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June 4, 2003 10:47 AM   Subscribe

Unprecedented victories for Republican foreign policy. A new survey from Pew Global shows that in the past 2 years the Muslim world has been further alienated from the US, Europe wants to be more independent of the US, and the UN's reputation has been dramatically weakened. The Cliff notes. A wide variety of other interesting results are in the complete report.
posted by badstone (38 comments total)

 
E.g. - anyone have a good explanation for the 31% increase in "Favorable View of U.S." amongst Nigerians, especially in light of the declines in virtually every other nation?
posted by badstone at 10:48 AM on June 4, 2003


"virtually" every other nation? how about a 24 point increase in russia, and a 1 point increase in france? anyway, this is last year.

also, the fact that some people disagree with you doesn't make you wrong. Argentina is the only country in that chart with a figure beneath 50%.
posted by techgnollogic at 10:57 AM on June 4, 2003


The rest of the world? Pah. They're just jealous of our might and our wealth. Those attitudes will fall into line when the boys from the 101st come calling.
posted by troutfishing at 10:58 AM on June 4, 2003


"the fact that some people disagree with you doesn't make you wrong."

Totally. And the fact that some people agree with you doesn't make you right. But the fact that the whole world is scared of you might indicate something.

I find the UN numbers interesting -- America is mad at the UN for hamstringing its plans. The rest of the world is mad at the UN for not stopping America. All told, I think the UN did what it was supposed to do (disallow a unilateral superpower to take over the world), America just didn't care.
posted by jragon at 11:04 AM on June 4, 2003


Besides, as any good psychologist will tell you, while the human need for a certain amount of self-validation is certainly healthy, overdependance on the opinions of others can indicate an underlying pathology. So there.
posted by troutfishing at 11:06 AM on June 4, 2003


Ah, good ole ideology. I can't wait until we're all dead and the historians get a crack at this one.

"So these guys, they made all of their crazy ideas pbulic before they got power, and people still believed the lies used to justify them as timely and responsive?"

Man, what a sorry state we are in when a small group of individuals can "insider trade" to dominate the marketplace of ideas.

SHAMELESS SELF-LINK: Last night I started putting together a PNAC Primer, aimed at lay people (i.e., probably not most mefites who are in the know). Right now, only the players link works on the first page. AGAIN, SELF-LINK!

(And I know that is two in two days. No more cheesiness, I promise.)
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:09 AM on June 4, 2003


What is it in the last couple weeks where people who don't like the results of statistics try to attack the credibility of not merely those specific statistics, but of all statistics in general?

Is it that our brains have latched on to the idea of declaring war on a concept? Firt we destroy terrorism, then we destroy statistics?
posted by Hildago at 11:12 AM on June 4, 2003


How is the whole world scared of the US if every country except Argintina on that list has a higher than 50% favorable rating?
posted by techgnollogic at 11:22 AM on June 4, 2003


Are you sure that's the right report? The last link is to a report which I remembered reading in the past, and the headline at the top says it was released on Dec 4, 2002.
posted by cell divide at 11:25 AM on June 4, 2003


I'm not attacking statistics. I'm attacking the implied assumption that a declining world favorability rating automatically means the US should change what it's doing.

The first paragraph of the sfgate article: A new survey says residents of some predominantly Muslim countries think highly of Osama bin Laden and give low marks to the United States. That doesn't mean Osama is right and George is wrong.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2003


OK, it looks like you did have a typo in the URL. The real report you meant to link is here
posted by cell divide at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2003


Doh! Thanks cell divide. My comments actually apply more to the news articles and commentary I've read this morning, which tend to draw from both reports - starting with the more recent one, then referring back to the older one that made such a big splash.
posted by badstone at 11:33 AM on June 4, 2003


Bush’s “foreign policy is, ‘Get out of my way or I’ll see you after school in the parking lot.’ We’re the most feared country in the world, but we’re not the most respected, and that’s something we have to change.”
-- Howard Dean
posted by matteo at 11:38 AM on June 4, 2003


Without going into naming country by country, please note that Africa, just getting some 10 billions of American money to fight AIDS seems to have accepted themoney; Japan and Korea could but don't demand that our troops stop protecting them' Egypt continues to accept our 2 billion in money as a gift each year; China would collapse tomorrow without our huge buying of goodies they produce for us etc etc As for the Muslim stat4es: name one other than our close new friend Quatar with Muslim majority that is not fucked up--ecomomically and without any sort of standard of education and run by dictators or kings?
I am sure everyone disliked the Ottomans, the Spaniards, the Portugese, the Brits, the French when they dominated large parts of the world. What was the Roman empire like without Rome?
posted by Postroad at 11:47 AM on June 4, 2003


while the human need for a certain amount of self-validation is certainly healthy, overdependance on the opinions of others can indicate an underlying pathology. So there.

Maybe I'm misreading you, but in this context that sentence seems to say that if you rely on statistics you may be insane.
posted by Hildago at 11:49 AM on June 4, 2003


Bear in mind most of the people who may have ranked bin Laden as the leader are uneducated, war weary peasants.

Most people in China think SARS is a biological weapon unleashed by the US onto Asia, so they continue to eat tree cats.

US popularity is low, but to use these polls as foreign policy dialogue is ridiculous.
posted by four panels at 11:55 AM on June 4, 2003


Hey Saddam got 100% of the vote. Popularity isn't everything.
posted by quercus at 12:04 PM on June 4, 2003


Those silly, uneducated foreigners. How dare they claim to have an opinion on American foreign policy? If they were smart, like us educated folk here in the U.S., maybe they'd stop eating so many cats, and get on board with the Bush administration!
posted by vraxoin at 12:08 PM on June 4, 2003


What is it in the last couple weeks where people who don't like the results of statistics try to attack the credibility of not merely those specific statistics, but of all statistics in general?

Who in this thread was attacking the statistics? I see people differing on how to interpret them, but I don't see anyone claiming that the numbers were made up.
posted by jsonic at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2003


"Two years from now only the Brits may be with us ... At some point, we may be the only ones left. That's okay with me. We are America." -- George W. Bush, quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War
posted by argybarg at 1:00 PM on June 4, 2003


Hidalgo - That was a deeply black joke on my part. I just couldn't resist plugging American psychobabble into the context of foreign relations. But I still may be insane.

Postroad - To answer your question - We don't have a clue what the ancient world would have been like without Rome. Better? Worse? Who knows. But to address what we have better knowledge of: Yes, many countries around the world are clients to the U.S. - for protection. So they "need" us. Sure, but we (the US that is) also stoke world conflicts in our capacity as the #1 weapons retailer on the planet.

We make money selling arms and this, in turn, fuels arms races and thus international tensions - and so we then also then guarantee the loyalty of those client states which rely on the US for protection. A great racket, this.

And we buy lots of goods from the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, we run a 200+ billion dollar deficit in our balance of trade payments each year. How can we keep on doing this? I don't really know.

If foreign investors were to pull all their money out of the U.S. stock market and out of Government bonds, the U.S. economy would collapse (as would the world economy also); We need the rest of the world, and it needs us.

Additionally, there is the issue of the rather pitifull dependence of the U.S. on foreign oil [which the Bush adminstration seems to have chosen to address through an active program of invasions and also a general buildup of U.S. military bases in the northwest Asia region] which we refuse to deal with by actually investing in alternate energy sources.

Meanwhile, I have heard that the Jordanian economic liberalization policy (partnered with Israeli investors) is going very well. No, Jordan is not a democracy but, then, neither is the U.S. (in strict terms).

I might also remind you that the U.S. now has both the largest prison population in the world and ALSO the highest rate of incarceration as a percentage of it's population. [ BBC story ]

The U.S. gives less in foreign aid, as a percentage of it's GNP, than any of the wealthy industrialized nations of the world, and the aid it gives tends to have more conditions attached than that of other donors.
posted by troutfishing at 1:03 PM on June 4, 2003


Who in this thread was attacking the statistics? I see people differing on how to interpret them, but I don't see anyone claiming that the numbers were made up.

Another close reading may be required on your part. I didn't say anyone was attacking the statistics, I said troutfishing was attacking statistics in general, which I find rather disturbing. He says it was a joke, so that's fine. Were your ridiculous diatribes the other day jokes too?
posted by Hildago at 2:44 PM on June 4, 2003


Asked about their confidence in world leaders to do the right thing, Palestinians ranked the al-Qaida leader first. Bin Laden came in second in Jordan, Morocco and Pakistan.

It doesn't surprise me that Muslim nations feel threatened by the U.S. It's reasonable for them to feel that way. But this Bush vs. bin Laden dichotomy alarms me no end.
posted by orange swan at 2:51 PM on June 4, 2003


Japan and Korea could but don't demand that our troops stop protecting them

I seem to recall that Japan's constitution (and the treaty they signed following their surrender in WWII) specifically prohibits them from forming a standing army (WikiPedia Link). Obviously, Japan could ask us to leave, and amend their constitution to allow a standing army again, but I don't think they really want to, nor does it benefit US foriegn policy in any way if they do.

Yes, we have troops stationed around the world, often at the request of the host government, and yes, we protected Western Europe from the communist threat for fifty years. And Western Europe was extremely grateful that we provided the troops so they didn't have to. What many people who complain (and lament the lack of gratitude) about the current state of affairs forget is that the US had and has an interest in Europe's demilitarization.

In short, both Europe and the US saw stationing US troops throughout Europe as preferable to another European military build up and possible third world war. And both sides have benefitted from the arrangement.

As far as statistics go, I happen to think statistics can be very useful things, when used correctly (which remembers their inherent limitations), and lord knows I've twisted numbers in my time, and, well, I thought trout's pyschobabble was amusing.
posted by infinity-bound at 3:17 PM on June 4, 2003


Were your ridiculous diatribes the other day jokes too?

I didn't realize it was 'ridiculous' to be against stereotyping. Hate on, bro.
posted by jsonic at 6:48 PM on June 4, 2003


(And I know that is two in two days. No more cheesiness, I promise.)

Ignatius J. Reilly, I think you'll find that it's generally considered fine to self-link in-thread, if it's germane to the topic at hand. Self-link posts to the front page are the Big No-No.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:45 PM on June 4, 2003


Whoops - "(And I know that is two in two days. No more cheesiness, I promise)" was meant to be italicized to indicate quoting.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:46 PM on June 4, 2003


stavrosthewonderchicken :

To not italicize is worse than stealng. You are worse than the Nazis, who also stole.

Is nothing sacred?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:47 PM on June 4, 2003


Another thread on the US alienating the Muslim world. Well how about the Muslim world alienating the US with it's support and promotion of Islamofascism.

Alienation goes both ways.

I can almost see you whining 60 years ago that the US may be alienating Nazi Germany.

Oh my, how horrible.
posted by Beholder at 9:54 PM on June 4, 2003


IJR sets up a joke pastiching the desperate smears of the truly unhinged, and Beholder in blissful unwittingness steps in on cue to become the punchline. Life works out perfectly sometimes.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:12 AM on June 5, 2003


I can almost see you whining 60 years ago that Nazi Germany may be alienating the US.

Fixed for historical accuracy.
posted by fnord_prefect at 1:00 AM on June 5, 2003


IJR sets up a joke pastiching the desperate smears of the truly unhinged.

Actually, I would use the word unhinged to describe the extreme left so often represented in the America is hated by the Muslim world rhetoric, so clearly we have different views.

Plus, why should I be desperate. It's the anti war anti US side that has completely lost all credibility, and seems to have little influence in keeping the US from defending itself.
posted by Beholder at 1:17 AM on June 5, 2003


Beholder, you are either the biggest fool or the worst troll I've ever seen.

IF anti-war = anti-US THEN war = US. Thus, if the world wished to eliminate war, the world would merely have to eliminate the US. QED, jackass.
posted by fnord_prefect at 1:24 AM on June 5, 2003


Beholder,

I think Bush & Co. are the ones who've "completely lost all credibility." The anti-war people didn't sell a war (in which thousands of innocent people and over a hundred of our own troops) based on either a) faulty intelligence or b) blatant lies.

Also, only assholes make the assumption that every single anti-war person is anti-American. If that's the extent of the neocon argument against the reasons for not going to war, then it's pretty damned shallow.
posted by drstrangelove at 6:21 AM on June 5, 2003


Troutfishing-

Not to assail your other arguments, I'm wondering if the "Pax Romana" couldn't reasonably be thought to have allowed development of arts, letters, architecture, law, etc. that would not likely have otherwise occurred due to the inevitable conflicts of smaller nation-states that would have drained thier resources and energies in small scale conflicts & squabbles. Wouldn't that give us a clue?
posted by Pressed Rat at 7:01 AM on June 5, 2003


Pressed Rat --

That the Pax Romana would have brought a measure of peace and stability to the barbarian tribes of Western Europe might be a reasonable assumption to make, but what of Carthage, Egypt and the other Mediterranean civilizations? The Pax Romana was built upon the foundation of a slave state, and the development of arts and literature was only encouraged amongst the relatively small class of nobility and freemen ... could there possibly have been a greater dispersion of knowledge if the world were split into multiple empires that minimized conflicts through a balance of power?
posted by bl1nk at 7:46 AM on June 5, 2003


Pressed Rat (one of my favorite Mefi names, BTW) - You could be right. But as bl1nk points out, maybe not.

Another angle to think about too: Greek classical culture was more cultural fertile and more democratic than Roman culture and, since the U.S.' founding fathers drew on both cultures as they shaped American government it is not surprising that there is a Greek/Roman values tension inherent in American culture and government.

The Roman tendency loves order, centralized state power, and military virtues. The Greek tendency loves Democracy, diversity, and reasoned discourse.

Roman values are now on the rise in the U.S.
posted by troutfishing at 9:30 AM on June 5, 2003


It's the anti war anti US side that has completely lost all credibility, and seems to have little influence in keeping the US from defending itself.

er...from Iraq? you're either a right wing robot or have a very poor opinion of the military.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:36 PM on June 5, 2003


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