As a matter of fact, China is actually winning the world popularity contest in some of those unstable, terrorist-harboring regions. You know -- the China that imprisons and disappears dissidents, censors the Internet, pollutes its air, enslaves its workers, and is sort of repressive. Europeans now consider China, not the U.S., to be the dominant global economic power. And China itself is becoming less and less fond of the United States and the president.
The Pew Global Attitudes Project just released a report today showing that
Global approval of President Barack Obama’s policies has declined significantly since he first took office, while overall confidence in him and attitudes toward the U.S. have slipped modestly as a consequence.By contrast, a pretty shocking 62% of Americans polled are just fine with a president killing people overseas with drones. Probably because no other country has yet attacked us with drones, and because many of us are unfamiliar with the term "blowback." But it is only a matter of time. The unremitting bombing of civilians (aka "militants") in Yemen and Pakistan is only creating more terrorists where none otherwise would have existed. And when the relatives and friends of anonymous collateral damage do stage a revenge attack on American soil, you know what the official story will be: "They hate us for our freedoms."
Even though many think American economic clout is in relative decline, publics around the world continue to worry about how the U.S. uses its power – in particular its military power – in international affairs.
There remains a widespread perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally and does not consider the interests of other countries. In predominantly Muslim nations, American anti-terrorism efforts are still widely unpopular. And in nearly all countries, there is considerable opposition to a major component of the Obama administration’s anti-terrorism policy: drone strikes. In 17 of 20 countries, more than half disapprove of U.S. drone attacks targeting extremist leaders and groups in nations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Ironically, of all the countries surveyed, it is Greece that most despises the American drone program. Though not victims of predator bombs themselves, they are the victims of predator banks. It seems fitting that the birthplace of democracy only gives the Obama drone program a 5% approval rating. Sanity is alive and well somewhere in this world.