The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

How Americans feel about the Arab Spring

Shibley Telhami did one of his useful polls:

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that greater democracy in the Middle East would be positive for the United States. Further, a solid majority would favor this happening even if this resulted in Middle Eastern countries becoming more likely to oppose U.S. policies.

. . .

When asked about the impact on the United States over the next few years "if the countries of the Middle East become more democratic," 65 percent of those surveyed said it would be mostly positive, while 31 percent believed it would be mostly negative. When asked about "the long run," an even larger number — 76 percent — said democratization would be mostly positive for the United States. 

A majority of 57 percent reported they "would want to see a country become more democratic even if this resulted in the country being more likely to oppose U.S. policies."  This number is up from 48 percent when PIPA asked this question in 2005. 

Goes to show, once again, the problem is not the American people, the problem is Washington. One thing though: I don't like "awakening" — it's not like we were asleep all this time.