Jewish World Review Dec. 9, 2002 / 4 Teves, 5763

Dan Abrams

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The world's cynical view of America


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A new poll shows that even our friends seem to believe our government is essentially corrupt. Not just power hungry, imperialistic, pig headed or even vengeful, but corrupt.

In a new Pew Research Center poll, they asked about Iraq, "Which explains American use of force?"

(A), the U.S. believes Saddam is a threat or (B), the U.S. wants to control Iraqi oil. I was shocked by the numbers. In only Britain, was it even close.

Forty-five percent said it was Saddam, while 44 percent believed it was oil. In Germany, only 39 percent believed it was the threat Saddam poses. In France, only 21 percent, and in Russia, just 15 percent.

And I was surprised that only 67 percent of Americans believe the motive was legitimate. Twenty-two percent said it was about oil.

Look, to think this administration is moving hastily towards initiating a war with Iraq is one thing. That's a tough call and a legitimate question. But believing this administration is trigger-happy is very different from believing they're creating a straw man just to take control of Iraq's oil.

To those who ask, "Well, would we have even fought the Persian Gulf War in '91 were it not for oil?" I say, maybe not. But it's very different to protect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from an Iraqi invasion in part because of their economic significance, than it is to suggest that we would initiate a war to steal Iraq's oil.

I'll bet if Afghanistan was oil rich, the critics would have said the same thing about our effort there. These doubters aren't just saying the administration is wrong, but that they are essentially international thieves, regularly lying about just about everything when it comes to Iraq. I've seen nothing to suggest that is true.

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 6-7 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.

Up

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11/15/02: A close reading of Iraq's letter of acceptance makes it clear that Saddam will almost certainly refuse to live up to its terms
11/14/02: Al Jazeera: A state-sponsored mouth-piece
11/13/02: Should Moussaoui be sent to a military tribunal?
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