7:00 p.m. Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center gives his second talk of the day, entitled: “They Don’t Like Us: Global Attitudes Toward the U.S. and other World Powers.” The Pew Global Attitudes Project began in June 2001, initially to examine globalization issues and democratization. After September 11th, however, the focus shifted towards those issues that came to the fore after America’s launch of the war on terror thereafter. The Project has been the principle chronicler of the rise of anti-Americanism.
7:15 p.m. In 2002, the Project noted America’s reputation was ‘slipping;’ by 2003 it had ‘plummeted.’ By 2006, the negative attitudes towards the U.S. had become ‘entrenched’ – these were not transitory attitudes.
7:20 p.m. In Germany, favorable attitudes towards the U.S. fell from 78 percent in 2002 to 30 percent in 2007. In Turkey, it fell from 55 percent to 9 percent. However, attitudes are still pretty favorable in most of Africa, India, and Japan. These areas notwithstanding, anti-Americanism has gone global.
7:25 p.m. Kohut states that views of the American people has also declined, in more than 20 of the 33 countries surveyed. Americans are seen as hard-working, but also greedy, violent, and immoral. The leading cause of anti-Americanism in the MIddle East is, of course, Israel. Muslim nations do not believe the U.S. handles the Israeli-Palestine conflict fairly. The second leading cause is the U.S. role in Iraq.
7:30 p.m. The U.S. is seen as not doing enough to deal with global problems and yet also takes unilateral action without international approval on too many occasions. Kohut’s research has found America is seen as too powerful across the globe, and that America wants to rule the world. An element of anti-Americanism in Europe is due to differing views about the use of force. There is greater support for preemptive war in the U.S. than in Europe. Anti-Americanism is also fueled by anti-globalization. People around the world respect American technology and welcome our products and pop culture (though not in the Muslim world). And yet, these countries feel they are being too Americanized. There is also a difference in values — Americans are more individualistic and resistant to limiting personal freedoms. However, value differences are much less responsible for anti-Americanism than policy decisions.
7:40 p.m. The Global Attitudes Project has also found increased negative attitudes towards other global powers, such as Russia and China. There is increased concern with regards to China for both their military power and their burgeoning economic power.
7:45 p.m. In a question and answer session with Dean Atwood of the Humphrey Institute, Kohut states that the next U.S. president may get a bit of a honeymoon in attitudes towards the U.S., but that there will still remain a deep distrust of American power. There is great suspicion about American motives towards democratization in all countries studied by the Global Attitudes Project.
7:55 p.m. Kohut states every Muslim country surveyed said that they do not believe the state of Israel can coexist with the human rights of the Palestinians being protected.
7:58 p.m. Kohut states that American optimism tends to lead the country to not address the serious issues that the country needs to address.
8:00 p.m. Kohut states that public diplomacy is not going to ‘move the needle’ — actions, he said are much more powerful than spin or clarification.