In the wake of NSA spying, US popularity in Germany plummets

We were promised a world in which everyone love the US – as soon as Barack Obama ascended the throne became president.  We were told that the reason the world hated us prior to his assuming the presidency was tw0-fold: George W. Bush was president and Obama wasn’t.  We were assured that once that changed, so would the opinion of the world.


That’s worked out swimmingly in the Middle East, hasn’t it?  And of course, Russia looooves us.

And now, led by Germany, it appears Europe won’t be far behind the Middle East and Russia in its lack of regard for the US:

A new poll by German public television (ARD) indicates that only 35 percent of Germans still see the United States. as a good partner. That figure has fallen 14 points since just this past July when about half of all Germans saw American as a partner they could trust.

The new poll, done Thursday, also indicates that 61 percent of Germans now see the United States as an untrustworthy partner.

The poll reflects the deep unhappiness in Germany over the spy scandal, which has seen outrage consistently build from the summer. The first reports were that a U.S. spy program was collecting phone calls and emails and social media communications of Germans. Last month it was alleged that they‘ve been tapping the personal cell phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel and that the top of the U.S. embassy in Berlin houses a big spy nest.

And it’s a steep decline in popularity here for a nation which since the end of World War II has seen the United States as a close friend, an essential ally, a protector and often a provider. To Germans, for decades, the United States was not just the ideal partner but an ideal.

The National Security Agency spy scandal appears to have torched that reputation, at a level beyond even that of the Iraq invasion split.

Pretty nasty numbers pointing toward a very serious rift.  The NSA scandal isn’t going away and those spied upon (especially our allies) are very unhappy with the fact that this was going on.  When you, as a nation, are seen as an unreliable ally, other nations will seek different alliances as necessary.  The US is now seen in that way, not just because of the NSA scandal, but because of a whole host of diplomatic snafus and affronts during this administration.  But one has to speculate that it is more than just the NSA scandal that has put German-American relations in this tailspin.  My guess is that it is just the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
Of course President Shultz, er, Obama, knew nothing about any of this.

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