A recent Pew Survey showed that in India, with its substantial Muslim minority, 85% of the predominately Hindu public expresses much concern about the rise of Islamic extremism in their nation, a number markedly higher than in other nations. Today we learned that seven bombs hit Bombay's commuter rail network during evening rush hour g, killing as many as 100 people and wounding more than 300 in what authorities called a well-coordinated attack. Kashmir militants are suspected.
The U.S. Military
The Corpus Callosum discusses what happens when the military is stretched to its limits.
Post-Hamdan Hearing Set for Thursday
At TPM Cafe, Juliette Kayyem reports that on July 13, Senator John Warner (R-Va) will be holding the first post-Hamdan hearings "and there will likely be a lot of play on how Congress is seriously taking up this issue, and really going to curb executive power." (tip o'the hat to Josh Marshall)
U.S. Foreign Policy, International Relations and Cooperation
Speaking of Josh Marshall, he asked this question yesterday:
Question of the Day: Can you name any part of the world, or our relationship with any other country in the world, in which our strategic posture is stronger or, by any measure, better today than it was in January 2001? The best I can come up with is a couple of countries in the Caucusus and stretching into Central Asia. It's a stretch, I know. Other possibilities?
This reminds me of Robert Kenedy Jr.'s 2003 statement about George W. Bush and his administration's deadly ignoring of the dire need to decrease America's dependence upon fossil fuels:
The deadly addiction to fossil fuels that White House policies encourage has squandered our treasury, entangled us in foreign wars, diminished our international prestige, made us a target for terrorist attacks and increased our reliance on petty Middle Eastern dictators who despise democracy and are hated by their own people.
Bush has recently paid plenty of lip service to this addiction, but the White House foreign policy screams of Bush's (and rubber-stamp Republicans') realistic failures. There has been an abdication of responsibility on the part of this Republican-led government to create an infrastructure for market economies to generate efficient and necessary alternatives.
John Edwards Fights For Minimum Wage Increase
Senator Edwards traveled to Tucson and Phoenix on Monday as a part of his ongoing effort to raise the minimum wage in states around the country
The Budget Hype
The Carpetbagger Report debunks today's Bush hype about the budget numbers. For one thing, "tax receipts have grown thanks to the rich getting richer, but the wealth isn't trickling down." Average Joes' boats aren't being raised...only the TaxCut Terrences' yachts are floating carefree on an ocean of luxury.
On Russia, Religion, and the Killing of a Chechen Rebel Leader
On the heels of the death of Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev in an operation by special Russian forces, Fr Mikhail Dudko, secretary for Church-State relations of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate took care to underline the importance of “not interpreting the situation in Chechnya as a clash between Christianity and Islam”:
According to Fr Dudko, it was unacceptable to describe Basayev and those like him as “Islamic terrorists”. “We insist on the fact that the actions of people like Basayev represent a distortion of Islamic doctrine and the charge against Russia that it is conducting a war of religion in the Caucasus is unfounded.”
Iraqi Kurds Are Fed Up with Their Local Government
Iraqi Kurds have been taking to the streets in recent weeks to protest the shortage of fuel and electricity in the region.
Kurdish officials have promised to fix the shortages but blame the central government for not providing Iraqi Kurdistan with enough resources...It is not uncommon for drivers in northern Iraq to hang around in queues for several days before they are told that there is no fuel left at the station. On July 6, in the northeastern Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, about 500 drivers who had waited for fuel for more than three days poured into the nearby streets, set tires on fire and blocked four main streets of the city.
James Kroeger talking to the "Privileged Elite" about the divisiveness that exists between them and "the lower classes" :
If the Rich would simply "take care of their poor people", then their poor people would not begrudge them their privileged status. It's not a sin to be rich. After all, somebody's going to be experiencing the scarcest experience opportunities in this life. We can accept the fact that we may never be rich like you (or instead of you) but what we do insist on is that you use the resources at your disposal to 'take care of' us.' We agree to not take your money and/or possessions away from you as long as you agree to use your freedoms and resources to make sure that our needs are optimally served. That's The Contract. Like it or not, with privilege comes obligation. If you are able to organize the functioning of society in a way that optimizes our material welfare, then you not only get to continue to be rich and privileged, but you will also have earned our sincere gratitude. Any group of people who can do that for us deserves such rewards.
"Unfortunately, I'm getting too old, and I thought as I was heading out, this may be the last time I have an opportunity to preach Gospel to an audience like this."
Iraq War Has Done Much Damage to Good Faith of Muslims Living in Europe [LINK to Survey]:
In a survey that was carried out by the Pew Global Attitudes Project this spring in 13 countries, with special samples of Muslims living in Britain, Germany, France and Spain, found that "Muslims are generally positive about conditions" in their countries of reside. Poll numbers representing Muslims living in the four European countries showed that:
Muslim views were far less favorable [toward America], toward both the country and Americans. The U.S. "war on terror" is also extremely unpopular among Muslim populations, with 83 percent opposed in Spain, 78 percent in France, 77 percent in Britain and 62 percent in Germany. By contrast, Iran (my emphasis) - which has upset the West with its nuclear program - has the support of many Muslims, especially in Britain and Spain.
You can see directly, from this survey, that the Iraq War has been a complete failure at winning the good faith, hearts, and minds of Muslims living in (pro-West) European societies.