MORE THAN 90 PERCENT of young people in Iraq consider the United States to be an enemy of their country, according to a new poll.
After years spent justifying the war as a “liberation” of the Iraqi people, the survey casts further doubt on the success of that endeavor.
The poll was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, a public relations and market research firm co-founded by controversial strategist Mark Penn, and was sponsored by a Dubai-based affiliate of Burson Marsteller, once described as “the PR firm for evil.” Still, the undertaking, as outlined by organizers, sounds ambitious. It included 250 face-to-face interviews in three Iraqi cities, plus another 3,250 interviews in 15 other countries throughout the Arab world, all with men and women ages 18-24 “selected to provide an accurate reflection of each nation’s geographic and socio-economic make-up.” It claims an error rate of plus or minus 1.65 percent.
The survey found that overwhelming majorities of young people in Iraq, Yemen, and the Palestinian Territories consider the U.S. to be an enemy. In Gulf Arab states, on the other hand, perceptions of the United States were far more positive. Roughly 85 percent of those living in the Gulf say that they consider the U.S. to be an ally, with another 66 percent expressing the same view in North Africa.