Americans don't like not knowing why they are hated around the world. Of course, the United States still has some nations as friends—chiefly among the English-speaking world, Israel and in parts of Northern and Eastern Europe. But the numbers are becoming fewer.
Harvard historian Niall Ferguson analyzes the subject well: "The best explanation is in fact the simplest. Being hated is what happens to dominant empires. It comes—sometimes literally—with the territory" (The Sunday Telegraph, Feb. 25, 2007).
Hatred sometimes doesn't make much sense. Professor Ferguson also writes: "Who hates America the most? You might assume it's people in countries that the United States has recently attacked—but it's not. It's the people in countries that are supposed to be America's friends, if not allies" (ibid.).
For example, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, Britons view former foes Germany and Japan far more favorably than America, in spite of the transatlantic partnership that has been of so much benefit to the modern world. A third of Britons even welcomed the success of Hamas in last year's Palestinian elections.
It also seems that those European nations who received the most help from the U.S. Marshall Plan following World War II are in the forefront of anti-Americanism. The current excuse is the war and insurgencies in Iraq. Both Germany and France lined up against America and Britain in opposing the war.
Indeed, "forty-eight percent of Germans think the United States is more dangerous than Iran, a new survey shows, with only 31 percent believing the opposite" (Der Spiegel, March 29, 2007).
London Times columnist Rosemary Righter gave Europe a gentle rebuke: "It's open season on the US, even in Britain . . . [But] at the age of 50, the EU should at last be able to shed its childishly defensive attitude to the US. So, even, should France. For only by pooling the skills and talents of Europe and America, will the European Union achieve its true international potential" (March 21, 2007).
Those interested in the role and future of the United States should also request and read our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. This publication explains the important origins and the prophetic significance of the major English-speaking nations. (Sources: The Sunday Telegraph, The Times [both London], American Thinker, Der Spiegel.)