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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Respect Comes From Strength and Courage

We are winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world----in Pakistan. WSJ Bret Stephens in "Chinook Diplomacy" explains how our military's relief efforts in Pakistan after earthquakes hit in October are making America very popular.

He writes:

U.S. helicopters have flown 2,500 sorties, carried 16,000 passengers and delivered nearly 6,000 tons of aid. Just as importantly, the Chinook has become America's new emblem in Pakistan, a byword for salvation in an area where until recently the U.S. was widely and fanatically detested. Toy Chinooks (made in China, of course) are suddenly popular with Pakistani children. A Kashmiri imam who denounced the U.S. in a recent sermon was booed and heckled by worshippers. "Pakistan is not a nation of ingrates," a local businessman told me over dinner the other night. "We know where the help is coming from."

We are the only ones in the world who can do this. Now, why have the Lefties been voting down military appropriations for the past 40 years? I thought they were humanitarians (I was one of them and have to admit liability).

The view of America is not only improving in Pakistan but elsewhere in the Muslin world. Reports Hussein Haqqani and Kennethy Ballen:

[T]he poll commissioned by the nonprofit organization Terror Free Tomorrow and conducted by Pakistan's foremost pollsters ACNielsen Pakistan shows that the number of Pakistanis with a favorable opinion of the U.S. doubled to more than 46% at the end of November from 23% in May 2005. Those with very unfavorable views declined to 28% from 48% over the same period. Nor is this swing in public opinion confined to Pakistan. A similar picture is evident in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Again that's largely because of American generosity in the wake of a natural disaster. A February 2005 poll by Terror Free Tomorrow showed that 65% of Indonesians had a more favorable opinion of the U.S. as a result of American relief to the victims of last December's tsunami. If these changes in Pakistan and Indonesia influence thinking in other countries, then we could be looking at a broader shift in public sentiment across the Muslim world.

Winning the hearts and minds is coming from strength and courage. Are you listening Europe?

2 Comments:

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