According to the above post, the public approval rate of GCC countries and their people is low in the USA/UK.

GCC countries are very loyal allies to the USA/UK. They are rich. They purchase a lot of services and defense/tech products from the USA and the UK. They also provide a lot of business opportunities to US/UK-based companies.

They are also very important partners regarding petro-dollar and pretro-dollar-recycling. I mean, just imagine they stop taking USD for crude oil and start taking Chinese RMB...!

So, what is the reason behind this low approval rating?

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    For example, just look at the Saudi Arabian led intervention in Yemen and how many lives that has cost. There are so many reports of war crimes committed. I would say there is enough reason to not like Saudi Arabia. But maybe the polls have given some results as to the why. Apr 4, 2022 at 11:40
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    They are largely religiously and socially conservative monarchies, whereas the USA and UK take pride in being (relatively) socially progressive democracies (HM the Queen is basically a figurehead, unlike in many GCC states).
    – Obie 2.0
    Apr 4, 2022 at 13:37
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    Being rich and friendly with us are not a reason to like someone if they are doing things that we don't like or oppose our values.
    – Joe W
    Apr 4, 2022 at 13:53
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    @Trilarion, For example, just look at the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and how many lives that has cost. --- Isn't this a textbook example of hypocrisy? Just look at the Iraq invasion of the USA and its coalision, and how many lives that has cost.
    – user366312
    Apr 5, 2022 at 0:24
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    Money can't buy love.
    – ohwilleke
    Apr 5, 2022 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


The two biggest GCC countries are Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The US spent the better part of a decade at "war" in the country, so opinions are not positive. Saudi Arabia is a US ally on paper, and pretty much only on paper. The 9/11 hijackers were mostly Saudi, and it appears the government gave them some help (link). The killing of Jamal Khashoggi also left a poor impression on the US people. There's also the Saudi attacks on Yemen. The GCC countries are also very poor on human rights, with women in Saudi Arabia still lacking many rights, Qatar is basically a slave state. Most the countries are also dictatorships and have very real segregation between citizen/non-citizen and Muslim/non-Muslim.

It's been abundantly clear that the only alliance the GCC has is based on the US buying a lot of oil, and serving as protection from Iran. The GCC doesn't appear to have any interest in being allies beyond selling oil.

  • I don't think it has much to do with 9/11 and events around that time but more recent actions of the government and how they treat their citizens.
    – Joe W
    Apr 4, 2022 at 13:54
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    The "women...barely counting as people" needs a recent citation. According to a close friend of mine who is a Saudi woman, while historically there have been a lot of gender-based issues in Saudi Arabia, the current prince is working to undo a lot of those issues, and my friend, who hasn't lived in Saudi for about 10 years, is considering going back as the situation is improving. There is little reporting on this, however.
    – Ertai87
    Apr 4, 2022 at 16:32
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    @Ertai87 - No doubt there are a variety of perspectives, both that of your friend and others. Regardless, don't expect foreign attitudes to be based on the most recent politics in a country; rather, expect them to be about 20 years behind at minimum.
    – Obie 2.0
    Apr 4, 2022 at 16:40
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    @Obie2.0 Fair enough. My point is that saying, as a matter of factuality, that women, in current Saudi Arabia, are "barely counting as people" is, as a matter of fact, not true. It's understandable why the answer says so (I thought the same until I talked to my friend about it), but that doesn't change that it may not actually be true.
    – Ertai87
    Apr 4, 2022 at 16:42
  • @Ertai87 I've updated the language as women now have some level of independence.
    – Ryathal
    Apr 5, 2022 at 15:04

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