Monday, August 06, 2007

Who loves us?

Victor Davis Hanson reviews the recently released Pew Global Attitudes Poll. A lot of the results are not surprising - we are strongly disliked in Western Europe and the Middle East, and even in Kuwait which owes its existence to the US the poll found favorable/unfavorable at an ungrateful 46/46.

What's more interesting though is the United States' overwhelming popularity in Sub-Saharan Africa, Japan, India and South Korea (58/38! I should cut the SoKo's some slack...) and in parts of Central and Latin America. Even Chavez dominated Venezuela the US still gets 56/40 favorability.

Hanson's article is worth the time and so is skimming the Pew Report.

Hanson's best insight:

The more confident a nation is, even when poor, the more likely it seems to admire America. Some of our best supporters turn out to be one-billion person India (59 percent favorable rating), Japan (61 percent), and South Korea (58 percent) — all democratic, capitalist juggernauts, and appreciative of liberal American trade policy and U.S. military support. Again, should we Americans value the friendship of such democracies — or that of a China that cheats on international trade accords and intimidates its neighbors?

So it is encouraging to be admired by idealistic populations in Africa and Eastern Europe, and shown friendship by India and Japan. But perhaps it is equally to our credit that a bullying China and Russia, a dictatorial and intolerant Middle East, and smug nations of Western Europe seem to resent us, especially our support for democratic change abroad.

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