Being hated is what happens to dominant empires. But who hates Americans the most? You might assume that it's people in countries that the United States has recently attacked or threatened to attack.
For example, according to a poll by Gallup's Center for Muslim Studies, 52 per cent of Iranians have an unfavorable view of the United States. But that figure is actually down from 63 per cent in 2001.
And it's significantly lower than the degree of antipathy towards the United States felt in Jordan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Two thirds of Jordanians and Pakistanis have a negative view of the United States and a staggering 79 per cent of Saudis. Sentiment has also turned hostile in Lebanon, where 59 per cent of people now have an unfavorable opinion of the United States, compared with just 41 per cent a year ago.
The paradox: It's not America's enemies in the Muslim world who hate the United States most, it's people in countries that are supposed to be America's friends, if not allies.
[In fact, the same is true of Britain.] Back in 1999, 83 per cent of British people surveyed said that they had a favorable opinion of the United States. But by 2006, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, that proportion had fallen to 56 per cent.