The United States (and Israel) vs. the World

Two recent opinion surveys by the U.S.-based Harris Interactive Company caught my eye. Both were released on August 30–to very little fanfare, it appears. Exactly how little is worth noting.

According to the opinion survey that I will arbitrarily take first (see (A), below), the question asked adult respondents aged 16 and over, "Which one, if any, of the following countries do you think is the greatest threat to global stability?”

Their responses:[1]   

As best I can tell, aside from the August 30 news release about this particular poll that the Harris Interactive Company circulated via the PR Newswire (i.e., the very same text to which I’m providing the hyperlink below), it doesn’t appear that this poll received any news coverage at all. Certainly not in the English-language print media. Nor for that matter does it appear that any of the wire services reported about it. (That is, separately from the news release that Harris itself circulated to publicize the poll.)

I know it’ll sound odd. But it doesn’t even appear that the Financial Times reported the poll’s findings—and the FT was a co-sponsor of the poll. (Or, if the FT did report them, then did so in a manner that makes searching for it counter-intuitive and difficult.) Though I’ll keep my eyes open. in case anything turns up later.

In the meantime, there was another 0pinion survey that Harris Interactive released on August 30. (See (B) below.)

According to this opinion survey, U.S. adults aged 16 and over were asked, “Thinking of the governments of these [13] countries—do you believe each government is a close ally of the United States, a friend but not a close ally, is not friendly but not an enemy, or is unfriendly and an enemy of the United States?”

Their responses:[1]

([1] My very special thanks to frequent ZNet poster "Cyrano," who, as you will find in the Comments section (below), showed me that reproducing these two tables really was within my grasp.)

In general, Harris Interactive polls don’t seem to receive much attention.  But should we make of findings such as these?

Poll A: "Plurality of Public in Five Major European Countries Continues to See the U.S., Over Five Other Countries, as the Greatest Threat to Global Stability," Poll #68, Harris Interactive, August 30, 2006

Poll B: "More U.S. Adults See Israeli Government as an Ally or Friend than They Do Twelve Other Middle Eastern Countries," Poll #67, Harris Interactive, August 30, 2006

"The United States (and Israel) vs. the World," ZNet, September 7, 2006


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