Saudi Arabia’s King Salman may consider US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “dear friend,” but it turns out the US isn’t winning any popularity contests outside the royal palace.

Pompeo is in the region to meet with what he described as America’s “great allies,” Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to build a “global coalition” for the faceoff with Iran. The irony is that a new poll of Arabs finds that the US is considered a much greater threat to the region than Iran.

And in a blow to Pompeo’s ratings-conscious boss, just 12 percent of Arabs said they had a positive view of Donald Trump, far below Vladimir Putin at 28 percent and Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan at 51 percent. In fact, Trump’s policies came in dead last in every one of the ten countries surveyed.


By Lawrence Pintak

Lawrence Pintak is an award-winning journalist and scholar. He is a former CBS News Middle East correspondent and was founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (2009-2016). He was named a Fellow of the Society by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for "outstanding service to the profession of journalism" around the world. Pintak is a contributor to, The Daily Beast, and other outlets. Read his articles at His books include Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & The War of Ideas; Islam for Journalists (co-editor); The New Arab Journalist; and Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David. Follow him on Twitter @LPintak.