Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies

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The Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies (ICRSS) is an independent" think tank in Baghdad. The Centre was established in May 2003 by Saadoun al Duleimi, the Centre's director, "who has a PhD in social psychology from Keele University." [1][2]

Now Iraq's Defense Minister, al Duleimi is a "member of a powerful Sunni Arab tribe from the Western Anbar province" and a "former lieutenant-colonel in Iraq's army who left the country in 1984 and lived in exile in Saudi Arabia until dictator Saddam Hussein lost power in 2003." Duleimi "spent the year before the war in Washington [DC] training with other exiles to take up the reins of power in Iraq once the fighting was over." [3][4][5]

Poll Positions

"From a simple, gardenia-scented office at the Iraqi Center for Research and Strategic Studies, the independent think tank he founded, [al Duleimi] became a reliable analyst for foreign journalists who were trying to make sense of Iraq's bloody path to democracy," Hannah Allam reported September 16, 2005, for Knight Ridder.

"Using his poll results as backup, al Duleimi deemed the war a disaster that ushered in Islamic extremism, foreign occupation and the fragmentation of Iraqis along sectarian and ethnic lines. After one of his earliest surveys on Iraqi feelings toward the United States, he found 'the people no longer think of Bush as a liberator. They consider him a liar.'

"In al Duleimi's assortment of published comments from the past two years, Sunni clerics were described as fundamentalists, the new crop of Shiite leaders was too close to Iran and 'most of the peshmerga cannot even speak Arabic,' he said of the Kurdish militias that are now the backbone of his military.

"He was also gloomy about Iraq's elections last January, saying America 'didn't come all this way across the continents to offer Iraqis democracy. They will not let the Iraqis choose a government unless it is already favored by them'," Allam wrote.

"In interviews last year, al Duleimi described the conservative Shiite leader Ibrahim al Jaafari as 'still dreaming about' turning Iraq into a theocracy. He warned that controversial politician Ahmad Chalabi 'cannot rely on Iraqis. His power comes from America.' Those two men are now his bosses. Al Jaafari, the prime minister, handed al Duleimi his job in May. And al Duleimi recently spent a leisurely afternoon with Chalabi, a deputy prime minister, at the one-time Pentagon favorite's weekend home," Allam wrote.

CPA Monthly Polls

"The Iraq Centre for Research conducts monthly polls and is approved by the now defunct Coalition Provisional Authority," Jonathan Steele reported in the June 29, 2004, Guardian (UK). "Its latest results were handed to CPA officials on Sunday, the eve of their [the CPA's] departure."

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