Lord knows I don't envy the schmuck who has to write one of these "What's the mood of the entire world right now?" thumbsuckers. And any honest person who regularly travels outside the country would have to say "antipathy" toward the U.S. in most places you can name is extraordinarily high these days. I even agree that President Bush's inattention and impoliteness has contributed a great deal to that antipathy. But Richard Bernstein's state-of-the-world overview still strikes me as a bit hokey. Post-9/11 sympathy squandered—check. Bush as cowboy—check. Suspicions about Iraq war—check. Then the whopper:
The subject of America in the world is of course complicated, and the nation's battered international image could improve quickly in response to events. The Bush administration's recent turn to the United Nations for help in postwar Iraq may represent such an event.
I agree that making nice with the UN is the right move, but really: This is what's going to improve our international image? Or just our image at 43rd Street?