Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Soccer Mom in the Middle East
On the Media had a great piece on how The Messenger is the Message. The story points out that aside from what the government propagandists say, it's really a country's actions, along with the image of its leader who carries out those actions, that dictates how we are viewed.
Karen Huges, Bush's latest State Department Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, recently traveled to the Middle East to peddle the administration's image of America as the "bringers of democracy"... Of course, using a white, Texas soccer mom to sell the idea to middle eastern women in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey may seem like craziness to us, but to the Bush administration what possible better representation of America could there be?
Well, for starters, how about a Muslim-American... someone who may actually have lived in the Middle East; someone who speaks the language, understands their customs, concerns and priorities yet can speak to the benefits of the American social and political system.
Nah, that would be too complicated -- come'on: democracy and western values sell themselves right?
On top of picking Huges, consider our president is threatening a veto on a bill that would publicly renounce the use of torture. When you put the picture together you can at least understand why Arabs, Persians and others look at the disconnect between our message and actions and ask "is this guy serious?"
Until someone in this administration pulls the rose-colored glasses off of our president (and gives him a brain transplant) we'll never make real progress against anti-Americanism.