Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 18, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

WORLD OPINION....I have to say that PIPA's periodic polls of world opinion fascinate me. It's not the overall results so much, which are often predictable, but because they always seem to have at least one weird outlier. Take this one, for example.

Basically, the question they're asking seems useless. I mean, how many people in other countries are going to say that the United States ought to be the preeminent world leader in anything? Conversely, how many are going to say that we ought to just withdraw from the world entirely? Hardly any, and that's what the poll mostly shows. Even Americans don't think we ought to be the world's preeminent problem solvers.

But then there are the outliers. Israel, I understand. Ditto for the Philippines and South Korea. But India? By a wide margin, Indians are more pro-American than any other country. When did that happen?

Conversely, the pro-America vote is only 1% in Argentina. When did Argentina become the most anti-American country in the world? Even the French and the Palestinians are more sympathetic to a leading role for the U.S. Weird.

On another subject, nearly all of the countries surveyed thought the United States pretty much ignored their interests when making foreign policy decisions. In one country, though, a remarkable 82% believe the United States routinely takes their interests into account. Can you guess which one it is?

The full report is here.

Kevin Drum 6:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (83)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Who chose the abbreviation for Palestinian Territories. It reads like Palestinian Terrorists. Maybe they could have edited that better.

Posted by: yep on April 18, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Israel, of course.

Posted by: shams on April 18, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Is the Argentinian view necessarily anti-American? Perhaps the Argentinian sentiment is: 'Do yourself a favor America and get out of this racket.'

I wonder if some of the variation has less to do with favorable/unfavorable views about the US than with different attitudes toward international problem-solving as such.

Posted by: J on April 18, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

I just wonder how well these polls are translated. As a statistics person, I know how sensitive surveys can be to simple changes in wording. Designing an instrument that measures the *same thing* across languages and across *cultures* must be excrutiating.

For instance, even in you translated "preeminent" accurately across languages, maybe "preeminent" was, say, a term used often by Pinochet propagandists in Argentina. Who knows, except perhaps experts in each country? Must be expensive to check these things... and therefore it probably doesn't happen

Posted by: gfw on April 18, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

its not hard to understand that "outsource heaven" india loves america

Posted by: mr. irony on April 18, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

When did Argentina become the most anti-American country in the world?

Remember that dirty war against its own people Argentina conducted in the Eighties? Argentines remember. Perhaps they also remember The US trained and advised Argentina's military during that time but dumped them when the Islas Malvinas War began.

I was taking a Latin American econmic development class back then, and some US Navy or Air Force aide to the US embassy in Argentina spoke to my class. He denied knowing anything about any dirty war in Argentina. I am having bad thoughts about him now.

Posted by: Brojo on April 18, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

What happened to polling from Japan?

Posted by: parrot on April 18, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I grew up in India and live in the US now - I'm willing to hazard a guess that what you see in this poll is the result of poor correction for sampling bias.

The attitude of young, cell phone carrying middle class folks is decidedly pro-US because they receive 100 times what they would have a generation ago due to the medical transcription, back office accounting, call center, outsourcing, Y2K etc booms of the past few years.

When polling across the country, it is difficult to reach a representative sample since the telecommunication infrastructure is terrible - with the exception of the cell phone network. Cell phones are used by people from a wide spectrum of economic backgrounds, but there is a heavy bias towards those with new found money. The polling outfit likely didn't correct for this. I know of commercial market research for products that has failed for this very reason.

Posted by: Guess on April 18, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

When did Argentina become the most anti-American country in the world?

Weren't there a lot of Nazis who fled to Argentina after America liberated Germany in WWII? That would explain a lot.
Al

Posted by: Real_Al on April 18, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Argentina is the only nation in the poll victimized by Operation Condor, in which allied military regimes executed each others dissidents, among other horrors. If Chile had been included, I would expect even lower numbers in support of US influence.

Posted by: Michael Barnas on April 18, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Real_Al: Weren't there a lot of Nazis who fled to Argentina after America liberated Germany in WWII?

That would be counter-balanced by the fact that a lot of others fled to the US as "rocket scientists".

Posted by: alex on April 18, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK
>But then there are the outliers. Israel, I understand. Ditto for the Philippines and South Korea. But India? By a wide margin, Indians are more pro-American than any other country. When did that happen?

The question is not more than tangentially about being "pro-American". That's the kind of moronic reading I'd expect from one of our brain-dead trolls, not our host. The question is about desiring the US to do the heavy lifting in international problem solving.

I suspect, in India's case, the question reads something like, "Do you wish that some global power would act to limit the regional influence of Pakistan and China?"

Whereas in Argentina, it probably reads quite differently.

Note that India is not particularly trusting of the US, if you look at the question on that.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 18, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Is Sebastian Holsclaw still around?

Posted by: gfw on April 18, 2007 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

India is fairly anti-Muslim, and the US is currently going after them.

Posted by: MonkeyBoy on April 18, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

This permanent injury to our reputation around the world is directly attributable to the arrogant, criminal idiocy of George W. Bush and his cronies. The truly sickening thing is how close Al Gore came to beating him. Just a few votes the other way and none of this would ever have happened. Right Brojo?

Posted by: Pat on April 18, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Not to mention, for all the help they've given us with Afghanistan, we've pretty consistently screwed over Pakistan in the past few years...

Posted by: arcseed on April 18, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

No surprise about Argentina - Central and South America have taken a pronounced left-turn in the last five years, with socialist leaders like Hugo Chavez and Lula being prominent examples. I doubt they are on Dubya's Christmas card list. Maybe overthrowing all of those governments down there wasn't such a swift idea after all, eh?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 18, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

In one country, though, a remarkable 82% believe the United States routinely takes their interests into account. Can you guess which one it is?

"Well, actually, he forgot Poland."

Maybe that's why the Poles tend to think that the U.S. doesn't take their views into account very much, if at all. So much for the Coalition of the Willing.

Posted by: josef on April 18, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Canada isn't among the nations surveyed. Why not?

The US's longest land border is with Canada.

Canada was until recently the US's largest trading partner, and is now second to China.

Canada is the US's largest supplier of oil and natural gas.

Seriously, why the complete blind spot in the US to its most important neighbor?

Posted by: Joe Canuck on April 18, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

India is fairly anti-Muslim, and the US is currently going after them. ---MonkeyBoy

Sadly enough, that was my first take on it too. And I am from India.

Posted by: ppk on April 18, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Canuck: Canada isn't among the nations surveyed. Why not?

Canada is a country? Who knew.

Posted by: The Ugly American on April 18, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly enough, that was my first take on it too

India has oe of the worlds largest Islamic populations. They are anti-terror. The primary motivation isn't Islam but economics followed by China.

China and India fought a war in the 60's and still have a border dispute. Since the Chinese reformed economically they've been blowing the doors off India in terms of wealth creation and defense spending. India finally started it's own reforms and is playing catch-up. They have a very large, well educated but under-employed middle class that speaks English. The USA is facing a dramatic labor shortage. It's a natural economic alliance for the worlds two largest democracies.

The stars are aligned.

Posted by: rdw on April 18, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Neither China nor Russia can approach Japanese technological and engineering excellence nor their proud military history.

History will be impressed."

Real historians remember December 7th 1941.

Posted by: Buford on April 18, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Canada is a country? Who knew.
Posted by: The Ugly American

Anybody care to make a more intelligent response? Or shall I take UA's answer as representative of American knowledge and interest in the rest of the world? Sadly, most of the time it seems to be, but I try to keep an open mind.

Posted by: Joe Canuck on April 18, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

By a wide margin, Indians are more pro-American than any other country. When did that happen?

One reason may be that India is one of the only countries in Asia that we've never bombed, invaded, subverted, or installed a strongman in -- unlike, say, the Koreas, China, the Philippines, most of Indochina, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, etc. It's never been the victim of our wicked, wicked ways....

Posted by: Stefan on April 18, 2007 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

The poll on page 8 shows that many more respondants see bilateral relations with the US improving as compared with the number who see them as worsening. It would appear that Bush is doing better than Clinton at building relations with other countries.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 18, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

It would appear that Bush is doing better than Clinton at building relations with other countries.

LOL! Thanks for the laugh. It's been a tough few days with the Tech thing. Nice of you to lighten the mood.

Posted by: Stefan on April 18, 2007 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Real historians remember December 7th 1941.

How about 1812? Remember, nations have permanent interests, not permanent friends. You do point out why the lack of coverage by the MSM was so critical in making the transition successful.

Few liberals have any idea the Japanese recently elected a new Prime Minister who ran on a promise to remove the chapter 9 restrictions in Japans constitution which limit the military. He won big and has a mandate to get it done. It took a great deal of politicing by the previous PM and very close ally of GWB, Kouzimi, to convince the Japanese people of the need for Japan to re-assert itself militarily. Of course the North Koreans were a big help here as well.

The fact is that while Japan has been a terrific ally and is now a mature wealthy democracy Liberals still think of Pearl Harbor. Had the MSM had a clue and wrote about it GWB may have encountered stiff resistance. He had a free ride. He was especially shrewd in not making a splash as his predessor certainly would have done.

Moreover Japan has become the 2nd largest contractor in developing the Star Wars system with the 1st operational land based site in Northern Japan as well as an active ship based system. 3 of the last 4 successful ship based tests were conducted on Japanese cruisers.

Just as with India the stars are aligned with Japan. They are a mature, wealthy democracy with shared regional interests. The USA has more in common today with India and Japan than with France and Germany.

GWB has been able to pull off this stunning realignment because of the lack of coverage of the MSM. Japan is a major investor in Star wars as well as a full partner. They have been involved in all phases from R&D to testing to deployment. France and Germany haven't been involved in any phase in any way. The fact is in a few years Japan and India will be major military powers. France will have little more thn a coast guard and border defense and the Germans less than that.

It's been a shrewd transition exceptionally well managed unnoticed by the press and the left.

Posted by: rdw on April 18, 2007 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Indian data is quite understandable inasmuch as almost 1% of Indian middle class has migrated to USA. As a result, almost all middle class families have a son or a daughter or a distant relative here. You don't even have to invoke the benefits of outsourcing to explain this statistic.

Posted by: gregor on April 18, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Japan is a major investor in Star wars as well as a full partner.

And soon they shall have their own Death Star....

Posted by: Stefan on April 18, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, why the complete blind spot in the US to its most important neighbor?

Frankly, we're all a little ashamed these days. It's been hard to look you in the eye....

Posted by: Stefan on April 18, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

And soon they shall have their own Death Star....

Do you think he even knows "Star Wars" is a term of derision?

Posted by: smedleybutler on April 18, 2007 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

. In one country, though, a remarkable 82% believe the United States routinely takes their interests into account. Can you guess which one it is?

Of course I could. I doubt neocon "ex-liberal" would want it know, but it's Israel, of course.

Posted by: Gregory on April 18, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin -- We backed the IMF in the Argentinian financial crisis. My daughter was an exchange student living with a blue collar family that year. People stopped being paid in real currency...they were paid in scrip, which was widely counterfeited and not always accepted for necessities even if authentic. Millions lost their jobs. Middle class people became rag pickers over night. Etc. You bet they don't like us.

Posted by: bemused on April 18, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

rdw's usually good for a laugh, but suddenly paranoid delusional psychotics with violent lurid fantasies and access to handguns don't seem so funny anymore....

Posted by: Stefan on April 18, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

rdw has magically "noticed" a seismic shift that the rest of the world is unaware of. Amazing.

That's right. We all forgot about that stupid nuclear agreement with India and snubbing Pakistan. We forgot about all our troops on Okinawa; or in S. Korea; the N. Korean missile launchs and nuclear test; the whole debate about the threat to Japan, and nuclear proliferation; and GW's inept diplomacy with with N. Korea. I do note you forgot to mention Taiwan. Or anything about the Middle East in your Project for the New American Century.

Stars aligned? As you said: "not permanent friends". So the whole of Europe and Africa not to say our own backyard, S. America, features not a jot.

Which is about in line with the idiots running this country's foreign policy.

This administration can't realistically visualize next week, let alone next year or a decade from now. Their only interest now is to line their pockets as best they can. Which is why your eyes gleam at the growth in China and India.

Don't expect them to be stupid enough to give any of it to you.

Posted by: notthere on April 18, 2007 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

[This thread isn't dead yet. Go away]

Posted by: rdw on April 18, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

In addition to Argentina being sick of right-wing US supported dictatorships, they also recently blew off the great powers' financial institutions that had turned Argentina to privitization, deregulation, and open borders, a recipe that increased poverty, destroyed domestic industry, and widened the gap between rich and poor.

Forget Democracy: as far as the current crop of Republicans are concerned, the Argentina plan is America's gift to the world.

Posted by: Boronx on April 18, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

It would appear that Bush is doing better than Clinton at building relations with other countries.

It would appear that "ex-liberal" is disingenuous as usual.

But then, it always does.

Posted by: Gregory on April 18, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

[You aren't hijackign any threads tonight]

Posted by: rdw on April 18, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I met an Argentinian once. He was shiftless and slovenly, always glomming off others and always hungry for sex. He was athiest, socialist and liberal. Everyone in the town agreed that he needed to go, and ultimately we were successful in forcing him out, making it clear that his kind wasn't wanted.

Posted by: egbert on April 18, 2007 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Why would I be "anti-American" if I suggested the US should not have a "preeminent" role in solving international problems? I like the US, why would I want to impose such a horrible burden?

Besides, I think if the US "does its share", it will still exert more influence than any other country.

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on April 18, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bravo, moderator. Bravo.

Posted by: Stefan on April 18, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

"How about 1812? Remember, nations have permanent interests, not permanent friends"

That is absolutely correct. Unfortunately it undermines your own argument.

There is an underlying and permanent Japanese interest in territorial expansion and establishment of an empire in the Pacific.

Their nationalism has not gone away despite the [current] trappings of a democratic electoral system. Remember they still haven't apologized for their agression in WWII... especially that directed against China and Korea.

They will soon be on the march again.

Posted by: buford on April 18, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Easy to explain: The poll was outsourced. The poll-takers were in India.

Posted by: bob on April 18, 2007 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting about these surveys isn't what other countries think about us, but that other countries think about us. Imagine what an inverse poll would look like -- polling American attitudes about a basket of countries. Most Americans wouldn't have much of an opinion at all about most other countries, because they don't know anything about them. They don't feel they have to. Other countries don't have that luxury -- and it is a luxury, one for which we pay dearly.

Posted by: Martin Gale on April 18, 2007 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

If you read the whole report, India doesn't seem that pro- American. They seem to think the US should take a primary role in the world but they don't trust us to act responsibly in that role. I visited India 18 months ago, and that was pretty much the impression I got. Everyone I talked seemed to think we are crazy and don't know what the hell we are doing, foreign policy-wise (and they usually didn't put it that politely). They were concerned that the only country that really could lead the world in a better direction was dropping the ball. And they were furious at our support of Pakistan. As for the anti-Muslim thing, I spent the whole time in the southern portion of the country, so what I heard may not be reflective of the country as a whole. But I noticed that the response depended on the question. If I asked "how do you feel about Muslims?" they would respond with "we like Muslims." If I asked "how do you feel about Pakistan?" they would respond with "Pakistan is evil, they support terrorism in our country and it's a crime that your country supports them." In general, I found that the Indian people have a more complex view of the world than Americans and I suspect that this survey may be too simplistic to really catch their opinions. But it doesn't seem completely wrong, either.

Posted by: fostert on April 18, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Martin --
I had to read your first sentence twice: what...that and it's getting late.

But I fear you're right. "Other countries" are where foreigners live and that's the end of it. I've heard a person seriously ask "how can these f*ckers who can't tell a knife from a fork hate us so much?"

Posted by: thersites on April 18, 2007 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that every night about this time Sebastian forgets to take his medication and goes into another tirade of violent threats. Such a great example of gun ownership. (See the most recent massacre thread.)

Posted by: Disputo on April 18, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, neither India, nor Indians are anti-Muslim. If that was someone's first thought, they are simply ignorant. Period. Of all nations in the world, India has either the second or third largest Muslim population (and a Muslim head-of-state).

Sampling bias is clearly an issue - most people surveyed probably have directly felt the material benefits of the (relatively) open market. I fear there is a real reason for the specific support though: many middle class Indians believe that India will become the joint 2nd rank superpower along with China with the US maintaining the top spot. Without the US remaining at that position it would be impossible for India to be a stable 2nd. This attitude is disastrous and would lead to more exploitation of resources and a wider gap between rich and poor, but explains a general support of continuing US hegemony.

Posted by: RS on April 18, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

India's pro-US cuz ppl want that nuclear deal.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on April 18, 2007 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I met an Argentinian once...He was...always...always hungry for sex. He was..in the town agreed...to go, and ultimately we were successful...making it...his kind...wanted.

Posted by: egbert on April 18, 2007 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

There. That makes more sense. With egbert you just have to read between the lines to get past that gruff, racist shell he wears.

Posted by: notthere on April 18, 2007 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Is Sebastian Holsclaw still around?

Posted by: gfw on April 18, 2007 at 7:44 PM


He's still around: now one of the frontpage commenters at Obsidian Wings .

Posted by: Jay C on April 18, 2007 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

I am from Argentina, and I am not surprised at the results of this poll. There has been resentment from the perceived US backing of both the military dictatorships and the British during the Malvinas/Falklands war. But, as a couple of commenters have pointed out, I think the real low level of confidence reflected in this poll stems from the economic disaster of 2001, which is widely blamed on the economic policies forced by the IMF and associated with US policy. There is no doubt some degree of wanting to blame someone else for Argentina's troubles, so it may be an unfair judgment, but that is without doubt the main reason for the paltry 1%.

Posted by: carlo on April 18, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, neither India, nor Indians are anti-Muslim. If that was someone's first thought, they are simply ignorant. Period. Of all nations in the world, India has either the second or third largest Muslim population (and a Muslim head-of-state).

India isn't anti-Muslim, certainly, for all the reasons you give. However, there are plenty of majority Hindu Indians who are indeed anti-Muslim.

Posted by: Disputo on April 18, 2007 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Carlo, thanks for making that point. Link the 2001 crash to the IMF austerity program and you get the 1%.

Why going searching for problems further back like the Condor program?

The economic fuckups of the Russian transition, the Asian financial crisis and the Argentinian bust are blamed on Wall Street and the WB/IMF nexus (as well they should be, as an insider like Stiglitz well attests).

And this wacky and criminally naive brand of neo-liberal voodoo economics is proudly named the Washington Consensus.

Has everyone forgotten this all already?

Posted by: floopmeister on April 19, 2007 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting about these surveys isn't what other countries think about us, but that other countries think about us. Imagine what an inverse poll would look like -- polling American attitudes about a basket of countries. Most Americans wouldn't have much of an opinion at all about most other countries, because they don't know anything about them. They don't feel they have to. Other countries don't have that luxury -- and it is a luxury, one for which we pay dearly.

Well, it's not exactly a fair comparison. Most educated people on the planet probably have opinions about the US, Russia, and China, and probably also Germany and Japan. Beyond that it would get sketchy. I have this discussion with my wife who is Chilean and sometimes gets put out that there is very little if ever any news about Chile in the US media (other than about Pinochet and we won't even get that anymore).

Here's what I tell her. What do you expect? Chile has a population of 16 million. That's smaller than the population of Florida. What does the average Chilean think of similarly sized countries with around 16 million like Cameroon, Kazakhstan or Syria? Anything, ever? I thought not. Fact is, few people anywhere on the planet really know that much about the rest of the world, especially smaller countries scattered around on other continents.

What does that mean or prove? Not much.

Posted by: Kent on April 19, 2007 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

Mods, you really have to check out the violent stuff that our resident gun nut, Sebastian, is spewing out on this thread:

http://www2.washingtonmonthly.com/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=11148

He currently appears to be trying to set someone else up.

Posted by: Disputo on April 19, 2007 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

notthere: "With egbert you just have to read between the lines to get past that gruff, racist shell he wears."

I've always pictured egbert as a malevolent-sounding -- but ultimately harmless -- pasty white pudgeball. Think of the Pillbury Doughboy with an anti-social attitude.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 19, 2007 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting about these surveys isn't what other countries think about us, but that other countries think about us. Imagine what an inverse poll would look like -- polling American attitudes about a basket of countries. Most Americans wouldn't have much of an opinion at all about most other countries, because they don't know anything about them. They don't feel they have to. Other countries don't have that luxury -- and it is a luxury, one for which we pay dearly.
Posted by: Martin Gale on April 18, 2007 at 10:38 PM

Yes, that would be interesting. However, I think that differentiating the results based on whether the Americans questioned could find the countries on a globe or not would be informative.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on April 19, 2007 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

buford writes:

Remember they still haven't apologized for their agression in WWII..

The problem isn't apologies - Japan has apologized many times. The problem is Japan chooses to whitewash their history books, and extreme nationalists go unchallenged in a supposedly democratic country.

Posted by: Andy on April 19, 2007 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

I lived 2 years in Argentina. Argentines feel pretty much fully culpable for the dirty war. The CIA helped, but Argentines are pretty adriot when it comes to toppling their own governments, thank you very much. (Favorite comment: "Otros paises participan in guerras. Nosotros participamos in revoluciones.")

When I left in 2000, people were getting more and more pissed off at the IMF. Lots of talk, lots of articles, lots of grafitti. In contrast to the dirty war, Argentines feel like they got screwed.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on April 19, 2007 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

-- Indians are more pro-American than any other country. When did that happen?

I would guess its thanks to Bill Gates pouring billions into education, health and IT infrastructure. They've done very well the last 10 years by his philanthropy. If I were Indian, I can’t imagine anyone else I’d want being a large international “Fixer”

America should do more of it.

Posted by: troll_bait on April 19, 2007 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

Buford:
There is an underlying and permanent Japanese interest in territorial expansion and establishment of an empire in the Pacific.

Real World:
Absolutely, but since the end of the war the interest has been in the creation of an economic empire, not a territorial empire. The reality is of course that they succeded too.

Buford:
Their nationalism has not gone away despite the [current] trappings of a democratic electoral system.

Real World:
There are, like in America more than a few politicians and commentators who are insanely right-wing. They are NOT representative of Japan or the Japanese.
They recently forced through rules in Tokyo forcing all teachers to stand and sign the Kimigaiyo in school assemblies. There has been a rolling battle between teachers and unions with the Tokyo government since then to have this rule thrown out.

Buford:
Remember they still haven't apologized for their agression in WWII... especially that directed against China and Korea.

Real World:
Bullshit, bollocks and claptrap.
On average the Prime Minister is forced to apologise for WWII at least once a quarter and each one of them has done this.
The people of Japan have put more money into Asia to help it develop and recover from all wars than any other nation. This has been done for both humanitarian as well as economic purposes. (The same reason as any other western country.)
The damage done to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos through the Franco/American neo-colonial war was repaired primarily through the use of Japanese funds.

Buford:
They will soon be on the march again.

Real World:
Life f**k they will. The youth of Japan find it hard enough to accept their parents "salaryman" mentality, let alone their grandparents enforced militaristic mentality.

Better trolls please!

Posted by: Bad Rabbit on April 19, 2007 at 5:44 AM | PERMALINK

Not to diminish America's many crimes in Latin America, but Argentinians pretty much despise everyone else in my experience. Which is why the rest of Latin America hates them back. And Argentina has certainly suffered far less from the effects of American involvement than have Chile, Colombia, Mexico (we took half their country away from them!), Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Cuba, and El Salvador. So don't cry for Argentina.

Posted by: vanya on April 19, 2007 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

The questions aren't useless. You may think you know the answers in advance but you don't. Whta's more, they set a baseline for tracking how the answers change over time and many of those numbers show deterioration.

Posted by: The Fool on April 19, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Buford, I see Bad Rabbit's already taken you to task. It constantly amazes me on this board such strong assertions given by people who well, don't know shit. What do I know though? I've only lived here a dozen or so years.

Is it an imperfect democracy? Oh absolutely. Far, far too much power is vested in the bureaucracy, city folks have about a quarter the voice of people in the countryside... I could go on. But at the level of local politics, the country is steadily evolving into more and more in a democratic direction. It's going in the right way. And despite the ascendancy of Abe-san, this is true at the national level. And note too despite Abe-san's rhetoric, he is actually keen to improve ties with China and Korea; China's head of state recently visited - something studiously avoided during Koizumi's tenure. And while things like Abe's denial of government involvement in the procuring of 'comfort women' piss me off no end, note here too the cry of voices (especially from Japanese historians) against this. Is history imperfectly taught? Yeah. Is this version of history swallowed by the people? By Japan's equivalent of Fox News viewers but then there are the books that decry this vision of history. IMHO the percentage of dumb-fuck nationalists here is far less than in the US.

And Bad Rabbit's comments on the younger generation are loudly seconded here but I'd take the ** out of fuck.

You need to drink deeper of the waters.

Posted by: snicker-snack on April 19, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

My son currently studies in Argentina. He's fluent in Spanish, has traveled broadly in Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world, he's met a lot of anti-Americanism, but never of the likes he's encountered in Argentina. He's no Pledge of Allegience fanatic, I assure you, so when he calls Argentinian Anti-Americanism "mostly mindless" he means it in a dispassionate sort of way. On the other hand, if you think about it, the Argentinians, mindless or not, have plenty of reason to despise us. What happened there in the 90s and why?

Posted by: david on April 19, 2007 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK


In one country, though, a remarkable 82% believe the United States routinely takes their interests into account. Can you guess which one it is?

Well, given Dubya's polling levels, it's clearly not the United States.

Posted by: cminus on April 19, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Saam hits the nail on the head when it comes to why Argentina, and really the rest of latin america, despises the Us. True, a lot of resentment is left over from the 20 years of war crimes, death squads and nun-rapping. But there's also a whole lot of resentment about the 90's and the promises of the so-called "washington consensus". People in the US largely don't know that our business's spent 10 years looting these countries under the guise of economic aid.

Posted by: soullite on April 19, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

You need to drink deeper of the waters.

You need to take a step back and see the broader changes. Japan IS re-emerging as a major military power now spending more than Germany, France AND the UK. Their technological edge is obvious. More important is they've moved dramatically closer to the USA militarily with major technology sharing agreements and full partnerships as we've seen with Star Wars.

The Japanese are well aware the UN can't protect them from China or North Korea and they know a liberal President of Clintons ilk would be unreliable. Their weak position became apparent when on a trip to China Clinton, under pressure from the Chinese, skipped over Japan without stopping for consultations. The diplomatic rebuke sent a clear message to the Japanese that they must defend themselves.

The work required to 'educate' the peaceful Japanese people on the nature of the new threats and the need to assume responsibility for their culture had been impressive. One does not change the conventional wisdom in a day. Kouzimi will be remembered as the Maggie Thatcher of modern Japan. Abe has the chance to be their Reagan. He will search for peace and get it through strength.

Japan will become the worlds 2nd most powerful military via advanced technology and dedicated, well-trained personnel. It will be the Japanese who defend Japan.

Posted by: rdw on April 19, 2007 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

India's pro-US cuz ppl want that nuclear deal.

Yes, having George W. Bush go to India and promise to personally excuse them from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and welcome them to the nuclear club is going to make Indians understandably enthusiastic about the U.S. being proactive in world affairs.

Posted by: Brittain33 on April 19, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

People in the US largely don't know that our business's spent 10 years looting these countries under the guise of economic aid

Because that tired old leftist marxist rhetoric has been so thoroughly discredited it's laughable. The people don't know about Argentina because there's no reason for them to know about Argentina. We have almost nothing to do with Argentina. They're so typical of these leftist countries who blame everyone else for their problems. They're not worth listening too.

The USA led by the WSJ had been arguing the IMF be disbanded for over 30 years. The WSJ led the effort to convince countries NOT to take IMF money because it would be an extended disaster. In fact, today only the desperate do so.

BTW: part of their problem is a massive guilt complex. At one point Argentina was a very wealthy country with top 5 per capita income. They turned left and now they're 50th and that's even suspect.

There is some good about the fact they hate us so. There's no reason to care. It simply doesn't matter.

Posted by: rdw on April 19, 2007 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

This is so ironic. Keeping up with the US bankrupting and felled the USSR. Now keeping up with the (imperialistic) vision in the mirror, OURSELVES....is bankrupting us. Won't somebody please take away the heady drafts of power? It's killing us.

Posted by: Stewart Dean on April 19, 2007 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

rdw is a vicious little bigot, as well as a delusional crackpot who lives in a cartoon comic book fantasy world constructed for the lunatic fringe of weak-minded ignorant fools by the right-wing extremist propaganda machine. There's no reason to care about any of the idiotic drivel that he posts here.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

[I'm not sure which one of you is worse.]

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

[Thread Killers Deleted]

Posted by: rdw on April 19, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

India has oe of the worlds largest Islamic populations. They are anti-terror. The primary motivation isn't Islam but economics followed by China.

I think this is an under-rated part of the question. It would be far more informative for poll-takers to list major countries and entities (India,China, the US, Japan, Brazil, Canada, the EU), and have poll responders rank the countries by desired influence. I think that, because of the current economic situation, many Indians read the question as "Would you like the US to have more influence than China in your country's affairs". The answer would be, emphatically, yes.

Other responders have pointed out that we have largely ignored India, except through recent trade. Nearby countries that we 'helped' more since WWII--Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia-- are probably not going to like us so much.

Posted by: Benjamin Jones on April 19, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK
...Japan will become the worlds 2nd most powerful... rightist dim wit at 9:31 AM
Japan? You mean China, correct? China will be the Asian superpower to which all others will kowtow, and will easily counter American attempts to dominate. Even Bush had to beg for forgiveness in order to get our spy plane back. Posted by: Mike on April 19, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if they will poll these populations to find out what they think would happen to the world if there was no USA?

Posted by: Dewey on April 19, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think you're gravely misinterpretting the meaning of this data. Just because someone doesn't think the United States should be going and throwing its weight around on international issues does not make someone "anti-American," any more than, say, me not wanting my neighbor to tell me how to my parent my children makes me "unneighborly." Likewise, wanting the U.S. to play a strong role in remote regional conflicts may not necessarily reflect a particularly "pro-American" attitude, but just a clear-eyed sense that America's pursuit of our own agenda may (perhaps simply as a byproduct) further that country's own agenda. That explains the India outlier, for example.

The really depressing note in this particular data is that the Palestinians seem to have completely given up on the United States as a broker for peace in the region. They think they'd be better off if we just got out of there. That means they have essentially lost all confidence that we have any intention of ever leaning on the Israelis to make some compromises so that peace can be reached. Now THAT is depressing.

Posted by: Nils on April 20, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Why Argentina? In 90's they followed all the IMF and World Bank's rules to become a rich country. The President Carlos Menen was proud of "carnal relationships" with the USA and ... they were bankrupted! Bush refused any help to them. They elected Kirchner. Carlos Menen was jailed. Kirchner got rid of FMI and World Bank and they have found their own way - that's the reason. Pinochet is Chilean.

Posted by: Alex Sampaio on April 20, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, having George W. Bush go to India and promise to personally excuse them from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and welcome them to the nuclear club is going to make Indians understandably enthusiastic about the U.S. being proactive in world affairs.

India has been in the nuclear club for 30 years, it doesn't need welcoming.

Posted by: Xofis on April 20, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly