Thursday, February 11, 2016

World torture approval

The Buenos Aires Herald reports: Argentines have world’s lowest tolerance for torture. Three Latin American countries included in the survey, Argentina, Venezuela and Chile, had plenty of experience with torture in the 1970s and '80s -- often led by U.S.-trained military officers -- and have consciously put a distance between their current regimes and prior practices. It is good to see Indonesia, Russia and Ukraine in the same low-torture-approving cluster. Again, these are nations with all too much experience.

According to Pew, the “US public is among the most likely to consider torture justifiable: 58 percent say this, while only 37 percent disagree. There are only five nations in the survey where larger shares of the public believe torture against suspected terrorists can be justified: Uganda (78 percent), Lebanon (72 percent), Israel (62 percent), Kenya (62 percent) and Nigeria (61 percent).”

... support for torture within the United State is hardly uniform. The research centre found that “nearly three-in-four Republicans (73 percent) think torture can be justified against people suspected of terrorism, compared with just 58% of independents and 46 percent of Democrats. Similarly, 69 percent of conservatives say it can be justified, while 59 percent of moderates and 43 percent of liberals agree.”

Nonetheless the ideological divide is not unique to the United States. Pew wrote that “ideological divisions on this issue are not unique to the US. In all five Western European nations surveyed, people on the political right are more likely than those on the left to believe their government could be justified in using torture.”

We're both outliers, and not that unusual.

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