While these words were not really uttered by Ms. Rice thus far in her trip to Germany, they may as well have been according to the latest polls.  They serve as a stark contrast with John F. Kennedy’s jelly donut remarks to an adoring German population in another generation.

I refer you to use the latest badly conducted two question Ipsos/AP poll(PDF).
A thousand people were polled in each of the following countries, United States, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.  The first question each person is asked is, “How do you feel about the use of torture against suspected terrorists to obtain information about terrorism activities?  Can that…?”

1 often be justified
2 sometimes be justified
3 rarely be justified
4 never be justified
5 not sure

This is followed up by the second question, “Would you support or oppose allowing the United States to secretly interrogate suspected terrorists in (country) to try to obtain information about terrorist activities?”

1 Support
2 Oppose

I feel that this is a terribly designed two question poll in that it first sets up the poll respondent in the mindset of addressing torture and then does the bait and switch of asking a follow-up question about “secret interrogations”.  The interesting but murky finding which will be all over the mainstream media and indeed has already surfaced in an AP and Washington Post article is that roughly two thirds (63%) of Americans support secret interrogations, and implicitly, torture, in their country, while across-the-board two thirds or better of the rest of the world does not.  In the responses to the first question, the US not differ very significantly in its distribution of opposition to torture from most other countries.

While I stand by my insistence that this is a very misleadingly designed poll, I am afraid that it does point out some very disturbing and stark differences between America and the rest of the world.  If you accept my hypothesis that most people are responding to a perceived follow-up question upon torture, this says that I am by far in a minority in America in my opposition to it.  If you reject my hypothesis and assume that all respondents clearly made a distinction between torture and secret interrogation, there is still a stark and disturbing difference of opinion between us and the world over “secret interrogation”, which I also do not support as it is in violation of our own Constitution.

There are other terrible flaws with this poll too numerous to mention here.  I hate to say it, however, but I think that it does effectively point out that my side is still effectively losing the war for the hearts, minds, and integrity of our fellow citizens, and RoveCo is winning the battle to redefine torture in this country.

0 0 votes
Article Rating