Attila the Pun
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Run away, run away!

Sigh. When a survey comes out, where should one turn to get the most selective interpretation of it? The Sydney Morning Herald of course. Using the calm headline of "Our new nightmare: the United States of America", the SMH tells us that:

Australians are as just as concerned about United States foreign policy as Islamic extremism and regard the US as more dangerous than a rising China, according to a new poll.

The Australians Speak: 2005 survey, commissioned by the Lowy Institute for International Policy, found 57 per cent of Australians were "very worried" or "fairly worried" about the external threat posed by both US foreign policy and Islamic extremism.

What this summary doesn't mention is that 63% were worried about "international terrorism", or that 44% were worried about illegal immigration and refugees.

Of course, without knowing the questions being asked, it is difficult to give any credence to a survey of 1000 people (that being .005% of the population) without knowing the questions asked. Enter Greg Sheridan:

The Lowy Institute poll on Australians' attitudes to international issues shows how the narrow sets of views held by foreign policy academics in Australia will inevitably replicate themselves in answers to questions designed by such folk.


On international law, respondents were asked to choose between these alternatives: "Australia should rely on international law even though decisions may go against us OR Australia should do whatever benefits us the most in any given situation regardless of what international law says."
Not surprisingly, the first alternative gets the majority vote.

But what would the answer be to a question phrased: If a group of officials from non-democratic countries with appalling human rights records operating in a UN committee directed Australia to do something the majority of its people thought was wrong, should Australia follow international law even though it involves doing wrong or should it do what it believes is right?


The pollsters' question on Taiwan is even more loaded. Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the proposition: "Australia should act in accordance with our security alliance with the US even if it means following them to war with China over the independence of Taiwan."
Not surprisingly, a majority would not sign a blank cheque for a hypothetical war.

A more realistic question would have been: Do you think China is justified in mounting a military invasion of Taiwan, even if it causes tens of thousands dead, in order to reunify it with mainland China?

Of course his versions are just as loaded, but that is the whole point. The news reports covering this last night were at pains to stress that the Lowy Institute was "non-partisan", but its sympathies regarding foreign affairs are still pretty clear.

Well Greg Sheridan is a mad zionist! Of course he'll stand up for the Yanks, as will i ubder usual circumstances, but these are hardly usual circumstances.

U.S foreign policy, and by extension our own is bad news!
Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger