Monday, August 16, 2010

Arabs prefer an Iranian bomb (57%) to Obama (20%)

From FT.com, 6 August 2010, by Daniel Dombey in Washington:

Barack Obama’s popularity has plummeted in the Arab world, where most people support an Iranian nuclear weapon, according to a poll released on Thursday.

The survey of almost 4,000 people in six countries will come as a blow to the White House, which has argued that positive perceptions of Mr Obama – particularly after his Cairo speech to the Muslim world in June last year – have helped retrieve US standing in the region.

...The poll, organised by the University of Maryland and Zogby International, a public opinion research group, says the proportion of respondents with positive views about Mr Obama has more than halved from 45 per cent to 20 per cent since last year. Those with negative views have almost tripled, from 23 per cent to 62 per cent.

Only 5 per cent of people said they had both a favourable personal view about Mr Obama and were hopeful about his foreign policy.

People were questioned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Lebanon and Jordan.

...In other findings that could dismay the US, 57 per cent of respondents said that if Iran acquired nuclear weapons it would be a positive outcome for the Middle East. Only 3 per cent said they empathised with the Jewish people if they watched programmes about the Holocaust, with 88 per cent saying they resented such material or had mixed feelings.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister who clashed with Israel on the Gaza flotilla earlier this year, emerged as the most admired leader in the poll....
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