Skip to comments.Western elites skeptical Arab Spring will bring democracy
Posted on 05/19/2011 5:49:32 AM PDT by SJackson
Poll shows most opinion-makers believe that Arabs aspire to democracy, but wont get it; investment climate will become less favorable. Talkbacks (1) Opinion leaders in the US and Europe believe the mass protests of the Arab Spring are animated by a genuine desire for democracy and freedom, but they are skeptical about their prospects being achieved, according to an unusual poll that surveyed the view of leading figures in government, the media, law academia and non-government organizations.
About three quarters of the 343 opinion leaders surveyed said that anti-government protestors were motivated by democratic aspirations rather than religious influence, and shared the same democratic aspiration of other people around the world. But asked whether they regarded the revolutions risk being captured by the familiar forces of authoritarianism, some 56 percent said they agreed strongly or somewhat.
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The poll, taken by APCO Insight and released on Tuesday, comes as the US and Europe struggle to cast a coherent policy toward the upheavals in the Middle East that have struck both allies, like former Egyptian president Husni Mubarak, and enemies like Syrian leader Bashar Assad. A key element in crafting a new policy is the level of confidence leaders have that the turmoil will lead to freer, more prosperous and more pro-Western societies.
US President Barack Obama, who has expressed optimism about the outcome of the Arab Spring, is scheduled to make a major policy address on Thursday. Reports have said that he will offer new ideas about US policy toward the region and unveil plans for stepped-up aid. The Group of Eight countries, which encompasses the worlds biggest economies, is expected to follow suit with its own aid package.
Egypt, the biggest non-oil economy of the region, is seeking aid to tide it over a period of widening budget deficits. In the longer term, it is counting on an influx of foreign investment to re-start its economy. But the survey of opinion leaders, who were from North America and Europe, found that most of the respondents expressed pessimism about the outlook for foreign investment across the Middle East.
A plurality of 47% said the climate for direct foreign investment in the region would be less favorable than in the past, with the negative views highest among what APCO called elite senior officials. The poll was taken April 28-May 13.
Slightly more than 70% of the opinion leaders polled by APCO said Arab governments would be more democratic in the wake of the revolutions, but when asked what specific achievements they foresaw coming, they were more doubtful.
While 60% saw the turmoil as acting to accelerate economic and social development, fewer expected women to enjoy any gains (54%), for rule of law to be more widely respected (52%) or that less violent, more tolerant societies would emerge (44%), the APCO survey found.
It is clear that while there may be concern about who emerges in power, characterizing events as an indictment of Arab society is not persuasive, Mamoon Sbeih, managing director of APCOs Arab Region office in Dubai, said.
The view of Western leaders stands in contrast to how the Arab world views the revolutions, according to a second poll, conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, and released on Tuesday.
It found that the Arab public is optimistic about the impact of the revolutions. Wide majorities in Jordan (73%), the Palestinian territories (73%) and Lebanon (71%) expressed the view that they will lead to more democracy in the Middle East.
Egyptians are also upbeat. Asked specifically, a majority of Egyptians (57%) said they are optimistic about the future of their country, although only 41% said it is very likely that elections slated for this autumn will be free and fair.
As he seeks to recast US Middle East policy, Obama has an uphill battle to fight for Arab public opinion. The Pew survey, taken March 21-April 26, found that the US is looked upon less favorably now than in 2009 in most of the Arab world while confidence in Obama has fallen. In the five Mideast countries included in the poll, unfavorable views of the US ranged from a low of 49% in Lebanon to a high of 84% in Jordan.
Many of the concerns that have driven animosity toward the US in recent years are still present a perception that the US acts unilaterally, opposition to the war on terror and fears of America as a military threat, Pew said in a report. The Arab Spring has not led to a change in Americas image.
This only tells me that "opinion leaders" and blind morons...
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Muslims are genetically incapable of ruling themselves and are programmed for self-destruction by their Satanic belief system.
Of course the “Arab Spring” isn’t going to generate democracy, since obama is actively supporting the mOslim brotherhood.
But notice, no uprising in....Iraq.
That’s the whole, unadulterated truth...and are disingenuous or just plain lying because they, the opinion leaders, have other motives.
Christ is risen!
muslims are NOT genetically incapable of ruling themselves! If they convert to Christianity, their incapacity disappears as they allow our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ to become ruler of their lives, rather than the demon cult islam.
The bogus “Arab Spring” is designed to bring sharia, muslim Brotherhood rule, and perhaps the Caliphate to the Middle East/North Africa, NOT democracy! obama is a KNOWING and WILLING collaborator in this process. In fact, obama started the whole process with his traitorous speech in Cairo.
The muzzies are already killing Coptic Christians in Egypt, and burning their churches. They are lusting to do the same thing to Orthodox Christians in Syria, and to attack Israel as well.
PHOOEY to the traitor obama and his muslim barbarian legions!!!!
From the onset of this so called ‘Spring’ any idiot with half a brain knew there would be no democracy. For believers in the Koran...it is simply antithetic.
I think it is kind of hilarious when I recall the journalists cheering the Egyptian mess as it started up.
The Arab Spring is also the Islamist Spring and the Jihadist Spring. That is who “we” are supporting in Lybia and probably Syria, two countries that had not yet been overrun by the headchopping barnch of the Peaceful Religion. And “our guys,” the Moslem Brotherhood are set to make major gains if not total in Egypt.
Genetically Muslims are no different than anyone else. Culturally however, they are incapable of ruling themselves democratically. That is because Islam is not just a religion but also a political system. One that is incompatible with democracy.
Muslims can rule themselves. They just cannot rule themselves very well. Look at all the miserable economies, the lack of human rights, and the violence and pure misery that Muslims inflict upon themselves and each other as proof.