Most Arab countries have a less favorable view of America under President Barack Obama than they had at the end of the George W. Bush administration, according to a new report from the Arab American Institute (AAI).
AAI reported that Arab world opinion of the U.S. and President Obama — the man long heralded as the one to heal the wounds that the Bush administration had allegedly inflicted upon the Arab world — has dropped to an all time low.
AAI’s findings stand in stark contrast to the sentiment surrounding Obama’s 2008 election and his “Cairo speech,” which famously doubled Arabs’ favorable attitudes toward the U.S.
Just two years later, five out of six countries surveyed viewed the U.S. less favorably than Turkey, China, France, or even Iran.
Based on the survey, which placed Obama’s favorable ratings across the Arab world at 10% or less, any hope that Obama could improve relations is all but gone.
“This poll reaffirms what we’ve been saying,” said AAI President James Zogby. “Americans looked to Obama for change in 2008. The expectations were high, and we haven’t delivered. It seems that one thing that Americans and Arabs agree on is that the U.S. needs to make changes here at home before looking to build on changes abroad.”
The largest frustrations among these countries has been America’s interference in Arab lands and the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The killing of Osama Bin Laden has not helped matters either.
“Here and abroad, people were looking for real changes in our domestic and foreign policies, for real engagement in the Arab world and for progress in Palestine,” Zogby added. “These numbers are a clear statement of their disappointment.”