The BBC poll tells us solemnly that the majority of people in the world want the US to leave Iraq.
The problem? A lot of statistical problems, to begin with.
The first problem is the data base. You can measure all the “opinions” you want to, but what you are measuring is what people read or hear about, not what they think.
They included a lot of countries like Russia, Indonesia and Egypt where the press is completely controlled by the state, so people are merely parroting what the news readers tell them. Such findings have little to do with Iraq and a lot to do with their governments’ need to bash America (project anger against America to prevent locals from expressing anger against their own corrupt governments).
About the only Muslim country with a free press is Turkey, whose people have access to Al Jezeerah (which is the only major Arab news organization that is not government controlled)but nevertheless have had a long history of anti American hatred that long predates Bush.
Should we pay attention to “polls” in countries that are not free? And should the US base their foreign policy on polls manipulated by such dictatorships?
Yet the presence of dicatorship and the lack of a free press is not mentioned. The only statistic that is “qualified” by a BBC explanation is this one: they mention that in India a lot of people replied “no opinion”. Why would they say that? Because India doesn’t agree with the BBC: Only 17 % want the US to withdraw troops.
All of this make me wonder: How did the poll takers interpret their statistics? How did they come to their conclusions? How were the questions phrased? Were people given follow up questions, such as asking what would happen if the US troops withdrew “immediatly”? Were they asked their opinion if Saudi funded charities should sponsor suicide bombers to kill Shiites in Iraq? Or were they asked if Iran should be allowed to own nuclear weapons?
Without such follow up questions, you are merely getting quick unthinking answers, not thought out opinions.
And the answer is: I can’t tell. There is a lot of missing information in their report, which seemed mainly to confirm the BBC’s long held opinion against the war.
But other major facts are not available to those trying to find out about the report, including what countries were actually included in their survey. (The most glaring omission: Where is China? )
Because if they were “polling the world”, then China and India would have to be given a priority.
One third of the world’s population live in those two countries.
A poll in China has the same problem of that in Russia: the lack of political and press freedom.
Yet if one makes the claim about the “world’s opinion”, do you count each country equally, so France’s high numbers equal India’s low numbers to come to your conclusion, or does your final numbers recognize that not all countries are equal in size?
India would count as much as the entire European Union, Turkey and Egypt with a few minor countries thrown in.
In other words, the only way the BBC can make their claim is to “stuff the ballot box” so that politically correct white European countries, countries under dictatorships, and countries where Saudi funded mosques preach hatred of the west every Friday are the ones driving their statistics.
But the BBC fails to see the most important part of their poll.
Three countries support the US: India, Kenya, and the Philippines. What do all these countries have in common?
Terrorist attacks against their civilian populations by Islamofascist terrorists.
India has the second highest number of terrorist attacks in the world, except for Iraq.
Kenya suffered an attack against the American embassy in 1998 that left several hundred dead and several thousand injured. Many argue the bombing was one of several “test missions” by AlQaeda to see if Americans would retaliate, and that the lack of response was one reason that 9-11 occurred.
And the Philippines has had an airliner bombed, an attempted assasination against the Pope, and a ferry attack that left 200 plus people dead, not to mention smaller bombs on buses, buildings, fiestas, and the kidnappings and beheadings of innocent civilians.
Ironically, all three countries have integrated their large Muslim populations, but who worry about terrorists using religion as a cover for their aim, which is to restore the Caliphate, but under their own narrow minded interpretation of Sharia law.
One may or may not support the war in Iraq, but isn’t it interested that free peoples who actually know about terrorism support the US, even though (at least in the Philippines) our elites follow the European/Leftist meme and try to convince us otherwise?
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.