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The Decline in America's Reputation: Why

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Congressional rept.

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In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack there was world-wide sympathy and support for the United States. This was best summed up in the headline in the French newspaper Le Monde Nous sommes tous Americains. We are all Americans now. Since then, polls conducted by the U.S. Government and respected private firms have revealed a precipitous decline in favorability toward the United States and its foreign policy. The generally positive ratings from the 1950s to 2000 moved to generally negative after 2002. As the very first witness in a 10-hearing series with pollsters and regional analysts told the Subcommittee We have never seen numbers this low. The reversal is unprecedented and widespread A 45-percentage point drop in favorability in Indonesia 41 in Morocco 40 in Turkey and 27 in the United Kingdom Among Muslims in Nigeria, favorable opinion fell 33 points, from 71 percent to 38 percent, within an eight-month period A 26-point increase in Europe of the view that U.S. leadership in world affairs is undesirable Unfavorability rose to 82 percent in Arab countries and 86 percent of Latin American elites now rate U.S. relations negatively and 83 percent of countries in 2002 had a plurality of citizens judging the United States favorably by 2006 only 23 percent of countries had a plurality saying that U.S. influence is positive. While the United States cant base its foreign policies on opinion polling either at home or abroad this consistently negative view of U.S. foreign policy is both a liability and a sign that something has gone seriously awry. What happened Why, as the question is often posed, do they hate us

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  • Government and Political Science

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