Let’s go to the Pew Survey. The interesting thing about it is that while Obama is trying to sell himself as the man who upgraded America’s image in the Muslim world, the approval ratings for America have gone up in Europe, but fallen in the Muslim world.
The Muslim world did not sour on Bush. Europe did. In France, positive views of America went from 42 under Bush in 2008 to 75 under Obama in 2009. 53 percent to 69 percent in the UK. 33 to 58 percent in Spain. In Russia, China and the Muslim world, there were only small bumps reflecting an overall hostility.
But in 2012, nearly every country polled now has a lower positive rating of America than it did in 2009. The one exception appears to be Russia, where Obama’s America is polling better than ever, likely reflecting regime propaganda or opposition to the regime– it’s hard to say which.
In Lebanon, Obama’s America circa 2012 polls three points worse than Bush’s America circa 2008. Likely a reflection of Obama’s abandonment of Lebanon to Hezbollah and Syria. In Egypt, home of the Arab Spring, Bush’s America polled at 22 percent while Obama’s America polls at 19 percent. In Jordan and Pakistan, Obama’s America polls 7 percent worse than it did under Bush.
Perversely, Bush’s America was more popular in the Muslim world than Obama’s America. So much for winning respect through appeasement.