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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, December 05, 2002

The Jekyll and Hyde Report

Maybe this article should be presented on a split screen as a self-contained "Point-Counterpoint".

U.S. Culture Still Has Fans

WASHINGTON (AP) - In the eyes of much of the world, this is America: an inconsiderate lone wolf that has really good entertainment but really bad values, that wants war with Iraq just to get oil but still should remain as the only superpower on Earth.

In a broad international survey released Wednesday, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that the United States is falling out of favor in 19 of 27 countries where a trend could be identified.

... ill will toward the United States was also found in supposedly friendly nations like Canada, Britain and Germany.

"The biggest headline is the slipping image of the United States, not simply that we're not liked in the Muslim world," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "But there is still a great reserve of good will toward the United States."

...A generally favorable view of America is held in 35 of the 42 countries that took part in the survey. Among Russians, U.S. popularity has surged 24 points, from 37 percent two years ago to 61 percent today.

...Most of the people surveyed said they don't want the world to again have more than one superpower. Even in Russia, 53 percent said they believe the world is safer with just one.

In Germany, the percentage of people who hold a favorable view of the United States fell 17 points over two years. In 1999/2000, 78 percent of Germans considered the United States favorably, this year 61 percent.

Germany down, Russia up - the only thing I am sure of is that parts of this report will be trumpeted as depicting a disaster for US foreign policy. There does seem to be something here for everyone. As an aside, I suppose it is also true that, since his approval rating has slipped from the 90's to the 60's, Bush himself is "falling out of favor" in the US. Yet still he struggles on.

UPDATE: Good news, bad news.

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