Last week Iran’s state news agency FARS plagiarized an article from The Onion on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad outpolling Barack Obama among rural whites, and in their official apology (which included a history of news agencies duped by the Onion and other media muck ups) the English Service editor-in-chief (unnamed!) also noted the satirical news item’s believability:
"Although it does not justify our mistake, we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen," he added.
Ahmadinejad’s sometimes friend in Latin America, Hugo Chavez, meanwhile, facing his most serious opposition yet in an election set for this weekend, said he’d vote for Obama if he were from the United States. Perhaps he's become less popular than the U.S. president there.
During the 2008 primaries, then-Senator Obama said at one of the 2007 debates that he’d meet with leaders of rogue nations without precondition, a line his opponents jumped on. The rhetoric’s proven just that. When he’s not helping kill "rogue leaders", the president’s largely ignored them. He said as much in June, pointing out Hugo Chavez had little impact on the U.S., but that nevertheless Iranian influence on the country had to be monitored. The comments drew criticism from Mitt Romney, who would presumably favor the axis-of-evil specie of the Bush-Obama doctrine.
North Korea, of course, remains a hermetical totalitarian state that threatens thermonuclear war when it’s not rejecting supplies for its chronically famished people. Kim Jong Il died last year and his son is still consolidating power, so he’s unlikely to stick his finger into U.S. politics the way Chavez or Iran’s state news service did, but just as in Iran and Venezuela, anti-Americanism is used to maintain power and personality cults.