Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Winning hearts and minds ... by losing them

From the New York Times

As the war in Iraq continues for a fourth year, the global image of America has slipped further, even among people in some countries closely allied with the United States, a new opinion poll has found.

Favorable views of the United States dropped sharply over the past year in Spain, where only 23 percent said they had a positive opinion, down from 41 percent last year, according to the survey. It was done in 15 nations, including the United States, this spring by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

Other countries where positive views dropped significantly include India (56 percent, down from 71 percent); Russia (43 percent, down from 52 percent); and Indonesia (30 percent, down from 38 percent). In Turkey, only 12 percent said they held a favorable opinion, down from 23 percent last year.

Although strong majorities in several countries expressed worries about Iran's nuclear intentions, in 13 of 15 countries polled, most people said the war in Iraq posed more of a danger to world peace. Russians held that view by a 2-to-1 margin.

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