Growing evidence that the Syrian government may have used chemical weapons against its own people has led to demands for the U.S. to intervene in the Syrian civil war. As American pundits and politicians call for intervention, however merited or unjustified those appeals may be on humanitarian grounds, such pleas have yet to rally majority support for such action in America, Europe or the Middle East.
Survey Report As concern mounts about the Syrian government’s possible use of chemical weapons against its own people, publics in the Middle East – especially the Lebanese – are extremely worried about violence spreading to neighboring countries. Nonetheless, a new survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted before news emerged of alleged use of chemical [...]
The pace of change in the Middle East – in Syria, Egypt, Palestine and Israel – is accelerating as 2012 draws to a close. But the American people are not paying attention and are deeply skeptical of greater U.S. engagement in a corner of the world that looks increasingly unstable.
The Kremlin’s demand that the U.S. Agency for International Development cease its activities in Russia follows months of accusations by Vladimir Putin that recent anti-government protests in Russia are the result of meddling by the U.S. and other Western governments. However, many Russians may not be convinced that such meddling is a fact.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is widely unpopular in neighboring countries and the vast majority of Jordanians, Egyptians, Tunisians and Turks would like to see him step down. Even though many would like to see Assad out of office, there is limited support for tougher international economic sanctions or Arab military intervention, and very little support for Western military action.
A solid majority of Russians see attending protests as an opportunity to speak out about how the government is run, and more than half specifically approve of the mass demonstrations that followed the December 2011 parliamentary vote, which was marred by fraud allegations. Nonetheless, 72% of Russians voice a favorable opinion of Vladimir Putin.
Support for democracy is high throughout much of the Middle East, but the Arab Spring has not led to an improvement in America’s image in the region. Instead, in key Arab nations and in other predominantly Muslim countries, views of the U.S. remain negative. On balance, extremist groups also viewed negatively, although they receive significant levels of support in some countries.
Egyptians of all ages, from all walks of life, and parts of the country continue to celebrate the dramatic political changes their nation has undergone. Overwhelmingly, they say it is good that former president Hosni Mubarak is gone. Nearly two-in-three are satisfied with the way things are going in Egypt, and most are optimistic about their country’s future.
Judging the Chinese appetite for democracy is not easy, but polling suggests China may not be ripe for the kind of uprisings seen throughout the Middle East.
Pro-democracy movements in Tunisia and Egypt recall the wave of democratization that took place two decades ago in Eastern Europe. The experience of Eastern Europe is a useful reminder that public enthusiasm for democracy is not guaranteed as political change extends over years and decades.
Majorities of Egyptian Muslims believe that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government, and by wide margins, Muslims in Egypt say that Islam plays a positive role in their country’s politics.