Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lebanon's Divided Public Opinion

Pew Global Attitudes Project titles its report on Lebanon "Lebanon's Precarious Politics
Many of the Country's Sectarian Differences Do Not Run along a Straight Muslim-Christian Fault Line" -November 15, 2007.

The Precarious Republic is a title of a book by Michael Hudson that was written before the breakout of the civil war in Lebanon. The book pointed out the weaknesses of the Lebanese consociational political system and its increasing stresses, due to internal and external pressures, that made him call Lebanon a "precarious republic."

Today Lebanon is divided on issues of importance- perceptions of itself and regional and international powers.

On favorable views of foreign powers, PEW reports:

Christians: 82 % favorable views of the US- 14% favorable views of Iran

Sunnis 52%- 8%

Shia- 7%-86%

The most remarkable of these are the favorable views of the US held by Lebanese Sunnis- 52%. The Iraq war, the Palestine conflict and the war on terrorism made the US have a dismal record of approval in the Muslim world. It seems for the majority of Lebanese Sunnis, the US policies toward Lebanon trump all these other concerns. As to Iran, all the talk of pro-Iran Sunnis, all the money and effort exerted led to a dismal record of support- less than 10%.



http://pewresearch.org/pubs/636/lebanon-politics

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