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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Arab beliefs unchanged by Obama

Three weeks ago, I blogged the results of a Zogby poll of Arab public opinion that showed disappointment with President Obama. Herbert London works through some of the implications of that poll.
First is the obvious conclusion that the adjective moderate hasn't any place in the Middle East, where one man's moderate is another man's radical. The assumption that President Obama's Cairo speech changed attitudes in the Arab world is certainly not borne out by the polling data.

Second, whatever change in tilt the present administration has given to the Israel-Palestinian question, negative attitudes to Israel persist, and it is unlikely this will change substantially as long as Israel exists.

Third, despite the rhetorical shift in Middle East policy reflected in President Obama's attitude and gestures, there is relatively little change in the Arab attitude about Obama and Bush. Considering the hoopla given to policy shifts, it is remarkable that the Arab man on the street retains essentially the same position toward the Unites States that he held two years ago – pre-Bush.

Fourth, despite the imperial aims of Iran and its threats against Sunni-dominated states, Arabs believe that the U.S. is a greater threat to their societies by a factor of 10.

Fifth, it is remarkable that not one moderate leader in the Arab world, alas even in the non-Arab world, makes the list of most admired figures.
Read the whole thing, but the most important conclusion is this one:
The effort to appease, flatter and buy off has not worked. The notion that Obama represents a new chapter in Middle East history is regarded as mythology. And perhaps the most useless expression in the English language is "Middle East Peace Process." There cannot be a peace as long as Israel is regarded as a greater threat than Iran.
Too bad the Obami won't listen.


At 4:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Sucking up to Islam is the whole name of the game. And having Israel to pay for it is what its all about. I don't expect the Obami to get it. Being loved by the Muslim World has become the mythology of this Administration and they aren't about to let a poll showing that Arabs think even less of this President than they did of Bush ever undermine and discredit it.


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