Fred believes that we are disliked because we meddle in the affairs of foreign countries. As far this goes I cannot argue. I do have a few observations. Read below.
Good effort Fred, with a lot of truth. That said, a few caveats are in order.
Of course you're right that the factuality behind others perceptions of us can be irrelevant. That is no reason for us to lose sight of those facts however. For instance.
US China relations were quite good until the Chi-Com takeover in 49'. It's true that the European imperial powers took great advantage of China. The USA did not act with anything like the rapacity of the Europeans (Or the Japanese). The Chinese at that time saw that we, unlike them, sought to sell products while sending medial missionaries. Many Chinese understood this and genuinely liked Americans. Decades of commie propaganda may have erased much of this. That is no excuse for us take up the commie talking points as if they were true.
It's a curious fact that many countries that we clobbered the most have positive attitudes toward us today. The Vietnamese are notoriously American friendly. We fought them. They survived and we became part of their national saga. We fought to keep part of Korea in the non-Communist world and now a great many Koreans are Christian, trade with us and want to live here. We ran the Philippines for a long time and they are happy to live under our umbrella. Many move here. Our "meddling" has not resulted in universal condemnation.
Latin America is a different matter. Frankly, I think we are bound to be unpopular there no matter what we do. We are simply too big for them. They feel the weight of their own poor performance, both internally and on the international stage. You are right, we can benefit from not making them feel small. On the other hand, we have regional interests and like any state, we need to attend to them.
The Cold War is over. We don't have to worry that Paraguay will "Go Communist." It's time we made a few choices, picked some reliable allies and had a rational policy for the region.
The meddling you decrie is mostly an outgrowth of first the Cold War, and now from the Neocon-Liberal Internationalist, takeover of our foreign policy. I agree with you that this is a disaster. We need to end it pronto. It's ironic that the old Wasp business oriented foreign policy of the preceding era was less invasive and more flexible than that of the soulless academic psychopaths we have now.