U.S. drones deeply unpopular around the world

Glenn Greenwald writes: Last night I wrote about how Obama’s drone attacks and other forms of militarism in the Muslim world are making another Terror attack on U.S. soil more likely, while my Salon colleague Jefferson Morley documented the mass political instability those policies are spawning. A newly released international polling survey from the Pew Research Center sharply underscores both points.

The new multi-nation poll finds that “in predominantly Muslim nations, American anti-terrorism efforts are still widely unpopular.” Beyond Muslim nations, “in nearly all countries, there is considerable opposition to a major component of the Obama administration’s anti-terrorism policy: drone strikes.” Specifically, “in 17 of 20 countries, more than half disapprove of U.S. drone attacks.” As usual, “Americans are the clear outliers on this issue – 62% approve of the drone campaign, including most Republicans (74%), independents (60%) and Democrats (58%).” But in every other surveyed country besides India (which naturally supports any attacks in Pakistan), more people disapprove of Obama’s drone strikes than approve, usually by very wide margins. Indeed, “the policy is unpopular in majority Muslim nations, but also in Europe and other regions as well”; specifically, “at least three-in-four [are opposed] in a diverse set of countries: Greece (90%), Egypt (89%), Jordan (85%), Turkey (81%), Spain (76%), Brazil (76%) and Japan (75%).”

Just as is true in the U.S., Obama — revealingly and unsurprisingly — finds ample support for his policies among the European Right, with substantial opposition on the Left. “A majority (56%) of those who describe themselves as being on the political right in Britain favor U.S. drone strikes against extremists, but just 31% on the left agree.” And “a similar gap emerges in France, where about half of those on the right (49%) approve of the drone attacks, compared with about one-quarter (26%) among people on the left. Double-digit differences are also found in Italy, the Czech Republic and Germany.” [Continue reading…]

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One thought on “U.S. drones deeply unpopular around the world

  1. Leslie Garrett

    I would like to have seen Israel on that list. It would also be most interesting to see how different religions and ethnicities in the US would react to the question. Part of the game here is learning not to see nation states as THE institutions that define who we are, so why not run this poll on a few sub-groups or cross-border identities?

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