Confused World View

  1. I copied this article from the Associated Press. It shows how people around the world have mixed feelings they love us yet they hate us in the good old USA. (No surprise there). What do you think about some of the things that were brought up in this article???


    "WASHINGTON (AP) - In the eyes of much of the world, this is America:
    an inconsiderate lone wolf that has really good entertainment but really bad values, that wants war with Iraq just to get oil but still should remain as the only superpower on Earth.

    In a broad international survey released Wednesday, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that the United States is falling out of favor in 19 of 27 countries where a trend could be identified.

    The dislike was especially striking in Muslim countries. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed in Jordan had an unfavorable opinion of America, as did 69 percent of Egyptians and Pakistanis and 59 percent of Lebanese. In Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Senegal, Turkey and Lebanon, the vast majority said they oppose the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

    But ill will toward the United States was also found in supposedly friendly nations like Canada, Britain and Germany.

    "The biggest headline is the slipping image of the United States, not simply that we're not liked in the Muslim world," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "But there is still a great reserve of good will toward the United States."

    The surveys in 44 countries were conducted by established survey organizations in each country between July and October, with polls done by phone in eight of the most developed countries and face-to-face in the others. The error margins ranged from plus or minus 2 percentage points to 4.5 points, depending on the sample size.

    A generally favorable view of America is held in 35 of the 42 countries that took part in the survey. Among Russians, U.S. popularity has surged 24 points, from 37 percent two years ago to 61 percent today. Similarly, 77 percent of Nigerians and 85 percent of Uzbeks had pro-U.S. views, up 31 percent and 29 percent respectively.

    The most common criticisms of the United States are that it acts by itself, it pushes policies that widen the gap between rich and poor nations, and it doesn't do enough to solve the world's problems.

    Americans don't necessarily agree.

    Seventy-five percent of Americans polled said U.S. foreign policy is considerate of others. But next door, only 25 percent of Canadians said America is a considerate world citizen.

    Perhaps surprisingly, U.S. foreign policy was deemed considerate by 53 percent of respondents in Germany, a harsh critic of President Bush (news - web sites)'s position on Iraq.

    World citizens admire American technology and culture, but not the spread of U.S. ideas and customs; 54 percent of Canadians, 67 percent of Germans, 71 percent of the French and 84 percent of Egyptians said it would be bad to spread American ideas and customs.

    But Canadians-77 percent of them-also said they like American music, movies and TV. It was much the same for Venezuela (78 percent), Poland (70 percent), Japan (74 percent), Ivory Coast (84 percent) and Great Britain (76 percent).

    Madeleine Albright (news - web sites), secretary of state during the Clinton administration and chair of the Pew survey, said the fact that the United States is the world's only superpower may have led to the results.

    "In many ways, we are viewed as the rich guy living on the hill," Albright said. "We have seen this coming since the end of the Cold War."

    Most of the people surveyed said they don't want the world to again have more than one superpower. Even in Russia, 53 percent said they believe the world is safer with just one.

    In Germany, the percentage of people who hold a favorable view of the United States fell 17 points over two years. In 1999/2000, 78 percent of Germans considered the United States favorably, this year 61 percent.

    In Turkey, which is being actively courted for help in a possible war with Iraq, pro-U.S. views dropped from 52 percent to 30 percent.

    Sentiments were similar in Argentina, where 34 percent saw the United States in a good light, compared to 50 percent two years ago. In Indonesia and the Slovak Republic, favorable ratings fell 14 points. ...

    Only 22 percent of Americans said oil is the United States' real motive for pursuing war with Iraq, but 44 percent of the British, 75 percent of the French, 54 percent of Germans and 76 percent of Russians held that view... "

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  2. 142 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    The most common criticisms of the United States are that it acts by itself, it pushes policies that widen the gap between rich and poor nations, and it doesn't do enough to solve the world's problems

    That article was fascinating to read, but this quote above struck me. I guess this falls in line with the same premise that "I" as a rich, childless, homeowner, deemed "well-off" by someone else's standards, should contribute more, do more, spread my wealth simply because I have it, and act for everyone else's interest all the time and forget my own.

    I don't agree with that.

    What more can we, or I, do, to solve either my next door neighbor's poverty or starving Afghanistan without jeopardizing my own well-being? How much more can I give? And how fair is it for someone else to determine how well-off and capable you are? What if their preceptions are wrong or based on false information?

    It almost reminds me of my extremely well-off, millionaire uncle. He used to be generous, but then over time, due to his wealth, was constantly taken advantage of, lied to, and stolen from. So now he has a skeptic's view on things, and constantly feel someone is out to get his money. Perhaps the US feels this way as well. Who knows?
    Last edit by Susy K on Dec 5, '02
  4. by   kittyw
    Yea, they have such a poor opinion of us - we don't do what they want us to do ... but then in the same breath they'll take our money without even a thank you.
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    I really don't care what they think. Americans are way too obsessed with being well-liked.
  6. by   llg
    I'm not sure what I think. I worry (but not to the point of obsession) about the instability in the world and I lament our apparent inability to do much about it other than kill people. If we were more popular, we would be more likely to be able to influence world events and help things stabilize without having to kill people.

    On the other hand, I don't disagree with any of the previous posts.

    llg
  7. by   maureeno
    sorrowfully, I don't think the US much cares what the rest of the world thinks.
  8. by   Tweety
    Sorryfully, most Americans don't care about what each other thinks. Just look who we treat each other. In traffic, in the hospital, in line at the grocery store.

    Never mind what the rest of the world thinks.

    I think during times as these when we have to take an aggressive stance our "approval" rating drops. But it sure wasn't that way while they were waiting for us to intervene in WWII or the billions we gave Europe during the Marshall plan.

    It comes and goes.

    Fact is it is a small world and we need to care about our global neighbors and work with them.
  9. by   Aussienurse2
    I don't know and don't jump down my neck, but maybe the world is growing a little cynical about the way the states promotes itself. On one hand giving to poverty stricken countries, on the other inforcing poverty( American big business is the driving force behind globalization). The statements of not tolerating terrorism but supplying terrorists with weapons. On every street corner of every town across the world we have Americanisms pushed down our throats. Not that this is always a bad thing but if America put as much effort into, say, the space program, we would probably be on the way to colonising the moon by now.
    Instead it gets involved in foreign policy, trying to enforce democratic rule onto countries that have never had it and don't want it. They support leaders in other countries, giving them money and backup and it always fails and then they want to say "It's not our fault"
    America is a young country and has a lot to learn, it's kind of like a twenty year old, full of enthusiasm and guts but no experiance to draw on, trying to tell an eighty year old that what he's been doing all his life is wrong and he has to change, now. America is seen as an optomistic country but not all that aware of it's failings. To me it's a little scary, lots of gungho, gun totin' weirdos.(Too much T.V. ya think?) Through here though I guess I've learnt that while they're out there, there are a lot of normal types too. May be I'll suck up enough courage to vist one day, gotta have a drink with ya'll!


    BTW: I don't have much but what I have I'll give to you so that you and I can live together and know that when we're in need we have each other to count on.- My lifelong philosophy, it works for me.
    Last edit by Aussienurse2 on Dec 6, '02
  10. by   Q.
    I thought this was worthy of mentioning:

    Currently I work in probably THE most culturally diverse environment I can think of. I work at a Medical College, and my coworkers are from India, China, Greece and Palestine. I have 8 co-workers; 5 are from the above mentioned countries; the rest of us are American. They are here on either work or educational visas. They are chemists, microbiologists and forensic scientists.

    When asked about their world view of America, and given the opportunity to read the posted article from the AP, they disagreed with it. Most of them are returning home over the holidays or have recently returned from a trip back home - and they feel that generally the educated, respected members of their country don't feel America is "bossy." They respect America for it's opportunities and ways of life. While there are some legitimate criticisms of our way of life, as we could easily criticise theirs, they don't believe it to be enough to warrant trying to change OUR ideals to accomodate the world. They also aren't convinced the "world" feels that way, especially the developed nations.

    As with any poll, it depends on who you ask.

    Interesting, anyway.
  11. by   Furball
    The world would be better off if USSR won the cold war???? We're not perfect but we sure beat the competition....geesh!

    Countries who repress half their population (female) have the nerve to whine about their anemic economies. Our economy would be weak too if women didn't work, pay taxes, CONTRIBUTE to their countries' well-being. Duh!
  12. by   Furball
    Sorry,
    a tad cranky here.

    I agree with the used wealthy uncle analogy posted before. seems to really fit.


    And the cat turned blue.........
  13. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Furball
    Countries who repress half their population (female) have the nerve to whine about their anemic economies. Our economy would be weak too if women didn't work, pay taxes, CONTRIBUTE to their countries' well-being. Duh!

    :chuckle
    I found that very funny, and very true all at the same time. Awesome Furball!
  14. by   Furball
    So simple isn't it? Can you imagine the USA if women couldn't drive, work, and only be able to acquire a stunted education if any at all. Where would we be?

    Thanks for the compliment Suzy K

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