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What We're Reading

Preeti Aroon

  • "E-Resistance Blooms in Pakistan," by Manjeet Kripalani in Der Spiegel. Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf may have muzzled the media, but communication is thriving in cyberspace. Blogs and Web sites such as Facebook are being used to keep people informed and organize "flash" protests. An estimated half a billion text messages a day have also been keeping the citizenry up to date.

Mike Boyer

  • "What Makes a Terrorist?" by Alan Krueger in the November/December 2007 issue of The American. Almost 60 percent of Palestinian suicide bombers have more than a high school education, compared with less than 15 percent of the general population. Krueger explains why, from an economist's perspective, and further debunks the notion that poverty and lack of education cause terrorism.

Christine Chen

  • One of my local TV stations ran a report over the holiday weekend about the remarkable Frank Buckles, the last American soldier alive to have seen combat in World War I. At 106 years old, Buckles is more lucid than I am. There's a short profile of him in Monday's New York Times.
  • Also in honor of Veterans Day, NPR has been presenting a series on what life is like for Iraq veterans returning home. Renee Montagne had an especially moving report about two mothers, Sgt. Kimber Smith and Sgt. Marisa Gonzales, who've had difficulties adjusting to life back in Southern California after their tours of duty.

Blake Hounshell

Joshua Keating

  • TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images
    Robert D. Kaplan. "America's Elegant Decline." The Atlantic Monthly. The influential writer who predicted "The Coming Anarchy" and pushed American military leaders to focus on counterinsurgency and urban warfare now wonders if we've let traditional military strengths like sea power decline too far. Can a 150-ship navy meet the security challenges of the 21st century or is the United States, like Britain before it, on the path to giving up global sea supremacy?

Prerna Mankad

  • "Don't be scared of the Russians," in The Spectator. Con Coughlin argues that Russia is not interested in starting a new Cold War with the West — it just "wants to be loved." Nonetheless, Russia is paranoid about the intentions of the United States and its European allies, and if its fears play out in the form of increasing NATO encroachment or a missile-defense system, escalating aggression may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Passport

Poll: Americans love international cooperation

Wondering why Ron Paul's jihad against international institutions has failed to catch on outside of a few dark corners of the Internet?

Wonder no more. Mark Leon Goldberg points to a new survey released today by the United Nations Foundation. From the press release:

73% of all voters are more likely to vote for a candidate for President who understands that "solutions to world problems require international cooperation, whether they are economic problems, environmental problems, or problems of peace and war – we cannot do it alone.  International cooperation is a better way of solving some of the world's key problems".

It sounds like Martin Wolf was ahead of the curve. More details on the poll:

The research, undertaken by a bipartisan polling team led by Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies and Geoff Garin of Peter D. Hart Research Associates, is the most extensive on this subject to date, reflecting the results of nine focus groups in Alabama, California, Iowa, Maine and New Mexico and a national survey of 800 likely voters and an oversample with a total of 400 swing voters. The poll was conducted September 16, 18-23, 2007. The margin of error on a sample of 800 is + 3.46% and the margin of error for the oversample was + 4.9%.

Check out the full results here (pdf).