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World sees US in Iraq bigger danger than Iran-poll

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
World sees US in Iraq bigger danger than Iran-poll
13 Jun 2006 18:57:35 GMT
Source: Reuters


By Saul Hudson

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) - The world increasingly fears Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear bomb but believes the U.S. military in Iraq remains a greater danger to Middle East stability, a survey showed on Tuesday.

As Washington campaigns to highlight the threat it sees from Tehran, the good news for the United States in a Pew Research Center poll of 17,000 people in 15 countries is that publics, particularly in the West, are worrying more about Iran.

The bad news is people worldwide think the U.S. presence in Iraq is an even bigger threat and support in most countries for President George W. Bush's war on terrorism is either flat or falling.

And after some signs anti-Americanism had been abating, in part because of goodwill generated by U.S. aid for victims of a late-2004 tsunami in Asia, favorable opinions of the United States have since fallen back in most countries.

Widespread concern over U.S. detainee treatment in Iraq and places such as Guantanamo, is a key drag on America's overall image, according to the survey.

Bush himself received the lowest marks for international leadership compared with his counterparts in Britain, Germany, France and Russia, and confidence in him has slipped in most countries -- to as low as three percent in Turkey.

The survey of global attitudes by the respected research group was conducted from March 31 to May 14 in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Turkey, Nigeria, Japan, India, China and the United States.

With a margin of error ranging from two percent to six percent depending on the country, the poll made comparisons to similar surveys it had conducted in the last few years.

Among Washington's traditional allies, Germany is the only country where more people say Iran is a bigger danger than the United States in Iraq.

Otherwise, the survey made grim comparisons for the Bush administration, including that 56 percent of Spaniards, 45 percent of Russians and 31 percent of Indonesians believe the United States in Iraq is the greater threat.

The poll was published after the United States shifted tactics on Iran, offering late last month to join European-led negotiations over curbing its nuclear programs, which Iran says are for peaceful power generation.

With people worldwide overwhelmingly believing Iran is seeking to build an atomic bomb, fears over the Islamic republic have tripled in some Western countries. The Muslim world is less fearful of Iran but its concerns have also risen, representing, for example, a great danger to 19 percent of Jordanians, the poll showed.


http://www.rawstory.com/showarticle...table.htm?URL=/thenews/newsdesk/N13426874.htm
 
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Lurker

TRIBE Member
Here's an interesting article from the Star, talking about a Foreign Affairs study.

I hope I remember to get this issue when it comes out

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1150321812412&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154&t=TS_Home

Another 9/11 `inevitable,' experts conclude
Washington's diplomatic efforts rated 1.8 out of 10
Jun. 15, 2006. 01:00 AM
LYNDA HURST
FEATURE WRITER

Washington is failing to make progress in the global war on terror and the next 9/11-style attack is not a question of if, but when. That is the scathing conclusion of a survey of 100 leading American foreign-policy analysts.

In its first "Terrorism Index," released yesterday, the influential journal Foreign Affairs found surprising consensus among the bipartisan experts.

Some 86 per cent of them said the world has grown more, not less, dangerous, despite President George W. Bush's claims that the U.S. is winning the war on terror.

The main reasons for the decline in security, they said, were the war in Iraq, the detention of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, U.S. policy towards Iran and U.S. energy policy.

The survey's participants included an ex-secretary of state and former heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, along with prominent members of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment.

The majority served in previous administrations or in senior military ranks.

"When you strip away the politics, the experts, almost to a person, are very worried about the administration," says Joe Cirincione, vice-president of the Center for American Progress, the Washington think-tank which co-sponsored the survey.

"They think none of our front-line institutions is doing a good job and that Iraq has made the terror situation much worse."

The findings will be picked up immediately by politicians and policy-makers, he adds: "Just about any one of these people saying this would make news. When the opinions come together, it really carries weight."

Almost 80 per cent of the analysts said widespread rejection of radical Islamic ideologies is crucial if terrorism is to be eradicated, but that goal requires "a much higher emphasis on its non-military tools."

Across the board, they rated Washington's diplomatic efforts as abysmal, with a median score of 1.8 out of 10.

62% of those polled identify Saudi Arabia as the premier incubator for terrorists
More than two-thirds said the United Nations and other multilateral institutions must be strengthened.

In the survey's accompanying report, Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, said policy analysts have never been in such agreement. \

"The reason is that it's clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view of what they can accomplish with military force and threats of force."

Some 82 per cent of participants said a pressing priority for the U.S. is to end its dependence on foreign oil.

"We borrow a billion dollars every working day to import oil, an increasing share of it coming from the Middle East," commented former CIA director James Woolsey.

"In Saudi Arabia, billions are transferred to the Wahhabis and like-minded groups who then indoctrinate young people to hate Shiites, Sufis, Jews, Christians and democracy, and to oppress women horribly."

The analysts were also highly critical of the U.S.'s intelligence and national-security apparatus.

The Department of Homeland Security, created in the aftermath of 9/11, was rated for effectiveness at only 2.9 out of 10. Changes in the intelligence structure were assessed at "poor to fair," with one participant noting that reform "in most cases has produced new levels of bureaucracy in an already overly bureaucratic system."

Almost 62 per cent identified Saudi Arabia as the premier incubator for terrorists.

It has helped halt the flow of money to terrorist networks and now has 30,000 troops guarding its oil fields, but Saudi leaders have been slow to move against extremist elements inside the country, says the report.

Asked what presents the single greatest danger to American security, nearly half the analysts said loose nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Only 4 per cent said Iran.

Cirincione says the fact that so few experts think Iran is a threat and so many regard Iraq as a mistake "turns the administration's policies on their head."
 
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