Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The World vs. Bush

U.S. sinking in the eyes of the world

In the footsteps of the criticism of Kerry's "many/foreign leaders" comment comes this new international poll showing that international opinion of America has fallen precipitously. Not even the salve of time has helped heal the wounds over the march to war in Iraq:

Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, said that in light of the time that has elapsed since the Iraq invasion, "we were expecting more positive attitudes" toward the United States than were revealed in a survey released in May. But distrust of U.S. motives and attitudes toward Americans are as bad or worse this time.

Support for foreign policy independent of U.S. hegemony is growing, even in England:

In Britain, favorable views of the United States dropped to 58 percent, down from 70 percent in May. For the first time, the poll showed a sizable majority of Britons (56 percent) joining the French and Germans in backing a European foreign policy developed apart from the United States.

Tony Blair has been railing against this idea for some time now, but his best buddy George is one of the primary motivators for this attitude. I wonder if Tony will ever understand that supporting America does not require supporting Bush.

And how is this helping our image in the middle east and in the fight on terror?

Overall, outside the United States, the survey found broad agreement that the war in Iraq had hurt, rather than helped, the fight against terrorism. And Osama bin Laden is viewed favorably by 65 percent of people in Pakistan, 55 percent in Jordan and 45 percent in Morocco.

Suicide bombing appears to be gaining legitimacy in much of the Middle East, Campbell said. Such attacks against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq were viewed as justified by 70 percent in Jordan, 66 percent in Morocco, 46 percent in Pakistan and 31 percent in Turkey. Larger majorities in Jordan and Morocco backed Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis.

bin Laden still probably wouldn't beat Bush in an election for President of Earth. But it would be a lot closer than we should be comfortable with.

Update: Alan Murray provides some of the more shocking numbers from this poll:

Are suicide bombings against Americans and Westerners in Iraq justified?
Country Yes No
Morocco 70% 24%
Jordan 66% 22%
Pakistan 46% 36%
 What’s your view of Osama bin Laden?
Country Favorable Unfavorable
Morocco 45% 42%
Jordan 55% 39%
Pakistan 65% 9%
 What’s your view of President Bush?
Country Favorable Unfavorable
Morocco 8% 90%
Jordan 3% 96%
Pakistan 7% 67%


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