A Chicago-based poll shows that French and Palestinians agree on almost everything. Neither has much to say that’s good about America. However, we still have friends and plenty of people around the world believe we’re doing the best job possible in a very difficult world. Poland has good things to say about Americans. India is a friend. The Philippines often believes we’re doing a good job. Israeli’s appreciate our involvement.
However, the Axis of Evil and its allies (avowed and others who are less obviously allied with the Axis) come out time and time again against America’s foreign policy. It seems many countries want more Darfurs and can’t wait to convert to Islam.
Here are some interesting numbers from a poll published a couple of days ago. It was conducted by the The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and concentrated on America’s role in the world as it seems by people in other countries.
Majorities in only two places, Argentina and the Palestinian territories, say that the United States “should withdraw from most efforts to solve international problems.” The preferred view in all of the other places is that the United States “should do its share in efforts to solve international problems together with other countries.” Israelis and Palestinians differ sharply. A majority of Palestinians favor US disengagement (55%) from world problems while more than a third (36%) prefers cooperation. Israelis are more in line with most other countries in that 62 percent favor US cooperation in solving world problems (“should do its share in efforts”), but they also show the second highest level of support (after India) for the US taking the role of preeminent leader (24%, India is 34%).
Three-quarters or more of those polled in France (89%), Australia (80%), China (77%), Russia (76%), Peru (76%), the Palestinian territories (74%) and South Korea (73%) believe that the United States is “playing the role of world policeman more than it should be.” Seventy-six percent of Americans agree. Israelis are divided over this question: Forty-eight percent agree and forty-eight percent disagree. That, again, is the second most favorable view among the countries polled, but this time second not to India but rather to the Philippines. Fifty-seven percent of Filipinos reject the idea that the United States plays a police role too often.
“Does the United States have the responsibility to play the role of ‘world policeman,’ that is to fight violations of international law and aggression wherever they occur?” Palestinians (76%) are the most likely of the publics surveyed to answer that the United States does not have such a responsibility. The next most likely are Americans themselves. Three-quarters of Americans (75%) reject the idea that their country has a duty to enforce international law.
Can the United States be trusted to “act responsibly in the world?”
In 10 out of 15 countries the answer is no. In four countries, majorities or pluralities say the United States can be at least somewhat trusted. Filipinos (85%) are the most willing to trust the United States and half of them think the United States can be trusted a great deal (48%). However, the numbers from Israel are even more impressive: Eight in ten Israelis (81%) believe that America can be trusted, and Israelis are also the most willing to say the United States can be trusted a great deal. Actually, there’s a majority of Israelis believing it can (56%).
The answer to this question might explain the warm feelings of Israelis toward America. Israelis, say the pollsters, stand out as the only country where a strong majority (57%) says that the United States takes their interests into account a great deal while an additional 25 percent say that it does so somewhat. Thus a remarkable total of 82 percent of Israelis say that the United States takes their interests into account. A mere 14 percent disagree.
Twelve publics were asked whether the United States should have more, fewer or the same number of long-term bases overseas. Those most in favor of the United States at least maintaining its overseas military presence are Filipinos, Americans Israelis and Poles. Those most likely to support a decreased presence are Argentines, Palestinians, the French and the Chinese.
A majority of Israelis (59%) believe the United States should maintain a strong military presence overseas. Of these, 39 percent say the United States should keep its current number of bases and 20 percent say it should have more. Palestinians (and the French) are second only to Argentines in saying that the United States should reduce its military presence abroad (70%).
by Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz
posted by Shlomo Muslim, Ph.D.