Automakers Drop Suits Over Clean-Air Regulation: "General Motors and DaimlerChrysler are dropping lawsuits against California over a landmark clean-air regulation that requires the production of millions of low-emission cars and trucks over the next decade and a half. The move creates a temporary but momentous environmental truce between the auto industry, which has blocked the zero-emission vehicle mandate that was set in motion in 1990, and California, which wields enormous influence over the global industry.
.. [The auto industry] has also been reassured by recent steps of California regulators. The state amended its requirements in April to emphasize more low-emission and fewer zero-emission cars. In recent weeks, coinciding with negotiations over the suits, the air board expanded its credit system for hybrids to include a wider variety of vehicles" 9:30:33 PM
Friedman on liberal clerics in Iraq: "If the West is going to avoid a war of armies with Islam, there has to be a war of ideas within Islam. The progressives have to take on both the religious totalitarians, like Osama bin Laden, and the secular totalitarians who exploit Islam as a cover, like Saddam Hussein. We cannot defeat their extremists, only they can...
Mr. Jamaleddine, age 42, grew up in Iraq, sought exile in Iran after one of Saddam's anti-Shiite crackdowns, tasted the harshness of the Iranian Islamic revolution firsthand, moved to Dubai, and then returned to Iraq as soon as Saddam fell. Here is a brief sampler of what he has been advocating:
"We want a secular constitution. That is the most important point. If we write a secular constitution and separate religion from state, that would be the end of despotism and it would liberate religion as well as the human being. . . . The Islamic religion has been hijacked for 14 centuries by the hands of the state. The state dominated religion, not the other way around. ..
The problem of the Middle East cannot be solved unless all the states in the area become secular. . . . I call for opening the door for Ijtihad [reinterpretation of the Koran in light of changing circumstances]. The Koran is a book to be interpreted [by] each age. .. The neighboring countries are all tyrannical countries and they are wary of a modern, liberal Iraq. . . . That is why they work to foil the U.S. presence. . . . If the U.S. wants to help Iraqis, it must help them the way it helped Germany and Japan, because to help Iraq is really to help 1.3 billion Muslims. Iraq will teach these values to the entire Islamic world. Because Iraq has both Sunnis and Shiites, and it has Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. . . . If it succeeds here it can succeed elsewhere. But to succeed you also need to satisfy people's basic needs: jobs and electricity. If people are hungry, they will be easily recruited by the extremists. If they are well fed and employed, they will be receptive to good ideas. . . . The failure of this experiment in Iraq would mean success for all despots in the Arab and Islamic world. [That is why] this is a challenge that America must accept and take all the way." 9:56:15 AM