Two Nations In Need of a Hug

The new Transatlantic Trends survey (pdf) on European-U.S. relations is out. I don’t see much of a point anymore in blogging about America’s reputation abroad, for several reasons. First, America’s popularity is much less of an issue since I re-structured my life to reduce contact with people who wanted to lecture me about U.S. foreign policy. Second, there’s been no real news since 2003. Condition: critical, prognosis: extremely guarded.

Third, the people who used to lecture me about foreign policy (generally without inquiring about my own views before hand — why is this so common in Germany?) have grown quiet. Many of the critics’ predictions about U.S. foreign policy have come painfully true. They no longer need to make their points, history’s doing it for them. European supporters of U.S. policy, who incorrectly assumed I would warm to their defense of George W. Bush, have also gotten very quiet — at least about the issues they were banging on about in 2003 and 2004. ("How can you not support your visionary President? He’s the only one who sees the real problem, unlike our feckless leaders!")

Frankly, everybody seems a little concerned about how unglued it’s all become. The implosion of U.S. foreign policy has created a new wave of dangers — things like the prospect of a George W. Bush with nothing to lose turning his attention to Iran, or the coming tsunami of Iraqi refugees who will shortly be trying to find nicer places to live than Jordan and Syria. I never though I’d say this, but right now, I feel something akin to pity for George W. Bush. He was always in far over his head, but now he seems to have realized that fact. He looks frightened and insecure. His ability to spontaneously build grammatical English sentences, which was once impressive (don’t believe me? click here) has almost vanished.

So, that long preface aside, let’s get to the money graph.  Here it is (yawn):

Still_unpopular_2

On another note, this caught my eye:

  • Turkish feelings toward the United States and European Union continued to cool. On a 100-point “thermometer” scale, Turkish “warmth” toward the United States dropped from 20 degrees in 2006 to 11 degrees in 2007, and toward the European Union from 45 degrees to 26. Turkish feelings toward Iran also cooled this past year from 43 degrees to 30.

The study left out an important question: What’s the level of Turkey’s warmth toward Turkey

In another interesting result, "Europeans thought it far more likely that Turkey will eventually join the EU: 56% of Europeans believed Turkey will join, compared with just 26% of Turkish respondents." Make of it what you will…

52 thoughts on “Two Nations In Need of a Hug

  1. More invincible ignorance – or perhaps wilful ignorance is a better term. ZDF ran an online poll yesterday asking ‘Who was behind it?’, ‘it’ being the 9/11 attacks.

    Wer ist Drahtzieher?
    Osama Bin Laden

    Rüstungslobby (Arms lobby)

    George W. Bush

    US-Behörden (US Authorities)

    Ich weiß nicht (I don’t know)

    The current figures as of this writing had Bin-Laden barely in the lead at 28%, with George Bush and ‘US Authorities’ close behind at 25% and 24%, respectively. ‘Arms lobby’ also is doing well at 15%.

    http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/8/0,1872,7000488,00.html

    It’s this kind of sophisticated ‘analysis’ which increasingly seems to be the hallmark of German journalism – and German public opinion…..

    Like

  2. More invincible ignorance – or perhaps wilful ignorance is a better term. ZDF ran an online poll yesterday asking ‘Who was behind it?’, ‘it’ being the 9/11 attacks.

    Wer ist Drahtzieher?
    Osama Bin Laden

    Rüstungslobby (Arms lobby)

    George W. Bush

    US-Behörden (US Authorities)

    Ich weiß nicht (I don’t know)

    The current figures as of this writing had Bin-Laden barely in the lead at 28%, with George Bush and ‘US Authorities’ close behind at 25% and 24%, respectively. ‘Arms lobby’ also is doing well at 15%.

    http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/8/0,1872,7000488,00.html

    It’s this kind of sophisticated ‘analysis’ which increasingly seems to be the hallmark of German journalism – and German public opinion…..

    Like

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