It is a war on terror and a long one

YouGov, an innovative polling company in the UK, surveys people in Britain after the foiled airline terror plot and finds:

* 73 percent believe we are in a war on terror: “Do you think that the West is in a global war against Islamic terrorists who threaten our way of life, or do you think that Islamic terrorism is a regional problem that poses no real threat to the West?” A vast majority goes for option 1.

* But 79 percent say we are not winning the war on terror. (No way to know whether the first person plural refers to the UK or the West, of course.)

* 14 percent say that Britain “should continue to align herself closely with the USA” on foreign policy; 45 percent say it should be closer to the EU; 27 percent say neither. Before you analyze this to mean that we should have a nicer foreign policy so those nasty terrorists don’t get mad at us and kill us, see this: Only 12 percent said that Britain should “change its foreign policy in response to the terrorist threat” by being “softer/ more conciliatory.” 53 percent said it should be “tougher/ more aggressive.” I leave it to you to define tough.

* A majority — 55 percent — favor profiling:” Passenger profiling is a recent term used to describe the process of selecting passengers based on their background or appearance. Would you like to see ‘passenger profiling’ introduced?” Only 29 percent said no.

* 69 percent want to detain terror suspects without charges for up to 90 days (a new law allows that there but only for 28 days).

* Do they think that Britis politicians “generally exaggerate the terrorist threat?” A plurality — 49 percent — said no. 12 percent said yes “because they are ill informed themselves” and 23 percent said yes “and they know that the truth is not as they portray it.”

* Do they feel safer than they did before 9/11? A tie: 46 percent yes and an equal number no.

* 86 percent believe it is fairly or very likely Britain will suffer another terrorist attack in the next year.

* 50 percent believe British Muslims are moderate; 28 percent believe they are not; the rest don’t know.

* 60 percent believe attacks from al Qaeda will get worse.

* Finally, how long do they believe the “conflict against Islamic terrorists such as Al-Q’aeda” will last? Less than a year: zero. 1-2 years: 2 percent. 3-5 years: 4 percent. 5-10 years: 12 percent. 10-20 years: 16 percent. More than 20 years: 44 percent.

[via The Guardian]