Last week the International Business Times reported:
In their annual End of Year poll, researchers for WIN and Gallup International surveyed more than 66,000 people across 65 nations and found that 24 percent of all respondents answered that the United States “is the greatest threat to peace in the world today.” Pakistan and China fell significantly behind the United States on the poll, with 8 and 6 percent, respectively. Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea all tied for fourth place with 4 percent.
For those of us who believe the opposite — namely, that the United States is the world’s greatest force for peace (and liberty) — an explanation of this poll is called for.
Here is my explanation:
Much of the world’s moral compass is broken. The moral north reads south, and the moral south reads north. In a world of such loathsome and barbaric regimes as North Korea, Iran, and Syria — with Chinese nationalism rising to chauvinistic levels under a Communist dictatorship; with Russia under Vladimir Putin seeking to re-create the Soviet empire and silencing critics, sometimes through murder; with the totalitarian murderers of the Taliban about to retake much of Afghanistan; and with Islamic terror producing atrocities almost daily — it is the United States that is voted the greatest threat to peace.
Not the Chinese regime that still venerates Mao Tse-tung, the greatest mass murderer in history; that continues to crush Tibet, one of the world’s most ancient countries and cultures; that squelches liberty and arrests and tortures dissidents; and that is engaged in a massive military buildup.
Not Iran, which is governed by a regime that has repeatedly called for the extermination of another nation; that tortures and kills dissidents on a daily basis; that is the greatest supporter of terrorist movements; and that is building a nuclear weapon.
Not the Taliban, which, when in power, gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden, the world’s most lethal terrorist; which murders girls who attend school; and murders aid workers who inoculate Afghan children against polio.
Not nuclear North Korea, the world’s largest concentration camp, which regularly threatens its neighbors.
And not Islamic terror groups, the greatest murderers of innocent people in the world today.
Unfortunately, the poll results are not surprising.
First, while individual human beings do enormous good, mankind has always been morally unimpressive. In terms of moral judgment, we should expect little from the majority of the human species.
Second, the world’s news media are responsible for this perception of America. Almost every major news medium on earth is either center-left or left. And the Left around the world loathes America.
That the poll’s results are synonymous with the Left’s perception of America is also shown by another result of the poll:
A plurality of people polled in several officially American-allied nations also rated the United States as dangerous. Thirty-seven percent of Mexicans and 17 percent of Canadians view their neighboring country with suspicion on the world stage. A surprising 13 percent of American respondents rated their own nation the biggest threat to world peace as well.
Who are these Mexicans, Canadians, and Americans? They are leftist Mexicans, leftist Canadians, and leftist Americans.
Third, there is a morally flawed understanding of “peace.” In much of the world (again, thanks to the Left), peace has been so narrowly defined as to be morally irrelevant. It essentially means not having troops fighting in a foreign country. Thus, because the United States has troops fighting in Afghanistan and recently had troops fighting in Iraq, it is considered a “threat to peace.” But Iran, with no troops on foreign soil, is not considered a threat to peace, even though it sustains terror movements, murders its own people, seeks to annihilate Israel, props up the mass-murdering Syrian regime, and is rapidly developing a nuclear weapon.
It is only according to this definition of “peace” that states such as Iran, North Korea, and China — states that stay in power through violence — are not deemed threats to peace.
Finally, here are two questions that should make clear the moral absurdity of the poll’s results:
Would the world be more or less peaceful if only America disarmed?
Would the world be more or less peaceful if only America were armed?
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.