Pew's new survey of global attitudes reports that the U.S. still isn't popular in Muslim countries: "In Egypt, America’s favorability rating dropped from 27% to 17% – the lowest percentage observed in any of the Pew Global Attitudes surveys conducted in that country since 2006."
But, but, but... Obama gave a speech in Cairo last year--and this is the thanks he gets?
You may recall that some of Obama's greatest admirers declared that the speech--oh, but it was "more than a speech"--merited his Nobel Peace Prize.
I think the Cairo speech and the Wright speech alone merited this both bridging ancient rifts even while they remain, of course, deep and intractable. He has already done more to heal the open wound between the West and Islam than anyone else on the planet.
It's a speech, but more than a speech since it puts an end to eight years of Bushite stupidities and sounds the death knell on the discourse of the clash of civilizations, which was until now the American response to the war launched by bin Laden. When the president of the United States reaches out to moderate Muslims and tells them that America is their ally not their enemy, it's more than just words. It's an event, a historical event that clearly goes in the direction of peace.
I don't begrudge a president for trying to reach out to Muslim moderates in a speech. The problem with Obama and his fans is that they actually believe his words have the power to fundamentally transform our relationship with the Muslim world.
I'd like to think everyone could admit now that Obama's speech was just a bit "naive," but I'm guessing Obama's fans will say that this Pew poll is just evidence that the president needs to pound harder on Israel and cede Afghanistan to the Taliban.