Across the Mideast, the article reports, the latest polls show sharply increased hostility to America. James Zogby is president of the Arab American Institute. He expresses his frustration with Obama policies. “By the time of his speech in Cairo, the favorable ratings for the U.S. were at their highest ever.” But, reports the National Journal’s Anna van Hollen, those to whom Obama abased himself are frustrated with his lack of follow-through. Zogby says “You get credit for trying after 100 days, but after two years …you get credit for producing, and the production isn’t there.”
Hmmm. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Sounds like the same story in diplomacy with Arab regimes as we have seen with jobs at home. All show and no go.
How bad is it? Zogby International did the polling. Most Arab countries today view the United States less favorably than in the last year of the Bush administration. Only 9 percent of Egyptians were warm to us then. Today, that figure has been cut in half: Only 5 percent of Egyptians have a good opinion of America. Maybe they need some stimulus money.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not have dreamed of bowing to any Saudi king—even if he had been able. When he learned of Roosevelt's piety, King Abdulazziz said he said he respected the President for that.
President Harry Truman was willing to override the man he respected most in the world—his Secretary of State, George C. Marshall. General Marshall had opposed Truman on recognizing the newborn State of Israel. The former five-star military leader warned Truman that the Arabs would be fiercely opposed to us on Israel. And Marshall was right about that.
Nonetheless, Roosevelt and Truman did the right thing in the Mideast and were willing to let the Arabs hate us so long as they respected us.
President Obama turned a strong horse into a hobbled horse with all his appeasement—and billions of our tax dollars going to people who hate us. James Zogby is more sympathetic. “He didn’t get a magic wand when he took office. Instead, he got a shovel to get out of a deep hole. Every one of the issues he’s inherited has been more difficult than he or anyone else expected.”
So that’s the shovel-ready project we’ve heard so much about. Maybe the president can use that shovel to bury his failed Mideast policies.