Opinion: U.S. Has Serious Image Problems Abroad

October 1, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


On October 1, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor ran a column by Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst at National Public Radio, in which he writes, "Let me warn you, this is all about numbers, which don't usually make for light reading. But this is an especially chilling set of numbers for anyone who cares what the rest of the world thinks of us. They were compiled by Daniel Yankelovich, an opinion expert who is the chairman and founder of Public Agenda. Here goes: Only 12 percent of Muslims believe that the United States respects Islamic values. And only 7 percent believe the West understands Muslim culture... What do our European friends think of us? The post-9/11 perception in Europe is that the US is acting solely in its own interest, without regard for the interests of its allies... How many of America's traditional friends in Europe join the Muslims in considering the United States a threat to world peace? Eighty-eight percent of Greeks, 63 percent of the Dutch, 55 percent of the British. And a surprisingly low 52 percent of the French. Professor Yankelovich says that, in some countries, distrust and dislike of the United States have doubled and tripled in the space of a single year."