'Hearts and Minds': U.S. Wins Some, Loses Some

Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens writes that U.S. assistance to Pakistan following the devastating October 8 earthquake is "one of America's most significant hearts-and-minds successes so far in the Muslim world. ... 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." But the secretary general of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas, "the highest Islamic authority in the world's most populous Muslim nation," said U.S. aid following last year's tsunami has not improved America's standing there. "The Muslim perception is very much dependent on American foreign policy in the Muslim world, not only in Aceh but also in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan," he told AFP. The director of a Sri Lankan think tank agreed, but faulted Washington. "There was no visible campaign to carry [initial praise from aid efforts] forward," he said.


I don't know that this particular post above is the most appropriate one to add my comment to, but I don't know how to begin a new thread, and it does have to do with religion.

Along with the fashionable trend of late to label those of certain political bents "felons" (or those with particular religious persuasions or humanitarian convictions regarding feeding the poor or hungry, who might happen to be immigrants fleeing only God knows what sort of circumstances in the country from which they came) --- well I'm also hearing rumors of rabble-rousers (or rabble-raisers --- whatever the correct term is) in Sunday School classes going off discussing how the Jews do not "get" the deity of Christ.

I imagine that these are the same sorts of people who silently approve of the war in Iraq, since after all, those people (Moslims) are not "Christian" either.

I am not necessarily particular about Jews or any other race, but here is my question: Have they themselves (who judge the Jews) even read the New Testament, or the words of Jesus? DO THEY KNOW OF ANYONE IN THIS DAY AND AGE WHO FOLLOWS ALL OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS? Including themselves?

I am very hard-pressed to think of one person in this day and age who actually lives according to all of the teachings of Jesus. If they are going to cast stones at particular groupings of people, well why don't they just work on their own selves, instead of trying to "fix" and/or accuse everyone else?

We seem to be living in a trend of labelling other people we somebow don't find entirely convenient as things like "bad" or "felon," etc. Well I don't know about them, but I suspect God put me on earth to work on myself --- not other people. I am all too aware of my own personal faults, especially since I live with my own self all the live long day, day after day after day. It can get to be very monotonous living with myself all the time, never being able to escape my own proclivities and all.

And here's another thing. Since they are so big on Christ and all --- then how about if they consider one of the things he said --- particularly this: Christ at one point said that we will know others "by their fruits." What in my opinion this can only mean is that we are not to judge people by things like outward skin color, or even outward labels such as what religion they are, which can also be quite similar to what football team's flag they fly around. This can easily equate to which denomination they outwardly claim --- which has not one thing with how they live their lives otherwise or what they do it private, outside of their personal p.r. agenda/s, which I suppose we all must have to one degree or another.

Here's another thing: if they want to go around majoring in all the wrongs of other people, well they just have not walked a mile in those other peoples' shoes. I mean I would be tempted to go around calling half the world things like "#@+*^s" or other unmentionable terms, but I don't know but that they might have had to become what they became in order to eat, and other such things like that.

I just don't know it all. As a human, I live with only one perspective --- that of my own self and my own observations and experiences.

And this is a major reason that good journalism is so very important in our global society --- to point out to the rest of us what other perspectives might exist out there --- besides just corporate perspectives. Even the perspectives of little animals whose environs are endangered.