"Still not loved. Now not envied" - that's the tag line of this Article on the world's opinion on America (in the Economist, for a change a free-for-all). Interesting tidbit: America is the number one destination only for Indians - many more people would prefer to immigrate to Australia.
Canada, Britain and Germany are also high on the list before America.
What I find interesting and worrysome is the fact that these opinion are only to a degree related to George W. Bush. The article states that "the Pew polls provide strong evidence that anti-Americanism is more than a blip associated with Mr Bush or Iraq." And "more than half [of the people] think of them [Americans] as greedy and violent and, in the Middle East, as immoral."
I have been living in the USA for ten years now, and sadly, I have to agree with the article. I met many wonderful Americans here, and many have actually quite a harsh opinion about their own country. But the big middleclass certainly things of America as the greatest country in the world, and many sincerely believe that the whole world is knocking on America's door, trying to get in. Well, not any more.
There may be other reasons - Certainly our foreign relations have affected people's opinions about us, but let us not forget that this is not the only destination for people seeking a better life. Nor may it be the best. Perhaps people are going other places because of other reasons. We're living in an interesting time with globalization making easier for peole to do commerce internationally, the internet which makes it easier for people to become more familiar with the world and all it's opportunities (not just the United State's) and now many countries are becoming far more advanced than they ever were and quite probably just as enticing as this country was at one time.
For example, Western Europe is a fantastically convenient destination for immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. It's becoming more and more financially stable, the EU is young and developing but, I think, overall promising. Culturally a destination like the EU may be much more comfortable for new immigrants as far as way of life as they have made it clear that immigration is easier now more than ever. This is a new attitude and, quite honestly, could be considered competition for America's immigration attraction. If I were from the Middle East, I would most definitely be more comfortable in Europe as I am more familiar with Europeans and the Europeans seem much more accepting of the Middle Eastern cultures.
All I'm saying is that we shouldn't just blame anti-Americanism for the drop in immigration popularity and we should consider other factors.