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#393480 --- 06/13/06 09:06 PM World-wide view of US more negative
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
U.S. image keeps deteriorating
By Brian Knowlton International Herald Tribune
WASHINGTON As the war in Iraq continues for a fourth year, the global image of America has slipped further, even among publics in countries closely allied with the United States, a new global opinion poll has found.
Favorable views of the United States dropped sharply over the past year in Spain, where only 23 percent now say they have a positive opinion, down from 41 percent in 2005, according to the survey, which was carried out in 15 nations this spring by the Pew Research Center. In Britain, Washington's closest ally in the Iraq war, positive views of America fell from 75 percent in 2002, before the war began, to 56 percent this year.
Other countries where positive views dropped significantly include India (56 percent, down from 71 percent since 2005); Russia (43 percent, down from 52 percent); and Indonesia (30 percent, down from 38 percent). In Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, only 12 percent said they held a favorable opinion, down from 23 percent last year.
Declines were less steep in France, Germany and Jordan, while people in China and Pakistan had a slightly more favorable image of the United States this year than last.
The ebbing of positive views of the United States coincides with a spike in feeling that the war in Iraq has made the world a more dangerous place. This perception was shared by majorities in 10 of the countries surveyed, including Britain, where 60 percent said the world had become more dangerous since Saddam Hussein's removal from power in 2003.
Over the past year, support for the U.S.-led fight against terrorism also declined again, Pew found. After a tumultuous year in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism is now backed by more than 50 percent only in Russia and India, while support has virtually collapsed in Japan, the poll found. In Spain, deeply affected by the March 2004 bombings in Madrid, a scant 2 in 10 people back the U.S.-led fight.
Pessimism about the future of Iraq was widespread. The polling, by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, was conducted in April and May this year - before the completion last week of the Iraqi government, or the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
All groups except Americans and Germans saw the U.S. presence in Iraq as posing a greater threat to world peace than the threat posed by Iran, which is pursuing a uranium enrichment program that the United States and other Western countries view as a prelude to developing its own nuclear weapons. Russians held that view by a 2-to-1 margin, and even the British did so by a narrow margin.
"Obviously, when you get many more people saying that the U.S. presence in Iraq is a threat to world peace as say that about Iran, it's a measure of how much Iraq is sapping good will to the United States," said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center.
But as leading powers seek ways to contain the Iranian nuclear program, the poll found strong majorities in Western Europe, Japan, and India sharing underlying U.S. concerns. The percentage of people in Britain, France, and Spain who view Tehran as a threat has roughly tripled in three years.
Pew surveyed 16,710 people in Britain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. The polling was conducted from March 31 to May 14.
There was considerable agreement on Iran. More than 9 in 10 Americans, Germans, Japanese and French opposed Iran acquiring nuclear arms.
By sizable margins, they deemed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad untrustworthy, and said that if Tehran had nuclear weapons it would be likely to share them with terrorists and to attack Israel. Only 1 in 25 Spanish respondents expressed a lot or some confidence in the Iranian leader.
The picture was different in Muslim countries: Pakistanis, who take great pride in their own nuclear program, narrowly favored Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and more than 40 percent in Egypt and Jordan agreed. Muslim publics believed that Iran would use a nuclear weapon for defensive purposes.
In other areas, too, regional differences emerged. The Japanese were more than twice as likely to see North Korea as a threat as they were Iran. But in China, which shares a border and economic ties with North Korea, only 1 in 10 saw Pyongyang as a threat.
Despite the toll taken by the Iraq war, Americans appeared to be paying less attention than others around the world to controversies the war has engendered.
While 3 in 4 Americans said they had heard reports of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, substantially more West Europeans and Japanese - 9 in 10 - had heard about them.
Awareness of global warming was uniformly high in the industrialized countries, but concern about its effects was sharpest in Japan and India, with two-thirds of those polled in both countries expressing great concern. Awareness was lowest in the countries that are the greatest emitters of the greenhouse gases linked to warming - China and the United States - and only 2 in 10 people in those countries said they were very concerned about the problem.
Awareness of bird flu was nearly universal. The greatest alarm over the spread of the disease was in Asia, where the avian epidemic began, and in Africa. Only one American in 10 was very worried, and European levels were similarly low.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, enjoys very high approval ratings not just at home - where 8 in 10 Germans support her - but in France, where nearly as many French do so.
And in a phenomenon troubling to Bush and his Republican supporters, war worries and high gasoline prices appear to be weighing on Americans' satisfaction ratings, even as many economic indicators have risen. While half of Americans expressed satisfaction with conditions at home in 2003, only 29 percent did so this year.

#393481 --- 06/14/06 10:28 PM Re: World-wide view of US more negative
justaxme Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 2351
Loc: On top?
I would like to be loved by everyone, but I would't want to live anywhere else. I have traveled to many other countries and I am not to impressed either!!
I'm Justaxme, and I approved this message.

#393482 --- 06/14/06 11:27 PM Re: World-wide view of US more negative
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
It is not about improving our social life.
Unfortunately, we cannot win the "War on Terror" without good intelligence. You get good intelligence from friends who have a reason to share with you. (Especially when we are dealing with fundamental Islamists who speak Arabic.) Bottomline, we need friends in the world if we are going to succeed.
Our present policies have lost us friends and created more enemies. We need new policies.

#393483 --- 06/15/06 05:29 PM Re: World-wide view of US more negative
BooBoo2 Offline

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 281
Retired Solider I agree with you 100%,~~~jump ahead to the Presidential wars coming in the near future.The dems. have been mentioning Hillary?The Bush machine is in the midst of a great pandering campaigne to lock up some key positions for Rep. control in the next elections.That feels like a no win situation for all. I think we are all in a great deal of trouble BooBoo2~~~~~30

#393484 --- 06/16/06 12:19 AM Re: World-wide view of US more negative
japh Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 4126
Loc: Out of my Mind
Get ready for 8 years of President Jeb.

#393485 --- 06/16/06 02:49 AM Re: World-wide view of US more negative
Rascal Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 17022
Loc: Brewerton, NY, USA
I think OBama will upset Giulliani next pres election.

#393486 --- 06/16/06 05:36 PM Re: World-wide view of US more negative
blogger Offline

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 410

The administration is seen as weak, distracted and drained over Iraq—and foreign leaders from Libya to China to Iran are taking advantage of it.

By Michael Hirsh
Updated: 6:27 p.m. ET June 15, 2006

America is viewed as weak at the moment, distracted and drained because of Iraq—and everybody out there is taking advantage of it. Too often, Americans tend to see other players on the international stage as merely part of the backdrop, conforming to our movements or remaining stationary while we get our act together. In fact, most of these world leaders are aggressive players in their own right who will push back, and hard, when they see softness. Like Libya, they are betting that George W. Bush is too out of resources and time to protest while they make a mockery of his agenda and his leadership.

Consider Bush's No. 1 agenda item for his second term: promoting democracy. Despite the good news out of Iraq in recent days, hopes for a flourishing democracy there have been reduced to hopes for minimal stability. Hopes for a democratically elected Palestinian partner have been reduced to a sense of helplessness while the new Hamas government resumes its policy of officially sanctioned terrorism. Not surprisingly, major Mideast players like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who appeared genuinely under pressure to democratize a year and a half ago, are gaming this situation mightily. Mubarak has jailed his main secular opponent, Ayman Nour, and no longer seems worried about U.S. threats to withhold aid dollars. Taking a page from the book of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, another U.S. ally, Mubarak is permitting the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood to campaign freely and organize protests. That creates a fear of Islamism in Egypt, which in turn allows Mubarak to blunt U.S. pressure for reform. And he's got allies back in Washington, which is worried about the rise of Islamism. "His strongest defenders are now in the U.S. intelligence and defense community," admits one senior U.S. official.