Sunday, June 27, 2010

The vain pursuit of popularity

Well, the data are in. President Obama's campaign to charm the Muslim world, so far, has been a dud. The Wall Street Journal reports here on a Pew Research Center study showing that Obama and the United States have lost support in each Islamic country surveyed.

Barry Rubin explains this phenomenon: "On one hand, there are the enemies of America . . . They want--depending on who we are talking about--to conquer the Middle East, take over their own countries, establish a Caliphate, lord it over neighbors, wipe Israel off the map, turn women into chattel, get rid of the Christians, expel Western influence from the region, and/or transform their own countries into Islamist utopian dictatorships.

So why should we expect them to care whether the U.S. president is a nice guy who likes them and is really sorry for any time in the past when America actually did or tried to do something in the region? Indeed, Middle East dictators and revolutionaries also believe that nice guys finish last."

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