Obama Addresses the Muslim World (Cole in Salon)

My column at Salon.com is out, on the Arab world’s perception of President Barack Obama on the eve of his major address in Cairo.

Excerpt:

‘ The Brookings poll shows that just three issues are cited by most Arab respondents as determinative of their view of the United States. In order, they are Iraq, the plight of the Palestinians, and attitudes toward the Arab and Muslim worlds. Interestingly, the war in Afghanistan, democracy promotion, and the issues around Iran have very little resonance among Arab publics. Iraq was cited as the key issue by 42 percent in six countries polled, so it is fair to conclude that Obama’s stock in the Arab world, at least, is likely to rise or fall on how well he handles his planned military disengagement from that country.’

Read the whole thing.

See also VOA on the view of Obama’s Middle East trip from Dearborn, Michigan, with its large Arab-American population.

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