Slightly more Americans say Egypt is a friend of the United States than say France is, with almost half saying France, a traditional U.S. ally, is not a friend.
The latest FOX News poll, conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation, finds that an overwhelming majority (90 percent) thinks Great Britain is a friend, followed by Israel (70 percent) and Turkey (52 percent) — the only countries to receive positive majorities.
Less than half of Americans think Germany (46 percent), Egypt (41 percent), France (38 percent) and Saudi Arabia (30 percent) are friends of the U.S. Furthermore, about equal numbers say Saudi Arabia (49 percent), France (47 percent), and Syria (46 percent) are not friends.
"It's clear from these data that France's actions, in particular on the NATO and U.N. fronts, have seriously damaged their standing with the American public. Time will tell whether they can regain their status as a real friend and ally of the U.S.," states Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.
At a time when the nation is engaging in a war on terrorism and facing a potential war with Iraq, many are taking note of which countries are supporting and which are opposing policies of the United States. This week, the Bush administration is looking to its allies as it tries to line up U.N. Security Council votes for the latest draft resolution on Iraq.
France and Germany have been outspoken opponents of military action against Iraq and instead have pushed for more time and inspections. Even so, only about one in five Americans thinks the United States should impose sanctions against France and Germany because of their opposition and even fewer (15 percent), say they have stopped purchasing French or German products.
More than three in four Americans (76 percent) believe if the 9/11 terrorist attacks had taken place in France or Germany instead of the United States, those countries would be more supportive of taking action against Iraq.
Support for military action against Iraq remains at about the same level it has been at for several weeks. Today, 71 percent support action (51 percent "strongly support") and 24 percent oppose (15 percent "strongly oppose"). This is the highest level of support for military action since early October 2002. The gender gap is nine percentage points, with 76 percent of men and 67 percent of women in support of action. In contrast, partisanship is strikingly evident with 91 percent of Republicans supporting military action compared to 56 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of independents.
There is less support for specifically eliminating Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. About four in 10 Americans think the United States should try to assassinate Saddam (48 percent say no). These numbers are down from a high of 55 percent in support of assassinating the Iraqi leader in June 2002. Recently, there has been speculation that President Bush might issue an Executive Order eliminating the ban on assassination imposed during the Ford administration.
If the United Nations does not enforce its existing resolutions that require Iraq to disarm, only 21 percent think resigning is the appropriate answer, while 37 percent think the United States should stop paying U.N. dues.
Increasing numbers rate the United Nations job performance negatively. Forty percent approve of the U.N. job performance and 42 percent disapprove, up from 33 percent disapproving last spring (April 2002).
President Bush's rating is higher than that of the United Nations, but it is obviously slipping. Today, 55 percent approve of the job he is doing as president, down from 59 percent a month ago and 65 percent in December 2002.
Celebrities Should Keep Quiet
Even though a strong majority thinks it is okay to criticize President Bush's position on Iraq (only 20 percent say it is "unpatriotic"), few Americans say they are interested in hearing the political opinions of Hollywood celebrities.
Many more people say they would prefer that celebrities keep their opinions to themselves (68 percent) than say they are interested in hearing what the stars have to say (24 percent). A celebrity’s stance on the issues is important to purchasing decisions for 19 percent, but most (76 percent) say they do not take this into consideration before buying an item or attending a performance.
Polling was conducted by telephone February 25-26, 2003 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of 3 percentage points. Results are of registered voters, unless otherwise noted. LV = likely voters.
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the job the United Nations is doing?
3. What do you think are the two most important issues for the federal government to address? (DO NOT READ)
4. Some people think the government is spending too much time and money on terrorism and military defense and that domestic issues such as education and Medicare are being neglected. Other people think the government must put the war on terrorism and the military ahead of domestic issues because nothing else matters if the country is unsafe. Which of these positions comes closer to your view?
5. – 12. Please tell me whether you think each of the following nations is a friend of the United States, or not? [ROTATE LIST] SCALE: 1. Is a friend of the United States 2. Is not a friend of the United States 3. (Depends on the issue) 4. (Don’t know)
Do you think the nation of Saudi Arabia is a friend of the United States or not? SCALE: 1. Yes, a friend 2. No, not a friend 3. (Not sure)
(14-15 Nov 01) The governments of both Saudi Arabia and Egypt claim to be friends of the United States and supportive in the war on terrorism. Do you think Saudi Arabia is truly a friend of the United States or not?
(14-15 Nov 01) What about Egypt -- is Egypt truly a friend of the United States?
13. Do you support or oppose U.S. military action to disarm Iraq and remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein? ADD: IS THAT STRONGLY (SUPPORT/OPPOSE) OR ONLY SOMEWHAT?
**Added wording: " . . . to disarm Iraq and . . ."
* Wording: " . . . action against Iraq and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein"
14. Do you think the United States should attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein?
15. Some people say that Americans who criticize President Bush and his position on Iraq are acting in an unpatriotic way. Other people say they are acting in an appropriate way by expressing their opinions through their right to free speech. Which of these positions is closer to your own?
16. Are you interested in hearing what Hollywood celebrities think about political issues or would you prefer celebrities keep their opinions on issues to themselves?
17. Do you take into consideration a celebrity’s position on political issues before purchasing their products or attending their performances?
18. If the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had taken place in Germany or France instead of the United States, do you think those countries would be more supportive of taking military action against Iraq?
19. Do you think the United States should impose sanctions against France and Germany for opposing the U.S. position on Iraq in the United Nations?
20. Have you stopped buying products that you know or believe are made in France or Germany?
21. If the United Nations fails to enforce its resolutions that require Iraq to give up weapons of mass destruction, do you think the United States should resign from the United Nations, or not?
22. If the United Nations fails to enforce its resolutions on Iraq, do you think the United States should stop paying dues to the United Nations, or not?
(22-23 Oct 02 LV) If Iraq violates the United Nations resolutions with regard to weapons of mass destruction, and the United Nations does not authorize military action to make Iraq comply, would you favor or oppose the United States taking the following steps.
23. Earlier this month Secretary of State Colin Powell made a presentation to the United Nations Security Council during which he provided additional evidence that Iraq is in violation of existing U.N. resolutions. Did you believe the evidence Powell presented to the United Nations, or not?
24. Do you support or oppose the United States using its superpower status to promote democracy around the world?
25. Some people say the United States and Britain should take action to disarm Saddam Hussein and remove him from power in the next few weeks. They say Iraq is building weapons of mass destruction and any delay will permit these weapons to be developed further. Other people say there is no concrete evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and inspectors should be given more time to uncover the facts. They say to attack now would leave us without UN approval and without the support of some of our traditional allies. Which of these two positions comes closer to your own?
26. Do you think removing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power will make the United States safer or less safe?
27. How likely do you think it is that another terrorist attack causing large numbers of American lives to be lost will happen in the near future? SCALE: 1. Very likely 2. Somewhat likely 3. Not very likely 4. Not likely at all 5. (Not sure)
28. How worried are you that future terrorist attacks might include the use of chemical or biological weapons?
SCALE: 1. Very worried 2. Somewhat worried 3. Not very worried 4. Not worried at all 5. (Not sure)
29. Do you believe Iraq is capable of sending remote-controlled planes, called drones, into the United States and using them to carry out a biological or chemical attack on the United States?
30. Would you say you are deliberately making an effort to be more aware of your surroundings and to look more closely at the people in your area these days, or not?