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Saturday, October 18, 2008

What the World Thinks of America: One American's Response

What the World Thinks of America

Foreign poll favours Democrat but shows hostility to US

From The Guardian.co.uk
Julian Glover
Friday October 17 2008

People around the world are pinning their hopes on Barack Obama in next month's presidential election, according to an international survey published today. It shows that America can no longer count on the friendship even of its closest neighbours and allies after eight years of the Bush presidency. Only a minority in the countries surveyed describe relations with the US as friendly.

Julian Glover reports that a newspaper poll around the world on the US election favours Obama.
The research, carried out by eight leading newspapers including the Guardian, finds overwhelming support for the Democratic candidate. He would win by a landslide in every country surveyed, including Britain, where he is ahead of the Republican candidate John McCain by 64% to 15%.

Support for Obama is stronger than backing for John Kerry in 2004, when the Guardian participated in a similar polling exercise. Then, the Democrat was the preferred candidate of 50% of British people.

The poll, conducted by papers including France's Le Monde, Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun, Canada's La Presse and Mexico's Reforma, also shows that opinion of America has dropped sharply since the start of the decade. In France 75% say their view of the US has got worse or much worse since President George Bush replaced Bill Clinton in 2001; in Canada 77%; in Switzerland 86% and in Japan 62%.

People everywhere have turned to Obama. He would win by a simple majority in six of the eight countries surveyed, including Canada, where he leads McCain by 70%-14%, and Japan, where the margin is 61%-13%.

French voters are even more hostile to the Republican candidate, who gets the backing of only 5%, against 68% who hope Obama will win.

In British results, from ICM/Guardian polling, 67% of voters say their opinion of the US is worse than it was before the Bush presidency began. Only 21% say it has improved.

But the special relationship endures. People in Britain are more likely than in any of the other seven countries surveyed to say relations are friendly: 49% think this is the case, against 18% who say relations are tense and 30% who say they are neutral.

Support for an Obama presidency is strong among all types of voters in Britain - 64% want him to win. He is most popular among more prosperous voters, where he has 71% backing, and least popular among people at the bottom of the socio-economic scale, 54% of whom want him to become president.

Elsewhere, only in Poland and Mexico, both emerging democracies, is there any hesitation about the prospect of an Obama victory. In Poland he leads by 43% to 26% and in Mexico by 46% to 13%.

Many people now fear rather than warm to America. In France 25% of voters say relations with the US are tense, against 38% who say they are friendly and 39% who think they are neutral. In Japan only 16% say friendship and 19% tension, with 62% neutral. In no country does a majority think relations should be described as friendly.

Even America's two neighbouring states are sceptical of US intentions. Only 23% of Mexicans describe relations as friendly and 28% say they are tense. In Canada, which has just re-elected a Conservative minority government, voters are strongly supportive of a Democratic presidency; 43% say relations with the US are friendly and 14% tense.

The survey also finds strong opposition to any attack on Iran and - in the six countries questioned on the issue - majority support for a rapid withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.
The possibility of military intervention in Iran is opposed by a majority everywhere except in Poland and Britain.
In Britain 47% say the next president should specifically rule out an attack, against 42% who say options should be left open.

Read the rest here


One American's Response

Obama and the Peace of Vichy

When the German Army mounted its Western Offensive in 1940, it had 2.5 million men and 2,500 tanks. Whereas the French Army had the ability to mobilize 5 million men, the German army supported by motorized infantry units and aircraft easily secured victory. Germany's subjugation of France took just six weeks, and on June 14, 1940 German troops marched into Paris.

The shocking and ignoble surrender was made official when the French formally signed the infamous Second Compiegne Armistice on June 22, 1940. Under the terms of the armistice the Germans were to continue to occupy Northern France, while the southern unoccupied third of France was ostensibly left free to be governed by the French. A collaborationist Government was formed under the aged WWI War hero, Marshal Phillipe Petain, and its new capitol was to be in the small town of Vichy, in central France, a name forever to be associated with her dishonor. P├ętain and the Vichy regime willfully collaborated with the German occupation to a high degree. The French police and the state Milice (militia) organized raids to capture Jews and others considered "undesirables" by the Germans in both the northern and southern zones.

The text from the Guardian article
above is highlighted in yellow for a reason. This is why they hate America and love Obama. They hate America because we are unwilling to subject ourselves to the tyrants of this world like Hitler and Ahmadinejad. And this means war. And war means fighting and the disruption of civilian lives and the possibility of death. For some, the fear of the consequences of defending themselves is more onerous than the shame of capitulation. They have therefore embraced the cowardice of Chamberlain as their role model, and attempted to disguise their weaknesses by pretending that they are some higher form of civilized behavior called Multiculturalism.

And as it was then, so it is once again. Resignation, accomodation, and capitulation. That's the tried and true European plan for dealing with the tyrants of this world, the Hitler's and the Mussolinis, and now the mad mullahs of Iran and their apocalyptic visions of nuclear destruction. And America -- that is, that once proud and bold America, that may just be slipping from our grasp -- is thwarting their plan of unending appeasement by its promises -- indeed, by its threats -- to intervene, to once again fight for its survival.

So they want their Obama. Their universalist grand appeaser, the open friendly face of compromise, the last great hope of the fragile status quo. The world, this same cowardly Old World that still speaks so grandly of its noble traditions of honor and glory, yet so easily bartered its integrity for a coward's peace, is unhappy with us Yanks once again. We're rocking the boat.

They don't hate us because of Bush; or even because of Iraq; they hate us because we are one of the last bastions of hope for freedom and democracy in the world and we're willing to fight for it, to put our lives on the line for it. We're an embarrassing reminder, we represent something they have long ago abandoned: manly honor and moral integrity. So they want an nonthreatening Muslim-friendly Chamberlain to represent them in the world court and to sue for peace with the Devil.

For at least two generations now we Americans have been taking it on the chin from ignorant, self-righteous student activists and disillusioned psuedo-intellectuals from here at home and from around the world, brought up on that pervasive academic witches brew of those Marxist-driven, Moscow-coordinated, sanctimonious and cynically manipulated student protest movements of the 60s. We -- and you -- are now living with the bitter fruits of their destructive labors. Cynicism and disillusionment have become a refined art form throughout Old Europe and the UK, the motley uniform of the latest anti-capitalist, anti-American, antiwar avant-garde. To be wise is to be cynical, distrustful, and anti-American.

To be wise in 2008 is to vote for Obama and appease the Devil and hope for a few more years of diminishing freedom and tenuous peace. It's an old familiar hope, an old familiar plan. It's called the Peace of Vichy. - rg

Excerpts form The New Barbarians and
Resignation, Accomodation and Capitulation.