Feature

When world opinion is wrong

Mona CharenNational Review Online

“Democrats seem more than a little obsessed with America’s international reputation,” said Mona Charen. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both claim they plan to “restore America’s standing in the world.” You have to wonder why these people are so consumed with courting popularity among nations whose worldviews are so warped. A new BBC World Service poll, conducted in 34 countries, found that 47 percent viewed America’s influence as “mainly negative”—putting the U.S. in the same category as Kim Jong Il’s North Korea, which starves its own population, executes political opponents, and builds illegal nuclear weapons. China’s influence, meanwhile, was rated “mostly positive” by 47 percent of those polled—even though its tyrannical government brutally crushes Tibetans, enforces sterilization, and supports genocide in Darfur. The international community also ranked prosperous, democratic Israel more negatively than Pakistan, Russia, and, yes, North Korea. Do image-conscious Democrats “ever indulge the suspicion that ‘world opinion’ may be bunk?”

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