Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New "ministry of propaganda" to win the war on terror

The Bush administration thinks every problem can be solved with a good P.R. strategy. Having failed in their attempts to spread happy thoughts through planted stories, hired journalists or politicizing the "Voice of America" broadcasts, they now plan to create a center in the State Department to "counter terrorists messages".

It will develop messages "to undermine and marginalize extremist ideology and propaganda" and "aggressively rebut and efficiently respond to actions and statements by terrorist groups and leaders across the world."

The recommendation is one of several in a 34-page strategy document, which was completed last month by Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, a longtime confidante of President Bush. It has been shared with some members of Congress but hasn't been formally released.

They never seem to realize that our actions speak for us. And our actions lately haven't been much to brag about:

"From a public diplomacy standpoint, I don't know how you come out and talk about all the stuff you do, for human rights, to support democracy. . . . When people hear that, they stop and say, `What about Abu Ghraib? What about Guantanamo?" said Price Floyd, who was the State Department's director of media affairs until earlier this year.

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