Saturday, August 7, 2010

Arabs Lose Faith In Obama

A new study by the US-based Brooking Institution reveals that Arabs have lost faith in President Obama.

No kidding? What a surprise!

I suppose this is grounds for some limited celebration. After all, it's nice to know that public opinion in the USA and public opinion in the Arab world are so closely aligned. You have lost faith in our President? Hey, cool, so have we!

Early in the Obama administration, in April and May 2009, some 51% of the respondents in the six countries expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East. In the 2010 poll, only 16% were hopeful, while a majority - 63% - was discouraged.

Well, that's not surprising, giving the shameless way our President has pandered to the Israel Lobby, while pressuring the Palestinians to agree to direct talks, in spite of Israel's refusal to budge an inch on negotiating positions. And the burning tragedy of this is that by strong-arming the Palestinians into agreeing to talks, we strengthen the radical right-wing government of Netanyahu and his racist sidekick Avigdor Lieberman.

But the utter failure of Obama's Middle East policies is apparent in the next item. In 2009, only 29% of respondents thought it would be a good thing for Iran to possess nuclear weapons. Now the figure is up to 57%. Over half. And these are Arabs, who have an ancient rivalry with the Persians. This is unprecedented, my friends.

But it gets worse.

In past, Arab public opinion has been harsh on the US government, but generally positive toward the American people. Now even that has changed. Now the Arab street is beginning to blame us, individual US citizens. Over half had an "at least somewhat negative" view of Americans, and barely a quarter held an "at least somewhat positive" view of us.

61% of those polled said that their biggest disappointment with Obama was the Israel-Palestine issue.

54% of those polled said the one thing that would most improve their opinion of the USA was a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

The nations polled were Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

Here is the story at Reuters Africa

Here is the story at Al Jazeera English

1 comment:

  1. Of all the dissappointments from Obama so far, I think this one may have been the most surprising.

    When Obama was elected I was cautiously optimistic, believing that this was in fact the best chance we had for real change in a long time but fully prepared for a let-down. Some of my friends are even more cynical than I am and didn't think Obama would do any good at all. The one point I made that nobody argued with was that simply by electing Obama, the United States had improved its image in the Arab world tenfold, and after his speech in Cairo I thought we might really be on the way to a fundamental change in US-Arab relations and therefore a whole new paradigm of world history.

    But he even gave up on THAT for the sake of political expediency. Shameful.