Posted by: Tony Carson | 13 September, 2007

How Iraqis’ see the war: stats

If you’re looking for some recent stats on how the Iraqi’s see the war, the BBC has got them here: Iraq poll September 2007: In graphics.



  1. Interesting report. Not sure that you need one to sense the direction of emotions of Iraqi people 🙂

    The only missing part in the article (and the attached PDF) is the research methodology. A colleague of mine participated in a conference on public opinion research in the ME and what you learn there implies a need for very skeptical reading of this data. Of course BBC is a respectable institution, but acting in Iraq it has to rely on third party data collection. This is where it gets tricky. Just to give a taste of what i am talking about we shall remember for example that Iraq is lacking infrastructure so unlike what we see in the West these polls are not done by phone (if the data is collected by phone then it surveyed less than 5% of the population). The people who go door to door and collect the data are not necessarily professional surveyors, but people who are ready to risk their life by knocking on people’s doors in a war zone. Then, once they are actually in a house, the way these surveys are filled are far from allowing any generalizable analysis (they are filled in groups, in consultation with the seniors, etc.). And there is more to it.

    All this to say that although this data may indicate some general direction, we should be careful in treating the exact numbers as is.

  2. Tony Carson wrote:
    Point taken but I have read that most (?) Iraqis have a cell phone, how this might word into surveys, I’m not sure. Additionally, these finding correlate well with previous Iraq surverys although those methodologies may be just as suspect.

  3. It’s funny how the system carved a title for my comment 🙂 This was definitely not my intention… 🙂

    As to the mobile phone it’s an interesting point. There are developing countries where penetration of mobile phones is higher than that of landlines.

    OK, I just re-checked. According to ITU database in 2006 the penetration of landlines in Iraq stood at 6.4% and of mobile at 2.22% (you can generate reports from this page: I doubt that figures changed so drastically that today most Iraqis have phones.

    Also, i would assume that ability of surveying via mobile would depend on the pricing structure in a particular country. For example, why would i answer a survey on my mobile if i have to pay for air-time. But that’s a totally different story.

    Anyway, thanks for making me checking the numbers 🙂

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