A Poll That has been Widely Ignored http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article1530762.ece From The Sunday Times March 18, 2007 Iraqis: life is getting better Marie Colvin MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today. The survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis found the majority optimistic despite their suffering in sectarian violence since the American-led invasion four years ago this week. One in four Iraqis has had a family member murdered, says the poll by Opinion Research Business. In Baghdad, the capital, one in four has had a relative kidnapped and one in three said members of their family had fled abroad. But when asked whether they preferred life under Saddam, the dictator who was executed last December, or under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, most replied that things were better for them today. Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month. By a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias. More than half say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces. Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, said the findings pointed to progress. “There is no widespread violence in the four southern provinces and the fact that the picture is more complex than the stereotype usually portrayed is reflected in today’s poll,” she said.