country and the rest of the Middle East may see you as a destabilizing force, but don't feel bad, George, Barney gives you two paws up! Heckuva job, Bushie.

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