- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 20, 2001

The United States is conducting the war on terrorism without taking into account its allies' interests, and expanding the war beyond Afghanistan lacks international support, according to a survey among 275 opinion leaders from 24 countries released yesterday.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center, also shows the world's "love-hate relationship" with the United States hasn't changed after the September 11 attacks in New York and on the Pentagon. America's power and its contribution to widening the gap between rich and poor are most frequently cited as reasons for resentment abroad.
"While the survey reports popular support for the war on terror, the United States is seen as overreacting to the terrorist attacks," Andrew Kohut, Pew's director, said at the project's release in the offices of the Albright Group, a global strategy firm founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and other members of the Clinton administration.
More than half of all overseas respondents said the September 11 attacks were "caused by U.S. policy," while this opinion was shared by 81 percent of the participants from the Middle East. About 70 percent of all surveyed agreed that it was "good for the United States to feel vulnerable."
Such an attitude is a result of the fact that for a long time "we just talked about turbulence in the world" without knowing what it's really like, said Mrs. Albright, who chairs the survey as part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project.
The United States is a "major magnet for those who have problems with major powers," she said, but "you don't want to live in a neighborhood where everyone hates you."
Mrs. Albright said the "major red flag" in the survey is the gap between rich and poor, noting that she should have used it as a reason to ask Congress for an increase of the foreign aid budget, which is currently less than 1 percent.
"We are rich, and we don't share" is how she characterized the perception of the United States overseas. "We are powerful and selfish."
Asked about the main reasons for "liking" America, most international survey respondents pointed to its democratic values, the opportunities it offered, and its scientific and technological advances.
The survey also found that 54 percent of foreign opinion leaders and 40 percent of those in the Middle East said the battle against terrorism was worth the risk of destabilizing the governments of Muslim and Arab states supporting the anti-terror coalition.
Unlike the majority of U.S. respondents 70 percent who think Washington's support of Israel is a major source of resentment, fewer than 30 percent of the foreign participants share that opinion.
The survey reflects the views of political, media, cultural, business and government leaders. The interviews were conducted between Nov. 12 and Dec. 13.

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