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According to PewGlobal the US approval rating in Egypt went from 30% in 2006 to 10% in 2014.

Why did so many Egyptians change their opinions about the US?

  • I don't know that there could be one answer to this question. There may be many unrelated factors, that all combine to create the effect. Further more, opinion charges from bad to terrible aren't always significant, but can be almost epiphenomenal as people who are only tepidly positive don't actually change viewpoint, but are less willing to assert that viewing – The Pompitous of Love Dec 22 '15 at 13:54
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In 2011 Egypt was one of several countries that experienced a resurgence of fundamentalist Muslim control from the Muslim Brotherhood. President Obama officially endorsed the Brotherhood over long time president and ally Hosni Mubarak who had made Egypt a secular state. Mubarak was forced out and in the following elections the Muslim Brotherhood won in a landslide, electing Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi quickly moved to make Egypt an Islamist country which sparked more protests and led to the Egyptian military taking over in a coup about a year after his election. In 2014 Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected as President after he resigned from the military, he was also the leader when the military took over from Morsi.

It is widely viewed that how Obama and Hilary, then Secretary of State, handled the entire situation was a massive blunder. The U.S. essentially let Egypt's government fall into a state of chaos for about 3 years, and was arguably complicit in doing so given their support to oust Mubarak.

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    It is widely viewed by whom? Do you think the average Egyptian thinks badly about the US because they didn't support Mubarak? – Christian Dec 17 '15 at 13:57
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    Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising, the repression of which caused more than 800 deaths. Are you claiming that Egyptians resent the USA for ceasing to support the dictator they rebelled against? – SJuan76 Dec 17 '15 at 14:51
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    @Christian - see my last comment on another answer. I don't have proof, but it's NOT impossible that everyone in Egypt interpreted US actions as contrary to THEIR interest, BOTH pro-MB and anti-MB side. MB for not being more forceful in opposing Al-Sisi, their opponents for opposing Al-Sisi at all. – user4012 Dec 20 '15 at 2:34
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    @Christian say you're an American; would you take seriously anyone speaking of average American's views on, say, abortion? People are divided; in Egypt people are divided into, broadly two camps: pro and anti-MB. The former voted for Morsi's constitution, which vote the latter had widely boycotted. And the same, in reverse, went for the El Sisi elections. And Sisi supporters widely see US role as supporting Morsi under "pretext", as they see it, of "democracy". Pro-MB crowd can't be much pro-US just by their memetic makeup so to speak, that's a given. – Genli Ai Jan 18 '16 at 21:47
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    @Christian you mean 1/3 of what it was before? Simple. pro-MB crowd were and remain anti-US. Of the more secular minded, many saw US meddling as anti-Sisi, so those who had favorable views, became disillusioned -- apparently, 2/3 of them. – Genli Ai Jan 18 '16 at 23:03
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I can not claim to know all the reasons that have caused those changes, but if we suppose the main cause is the relationship with the internal politics of Egypt1, the timeline is:

-> USA long standing support to Mubarak continues (Egypt is the second recipient of military aid by the USA)

2006: 30

2007: 21

2008: 22

2009: 27

2010: 17

2011: 20

-> Mubarak is deposed

2012: 19

2013: 16

-> Al Sisi's coup d'├ętat. All charges against Mubarak dropped. USA and Western countries turn a blind eye (no demands for democracy, no threats of stopping military aid, etc.) towards the military coup and bloody repression of the Muslim Brotherhood.

2014: 10

So, most of the loss of public support matches the perceived support by the USA of the old dictatorship and the coup d'etat against the elected government; specially the last year data. Variations in the 2006-2011 period can be explained by the progressively lower support/opposition to Mubarak2; lower support to Mubarak meaning lower support of his sponsors.

Then again, this is just an hypotesis that should be taken with a grain of salt; a definite answer

1 I suppose some variation can be related to other issues of international politics; v.g. 2009 (the year a more "diplomatic" Obama replaces George H. Bush support for the USA) increases significantly. That same year, the confidence in the POTUS raises from 11% to 42%.

2 Check the question about the country economic situation.

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    -1. The perception of most people is the complete reverse - USA was actively hostile to Al-Sisi, in a way that almost seemed like they deliberately supported Muslim Brotherhood. – user4012 Dec 20 '15 at 2:30
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    IIRC they stopped all weapons shipments. And "deeply concerned" isn't anywhere near "mild" in diplomacy-speak. – user4012 Dec 20 '15 at 2:49
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    s/reason/excuse/ :) – user4012 Dec 20 '15 at 2:52
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    And you're REALLY overestimating US's capabilities. They don't exactly have a practical "in" with Muslim Brotherhood in practical terms, aside being cozy with their fundraising arm in USA and their CAIR political operative branch. – user4012 Dec 20 '15 at 2:53
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    your time resolution is too coarse. giving just one number for a full year could be downright misleading here. 2011 before "Mubarak deposed"? Didn't the Tahrir movement start very early in 2011, like February or March? -- "the perceived support by the USA of the old dictatorship and the coup d'etat" that isn't right either. Obama was widely viewed as providing the tipping over push to ouster Mubarak; and then he and his admin protested "the coup" of El Sisi for a long time. – Genli Ai Jan 18 '16 at 21:38

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