Perceptions of the US's global role continue to decline according to a BBC World Service global survey. Over the last two years of the survey, the percentage of people who think the US is having a positive influence on the world has dropped from 40% to 36% to 29%. Furthermore, three out of four respondents disapprove of how the US has dealt with Iraq, and 68% think the US presence in the Middle East 'provokes more conflict than it prevents'.
Related to this, the Guardian has recently published an opinion piece that argues that because the US has had to drop it's failed "freedom agenda" in the marketing of its presence in the Middle East, they have taken up a marketing ploy of 'compulsively repeat[ing] the word "moderates" to describe their allies in the region' who are actually anything but moderate and are extremely dictatorial and reactionary. The author, Mai Yamani, argues that these states are politically useful to the US because they are not able to act independently - however, the more these regimes are sheltered by the US, the more their legitimacy erodes, and the more explosive the Middle East becomes.