World Attitudes Toward US Improving: Poll

Fewer believe US exerts negative influence
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 4:30 AM CDT
Pakistani protesters burn a U. S. flag.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A worldwide wave of anti-Americanism appears to be abating a bit, though global views toward the US continue to be mainly negative, according to a BBC World Service poll. The average percentage of people saying the US is a negative global influence dropped to below 50% for the first time in three years. Those who believe the US is a positive influence increased to 35% from 31% a year ago.

Pollsters interviewed 17,000 people in 34 nations about the US and 12 other countries. A US State Department official attributed much of the negative perceptions of the US in recent years to the Iraq war. "I would say public opinion is a lagging indicator of what we are doing now, working together with European governments and other elites," he said. "Everyone wants to be loved."