12/20/04 — OPINION -- Our friends (?)

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OPINION -- Our friends (?)

By Gene Price
Published in News on December 20, 2004 1:56 PM

For the second time in recent weeks, The Associated Press has released findings of an international poll showing President Bush is held in disfavor by people in many of the world's major countries.

The latest poll, which was conducted under the auspices of the AP, shows the American people also are viewed unfavorably by the people of France and Russia.

The American people are viewed favorably, however by Canadians, Australians, British and Italians.

The timing of the previous AP poll -- days before the last election and showing President Bush being held in disfavor around the globe -- raised some questions about its purpose. A subtle effort to influence an obviously close coming election?

In reporting the recent survey, the AP quoted the director of the poll as saying "The predominant feelings about Bush's re-election in the European countries are disappointment and surprise."

The findings of the polls in European countries should not surprise anyone. The only information most Europeans have about our president and our country is what is fed to them by a largely anti-Bush media -- including the Associated Press.

President Bush had this comment: "We just had a poll in our country where people decided that the foreign policy of the Bush administration ought to stay in place for four more years."

That was the only poll that mattered. And it was participated in not by 1,000 people in each of the foreign countries polled, but by millions in the one country where George W. Bush is best known.

In the poll in Germany, 78 percent of those questioned scored him unfavorably.

Perhaps the Germans are still bitter over the shellacking the U.S. gave them in World War II -- and have forgotten the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, removal of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany.

But no one should be surprised at the 74 percent negative attitude of the French. Some Americans must remember that decades ago when the French pulled out of NATO, we were instructed to get all U.S. troops out of France.

To which Secretary of State Dean Rusk was said to have responded: "Including those buried at Normandy?"