27 February 2006

Iraq makes terror 'more likely'

Perception is reality.

Iraq makes terror 'more likely'
People across the world overwhelmingly believe the war in Iraq has increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks worldwide, a poll for the BBC reveals.
Some 60% of people in 35 countries surveyed believe this is the case, against just 12% who think terrorist attacks have become less likely.

In most countries, more people think removing Saddam Hussein was a mistake than think it was the right decision.

Some 41,856 people were questioned in the poll for the BBC's World Service.

In 20 countries, there is overall support for US-led forces to withdraw from Iraq in the next few months.

Only in nine of the remaining 15 countries do more people believe US-led forces should remain until the situation is stabilised. Six countries are divided.

The removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003 is seen as a mistake in 21 countries, compared with 11 countries where more people view it as the right decision. Three countries are divided.

"It's official. Citizens worldwide think Western leaders have made a fundamental mistake in their war on terror by invading Iraq," says Doug Miller, president of the international polling firm GlobeScan, which carried out the survey.

"Short of the Iraqi government asking them to stay longer, people think the troops should leave," he says.

The countries most eager for US coalition withdrawal are Argentina (80%), Egypt (76%), China (67%) and Brazil (67%). Those which favour troops staying for the time being are the US (58%), Afghanistan (58%), Australia (57%) and Great Britain (56%).

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