View Full Version : Majority Of Americans Believe Iraq Civil War Is Likely

03-06-2006, 02:25 PM
Majority of Americans Believe Iraq Civil War is Likely
Washington Post-ABC News Poll Finds Sharp Decline in Optimism About Iraq War


(Gold9472: Gee, ya think? People like me have warned of a civil war forever in Iraq. You can't invade a country, remove their Government, and not expect the citizens, or the power mongers to try and grab power.)

By Richard Morin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 6, 2006; 10:45 AM

An overwhelming majority of the public believes fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq will lead to civil war and half says the United States should begin withdrawing its forces from that violence-torn country, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey found that 80 percent believe that recent sectarian violence made civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third say such a conflict was "very likely" to occur. Expectations for an all-out sectarian war in Iraq extended beyond party lines. More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents believe civil war was likely.

In the face of the continuing violence, fully half--52 percent--of those surveyed says the United States should begin withdrawing forces. But only one in six favors immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.

The new survey reflected a sharp decline in optimism sparked by the sectarian violence that flared in Iraq since the bombings of a revered Shiite mosque two weeks ago. Since then, deadly confrontations have occurred between Shiites and Sunni, who are a minority in Iraq but were favored under the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The poll found that 56 percent also say the United States is not making significant progress toward restoring civil order in Iraq while 43 percent believe that stability is being reestablished--a 17-point drop in optimism since December and the most pessimistic reading on this question since it was first asked in June, 2004.

And the country is split down the middle over whether the United States is moving ahead toward establishing a democratic government in that violence-torn country. Nearly half--49 percent--says the United States is making progress on the political front, down from 65 percent three months ago. And just as many--48 percent--say the United States and its allies are failing to make progress here, either.

Over the weekend, pressure mounted on interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari to give up his bid for a new term, a move that would add to the political turmoil currently engulfing the country.

A total of 1,000 randomly selected Americans were interviewed March 2 to 5 for this survey. The margin of sampling error for the overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

More results from this Post-ABC News poll will be available at 5 p.m., today, at washingtonpost.com.