It is not unusual to hear those on the Right lament that foreigners hate America. But, they often seem to be confusing distaste for policies of the American government with enmity toward citizens of the United States. A series of international polls, soon to be released, say distrust of American leadership is increasing. Many people in other countries believe presidential candidate John Kerry offers the best hope for repairing our nation’s declining reputation.
News24.com has the details.
World seems to want Kerry
London – America’s reputation around the world is hurting, according to a series of co-ordinated polls published on Friday from 10 countries, including many of the United States’ closest allies.
In seven of the countries where the surveys commissioned by major newspapers were conducted, more people said their view of America had worsened over the past two to three years than improved. That question was asked in nine countries.
. . .And in eight out of 10 nations, those polled said often in landslide proportions that they hoped to see Democrat John Kerry beat US President George W Bush in next month’s election. Bush won backing from a majority of respondents only in Russia and Israel.
The polls were conducted in Canada, France, Britain, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Israel and Russia, with results to be published in the participating newspapers on Friday. Not all questions were asked in every country.
In all but two of the countries where people were surveyed, respondents said their opinion of the U.S. has worsened over the last two years. Israelis and South Koreans disagreed. Much of the rancor can be traced to the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq. Only 35 percent of those polled believe the invasion and occupation of Iraq will result in a decline in terrorism.
But, as I suspected, the disdain for America’s current leadership does not necessarily extend to Americans themselves. Sixty-eight percent of those responding view citizens of the U.S. positively. Perhaps they perceive us as captives to inept leadership we don’t deserve.
President Bush is fond of painting himself as indifferent about international approval. Indeed, he sounded scornful of the world opinion in the last debate with Kerry. The results of these polls remind us that his message has not gone unheard.
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