A recent Zogby poll shows that it’s the policy.
Frustration with American foreign policy has dercreased the positive and increased the negative of the US in parts of the ME. The number one answers about why the US has come to be seen as such an unwelcome giant all involve foreign policy- relations with Israel re the Palestinians and Iraq.
From the summaries:
• Overall favorable ratings toward the US have declined in the past two years.
• Attitudes toward American values, people, and products remain mostly favorable,
but have also declined in the past two years.
• Attitudes toward US policy in Iraq and Palestine are extremely low, in the single digit range
• Attitudes toward US policy on terrorism are somewhat higher, though still quite
low. These too, have declined precipitously in the past two years.
• US policy is the major factor that accounts for the low US favorable ratings and the decline in these ratings.
• Most Arabs have only indirect or received knowledge about America. The
principle source of that knowledge comes from the Arab media.
• Arabs who have learned about America by visiting the US, knowing Americans or
watching American television programs have somewhat more favorable views
about US values, people and products.
These factors have no impact on Arab attitudes toward US policy, which remains
low and drives overall favorables down.
• Arabs, whose principle source of knowledge about the US, comes from Arab
commentary or Arab media have somewhat less favorable attitudes toward
American values, people and products, except in Saudi Arabia, where these
attitudes actually are somewhat higher among those who watch Arab television.
It serves to seperate various aspects and measure the impact of these things.
The critical moment occurs when a young person decides that killing americans is a good idea. The more of these moments that occur, the larger the pool of potential terrorists.
I believe that some of this was covered in a State Dept report last year.