Saturday, February 16, 2008

What the World Thinks of Us?

President Bush responds to a question
during a news conference in the Rose Garden
at the White House. (AP / J. Scott Applewhite)

A friend in Canada has alerted me to this survey, written about on the CTV Canada web site.

Bush has made the world more dangerous: polls
Updated Fri. Nov. 3 2006 11:06 PM ET News Staff

United States policy has made the world a more dangerous place and President George Bush is among the leaders who pose the greatest threat to peace, four new polls suggest.
The polls were conducted ahead of Tuesday's U.S. mid-term elections, which many expect to hinge on the issue of the Iraq war. A majority of people surveyed in three out of four countries rejected the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The polls were conducted by EKOS for the Toronto Star and Montreal's La Presse in Canada, and by other polling firms for newspapers in Britain, Mexico and Israel. The survey suggests 62 per cent of Canadian respondents believe Bush has made the world less safe since he became president in 2001. The poll also indicates 34 per cent of Canadians felt Bush is a "great danger" to the world.
Canadians declared the American president the world's third most dangerous leader, behind North Korea's Kim Jong Il. Top spot went to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fourth, while Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah was fifth.
The most pessimistic responses came from Britain, where 69 per cent of people said American foreign policy has made the world less safe since 2001. In fact, British respondents said Bush poses an even greater danger than Kim Jong Il. "I think the primary issue that's driving public opinion about Bush in this country is the mess in Iraq right now," CTV's London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy said Friday on Newsnet. "This country never really supported the war, in spite of the fact that British Prime Minister Tony Blair tied himself to Bush and participated in the war in Iraq. And I think that's really dragged down public opinion about George Bush and I think, as well, about Tony Blair."

Canadians, meanwhile, have overwhelmingly soured on the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the poll suggests, with 73 per cent saying Washington had no justification for it. When EKOS asked Canadians the same question in April 2003 after the U.S. invasion, 53 per cent thought it was unjustified.

Israel was the only country where respondents were in favour of the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- with 59 per cent for the war and 34 per cent against. Only 23 per cent of Israelis said they felt Bush was a serious danger, with 61 percent disagreeing.

The survey was conducted in late October and involved about 1,000 people from each country. The results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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