Monday, April 19, 2010

World warming to US under Obama, BBC poll suggests.

World opinion of the United States has improved hugely over the last year, coinciding with the election of Barack Obama as American president.

For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America's influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative.

The improved scores for the US coincided with Barack Obama becoming president, a BBC correspondent notes.

I am not remotely surprised by these results. Obama has reversed almost everything that George W. Bush stood for. Bush represented an arrogant United States which said you were with them or against them. Obama seems to realise that leading the free world means that we have to ensure that observing international law is in all of our interests.

To that end he has begun nuclear disarmament between the United States and Russia, ensuring that both nations are complying with the NNPT, and denying Iran any excuse when it comes to verifying what her intentions are regarding the nuclear issue.

He is clearly being more fair towards the Palestinians in their dispute with Israel, and has earned huge Brownie points by pushing for peace, even though he is facing fierce opposition from Netanyahu and the usual "Israel first" brigade.

"People around the world today view the United States more positively than at any time since the second Iraq war," said Doug Miller, chairman of international polling firm GlobeScan, which carried out the poll with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (Pipa) at the University of Maryland.

"While still well below that of countries like Germany and the UK, the global standing of the US is clearly on the rise again."

Pipa director Steven Kull noted: "After a year, it appears the 'Obama effect' is real.

He is clearly trying to do what is right. And the very fact that he is trying to do that is appreciated.

Bush and the neo-cons were loathed worldwide because they appeared to believe that they could do what they wished and that there was nothing the rest of us could do about it. They ripped up international law and dared the UN to give them permission to invade another sovereign nation or be deemed irrelevant.

It should be no surprise to anyone that the rest of the world, meaning all of the the countries which are not as powerful as the US, found it alarming in the extreme that we appeared to have a rogue superpower leading the planet.

Obama has restored the balance. He appears willing to play by the rules and do what is right.

That rising US popularity is actually a collective sigh of relief.

Click here for full article.

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