LONDON — Iraqis are more upbeat about their future and less concerned about violence and insecurity, according to a poll released Monday.
The survey conducted by broadcasters ABC, BBC and NHK shows that 21 percent of Iraqis feel their life is very good compared with 13 percent in March 2008.
They also feel safer — 46 percent of respondents said they believe the security in their neighborhoods is very good compared with only 20 percent last year, according to the survey.
A statement by ABC said the results "represent a stunning reversal of the spiral of despair caused by Iraq's sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007."
The Kurdish community was the most optimistic — 32 percent said they thought their lives were very good, while 25 percent of respondents from the Shia community and 8 percent of Sunni respondents felt the same way.
The results show that while Iraqis are growing more optimistic, they are still more cautious than they were in the immediate aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003. The poll found that 56 percent of people believe their lives will be better a year from now, while 17 percent believe it will be worse. In 2004, 71 percent believed their lives would improve over the year, and only 6 percent thought it would get worse.
Unhappy with U.S. invasion
Iraqis are also still unhappy with the way the U.S. and coalition forces have carried out their responsibilities in Iraq, with 69 percent saying they have done quite a bad job or a very bad job — similar to the 70 percent last year. Only 30 percent thought they had done quite a good job or a very good job, from 29 percent last year.
Looking ahead, 35 percent of those polled thought President Barack Obama's government would make things better for Iraq, and 38 percent thought it would not make much of a difference.
The Iraqis surveyed said they are still unhappy with the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Just over half — 56 percent — think the invasion was somewhat or absolutely wrong, up from 50 percent last year.
ABC News, BBC and Japanese broadcaster NHK and interviewed 2,228 Iraqis in February 2009 for the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The poll is the sixth in a series that began in March 2004.
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