'US' vs 'World' opinion

Gram123

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Mar 15, 2001
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Okay, this is taken from (UK) Channel 4 news, quoting from an article in the International Herald Tribune:
So, the world has changed since September 11th - but has America? A new poll of major opinion formers shows just how wide the gulf is between America's own self image and the views of the outside world.

Hardly anyone in the United States believes their country's foreign policy had anything to do with the terror attacks. But a majority of non-Americans say it's at least partly to blame.

These are the findings of a poll published in International Herald Tribune, carried out by Pew Research Centre:

It's common parlance now that America - and the world - changed forever on September 11th.
But, asks the survey, did "most or many ordinary people think US policies and actions were a major cause of the attacks?"
Only 18 per cent of American opinion formers thought the US was to blame - but in contrast 58 per cent - over three times that amount - of non-Americans thought US policy WAS a factor.

Outside the US, and in particular in Western Europe, opinion formers felt there was broad support for Americas position in waging war against terrorism. So to what extent is America taking into account the interests of its partners? Only 28 per cent of Americans believe the US is acting selfishly, compared to 62 per cent of non-Americans.

A huge majority - 70 per cent - of Americans feel the US IS taking into account its partners interests, with only 33 per cent of non-Americans agreeing - a mirror image.

Exactly one hundred days since since the 11th of September the fires at Ground Zero have finally been extinguished. This deep scar on the landscape of New York and the American psyche still begs the question why anyone would hate America this much?

Overall, respondents thought ordinary people had a favourable opinion of the US, although less so in the Middle East. Of those Americans surveyed, 88 per cent believed resentment of US power was the main reason they may be disliked by the rest of the world. But outside of America, the respondents thought it was as much to do with America's policies widening the poverty gap which caused them to dislike the superpower.

Still shocked by the dramatic changes September 11 brought, not one single American surveyed thinks the war in Afghanistan is an overreaction - but they might be surprised to learn that as many as four in ten non-Americans disagree with them.
Okay, now, my opinions are not represented by this article, but I am interested in this divide of opinion. The people who responded to the poll consisted of "275 opinon leaders", whatever they are, in "24 countries".
I'm posting it here because most of you guys are in the US and this probably didn't get much coverage over there.

Americans interviewed on the news program about the findings tended towards the opinion that either Osama Bin Laden, "the Middle East", or even "the World" were jealous of the power and riches the US had. I stress that these opinions were from the public, and did not constitute part of the poll.

Channel 4 news: http://www.channel4.com/news/home_page.html
International Herald Tribune: http://www.iht.com/articles/42521.html

Any thoughts?
 
Joined
Dec 2, 1998
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Definitely interesting and I don't doubt that others view things a little differently than here in the US, but does polling only "275 opinon leaders" really provide you with an accurate sampling?
 
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I'm an American and I believe our foreign policy is partly to blame for the attacks on 9/11. But I believe there is a bigger and more evil reason behind the attacks, which wasn't mentioned in the poll (not surprising) and which I won't get into.
 

Gram123

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Mar 15, 2001
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Angel - I agree. I'm very suspicious of what an "opinion leader" is - it doesn't event make sense - is it like a "trend-setter"? Were these the first people to have that particular opinion? Or is their opinion just more important than us 'norms'.
I think they're actually a mixture of politicians, journalists and other 'commenters' on the war.
And yeah, only 275 of them kind of makes a mockery of the percentages. It can hardly be taken to be representative of public opinion. I'd be interested to know exactly who these people are.

JH - yeah, as soon as I thought of posting the article, my thoughts turned to what the Mulderator might have to say about it!

Gram
 
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Mar 6, 2001
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Hi all,

First off, nice to find another NEARLY Geordie on these forums (my gran lives in Redcar, Gram).

Like Benjamin Disreali (one of our most illustrious Prime Ministers) once said : 'There are lies, damned lies, and statistics'.

Let's not get so close to the trees that we lose sight of the forest.

Kindest Regards
Kit
 

Gram123

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
1,829
Hi Kit.
I know this is off thread, but are you a Toon fan? I am, and I'm constatntly surrounded by Smoggies down here. The pub sure turned quiet when we beat Arsenal on Tuesday!
I work at Teesport, probably about 2 miles from your gran's house.
I used to live in Boro, but am currently back at my folks house in Billingham, saving up to by a house with my girlfriend - one of the places we're looking at moving to is Redcar...

Gram

Howay the lads, hope we stay top by beating Leeds on Saturday.
 

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