Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 3, 2009


A new World Public Opinion poll finds Egyptians continue to view US foreign policy quite negatively and see President Obama as closely aligned with it. At the same time, Obama has much better ratings than Bush had, and there are signs of thawing feelings toward the US.

Asked how much confidence they have in Obama to do the right thing in international affairs, 39 percent say they have some or a lot of confidence--up sharply from the 8 percent who viewed George W. Bush positively in January 2008. Views of the United States government have also improved with favorable views rising to 46 percent from 27 percent in an August 2008 poll.

However, there has been little change in the views of US foreign policy. Sixty-seven percent say that the US plays a negative role in the world.

Large majorities continue to believe the US has goals to weaken and divide the Islamic world (76%) and control Middle East oil (80%). Eight in 10 say the US is seeking to impose American culture on Muslim countries (80%). Six in ten say it is not a goal of the US to create a Palestinian state. These numbers are virtually unchanged from 2008.

When asked about Obama's goals, Egyptians' views are almost exactly the same as their views of US goals. Sixty percent say they have little or no confidence that Obama will do the right thing in international affairs.

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