Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Panic Mode 

For an idea of how some Bush supporters are feeling about Dear Leader, and his (lack of) Iraq strategy, check out David Frum's letters page. One letter that really stands out to me is this one:
"[T]his is an old, old problem. With a few exceptions, the Bush people have STUNK at public diplomacy. Here and abroad. They STINK. Did they do ANYTHING to attempt to persuade the publics of, say, France and Germany that their leaders weren't serving their interests? Do we HAVE ambassadors in those countries who could have been sent canned speeches, if they were incapable of formulating them themselves? Have they rallied our allies in Britain, Australia, and Poland with rousing speeches, ceremonies, gifts, pacts, ties, symbols, etc.? Have they effectively ever articulated our distinction between Muslims and "Extremists" and tried to rally the publics of, say, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Morocco, etc., to our side?

"They're HORRIBLE at this stuff. And my only explanation is that it's the president's disinclination towards public speaking that trickles down, creating the impression that it's not necessary. Rather than press his subordinates to make up for his shortcomings, the president seems inclined to think that because he's right and/or winning elections and wars that rhetoric is empty or unimportant, when it's often of primary importance ....

"I think I've permanently injured my frontal lobe in pounding my head against the wall on this one over the years. ..."

That letter hits the nail right on the head. Why has the Bush Administration been so bad at PR? Why has it taken so long to have some body coordinate U.S. Public Diplomacy? We've done a lot of good for Muslims in the past, why aren't we reminding the extremists of that? Sure, they're not going to go away because we helped out Tsunami victims, but PERHAPS, it would motivate the so-called "moderate Muslims" that the U.S. is good. This kind of information helped show some of the citizens stuck behind the Iron Curtain, the U.S. wasn't the enemy, their own government was. Instead, we get worthless photo ops and countless 9/11 references. I don't see any reason that this will change, Bush is too stubborn.


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