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News ::
International Opinion Opposes U.S. Military Strike
21 Sep 2001
International public opinion opposes a massive U.S. military strike to retaliate for attacks on America by hijacked aircraft, according to a Gallup poll in 31 countries whose results were released Friday.
ZURICH, Switzerland (Reuters) - International public opinion opposes a massive U.S. military strike to retaliate for attacks on America by hijacked aircraft, according to a Gallup poll in 31 countries whose results were released Friday.

Only in Israel and the United States did a majority favor a military response against states shown to harbor terrorists, the survey found. People questioned elsewhere preferred to see suspected terrorists extradited and put on trial.

"Around 80 percent of Europeans and around 90 percent of South Americans favor extradition and a court verdict. By European comparison, calls for a tough military response were above average among the French (29 percent) and the Dutch (28 percent)," said Swiss polling firm Isopublic, which conducted the survey.

Seventy-seven percent of Israelis backed military action, while 54 percent of Americans were in favor, it said.

The surveys, which polled 16,231 people worldwide, were conducted from Monday to Wednesday, about a week after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington that left more than 6,000 people dead or missing.

U.S. officials have named Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect and have threatened military action if Afghanistan, where bin Laden lives, does not hand him over.

Clear majorities of between 70 and 80 percent supported limiting any strike to military rather than civilian targets, the survey found.

Asked if their own countries should support a U.S. military assault, people in NATO countries other than Greece tended to agree.

Four out of five Danes backed the idea, followed by 79 percent in Britain and 73 percent in France. Greeks were the least enthusiastic with only 29 percent, below 53 percent in Germany and 58 percent in Norway and Spain.

The survey was done in Argentina, Austria, Bosnia, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and Zimbabwe.
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