Different Views About Mideast Matters

And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

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Mideast Matters
A new 21-nation poll out today reveals stark differences in the views of the West and the Muslim world. On the question of Mideast peace (search), for example, the Pew Center survey found that large majorities in much of the Arab world don't think the state of Israel and Palestinian rights can coexist. That view is held, for instance, by 57 percent of Turks, 65 percent of Lebanese and 80 percent of the Palestinians themselves. Meanwhile, even larger majorities in the Muslim world  -- 91 percent of Lebanese, 82 percent of Turks and 81 percent of Palestinians -- said they were disappointed at the lack of Iraqi military resistance during Operation Iraqi Freedom (search).

Pastor's Past
Remember Ken Joseph, the American pastor who went to Baghdad back in March as a human shield (search) but was so disgusted by Saddam Hussein's regime after talking to Iraqis that he changed his mind and left? Well, he has now returned to Baghdad, talked to more Iraqis and says that Iraqis who were not free to speak their minds under Saddam's rule now find themselves in "the same situation with a different twist." Joseph tells UPI that while "it is not widely reported, nor fashionable to say the Americans are loved and wanted in Iraq, but in fact as they were wanted before the war, they are wanted now."

Poll: Things Going ‘Well’
Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll out today shows 70 percent of Americans still say things are now going "well" for the United States in Iraq. The same poll showed 85 percent thought the same thing a month ago. Today's poll also shows the number of Americans who think the war in Iraq was justified even if evidence of weapons of mass destruction is never found has hardly budged in nearly two months, with 56 percent saying that now, and 58 percent having said that in the first week of April.

Fishy Fiasco
After Massachusetts Democratic Senator and presidential candidate John Kerry walked into a fancy restaurant on Nantucket Island, a long-time Washingtonian still waiting for his order of "Beignets of Cod Fish" was all of a sudden told his entree was no longer available. The Washington Times says that when the Washingtonian asked the waiter if his order, apparently the last serving available, had been given to Kerry, the waiter admitted "Yes," explaining that waiters are "under standing orders to get the senator 'in and out' in a most timely fashion and in this case [Kerry] couldn't wait for his beignets."