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Tilting at Windmills

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April 19, 2010

AMERICA'S IMPROVED GLOBAL STANDING.... I've been keeping an eye on international attitudes towards the United States since the change in presidential administrations, and it's been encouraging to see America's standing rise after reaching embarrassing depths. It appears the trend is continuing.

Views of the US around the world have improved sharply over the past year, a BBC World Service poll suggests.

For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America's influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative.

The improved scores for the US coincided with Barack Obama becoming president, a BBC correspondent notes.

The international poll was conducted between November 2009 and February 2010, and surveyed nearly 30,000 people in 28 countries. It was conducted with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

Steven Kull, PIPA's director, noted, "After a year, it appears the 'Obama effect' is real."

This isn't the only recent survey showing the nation's standing improving. Gallup reported in February, "Perceptions of U.S. leadership worldwide improved significantly from 2008 to 2009. The U.S.-Global Leadership Project, a partnership between the Meridian International Center and Gallup, finds that a median of 51% of the world approves of the job performance of the current leadership of the U.S., up from a median of 34% in 2008."

In October, the Nation Brand Index survey found that the U.S. had reclaimed its position as the most admired country globally, up from seventh place in 2008. Similarly, in July, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found a vast improvement in international views of the United States since the president's election.

Obviously, international support can change, sometimes rapidly. But for those who hoped to see our stature improve after eight years of unpleasantness, it's heartening to see the United States' stature grow once again.

Steve Benen 11:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Comments

Dear Steve, This is terrible news. Everybody knows that we're only truly secure when everybody else in the world hates us. Sincerely, Richard Cheney

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on April 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Mr. LaBonne beat me to it.

For everyone on the right, "improved global standing" equals "Obama is a sellout to the anti-American UN, the weak effeminate Europeans and the Muslims who want to kill every Christian baby."

Posted by: Gummo on April 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the French and the rest of the EU has a good opinion of BHO's America. But why is this a good thing?

Posted by: Al on April 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Contrary to Mr. LaBonne's comment, I would argue that America would truly be safe if the whole world were to join forces and hunt down Dick Cheney.

Such a global-community-organizing "turkey shoot" wouldn't be bad for America's image, either....

Posted by: S. Waybright on April 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Snark aside, the sad fact is a lot of neoconservatives truly believe that if the rest of the world likes and respects us, we must be doing something wrong. To hear them tell it, only when we're seen as loose cannons, to be feared and not respected, are we truly safe. The fact that Obama is liked only reinforces the notion that he is weak, willing to bend over backwards to make the rest of the world love HIM - not us - st the expense of all that makes America great (whatever they think that is news cycle).

Posted by: slappy magoo on April 19, 2010 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

already late to the dance, but only a socialist/marxist/anti-semite/moooooslim/oneworlder,cheese eating, surrender weakling would be posting these kinda numbers...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on April 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

slappy magoo says: the sad fact is a lot of neoconservatives truly believe that if the rest of the world likes and respects us, we must be doing something wrong.

I think we liberals should learn from this, and should start assuming that if conservatives DON'T call us fascists, communists, baby-killers, anti-American, traitors, then we must be doing something wrong.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 19, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

There's nothing for me to do here.

Posted by: Myke K on April 19, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

I was listening to the BBCs report on this last night. They even called up a talkshow clown in Wisconsin to explain why respect from the rest of the world is a bad thing.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on April 19, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

How times have not changed. In the marvelous book by Gordon Woods, "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin", he writes of how John Adams and other founding fathers believed Franklin was too close to the French and, therefore, suspect. They failed to appreciate, if not for the efforts of Franklin in France, we would never have had the money and military support to win our war with England. Hard to believe that when Washington passed, eulogies poured in, but, Franklin's death only received one and it was of the "Oh yeah, well" variety.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the French and the rest of the EU has a good opinion of BHO's America. But why is this a good thing?

Why would it be considered a BAD thing? Those people are our allies and trading partners and two of them have nuclear arsenals. They are also wealthy, stable, rationally governed, and peaceful and democratic, for the most part. That's the kind of people you want on your side in any dispute or crisis.

Posted by: Midland on April 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously, the other countries of the world do not get Fox News.

Posted by: estamm on April 19, 2010 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

...when Washington passed, eulogies poured in, but, Franklin's death only received one and it was of the "Oh yeah, well" variety.

Of course, we have since given Franklin his due, literally valuing him 100 times over that fool Washington.

Posted by: doubtful on April 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

er, doubtful, eulogies should have poured in for both men as they were the two individuals most responsible for our success against England.

Franklin was looked down upon due to his working class background, which was not popular with the landed gentry and his long time spent away in both England and France.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

doubtful was engaging in some humor with currency, bert.

Posted by: shortstop on April 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, we have since given Franklin his due, literally valuing him 100 times over that fool Washington.
Posted by: doubtful on April 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Of course, that "promotion" means that most people *still* do not get much chance to see and appreciate Franklin. Unlike Washington, who seems to be with me all the time.

Posted by: exlibra on April 19, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I rarely see Washington, either. For some reason my wallet is full of bills featuring Barbara Bush. Whose dumb idea was that?

Posted by: shortstop on April 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I rarely see Washington..." If you wouldn't spend so much time "accosting" RepuG ladies and their daughters in boutiques in NOLA. One of them is still raging at right wing sites about "some bag lady" screaming and laughing hysterically at her.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

doubtful, touche - Great response which eluded my fevered brain.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Predictably, the wits here are all over the notion that improved global standing cuts no ice with the Republicans. If you're hated, it's because everyone fears you and is jealous of your freedoms. Being liked and admired is for sissies that are afraid of being respected.

Posted by: Mark on April 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

One of them is still raging at right wing sites about "some bag lady" screaming and laughing hysterically at her.

Hey, I never screamed. In fact, I never said a single word after she mentioned her towering admiration for the former half-term governor. I was laughing too hard.

Posted by: shortstop on April 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree about the way the world is now starting to see us once again in a more favorable light. It is important that America not just standout as a military power but also as a leader the world can trust.

Posted by: Michael on April 19, 2010 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

meanwhile, China is investing more in Canadian oil:

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/China_strikes_465_billion_oil_sands_deal_999.html

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 19, 2010 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

And yet, Obama is keeping a lot of Bush policy in effect...

This is just a cult of personailty thing based on the preference of Obama's less arrogant personailty of Bush's.

Posted by: J on April 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

I have a friend on the last leg of a Semester at Sea voyage. He reports that in every country they have visited, people wanted to talk with the students about Obama. The world loves America again, it can't hurt.

Posted by: Grammy Pat on April 19, 2010 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

"...only when we're seen as loose cannons, to be feared and not respected, are we truly safe." slappy magoo @ 11:29 AM.

Scratch a neo-con and find a bullied teen...

Posted by: Doug on April 19, 2010 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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