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Shocking New Survey of America's Closest Allies

by Ben P Thu Nov 2nd, 2006 at 08:06:11 PM EST

This is front page of tomorrow's Guardian. And frankly, I'm a bit stunned at how deep hostility to Bush is. Basically, the results are of the British pollster ICM and its survey of public opinion of world events, especially relating to the United States in only 4 countries deemed to have particularly friendly relations to the United States - Mexico, Canada, Israel, Briatin. Indeed, outside of Australia, that is probably right. And the results were perhaps closer to what one might imagine getting in countries like Turkey, Greece, or Argentina (if not, say, Egypt or Jordan) with a much longer and more noted history of hostility to the United States.


Anyway, this is the upshot. George W. Bush is rated - in these 4 allies - as the second greatest threat to world peace behind only Osama Bin Laden - amongst public opinion in Canada, Britain, Mexico, and Israel. He outpaces both Kim Il-Sung and Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. Also, perhaps a bit less surprisingly, the poll reveals overwhelming opposition to the broad strokes of American foreign policy under Bush, particualy as it relates to the Iraq War. Only in Israel could hostility to all the above not be considered overwhelmingly hostile.

The numbers are as follows:

In the four countries as a whole, 89% of respondants view Osama Bin Laden as a threat to world peace, 75% view George Bush a threat to world peace, 69% Kim Il Jung, 62% Mahmoud Ahmenjad. Think about that for a second.

Meanwhile, 71% of Brits, 73% of Canadians, and 89% of Mexicans think the Iraq War was unjustified. Not just poorly carried out: unjustified. Israel is somewhat of an outlier on this question, with 59% thinking it was justified (34% unjustified).

Meanwhile, 69% of respondants in Britain think American actions since 9/11 have decreased global security, while only 7% think that it has improved global security. Canada and Mexico are barely better in this regard, with 62% of Canadians and 57% of Mexicans thinking US actions have worsened world security. Even in Israel, more respondants think the US has worsened conditions, with 25% thinking the US has improved conditions and 34% thinking it has worsened them.

Now, as the world's preponderant power, the US is surely going to generate some hostility. It did in the Cold War. But numbers like these are frankly shocking. The US has virtually no credibility, even in countries one would assume to be more "pro-American." Another Bush success.

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And frankly, I'm a bit stunned ...

Why? Nothing to be surprised at, just a simple matter of cause and effect: by "preventively" attacking, invading and occupying another country, America has broken the post-WW2 Ten Commandments -

  1. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  2. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  3. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  4. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  5. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  6. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  7. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  8. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  9. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION
  10. THOU SHALT NOT WAGE WARS OF AGGRESSION

As neither Iran nor North Korea have invaded any other countries, they are viewed as far less of a threat.

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami
by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Thu Nov 2nd, 2006 at 11:40:04 PM EST
The respondents are also probably judging military capability in addition to intent. The US has demonstrated that it has it; the others - not so much.
by det on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 04:10:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed I think if facts on the ground are considered, it is kind of myoptic or hypocritical, implicitely West-supremacist to think that America can't be considered as dangerous as those small dictatoral rogue states.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 06:07:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was something about a "land war in Asia". :)

As far as Means, Motive and Opportunity go, only the USA of all the countries in the world has the Means.

by Number 6 on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 09:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shocking to whom?

I mean, seriously, Bush is much more dangerous that Kim. Now, if you put Bush in Pyongyang and Kim in the White House, then Kim in the WH is more dangerous than Bush in the WH.

Also, the question in the poll is not "who do you think is most dangerous?" but "do you think X is dangerous?", which means the Guardian headline "British Believe Bush more dangerous than Kim" should be "more British believe Bush is dangerous than believe Kim is dangerous". And, quite frankly, put that way it just tells you that the British are rightly not very worried about Kim's global impact, but they are worried about Bush's global impact.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 06:36:10 AM EST
I also wonder if the British opinion, in particular, might be influenced by the circumstance of Bush having "gently dragged" them into the Iraq war (the new symbol of America's unjustified aggressive policies)?

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 09:32:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well there no doubt is an essence of betrayal by our leaders in there.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Nov 4th, 2006 at 10:22:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is that pundits find such common sense news 'shocking'.

Nothing shows the utter hollowness and corrupt nature of the institutional pundit class than their desperate attempts to treat Bush as a 'business as usual' president facing normal political opposition.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 06:54:22 AM EST
Well it's not surprising, you have to think that Iraq was America's ally only fifteen years ago, and then it suddenly became politically expedient that it wasn't, overnight. since when the mainly republican lead government has gone to extrordinary lengths to carry this grudge.

seeing as it's always the population rather than the leaders that bear the brunt of any damage, (with a couple of notable exceptions) you can see why with the nightly parade of carnage on the television that the average man on the street might be getting a bit twitchy.

It's alright to share a house with a 600lb gorilla and to use him as a guard dog, but what happens when he's hurt, angry scared and being goaded by the neighbourhood lunatics. anyone can get bitten.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 08:52:12 AM EST
I also note that Osama was judged dangerous by more UK respondents than Bush, which is also natural as Osama's followers are more likely to get Brits killed than Bush in the short term.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 01:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it was overnight because Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia, thus causing economic concerns as much as political ones.  Of course, I recall that Iraq may have received the wrong signals from US diplomats prior to the Kuwait invasion.  Signals that may have been interpreted by Iraq to mean "go ahead."

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 09:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with surveys is that there is often more than meets the eye. How much of the anti-Bush feelings will go away when Bush goes away for example? Just before the last presidential election our local (Canadian) newspaper ran an editorial. Like most small town newspapers it tends towards a conservative - or even reactionary stance. So it was not surprising that an op-ed was supporting Bush for president. What was a real eye opener was the reason. The reason was that Kerry probably had the diplomatic skills to drag Canada along for whatever imperialist adventures he was planning, while Bush did not have the diplomatic skills. I think that an anti-US feeling has been deepening over the years, and some of the Bush is a threat to world peace is really, the US is a threat to world peace.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 at 10:06:53 PM EST


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