Friday, June 24, 2005

Pew Poll

From RFE/RL, a report on a new poll by a private American research body, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The poll's findings seem to contradict Vice President Dick Cheney's confident reply, when asked about the impact of the Iraq war and the Guantanamo controversy on world opinion: "Does this hurt us from the standpoint of international opinion? I frankly don't think so."
The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, finds that America's reputation has suffered as a direct result of the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. conduct of that war, and the overall war on terrorism.

In fact, poll respondents in 11 of the 16 countries surveyed voiced one particularly surprising attitude, according to Andrew Kohut, the director of the Pew Center. "Perhaps one of the most striking findings in the survey is that China now has a better image among the publics -- European publics -- than does the United States," he said.

Kohut told a Washington news conference that his poll found that the image of the United States has not improved in the past two years in Western European countries, where there was significant opposition to the Iraq war. It also found that the opinion of America has remained poor in many Muslim countries included in the survey.

On a positive note, the survey found attitudes toward the United States were more favorable in the former Soviet bloc nations of Poland and Russia, as well as in India and Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Indonesia was the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid after the tsunami of 26 December.

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