May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
April 4, 2008
/ 28 Adar II 5768
Do we care what they think of America?
If there's one thing the Democrats are certain they can accomplish provided they win in November (and it doesn't matter, for this purpose, which of the two candidates becomes the nominee) it will be the restoration of America's tattered world reputation. Barack Obama has promised that his first priority is to get the United States out of Iraq and "restore our standing in the world." Mrs. Clinton has said that an "urgent task" for the next president is to "restore America's standing in the world." Other Democrats hit this theme over and over again. Sen. Pat Leahy offered the standard version in his endorsement of Obama: "We need a president who can reintroduce America to the world and reintroduce America to ourselves."
Well, everyone likes to be loved, but Democrats seem more than a little obsessed with America's international reputation. Recall that in 2004, John Kerry described the matter as "primary" to the presidential race. "Foreign leaders" were apparently tapping Kerry on the shoulder at restaurants to express their dim view of his country.
Why is it so important to win an international popularity contest? If America is not popular in the world, what are the other nations going to do to us? Stop buying our products? Kick us out of the U.N.? Vote us off the island?
Actually, some of those consequences, particularly the U.N. bit, don't sound so awful.
A new poll commissioned by the BBC World Service will doubtless give Democrats more fits. Questioning respondents in 34 countries, the BBC asked for opinions about 13 countries Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the U.S.A. and the European Union. The United States did not fare very well. On average, 47 percent of those questioned had a "mainly negative" view of America's influence in the world, versus only 35 percent with a "mainly positive" view. Unsurprisingly, Israel was second to the bottom, below everyone except Iran. The European Union did well with a 52 percent positive rating, as did Japan (56). Germany, too, clocked in with a 56 percent positive rating.
I wonder whether Democrats ever indulge the suspicion that "world opinion" may be bunk? Let's contrast, for example, the popularity of Israel (19 percent positive, 52 percent negative) and North Korea (23 percent positive, 44 percent negative). Israel is a fully functioning democracy with a free press, an independent judiciary, one of the highest standards of living in the world (including for its Arab citizens who enjoy a far higher standard of living than the average Arab in any Arab country), full civil rights, and the rule of law all of this despite being under relentless terrorist attack.
North Korea's people suffered a catastrophic famine that took (by the BBC's estimate) one in ten lives in the 1990s and continues to cause desperate suffering to the present day. The communist economy produces so little that the regime has taken to counterfeiting and arms dealing to obtain hard currency. North Korea is flouting the United Nations by building nuclear weapons, trading missiles to any bidder including other rogue nations, and saber rattling towards South Korea, Japan and the United States. The state maintains a Stalinist grip at home that forbids even whispering against the "Dear Leader" and has imprisoned and executed countless opponents.
Or consider the popularity of China. Forty-seven percent of respondents rated China's influence as "mostly positive" and only 32 percent considered its world role to be "mostly negative." The United States, again, was rated 35 positive and 47 percent negative. Let's see, there's a brutal crackdown on Tibet, constant threats toward Taiwan, complete repression of political and religious liberty, forced sterilization and abortion, military and diplomatic support for the genocidal regime in Sudan that has destroyed Darfur, and thousands of other violations of human rights and human dignity.
And the United States? Well, we've conducted a difficult, frustrating, but essentially benevolent five-year effort to liberalize and democratize two very tough customers: Afghanistan and Iraq. And we've imprisoned several hundred known and suspected terrorists giving them medical care, culturally sensitive food, prayer rugs, a Koran and a dental plan.
Actually, these international polls may not mean much. If the U.S. were truly unpopular, would we be building fences to keep immigrants out? Would the U.S. be the world's third most popular tourist destination? And would the world's people be glad to not have the U.S. available when another catastrophe like the Asian tsunami or the Bosnian crisis looms?
Contra Pat Leahy, we do not need to reintroduce America to the world, we need to remember that the world's moral focus can be strangely distorted.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.
Mona Charen Archives
© 2006, Creators Syndicate
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K