World cools toward Obama’s foreign policy, survey shows
Turkey’s confidence in the United States increased significantly during Barack Obama’s term compared to George W. Bush’s presidency, despite a decline in the past three years, according to a survey by Pew Research.
Obama’s ratings have declined since his first year in office in 2009, falling 9 points in Turkey from 33 percent to 24 percent. However, attitudes toward the U.S. are generally more positive today than in 2008, the final year of the George W. Bush administration.
Bush’s rating in his last year in office remains the lowest in Turkey, among the 21 countries surveyed, with 2 percent. Positive views of the U.S. in the Bush era were at 12 percent, while 15 percent have a favorable opinion in the Obama era. International approval of Obama’s foreign policy has also dropped significantly during his term in office, according to the report. General confidence in his foreign policy leadership has slipped by 6 percentage points or more since 2009 in most of the 21 countries surveyed.
On a number of specific policy issues, Obama has failed to live up to expectations, the report said. In 2009, many around the world anticipated that Obama would consider their country’s interests when making policy, seek international approval before using military force, act fairly when dealing with the Israelis and Palestinians, and take significant steps on climate change. Today, considerably fewer think he has actually done these things, according to the report. Among five European countries surveyed both in 2009 and 2012, approval of Obama’s international policies dropped from 78 percent to 63 percent. In five Muslim countries, including Turkey, surveyed in both years, the approval rate dropped from 34 percent to 15 percent. Most believe the U.S. still acts unilaterally in world affairs. While most Europeans support American anti-terrorism efforts, they are widely opposed in Muslim nations. In Turkey, 71 percent of the people said they do not see the U.S. considering their country’s interests, while 17 percent say the U.S. does take into account their interests.
U.S. drone strikes, a key element of the Obama administration’s anti-terrorism policy, are widely unpopular nearly everywhere, although the U.S. itself is a clear exception. In predominantly Muslim nations, American anti-terrorism efforts are still widely unpopular, while in nearly all countries there is considerable opposition to drone strikes.
In Turkey, 81 percent of the people disapprove the drone campaign. The Obama administration considers drone strikes one of its most effective tools in combating al-Qaeda. The Pew Research polls were nationally representative surveys conducted by telephone or in-person interviews in 21 countries during March and April.
Romney ahead of Obama
WASHINGTON – Reuters
Republican rival Mitt Romney is one point ahead of the Democratic president Barack Obama in the White House race, 45 percent to 44 percent, among registered voters with less than five months to go before the Nov. 6 election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Obama led by 7 points a month ago. The poll was mostly taken after Obama suffered several recent campaign setbacks, including a weak jobs report in May and an optimistic comment on the good health of the private sector that critics say showed he was out of touch. The gains for Romney also came as public concern deepened over the European debt crisis and a slowing recovery created a cloud of uncertainty about the U.S. economy.
US drone strike kills 9 in Yemen
A U.S. drone strike yesterday on a house and car in Yemen’s restive southeastern Shabwa province killed nine people, believed to be al-Qaeda militants, a tribal source said. The attack came just a day after Yemeni troops scored a victory against the militant network and ousted al-Qaeda fighters from two southern strongholds in Abyan province which they had held for more than a year. “A U.S. drone struck a house where al-Qaeda militants were meeting, and a car nearby,” in the town of Azzan in Shabwa province early in the morning, a tribal source told Agence France-Presse on condition of anonymity.