Some worthwhile reads this morning

August 5, 2010

http://tiny.cc/qdo5d This link takes you to the RCW blog article about the new Brookings Report today, the latter of which is already creating a sort of buzz around the web today. The report looks at public opinion in six Middle East (ME) countries for two areas: views of the U.S. policy in the ME and views on Iran becoming a nuclear power. From the report via RCW blog:

Early in the Obama Administration, in April and May 2009, 51% of the respondents in the six countries expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East. In the 2010 poll, only 16% were hopeful, while a majority – 63% – was discouraged.

On Iran’s potential nuclear weapons status, results show another dramatic shift in public opinion. While the results vary from country to country, the weighted average across the six countries is telling: in 2009, only 29% of those polled said that Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would be “positive” for the Middle East; in 2010, 57% of those polled indicate that such an outcome would be “positive” for the Middle East.

My only two initial reactions are: 1) I can’t imagine what these numbers would be if the U.S. or Israeli does attack Iran (on this topic see my first post of the morning) and 2) I think Marc Lynch and Kristine M. Lord at CNAS understated the case in their recent report located here http://tiny.cc/ko1w1.

Speaking of Lynch (which I seem to keep doing today), he recently had a blog post disputing his fellow FP.com blogger’s, Harvard professor Steven Walt, assessment of Prez Obama’s FP so far. Walt then followed up on Lynch’s post the next day. This morning, their fellow blogger at FP.com, Fletcher Professor Dan Drezner, weighed in with his own assessment after returning from a trip to Israel. That post (which has links to Walt and Lynch’s posts) can be found here http://tiny.cc/c8gfp.

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