Not Saussure

September 6, 2006

Best defence against terrorism is a split with US, say voters

Filed under: Bloody Yanks, Community, Opinion polls, Politics, UK, usa — notsaussure @ 11:22 pm

From The Times

MOST people believe that the Blair Government’s foreign policy has increased significantly the risk of terrorist attacks and now want Britain to distance itself from America and set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, according to a poll for The Times.

The Populus poll was undertaken over the weekend as news came of the death of 14 British servicemen on board a crashed Nimrod aircraft in Afghanistan.


The results underline the unpopularity of Tony Blair’s Middle Eastern policy and how a majority of voters believe there is a direct connection with terrorist plots and attacks at home.

Nearly three quarters of the public (73 per cent) believe that “the British Government’s foreign policy, especially its support for the invasion of Iraq and refusal to demand an immediate ceasefire by Israel in the recent war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, has significantly increased the risk of terrorist attacks on Britain”.

Moreover, three fifths (62 per cent) agree that “in order to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks on Britain the Government should change its foreign policy, in particular by distancing itself from America, being more critical of Israel and declaring a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq”. Women (66 per cent) and Liberal Democrat voters (74 per cent) agree with this view particularly strongly.


voters are also sympathetic to Muslim concerns. Just a half (52 per cent) believe that “even though there is no justification for terrorism, the British Government’s foreign policy, especially towards Iraq and the recent attacks on Lebanon by Israel, is anti-Muslim and it is understandable that many Muslims are offended by it”.

However, I wasn’t too sure what to make of this:

Nonetheless, a similar proportion of voters (63 per cent) believe that “Muslim extremists hate democracy and the Western way of life, and if Britain’s foreign policy were different they would find another excuse for their terrorist activities”. This is a widely held view, backed by two thirds of Labour and Tory voters, but only just over a half (53 per cent) of Lib Dems.

Sort of, ‘They’ve got good reason to be unhappy, but they’d hate us anyway’.

I think it’s because we’re got two questions bundled up in one there; how was someone to answer the question if he thought — which is an entirely reasonable view (since it’s pretty much mine) that there are clearly some Muslim extremists do hate democracy and the Western way of life — Abu Hamza, for example, even though he doesn’t hate it enough not to want to live here — but that they’d amount to very little if they weren’t able to exploit the far more widespread resentment about US policy in the Middle East and our support for it.


1 Comment »

  1. […] source Posted in Uncategorized | […]

    Pingback by Best defence against terrorism is a split with US, say voters « Not Saussure — September 7, 2006 @ 12:24 am

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