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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Most Countries Don’t Want Us Protecting Persian Gulf Shipping Lanes

Anita Barnes
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 17, 2008

What the hell, international community? Here we go, using the politically-saleable term “offshore balancing” to propose an alternative to invading and occupying Middle East countries, where we do things like protect Persian Gulf shipping lanes with our Navy — you know, the sealanes from which Gulf oil is exported? The ones that are like the economic carotid artery of the planet? And now you don’t appreciate that, either.

Via Abu Aardvark, WorldPublicOpinion.org commissioned a poll on international attitudes toward U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf and found remarkable levels of global opposition. Energy-sucking Hong Kong is 59 percent against it. Taiwan, of all places, is 45 percent against it. The frigging Ukraine, which sometimes acts as if it wants to be the 51st state, is 56 percent against it. From their press release:

Majorities opposing US naval bases in the Gulf are highest in the Middle East: Egypt (91%) the Palestinian Territories (90%), Turkey (77%), Jordan (76%) and Azerbaijan (66%). The only countries where majorities say US naval bases in the Gulf are a good idea are the United States (70%), Nigeria (60%—including 54% of Nigerian Muslims), and Kenya (53%).

Interestingly, the question wasn’t polled in any Persian Gulf country besides Iran. So I asked the poll’s research director, Clay Ramsay, why that was, and he explained that his firm seeks partner polling-firms in each country that it would like to pose questions in, and for the current round of questioning — which are not given to the poll firms ahead of time — it wasn’t able to partner with polling firms in any Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

What about Iran? You may notice, if you click through the links, that you don’t actually get an Iranian breakdown on the question. That’s because the question wasn’t really asked the same way in Iran. Ramsay emailed me an April 2008 survey his partners conducted — it’s a PDF, viewable here — that shows 65 percent of Iranians wanting the U.S. out of the Persian Gulf. Not exactly the same thing but fairly similar. And unsurprising.

Still, this is pretty surprising overall. The U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf isn’t welcome to most people. Well, who’s stepping up to take over protection of the shipping lanes, hmm? Who wants to be globocop?

Anita Barnes | With over twenty years of professional experience in the design industry, I'm a web designer and front-end web developer. As a small business owner, I am familiar with the difficulties that come with running a business. One of those challenges is creating a strong online presence. One that not only represents your ever-changing brand and personality, but also appeals to your target audience. Throughout my web design career, I've built a distinct design style that emphasizes attention to detail. I assume that less is enough when it comes to design. You don't have to have all the bells and whistles only because you can. It's critical to figure out which elements are essential for getting your message through to your customers – and which ones are unnecessary. I'll assist you in sorting through the choices to see what works best for you.


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