Pew Global Attitudes Survey

Yet another Pew Global Attitudes Survey was released today (June 13).  See:

America's Image Slips, But Allies Share U.S. Concerns Over Iran, Hamas (Summary of Findings), Pew Global Attitudes Project, June 13, 2006.  (For the PDF version of the complete report.)   

As always, the Questionnaire is the best place to look around for material.

Thus, Question 49 asked (p. 55/29): Should countries that now do not have nuclear weapons be stopped from developing them, or don’t you think so?  Of course, there was no comparable question about whether or not countries that already do possess nuclear weapons should surrender them. 

Similarly with Question 51 (p. 56/30): Would you favor or oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons?
















(Also see: Public Worried about Iran but Wary of Military Action (Summary of Findings), Pew Global Attitudes Project, May 16, 2006.  (For the PDF version of the complete report.  And the Questionnaire.)) 

And with Question 52 (pp. 57-59/31-33): If Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, do you think they would be likely to [INSERT ITEM, RANDOMIZE] or not?  Would Iran be likely to [NEXT ITEM], or not? 

Here, though, we need to be a little more careful, as the Pew folk provided their respondents with no less than five options for what they think Iran might do with nuclear weapons:

A) Attack the U.S. or European nations
B) Attack Israel
C) Provide nuclear weapons to terrorist organizations
D) Attack another Muslim country
E) Use them for defensive purposes only

Not a single question asking people from around the world whether they thought Iran enjoyed a treay-based and inalienable right to develop a nuclear program for peaceful purposes.  Much less whether they thought other states might attack Iran—and which ones, ranked from the most likely to the least.  (Remember: Although this Pew Global Attitudes Survey dealt with respondents from 15 different countries, in terms of the planet earth's population, it was over-weighted toward those residing in powerful states.  Nor does it appear inconsequential that the co-chairs of the Pew Global Attitudes Project are former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Senator and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth.) 

Here we go again.—Do you think that maybe, just maybe, Question 41—How much of a danger is the [INSERT] to world peace? A great danger, moderate danger, small danger, or no danger at all? (pp. 45-47/19-21)—is a bit loaded?  After all, the options posed to respondents were:

A) The current government in North Korea to stability in Asia?
B) The current government in Iran to stability in the Middle East?
C) The American presence in Iraq to stability in the Middle East?
D) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict to stability in the Middle East?













I wonder whether it ever occurred to the Pew folk to remind respondents that the Americans didn't exactly fall like the rain from the heavens above and land in Iraq?  How much of a danger are the Americans to [INSERT]?

Last, I hope this chart speaks for itself.  Unfortunately, it tells us nothing about what it is that respondents in each of these countries have heard about each of the five topics. 













"Global Image Of the U.S. Is Worsening, Survey Finds," Brian Knowlton, New York Times, June 14, 2006 (as posted to Truthout)
"U.S. seen as bigger threat to peace than Iran," Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, June 15, 2006







Leave a comment