Day By Day

Saturday, February 07, 2009

They Don't Like Us, They Don't Like Us!

Hey, I thought that electing Obama would change world opinion toward us. We could hold our heads high, be loved and accepted among the community of nations, and all that rot.

Well, sorry to say, it didn't work. Electing Obama has not changed world opinion much at all. We are still widely hated. BBC did a global poll and found that:
Views of the US showed improvements in Canada, Egypt, Ghana, India, Italy and Japan. But far more countries have predominantly negative views of America (12), than predominantly positive views (6). Most Europeans show little change and views of the US in Russia and China have grown more negative.
Read the whole thing here.

So what can we conclude?

First, "world opinion" doesn't exist. Opinions vary from place to place depending upon local and regional conditions.

Second, the opinions of foreigners are not driven by American domestic politics. It doesn't matter much who we elect, foreign opinions are not going to change greatly.

Finally, opinions regarding the United States are driven to some extent by the national interests of the country being polled. China gets frisky, Japan and India draw closer to the United States. The Russian bear begins to growl and its neighbors begin to seek American involvement in their countries.