Trump’s disdain for diplomacy is making the world more dangerous

Donald Trump has shown no interest in advancing the UN-run Geneva peace process for Syria. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Trump is destroying America’s image around the world

It might seem like a subjective judgment to say that Donald Trump is wrecking America’s image. But a new Pew poll of 37 countries shows that this is measurable reality: Perceptions of the United States have collapsed since President Trump took office.

Pew asked people in countries ranging from Canada to Brazil to Russia whether they had favorable views of the US, and whether they had confidence in the US president to do the right thing in world affairs — questions they had also asked of people in these countries back when Barack Obama was president. The change between the Obama results and this year’s Trump results in Pew’s worldwide average are striking:

(Pew)

When you break down the results by country, things are even more eye-popping. Confidence in the American president has collapsed nearly everywhere:

(Pew)

This negative assessment of Trump, according to Pew, has directly translated into more negative views of the United States as a country.

“In countries where confidence in the U.S. president fell most, America’s overall image has also tended to suffer more,” the report explains. “Since 2002, when Pew Research Center first asked about America’s image abroad, favorable opinion of the U.S. has frequently tracked with confidence in the country’s president.”

Take the US’s neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Trump gets the lowest ratings ever recorded in Pew’s data for any American president in those two countries — and, under his leadership, the US has the lowest marks in its history as well. It’s even worse than the end of the Bush administration, when the US was mired in Iraq and the global economy was taking a bad turn:

(Pew)

“For the first time in 35 years, maybe much longer, a majority of Canadians have an unfavourable view of the US,” Daniel Dale, the Toronto Star’s Washington correspondent, writes.

There are only two exceptions to this trend, where the US does better under Trump than it did under Obama: Russia and Israel. In Israel, confidence in the US president went up by 7 points under Trump; in Russia, it was a whopping 42.

Obama was widely unpopular in Israel, particularly after the Iran deal and high-profile fights over both Iran and the peace process with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Likewise, Obama took a hard line on Russia by the end of his administration, imposing crippling sanctions after Moscow invaded Ukraine. Trump … well, you know what Trump thinks about Russia.

But aside from those two very specific cases, the overall pattern is clear: Donald Trump is tanking America’s image around the world.

[“Source-vox”]

World No Tobacco Day Has Twitter Buzzing With ‘No Smoking’ Messages

World No Tobacco Day Has Twitter Buzzing With 'No Smoking' Messages

Tobacco use kills over seven million people each year, according to WHO.
May 31 is World No Tobacco Day and several celebrities, politicians, sportstars and may others on social media are posting their messages on #WorldNoTobaccoDay to mark the day. It’s no secret that smoking and using tobacco is extremely injurious, not only to one’s health but also to others and the environment. “Tobacco threatens us all,” says World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “Tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.” Tobacco use kills over seven million people each year, according to WHO.

So, to drive home the message that tobacco is harmful and should not be consumed in any way, people on Twitter are posting messages on World No Tobacco Day. “I left smoking almost 35 years ago! Will you?” tweeted Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan earlier today. Many others, not unlike like Big B, are sharing their personal anecdotes of when they quit smoking and how they feel now. Tweeple are also sharing facts and figures related to tobacco usage. Some have even posted suggestions on how one can quit the habit.

Former Indian opener and current Twitter king Virender Sehwag, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, singer Shaan, and many others have also tweeted about #WorldNoTobaccoDay. The hashtag is trending on Twitter.

Here’s what Twitter is saying on World No Tobacco Day
If you’re looking to finally kick the butt, today is the best day to do so. Say no to tobacco on World No Tobacco Day.

Share your thoughts on World No Tobacco Day in the comments section below.

Click for more trending news

[“Source-ndtv”]

THE WORLD THAT TRUMP AND AILES BUILT

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Roger Ailes died recently, at the age of seventy-seven, during a week when the ground shook beneath a stumbling Donald Trump. The two men were in many things near: in age and appetites, in temper and coarseness. They were also in many things far apart: in intelligence and energy, in talent and purpose. Ailes was formidable, Trump brittle. Ailes’s decline began last summer, when he was forced out of Fox News. Trump’s fall, if he falls, is still to come. And yet at times it has seemed as if the two men were Humpty and Dumpty, tumbling off a wall that they’d built together, to divide one half of the country from the other.

The measure of the world they made lies in its distance from the world into which they were born, when the question of whether democracy could be defended without violating the freedoms on which it rests was a matter of pained debate. Ailes was born in Ohio in May, 1940. Weeks later, President Roosevelt gave a commencement address in Virginia. “Every generation of young men and women in America has questions to ask the world,” he began. “But every now and again in the history of the Republic a different kind of question presents itself—a question that asks, not about the future of an individual or even of a generation, but about the future of the country.” He was arguing against America Firsters, who wanted the United States to be an island, a vision he declared to be a nightmare, “the nightmare of a people lodged in prison, handcuffed, hungry, and fed through the bars from day to day by the contemptuous, unpitying masters of other continents.”

Roosevelt had been trying to gain support for entry into the war in Europe, but he knew that it was possible to push too hard. In 1917, to marshal support for another war, Woodrow Wilson had created a propaganda department, a fiction manufactory that stirred up so much hysteria and so much hatred of Germany that Americans took to calling hamburgers “Salisbury steaks” and lynched a German immigrant. John Dewey called this kind of thing the “conscription of thought.” It was a horse’s bit crammed into the people’s mouth. The bitterness of that experience determined a new generation of journalists to avoid all manner of distortion and error. In 1923, when Henry Luce and Briton Hadden founded Time (their first name for it was Facts), the magazine hired a small army of women to check every fact. (“Add Fact Checking to your list of chores,” the founder of The New Yorker instructed an editor, not long afterward.) In 1929, Luce hired as an editor of his new magazine, Fortune, a poet named Archibald MacLeish. He had fought in the First World War, then lived in Paris, where he wrote poems about places where lay “upon the darkening plain / The dead against the dead and on the silent ground / The silent slain—.” He worked at Fortune until 1938. F.D.R. appointed him Librarian of Congress in 1939.

“Democracy is never a thing done,” MacLeish said. “Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.” He believed that writers had an obligation to fight against fascism in the battle for public opinion, a battle that grew more urgent after the publication, in 1940, of “The Strategy of Terror,” by Edmond Taylor, the Paris bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune. Taylor reported firsthand on the propaganda campaign waged by Nazi agents to divide the French people, by leaving them uncertain about what to believe, or whether to believe anything at all. (In “Mein Kampf,” Hitler had written that most people “are more easily victimized by a large than by a small lie, since they sometimes tell petty lies themselves but would be ashamed to tell big ones.”) Taylor called propaganda “the invisible front.” Roosevelt decided that he could delay his assault on that front no longer. In October, 1941, he issued an executive order establishing a new government information agency, the Office of Facts and Figures. He appointed MacLeish to head it.

“The duty of government is to provide a basis for judgment,” MacLeish insisted, “and when it goes beyond that, it goes beyond the prime scope of its duty.” Under his leadership, the office mainly printed pamphlets, including “Divide and Conquer,” which explained how foreign agents weaken a nation’s resolve by undermining confidence in institutions like elections and the press, and by raising fears of internal enemies, like immigrants and Jews. Still, some reporters suspected that the agency was nothing more than a propaganda machine, the wartime conversion of fact to fiction. MacLeish was worried, too. In April, 1942, he spoke at a meeting of the Associated Press. To counter the strategy of terror, he proposed a new strategy:

That strategy, I think, is neither difficult to find nor difficult to name. It is the strategy which is appropriate to our cause and to our purpose—the strategy of truth—the strategy which opposes to the frauds and the deceits by which our enemies have confused and conquered other peoples, the simple and clarifying truths by which a nation such as ours must guide itself. But the strategy of truth is not, because it deals in truth, devoid of strategy. It is not enough, in this war of hoaxes and delusions and perpetuated lies, to be merely honest. It is necessary also to be wise.

 

Critics called MacLeish naïve: winning a war requires deception. F.D.R., to some degree, agreed. In June, 1942, he replaced the Office of Facts and Figures with the Office of War Information. MacLeish left, and the agency drifted. Much of the staff resigned in protest. When a former advertising director for Coca-Cola was hired, a departing writer made a mock poster that read, “Step right up and get your four delicious freedoms. It’s a refreshing war.” In 1946, the year that Donald Trump was born, MacLeish published a poem called “Brave New World,” about Americans’ retreat from the world: “Freedom that was a thing to use / They’ve made a thing to save / And staked it in and fenced it round / Like a dead man’s grave.”

A lifetime later, Barack Obama greeted Roger Ailes at the White House. “I see the most powerful man in the world is here,” Obama said. “Don’t believe what you read, Mr. President,” Ailes answered. “I started those rumors myself.” Other rumors that Ailes helped start include Trump’s charge that Obama is not an American. Also: science is a hoax, history is a conspiracy, and the news is fake. It’s not always possible to sort out fact from fiction, but to believe that everything is a lie is to know nothing. Ailes won’t be remembered as the man who got Trump elected President; he will be remembered as a television producer who understood better than anyone how to divide a people. And Trump’s Presidency, long after it ends, will stand as a monument to the error of a strategy of terror.

[“Source-ndtv”]