“One of the significant findings of his latest poll was that Arab citizens, by a margin of 75 percent, did not believe that democracy was the real objective of American efforts to promote reform and change in the Arab world. A full 58 percent of Arabs thought that the Iraq war resulted in less rather than more democracy in the region. Very large majorities of Arabs – three out of every four persons – believed that the main motives of American policies in the Middle East were ‘oil, protecting Israel, dominating the region, and weakening the Muslim world.”
As Daily Star commentator Rami G. Khouri rightly says, the Arab world is closely watching how the US reacts to Hamas, “as a litmus test of its attitude to promoting democracy in Arab lands.”
Initial impressions are not encouraging.