Sunday, October 09, 2005

Part 4

These statistics are surprising, unlike the reasons that Arabs cite for the unfavorable view they hold of the United States. When questioned about American values such as freedom, democracy, strong education, or products such as science, technology, and movies the favorable ratings of the US ranged from 30% to 81% in the six Arab countries in the poll. However, when questioned about American foreign policy in the region such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iraq policy or foreign policy toward Arab countries in general, those who viewed the United States favorably ranged form 1 to 7 percent of the population. The difference in magnitude of views is statistically significant and clearly indicates that the American-Arab divide is not a moral/ethical/values one but definitely a practical one viewed in terms of cause and effect, that is, a response to American actions in the region. The range of Arabs who liked or disliked American values is also significant in the sense that Arabs, generally, disagreed on whether they appreciated American values and culture. In contrast, the small range of 1-7 percent favorability of American foreign policy is instructive of the broad agreement that Arabs have over a large swath of land encompassing twenty two countries of which the above six are polled. Again it is important to note that most of these countries that were polled are strong American allies, or their autocratic, despotic governments at least, namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and Morocco. Of the polled countries, only Lebanon is not formally an American ally.

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