More Americans want US to mind its own global business




 
--
Boots
 
November 18th, 2005  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: More Americans want US to mind its own global business


by Jocelyne Zablit

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (AFP) - The Iraq war and mounting troop casualties have
led a growing number of Americans to believe the United States should mind
its own business internationally, according to an opinion poll published
Thursday.

"The percentage of Americans who agree that the US should mind its own
business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can
on their own has risen from 30 percent in 2002 to 42 percent currently," the
poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center, showed.

Andrew Kohut, director of the Washington-based think tank, said this
isolationist sentiment is on a par with attitudes held during the mid-1970s,
following the Vietnam War, and in the 1990s after the Cold War ended.

"There is consensus that Iraq is the worst thing about President George W.
Bush's foreign policy," Kohut said in presenting the findings.

The poll, based on interviews about foreign policy attitudes with some 2,500
Americans in the general public and opinion leaders, showed that while the
majority (52 percent) of those questioned believe Bush is doing a good job
of handling terrorist threats, about half disapprove of his foreign policy
and 57 percent disapprove of his handling of Iraq.

"Opinion leaders and the public overwhelmingly point to the war in Iraq as a
major reason for discontent with the US around the world," an analysis of
the poll results said.

Lee Feinstein, of the Council on Foreign Relations which co-sponsored the
survey, said the dim findings on Iraq showed that the September 11 attacks
on the United States were no longer shaping American foreign policy.

"The 9/11 effect is losing its luster," he said. "The majority polled say
that luck was the main reason that the US has not been attacked again and
they say that the ability of terrorists to strike today is about the same as
2001."

Feinstein noted that public sentiment towards Iraq was unlikely to change
whatever the Bush administration does to reverse the tide.

"You don't get a second chance to make a first impression on Iraq," he said.
"Once the public sours on a war, they don't unsour and the consequences for
the president's foreign policy are that the revolution is over."

The survey also showed that while most of those questioned favour Bush's
push for democracy in the Middle East as a means of repairing the tattered
US image in the region, few think it will succeed.

Kohut and Feinstein said another significant finding was waning support for
the United Nations.

"What we are seeing is a more sober assessment fo the UN instead of the
extremes of loving it or leaving it," Feinstein said.

Also of interest in the survey findings is a general feeling that Asia will
replace Europe as the focus of American foreign policy.

"This poll is showing some sign of a historic shift in American foreign
policy, from a Eurocentric Atlanticist foreign policy toward an Asia-centric
Pacific foreign policy," said Walter Russell Mead, a senior fellow at the
Council on Foreign Relations.

The survey, titled "America's Place in the World", was conducted between
September 5 and October 31.

It involved 2,006 people from the general public and 520 opinion leaders
from the news media, state and local governments, the military, scientists,
engineers, security and foreign affairs experts as well as religious
leaders.