Jordanians Views On American Democracy And Military Presence

According to a recent poll conducted by, 41% of Jordanians believe that the US “opposes democracy in Muslim nations”, making it the highest of 21 nations polled. Moreover, 40% of Jordanians believe that the US does favor democracy in Muslim nations, as long as they are cooperative with the US. Only 6% believe that the US favors democracy in these countries without any preconditions. The survey was conducted a few weeks ago with the central theme being US military presence in the region, with 21,740 respondents in 21 nations around the world.

Interestingly enough, the poll also revealed that while 40% of Jordanians and 80% of Egyptians believe the US has no goals to create a viable Palestinian state, 59% of Palestinian respondents believe that it is. I wonder what accounts for the cynicism outside the occupied territories? In the report it seems “explained” by the fact that Palestinians live the realities on-the-ground instead of seeing it from the outside-in. In my opinion, such an explanation would make more sense had the numbers been reversed and the majority of those living such a reality had a more cynical (or realistic) outlook on America’s intentions for them.

The most controversial questions where on US military presence in the Gulf, where 76% of Jordanians find themselves in opposition to such presence, as do 91% of Egyptians, 90% of Palestinians and 77% of Turks.

I find these last numbers regarding military presence pretty interesting. While the overwhelming majority of Jordanians disapprove of such military bases in the Gulf, I am forced to wonder how they went about responding to such a question in light of the general social perception in Jordan that, although not as apparent as Gulf nations, the Kingdom does host US military presence in some shape or form. Whether this perception is true or not is less of the point as the perception is. And perceptions, be they true or false, have a way of making things real. Without a doubt, if you speak to most Jordanians you will find the reluctant admission that there is such presence in their country, and it is not much-appreciated by the locals.

As for democracy, such numbers don’t come a surprise to me. Jordanian is like the traumatized youngest kid in the family, witness to the on-going domestic abuse of its mother and siblings by the new step-father. The cynical or pessimistic outlook on the region is pretty much a national past-time.

ht: Jordan Times


  • “The most controversial questions where on US military presence in the Gulf, where 76% of Jordanians find themselves in opposition to such presence, as do 91% of Egyptians, 90% of Palestinians and 77% of Turks. ”

    I really don’t think this is controversial Nassem, who needs foreign troops in his/her country or even next door to us ,opposing occupation and foreign domination is part and parcel of the human instinct.. unless ,if some of us are brained washed by the “benefit” of foreign occupation, after all ,we are following our natural reaction ..

  • urduni: i meant “controversial” in the jordanian context. when a polling organization calls up a jordanian household to ask this question it is indeed controversial compared to the other questions.

  • Cheney remarked once ” we do not do nation building ” so whether its Egypt, Jordan, KSA, UAE, Syria, Lebanon or Israel. All of them are Police States and none of them represent Democracy. we are not even close to speak of Democracy.

    ” I wonder what accounts for the cynicism outside the occupied territories? ”

    because there is no other choice. Fatah would disappear without constant injections of cash to the Palestinian Authority from EU. Hamas is prosecuted by the whole world and Israel, for its security, is allowed to collectively punish 1.5 m and kill hundreds and run free, the USA allows it while USA can pressure Israel towards negotiating peace and halting settlers’ movements and go back to 67 lines, if it were to withdraw its guarantee of 10 BILLION in Israel loans, stop all tax- funded donations to Israel (c. 3 BILLION per year) and halt military aid.the US intervention is much needed to establish Peace and to protect human rights.

  • I live in South Korea. America has a huge military presence here, to stop North Korea from attacking South Korea. Yet South Korea is a democracy free from US control.

    Historical fact : America brought democracy to Germany and Japan. It helped it flourish in Taiwan and South Korea.

  • As an American I am so tired of Muslim countries blaming all their problems on my country. If you want someone to blame look in the mirror.

  • Question here:
    check the GDP of Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and South Korea against the GDP of any Muslim country.

    All these countries are doing this without huge oil deposits.


  • Austin: I know better than to enter a debate with you now, having attempted to do so in the past only to discover your true colors. While at this point I could care less about any argument you put forth on this blog, I will simply ask that while doing so on this blog, please respect your language and avoid offending my readers.


  • Dear Nas,

    As far as my true colors are concerned: I gave a speech at the university that I was attending a month after 9-11 about trying to understanding Muslim rage, this is a topic I a have given up on on…. out of hopelessness. There have been too many Muslim attacks against non-Muslims.

    Where is the Muslim rage against all these attacks that are done in the name of “religion of peace”?

  • Just to be clear, in the speech I gave, I covered the good reasons (ie supporting the Sha of Iran) why Muslims are angry with America.

    I am not racist, I have had about 10 Muslim friends in my life… but what has happened over the last few years has turned me into a religiousist.

    “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice”
    – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

  • Nas,

    For the times that I responded to you while I was drunk, I am sorry. Every year around the time of September 11, I get depressed and angry… I admit I was drinking too much. Because I did respond to you while drunk I totally understand why you do not want to respond to me.

Your Two Piasters: