In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, former President Jimmy Carter makes the case that the United States is "abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights."
He points to some of the government’s counterterrorism policies including, interrogation tactics at Guantánamo Bay and the "president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or 'associated forces.'”
Carter also points to the use of drones and its negative impact on American foreign policy:
Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.
These policies clearly affect American foreign policy. Top intelligence and military officials, as well as rights defenders in targeted areas, affirm that the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations, aroused civilian populations against us and permitted repressive governments to cite such actions to justify their own despotic behavior.
While Carter makes no direct reference to President Obama, he does condemn his policies as violating international human rights which, in turn, "abets our enemies and alienates our friends."
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center, which questioned more than 26,000 people in 21 countries, found that Obama's policies are hurting his global image.
In particular, drones: In 17 of the 21 countries surveyed, more than half of the respondents disapprove of U.S. drone attacks targeting extremists in countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. That contrasts sharply with the opinion of 62% of Americans, who approve of the drone campaign.
What do you think? How is the U.S. viewed around the world and is the use of drones helping or hurting?