According to a recent poll of more than 2,000 Iraqis, more than 50 percent think their lives are good, better than any time in the last three years. The findings also suggest that a majority believe that security in their area has improved since 2007.
While most Iraqis still believe US troops are making things worse, the number who want the Americans to pull out immediately has fallen, with strong division among Iraq's main ethnic groups.
Fifty-five percent of all Iraqis believe that their lives are good, but only 33 percent of Sunnis are happy with their lives, compared with 62 percent of Shias and 73 percent of Kurds, showing that the Sunni population still remains alienated. However, 62 percent of all those polled say security in their own area is good, up from 43 percent last year.
As a testament to the strength of their optimism in the face of adversity, this picture shows Iraqi security forces today, gathered around the wreckage of a car bomb explosion in central Baghdad's Nidal Street. Two people were killed and eight others were wounded in the blast.
What do you think of these findings? Do you think Iraqis are optimistic because of US efforts there or in spite of them?