The world has fallen out of love with America since the ‘war on terror’ declared by President George W Bush. Much of the sympathy and popular support witnessed after the 9/11 attacks have faded away, overtaken by stories about Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition. It is surprising how soon the goodwill capital, and a strong economy, can be squandered.
True, the events of 9/11 had forced the world into an extraordinary security environment. But respect for the rule of law, the principle that an individual is innocent until proven guilty, above all proportionality in the use of force were bound to become core issues for many people. Today, America continues to be admired all over the world as a land of freedom and opportunity, scientific and technological advances and its capacity to do good. However, its policies generate strong opposition and apathy, creating waves of anti-Americanism.
What has gone wrong? The answer: America under the Bush presidency suffers from serious contractions between what it stands for and its actions in three major areas. More