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June 21, 2006

To See Ourselves As Others See Us Iran  Iraq  Palestine/Middle East

Who's the biggest threat to world peace? We are, according to a poll spanning 15 nations. Guardian, via CommonDreams:

George Bush's six years in office have so damaged the image of the US that people worldwide see Washington as a bigger threat to world peace than Tehran, according to a global poll.

The Washington-based Pew Research Centre, in a poll of 17,000 people in 15 countries between March and May, found more people concerned about the US presence in Iraq than about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions. [...]

The survey, carried out annually, shows a continued decline in support for the US since 1999. [...]

But even in the UK, Washington's closest ally, favourable ratings have slumped from 83% in 1999 to 56% this year. The pattern is similar in France, down from 62% to 39%, Germany 78% to 37%, and Spain 50% to 23%.

In Muslim countries with which the US has traditionally enjoyed a good relationship, such as Turkey - a member of Nato - and Indonesia, there have also been slumps. In Indonesia favourable ratings for the US have dropped from 75% to 30%, and in Turkey from 52% to 12%.

"It's all [because of] Iraq," Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Centre, said. [...]

Favourable ratings of the US in India dropped over the year from 71% to 56%. [...]

Throughout the period the poll was conducted the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, intensified by hardline comments from its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was repeatedly in the news. Iraq, too, has been in the news on an almost daily basis, with the formation of a new Iraqi government being accompanied by fears of a civil war.

Only in the US and Germany is Iran seen as a greater danger than the US in Iraq. Public opinion in 12 of the other countries - Britain, France, Spain, Russia, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Nigeria, India and China - cite the US presence in Iraq as being the greater danger. Opinion in Japan was evenly divided.

As well as Iraq and Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also high on the list of issues that present a danger to world peace. Public opinion in about a third of the countries polled put it at the top of their list of threats. [...]

By contrast, concern about Iran has almost doubled in the US over the past two years. Some 46% of Americans view Mr Ahmadinejad's government as "a great danger" to stability in the Middle East and world peace, up from 26% in 2003. The concern in the US is shared in Germany, where 51% see Iran as a great danger to world peace, against 18% three years ago. [...]

Those are remarkable numbers: US approval cut more or less in half under Bush. Meanwhile, the media blitz here in the US has done its work: nearly half of Americans now view Iran as "a great danger". They didn't arrive at that conclusion on their own. It's disheartening to realize what sheep we are. Small wonder that media ownership and control is such a priority for elites here and elsewhere.

Posted by Jonathan at June 21, 2006 10:58 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


And what happens when the world decides to stop using the Dollar as the means of trade?

Posted by: eric blair at June 22, 2006 01:07 AM