Global Attitudes Survey

There are some interesting results in this Pew survey.

Large majorities (>80%) in US, UK and Germany (surprise!) think Iraq is a danger. A majority of Germans, French, and Russians and 44% of the British think the US wants to use force in Iraq because they want to control Iraqi oil. Is there something we can do to dispel that impression?

The favorable view of the US has slipped in most countries except Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Nigeria (?). It has stayed constant in France and Canada. The only countries in the survey with a negative view of the US are however Turkey (30% favorable), Pakistan (10% favorable), and Argentina (34% favorable). In Pakistan, the favorable view of the US has gone down from 23% in 1999-2000 to only 10% now.

The countries where a majority supports suicide bombings in defense of Islam are Lebanon (73%) and Ivory Coast (56%).Lebanon is understandable, but why Ivory Coast? They have had some conflict recently and the population is almost equally divided into Muslim, Christian and indigenous beliefs. Similarly, in Nigeria suicide bombing has support of 47% of the Muslims. It seems to me that the population is radicalized in part due to local conflict between religions/tribes. 44% of Bangladeshis and 33% of Pakistanis also support suicide bombing. I was always under the impression that Muslims in Bangladesh were more moderate than in Pakistan. Better news (I should say “less worse”) comes from Indonesia (27% support, 70% oppose.) As the largest Muslim country that has seen some recent terorist attacks and radicalization, I am glad that a large majority is against suicide bombings.

The only countries where a majority of the people are satisfied with the conditions in their nation are Canada (56%), Uzbekistan (69%) and Vietnam (69%). Why? Pakistan also comes close (49%). That is strange since only 10% have a favorable view of the US in Pakistan and the Pakistani government is helping the US in the war on terrorism. However, 49% of the Pakistani population are also satisfied with the economic situation. So it seems like domestic issues (especially economy) trump the dislike of the US for this question. However, only 25% of Pakistanis rate their quality of life as good and a full 38% are satisfied with the world condition. About 59% of Pakistanis cite the economy as their top concern while 37% cite housing problems. Crime (84%) and terrorism (78%) are big problems. 78% Also, 42% believe they have lost ground over the last 5 years while 22% believe they have made progress. The military government has been in power for the last 3 of these 5 years. 46% of Pakistanis are optimistic about the future. A majority are satisfied with their income, job and family life. However, 47% are unable to afford food. Institutions rated good by Pakistanis are military (84%), national government (72%) [what’s the difference?], news media (62%) and religious leaders (50%).

In most countries, people rate the quality of their lives much better than their nation. Exceptions are Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ghana, Angola, Mali and Tanzania. Also, the only countries where more than a third of the population is satisfied with the condition of the world are Uzbekistan (47%), Pakistan (38%) and Vietnam (51%). Again, why are the Vietnamese so satisfied?

NOTE: The Pakistan survey has a margin of error of 2.2%. However, I am wary of this survey since it was predominantly conducted in urban areas while a majority of the Pakistani population lives in villages.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


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