September 1, 2011

The U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan... all demonstrates...that the United States is bent on dominating the Muslim world. A decade of public diplomacy has not dented this view, and polls of Muslim populaces indicate that they continue to have a poor opinion of the United States.

For the most part, Muslim Americans disavow Islamic extremism, are happy with the way things are going in the country and in their lives, and are about as religious and educated as the general American public. Those are a few of the lessons from a new report from the Pew Research Center...sparked, in part, by a desire to know whether recent concerns about home-grown terrorism and other pressures had led to increased alienation and anger among Muslim Americans and support for extremism.

Limited response has also been implemented, in order to soothe international public opinion - which is never satisfied with Israeli concessions - thus recklessly subordinating national security to public diplomacy considerations. Sometimes it yields false sense of security and enhances short-term tactical popularity.

In the wake of any terrorist attack, Israeli governments struggle to maintain their footing, but after the Arab Spring, everything got more dramatic. The crisis began Aug. 18, with a multilayered, sustained terrorist attack along Israel's border with Egypt. Alarmed, the Israeli Defense Ministry took the unusual step of breaking the Jewish Sabbath to issue a statement of regret for the Egyptian deaths.

Pakistan’s use of terror as an instrument of proxy war against India is, of course, well established. And although successive Indian governments have deployed the full force of “coercive diplomacy” ... they haven’t always enjoyed enormous success.

By grabbing our attention with mass, incomprehensible murders, terrorists do much more than just try to silence these voices for a moment. They also hack away at the level of trust needed for reasoned discourse. The attacks make it easier for fearful people to believe extremists speak for whole societies and, that in turn, only advances the terrorists' own cause.

Ms. McHale emphasized the importance of engaging with Muslim nations, especially now during the anti-government upheaval in the Arab world. “In Egypt or Tunisia or in other places in the Middle East right now, they are not focused on al Qaeda. They are focused on the transition of their countries,” she said.

Mumbai is a social media-savvy city. It is also a magnet for terrorists who engage in acts of spectacular violence.When the bombings occurred during evening rush hour, shutting down transit networks throughout the famously congested city, residents also kicked in to use the power of cloud computing to help.