Americans Believe US Must Stop Meddling in World Affairs
Nearly half of Americans believe their government should mind its own business internationally as President George W. Bush’s rating hit all time low due to the Iraq war, a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll showed Friday, April 14.
The number of Americans who think the United States “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along as best they can on their own,” has risen from 33 percent to 46 percent over the past three years, the poll said, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The pollsters said their April 7-9 survey reflected similar results during the Vietnam War, when only 20 percent of Americans said their country should mind its own business in 1964, one year before the war began, compared to 40 percent who thought so in 1972, when the Vietnam War was in full swing.
For the past five years, the US has been championing a “democracy” drive worldwide and a global “war on terror.”
It launched the Greater Middle East Initiative – which was renamed later to the Broader Middle East and North Africa, provoking an outcry from many governments in the targeted countries where anti-American feelings were and still running high over the US-led occupation of Iraq and Washington ’s perceived bias towards Israel.
A December Gallup poll, conducted in 10 nations that comprise 80 percent of the world’s Muslim population, found that an overwhelming majority of Muslims strongly doubted the United States was trying to establish democracy in the Middle East.
Oil, protecting Israel and dominating the region were seen as US goals, according to the survey.
The State Department appointed in July a special envoy, Karen Hughes, to improve the US image abroad, especially in the Arab world.
However, during her trips to the Middle East, Hughes came face to face with Muslim anger over the US-led invasion in Iraq and staunch support of Israel.
“Anti-Americanism” has been also simmering inside the US due to the policies of President Bush with the West Coast being seen as a stronghold for anti-Bush drive.
The new survey further found that Bush’s rating has fallen back to 32 percent.
And just as US president Lyndon Johnson failed to convince his countrymen between 1966 and 1968 that the Vietnam War was being won, Bush has been unable to turn the tide of opposition to the Iraq war since he began a series of speeches in September.
Johnson had also made a series of optimistic speeches about progress in Vietnam and visited there twice.
“We will stand firm in Vietnam,” Johnson asserted in his January 1967 State of the Union address.
“We are making progress,” Johnson declared in a November 1967 televised address to the nation.
Johnson’s war-handling ratings dropped from 57 percent to 39 percent in two years.
“Like a man on a treadmill, President Bush has gotten almost nowhere making speeches over the past seven months to boost public support for the war in Iraq,” commented the USA Today of Friday.
Analysts say there is little Bush can do except keep talking and hope things improve in Iraq.
“He can’t argue his way to better numbers. He needs favorable results in Iraq. And that’s out of his hands,” Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, told America’s mass-circulation daily.
Black says that with daily news reports of bombings and deaths in Iraq, Bush’s message that progress is being made is not being heard, or worse, not being believed.
Books attacking policies of Bush, which imposed a theocracy, risked US bankruptcy and fanned flames of anti-Americanism, are flooding US bookstores, according to media reports.
And more Americans believe that Bush should be impeached for misleading the public and lying to them about his war on Iraq.
A recent Zogby International poll showed that 51 percent of respondents agreed that Bush should be impeached if he lied about Iraq, a far greater percentage than believed Clinton should be impeached over his sex scandal with White House trainee Monica Lewinsky.
Bush admitted for the first time in December that faulty intelligence assessments on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction damaged US credibility.