The Canadian Press reported yesterday on a poll taken of world opinion about twelve different countries.
The survey for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service asked more than 28,000 people to rate 12 countries - Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the United States and Venezuela - as having a positive or negative influence on the world.
Israel was viewed negatively by 56 per cent of respondents and positively by 17 per cent; for Iran, the figures were 54 per cent and 18 per cent. The United States had the third-highest negative ranking, with 51 per cent citing it as a bad influence and 30 per cent as a good one. Next was North Korea, which was viewed negatively by 48 per cent and positively by 19 per cent.
Canada had the most positive rating in the survey of 28,389 people in 27 countries, with 54 per cent viewing it positively and 14 per cent negatively. It was followed by Japan and France.
Oh, please! Canada has the most positive influence on the world? Most of its energy on the world stage is spent making sure the other countries know it's not the same as the US.
If I had to choose, and wasn't allowed to pick the US, I'd probably go with Japan for all the lovely cars and toys (though I believe the iPod is a US invention).
"It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the pursuit of military power," said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, which conducted the research along with pollster GlobeScan.
"Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like France and Japan and the EU in general, tend to be viewed positively," he added.
"[C]ountries whose profile is marked by the pursuit of military power" really gets to me. And Israel is listed as the worst.
Let's see... Israel's military power is defensive. She's been attacked since the day she became a nation (under a UN directive, no less), and when she's not being attacked, she's being threatened with attack. But for Israel to have a strong military makes her the most negative nation in the world. Some people are just wilfully stupid.
It's encouraging that the US is viewed less negatively than Iran. I guess they didn't poll quite enough "Great Satan" believers to overcome Ahmadinejad's bad press.
America's "pursuit of military power" is not for selfish purposes. We have a responsibility--because we're just about the only country left that's willing to take that responsibility--to defend the defenseless against the aggressors. And our military power allows countries like France to ignore their own military defense, while they sit on their butts eating fromage and drinking wine and talking with disdain about American power and how great the French are for wanting peace.
Well, America wants peace too, but unlike the Europeasers, we understand that sometimes you have to beat the aggressors to a pulp before you can get real peace.
What would the world be without the "negative influence" of America? Let me refresh your memory with just a couple items:
Peter Brookes at Real Clear Politics
British group 18DoughtyStreet.com
God bless America!