June 3, 2009

Using the Impossible Dream for Political Advantage

Justin Katz

Whether voiced by Democrats or Republicans (and both have), this sort of talk has got to be getting nauseating for anybody who's paid even passing attention during the past few decades:

Obama administration officials argue that this unpopularity has hindered the United States' ability to achieve its goals.

"Our image in the world, particularly in the Muslim world, has, over the course of many years, not been what it needs to be in order to accomplish, for instance, peace in the Middle East," said Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary and a top advisor.

Oh yes. If only we rephrase our position and leverage polls to make ourselves more palatable to the "Muslim street," we'll be able to resolve a perennial conflict in which one side openly expresses a desire for genocide and sends women and children to blow themselves up as human guided missiles. The last guy just said the wrong things is all, so a change of rhetoric will be as a balm on a lesion.

Any politician who expresses the position that Gibbs has articulated is not to be taken seriously. Again: whether they're on the left or the right.

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Gibbs articulating anything is a joke.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 3, 2009 1:18 PM

Gibbs articulating anything is a joke.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 3, 2009 1:18 PM

Yup. Pretty much what I'd expect from a stupid f'n liberal.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at June 3, 2009 1:39 PM

You guys are something else. Our own NIE concluded the same:

Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad;" (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims--all of which jihadists exploit.[my emphasis]

Or here's the Brookings Institute's take:
Engaging the Muslim World: A Communication Strategy to Win the War of Ideas

The citizens of many predominately Muslim nations hold a dim view of the United States. Few American political and military institutions employ people well-versed in the language or culture of the Muslim world. This cultural stalemate must end if the two worlds are to successfully confront vital issues including terrorism, economic development, and political freedom. The next President should initiate an immediate strategic planning process that leads to a National Security Presidential Directive for improving our relationship with the Muslim world.

No peaking... guess who said this in reference to improving U.S. image in the Muslim world?

"We must do more to confront the hateful propaganda, dispel dangerous myths, and get out the truth."

(She even brought along a guy in an Elmo suit to help her make her point. Nothing adds gravitas more than a giant muppet. Who is it again we're not to take seriously?)

Posted by: Russ at June 3, 2009 3:30 PM

Yes, Justin, it is much better to insult the people you're trying to bring to the table to negotiate. And you're point is that improving the image of the US in the Middle East would reduce our standing there? Of course, you don't mean that. Even you recognize that it would increase our ability to get things done. But given a chance to tweak those in the White House who are bringing us quickly to the end of western civilization, you just can't yourself.

Posted by: Pragmatist at June 3, 2009 9:08 PM

It's a good thing that Bush is gone along with his unilateralism. Now North Korea will like us again. Wait a minute, aren't they the ones that just set off the nuke?? I thought Obama was going to make them like us.
Only a stupid f'n liberal would think you can appease these nutbags. Keep dreamin' stupid liberals!

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at June 3, 2009 11:19 PM

It's ironic that most of those who attack Obama and the Muslim world seem to have plenty in common with the Taliban.
Hey, if you don't like America under Obama, Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan are always an option.

Posted by: rhody at June 3, 2009 11:45 PM
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