Thursday, June 15, 2006
U.S. Occupation of Iraq - Global Attitudes
The Gap between President Bush's View and A Worldwide Survey
Following his surprise visit to Baghdad and meetings with Iraq's prime minister and members of his cabinet, the president spoke of steady progress. "President Bush said yesterday that the United States is making steady progress in Iraq toward its goal of standing up a government that can sustain and protect the country, but he emphasized that the ultimate success of the U.S.-led venture lies in the hands of Iraqis. In a Rose Garden news conference just over six hours after his surprise whirlwind visit to Baghdad, Bush said that "I sense something different happening in Iraq" and predicted that "progress will be steady" toward achieving the U.S. mission there."
"Biggest Danger to World Peace"
A quite different picture emerges from Washington-based of Pew Research Center's worldwide survey released on Tuesday (June 13). The Guardian commented on the report. "Iraq war seen as biggest threat to peace. "The US occupation of Iraq presents a bigger danger to world peace than Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions, according to a worldwide survey published on Wednesday. "
- The annual survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center suggests that support for the US-led "war on terrorism" continues to be on the wane around the world, undermined by the Iraq conflict.
- The Pew, which is widely respected and has been running since 2001, polled 17,000 people in 15 countries between March and May. In a press release, it says: "Despite growing concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the US presence in Iraq is cited at least as often as Iran - and in many countries much more often - as a danger to world peace."
- Only in the US and Germany is Iran seen as presenting 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.