Sunday, February 27, 2011

Americans: War is Coming, Cut Off Aid to Arabs

Published: 02/27/11, 6:38 PM / Last Update: 02/27/11, 6:57 PM
by Gil Ronen
(IsraelNationalNews.com)

Most Americans think that the political upheaval spreading throughout the Arab world may wind up drawing the United States into a new large-scale war, a Rasmussen Reports poll found. The poll also found most Americans favor cutting off aid to Arab countries.

A new national telephone survey found that 58% of American adults believe the unrest in the Middle East will lead to a major war involving the US, with 26% saying it is "very likely."

Thirty-one percent see such a scenario as "unlikely," but that number includes only four percent who say it is "not at all likely."

Seventy-seven percent of Americans are "concerned that radical Islamic terrorists may try to exploit the unrest in these countries to further their violent aims," versus 18% who do not share that concern, Rasmussen Reports said. These numbers include 53% who are "very concerned" and only 4% who are "not at all concerned."

Just 29% of adults believe a change of government in any of the Arab countries undergoing upheavals will be good for the United States. However, the poll also shows that 67% of Americans say the US should "stay out of the situation over there."

Sixty percent of Americans think it is "more important for the United States to be allies with any country that best protects our own national security than it is to be allies only with countries that have freely elected governments." But 76% of voters also feel it’s "generally good for America" when dictators in other countries are replaced with leaders who are elected in free and fair elections.

'Stop aid to Arabs'
Rasmussen Reports also found that most Americans want to end US aid to all Arab nations in the Middle East. Just over half favor continuing aid to Israel, however.

Only 20% of American adults think the US should continue providing foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East, while 58% say that aid should come to an end. Twenty-one percent are not sure.

Fifty-one percent of Americans, on the other hand, favor continued foreign aid to Israel. One-in-three adults (32%) oppose further aid for Israel, and 17% are undecided.

"New Republican Senator Rand Paul has called for an end to all foreign aid, including the $3 billion the United States gives annually to Israel, as part of a package of deep spending cuts he is proposing," the polling firm explained. "But given Israel’s strong bipartisan support in Congress, Paul’s proposal isn’t likely to gain ground. Egypt has been receiving slightly less than $2 billion in aid annually, with several other Arab countries in the region getting a smattering of millions."

Seventy-six percent of Republicans believe America should end all foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East, as does a plurality (48%) of Democrats and 50% of adults not affiliated with either major party.

Similarly, 61% of Republicans support a continuation of foreign aid to Israel. But Democrats and unaffiliateds agree by a much narrower 46% to 34% margin.

Rasmussen's analysis explained that "Americans have consistently said in surveys for years that Israel is one of the top U.S. allies. The Jewish state is also one of only five countries worldwide that most Americans think the United States should help defend militarily if it is attacked."

"By contrast, just 40% of Americans regard Egypt as an ally of the United States, and it’s by far the Arab country that Americans have the highest opinion of."

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