The Arabs vs Iran? Please.

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Much hooey has been made about the Wikileaks documentation of various Arab autocrats wanting the US and/or Israel to "cut off the head of the snake" in Iran. In fact, my colleague Jeffrey Goldberg has even gone so far as to call this confluence of the interests of the Israeli right and the Arab dictators a "pan-Semitic" lobby - that both allegedly destroys the notion of a pro-Israel lobby being the main driver for war against Iran and the fiction of its apparent power. Apparently, a lobby for a foreign government is useless if it cannot instantly get the US to launch World War III to maintain said foreign government's regional nuclear monopoly for a few more years.

But a little reality check. Here is the latest poll of what the people of various Arab countries, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates, actually say they think about an Iranian nuclear weapon:

While the results vary from country to country, the weighted average across the six countries is telling:  in 2009, only 29% of those polled said that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons would be "positive" for the Middle East; in 2010, 57% of those polled indicate that such an outcome would be "positive" for the Middle East.

So, in fact, the Arab population, unlike their corrupt, gutless, torturing autocrats, is increasingly in favor of a nuclearized Iran. 77 percent of those surveyed said that Iran had a right to its nuclear program, even though close to 57 percent (a three-year high) viewed it as a military program designed for nuclear bombs (only 39 percent believed that three years ago).

When the Arab public was asked which foreign country was the biggest threat to them, a full 88 percent said Israel, 77 percent said the US and ... drum-roll, Jeffrey ... 10 percent said Iran.

The spectacle we are now watching is neocons hailing the Arab dictators they once claimed to abhor, while profoundly misleading Americans about the disastrous and catastrophic effect a US or Israeli war on Iran would have.

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