Global citizenship

The BBC-ICM Poll, May and June 2003

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The BBC-ICM Poll, May and June 2003

Another more recent poll, conducted after the war against Iraq among 11,000 people polled across 11 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) during May and June 2003, also offers interesting comparative data, which may be perused in their entirety online.14 This survey of global attitudes about the USA conducted by ICM for the BBC is important evidence for anybody trying to explain, as The Guardian noted, “why America both fascinates and infuriates the rest of the world.” As in the polls above, the interviewees again clearly showed their ability to chose between what they deem to be positive or negative about the United States and her global power. The following commentary of the British Guardian is quite worthwhile to contemplate in our context. While the United States may (or may not yet) have won the Iraq war,

it is losing the battle for global public opinion on issues like nuclear proliferation, world poverty and climate change… Many recognise America's idealism, its wealth and its freedoms as the nation's greatest strengths… Interestingly, while the rest of the world admires much in the US, most people would not actually want to live there. Its food and drink were deemed unpalatable, although its movies and music scored highly… The world appears to be fracturing between an English-speaking one and a non-English-speaking one. Canada, Australia, Britain and America are on one side (along with Israel), with countries like France, Russia, Jordan and Korea on the other. The former regard America as ´a force for good in the world´; the latter do not. What does all this tell us? American values are not the problem, Washington's actions and policies are. The fault lies with George Bush… The message is clear: the world has less of a problem with America than it has with Mr Bush.15

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