--Foreign assistance isn’t key to soft power – causes rising expectations which generates more resentment
Adelman 11 former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and arms control director in the Reagan Ronald's administration, now heads (with his wife) Movers & Shakespeares, which teaches executive leadership to corporations and NGOs,
Ken, “Go ahead, Congress, cut away at U.S. foreign aid”, April 18, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/18/not_so_smart_power?page=full,CMR]
Cutting the budgets of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) does "serious damage to U.S. foreign policy" and can gravely "dent ... the United States' ability to positively influence events abroad," wrote Nye in his article. "The result is a foreign policy that rests on a defense giant and a number of pygmy departments." Sounds right, even profound. But the deeper you consider it, the shallower it gets. Early in 1981, as a new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, I launched a computer tabulation to show the correlation between others' receipt of U.S. foreign aid and their foreign- policy stances. I wanted to know: Did all that money buy America any love? The Neanderthal-era computer spewed its result: Nope. Huge recipients of U.S. foreign aid -- Egypt, Pakistan, and the like -- voted no more in tune with American values than similar countries that received no, or less, U.S. foreign aid. Instead, their votes correlated closely with those of Cuba, which wasn't a big foreign-aid donor. That finding, surprising at the time, remains true. Four of the largest U.S. foreign-aid recipients today -- Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, and Afghanistan -- all take contrary positions on issues of critical importance to the White House. South Vietnam once got gobs -- gobs upon gobs -- of U.S. foreign aid. That didn't help much. Likewise with Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Zaire (now the "Democratic" Republic of the Congo), and other "friendly" (read: graciously willing to take U.S. money) countries. The conclusion seems clear: The relationship between "the United States' ability to positively influence events abroad," as Nye puts it, and the amount of U.S. foreign aid a country receives is unclear at best. For decades now, the United States has been the No. 1 foreign-aid donor -- it has given the most money to poor countries -- so it can't move up any on that scale. But this hasn't translated in making America the most popular or most influential country around the world. Quite the contrary. Even the all-time No. 1 recipient of U.S. aid, Israel, rebuffs Washington constantly, on momentous issues of peace. Moreover, Israeli polls show the lowest approval for the U.S. president of nearly anywhere in the world. Hence it's hard to see what a "dent" in "the United States' ability to positively influence events abroad" would look like if Republicans in Congress did slice these countries' foreign aid, as Joe Nye dreads. It might look like, well, much like it does today. Put bluntly, this aspect of soft power -- foreign aid, by far the biggest in dollar terms, amounting to some $30 billion* a year -- may not constitute much power at all. The reason has to do with peculiar aspects of human nature. Giving someone a gift generates initial gratitude (often along with quiet gripes about why it wasn't bigger). The second time, the gift generates less gratitude (and more such griping). By the third iteration, it has become an entitlement. The slightest decline engenders resentment, downing out any lingering gratitude.
A2 – Soft Power
--US soft power inevitably fails in the Middle East – stigma from US intervention and Palestine overwhelms any effect from democracy
Mulvany, 7/19/11, graduate student at University of Missouri studying convergence journalism
Lydia, “Why don't Arabs love Obama anymore?” http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07 /19/3023947/why-dont-arabs-love-obama-anymore.html#ixzz1TY5XoqVe, CMR]
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama isn't living up to his promises in the Middle East, and it's driving Arab attitudes toward the United States to their lowest point in years, analysts say. In an IBOPE Zogby International poll released last week, respondents in four out of six countries surveyed had a lower opinion of the United States than at the end of the Bush administration in 2008. The feeling among many in the region is that no American president can bring about change, James Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute and a senior adviser at the eponymous polling firm, said Tuesday. Citing conversations he had in the region during the polling, Zogby said, "There was this sense that it's a fundamentally broken system, that (the U.S.) can't do the right thing." Part of the reason were sky-high expectations after Obama's celebrated speech to the Muslim world in 2009 in Cairo. Arabs believed Obama two years ago when he said he'd change Washington and the world, Zogby told a roundtable at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. Now, a stunning majority — as high as 99 percent of those surveyed in Lebanon and 94 percent in Jordan — said Obama hasn't met expectations. Even actions that could be construed as constructive, like establishing a no-fly zone over Libya or killing Osama bin Laden, didn't win points. In the poll, the killing of bin Laden actually worsened attitudes. Zogby said it was because those actions reinforced America's image as the bully on the block. "I use the example of the next-door neighbor (who screws) around with your wife for a couple of years, and then one day trims your bushes and takes your garbage out. You don't say, 'Gosh what a great guy,'" Zogby said. Of course, U.S. approval ratings in the region have been low for a long time. Arab opinion of the United States rose briefly after 9/11, then dropped with the invasion of Iraq. While favorability surged in many Arab countries when Obama was elected, it was clearly on the wane by 2010. After the Cairo speech, hopes for a solution for Israel and Palestine were high. Lack of progress on that issue was a chief disappointment, analysts said. Shibley Telhami, a senior fellow at the center-left Brookings Institution, said that the numbers showed that the "Arab Spring" popular uprisings this year haven't had much of an effect on how Arabs view the U.S. Rather, they continue to view America through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Analysts also said that Obama gave the impression he would change foreign and security policy drastically, while such changes often occur incrementally. Republicans jumped on the poll and said that Arab countries wanted the George W. Bush administration's more aggressive foreign policy back. Elliott Abrams, a deputy national security adviser under Bush, said the Obama administration wasn't supportive enough of freedom in the Middle East and wasn't with the people when they rose up against dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. One poll question asked people to name the greatest obstacles to peace in the Middle East. The top two answers were U.S. interference in the Arab world and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The issues people in the region might welcome help with are pressing needs like the economy, health care and education — not democracy, Zogby said. Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, said the message she took from the poll results was: Just stop interfering. "There was a time when you'd get questions back, like we need you to lead here differently, or we need you to be balanced — that's just gone. Now it's just stay out of it," Berry said. "We are now reduced to interference."