2003 January 26 Sunday
Saddam Hussein Popularity Down With Arabs

Saddam's goose is just thoroughly cooked. Even the vaunted "Arab street" has abandoned him.

Baka'a and other Palestinian camps, in Jordan and throughout the Middle East, were hotbeds of support for Iraq and its leader during the 1991 Gulf War. People demonstrated, put up posters of their hero and bought watches and pictures with his likeness.

Now, the narrow streets of the camp are clear of posters and nobody demonstrates. It is a measure of the changed popular as well as official attitudes to Saddam Hussein.

The article provides a very interesting analysis of why anti-American attitudes are growing in governments in the region: they are afraid of regime change. Once Iraq's government has been replaced by the United States the other regimes are afraid that the US will decide that regime change is a good idea and that the US will then proceed to overthrow other regimes in the region.

Note that these governments are far more worried about what the United States might do to them than they are about popular opinion in their own countries. They are confident of their ability to control their populaces. Popular uprisings rarely topple repressive regimes and haven't done so in an Arab country for a very long time.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 January 26 10:14 PM  Axis Of Evil


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