Believing the vicious worst of America
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 09:27am
A new website, AmericaInTheWorld, has commissioned a poll to check how ignorant the British are about America. Answer: Very. For instance:
A poll of nearly 2,000 Britons by YouGov/PHI found that 70 per cent of respondents incorrectly said it was true that the US had done a worse job than the European Union in reducing carbon emissions since 2000. More than 50 per cent presumed that polygamy was legal in the US, when it is illegal in all 50 states. . . .
The survey showed that a majority agreed with the false statement that since the Second World War the US had more often sided with non-Muslims when they had come into conflict with Muslims. In fact in 11 out of 12 major conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims, Muslims and secular forces, or Arabs and non-Arabs, the US has sided with the former group. Those conflicts included Turkey and Greece, Bosnia and Yugoslavia, and and Kosovo and Yugoslavia.
Asked if it was true that “from 1973 to 1990 the United States sold Saddam Hussein more than a quarter of his weapons,” 80 per cent of British respondents said yes. However the US sold just 0.46 per cent of Saddam’s arsenal to him, compared to Russia’s 57 per cent, France’s 13 per cent and China’s 12 per cent.
Note that the British tend to believe the the imaginary worst of the US. So AmericaInTheWorld, to be launched by British Conservative leader David Cameron, declares war:
America isn’t a perfect nation but it’s not had a fair press in recent times. AmericaInTheWorld.com is an attempt by a few London-based friends of America to make the case that the USA is a fundamentally good nation. We believe that a world without America would be considerably poorer, less healthy and more dangerous and we consequently reject American isolationism as much as we reject anti-Americanism.
It even has published a declaration you can sign.