Loving and hating America

If I was ever to write a novel about America, it might begin: It was the worst of countries, it was the best of countries...

Why the worst? As Fouad Ajami noted yesterday, in response to the latest Pew Global Attitudes survey, America remains loathed overseas:

So America is unloved in Istanbul and Cairo and Karachi: It is an annual ritual, the June release of the Pew global attitudes survey and the laments over the erosion of America's standing in foreign lands.

We were once loved in Anatolia, but now a mere 12% of Turks have a "favorable view" of the U.S. Only 22% of Egyptians think well of us. Pakistan is crucial to the war on terror, but we can only count on the goodwill of 19% of Pakistanis.

But, as Ajami argued, this anti-Americanism is mostly hype. And this is underlined by a report released yesterday by Manpower, a leading recruitment company, who asked white collar employees around the world about their preferred destination for work. And, guess what, America came out first. So America remains both the promised land where the world wants to work and also the evil empire that the world loves to hate.

Pew interviewed 23,000 workers for their survey, while Manpower interviewed 31,000 people. The world clearly both loves and hates America. What a dramatic, romantic story. It would make a great novel.