US Tsunami Aid Still Reaps Goodwill ; A Recent Poll Found Indonesians' Support for the US Is Almost as High as It Was in the Immediate Aftermath of the Disaster

By Tom McCawley Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 28, 2006 | Go to article overview

US Tsunami Aid Still Reaps Goodwill ; A Recent Poll Found Indonesians' Support for the US Is Almost as High as It Was in the Immediate Aftermath of the Disaster


Tom McCawley Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In one corner of the Islamic world, humanitarian efforts from American marines and civilians dramatically improved Muslims' view of the United States, according to a recent survey from a Washington- based nonprofit group.

The Terror Free Tomorrow organization focused not on a Middle Eastern country, however, but on the world's most populous Muslim nation - Indonesia. Conducted roughly a year after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the poll found that Indonesians "with a favorable opinion of the US" has nearly tripled in the past three years - something experts attribute to American reconstruction efforts in the hardest-hit Aceh Province.

But in order to sustain the feelings of goodwill, the US will need to make broader foreign policy changes, say analysts and Muslim leaders.

"You don't need to hug Indonesians to death," explains Dewi Fortuna Anwar, a former presidential adviser on foreign affairs. "But the US does need to be more even-handed in its dealings in the Middle East, [and] more sophisticated in its dealings with the Muslim world."

The poll of 1,177 Indonesians in late January found that those "with a favorable opinion of the US" jumped from a low of 15 percent in May 2003 following the US-led invasion of Iraq, to more than 44 percent in January of this year. A similar poll released by the Pew Research Center in June last year also said tsunami aid had changed Indonesian opinions of the US.

"The military aid [after the tsunami], humanitarian help, and private philanthropy ... boosted the image of the US," says Djoko Susilo, a legislator on parliament's security commission, noting that "even rich Indonesians" don't generally give money to such causes.

Terror Free Tomorrow commissioned the poll as a follow-up to a January 2005 survey that found a significant increase in Indonesian support for the US.

"I was very surprised," says the organization's president, Kenneth Ballen. "In a year that's included Koran desecration and the ongoing war in Iraq, you'd think support would have fallen." Instead, the percentage of Indonesians reporting a favorable view of the US was nearly the same a year later.

The 2006 poll, conducted by the respected Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) also said "support for bin Laden and terrorism has dropped to its lowest level since 9/11." In addition, the percentage of Indonesians with very unfavorable views of the United States fell from 48 percent two years ago to just 13 percent in January.

Saiful Mujani, an LSI researcher who supervised the January poll, credits intense media coverage of US humanitarian aid for the shift in opinion. In December 2004, just weeks before the tsunami, Mr. Mujani completed a separate survey finding that "anti-Americanism was still strong.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

US Tsunami Aid Still Reaps Goodwill ; A Recent Poll Found Indonesians' Support for the US Is Almost as High as It Was in the Immediate Aftermath of the Disaster
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.