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LIST: Top 10 countries that love - and hate the United States

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Filipinos have a high opinion of the United States and its people. The Philippines came in first as a nation with a favorable opinion of the U.S. in a Pew Research Poll. Not surprisingly, Pakistan has a highly negative view of the U.S., with approval rating at a minimal 11 percent. The recent poll gives a highly intriguing on how the rest of the world views the U.S.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Disheartening is the fact that Britain, France, Germany along with a nearly dozen prominent nations, approval ratings for the U.S. has declined over the last decade. According to the Pew Research Center, this trend became apparent after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The 2008 financial meltdown marked another chink in the armor for America's reputation, as many people blamed Wall Street for a global recession that still weighs on the world economy.

Drone strikes aimed at terrorists and childish political antics in Washington continue to mar America's image abroad.

Of 39 nations where Pew conducted surveys, here are the 10 where people have the most favorable impression of the U.S.:

1. Philippines (percentage with a favorable view of the United States: 85 percent)
2. Israel (83 percent)
3. Ghana (83 percent)
4. Senegal (81 percent)
5. Kenya (81 percent)
6. El Salvador (79 percent)
7. South Korea (78 percent)
8. Italy (76 percent)
9. Uganda (73 percent)
10. Brazil (73 percent)

For the many of the African nations in this poll, it's largely because of the aid we send them, which is a strong starting point for better relations with this increasingly important continent.

Most Americans don't think much about Africa, but other nations such as China do as economic conditions in several African nations are improving rapidly, and some of them are rich in rare-earth minerals, oil and other resources.

The strong U.S. showing in South Korea shows the two nations remain unified in their approach to the cranks in North Korea. Brazil is one of the world's biggest and most important developing nations, so good relations there are important.

America's popularity in the Philippines suggests that America isn't the exploitative quasi-colonial power some critics claim it is. There's been a strong history of military and economic cooperation between the two nations since the Philippines became independent in 1946.

The 10 nations with the least favorable impression of the U.S., according to Pew:

1. Pakistan (percentage with a favorable view of the United States: 11 percent)
2. Jordan (14 percent)
3. Palestinian territories (16 percent)
4. Egypt (16 percent)
5. Turkey (21 percent)
6. Greece (39 percent)
7. China (40 percent)
8. Argentina (41 percent)
9. Tunisia (42 percent)
10. Lebanon (47 percent)

It's not surprising that America is most unpopular in Pakistan -- there are deep divisions over U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory. Strong U.S. support of Israel has long been generating enmity in Muslim nations, including Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, plus the Palestinian territories.

However, in several countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Germany, Australia and even Russia, American citizens are more popular than the nation they hail from. That suggests the U.S. government and its policies are the biggest threat to our standing in the world to which a lot of Americans probably agree.

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