More friends than enemies: Polling results dispel myths about the Muslim world

By: Z. S. Justus A recent large-scale poll by the Gallup organization has painted a picture of the Islamic world that may be surprising to many Americans. The group surveyed 50,000 Muslims in 40 countries representing over 90% of the world’s Muslims. In a forthcoming book authors John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed report on many of the survey findings. The concept of the “moderate Muslim” has been a source of intrigue and controversy for sometime, […] Read more »

Obama Garb Photo Hits AQ Boards

by Steven R. Corman Firstread is reporting (by way of Evan Kohlmann of GlobalTerrorAlert) that the flap over a photo of Barack Obama in tribal gear has been picked up on the al Qaeda forum al Hesbah: Al Qaeda sympathizers cited the image as evidence that American political leaders, particularly Hillary Clinton, want to portray Islam as a political negative. says the story. And they don’t much care to be associated with Obama: “Not only […] Read more »

Stay the Course!

by Bud Goodall In a recent speech given to the Heritage foundation, Colleen Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs asserted that the main problem with U. S. public diplomacy is that we aren’t getting the word out about how well our public diplomacy is working. “We need more PD on our PD!” she said (boldface in the original text): We have invigorated our public diplomacy by fusing policy and public diplomacy and […] Read more »

But What About the Diplomacy?

by Steven R. Corman A couple of weeks ago the State Department released the report of its Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy. It strikes me as an odd exercise in that it doesn’t define clear problems, doesn’t talk about diplomacy much, and offers solutions that are rooted existing approaches, adding some technological and organizational changes. Specifically: Odd Membership. Membership of the advisory committee is not what I anticipated. I was expecting a heavy-hitting panel of […] Read more »

External Messages vs. Internal Conversation

by Steven R. Corman We often tend to think of U.S. strategic communication problems as having to do with our messages to the rest of the world. To be sure, that is an area where we need a lot of work. But it’s easy to become over-focused on the external aspects of the problem, and overlook the internal dimensions. This is Michael Scheuer’s point in a new book entitled Marching Toward Hell. In a recent […] Read more »

Senior Hezbollah Leader Killed

by Ed Palazzolo Senior Hezbollah leader, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed Tuesday, 12 February 2008, by a car bomb in Damascus. Mughniyeh has been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for over 20 years. Mughniyeh was an intelligence leader for Hezbollah’s secretive military branch, he was believed to be responsible for taking Western hostages in Lebanon, he had a role in coordinating Iranian Terror activities with Syria’s intelligence services, and now he has been declared a […] Read more »

Virtual Democracy and Congressional Shame

By Bud Goodall Pardon my rant. I say that in advance but without apology. Today’s New York Times article about the United States Senate vote to approve President Bush’s plan to grant legal protection to telephone companies for cooperating with illegal wiretaps on American citizens as well as to expand existing government spy powers on citizens adds to global suspicions that consistent definitions for the terms “freedom” and “democracy,” as well as our Constitutional rights, […] Read more »

The Independent Claims al Zarqawi Letters Faked

by Steven R. Corman In an article posted yesterday, The Independent (UK) claims that an alliance of “freelance political agitators” and intelligence agencies in the US and UK are circulating false communications by the Bad Guys.  They cite the case of a letter, purportedly sent from Abu Musab al Zarqawi to the leaders of al Qaeda in 2004 and reported in the New York Times:  The paper’s Baghdad correspondent, Dexter Filkins, reported that US officials […] Read more »

How Enemies Could Use Our Wiretaps

by Steven R. Corman The Daily Princetonian reports an interview with computer scientist Jennifer Rexford who claims that more wiretapping can actually help the Bad Guys and make us less safe. How? By providing a system for them to hack: They can tap into an infrastructure the government essentially built for them. It is a general risk when you create a system to spy on yourself, that people can abuse it. Read the rest of […] Read more »

Explosive Statement by Archbishop of Canterbury

by Steven R. Corman Today the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, said in a radio interview that the adoption of some aspect of Sharia law in the UK is “unavoidable.” A BBC story quotes him as saying the idea that there’s one law for everybody and that’s all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts – I think […] Read more »