June 8, 2004
I found this article/poll from CNN both astounding and humorous.Out of some 15,000 polled Saudis, nearly half had favorable views of Osama bin Laden. And that was taken after recent bombings in Saudi Arabia!That's the astounding part. What I found humorous was that some 41% favored strong relationships with America, while only 39% had favorable views of the Saudi armed forces.To me, these views seem to be either somewhat contradictive, or just very black and white -- with half liking America and the other half not.I also found it a bit odd that while half agree with bin Laden's sermons, less than a third agree with militant clerics. That has me a bit bewildered. Isn't bin Laden a militant cleric?
Posted by charr at 9:03 PM
Based on my personal experiences over there, I don't think polling results could be considered even remotely accurate. People there will say one thing and think something entirely opposite. It also depends on where and who they polled. If you polled Americans on whether they were pro/anti Saudi what do you think the results would reveal?
I know any poll can be fickle, but when you have a sample size of 15000, and a margin of error of +- 3% (as they claim), you've got to express what people are thinking. However, if they truly don't say what they're thinking, then I can see the innate problem.
Then, of course, there's the possibility that the people they polled had been paid to say one thing or another. That's a common occurence in the Middle East - even some of those riots or rallies you see in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, those people may not actually believe what they're crying out. Rather, it was just one of the first chances they had to feed their families, so they're taking the money and doing as they're told.