(We weren't too popular then either.)
Seems not a whole lot has changed the last 40 years, with regards to our standing in the eyes of the world. We have been liked as a people, but despised as a government. How we've managed to trash allies and solidify movements against us. How we've been actively engaged in mutual alienation of every country around us. I was thinking about that as I watched the BBC coverage of President Obama in Cairo this morning. How the right wing so desperately wants us to be isolationist in our foreign policy while at the same time embracing cheap sources of overseas labor in the name of Free Enterprise. And how much work needs to be done in the area of diplomacy just to put things on even keel again.
I thought maybe the problem was the result of the last 8 disastrous years. No. It goes back a lot further than that. According to this documentary from the Second Sunday Radio series "A World Reflection: How they see us", it's been going steadily downhill since the mid-1960's. A long time for a lot to go wrong. And a snap of the finger isn't going to make it right.
As with everything that's been done the past 8 years, repairing damage and surveying the wreckage is going to take a long time. Maybe even decades.
But here is how it was viewed on September 12, 1971.