21 February, 2010

Yemen one of the least favored by Americans

Interesting: in a recent poll of Americans by Gallup, Yemen is one of the least favored nations by them. Yemen was included on the list for the first time this year, amid news that the Christmas Day underwear bomber had ties to a Yemen-based al Qaeda terrorist group. Its 21% favorable rating is among the lowest in the Feb. 1-3 poll, although about one in four Americans have no opinion of that country.

In fact, very few Americans even know where Yemen exactly is. It is all about perceptions and the mind. Americans are easily influenced and swayed by their news media. A news media that is very powerful. A news media that can many times, repeatedly hammer at a subject or a point. A news media, through the TV and the Internet, that has tentacles in every American household. For the last few months, that is exactly what the American extensive, news media has been doing: hammering at Yemen.

Note: nations with the lowest ratings are: Afghanistan  favored by 18% of Americans, the Palestinian Authority 20%, Yemen 21%, Pakistan 23%, Iraq 23%, Cuba 29%, and Saudi Arabia 35%. With Iran last, as the least favored at 10%. All these nations are those that are continuously in the news and are most of the times, negatively portrayed by the American mass information media. Egypt, the most favored Muslim nation in the poll - is a country that is normally, well portrayed by the American news media. So it does well and is well perceived by 58% of Americans. From this, as most of the countries most Americans least favor are Muslim nations, one can also deduce that most Americans, generally, have bad perceptions about Muslims.

With the present American administration trying hard to win the hearts and minds of Muslims worldwide, and the American military involved in confrontations in a number of Muslim countries, how America can/will achieve that goal of winning Muslims, over, while its citizens have such bad feelings about most Muslims, is hard to see.