Pariah Nation

From Holden:

The world despises America, primarily because of the illegal invasion and endless occupation of Iraq.

The presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is a greater threat to Mideast stability than the government in Iran, according to a poll of European and Muslim countries.

People in Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Russia rated America’s continuing involvement in Iraq a worse problem than Iran and its nuclear ambitions, according to polling by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Views of U.S. troops in Iraq were even more negative in countries like Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan.

America’s image rebounded in some countries last year after the U.S. offered aid to tsunami victims, but those gains have disappeared, the Pew poll found.

For example, 52% of Russians had a favorable view of the U.S. in 2005, but that slipped to 43% in 2006. In India, 71% had a favorable view and that slipped to 56% this year. In Spain, the favorable rating slipped from 41% last year to 23% this year.

In Indonesia, the percentage with a favorable view of the U.S. dropped from 38% to 30% this year. Fewer than a third of the people in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Turkey had a favorable view of the U.S.


The 15-nation poll also found:

  • Overall support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism has declined even among close allies. Support for the war on terror has dropped in Britain from 63% in 2004 to 49% now.

  • Favorable opinions of the United States continue to fall, with sharp declines in Spain, Turkey and India.

  • People in the United States and European countries are far more likely than those in Muslim countries to view the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections as a negative development.

  • Western European nations and predominantly Muslim nations have sharply different views on Iran, which the U.S. claims is developing nuclear weapons.

  • Majorities in 10 of 14 foreign countries — including Britain — say the Iraq war has made the world more dangerous.

  • Concern about global warming is low in China and United States, the two largest producers of greenhouse gases, while high elsewhere.