Foreign Policy Blogs

Non-Americans for Obama

Non-Americans for Obama

I stumbled upon a website called “The World Wants Obama,” dedicated to documenting evidence of Senator Obama's support abroad (the group is also extensively on Facebook and YouTube).

The group's manifesto is worth reading:

“Although Americans have done many positive things around the world, the US government – once the champion of anti-colonialism and self-determination – has often appeared to be an arrogant bully, waging war and pursuing its own interests at the expense of others. President Bush has taken this to extremes, but the general policy was little better under his predecessors, for example Bill Clinton imposed economic sanctions on Iraq for all eight years of his presidency, against the wishes of the vast majority of UN countries, causing the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

However, Senator Obama looks different, he sounds different and millions of non-Americans believe he will act differently. We cannot vote in the 2008 US elections, but if we could we’d back Obama. We may not agree with all his current policies, and we understand that he will face difficult choices and compromises when he is in office. However we trust he will do his best because he has demonstrated strong principles and a willingness to listen and engage constructively, even with countries that have been seen as America's enemies. We want an America that lives up to the principles it preaches, listens rather than lectures, conserves rather than consumes, makes peace rather than war and uses its influence positively in the world…”

The site's blogroll points out a bunch of international Obama fan clubs (like this one), immigrant communities in the US for Obama (like this one).

The group sought to investigate whether Obama's candidacy was having the effect of improving the US’ image abroad. The polls they cite‚ surprise, surprise‚ all show Obama as the preferred candidate in Sweden, Poland, the UK, Russia, Japan, Brail, Iraq, Switzerland, France, and Germany. One of the group's members, who is based in London, tells me they didn't filter the polls they cite, all the results just turned out to favor Obama. (It's important to note that most of the polls they cite were not conducted using representative samples, so their results can not be generalized to the nation's wider population).

Nevertheless, an annual global poll conducted by the BBC World Service found that, compared to years past, global views of the US are becoming more positive. It's hard to know whether that's due to the coming change in leadership, but lead investigator of the poll, Steven Kull, suggests so:

“It may be that as the US approaches a new presidential election, views of the US are being mitigated by hope that a new administration will move away from the foreign policies that have been so unpopular in the world.”

Final note: For the sake of balanced blogging, if anyone knows of a similar website or group supporting Senators Clinton or McCain, please let me know.



Melinda Brouwer

Melinda Brower holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Chile during her tenure as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, for Foreign Policy magazine and the American Academy of Diplomacy. She presently works for an internationally focused non-profit research organization in Washington, DC.