coming up with the right jingle

The Shrub administration is creating a new public relations office and campaign to help our image abroad.

I didn't know they cared one whit, but they still don't care about doing anything to alter our own attitudes or policies, those which have made us look like the real "evil doers," if not just plain laughing stocks, to those who would otherwise be our friends and admirers. No, they see the solution to the problem as just a matter of coming up with the right advertising campaign.

Graham E. Fuller, a former vice chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council and a longtime Near East analyst for the agency, said that during years of living and traveling in the Middle East, "I have never felt such an extraordinary gap between the two worlds. . . . Clearly, in a region where we desperately need friends and supporters, their number is dwindling, and we are increasingly on the defensive."

"How has this state of affairs come about?" House International Relations Committee Chairman [the execrable] Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) said in a speech last month to the Council on Foreign Relations. "How is it that the country that invented Hollywood and Madison Avenue has allowed such a destructive and parodied image of itself to become the intellectual coin of the realm overseas?"

Hyde shares a widespread conviction that a major part of the problem has been poor salesmanship.


Some critics question whether expanding and improving delivery will help if there is no change in the message. "If fundamental policies are seen to be flawed, a prettied-up package will not make a difference," Fuller told a recent meeting of the bipartisan U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

But I've saved your treat for the end! The best part of this log is the brilliant Danziger cartoon on this story. He gets it just about right.