US image worsens

This can only mean more tensions and more terrorism. It is the logical consequence of the irrational policies of the present US Administration and it is not a good thing. Madelaine Albright predicted it as well as many others who can see a bit farther than this government. The policies of the USA are raising international tensions unnecessarily.

Intentionally say some.
The question is whose intentions, the neo-con cabal or ObL?

You know, Sailor, if you try to link hate of America and terrorism to the US’s foreign policy, you’re just letting the terrorist win. The only response is to do the exact opposite of what all those angry people want! :rolleyes:


Most of these people would hate you no matter what the heck you did. It’s the price of power. You either live with it, or stand down and let someone else run the show.

  • Rune

Umm, since there’re such dramatic differences between the before and after numbers, don’t you suppose that the ‘no matter what the heck you did’ part is a bit strained?

Not 100% accurate. But interesting guesses noe the less.

Winston, the minimum one should do is stand up for principles. Nobody likes hypocrites.


Let’s try again:

Some people hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest. Which leads them to say really stupid things which go against all the evidence.

No, some of these people would hate the US no matter what. The rest have become disenfranchised during the last three years, for some reason.

Since a year ago, according to this excerpt from Gallup, only 27% of Indonesians had a favorable view of the US (30% unfavorable), as opposed to the claimed ‘61% favorable’, I seriously doubt the veracity of what the BBC is reporting, given their inability to check simple records.
Muslim nations will never hold America in a ‘favorable view’. Of the surveyed nations, only Turkey had a majority believe that it was Arabs behind the 9/11 attacks, and that seems to be within the margin. Overwhelmingly, they opposed our actions in Afghanistan. Et cetera. We would have to change our national policies in ridiculously radical ways to appease those who subside on state-approved propaganda and wild conspiracies. Ain’t gonna happen.

The muslim world pretty much hates all of the non-muslim world. Its one of their bylaws. :wink:

And if the more civilized, moderate muslim countries can’t plainly see that being a modern, civilized, democratic culture is more important than being a medieval, barbaric (but still muslim) culture, then they’re not as moderate as they appear.

What matters more is that the muslim world recognize (and fear) the power of America. And the Bush administration sees this.

Also, world opinion rose, even in Muslim countries, shortly after the WTC attacks, in sympathy. It’s not unexpected for that to be a short-term effect, no matter what happened with U.S. policies.

(I do think that U.S. policies have been rotten in the past two years…but the quoted polls might seem exaggerated by the ebbing of this artificial, one-time flood of good-will.)


Why does this remind me of december? Discredit the messenger and deny the message. The report was done by “A panel of experts chosen by the Bush administration”. “commissioned this time by the US administration” Do you dispute that? What exactly do you dispute and on what do you base your dispute?

Entitled “Changing Minds, Winning Peace”, the report finds that 15% of Indonesians now view the US favourably - down from 61% in 2002. In the spring of 2003, only 1% of Jordanians took a favourable view of the US compared with 25% in the summer of 2002. Do you dispute this? Do you dispute the panel commissioned by the US administration exists? Do you dispute they issued a report which contained those conclusions?

“One member of the panel, John Zogby, said America’s standing in the Muslim and Arab world could not get any worse than it was today.” Do you deny this actually happened? On what do you base it? Please present your arguments. As far as I am concerned the BBC has a much better reputation as a source than you do.

Zogby International is a well respected political survey research organization which has been commissioned by this Administration to do a number of surveys which have been published in the past and some have been discussed on this board. Here is their page about the one we are talking about now: They have published the BBC piece on their own site. I would interpret that as an endorsement.

John Zogby on whether the war in Iraq will permanently tarnish President Bush: It is “way too early to say ‘permanently tarnish’ and way too early to say that it will be forgotten. Where we stand right now, the president is in trouble. The president is in trouble because of the economy and insecurity and the president is in trouble because of the Iraq peace and the sense of a lack of stability in the region.”

And yet, opinion of Muslims (by Americans) remains stable. Amazing. Maybe its because bible thumpers aren’t out in front of state run Christian news organizations yelling “Death to Saudi Arabia” to a crowd of AK47 wielding loons looking for virgins in all the wrong places.

If the Reverend Al Sharpton was doing this you be shitting bricks from one end of this web site to another. And yet, when religious groups and news organizations feed this to the masses in Muslim countries…… NADA. ZIP. NEVER HAPPENED.

It does exist, it is happening, and it has a huge influence when it is the only game in town.

Well, U.S. mistakes in prosecuting the Iraq war are certainly some of it. With the benefit of hindsight it’s clear that in terms of the U.S. reputation in the short term it would have been better to have had a much larger invasion force to shrink the pool of people and weapons available to conduct the guerilla campaign now going on. It would have killed thousands more Iraqi civilians, but hey, can’t let our poll numbers slip over a little thing like that, right?

Another U.S. mistake is that we haven’t been getting our message out, that we are at war with terrorists, well enough. It’s been swamped by lies (see below).

Rather than fighting it effectively, the U.S. fed the lie by getting outfoxed diplomatically prior to the Iraq war. Rather than talking so much about the WMDs or even human rights, the U.S. should have said, “Iraq supports terrorists. We promised to bring down supporters of terrorists. We will bring down Iraq. QED. And to confirm what some governments fear, Iraq is not last if some governments don’t shape up.”

The lie itself, perhaps the biggest single contributor, is the one put forth by the terrorists we’re fighting and by a few Christian whackos and eagerly picked up on by press around the world – that we’re at war with Islam. Of course people are going to hate the U.S. if they think we’re at war with them.

So the question is how to overcome this. Clearly, surrendering the war on terrorism is out of the question. Nor are we going to abandon Israel, a big source of the “base” opposition from which the more recent numbers grew.

One way to start is to follow the recommendations by the panel Bush convened to explore this very question to get the U.S. point of view out there better. We have to do it correctly – no ad execs like we tried earlier, no BS, just better information about what we’re doing in the world and why. I’m not particularly optimistic about this one – the Bush adminstration has a secrecy fetish and a penchant for saying everything once and sitting silent when others emphasize some things over others, and a successful campaign will have to be open and complete and repetitive.

Another is to do a better job in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of reconstruction. Even given the continuing military challenges, restoration of basic services in Iraq has come too slowly, and the U.S. military should have been and should be much more aggressive about eliminating the last vestiges of the taliban in Afghanistan.

Speaking of Pakistan, we have to do a better job of honoring our promises. For example, about all President Musharraf wanted for his help in the Afghanistan campaign was a lousy trade deal on textiles, which Bush promised and then backed away from when faced with a little opposition in Congress. Bush has to either find a way to get his promises enacted or stop making them.

Finally (not really, but for purposes of this post), the U.S. has to stop supporting dictators. If we believe an important weapon against terrorism is democracy, we’ve got to stop buddying up with dictators in places like Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. That means coming to Liberia’s aid more quickly, speaking out more and more urgently about Mugabe, ceasing support for dictators simply because they have some natural resource we need and maybe even apologizing for having done so in the past. The cold war is over and we don’t need spots on the map to counteract the Soviets’ spots – we can now afford to be consistent in valuing human rights.

This ceratinty runs counter to my personal and anecdotal experience. Do you have any citations taht’d back this up?
manhattan, you raise some very relevant points in a cogent manner.

Only 1% of the population of Jordan has a favourable opinion of the USA, ouch.

Well at least the bright side is having hit rock bottom it can now only get better.

There’s always 0%… I wonder if that would affect the apologists at all? :frowning:

Hostility towards the US has reached “shocking” levels in the Muslim world, according to a report released in Washington.

Kind of plays right into Big Bad W’s hand doesn’t it? I discount ANY news that “comes out of Washington” as propaganda. If this survey was done by a source OUTSIDE of America, then I might lend an ear.

And of course, ALL muslims hate Americans. (What a brilliant statement that is.)

Your personal and anecdotal experience runs counter to mine but then we are probably talking apples and oranges.

I’ve never seen/heard anyone who personally blamed the religion of Islam for terrorism. That is different than acknowledging the Muslim connection to the events that culminated in 9/11.

From your perspective I found the following 2001 ABC pole:

** The percentage of Americans having an unfavorable view of Islam has jumped from 24 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent now.

The portion of Americans who say that Islam “doesn’t teach respect for other faiths” rose from 22 percent to 35 percent.

A total of 73 percent of Americans do not feel they have a good basic understanding of its beliefs and tenets, and that, too, has risen, from 61 percent last winter. This suggests that any additional information people have **

Given the nature of the attacks, I think the poll shows remarkable restrained.