If history has taught us anything it’s that we can’t just get along. This is particularly true for global powers such as the United States, a county that has its fair share of haters. This has gotten better post-George W. Bush, but there are still plenty of countries that disapprove more than they approve of the U.S. Here is a list of the countries that hate the U.S. most.
Granted, these poll results don’t always tell the whole story and also don’t dictate what will happen in terms of global foreign policy, but it doesn’t make it any easier. What makes people hate the U.S.? There are several factors that include their use of military in countries where people wish they would leave them alone, their use of global resources to enhance their economic growth and, as will happen with global powers, the arrogance of believing their way is better than others.
A couple dishonorable mentions (countries that actually like the U.S.) go to Senegal and Kosovo. Both countries brought U.S. approval ratings greater than 80 percent. Not coincidentally, these are two countries where the U.S. has attempted to assist their people.
Not everyone though is in love with the U.S. This list has small and large countries. Also, this list includes regions that have had conflict with the U.S. in the past as well as countries that show a quiet distaste for the American way of life.
The people of Slovenia mostly hate the U.S. government, giving a disapproval rating of 54 percent. Part of this is due to the close ties to Yugoslavia, now part of Slovenia which once had close ties to the Soviet Union. The Cold War was not that long ago and has not been forgotten by many of their people. The dissolving of the Soviet Union resulted in some areas hanging on to the eighties while others moved on. Large parts of Slovenia still hold on to this time and the resentment is worn on their sleeves. This country has also seen finances drop drastically, resulting in jealousy or anger towards countries among the wealthiest (such as the U.S.)
Germans are a fickle bunch that really aren’t big fans of anyone outside of their country, and that includes the U.S. With 47 percent of the people looking unfavorably on the U.S., you can look back as far as recently to see the cause for this dislike. World War II had a lot of countries involved, but clearly the U.S. and Germany were on opposite sides with the U.S. essentially ending the war. Then there is the Iraq war, a conflict that both Germany and France refused to support. They may have built some merit on not supporting that one, but few will support the German side of World War II.
This is a classic case of the people not in sync with their government. Both Egypt and the U.S. have been trade partners and allies (fighting terrorism together in the Middle East) for years and members of the same global organizations (UN, IMF, WTO), but still, 58 percent of Egyptians disapprove of the leadership of the U.S. Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world, so it’s troubling to have such a lack of support from a key ally. To make matters worse, the newly elected government has not received much support from the U.S. In fact, the U.S. has cut aid to the country, possibly resulting in further disapproval.
Most of the countries on this list have Soviet Union ties or are Islamic states; however, Austria is neither. With a disapproval rating of 55 percent, Austrians hate the U.S. more and more, raising from 46 percent in 2013 to 55 percent disapproval in 2014. Where most of the animosity comes from is probably the U.S. looking down on Austria’s relations with both Iran and North Korea. Austria continues to trade with these countries despite their resistance to working in a peaceful world environment. The Austrians also disapprove greatly of China, so you know, some people just hate everyone. Austria appears to be part of this category.
Sometimes helping areas isn’t always the answer to getting their approval. In the case of Pakistan, the U.S. involvement has cost them popularity in the region. Since 2009 Pakistan has received over 4 billion dollars for assistance for their civilians. They have also received three times this in military assistance. Of course, military assistance (and presence) comes at a cost, especially when the military is there to combat terrorism in your region. Pakistan feels they can deal with their problems on their own and don’t need help from the outside. Yeah, it probably didn’t help that Osama Bin Laden was found hiding there and assassinated by the U.S. on Pakistani soil.
The Lebanese are another case of a country that just hates everyone. They don’t like the U.S. (66 percent disapproval rating) they don’t like the countries that make up the European Union and they really don’t like the Germans. Who do they like? Hopefully they like their fellow people of Lebanon because that’s really all they have left. Where the specific hate for the U.S. comes probably has to do with the long-standing presence and aid by the U.S. Again, another case of good intentions where it may not be wanted and wish they were just left alone. How would you like it if your neighbor came over and decided to help you with your life whether you wanted it or not? Probably wouldn’t approve of his intervention, especially if you are Lebanese.
4. Palestinian Territories
The 2014 72 percent disapproval rating is actually better than in 2013 when over 80 percent disapproved of the U.S. The reason for this unhappiness with the Western power is their blatant support of Israel versus Pakistan. This full support of Israel by the U.S. continues so don’t expect relations to get much better. Throw in the fact that Hamas, the group controlling this area since 2007, is considered a terrorist group by the U.S., they are not going to turn their heads and look the other way. I guess we’ll just have to wait until they work out their differences in this area of the world. Let’s check back in 1000 more years and see where they are at!
At a smashing 73 percent unfavorable rating, the people of Turkey are not very friendly when it comes to discussing the U.S. The people of Turkey see the U.S. government as a bully always sticking their nose into other people’s business. Inside Turkey there is plenty of unrest and corruption, but also a lot of pride. The thought of having another country, especially from the West where ideas and philosophies differ is frightening and frowned upon. Toss in the links to terrorism over history and the U.S. vigilant approach to stopping these acts and you have a situation where one country is concerned of possible involvement from the other.
It’s pretty easy to understand why the people of Iran are not big fans of the U.S. The surprise may be that the disapproval rating is only 61 percent. Ever since 1953 (CIA assisted in ousting Iran’s Prime Minister) there has been angst directed between Iran and the U.S. In 1979 when Iran took 66 hostages it kicked the conflict up a level. Since this action the U.S. and many other countries have held sanctions against Iran, making it very difficult for the country to conduct business outside of their country. Today there are ongoing negotiations between Iran and most of the outside world over their nuclear program, one that if allowed to continue, you can expect will be monitored closely by the U.S.
There has always been a competitive spirit between Russia and the U.S., but there may be no time in history where both countries dislike each other as much as today (hey, remember that thing called the Cold War?). With a disapproval ranking of 82 percent, the people of Russia definitely don’t mask their distaste for the U.S. way of life. Recent sanctions by the U.S. against Russia only intensify the hatred. On a more positive note, at least it’s not just the U.S. Most countries disapprove of Russia. Sometimes it’s good to get the majority vote to understand what’s really happening in one country.