domingo, 21 de septiembre de 2008

The Irrationality of Anti-Americanism

by Joe Loconte

IF WE NEEDED more evidence that the anti-American vitriol from Europe and the Middle East is largely the product of manipulated imaginations, we have it. A new World Public Opinion poll of 17 nations reveals significant support for the claim that the United States staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks--presumably for its own malicious and imperialistic designs.

The poll, conducted between July 15 and August 31 and involving over 16,000 respondents, suggests that America's European and NATO "allies" are in fact infested with legions of anti-American conspiracy theorists. A slight majority of Britons blame al Qaeda for the attacks (57 percent), but another 26 percent say they don't know who the perpetrators were. The numbers were roughly the same for the French and the Italians, many of whom (8 percent and 13 percent, respectively) think the United States authored the act. Among Germans, nearly a fourth of all respondents (23 percent) finger the United States. Yes, one in four.

Likewise, the poll response among Muslim-majority nations signals that the battle for "hearts and minds" in the Islamic world is not going well. In Turkey, where anti-Americanism has spiked in recent years, an astonishing 36 percent of respondents blame the United States for the attacks. In the comparatively moderate state of Indonesia, less than a fourth of all respondents (23 percent) think al Qaeda orchestrated 9/11, while the majority (57 percent) claims they have no idea.

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