So, two years into the Obama administration and America is again rightly viewed as hopelessly compromised in the Middle East and a backer of Israeli apartheid, repression across the region, occupations etc etc:
Approval of U.S. leadership is now similar or lower than what it was in 2008 in several of the Middle East and North African countries Gallup surveyed in 2010, erasing gains seen after the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. Egypt, Syria, and Algeria are the exceptions, though in all cases approval remains relatively low.
Approval is down significantly in 2010 compared with 2009 in 6 of the 10 countries and areas surveyed both years. Egypt, where President Barack Obama gave a 2009 speech reaching out to the Muslim global community, led these declines and Morocco and Algeria also saw double-digit drops. Approval did not decline significantly in Iraq, Yemen, or Syria as the changes are within the margin of error.
Approval of U.S. leadership is highest in Algeria, Iraq, and Libya, although only a minority expresses approval. Approval ratings are among the lowest in the Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Tunisia. In the Palestinian Territories, the increase in approval between 2008 and 2009 was short-lived and approval returned to its 2008 level in 2010 as the Mideast peace process sputtered. It will be interesting to see if approval changes now that peace talks have started again. Approval in Tunisia is now lower than it was in 2009.
While America is increasingly loathed, they’re going bankrupt supporting wars that are leading nowhere except more extremism. It’s as if Washington’s blinkers are permanently parked on the tone-deaf setting, but of course the country doesn’t know any other reality:
The authors of the book “The $3 Trillion War” noted in a conference call on Wednesday that when they first released their findings two years ago, the estimates were widely criticized as being too high. Now, the researchers believe they may have been too low.
Joseph Stiglitz, who received the 2000 Nobel Prize for Economics, and Linda Bilmes, a public policy professor at Harvard University, said the number of veterans seeking post-combat medical care and the cost of treating those individuals is about 30 percent higher than they initially estimated. That, combined with increases in the cost of military medical care and the lagging economy, will likely push the true long-term cost of the war over the $4 trillion mark.
“This may be more of a crisis than the Medicare and Social Security problems we have looming,” said House Veterans Affairs Chairman Bob Filner, D-Calif. “It rivals both in the potential impact. This is another entitlement we’ve committed ourselves to, and it could break the bank.”
In a conference call with reporters, Bilmes said about 600,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have already sought medical treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and 500,000 have applied for disability benefits. That’s about 30 percent higher than initial estimates for care, and could cost the department nearly $1 trillion in costs for the current wars alone.