Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where Is the Love?

From Friday's New York Post:

More hated than Dubya?

July 15, 2011

A recent Zogby poll asked Arabs their view of President Obama and the United States, and guess what? They're not crazy about either one.

America's approval in the Arab world has plummeted in the past two years. Just 5 percent of Egyptians view the US favorably, down from 30 percent in 2009.

"In most countries, they are lower than at the end of the Bush administration, and lower than Iran's favorable ratings," wrote pollster James Zogby.

It wasn't supposed to be that way.

In his Cairo speech two years ago, Obama promised a "new beginning," touted the "generations of Muslims" in his family tree and praised the "dignity and peace" of the Islamic faith.

But Obama himself is even more unpopular than Uncle Sam: Just 4 percent of Egyptians, 6 percent of Jordanians and 10 percent of Saudis say he's lived up to expectations.

A stunning 99 percent of Lebanese think he's a failure -- which means the warring Muslims, Christians and other ethnic groups there have finally found something they agree on.

Whatever Obama sets his hand to seems to crumble, Zogby suggested. Even killing Osama bin Laden actually hurt his popularity in the Arab world. And "the two issues on which the administration has invested considerable energy -- 'the Palestinian issue' and 'engagement with the Muslim world' -- receive the lowest approval ratings -- less than 9 percent across the board."

There's a lesson there: Even as Obama pushed Israel to the brink, it didn't buy him any new friends -- it just alienated an old one. Nor did it win him a peace accord, which is as distant as ever.

At least America's next president can take solace: It'll be hard to do worse than Obama.

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