Global survey finds growing opposition to US foreign policy

This video is about the February 2003 protests against the Iraq war plans, and what happened since.

By Alex Lantier:

Global survey finds growing opposition to US foreign policy

4 July 2007

The Pew Institute’s 2007 Global Attitudes poll reveals a world in which the mass of the population is highly distrustful of all global leaders and opposed to the current direction of events, particularly of US foreign policy. The institute polled over 45,000 people in 47 countries in North and Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa and released data on roughly 100 questions, withholding the rest for “future release.” Significantly, no data was collected in countries occupied or threatened by the US (Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, North Korea).

Co-chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Senator John Danforth, the Global Attitudes project is a thoroughly establishment body. It has functioned since 2001—when its list of directors included former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, US Council on Foreign Relations chair Leslie Gelb, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, and Capetown Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu—issuing reports on topics of interest to the US foreign policy establishment.

The Pew poll is not set up to sensitively record the opinions of its interviewees. Many of its questions are impossibly sweeping (e.g., “Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable opinion of Russia?”), as its directors do not take into consideration the class divisions within each country. Nor does the poll record the backgrounds and opinions of its interviewees, which often seem rather moderate. Even though US President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have never been above 40 percent in 2007 and have typically been near or under 30 percent, 45 percent of US respondents to the Pew poll express high or moderate confidence in Bush.

This makes the poll’s bleak results for attitudes to US foreign policy all the more striking.

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