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Pittance Hurts "War on Terror"

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Lost opportunity...

Quote:
As John F. Harris and Robin Wright of the Washington Post cannily note, US President George W. Bush has missed an important opportunity to reach out to the Muslims of Indonesia. The Bush administration at first pledged a paltry $15 million, a mysteriously chintzy response to what was obviously an enormous calamity. Bush himself remained on vacation, and now has reluctantly agreed to a meeting of the National Security Council by video conference. If Bush were a statesman, he would have flown to Jakarta and announced his solidarity with the Muslims of Indonesia (which has suffered at least 40,000 dead and rising).

Indeed, the worst-hit area of Indonesia is Aceh, the center of a Muslim separatist movement, and a gesture to Aceh from the US at this moment might have meant a lot in US-Muslim public relations. Bin Laden and Zawahiri sniffed around Aceh in hopes of recruiting operatives there, being experts in fishing in troubled waters. Doesn't the US want to outflank al-Qaeda? As it is, the president of the United States is invisible and on vacation (unlike several European heads of state), and could think of nothing better to do than announce a paltry pledge. As Harris and Wright rightly say, the rest of the world treated the US much better than this after September 11.

Bush's own Pentagon released a report blaming the Iraq quagmire on negative attitudes toward the US in the Muslim world and weak presidential leadership in reversing that global hostility.

Quote:
The information campaign -- or as some still would have it, "the war of ideas," or the struggle for "hearts and minds" -- is important to every war effort. In this war it is an_essential objective, because the larger goals of U.S. strategy depend on separating the vast majority of non-violent Muslims from the radical-militant Islamist-Jihadists. But American efforts have not only failed in this respect: they may also have achieved the opposite of what they intended.

This unimaginable, horrible catastrophe, had the potential to demonstrate the "compassionate" side of the United States and reap goodwill in the Muslim world (much like Clinton's Kosovo liberation did for some time.)

Instead, we just handed Osama Bin Laden a PR bonanza. And you better believe Muslim charities -- many run by radicals like Hamas -- will fill the void and fan the flames of discontent.
"The selfishness of Ayn Rand capitalism is the equivalent of intellectual masturbation -- satisfying in an ego-stroking way, but an ethical void when it comes to our commonly shared humanity."
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"The selfishness of Ayn Rand capitalism is the equivalent of intellectual masturbation -- satisfying in an ego-stroking way, but an ethical void when it comes to our commonly shared humanity."
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post #2 of 6
Oh look we spun some anti-Bush rhetoric out of a natural disaster. We're so clever to understand the nuance of the situation.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
We're so cleaver to understand the nuance of the situation.

Those cleaver morans.
post #4 of 6
Strange considering how as a country we need all the good PR we can get.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
We're so cleaver

Yeah, "cleaver" describes you pretty well.

Not sure whether you fancy yourself as Ward, The Beav, Wally, or June, though.
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally posted by Gilsch
Strange considering how as a country we need all the good PR we can get.

You wouldn't need to do it if you were minding your own business. But the cowboys in your government poke their nose in every single international affair and play policeman to the planet. So, there are more people in the world who hate the US than any other nation.

Unless you change your foreign policy, you need all the PR you can get and it still won't be sufficient.
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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