Friday 6 December 2002

US image tarnished by motives in Iraq

Can I just say for the record that my problem is not with the American people who are a great and kind and compassionate people. My problem is with the US government and its aggressive unilateral policies.

Suspicion about US motives in Iraq and the broadly held perception that America ignores the interests of other nations in foreign policy disputes has tarnished the image of the US around the world, according to a survey of public attitudes in 44 countries.

The poll by the Pew Research Centre for The People & The Press found support outside the Muslim world for American-led efforts to combat terrorism.

But it also found an "an equally strong global consensus that the US disregards the views of others in carrying out its foreign policy", wrote centre director Andrew Kohut, who headed the Global Attitudes Project.

A separate follow-up survey conducted last month in the US and in five allied nations revealed equally deep and conflicting views on Iraq. A majority of those interviewed in Britain, France, Germany and Russia agreed that Saddam Hussein represented a threat to stability in the Middle East and a danger to world peace.

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