Americans worry about their image in the world?


From the UK,John Heelan writes: "The International Herald Tribune report on a survey by Globescan Inc. of 34,330 people older than 15 in 32 countries world-wide states: ""If the world could cast a vote in the United States presidential election, John Kerry would beat George W. Bush by a landslide, according to a poll released on Wednesday that is described as the largest sample of global opinion on the race. "It is absolutely clear that John Kerry would win handily if the people of the world could vote," said Steve Kull, director of The Program on International Policy Attitudes of the University of Maryland, a co-sponsor of the survey. "It is rather striking that just one in five people surveyed around the world support the re-election of President Bush."

The most negative attitude toward the U.S. came from France, Germany and Mexico, where roughly 80 percent of those surveyed thought that the foreign policies of President Bush had made them feel worse about the United States. Most traditional U.S. allies came out strongly favoring Kerry, while only those polled in Nigeria, Poland and the Philippines preferred Bush. In Germany, France, Norway, Italy and the Netherlands, the portion polled as supporting Bush amounted to 14 percent or lower, while more than half in each country supported Kerry. In Britain, where Prime Minister Tony Blair has been the foreign leader most closely allied to U.S. policy in Iraq, those polled preferred Kerry by a margin of 30 percentage points. Of the 1,001 Britons polled by telephone across the country, 47 percent preferred Kerry, while 16 percent preferred Bush."
[ source: http://www.iht.com/articles/537873.html]

Perhaps an indication of the UK feeling is encapsulated in the following. This is the time of year in the UK that prospective undergraduates choose their university courses. The Independent of 31 August reports that a survey of 150 UK universities reveals that the demand for Middle Eastern studies is such that courses are overbooked and even suitably qualified students are being turned away while 28 universities report that they are having difficulty filling their American Studies courses. Falling demand has prompted five universities to close their American studies departments and other institutions have cut staff. Keele University which traditionally has had the highest-regarded American studies department has halved its staff. The Independent concludes that people are shying away from "courses that might label them pro-US in the wake of the war in Iraq". [Source: Independent 31 August 2004, p.16]. If this is true, it could imply that the next generation of the UK's university graduates are demonstrating their distrust of US foreign policies by refusing to undertake academic studies on the US. That cannot be good either for the US or the UK".

RH: Students' choice of areas to study is largely decided by what area is in the news. The choice of Middle East studies does not indicate any affection for the area, nor does the decline in American studies necessarily indicate dislike of the US. Incidentally, what does the panda say about "Just one in five people suppport the reelection of President Bush"?

John Heelan quoted a poll which said: " In Germany, France, Norway, Italy and the Netherlands, the portion polled as supporting Bush amounted to 14 percent or lower". From Paris, Carmen Negrin comments: "The "14% or lower support in Germany, France, Norway, Italy and the Netherlands" seems to coincide with the percentage of neonazis in those countries...In any case, it is obviously not good for the US to be so politically isolated from the rest of the world. The US had all the world's sympathy after 9/11, even from Castro! Now the feeling is that the US has promoted terrorism (and banditism) around the world. Thank you Bush!"

John Heelan quoted a worldwide poll showing that the immense majority of foreigners, notably the French, criticize Bush. Daryl DeBell writes: "This is very bad news for Kerry. The Republicans will undoubtedly use it to smear Kerry, the Frenchman, and gain the undecided votes". RH: Actually. the undecided are leaning toward Kerry.

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