The BBC has announced the results of a poll which has Israel, Iran, and the United States as having the most negative influence on the world. "The world" consists of 1,000 people each in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
The poll (PDF of results on the US) shows the world having a 32% positive/49% negative opinion of the US. 68% of respondents said the US military in the Middle East causes more conflicts rather than being a stabilizing force. Other issues upsetting the world are the Iraq War, global warming, and treatment of Guantanamo prisoners.
Several countries are remarkably pro-American: Philippines, Kenya, and Nigeria. Hungary and Poland are moderate in their opinions of the United States.
What can be made of this. In short: the bulk of the world hates (yes, I know the usage and emotion of the word) while select regions favor America. But why?
Well, the select African countries, including Nigeria with a large Muslim population, receive direct aid from the United States and know what life would be like without America. $34 billion dollars a year are given by PRIVATE aid groups in the United States alone. Approximately 25% of all economic activity is done in the United States. Without open trade and interaction laws the countries which need development the most with dive deep into depression. Ever been to the Caribbean and wonder what would happen to these places without tourism dollars?
But why is the United States hated? More people think the US has a worse impact than North Korea, whose monstrosities can be documented by even blogosphere, and China which is in the process of economically colonizing Africa and supporting dictators who oppose liberalization with brute force and genocide. In part it is due to the Soviet's propaganda machine which instead of directly trying to influence events created a self-sustaining Marxist subculture which seeks to destroy the establishment (United States and allied institutions) in the West. This subculture continues to live today even after the fall of communism and the fact that Communism killed more people than the Nazis ever dreamed of. The current war against Islamic Fascism has also lead to anti-Americanism. The pro-Islamists have adopted old socialist critiques of Western culture and tied it to Islamism. To paraphrase Ibn Warraq "Why do they hate us? ...Because they are taught to hate us!"
Catholicgauze tends to be dismayed at poll results like this. Before the US was in the Persian Gulf there were several wars of Iraqi expansion from the Iran-Iraq War to the Gulf War. The only time the US did not intervene afterwards was during the massacring of the Shia after the Gulf War. The US military is also absent in North Africa which is hardly a stable place with Darfur. One can think the US has made mistakes but before one says the US has the most negative impact on the world just think for a second. Where was "the world" during Rwanda, the Balkans, Iraq, Darfur, North Korea, et al?
What are your thoughts, readers?