Obama’s Lebanon Approval Ratings and More

Here’s the full list of countries polled, accompanied by opinion results on whether Obama “will do the right thing in world affairs”: U.S. (74), Canada (88), Britain (86), France (91), Germany (93), Spain (72), Poland (62), Russia (37), Turkey (33), Egypt (42), Jordan (31), Lebanon (46), Palestinian territories (56), China (62), India (77), Indonesia (71), Japan (85), Pakistan (13), South Korea (81), Argentina (61), Brazil (76), Mexico (55), Kenya (94), Nigeria (88).

The Survey did not cover Syria, but in Lebanon there are some interesting trends. For one thing, the Favorability rating  here (now at 55%) for the United States has been steadily climbing, although not by much, which seems to support the notion that Lebanon has long been an outlying proponent of George W. Bush in the region. (In 2005, Bush helped encourage Lebanon’s effort to oust Syrian troops from the country.) Lebanon emerges as the only polled country which gave Bush a higher confidence rating than Bin Laden among its Muslim citizens in recent years, although this surely relates as much to Bush’s support for the anti-Syrian movement as it does to so much of the Muslim population’s support here for Nasrallah. No room for Bin Laden’s shenanigans here.

Other points:

-The Obama support is highly polarized: “Only 2% of Lebanese Shia express a positive attitude toward the U.S., barely an improvement from last year’s 0%. But a remarkably high 90% of Lebanese Sunni hold a positive view of the U.S., up from 62% in 2008. Sunnis now have more favorable views of the U.S. than the country’s Christian population – 66% of Lebanese Christians express a positive opinion of the U.S., down from 75% in 2008.”

-Lebanon shows some of the most dramatic change in its Muslim citizens’ response to a question about whether suicide bombing is ever justified. In 2002, 72% of the country’s Muslims answered yes; today that figure is 38%.

-The Lebanese are stunningly pessimistic about the state of the national economy (only 11% consider it to be in “good shape”), which sharply contradicts the top-down dogma that Lebanon has largely ridden out this downturn without consequences.

And much more, of course.