Aug 2, 2005 5:13 pm


I finally had an opportunity to look through the last issue of The Economist and found the situation in Iraq described as Worse—and maybe better. The worse I knew but the better? That consisted of the stunning statistics which showed that despite the upswing in terrorism since the elections, the number of people who believe that their lives will be better a year from now went up from 59% to 82% while the number of Iraqis who believe they will be worse a year from now decline to a mere 2%. So surprised were the Economist writers that they did not even try to analyze the reasons.

Additional poll details can be found at the Brookings Institute site. And the trend is unmistakable. The number of people who believe the country is going in the right direction went up from 49% At the beginning of the year to 67% in mid-April while the number of Iraqis who thing it is going in the wrong direction went down from 39% to 20% during the same period. Nor were the Sunnis exempt from the promising trend. The number of Sunnis who believed the country is going in the right direction increased from 13% to 40%.

Why? I do not know. The terrorists are certainly doing their worse. My best guess is freedom. Only those who lived without it, understand its sweetness. At least that comes to my mind when I hear on the BBC that the campaigning for and against the acceptance of the constitution has begun. Both sides are busy handing out leaflets. Women are particularly active as the recent constitution threatens to curtail their rights in a shameful manner.

To understand the Sunni campaign to come in from the cold taken up by Fareed Zakaria this weekend, you must keep in mind these numbers. You should also keep them in mind when you hear all the praise being heaped on Londoners. As far as I am concerned. My hat is off to the Iraqi people. Their courage is nothing short of owe inspiring.

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