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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, March 17, 2008


losing the war for hearts and minds

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, March 17, 2008 permalink View blog reactions
A poll of Arab public opinion in six countries finds that the perception of the Bush foreign policy is that it brings less peace, more terror, and less democracy:

In a series of questions, Telhami found a largely negative view of the conflict in Iraq. A strong majority of respondents answered that the war in Iraq has brought less peace (81 percent), more terrorism (78 percent), and less democracy (58 per cent) to the region. In addition, 77 percent of respondents said that Iraqis were worse off as a result of the war. Only a small number of respondents believed that the United States' objective in Iraq was to spread democracy. Rather, a plurality of respondents believed that the United States' primary motivation for the war is its interest in oil, and an important number believed that the war was motivated by a desire to protect Israel and to seek regional dominance.

The MENA foreign policy objectives for the next Administration are rather neatly summarized (in the reverse) above, aren't they? Basically, reverse the damage.



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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.