MARCH 19, 2003
Thom Riehle, (202) 463-7300
On The Eve Of War, The United States Stands
International Polling Shows Publics of Traditional
U.S. Allies Oppose U.S.-British-Led Military Action to Remove
- March 19 - As the world readies itself for imminent military
action by the United States, Britain, Spain and some other allies
to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power, an international
poll of adults in the G-7 countries plus Russia and Spain released
today indicates that the United States very much stands alone.
was conducted between February 28 and March 8, 2003 among 1,000
respondents in each of the United States, France, Japan, Spain,
Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Russia. The sample
for each country is considered accurate within +/-3.1%, nineteen
times out of twenty. All countries were polled using random telephone
methodology, with the exception of Russia where interviews were
conducted on a face-to-face basis.
States President George Bush having given the Iraqi leader an
ultimatum of 48 hours to leave the country or face swift military
conflict, President Bush may be reflecting the views of a majority
of Americans (61%) -- that Saddam Hussein should be removed from
power as soon as possible, by force if necessary -- but not of
those traditional allied populations in Canada, France or the
in four of the countries - Canada, France, U.K. and the U.S. -
are given a choice between removing Saddam Hussein from power
as soon as possible, by force if necessary, or extending the U.N.
inspections process by at least four months and perhaps much longer,
majorities in Canada (53%), the United Kingdom (55%) and France
(66%) choose the United Nations inspections route over immediate
removal by force. This is in contrast with a third (32%) of Americans
who favor extended inspections.
As for removing
the Iraqi leader from power as soon as possible, by force if necessary,
those in France offer the least support (28%) followed then by
the United Kingdom (39%) and Canada (41%). All interviews were
completed before President Bush issued his 48-hour ultimatum to
Saddam Hussein and his sons. Adults in each of the nine countries
were also asked whether the foreign policies of the government
in their country should aim to draw closer to U.S. policies or
seek more distance from the U.S. (In the U.S., respondents were
asked whether the policies of other countries should seek more
distance or draw closer to U.S. policies.)
While a full
majority of Americans (76%) believe that the foreign policies
of other governments in the coming years should be closer to those
of the United States as opposed to those which distance themselves
more from U.S. policy (15%), it's clear that the United States
stands alone in this wish, as well. Of the other eight major countries
surveyed, citizens in a majority of five of the countries want
their own governments to distance themselves more from the United
States, while three other countries essentially split or tilt
towards distancing themselves from the U.S.
is most evident in France (67% distance more from the U.S. versus
22% get closer to the U.S.), followed then by Japan (63% distance
versus 28% closer), Spain (60% distance versus 13% closer), Canada
(54% distance versus 38% closer) and the United Kingdom (52% distance
versus 36% closer).
split with 46% urging their government policies to get closer
to the U.S. versus 44% who want to distance themselves. Italy
(40% distance versus 37% closer) and Russia (37% distance versus
25% closer) split but tilt towards distance. (The numbers above
do not add up to 100% because of the don't know category and a
volunteered depends category).
Which of the
following approaches to the situation would you be more likely
to support? (To view chart, go to online version at link above.)
In its foreign
policy approach in the coming years, should the government in
your country (for U.S. - should governments in other countries)
get closer to the U.S. or distance itself more from the U.S.?
(To view chart, go to online version at link above.)
These are the
findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 28th and
March 8, 2003. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample
of 1,000 respondents in each of the United States, France, Japan,
Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Russia.
With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate
in each country to within +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out
of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population
in a country had been polled.
the first in a series covering opinion in the G-7 plus Russia
and Spain, is a cooperative effort by Ipsos France, Ipsos-Reid
in Canada, and Ipsos Public Affairs in the U.S. The Paris-based
Ipsos Group is the second-largest survey-based research firm in
the world, with specialties in advertising, media, customer satisfaction,
public opinion and market research.
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