June 05, 2003


Anti-Americanism is way up. Or it's declining. The Guardian doesn’t know:

The conflict in Iraq has left lasting rancour, with anti-American sentiment widespread and at an all-time high in the Muslim world, a global research project released yesterday said.

But a paragraph or so later:

Although anti-US sentiment has waned since March in the 20 countries surveyed ...

It’s waned all the way to an all-time high! The above was noted by Michael Stillwell, who writes:

"Waning" is correct -- the full report (see table on page 29) shows that in all cases where a direct comparison is possible, the people view the U.S. *more* favourably now than three months ago.

Actually, the entire report is interesting, and isn't particularly anti-American. e.g. Americans have a more favourable view of ethnic and racial minorities than Western Europeans. (“African Americans and Hispanics are viewed much more positively in the U.S. than are Turks in Germany, North Africans in France, and Albanians in Italy.”)

UPDATE. Michael sends three more examples from newspapers that seem to have read the report through glass-half-empty goggles. To say the least.

UPDATE. The Melbourne Age reprints The Guardian’s story - and omits the line about waning anti-US sentiment ...

Posted by Tim Blair at June 5, 2003 12:43 AM

None other than Paul Wolfowitz very recently 'won multiple standing ovations from an audience of hundreds of Muslims'. If this Guardian article proves anything it's that the right thing to do was unpopular. What's pissing the Russians off? They must have known they were never getting any of that Scud money back from Iraq anyway.

Muslim Cheers for Wolfy (6/2/2003)
Stephen Schwartz

Posted by: Chris Francis at June 5, 2003 at 01:36 AM

The report proves exactly what I have been ranting about for two years now. The claim that the large majority of Muslims reject terrorism is a ridiculous and dangerous lie, nothing more. Just look at the figures on page 3 (13):

55% of Jordanians, 58% of Indonesians, 49% of Moroccans, 45% of Pakistanis and (gee, big surprise here) 71% of Sudetan Arabs think that bin Laden is a good bloke!

Fair dinkum, I'm going to snot the next toolbox who tells me that Islam is a religion of peace.

Posted by: AndyM at June 5, 2003 at 02:29 AM

The same kind of thing happened on NBC Nightly News on Tuesday evening:


A pox on "big media".

Posted by: MommaBear at June 5, 2003 at 03:03 AM

But ... but ... Chomsky said that the Iraq war "fulfilled Osama bin Laden's wildest dreams"! And the students he was talking to agreed with him! STUDENTS! Surely they're not mistaken.

Posted by: Dave Weigel at June 5, 2003 at 03:08 AM

I am truly curious as to exactly why anyone would want to win a popularity contest with this collection of mentally deranged f*ckwits.

Posted by: iowahawk at June 5, 2003 at 03:12 AM

Perhaps I should withdraw the Sun-Times example. (Others are better.) As is clear from the raw table, the problem journalists faced when attempting to write that support for the U.S. has (for almost all countries) decreased over the past year (this much is true) was that in the case of all seven countries for which the Pew Center has both March 2003 data and data for "Today," support *increased*. The Sun-Times doesn't make quite as much a mess of this as the others since it's very careful to say that support has only declined in the *Muslim* world. (The Guardian vaguely hints at some distinction between the Muslim world and the entire world, but isn't clear enough on the difference. Also, it is let down by its headline.) Turkey is Muslim, but it's only one country, so this is (barely) legitimate.

Some other stories on the report, of varying degrees of dodginess: NY Times, IHT, WashPost, LA Times.

Most of these say that support for the U.S. in the Muslim world is declining. Pretty irresponsible when: (a) in *all* countries for which there is information, the U.S. is viewed more favourably now than in March (i.e. all indications are that the trend is *up*, not *down*); and (b) in the *one* Muslim country for which there is information, the U.S. is again viewed more favourably now than in March. Certainly any reports of a decline in Muslim countries should be balanced squarely against the information that in many non-Muslim countries, support is increasing.

Posted by: Michael S. at June 5, 2003 at 04:03 AM

This is a very insightful report and I believe that either it is true or it isn't.

Posted by: Wallace at June 5, 2003 at 05:42 AM

Almost 60% of South Koreans were disappointed Iraq didn't put up a better fight? Why the heck are we protecting their country?

Posted by: Jeremy at June 5, 2003 at 05:46 AM

Maybe it's just peaked to an all-time low.

Posted by: Noel at June 5, 2003 at 01:52 PM


True. I think it's probably time for the US to throw the South Koreans to the lions. Fuck 'em.


Posted by: AndyM at June 5, 2003 at 07:44 PM