Monday, January 16, 2006

A Zogby Here, a Zogby There 

Zogby here (via our sagacious colleague the Fixer at Alternate Brain):
By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching
President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval,
according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots
coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's
decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
Zogby there (courtesy of Zemblan patriot K.Z.):
A Zogby survey of 3,900 Arabs in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates has uncovered massive distrust of U.S. motives in the Middle East . . . .

While Arabs are not as rabidly anti-American as in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, still, by 77 percent to 6 percent, they believe the Iraqi people are worse off today, and by four-to-one, Arabs say the U.S. invasion has increased, not decreased, terrorism . . . .

Asked to name the two nations that present the greatest threat to regional peace, 70 percent named Israel, 63 percent the United States, and 11 percent Britain. Only 6 percent named our bête noire Iran.

Asked to name the foreign leader they disliked most, Sharon swept top honors with 45 percent. Bush took the silver with 30 percent. No one else was close. Tony Blair came in a weak third. Only 3 percent of the Arabs detest him most.

While only 6 percent agreed with al-Qaeda’s aim to establish an Islamic state and only 7 percent approve of its methods, 20 percent admire the way al-Qaeda “stood up for Muslim causes” and 36 percent admire how it “confronts the U.S.”
Because we are the cagey type and we thought you might hesitate to click on the link if you knew where it would take you, we have thus far omitted to mention that the passage above was written by a famously iconoclastic (we are trying not to say "demented") conservative icon who represents the ever-shrinking isolationist faction of the right. Although his recap of the Zogby poll data is uncontroversial, the article from which it comes is entitled "Might the Arabs Have a Point?" and includes a couple of hitherto unspeakable heresies (e.g.: "Carried too far, as it was by the Brits in the 1930s, it can lead to appeasement. But an absence of empathy can leave statesmen oblivious as to why their nation is hated, and with equally fateful consequences"). The author further posits, refreshingly, we thought, that the so-called Arab street is quite correct to perceive Mr. Bush's ongoing liberation of Iraq as a naked oil grab:
When asked, “When you consider American objectives in the Middle East, what factors do you think are important to the United States?” the Arab answers came as follows:

Fully 76 percent said the Americans are there for the oil, 68 percent said to protect Israel, 63 percent to dominate the region, and 59 percent to weaken the Muslim world. Only 6 percent said we were there to protect human rights and another 6 percent said to promote democracy. Asked directly if they believe President Bush when he says democracy is our goal, two of every three Arabs, 78 percent in Egypt, said that, no, they do not believe Bush.
If you are puzzled by the cynicism of the ungrateful indigenes, kindly allow our erudite colleague J. Schwarz of A Tiny Revolution to illuminate its historical roots.

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