Sunday, March 1, 2009

Muslims Like Americans - but Hate American Soldiers

I find the numbers in these polls very interesting.

From the Middle East Times --
The first is that large majorities in predominantly Muslim counties firmly reject attacks on American civilians for political goals. Over 80 percent in Egypt and Azerbaijan and over 70 percent in Turkey and Indonesia say they disapprove. Even in Pakistan and the Palestinian territories, almost 60 percent reject such terrorist tactics.

The second obvious finding from these latest polls, released this week, is that equally large majorities want the United States to remove its bases and military forces from Muslim countries. Very significant majorities would even agree with the goal of al-Qaida to "push the U.S. to remove its bases and its military forces from all Islamic countries," including 87 percent of Egyptians, 64 percent of Indonesians, and 60 percent of Pakistanis.

Less obvious, but probably a logical consequence of wanting the withdrawal of U.S. forces, is the disturbing finding that very significant majorities approve of attacks on U.S. troops based in Iraq, the Gulf, and Afghanistan. Large majorities approve of attacks in Egypt (over 78 percent), the Palestinian territories (87 percent), and Jordan (66 percent). In Turkey and Pakistan views are more divided. However, only minorities in Indonesia and Azerbaijan would endorse such attacks.

The third finding of the polls, which will come as little surprise to Americans familiar with the Middle East and the Islamic world, is the intense suspicion of U.S. goals in the region. Large majorities ranging from 62 percent in Indonesia to 87 percent in Egypt say they believe that the United States seeks "to weaken and divide the Islamic world."

Equally large majorities, ranging from 62 percent in Pakistan to 90 percent in Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Jordan, and the Palestinian territories, say that the United States seeks "control over the oil resources of the Middle East.

In some aspects this poll is accurate. Still having a bad after-taste of the US's involvement with the former Shah of Iran and our blind support for British Colonialism - I could understand some apprehension. This also strengthens the misconception that we want to control oil resources in the Middle East.

The fact is, while we do not want to control the oil resources, we do want to create an atmosphere of free & fair trade without allowing any rogue, anti-US countries from having a stranglehold or influence over the U.S. and other non-OPEC countries. So, in a sense we do want to create a divide in the Muslim world - but this divide comes by making the radical nations supporting terrorism & anti-U.S. policies weaker, while empowering nations that do not have a quest for a world domination by radical muslims.

My summation on these polls would be - Muslims like us, they like freedom, they like the idea of democracy - but they want to kill our soldiers protecting them from the goat-screwing radical groups forbidding this type behavior.

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