Now that the first round of President Obama's foreign trip has come to an end, one firm conclusion is that the new US administration, amid other strategic goals, tends to win the hearts and minds of average people in the Middle East and South America.

The US has lost the sympathy of people in the whole world and not just in the Middle East. I remember in the event of the last earthquake in Los Angles, a CNN reporter mentioned that, "the world is not reacting emotionally as they react to similar events elsewhere; they seem to believe that Americans deserve such disasters.”

Losing the public sympathy started by Regan’s reign , the "iron fist policy" of his Administration, i.e. supporting Iraq's aggression towards Iran, toppling the Nicaraguan Government, invading Granada in Latin America and changing its legitimate government , along with the unconditional support of Israel against Palestinians, put the US government and world masses at odds. The same inclination continued throughout the George Bush Administration without slightest change. The Clinton era started with the promise of change and new trends, but focused mainly on strategic issues like US – China relations, European crises or issues left from the Soviet demise. By absorbing the attention of the world's leaders for his globalization policies, Clinton was unable take any assertive steps in the world's public diplomacy as he eventually preserved the status-quo inherited from hard line republicans.

By accusing Democrats of losing the US’s leadership grip on world politics and being too lenient, the G.W. Bush administration adopted unbridle policies that were not only in opposition to public opinion in the United States but hated worldwide. If there were no 9/11 excuses, Bush could not even win the second round of elections. The naked nature of a authoritarian regime with barbaric values, without any deliberation in a global setting, was on show. This course was even followed to the last week of his presidency by virtually devastating the Gaza area and destroying whatever they deemed pleasant to annihilate. Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine were the targets of the most inhumane policies. Unilateralism was the US rule of law and dominant trend.

On the other hand, the Islamic revolution of Iran blossomed in the freezing age of the East- West rivalry which from the outset showed its steadfast opposition to the hegemonic nature of the international system. This emerging trend since day one looked for its audience among the masses and not in governments or international forums. Although this policy was not continued and went through several modifications till now, the critics of superpowers and the unjust international system remained as a strong rhetoric for any occasion that Iranian leaders found appropriate. The persistence of this policy over the years, along with enormous material and sacrifices, has branded the Islamic Republic of Iran as the speaker of world’s oppressed masses and the true critic of an unjust International System. For that, President Bush once defined Iran as the producer of martyrdom culture. Fair to say that this policy had never brought any plausible result during the times of crises that Iran faced except being accused for intervening in internal affairs of several countries. If Iran did not gain its political objectives by addressing layers of societies worldwide, one achievement is proved to be certain: Iran successfully defamed and discredited the United States in the eyes of millions of people thereby putting pressure on “third world “governments to limit their obligations versus the U.S.

As Iran was accused of terrorism mainly by US initiative in political ruling classes and appeared isolated in the “international community,” the U.S. itself was losing credit in public opinion especially in key sections of Iranian interests. This game has been dragged on until Obama’s presidency. Now Obama with the “rhetoric of change" challenges Iran and some other countries on this advantage.

Of course, the color variation on the skin of the US president itself is a great achievement and substantial development within the United States let alone the recent decision on curtailing torture or shutting down notorious prisons such as Abu Ghraib, all of which have a profound impact on world public opinion. But if there is no substantive change in the U.S. behavior on crucial issues such as Israel's policies, Palestinian rights, power-sharing politics in Iraq and Afghanistan, legacy of outlaw unilateralism and the arrogant nature of the United States within the next few months, it is not very difficult for nations like Iran to identify the present situation as similar as the ungraceful past.