US PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s popularity in the Arab world has plunged dramatically since he delivered his conciliatory address to Muslims in Cairo in June 2009.
In an annual poll sponsored by US think tank the Brookings Institution, more than 60 per cent of respondents in half a dozen Arab countries said they had a negative view of Mr Obama and the US while only 20 per cent had a positive view. In April-May 2009, 45 per cent of those polled were positive about him and US policy in the region.
According to the latest poll, half had an unfavourable view of Mr Obama personally and were pessimistic about his policies; more than a third had a positive view of him but believed the US system would not permit him to pursue a successful foreign policy. A small number viewed Mr Obama favourably and were hopeful that he could bring change.
America's very own baby Jesus, you may recall, was going to improve America's image around the world. He was going to improve our diplomatic relations with just his smile. He was going to bring a clean slate for America.
We see how that worked out now, right?
Are we honestly surprised?
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday: