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.
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