THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN
By Micah Halpern
Thursday August 28, 2008
A recent poll shows that 63 percent of Americans favor a military strike against Iran should diplomacy fail.
Sixty three percent, that's a whopping big number. It's an important number. It's a number that speaks not of an America that is fed up, tired or weary. It speaks of a spirited and vibrant America. And it's a number that shows that Americans are not gun shy, that Americans have not become weakened by the experience of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Americans do not like injustice, Americans do not like evil and Americans are not afraid of bullies. And for Americans, Iran is all of those.
But there's a problem with the results of this poll. The problem is that the people of America are not the government of America. Americans are not afraid, but the government of America is afraid, or at least, wary. The results of this survey come at a very important time, they come only days after the conclusion of the conflict between Russia and Georgia, a conflict during which the United States of America chose to stand on the sidelines rather than stand up for freedom and democracy.
Interestingly, this poll was commissioned by the Israel Project, an unabashedly pro Israel advocacy program in Washington DC - and proud of it.
To give this study credibility, and to guarantee objectivity, the Israel Project went to both Democratic and Republican pollsters and jointly they produced the study. On the Republican side the poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. On the Democratic side it was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. They also took the poll to Germany and Great Britain.
85 percent of Democrats and 97 percent of Republicans see Iran as a serious threat to the United States. That is about as close as one can get to a bi-partisan agreement on anything, let alone a call to war. These conclusions are enormously important for the presidential candidates. They are also important for those countries around the world who hoping to continue to receive infusions of support for their burgeoning democracies from the United States.
Right now, right when the results of this poll are being released countries like Israel and Georgia are trying to integrate the lessons learned during the conflict between Russia and Georgia. They are trying to understand the how could they and the why did they not of the American response. Now they have an answer, the American people will support them, even if the American government does not. They know it because 55 percent of the Americans polled said that they viewed positively a strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities.
They know it because they know that 57 percent of Americans actually understand Iran better than most American politicians do. 57 percent of those Americans polled responded that they believe that the reason the Iranians want to attain nuclear power and nuclear weapons is to maximize their own, personal, regional authority and world power.
Americans attribute an actual motive to Iran's nuclear pursuits. And they are not afraid to admit it.
Take heed, that is the American way.
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