Poll In Iraq Proves It’s Hard To Be Grateful
When You’re Being Blown Up

One would think that the number of American lives that have been sacrificed or maimed and the enormity of American treasure that has been expended in Iraq would elicit some degree of gratitude among Iraqis. But a new poll, which was done for the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, proves that it’s hard to be grateful when you could be blown up or otherwise assassinated at any moment.

Here are a few absences of gratitude that the Bush administration now has to stare at:

71% of Iraqis who responded to the survey agreed that "they would like the Iraqi government to ask for U.S.-led forces to be withdrawn from Iraq within a year or less.”

"37% would like U.S.-led forces to be withdrawn 'within six months.'"

“Almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.”

"If the U.S. made a commitment to withdraw, a majority believes that this would strengthen the Iraqi government.”

We may, however, be consoled just a tad to learn that Iraqis have an overwhelmingly negative view of Osama Bin Laden and over half, 57%, disapprove of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But now here is, as Shakespeare called ingratitude, “the most unkindest cut of all”:

"Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a majority position – now 6 in 10. Support appears to be related to a widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq."

Now, imagine that. With all of our sacrifices, one of the populace’s principal concerns is that we would want to have military bases there. Given the way they know we had to beg Turkey for air rights before the invasion began and were refused, they should know we can hardly be put in a position of not getting some payback for all the sacrifices. You’d think, in fact, that they’d feel we had at least earned the right to have bases there.

But we do to a degree understand that when a bomb is ticking beside you and the officer on the scene is unable to reach over and defuse it, it’s hard to say, “I’m really grateful for your help.”