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The Perils of High Approval Ratings

A new poll shows that most citizens in the country express satisfaction with their government. Two out of three say the country is generally going in the right direction, though a plurality is dissatisfied with the economy. Half say they trust the government to do what is right most of the time. Two thirds express satisfaction with the country’s relations with the world as a whole. Large majorities approve of how the president is handling his job at home and his dealings with other countries.

This placid picture of a contented nation is very encouraging—for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs of Tehran, that is. These are actually findings from a recent poll of Iranians questioned on their feelings about their own country. Apparently, they could use a few more cable channels, but other than that everything’s hunky-dory. Furthermore, 64 percent of Iranians believe the U.S. purposely tries to humiliate the Islamic world.

If the poll (conducted by a pro-diplomacy group, no less) is even remotely accurate, then it would seem to render any hope of change from within Iran as beyond the realm of fantasy. Many thoughtful pundits have recommended President Bush appeal directly to the people of Iran in an effort to embolden them to stand-up against a government hellbent on acquiring proscribed nukes. But against numbers like these, Bush’s words would carry all the weight of a call to arms delivered in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.



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