Why Now?
Saturday, February 18, 2006
  Earth To Rumsfeld
I saw this and am unable to comprehend why this is an issue: Rumsfeld: Al Qaeda has better PR.

I talked about illiteracy in the Muslim world. Michael at Musing's Musings, Bulldog at Main & Central, and Anne at Peevish have all posted on this.

Folks, you can't present a landfill as a gated community, no matter how much you pay a PR firm. The US government has a history in the area, and while this administration may have forgotten about it, the people who live there haven't.

Iraqis and Iranians remember that the US supported Saddam for years during the Iran-Iraq War. Iranians know about the US involvement in bringing the last Shah to power. The Afghanis remember how the US left after the Soviets were pushed out. The Kurds remember being screwed by Republican Presidents since Nixon. Americans may not remember, the locals do. The locals don't differentiate between administrations: the American government is the American government.

The Danish imams didn't use Blackberrys, blogs, or e-mail to build support for their point of view; they sent a delegation of religious leaders to the religious leaders in the various Muslim countries. Information comes from the mosque, not the 'Net.

PR is not going to overcome Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, or Fallujah. PR is not going to overcome calls for "crusades" by Americans. PR is not going to overcome the burial of "wedding parties", women and children, the old and weak. PR is not going to offset the lack of water, sewers, electricity, and fuel in Iraq.

If Rumsfeld would like to improved relations with the Muslim world he could start with a heart-felt act of contrition followed by the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. These people have lived under repressive regimes for years and they know propaganda when they hear it.


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