Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What the Arab World Thinks?

The Arab world has one hell of a chunk of Earth’s population, as it covers a stretch of the Middle-East right across the whole of northern Africa, with billions living within its many countries.

So the University of Maryland's Sadat Chair for Peace and Development worked with Zogby International, a polling company to find out what Arabs think of democracy and politics and of course the USA. Their findings from surveys conducted in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates?

Best model of freedom – France – the USA only earned less than one-third of France’s votes.

Preferred ‘Sole’ Superpower - France with China coming in a surprising 2nd - the USA came in with only half of the votes for No 2 placed China.

Biggest Threat to their wellbeing – a humongous win for Israel, who narrowly beat the USA.

What about the effect of the Iraq War and removal of Saddam Hussein?

75% said Iraqis were worse off
76% believed the US motive was oil
69% said US spreading democracy was bullshit.

80% admitted their opinions of USA are based on American foreign policy, not American values.

Finally while many Arabs sympathise with al Qaeda if it fights against US, only 7% approved of its methods of operations and 6% of its goal to create an Islamic state.

Not good news for the USA. But should we be surprised?

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