America Needs a Slicker PR Campaign
America’s global image is suffering. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our “Coalition of the Willing” keeps getting smaller and smaller. New torture reports keep coming out of Gitmo and Abu Ghraib.
And at home, the public is getting more discouraged by our endless quagmire in Iraq.
You’re probably thinking of how we could fix these problems. What?? No, you dummy. That’s the old way.
Rumsfeld knows the answer: keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, but hire a better PR team to improve our image. Rumsfeld says we need to win the “hearts and minds” of Muslims throughout the world. “Hearts and minds” is the phrase Lyndon Johnson used during the Vietnam war. Will these similarities ever stop?
Rumsfeld said Muslims are “bombarded with negative images of the West.” Jeez, show a few pictures of mutilated Arab corpses, and that damn liberal media just blows everything out of proportion.
He said “For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a ‘five and dime’ store in an eBay world.” He said we need to use today’s weapons of war, including “e-mail, BlackBerries, instant messaging, digital cameras and blogs.”
Blogs. Ahah! And you thought all those rightwing bloggers were just regular citizens, sitting at home typing out their opinions. These zillions of pro-Bush bloggers are probably more like those orchestrated “public” meetings where thousands of guests would “spontaneously” start cheering and whoopin’ and hollerin’ for Bush.
Ted Kennedy noted that Rumsfield was missing the point. “Clearly, we need to improve our public diplomacy and information age communication in the Muslim world. But nothing has done more to encourage increased al-Qaida recruitment and made America less safe than the war in Iraq and the incompetent way it’s been managed. Our greatest failure is our policy.”
And here at home, a tax-exempt political group called Progress For America is spending $500,000 on a TV ad campaign to fire up enthusiasm for the Iraqi war. Now, I would’ve thought that $500,000 could be better spent on equipment and body armor for our troops — but what do I know?