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Country Discussion Topics
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The Pain In Spain
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Dieselrider    Posted 03-17-2004 at 18:37:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
falls mainly on their brain. How many lives do you think the spanish citizens are going to cost the rest of the world? If a terrorist attack can change their minds so quickly, isn't it likely the terrorists will try it before each election in any country supporting the war?


Stormie    Posted 03-18-2004 at 06:57:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think the bombing is spain may have changed a few peoples minds, but for the most part it seems that these changes were well underway for Spain before the bombing. Here is a link for a full (below is a summary) report on the popularity of the U.S. in european and middle eastern countries. Still it amazes me how quick they are to take handouts when the U.S. offers them.

http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=796

Summary of Findings

A year after the war in Iraq, discontent with America and its policies has intensified rather than diminished. Opinion of the United States in France and Germany is at least as negative now as at the war’s conclusion, and British views are decidedly more critical. Perceptions of American unilateralism remain widespread in European and Muslim nations, and the war in Iraq has undermined America’s credibility abroad. Doubts about the motives behind the U.S.-led war on terrorism abound, and a growing percentage of Europeans want foreign policy and security arrangements independent from the United States. Across Europe, there is considerable support for the European Union to become as powerful as the United States.

In the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, anger toward the United States remains pervasive, although the level of hatred has eased somewhat and support for the war on terrorism has inched up. Osama bin Laden, however, is viewed favorably by large percentages in Pakistan (65%), Jordan (55%) and Morocco (45%). Even in Turkey, where bin Laden is highly unpopular, as many as 31% say that suicide attacks against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq are justifiable. Majorities in all four Muslim nations surveyed doubt the sincerity of the war on terrorism. Instead, most say it is an effort to control Mideast oil and to dominate the world.

There has been little change in opinion about the war in Iraq – except in Great Britain, where support for the decision to go to war has plummeted from 61% last May to 43% in the current survey. In contrast, 60% of Americans continue to back the war. Among the coalition of the “unwilling,” large majorities in Germany, France and Russia still believe their countries made the right decision in not taking part in the war. Moreover, there is broad agreement in nearly all of the countries surveyed – the U.S. being a notable exception – that the war in Iraq hurt, rather than helped, the war on terrorism.

In the four predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, opposition to the war remains nearly universal. Moreover, while large majorities in Western European countries opposed to the war say Saddam Hussein’s ouster will improve the lot of the Iraqi people, those in Muslim countries are less confident. In Jordan, no less than 70% of survey respondents think the Iraqis will be worse off with Hussein gone.

This is the latest in a series of international surveys by the Pew Global Attitudes Project. It was conducted from late February to early March in the United States and eight other countries, with fieldwork under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The survey finds a significant point of agreement in opinion on Iraq’s future. Overwhelming majorities in all countries surveyed say it will take longer than a year to establish a stable government in Iraq. But there are deep differences about whether the U.S. or the United Nations would do the best job of helping Iraqis to form such a government. The U.N. is the clear choice of people in Western Europe and Turkey; Americans are divided over this issue. However, roughly half of Jordanians and a third of Moroccans volunteered that neither the U.S. nor the U.N could do best in this regard.

Americans have a far different view of the war’s impact – on the war on terrorism and the global standing of the U.S. – than do people in the other surveyed countries. Generally, Americans think the war helped in the fight against terrorism, illustrated the power of the U.S. military, and revealed America to be trustworthy and supportive of democracy around the world.

These notions are not shared elsewhere. Majorities in Germany, Turkey and France – and half of the British and Russians – believe the conflict in Iraq undermined the war on terrorism. At least half the respondents in the eight other countries view the U.S. as less trustworthy as a consequence of the war. For the most part, even U.S. military prowess is not seen in a better light as a result of the war in Iraq.

A growing number in Western Europe also think that the United States is overreacting to the threat of terrorism. Only in Great Britain and Russia do large majorities believe that the U.S. is right to be so concerned about terrorism. Many people in France (57%) and Germany (49%) have come to agree with the widespread view in the Muslim countries surveyed that the America is exaggerating the terrorist threat.

Nevertheless, support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism has increased dramatically among Russians, despite their generally critical opinion of U.S. policies. More than seven-in-ten Russians (73%) currently back the war on terrorism, up from 51% last May. Since the end of the Iraq war, there also have been gains in support for the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign in Turkey (from 22% to 37%) and Morocco (9% to 28%). On the other hand, backing for the war against terrorism has again slipped in France and Germany; only about half of the public in each country favors the U.S.-led effort.

Publics in the surveyed countries other than the United States express considerable skepticism of America’s motives in its global struggle against terrorism. Solid majorities in France and Germany believe the U.S. is conducting the war on terrorism in order to control Mideast oil and dominate the world. People in Muslim nations who doubt the sincerity of American anti-terror efforts see a wider range of ulterior motives, including helping Israel and targeting unfriendly Muslim governments and groups.

Large majorities in almost every country surveyed think that American and British leaders lied when they claimed, prior to the Iraq war, that Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction. On balance, people in the United States and Great Britain disagree. Still, about three-in-ten in the U.S. (31%) and four-in-ten in Great Britain (41%) say leaders of the two countries lied to provide a rationale for the war.

In that regard, opinions of both President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are negative. Large majorities in every country, except for the U.S., hold an unfavorable opinion of Bush. Blair is rated favorably only by a narrow majority in Great Britain but fully three-quarters of Americans. In contrast, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is viewed positively in nearly all nine countries surveyed, with Jordan and Morocco as prominent exceptions.

The United Nations itself engenders varied reactions around the world. Just 55% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the world body. This is the lowest rating the U.N. has achieved in 14 years of Pew Research Center surveys. People in Russia and the Western European countries have a considerably more favorable view of the U.N. But large majorities in Jordan and Morocco hold negative views of both the U.N. and the man who leads it.

Majorities in the Western European countries surveyed believe their own government should obtain U.N. approval before dealing with an international threat. That idea is much more problematic for Americans, and on this issue Russians and people in Muslim countries are much closer to Americans than they are to Western Europeans.

Despite that small piece of common ground, however, there is still considerable hostility toward the U.S. in the Muslim countries surveyed. Substantial numbers in each of these countries has a negative view of the U.S. Overwhelming majorities in Jordan and Morocco believe suicide attacks against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq are justifiable. As a point of comparison, slightly more people in those two countries say the same about Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis.

About half of Pakistanis also say suicide attacks on Americans in Iraq – and against Israelis in the Palestinian conflict – are justifiable.

Fewer respondents in Turkey agree, but slightly more Turks view suicide attacks on Americans in Iraq as justifiable as say the same about Palestinian attacks on Israelis (31% vs. 24%).

Other Findings

• Despite concerns about rising anti-Semitism in Europe, there are no indications that anti-Jewish sentiment has increased over the past decade. Favorable ratings of Jews are actually higher now in France, Germany and Russia than they were in 1991. Nonetheless, Jews are better liked in the U.S. than in Germany and Russia. As is the case with Americans, Europeans hold much more negative views of Muslims than of Jews.

• The survey finds, however, that Christians get much lower ratings in predominantly Muslim countries than do Muslims in mostly Christian countries. Majorities in Morocco (73%), Pakistan (62%) and Turkey (52%) express negative views of Christians.

• The adage that people in other nations may dislike America, but nonetheless want to move there is borne out in Russia, Turkey and Morocco. Roughly half of the respondents in those three countries say people who have moved to the U.S. have a better life.

• But one of the largest gaps between Americans and Europeans concerns the question of whether people who move to the U.S. have a better life. Americans overwhelmingly believe this to be the case – 88% say people who move to the U.S. from other countries have a better life. By contrast, just 14% of Germans, 24% of French and 41% of British think that people who have moved to the U.S. from their countries have a better life.



Mikeintn    Posted 03-18-2004 at 04:03:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
No doubt the terrorist are thrilled with the outcome of the Spain bombing. Probably the bombing in Bagdad was at least partly linked to our election. They had much rather be blowing up something in the United States. So far they haven't been able to do that. Whatever you think about our present administration, you must admit that they have done a great job of protecting our homeland. We can fight them there or fight them here. I am glad we didn't just sit and wait for them to come to us "again". I am sure that the terrorist will do everything they are capable of before our election. Hope I am wrong, but the way alot of Americans is acting lately I am really concerned how alot of people would respond to another attack in this country.
Mike


I don't believe that.....    Posted 03-17-2004 at 20:47:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
....stunt would work in the US. But than again I couldn't believe that Clinton was voted in office the first time let alone twice!! I still can't find anyone to this day that will admit voting for the disgrace. So I guess that nothing would surprise me, there are a bunch of idiots in this country that would vote for a monkey for no good reason, other than ignorance. I can see good ole Gomer Pyle (Kerry)doing in Iraq, just as was done in Afganistan, in which is what alot of those Iraqi people are afraid will happen and the terrorist want to happen. Kerry is Scary. Whether or not anyone likes Bush or not, I think that it would be in our best interest to let him finish the job he started, changing drivers while going down the road is not a good idea, especially when one can't drive his own life straight.

RY


dave 50 8n    Posted 03-17-2004 at 18:50:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
...one of my first thoughts after hearing about the 1,000 lb bomb in Bagdahd (sp) is that the terrorists were trying to bring about the same reaction in the USA...mebe not.

As much as the pundits yammer on about it, saying voting in the socialists (and therefore pulling out troops in Iraq) is not a victory for the terrorists, it plainly is.


Clipper    Posted 03-17-2004 at 18:47:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's exactly what Kerry and the Dems are hoping for.


Dieselrider    Posted 03-17-2004 at 19:54:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do you think that it would have the same effect here though? When they attacked in 2001 it really solidified our country if only temporary. If they were to attack here in the hope of ousting Bush, it might be just what it would take to give him a landslide victory. We mericans can be real stubborn and don't take to bullying. What do you think?


REt    Posted 03-18-2004 at 05:27:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think that if they let loose a string of bombings from coast to coast and demanded our withdrawal from Iraq and the mideast, eventually public opinion would swing to their demands. I also think that we underestimated their resolve. To defeat an emeny that conducts war as they do, opposed to the conventional means, not only is difficult, it is nigh impossible. And, if they are able to divide the nations of the world as they seem to be able to do, makes it easier for them. Solution, wiser men than I sure don't have one. Also, when you put the financial aspect in any equation, it muddles it more. By the way, I am not a stanch member of any party, but this forum leans to the right, which is all right by me, but everyone has to understand that in all reality, the country is actually split right down the middle today, actually more demos than Reps. They can't all be wild eyed, welfare, loafing, leeches.
JMHO REt


Dieselrider    Posted 03-18-2004 at 05:45:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have you ever seen the movie, "Swordfish" with John Travolta? I'm not a Travolta fan and in this movie he doesn't play a good person by any imagination but, his take on dealing with terrorists is probably very realistic. He claims that if they kill a 100 of your people you go kill 10,000 of them and the price for attacking you becomes more than they are willing to pay. Pretty much the way the old Soviet Union would have dealt with them or the way we ended WW2. The Japenese saw that the bomb we had was just too much to overcome and had to surrender. I know it doesn't make for a pretty picture of ourselves but, I am affraid that it may be the only way to deal with these cowards who only attack civilian targets and run and hide behind women and children when an army comes looking for them. Like I said maybe my German heritage is getting the better of me. JMHO.


~Lenore    Posted 03-18-2004 at 07:40:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have German in me, too, and French (think of that combination!).
The German overrides the whimpy French, however. ;-)


ret    Posted 03-18-2004 at 05:56:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would agree with a lot of what you say, but this is a religious war, whether our politicians will admit it or not. SO, we are not at war with a country, but a religion. Worse than that, that religion is living in our country too. Hey, I got german in my blood too, along with a lot of English, terrible combination.
Have a good one
REt


Dieselrider    Posted 03-18-2004 at 09:33:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know what you're saying about a religeous war. Even at that if they lost enough casualties to relatiation they would stop attacking. They would come to know that if they mess with the USA they would lose several thousand times more of their people (muslims) than they could murder of ours. Even someone very bad at math could figure out those odds. I guess the real problem with this tactic, is does it make us just as bad as they are if we were to use it? Or should one think of it as fighting fire with fire? I want life to be alot simpler and without these issues. I wish our biggest decision was what flavor ice cream to eat or something like that.


Jessie    Posted 03-18-2004 at 01:32:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It has been my opinion that Americans like to fight with each other and that it is a nation passtime. However, when someone outside attempts to intervein or cause problems to interfere with our fighting they can stand by for the a$$ kickin of their life. The more liberal leaning we become the less likely people will be apt to confront any advisary. I think Spain has just made itself an indentured servant or hostage. 3rd world mideast countries only understand force. If we try to deal with it on our terms of ciivilized and sanitized warfare we will never be rid of the threat. It will have to be dealt with by total warfare something that they can readily understand.


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