Iraq: Where Things Stand

February 2004: 44 percent November 2005: 54 percent March 2007: 59 percent

Commercial television stations:

Prewar: 0 January 2005: 10 October 2005: 44 March 2006: 54

Commercial Radio Stations:

Prewar: 0 January 2005: 51 October 2005: 72 March 2006: 114

Independent newspapers and magazines:

Prewar: 0 January 2005: 100 October 2005: more than 100 March 2006: 268

Iraqi Airways average daily passengers:

2005: 300 2006: 1,500

Iraqi Airways average daily flights:

2005: 3-4 2006: 10-12

Local Government

North: same Central: worse South: same

The last "Where Things Stand" report was published on the eve of the December 2005 elections -- when faith in both the electoral process and public institutions ran fairly high.

Today we found several signs of eroding support for the leaders of Iraq. Public support for democracy has fallen to roughly 40 percent. Views of the performance of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are negative -- though his ratings mirror the sectarian divide; more than 6 in 10 among Kurds and Shiites support the Prime Minister; 96 percent of Sunnis disapprove.

Generally speaking, trust in public institutions is sharply divided along sectarian lines -- very low among Sunnis, far higher among Shiites and Kurds. This is the case whether the institution in question is the national government, local government, the army or the police. One smaller, still critical example: There remains no true consensus on what legal system to use; courts do not exist in many areas and are corrupt and ineffective in others.

Finally, 42 percent of Iraqis today say their country is in a civil war. Another 24 percent see one as likely.

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