They Just Don't Get It!
Washington, DC. Feb. 21st, 2006 ---- The United States had the world's finest multimedia network for information, or propaganda created under President Reagan and managed by the United States Information Agency. These people knew the media, and in many cases came from the media.
But today the whole network is in shambles and under the control of State Department, as far from reality as one can get. Add to that the meddling by the rank amateurs in the Pentagon, who haven't the first clue about winning hearts and minds beyond beating the crap out of them, or bombing them into oblivion and you can see the problem for the United States.
The as-usual badly informed Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday " U.S. military public affairs officers must learn to anticipate news and respond faster, and good public affairs officers should be rewarded with promotions, he said. The Pentagon's propaganda machine still operates mostly eight hours a day, five days a week while the challenges it faces occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rumsfeld called that a "dangerous deficiency."
He lamented that vast media attention about U.S. abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq outweighed the notice given to the discovery of "Saddam Hussein's mass graves." On the emergence of satellite television and other media not under Arab state control, he said, "While al-Qaida and extremist movements have utilized this forum for many years...we in the government have barely even begun to compete in reaching their audiences." (Reuters)
OK Smart Ass, you and your buddy Cheney had all the tools and all the right people in place back in 1987 but let them be decimated into the ineffective shambles we have today. Instead of rebuilding what was, your Department of Shock and Awe is giving young kids with connections inside the Beltway a hundred and twenty million dollars of taxpayers money, many times the entire cost of creating the global WorldNet service to bribe Iraqi journalists and plant fake stories. At the same time the White House is trawling the Gay Bars to replace another porno star to ask the President planted questions he can answer.
What is going on!
Have the Bush Administration gone totally off the rails to strip the Treasury and support their friends? The best the White House can do to win over the growing global hostility to the United States is to appoint Karen Hughes as the Ambassador of Charm. That is akin to sending a Christmas Ham to the Ayatollahs to improve relations.
The last embarrassing episode of spin control, which said volumes about Cheney/Bush (no error there) was the calling out of Mary Matelin to spin the media and run around the talk show circuit to explain why the power crazed Vice President nearly blew the head off of a nearby Lawyer. OK true because he was a Texas Lawyer the public sided with Cheney and asked why he didn't take down more lawyers. But it shows the bankrupt nature of the political television advisers there are available to this Administration.
The media image of the United States is at crisis level and unless there is something better than the truly disastrous decision making we have seen, then the chances of winning the Hearts and Minds of the Muslim world stands as much chance of succeeding as a Danish Cartoonist opening a sliced ham franchise in Tehran.