Sunday, January 02, 2005

American support for democracy is thin: "44% of respondents favored some form of restriction of civil liberties for Muslims. The poll actually contains some even more amazing results. Only 63% of respondents felt that people should be allowed to criticize government policies in times of war or crisis, and only 60% felt that people should be allowed to protest. 33% believed the media should not cover protests and 31% that it shouldn’t report criticisms. These numbers fly in the face of any comfortable suppositions about Americans and their respect for individual freedom or for informed policy debate in a democracy. Not much over half of people even believe they should be legally allowed, let alone engaged in."

"Other striking statistics: Although 70% favored, somewhat or strongly, the so-called “war on terrorism,” only 42% believe its primary purpose is protecting the United States from attack. 22%, more than one in five people, believe the primary purpose is controlling Middle East oil. Most interesting, of that 22%, 43% still favored the war on terrorism – with a margin of error of close to 8%. Since those 22% are likely to be of the more oppositional sort of people, it’s entirely plausible that even if the whole American public knew that control of Middle East oil and U.S. imperial hegemony is the primary reason, half or more might still support the “war on terrorism.”"

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