In this year's survey, Great Britain, Canada and Australia continue to lead the list as the countries perceived to be our closest allies, followed by Israel and Japan. . . .In 1997, 73% of Americans surveyed felt Canada was a close ally. This year that number was down to 48%. I can only think this is the result of war propaganda.
Great Britain still holds a very special place among U.S. adults as almost three-quarters (74%) think of them as a close ally. Canada (48%), Australia (44%) and Israel (41%) receive high marks but they are quite distant from those received by Great Britain.
I remember when we had our fingerprints taken for the FBI check for our Permanent Resident application. We went to a local police precinct. When we said we needed the fingerprints for emigration to Canada, the officer helping us said, "Canada? They didn't help us in the war, you know." He said it in a cautionary tone, like, are you sure you want to go there...?
Germany and France, countries that for many years had been among the United States' closest allies have now slipped in the eyes of U.S. adults. France, the country which was most outspoken in its opposition to the Iraq war, slipped from eighth place in 2002 to 17th place last year and has improved slightly to 16th place this year. Fully 41 percent of U.S. adults think of France as less than friendly.The Coalition of the Bribed and Stupid would also explain the jump in favorable opinion of the UK, and of course, the drop in Americans' opinion of France.
Germany, which was almost as strong in its criticism of the United States and the war in Iraq, fell from sixth in 2002 but has returned to a more respectable 10th place this year though a quarter (24%) of U.S. adults still think of it as less than friendly.
The countries which the largest number of people see as "not friendly" or worse are China (53%), Pakistan (53%), France (41%) and Colombia (41%).
I think what the survey shows is the way in which the mainstream media is presenting images of these countries - the relative favorable or unfavorable light they're portrayed in. Most Americans don't know anything substantial about any of these places.
Survey results here.