Democracy Up, America Down

Throughout the world, including Muslim countries, people place a high value on freedom of expression, freedom of the press, multi-party systems and equal treatment under the law, reports a 44-nation survey of world opinion conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Support for the United States, however, is another matter. "The speed of the war in Iraq and the prevailing belief that the Iraqi people are better off as a result have modestly improved the image of America," states the survey summary. "But in most countries, opinions of the U.S. are markedly lower than they were a year ago. The war has widened the rift between Americans and Western Europeans, further inflamed the Muslim world, softened support for the war on terrorism, and significantly weakened global public support for the pillars of the post-World War II era -- the U.N. and the North Atlantic alliance."