I remember when Arafat died, I thought (among other things), "good, maybe someone with some sense can finally step forward and lead the Palestinians to a peaceful resolution of their problems." Many Americans thought the same things. We saw Arafat as a terrorist and an arrogant bastard who condemned his people to the same mistakes and tragedies they had suffered from their leaders for the past 60 years. I couldn't understand why the Palestinians would follow such a man.
Well, apparently, much of the rest of the world feels very similar about our President and Americans' love affair of him. Only 3 countries out of 21 polled saw the world as safer with George Bush in office. The majority of the world believes America is a danger with Bush in office. How can G.W. stand a chance at building alliances with the rest of the world when foreigners see him as a danger to their own security? The answer is - he can't. This is what happens when you thumb your nose to the rest of the world as Bush has done. We are driving away those allies that we need the most. We have lost the sympathy of the nations who could stop the terrorists before they ever get to our borders.
You cannot convince me that our leaders have not made humongous diplomatic blunders when we go from being seen as "defending ourselves," to being seen as "the danger." Is the feelings of the rest of the world completely justified? No. We have the right and obligating to defend ourselves. But Bush cannot escape blame for a good part of the Anti-American sentiment that abounds.
Global Poll Shows Negative Reaction to Bush Win (Link)
By Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) - A majority of people surveyed in a global poll think the re-election of George Bush (news - web sites) has made the world more dangerous and many view Americans negatively as well, the BBC said Wednesday.
The survey by the British broadcaster showed that only three countries -- India, the Philippines and Poland -- out of 21 polled thought the world was safer following Bush's election win in November.
Bush will be inaugurated for his second term Thursday.
On average across all countries, 58 percent of the 22,000 surveyed said they believed Bush's re-election made the world more dangerous.
"This is quite a grim picture for the U.S.," said Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at America's University of Maryland.
The survey found that 56 percent of Americans thought Bush's win was good for the world with 39 percent disagreeing.
Traditional U.S. allies in western Europe, such as Britain (64 percent), France (75 percent), and Germany (77 percent), were among the most negative about Bush's re-election.
A majority in Italy (54 percent) and Australia (61 percent), which both have troops in Iraq (news - web sites), also thought his win had made the world more dangerous.
Anti-Bush sentiment was strongest in Turkey, with 82 percent thinking his win was bad for peace compared to just 6 percent in support. A large majority in Latin American countries, including 58 percent in close neighbor Mexico, were also negative.
Analysts said the poll had far-reaching implications, suggesting a serious rise in anti-U.S. feeling in general, with 42 percent saying it had made them feel worse about Americans compared to 25 percent who made it think more of them.
There was also overwhelming opposition to sending troops to Iraq, even among close allies such as Britain.
"Fully one in four British citizens say the Bush re-election has made them more opposed to sending troops to Iraq, resulting in a total of 63 per cent now opposed," said Doug Miller, president of GlobeScan which carried out the poll.
"Our research makes very clear that the re-election of President Bush (news - web sites) has further isolated America from the world."
The survey found that 47 percent of those questioned now see U.S. influence in the world as largely negative.
"Those saying the U.S. itself is having a clearly negative influence in the world still do not constitute a definitive world-wide majority, suggesting there may be some underlying openness to repairing relations with the U.S.," he said.
The survey was conducted between Nov. 15, 2004 and Jan. 5, 2005.