Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 4, 2008 / 28 Adar II 5768

Do we care what they think of America?

By Mona Charen


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | 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

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles