25 January, 2007

New BBC Poll on Perceptions of America

The BBC World Service surveyed people in 25 countries, including the UAE, on their view of America. The whole report is here (pdf, 1.7 MB), the summary is here (pdf, 220 KB).

Unsurprisingly, both the overall and the UAE view of the US was negative:

   
Mostly Mostly Depends Neither Don't Know
Positive Negative
Overall 31 50 9 4 6
UAE 25 57 16 2 1


They also asked about the US's handling of Iraq, Iran's nuclear program, North Korea's nuclear program, last summer's war in Lebanon, the treatment of detainees, global warming, and whether the US is a stabilizing or destabilizing force in the Middle East. It would have been interesting to have included the US handling of Darfur in the list too, but no such luck.

The BBC's analyst says that the message is "Listen more", so here is your chance to talk to at least one American who is listening.

15 comments:

blogrosh said...

Hmmmm - that is harsh? I don't think the United States deserves such negativity - Iraq war and GWB not withstanding.

I mean there is a lot of positive from America, shouldn't we look at both the good & the bad?

Anyhooooo my two cents.

tariq from sharja said...

anyway, america isn't going to go away just because people like it or not.i have already accepted it for what it is,good or bad.

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

America, just like anywhere else, does indeed include good and bad. I agree blogrosh.

Its just that in the here and now, the bad far outweighs the good. at least in people's perceptions.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is...if America is so "bad", then why do so many people want to move there/get educated there/work there/flee there/trade there/use the technology developed there etc.?

There is such a double standard with the world involving their "perceptions" of America. If the world at large really hated America so much, it would be a ghost town. As it is, they can not control the huge influx of immigration that they have, and there are not enough resources to handle the exponentially expanding population of immigrants.

Where would the world be today without America and its influence and its open door policy? I think that "people" just need something to complain about. It seems to be human nature to have to hate somebody....and America always seems to get dumped on for everything. Good thing it doesn't bother them.

Brn said...

anon:

It is funny that you bring that up, since I had just written about that very question a couple of hours ago.

I think (though I could be wrong) that you are confusing disliking the America government's policies and disliking America itself. I have met plenty of people here to don't like the Iraq war or the treatment of detainees, etc, but who still dream of living in America.

John B. Chilton said...

Some speculation on why the US polls poorly and many want to immigrate.

Anonymous said...

@anon

They go to the US not because it is a good country but because they get a better life there.

Unfortunately the US is good for its people but the worst for all other humans.

Anonymous said...

The US is "good for it's people and worst for all other humans"....what an silly statement.

This is a good example of ignorant bias. Worst for all other humans? I am not American...so I am not "one of it's people"...and yet, America has not done anything to me personally, nor is my life a living h*ll because of them. Matter of fact, America donates billions and billions of dollars of money and resources throughout the world to those less fortunate.

I believe, anon @ 0301, that you need to do a bit more research before you make such sweeping, ignorant, statements.

century said...

What about polls on the world's view of terrorism and religious fanatics? What about polls on blatant economical racism (such as the "cleansing" of the RAK fish trade of all Aisian infulence)? What about polls on brutal and murderous dictators and ethnic cleansing?

How come we never hear about any of those polls? Personally, I am tired to death of hearing about polls of the US and George Bush and America. Nobody asked me what I thought...

Anonymous said...

^^ maybe because the US is among the worst?

@anon It is ur problem that ur not affected personally by what the US is doing. Others wouldnt agree with u.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"What I don't understand is...if America is so "bad", then why do so many people want to move there/get educated there/work there/flee there/trade there/use the technology developed there etc.?"

It is for the very same reason that the people who now call themselves Americans went to the New World. Nothing has changed.
Read a little on History if you have the time and not just mainstream media.

blogrosh said...

"Unfortunately the US is good for its people but the worst for all other humans. "

Anon - not true, not true at all -you are being super ignorant, to the extent of being a blithering idiot.

Anonymous said...

^^ I can say that u are wrong too and that ur opinion make u look like an idiot to me. So we can end the discussion this say

blogrosh said...

Anon 11:57 - Guess, I am sort of sick & tired of sweeping statements, similar to the one you belted out.

As someone who've lived in the Arab world and now with Americans -I see there are good and bad in every basket - and no - life is not roses for all souls living in America. There are less fortunate souls in this country, similar to those across the globe.

So instead of blaming America for ALL your misfortunes and troubles in the Arab world (at the same time I shall be the first to admit, the US has faults, lots of it, when it comes to meddling in Arab world) - sit back and think how each of us can make a difference for a better tomorrow. In that context, apologies on my remark - it was't productive.

BD said...

Brn said, I think (though I could be wrong) that you are confusing disliking the America government's policies and disliking America itself.

I don't think there is necessarily confusion or an inconsistency in this. I hear this a lot about being for the American people while being against government policy, but the US is a representative democracy. The gov't, especially the present one twice voted in, is not so distinct from the people. American policy springs in large part from the attitudes of the American public. So, they should not be let off the hook so easily.

That being said, I don't think any government should fret too much over polling negatively in terms of worldwide opinion. It just shouldn't focus on this somewhat difficult to measure and rather superfluos issue. Instead, it should focus on fair and humane policies that value not only one's domestic interests but also the welfare of the world-at-large. On this point, the US scores poorly at present, and THIS is what's really worrying.

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