Even though most U.S. citizens would love to think so, America isn’t the most popular nation on the planet. Like any country (or any place in the world, for that matter), there are some major problems in the country that need to be fixed as soon as possible. From outright racism to economic mistakes and the questionable decisions that some politicians make, it’s not hard to see why some countries aren’t exactly big fans of the United States.
Sure, there are some perks to being an American. After all, there are many people from other nations who decide to move their families to the United States in search of better financial and educational opportunities. However, there are still a number of leaders from other countries who aren’t happy with the leadership in America. Some of these foreign leaders also don’t agree with the way that Americans behave in everyday life, either. Yes, that’s a pretty broad generalization, but that’s usually what humans do when they don’t know much about a country or its people, and we should probably work on that as a whole.
The reasons that some other countries don’t particularly care for America are varied, but they are very real. Here are 12 of the countries in the world that hate America.
According to a survey, 47% of Germans dislike the United States, although some Germans say that they dislike the country, and not necessarily the American people. The approval rating has gone down 13 points since 2009. However, Germany’s relationship with the United States is a bit of a love-hate thing. Whenever there is big news in America, German journalists are quick to report it, almost as quickly as journalists in the U.S. There are even certain stories that we may not hear about in America that will make the front page of German newspapers. Timo Lochocki, a fellow at the German Marshall Fund, confirms that Germans want to distance themselves from Americans, but also want to be admired by the United States.
Most of the people from Slovenia who participated in the survey about their feelings concerning the United States said that they didn’t approve of the leadership in America. Even though Slovenia is a member of the EU and a NATO ally, the country has a 54% disapproval rating of the United States. Yugoslavia, which includes Slovenia, was once closely tied to the Soviet Union, and this is likely the reason for Slovenia’s disapproval of the U.S., since the tensions connected to the Cold War are not forgotten. The public debt as a percentage of GDP has grown from 22% in 2008, to 63% in 2013, and the declining economic state of Slovenia may also have a lot to do with why the country does not look at the United States favorably, since America is deemed the world’s wealthiest nation.
People in Tajikistan used to have a 39% disapproval rating of the United States in 2013. The following year, the disapproval went up to 54%. Tajikistan is primarily made up of Sunni Muslims, and is located in Central Asia. In addition to their dislike of the United States, Tajikistan also declined in their approval of the EU by 15 points; the country’s view of China was reduced by 11 points as well. Russia and the United States are also competing to provide what Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, Daniel Rosenblum, called a “security cooperation” with Tajikistan, and it looks like Russia may be winning—for the time being.
55% of the people in Austria are not big fans of the U.S. Austria is a Central European country that was once the place of the Austro-Hungarian empire. When the empire was defeated in World War I, it was divided and Austria became a small republic country. Officials in the United States have a critical view of Austria, because the country continues to trade with North Korea and Iran. Americans are also skeptical of Austria because the country allowed the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party to leave the country, even though he was wanted. Not only does Austria disapprove of America, Austria also has a 70% disapproval rating of China.
The United States disapproval rating in Egypt is 58%, even though America and Egypt are both part of World Bank, the WTO, the UN and IMF. The two countries have been partners for quite some time, but Egypt generally doesn’t approve of the leadership in the United States. Egypt is also the country with the most people in the Arab world, and is a key partner with the United States in America’s efforts to fight terrorism and encourage stability in this Arab region. Even with the election of President Mohamed Morsi, who was elected by a democratic process, Egypt’s disapproval of the United States remains firm.
This is probably not a huge surprise to most Americans that Iran doesn’t approve of the United States very much. According to a survey, 61% of Iranians disapprove of the U.S. The strained relationship between the two countries has been going on for years. When the CIA helped to oust the prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, to keep Iran from giving the Soviet Union its support in 1953, this paved the way for the two countries to butt heads on a myriad of other issues. Later, Reza Shah Pahlavi came into power in Iran, and the country grew quite powerful with its many oil revenues. During the Iranian Revolution, Pahlavi had to flee to Egypt, since he was accused of trying to “Westernize” the government. Recently the major “powers” in the world agreed on a nuclear deal with Iran, and the Iranian foreign minister has stated that Iran will move forward with its nuclear enrichment program if all sanctions are not removed once negotiations are finalized.
The disapproval rating of the U.S. and its leadership in Pakistan is 65%. The U.S. State Department states that Pakistan has received more than $4 billion in civilian assistance from the U.S. from 2009 to 2013, and the United States has given Pakistan $13 billion in military aid in the past 13 years, so it’s surprising that Pakistan would not have a more favorable relationship with America. After the 9/11 attacks, America was focused on Pakistani operations, and is still a strong presence in the country in an effort to prevent and combat terrorism. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for Pakistan’s high disapproval rating is the fact that Osama bin Laden was hiding in the country, and the United States’ mission to kill bin Laden did not go over well with many Pakistani people.
66% of Lebanese people who participated in the disapproval survey stated their dislike for the United States. Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country, but is diverse in terms of religion; 41% of the people in the country are Christian, and 54% are Muslim. Not only does Lebanon disapprove of leadership in the United States, it is also one of the countries that does not approve of the way that the EU is handling their governmental affairs. The Lebanese disapproval rating of the United States improved a little in 2013, which may be largely due to the fact that Congress approved more than $1 billion dollars that was allocated to improve security forces in Lebanon.
Belarus has a 69% disapproval rating of the United States. Since Belarus is a former Soviet Union country, it’s not a big surprise that, for the most part, the country still has a strong dislike for America due to Cold War tensions. To make matters worse, the United States baked the Ukraine after the Russian annexation of Crimea, which increased Belarus’ approval even more. However, Belarus is still on good terms with Russia, and around 62% of the people in Belarus stated that they approved of the leadership in Russia. Since Russia is another country that doesn’t exactly “get along” with the United States, this could explain the overall perception of America in Belarus.
3. Palestinian Territories
There is a 72% disapproval rating of the United States in the Palestinian Territories. This is actually an improvement from 2013, when 80% of people in the Palestinian Territories were clear about their dislike for the U.S. America has also stated that it is in favor of a two-state resolution for the conflict in Palestine and Israel. However, as long as it is perceived that the United States is in full support of Israel, relations between America and the Palestinian Territories are likely to remain strained. Hamas, which is the effective governing body in the Gaza Strip, is also considered a terrorist organization by America and other Western nations, which is also a large part of what keeps the Palestinian disapproval rating of the United States so high.
Turkey’s disapproval of the United States is 73%, which makes it pretty clear that Turkish people aren’t very friendly or open when it comes to talking about America. Many people from Turkey view the United States as a “bully” country that is always butting into the affairs of other countries. There is also a significant amount of unrest in Turkey, but the people of the country are proud and patriotic for the most part. The Turkish people are generally skeptical when the United States tries to step in to help, because Western philosophies are often different from traditional Turkish governmental values. There have been links to terrorism over the course of history when it comes to Turkey, and the United States has worked to prevent these acts, which has aided in the tension between the two countries.
The U.S. Global Leadership Project reports that 82% of Russians don’t approve of the job the United States is doing in leadership. This is the strongest disapproval rating of any other country in the world. Many Russians feel that the United States has made things worse in their country by trying to get involved in Russia’s affairs. Even though most Russians don’t like America, those who live in other countries have a high disapproval rating of Russia as well. Russia is the only country in which the median disapproval rating of Russian leadership was more than the median approval rating. The fact that the United States has recently led Western sanctions on Russia hasn’t made the approval rating any better.