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The Steady Decline of US Popularity in Egypt

One of the hoped-for legacies of Barack Obama’s presidency was a reconciliation between the US and the Islamic world. This vision has suffered a series of setbacks, mostly due to the administration’s muddled policy decisions in the Middle East and Burma.

Just to drive the point home, here’s a chart from a recent Pew survey that shows how Obama’s popularity has dwindled in Egypt:


Now, while Egyptians have had cause for pessimism since the Arab Spring, the broader trend is unmistakable: Egyptians were willing to give this new American president a chance in 2009 after he was elected, but have since grown steadily disillusioned.

Perhaps more telling than the personal favorability statistic is the following, from the same survey:

Just 16% have a favorable view of the U.S., lower than the 27% registered in 2009 shortly after President Obama took office, and lower than the 22% who expressed a positive opinion of the U.S. in 2008, President George W. Bush’s final year in the White House.


The administration’s goal of Muslim outreach was and remains a good idea. Unfortunately, it still remains largely unimplemented beyond the delivery of a few high-minded speeches.

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  • jeburke

    Well, my confidence in Egypt and Egyptians (never high, admittedly) has plummeted since 2009. So we’re even.

  • Corlyss

    So much for leading from behind. Now we got an Egyptian government we can’t control even with money and a population that the Egyptian government can’t control.

  • Anthony

    Does Professor Mead have any idea for how to improve this situation? Apparently not, which is understandable, considering how hopeless it seems to be.

  • Jim Luebke

    What? You mean the Cairo speech and the Tahrir Square demonstrations weren’t all it takes to make Egypt a democratic utopia?

    What fools these liberals be…

    Tell me, is our humanitarian aid contingent on their having a government we like? (That probably wouldn’t help us with the population in general, if that’s a goal.) Alternatively, are we doing anything to prevent nastiness to the Copts and other minorities in the country?

    Or are we just failing to prioritize any goal, and putting up with across-the-board disaster as a result?

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