The numbers prove it (via IPS):
Despite repeated expressions of support by President Barack Obama for democratic change during the “Arab Spring”, the United States remains widely distrusted in the region, according to a major new survey of public opinion in five Arab countries released here Monday.
Instead, Turkey is viewed as having played the “most constructive” role in the past year’s events and its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, emerged as the most admired leader by far in the region, according to the 2011 edition of the annual “Arab Public Opinion Survey” conducted by Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution.
The survey, which was conducted during the last half of October, was based on detailed interviews of some 3,000 respondents from urban centres in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It also included Saudi Arabia, the results from which, however, arrived too late to be weighted with the other five countries.
“Turkey is the biggest winner of the Arab Awakening,” said Telhami, who noted that, despite increasing disillusionment with Obama’s performance on Israel-Palestinian issues, the U.S. president himself appears to have gained some ground in Arab public opinion since the summer of 2010 when the last survey was conducted.
Nonetheless, most Arabs, according to the new poll, continue to believe that Washington’s policies in the Middle East are mainly driven by its desire to control oil and protect Israel from its Arab neighbours. Only five percent said they believe the U.S. is driven by the desire to spread human rights or democracy.