60 Percent of Swedes View US as a Major Threat to World Peace

[ Ed. note – In a post I put up on Monday I wrote, “The US government’s unquenchable thirst for overturning other governments is the greatest threat to world peace today.” Apparently 60 percent of the people of Sweden agree with me. Below is a news story on a recent poll conducted in Sweden; the video above supplies an analysis on the conflict in Syria, but also mentions the poll. ]

RT

The number of Swedes who believe the US is one of the major threats to world peace and security has jumped to 60 percent, an annual poll has shown, with officials noting a 6 percentage points jump since last year.

The biggest changes in the way the Swedes see the world’s civil preparedness, security policy and defense have occurred in their attitude towards the United States, the recent poll carried out by the Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) suggests.

The MSB poll was conducted from December 9-14, after Donald Trump’s win in the US presidential elections in November.

“That is a significant change,” MSB general director Helena Lindberg said of the jump from 54 percent in 2015 to 60 percent in 2016, according to Swedish daily Sydsvenska.

Swedes generally (73 percent) express great concern and fear over the current situation in the world, as well as their future. However, nine out of 10 Swedes confirm that Sweden is still “a good country to live in.”

At the same time, 58 percent of people believe that Sweden is likely to see a terrorist attack in the next five years, a slight uptick of 1 percentage point higher than in 2015.

Despite that, the proportion of those who believe that Sweden in five years will be a better country to live in increased from 2015’s 13 percent to 18 percent, while the proportion of those who think that living conditions will be worse decreased from 54 percent to 42 percent.

A political threat from another country seems likely to occur by 47 percent of Swedes, while propaganda or false information spread by foreign states looks probable to 44 percent.

Swedes’ negative perception of Russia has relaxed a bit, with 77 percent calling Russia a threat to the world peace – 5 percentage points less than last year.

More than half of the people who took part in the poll welcomed Sweden’s participation in the EU’s foreign and security policy work, saying it promotes peace and security inside the country. Among the factors affecting peace and security negatively, 55 percent named the influx of asylum-seekers.

More than 1,000 people aged between 18 to 74 took part in the survey.

‘Liberal Internationalism Has Become a Godless Religion’

Interesting discussion on what Trump’s victory may mean both for America and for Europe.

From the video description:

Guillaume Durocher is a French political writer and historian. He has lived in many European countries and worked in politics and journalism. He writes for several Alt-Right publications, including The Occidental Observer, Counter-Currents, and Radix.

We begin by discussing the results of the recent election. Guillaume compares Trump’s victory to Brexit, for the mainstream media – through its polls and pundits – failed to accurately predict either. We discuss what this means for not only America, but the West as a whole. Guillaume explains that the American nation-state is now run by a wildcard, and that if Trump drastically alters the course of America, Europe will follow suit.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Opinion Polls

Global Research, May 26, 2016
Trump-Speech-2

There should be no sharp intake of breath on this. Reactionary politics and a certain voodoo mastery of reality was already perfected by Ronald Reagan when he secured the White House and ensured the irrevocable decline of an ailing empire. Making America great has remained the caption of failed politics, but it seems entirely at home in the Trump argot.

Which brings us back to that most inexact of sciences, if one can even call it that. Reading polls is much like reading tea leaves: such matter is often inscrutable, though people still make much of it. The United States first witnessed that now insatiable obsession in 1824, when the pundits suggested that Andrew Jackson was in the lead over John Quincy Adams.  On that occasion, the figures were accurate enough.

Behind such readings come the usual deceptions, hesitations and assumptions in population sampling. One does not want to come across as a barking racist, so it is best to keep silent.  Again, US politics familiarised itself with this phenomenon in what remains known more generally as the Bradley Effect.

In 1982, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American candidate, threw his hat in the ring in contesting the California governor race. All seemed to be going swimmingly in the polls till “social desirably bias” struck him down.

Pundits have attempted to find some means of relating the lessons of Bradley to the Trump phenomenon, though many of these are stretched.  The point on Trump, it has been contended, is that he has more appeal that is being measured or calculated, a reverse Bradley phenomenon.  Effectively, “social desirability bias” favours, rather than undermines him, with voters reluctant to concede they might back such a candidate.[1]

In December last year, polling and data firm Morning Consult studied the figures on Trump’s faring across telephone and online polling using a sampling of 2,500 Republican voters.  The study found that Trump performed “about six percentage points better online than via live telephone interviewing and that his advantage online is driven by adults with higher levels of education.”[2]

Such findings have convinced political scientists such as Ken Goldstein that Trump’s support is “understated when you go into the sanctity of the secret ballot.”  Like all polling figures, the last minute rush, the desperate re-think, and the appraisal as the candidate is selected at the ballot box, tend to elude such calculations.

Similarly to tea varietals, polls vary.  RealClearPolitics impressed media outlets such as the BBC, which insisted with a grave air that Clinton’s “double-digit lead, which she has held over the past several months, has vanished – and with it, apparently, Democrats’ dream of a transformational 2016 victory that would leave Republicans wandering in the wilderness for a generation.”[3]

Other polls, such as the Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Sunday, speak of 44 percent of the electorate wishing for a third candidate option.  But this is merely a sign that the current poll figures suggest a good degree of fear and loathing.

As Dan Balz and Scott Clement have put it, “Among those registered who say they favour Clinton, 48 percent say their vote is in support of the candidate while an identical percentage say their vote is mainly to oppose Trump.”  This point is mirrored on Trump’s side with 44 percent of backers claiming they are voting for the presumptive Republican nominee while 53 percent “say their motivation is to oppose to Clinton” (Washington Post, May 22).

Nothing could ever have been transformational about Clinton, a veteran political apparatchik who has a record sufficiently tarnished to warrant barring.  Her husband, on the other hand, managed to shape the United States in a manner few Republicans could have, giving it a true Tory savaging if ever there was one.Conversely, the suggestion that Trump could be devastatingly different is to ignore the various devastating administrations that have come before.  Such regimes wax and wane in their appalling effects, with some aspects contained by Congressional limits – when those on the Hill decide to wake up from their business slumber.

There is little doubt that the great problem for Trump – resistance from within the GOP movement – is faltering.  The figures, to end, show that.  The #NeverTrump movement has folded, and is now passing into enforced and collaborative amnesia.  Opponents have decided that Trump, bogus of intention or otherwise, is their figure of choice, the favoured bull in a doomed china shop.  Having made the political flip flop artful and, importantly, without lasting consequence, Trump has managed to stay essentially unburnt.

The dangers surrounding Clinton, however, are far more pronounced.  The fires are leaping, and there are Democrats who remain seduced by Bernie Sanders who, if he is worth his salt, should take the plunge as a true independent.  As for Clinton, there is no hint of Teflon coating on that side of the race.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

Notes

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-12-22/a-reverse-bradley-effect-polls-may-underestimate-trump-s-support

[2] http://morningconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Morning-Consult-Donald-Trump-online-versus-live-polling-methods-study1.pdf

[3] http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-36372929

Jews vs. Non Jews in Israel: The New York Times’ Whitewash of Israeli Public Opinion Poll

Global Research, March 16, 2016
Jordan Times 14 March 2016
New York Times

This past week, the Pew Research Centre released the results of a massive poll of Israeli public opinion — focusing on their attitude towards religion, identity, values and political issues facing their country.

In the days that followed the release, a number of articles appeared in Israel and the US commenting on the study’s findings.

The strangest and most troubling of them was the piece titled “Deep Rifts Among Israeli Jews Are Found in Religion Survey”, printed in the New York Times on March 8, 2016.

Written by Isabel Kershner, the article was a transparent effort to combine straight reporting with tortured apologia.

Kershner began the piece with a simple recitation of a few of the poll’s findings: “A majority of Israeli Jews marry within their own religious or secular groups” and the different sub-groups “largely separate social worlds” and have “starkly contrasting positions on many public policy issues”, like whether West Bank settlements contribute to Israel’s security.

Kershner’s straightforward reporting ended, however, when she came to one of the poll’s more disturbing findings:

“nearly half of Israeli Jews said that Arabs should be expelled of transferred from Israel”.

Unable to allow that result to stand on its own, in the same sentence, Kershner added “although Israeli pollsters found the wording of the question problematic”.

The addition of that phrase was a classic example of deflection — a device often used in New York Times’ articles to sow doubt or confusion among readers so as to soften the blow of facts that are damaging to Israel.

Here’s how it works: first the “fact” is stated; then it is quickly followed (usually in the same sentence) by an unsubstantiated remark that questions the “fact”.

The reader is then left confused.

Kershner did not get around to explaining exactly what was “problematic” about the wording of the poll question until she meandered for several paragraphs discussing other results from the poll.

Then she returned to the “transfer” issue, devoting the last full one-quarter of her piece to quotes from Israeli pollsters telling us that “the phrasing of the question is very blunt” or that it is possible that Israeli Jewish respondents may have understood the question to imply that Arabs would “voluntarily” leave or be compensated for leaving [as if that would somehow make it better!].

Kershner quoted another pollster who agonised over the transfer question, saying: “I would feel uncomfortable incriminating the Israeli public based on one question,” adding her fear that this “one question” would “be used as a weapon’ by Israel’s critics”.

Actually, the question was quite clear. And it was not the only question in the poll in which Israelis displayed troubling views.

And, while I might quibble with the term “weapon”, it would be irresponsible not to raise serious questions about what this poll reveals about racism in Israel.

First, let’s look at the “problematic” question and ask whether it was too vague, too blunt or too unclear.

Here is what Israelis were asked: do you agree or disagree with this statement

“Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel?”

In response to this direct question, 48 per cent of Israeli Jews agreed, while 46 per cent disagreed.

Among Israelis who are religious and those who received a Jewish education, two-thirds agreed with the idea that Arabs should be expelled or transferred.

This is not the only disturbing finding in this poll.

Israeli Jews were also asked if they agreed with the statement

“Jews deserve preferential treatment in Israel”;

79 per cent agreed — including well over 95 per cent of those who are religious and those who received a Jewish education.

The bottom line is that Israel’s political culture has become increasingly intolerant.

With eight in ten Israeli Jews supporting preferential treatment for themselves at the expense of the 20 per cent of the population that is Arab, and with almost one-half of Israeli Jews calling for Arab citizens to be expelled or transferred, one can only conclude that this is a society and a political culture that is in trouble.

This dangerous reality needs to be confronted honestly and directly. Whitewashing the situation only allows the danger to grow.

The Times has done Israelis, Palestinians and its readers a disservice.

Le Figaro poll: Over 70% want Syria’s Assad to remain in power

31 Oct, 2015 12:53Syria's President Bashar al-Assad  © SANA

 

A recent poll carried out by France’s Le Figaro newspaper has indicated that at least 72 percent of respondents want Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power.

The survey, published on Thursday, asked“Should world powers demand Bashar Assad to leave?” At least 28 percent from 21,314 respondents have voted “Yes” so far, while the majority – 72 percent – have said “No”. 

READ MORE: Assad: ‘West uses terrorism as new instrument to subjugate Middle East’

The poll was conducted ahead of the Vienna talks, where 19 global powers gathered to find a solution for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria. The fate of Assad remained the stumbling block during discussions.

The US and its allies including Saudi Arabia repeatedly said the Syrian president, whose term expires in 2021, must resign.

“There is no way President Assad can unite and govern Syria,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said during the meeting, adding, “Syrians deserve a different choice.”

READ MORE: Vienna talks: 19 global powers to work to establish nationwide Syria ceasefire

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Syrian people “should define the future of their country… including Assad’s fate.”

Earlier in October, a member of Moscow’s parliamentary delegation told TASS that Assad had agreed to hold preliminary elections in the country, provided the move has the people’s backing.

Syria has been caught up in a civil war since 2011, when violent protests erupted as part of the so-called Arab spring. During the turmoil, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) militants managed to capture large amounts of territory in Syria and Iraq.

On September 30, Moscow launched a military operation targeting IS positions following a formal request from Assad.

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian 

  

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

No Left is Left

June 03, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

An Israeli poll released today examining the political attitudes of Israeli youth is instructive. Among Jewish youth polled, 52% defined themselves as ‘right wing’, 30% saw themselves in the ‘centre’ and only 9% identified with the ‘Left’ whatever that means in the Jewish state.

While 76% of Israeli secular Jewish youth said that they would agree to dwell with Arabs. In , only 36% of religious Jewish youth agreed to live with Arabs.

Not surprisingly, 68% of Israeli Arab youth are willing to live in Jewish neighbourhoods. The poll suggests that the vast majority of Arab Israeli youth actually feel that they are a part of Israeli society.

I would like to learn from  Ali Abunimah and  other supporters of the One State Solution how they intend to sell the idea of reconciliation and harmony to Jewish youth who apparently support the most severe measures of ethnic and racial segregation.

A few years ago I  participated in a One State Conference in Stuttgart.  In my brief presentation, I insisted that we can not effectively discuss ‘reconciliation’ or ‘solutions’ until we attempt to grasp the true meaning of Jewish culture, Judeo-centrism and Jewish exceptionalism. Ali Abunimah wasn’t happy with my contribution; he denounced my ideas and insisted that ‘politics has noting to do with culture.’  

Maybe, now that Abunimah and other well-intentioned souls see the above poll exposing the Israeli attitude to politics and Arabs, they will find the time and intellectual integrity to listen once again to my short talk in Stuttgart.  Hopefully, now Abunimah will understand what the Palestinians are up against and what the necessary steps are that will lead to the point where we will be able to examine the political questions of the ‘solution.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlvaN2c-Oto

America’s Sorrowful World: Dumb at Home and Dumber Abroad

22.04.2015
righteousgents

“I should tell you that homosexuality in our country has been overcome once and for all but not entirely. Or entirely but not completely. Or else entirely and completely but not once and for all. What do people think about now? Nothing but homosexuality. That and the Middle East, Israel, the Golan Heights. Moshe Dayan. So, if they chase Moshe Dayan off the Golan Heights and the Arabs make peace with the Jews? Nothing but homosexuality pure and simple.” (Moscow to the End of the Line, Venedikt Erofeev, 1969)

by John Stanton

“and freedom thus remains a phantom on that continent of sorrow [the United States of America] and the people, thus, have become so used to it that they almost don’t notice…On every rotten face there is as much dignity expressed in a minute as would last us for our whole great Seven Year Plan. How come? I thought, and turned off Manhattan onto Fifth Avenue and answered my own question. Because of their vile self-satisfaction-nothing else. But where do they get their self-satisfaction? I froze in the middle of the Avenue in order to resolve the thought: In the world of propagandistic fictions and advertising vagaries, where do they get their self-satisfaction? I was heading into Harlem and shrugged my shoulders. Where? The playthings of monopoly’s ideologues, the marionettes of the arms kings, where do they get such appetite? They gorge five times a day and always with the same endless dignity-but can a man have a real appetite in the States? (Moscow to the End of the Line, Venedikt Erofeev, 1969)

Media Stooges Analyze Three Stooges Methodology

The ghastly spectacle of presidential debates on issues overly cooked in the media for decades (Israel and sexual preference, for example) will befall Americans within the blink of an eye. Of course they are not debates but well-rehearsed professional theater with the candidates, media questioners and audiences all acting out their assigned roles, on queue. Who has the appetite for it all? It is a hollow, unreal process and a rather sickening charade unless one is on some measure of hallucinogenic drug or drunk. At the proper stage of hallucination or inebriation the show turns into a sort of Looney Tunes cartoon making the time spent on the theater that is the American presidential election process somewhat tolerable.

A few more hits or swigs are necessary to endure the post-debate commentary on Fox, CNN, CBS, PBS or ABC. Depending on the mind altering substance used, the airhead punditry takes on the persona of the Three Stooges/Tractor Pull announcers. Caked in makeup and attached by wireless earphone to assistants who tell them what to say-the talking heads try to convince the audience that what they saw/heard was not what they saw/heard: In short, they try to spin sense on the nonsense uttered by this and that candidate. The media stooges extol the glorious exceptionalism of democratic style and process of the American presidential election process-and US elections in general-as though no other nation on earth actually holds elections.

Scary Monster

Americans know (or should know) that the presidential candidates–like all US politicians-have brains made of Silly Putty. They are bent and molded by the interests that fund them and, of course, tell them how to think/vote. Yet the American voting public typically runs a fool’s errand every four years with the false notion that “voting matters”. Voters proudly place stickers on ties and lapels stating an in-your-face “I Voted!” as if that is some sort of intellectual badge of courage that matters. But it doesn’t when the Democrats and Republicans are a sort of two-headed Grendel hungry for money and power.

It’s a well fed monster that works on behalf of those political and military leaders who designed the carnage underway in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan and seek more. Displaced human beings in those countries seeking a non-violent life and some measure of security to practice their faith (Christian, Sunni, and Shia) have been forced to flee their long-time homes due to war and the reprisals it brings. There are millions of displaced now. They drown at sea, are slaughtered by splinter groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda or by errant air strikes courtesy of US targeting intelligence or US military hardware sold to the likes of Saudi Arabia.

The story in the USA is dismal in its own way: Austerity, local law enforcement gunning down unarmed suspects; the Supreme Court through Citizens United opening the floodgates for corporate cash donations to political candidates; a bankruptcy judge in Detroit, Michigan claiming that clean water is not a “right”; drought in the state of California; one in three US children living in poverty; and the slashing of funding for Social Security and Medicare. These woes do not include the unemployed culled from government statistics, homelessness, or the care and cost of taking care of Americans returning from battlefields the world over. And yet some lunatics in the USA still want to go to war with Iran, Russia and China.

And go figure! The USA is a country with 243 million adults 18 and over, and is indoctrinated from an early age by its educational system to believe, nearly religiously, in an open competitive market, based on an equally competitive democratic/economic system of government. Yet in the current presidential cycle the USA can only produce two viable presidential candidates who just so happen to represent America’s wealthiest and political powerful families: Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Jeb Bush (Republican). The two families are so close that George W. Bush called Bill Clinton “the brother from another mother.” Both campaigns combined will likely spend $5 billion dollars on a science fiction movie titled The 2016 Presidential Swindle.

Dumb it down for the People

So how do the policy makers, military leaders, corporate heads, pollsters, pundits and campaign managers see the American public?

Consider Michael Glennon, Tufts University Fletcher School, and author of Double Government, on the intellectual ability of the American public. Turns out the American public mind is one giant mass of Silly Putty! “…the economic and educational realities remain stark [in the USA]. Nearly fifty million Americans-more than 16% of the population and almost 20% of American children-live in poverty. A 2009 federal study estimated that thirty-two million American adults, about one in seven, are unable to read anything more challenging than a children’s picture book and are unable to understand the side effects of medication listed on a pill bottle. The Council on Foreign Relations reported that the United States has ‘slipped ten spots in both high school and college graduation rates over the past three decades.’ One poll found that nearly 25% of Americans do not know that the United States declared its independence from Great Britain. A 2011 Newsweek survey disclosed that 80% did not know who was president during World War I; 40% did not know who the United States fought in World War II; 29% could not identify the current Vice President of the United States; 70% did not know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land; 65% did not know what happened at the constitutional convention; 88% could not identify any of the writers of the Federalist Papers; 27% did not know that the President is in charge of the Executive Branch; 61% did not know the length of a Senate term; 81% could not name one power conferred on the federal government by the Constitution; 59% could not name the Speaker of the House; and 63% did not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court.

Far more Americans can name the Three Stooges than any member of the Supreme Court. Other polls have found that 71% of Americans believe that Iran already has nuclear weapons and that 33% believed in 2007 that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. In 2006, at the height of U.S. military involvement in the region, 88% of American 18- to 24- year-olds could not find Afghanistan on a map of Asia, and 63% could not find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map of the Middle East. Three quarters could not find Iran or Israel, and 70% could not find North Korea. The ‘over-vote’ ballots of several thousand voters-greater in number than the margin of difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore-were rejected in Florida in the 2000 presidential election because voters did not understand that they could vote for only one candidate. There is, accordingly, little need for purposeful deception to induce generalized deference…in contemporary America…President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson, not renowned for bluntness, let slip his own similar assessment of America’s electorate. ‘If you truly had a democracy and did what the people wanted,’ he said, ‘you’d go wrong every time.’ Acheson’s views were shared by other influential foreign policy experts, as well as government officials; thus emerged America’s ‘efficient’ national security institution.”

Oh well. Who cares? That’s the way it is. It is what it is. It has always been this way. Nothing you can do about it.

“People don’t see clearly unless they want to. Nowadays everyone quietly accepts the inevitable. Newspapers are no help, they censored themselves little by little until they perfected the art of saying absolutely nothing. Television is monitored by official censors. Even if it weren’t monitored there is nothing on of interest. The news bulletins are completely innocuous…How can anyone believe a word these officials say?” (And Still the Earth, Ignacio De Loyola Brandao, 1985)

The United States is surely becoming a “continent of sorrow.”

John Stanton is a writer living in Virginia. His latest book is Media Trolls, Technology Shamans and Diabolical Political, Economic and Military Leaders available at Amazon. Reach him at captainkong22@gmail.com.

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