Seven per cent believe that the events of 9/11 were “completely justified”.The globe has more than 1.3 billion Muslims, so that comes to somewhere in the area of 100 million adherents professing support for the crashing of airplanes into skyscrapers and the massive loss of life that is the consequence. Put in another way, for every three Americans there is one person in the Muslim world who is in solidarity with Atta. That's an enormous number.
The survey also contains the unsurprising revelation that the proclaimed 'War on Terror' has decreased the US' standing in the eyes of the Muslim world. One exception to that predictable trend has been a nine percent reduction in anti-American sentiment in Iran. While only 52% of Iranians hold an unfavorable view of the US, 79% and 65% of the populations in two of our putative allies, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, respectively, have an unfavorable view of the US.
Why do those living in the country that is said to be the epicenter of evil, in which the war drums are being pounded and support for international sanctions is on the rise, like the US more now than they did before 9/11? The overzealous rhetoric of president Ahmadinejad, whose popularity in Persia is heading in the direction of President Bush's in the US, may be channeling some Iranians' frustration with their own government into support for one of their country's political antagonists.
But Iran has other reasons to be appreciative. The US-led coalition in Afghanistan decimated the Taliban. Iran had long opposed the Taliban, supporting Massoud in the country's northeast against, as the Northern Alliance's leader fought tooth-and-nail against the Sunni Taliban's expansion (and by extension, Pakistan's increased influence in Afghanistan). By overthrowing Saddam's Baathist regime in Iraq, the US busted the other side of the pincer.
As a consequence, Iran now enjoys a moderate, relatively 'pluralistic' Sunni government to its east, and a Shia-dominated government to its west. The military actions of the US in the last six years have to this point been auspicious from an Iranian point of view, creating lots of anxiety in the leaders of America's supposed Middle Eastern Sunni allies (whose populations are now less supportive of the US than ever before).
The survey data once again repudiates the flawed conventional wisdom stating that destitution leads to radicalization. The percentage of 'radicals' (supportive of terrorist attacks against the West) and 'moderates' (those who either are ambivalent or opposed to terrorist activity) on several social attributes follows:
Primary school or less:The Marxist explanations just don't work. We embrace them at our own peril. The civilizational clash runs much deeper than that. Disconnecting from the Islamic world, through prioritization of alternative energy research, a drastic curtailment of Islamic immigration to the West, and a reversal of the long-range plan for a substantial military footprint in the Muslim world, is the best strategy. Neocon nostrums claiming that militarily exporting liberal propositions will solve all our problems, and leftists' belief in essentially the same thing (with more emphasis on voluntary methods of exportation, and with more direct wealth transfer) will continue to accentuate rather than alleviate these problems, as both worldviews are at odds with reality.
Radicals - 23%
Moderates - 34%
Radicals - 44%
Moderates - 38%
Low or very low income:
Radicals - 22%
Moderates - 31%
Above average or very high income:
Radicals - 25%
Moderates - 21%
Expect to be better off in five years:
Radicals - 53%
Moderates - 44%