Saturday, September 11, 2004

O. Henry on Polls

In view of the importance that is often given to polls when (and only when!) those polled voice dissatisfaction with Washington, US foreign policy, and America's leadership — notably in Thomas Crampton's International Herald Tribune article — it is perhaps not unnecessary to remember that September 11 also marks the birthday of O. Henry, the US short-story writer (William Sydney Porter, 1862-1910) who wrote that
A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.
What is funny (for want of a better word) to note in the poll, is that among the 35 countries in which a majority of the 34,330 people showed "an unusually low level of support for U.S. foreign policy", Iraq did not seem to be present… How odd…

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