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Quantifying Anti-Americanism

I’m reprinting in full PRWatch’s summary of a Washington Post article on Arab opinion polls:

Two new opinion polls show that Arab anger at the United States has deepened – “to such an extent that in Egypt – an important ally in the region – nearly 100 percent of the population now holds an unfavorable opinion of the country,” reports the Washington Post’s Dafna Linzer. The polls were conducted by Zogby International, which did similar polling two years ago. “In Zogby’s 2002 survey, 76 percent of Egyptians had a negative attitude toward the United States, compared with 98 percent this year,” Linzer writes. “In Morocco, 61 percent viewed the country unfavorably in 2002, but in two years, that number has jumped to 88 percent. In Saudi Arabia, such responses rose from 87 percent in 2002 to 94 percent in June. Attitudes were virtually unchanged in Lebanon but improved slightly in the [United Arab Emirates], from 87 percent who said in 2002 that they disliked the United States to 73 percent this year.” As Middle East historian Juan Cole observes, this marks a significant change in attitude from the last year of the Clinton administration, when the U.S. favorability rating in some Middle Eastern countries was as high as 75%. “Even after the Afghanistan war, a third of Jordanians thought well of the US,” Cole writes. “Now almost no one anywhere does. These changes in attitude (which greatly benefit al-Qaeda) are mostly the result of [the] war on, and occupation of Iraq.” Source: Informed Comment weblog, August 3, 2004

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