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International poll shows world is turning against Americans, not just President Bush

Published: Wednesday May 17, 2006

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In increasing numbers, people around the globe resent American power and wealth and reject specific actions like the occupation of Iraq and the campaign against democratically elected Palestinian leaders, in-depth international polling shows, (information-restricted) Newshouse News Service reports Wednesday. Excerpts:


...In the past, while Europeans, Asians and Arabs might have disliked American policies or specific U.S. leaders, they liked and admired Americans themselves. Polls now show an ominous turn. Majorities around the world think Americans are greedy, violent and rude, and fewer than half in countries like Poland, Spain, Canada, China and Russia think Americans are honest.

The dislike is accelerating among youths, Stokes said. For instance, 20 percent of Britons under age 30 have an unfavorable opinion of Americans, double the percentage of 2002. More than half of those asked in France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Britain said the "spread of American ideas and customs" was a "bad thing."

...Almost half of those polled in Britain, France and Germany dispute the whole concept of a global war on terrorism, and a majority of Europeans believe the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. More than two-thirds of Germans, French and Turks believe American leaders lied about the reasons for war and believe the United States is less trustworthy than it once was.

In Brazil, 52 percent held a favorable view of the United States in 2002; by the following year that had dropped to 34 percent. In Russia, the pro-America portion of the population dropped from 61 percent to 36 percent over a year.