Karen Hughes Resigns As Bush’s US Image Expert As World Opinion of US Continues To Drop

The Center for American Progress reports that Karen Hughes has resigned as President Bush’s Under Secretary of Pulic Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the State Department. Hughes was assigned by Bush in 2005 to “improve America’s image.” According to The Progress Report, America’s image has been in almost continual decline globally since Hughes took the position. The report says:

“A PIPA poll shows that since 2005, when Hughes took the position with the State Department, the percentage of people globally who believe that the United States represents a positive influence on the world dropped from 40 to 29 percent, while the percentage of people who feel the United States has a negative influence rose from 46 to 52 percent. In the Middle East, opinion of the United States has dropped dramatically during the Bush presidency. The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Turkey, who have all historically been supportive of the United States, give approval ratings of 25, 11, and seven percent, respectively. The majority of Iraqis favor immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Hughes’s position was primarily a public relations job, and the State Department has not made her task any easier lately. Following the deadly September shootout in Baghdad involving Blackwater, The New York Times reported that Iraqi citizens made virtually no distinction between U.S. troops and Blackwater guards, so that any black mark on Blackwater’s record would directly affect Iraqi perceptions of the United States.”

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