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Damn. This shit is real (PDF). From the Pentagon's Defense Science Board, clearly a reality-based office. Starting on page 22:
Opinion surveys conducted by Zogby International, the Pew Research Center, Gallup (CNN/USA Today), and the Department of State (INR) reveal widespread animosity toward the United States and its policies. A year and a half after going to war in Iraq, Arab/Muslim anger has intensified. Data from Zogby International in July 2004, for example, show that the U.S. is viewed unfavorably by overwhelming majorities in Egypt (98 percent), Saudi Arabia (94 percent), Morocco (88 percent), and  Jordan (78 percent). The war has increased mistrust of America in Europe, weakened  support for the war on terrorism, and undermined U.S. credibility worldwide. Media commentary is consistent with polling data. In a State Department (INR) survey of editorials and op-eds in 72 countries, 82.5% of commentaries were negative, 17.5%  positive.

Negative attitudes and the conditions that create them are the underlying sources of threats to America's national security and reduced ability to leverage diplomatic  opportunities. Terrorism, thin coalitions, harmful effects on business, restrictions on travel, declines in cross border tourism and education flows, and damaging consequences for other elements of U.S. soft power are tactical manifestations of a pervasive atmosphere of hostility.

Although many observers correlate anti-Americanism with deficiencies in U.S. public diplomacy (its content, tone, and competence), the effectiveness of the means used to influence public opinion is only one metric. Policies, conflicts of interest, cultural  differences, memories, time, dependence on mediated information, and other factors shape perceptions and limit the effectiveness of strategic communication [...]

There is consensus in these reports that U.S. public diplomacy is in crisis. Missing are strong leadership, strategic direction, adequate coordination, sufficient resources, and a culture of measurement and evaluation. America's image problem, many suggest, is linked to perceptions of the United States as arrogant, hypocritical, and self-indulgent. There is agreement too that public diplomacy could be a powerful asset with stronger Presidential leadership, Congressional support, inter-agency coordination, partnership with the private sector, and resources (people, tools, structures, programs, funding). Solutions lie not in short term, manipulative public relations. Results will depend on fundamental transformation of strategic communication instruments and a sustained long term, approach at the level of ideas, cultures, and values.

The number and depth of these reports indicate widespread concern among influential observers that something must be done about public diplomacy. But so far these concerns have produced no real change. The White House has paid little attention.

There's more (page 43):
We call it a war on terrorism, but Muslims in contrast see a history-shaking movement of Islamic restoration. This is not simply a religious revival, however, but also a renewal of the Muslim World itself. And it has taken form through many variant movements, both moderate and militant, with many millions of adherents, of which radical fighters are only a small part. Moreover, these movements for restoration also represent, in their variant visions, the reality of multiple identities within Islam.

If there is one overarching goal they share, it is the overthrow of what Islamists call the  "apostate" regimes: the tyrannies of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, and the Gulf  states. They are the main target of the broader Islamist movement, as well as the actual  fighter groups. The United States finds itself in the strategically awkward -- and  potentially dangerous -- situation of being the longstanding prop and alliance partner of  these authoritarian regimes. Without the U.S. these regimes could not survive. Thus the U.S. has strongly taken sides in a desperate struggle that is both broadly cast for all Muslims and country-specific.

This is the larger strategic context, and it is acutely uncomfortable: U.S. policies and actions are increasingly seen by the overwhelming majority of Muslims as a threat to the survival of Islam itself.

A Pentagon office calling Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states "authoritarian regimes"? Such honesty, so refreshing! And:
American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.

  • Muslims do not "hate our freedom," but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing  support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.

  • Thus when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy. Moreover, saying that "freedom is the future of the Middle East" is seen as patronizing, suggesting that  Arabs are like the enslaved peoples of the old Communist World -- but Muslims do not feel this way: they feel oppressed, but not enslaved.

  • Furthermore, in the eyes of Muslims, American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq  has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering. U.S. actions appear in contrast to be motivated by ulterior motives, and deliberately controlled in  order to best serve American national interests at the expense of truly Muslim selfdetermination.  

  • Therefore, the dramatic narrative since 9/11 has essentially borne out the entire radical Islamist bill of particulars. American actions and the flow of events have  elevated the authority of the Jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims. Fighting groups portray themselves as the true defenders of an  Ummah (the entire Muslim community) invaded and under attack -- to broad public  support.  

  • What was a marginal network is now an Ummah-wide movement of fighting groups. Not only has there been a proliferation of "terrorist" groups: the unifying context of a  shared cause creates a sense of affiliation across the many cultural and sectarian boundaries that divide Islam.  
  • This is remarkable stuff. The report labels the Bush adminstration is patronizing, bereft of leadership at both the national and presidential level, it mocks the use of the insipid "they hate our freedoms", and notes that we have failed (page 47):
    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.
    Amazing stuff considering the source. We may assume that the author will be exiled to the Alaskan tundra in retaliation for the harsh and honest criticisms, but this thing had to be approved at multiple levels before it was published. It's clearly not the work of a rogue analyst.  

    The report has garnered a smattering of press in international circles, but nothing yet in the US.

    Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:31 PM PST.

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    Comment Preferences

    •  Timing of the report... (4.00)
      Is it a shock that this report was released the day before Thanksgiving, when many daily newspapers are preparing for a day off?

      Straight out of the Karl Rove textbook, How to Keep Embarassing Stuff Out of The Papers - now in its third printing.

      •  Ludicrous... (none)
        ...the success of this sophomoric technique of releasing bad information at the end of the week.

        Why does the press let them get away with it?  Why not just pick it up on Monday morning?  Are our memories so short?  This is nothing that should succeed.  It succeeds because our press has no guts, no staying power, and because we as a people have lost our capacity for outrage.  

        •  It also succeeds because (none)
          the masses have the attention span of a housefly when it comes to things outside the realm of celebrity murders.  Seriously, what news stories get more sustained coverage than Jon Benet, Scott Peterson, et al?
          •  The report was submitted Sept. 23, 2004 (none)
            and held for two months before release Wednesday night before Thanksgiving weekend?

            [none / 0], [none / 0], it's off to Kos we go, with a...

            by doorguy on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:51:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Correction (none)
            Attention span of a gnat--you're too generous in your overestimation of the general public.  

            BTW, I just saw JonBenet on the cover of a check-out line tabloid.   What a shame-- still exploiting her tragic, short life.  She's probably been dead for longer than she was alive.  It's truly heart-breaking--a young girl's peculiuar life and tragic death turned into tabloid entertainment by her parents and the press.  I'll bet her parents are moral-value Republicans.

        •  Or more.... (4.00)
          We are witnessing the rise of "Good German" syndrome.

          "Good Germans" were the ones who "didn't know" about the concentration camp at the edge of town.

          "Good Germans" were the ones who "knew nothing"
          about "Krystallnacht," the ones who accepted the evilof the regime, "not realizing" how depraved the regime really was.

          We are becoming the "Good Germans" who "don't know" about Fallujah and the massacre, or the turning away of the red Cresent relief teams.

          The "Good Americans" who "can't understand" the Abu Ghraib case, and how this depravity still continues unabated, right now.

          It doesn't help that the media is complicit in the evil, but Goebbles would smile and laugh heartily with approval.

          link to BBC video

      •  Warning: don't fall for this document (4.00)
        Check downthread.

        We are being spun.

        A reading of this document itself quickly plunges you into a nicely-phrased outline of a global propaganda operation to fix our "failure to communicate."

        More far below; a lot was posted before we took a look at what this sugar was sprinkled on.

        •  you can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse ... (4.00)
          and that's what the report suggests ... strategic communication to fix the problem. U.S. actions in Iraq are radicalizing the Arab world, exactly what the perpetrators of 9/11 wanted to happen.

          It was never about Irag. It's not really about terrorism either. It's about Pax Americana.

          by dolphindude on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:47:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  radicalizing the arab world? (none)
            ummm...the arab world has been quite radical for some time now.  I think it is naive to think that changing policies in the mideast is going to change many minds at this point. the damamge has been done.

            "let us stand fast in times of darkness"-Julie Billiant

            by cato on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:20:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  cannot speak for sme else but... (none)
              what i think dolphin dude is implying is that the islamic fundamentalists have gained more support since the invasion and mishandling of iraq.

              of course "mishandling" is putting it mildly, what with thousands of innocent iraqis killed, human rights abuses etc.etc.

              "The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie"

              by Little Hamster on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:38:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  indeed, however (3.00)
                the 911 attacks occured before our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, from which we can imply that the radicalization of Arabs and Islam were well underway.  It just seems that discussions on Kos regarding terrorism always center on what the West has done to invite this, and never really seems to touch on the issue of Islamo-facism, or radicalism, or terrorism.....however you choose to label it

                "let us stand fast in times of darkness"-Julie Billiant

                by cato on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:00:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Arab militiants were radical but not winning the (4.00)
                hearts and minds of the Arab world. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, the objective of the 9/11 hijackers was realized. The Arab man in the street, who before the invasion couldn't care less for the Islamic fundies, is now paying attention to them.

                It was never about Irag. It's not really about terrorism either. It's about Pax Americana.

                by dolphindude on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:14:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i just have to disagree (none)
                  with you dolphindude.  While the Iraq war has been a disaster for the US image, 911 was celebrated by many an Arab man in the street.  If not celebrated, then certainly not condemned.  While i am in no way saying all arabs disliked us before the IW, certainly a large percentage did.  I had a friend vacationing in Morrocco on 911, as she wept in the lobby of her hotel, Morroccons were dancing and laughing in celebration.  While this is only anecdotal, it speaks to feelings that were already present in the arab world before the IW

                  "let us stand fast in times of darkness"-Julie Billiant

                  by cato on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:13:11 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Long time history (4.00)
                    The west (principally the U.S., France, and Britain) has been screwing around with Arabs and Muslims for more than a century (including training thugs to use religious fundamentalism as a useful method of control).

                    Lately three developments have fundamentally changed how Arabs and Muslims respond:

                    1. There is growing consciousness among more Arabs (in particular) that they are stuck under repressive regimes with limited opportunities, and that the U.S. backs these regimes

                    2. The likes of Al Jazeera fuel bitter outrage and hatred of the U.S. by televising, nightly, carnage from the Iraq debacle and Israel, which we now support in any outrage, no questions asked.  (Check out Henry Siegman in the New York Review of Books on Sharon's blatant, appalling "apartheid" strategy -- they feel so untouchable that they've casually outlined it in detail in recent interviews for major newspapers: )

                    3. We trained and showered resources on the Mujahadeen (our brilliant response to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan), from which one or more broad international networks -- Al Qaeda for starters -- have now sprung; so now there is a transnational, sophisticated set of organizations to benefit from and channel some of the outrage.

                    A propaganda campaign is going to fix this?  Maybe Wolfowitz wants to use his new sub-ministry of propaganda (assuming its funded) to try and buy Al Jazeera.  Helping steer and consolidate most of U.S. media into the hands of foaming-at-the-mouth right-wing partisans seems to have worked for them in the U.S -- they probably think they can just replicate the business model overseas...
            •  bomb em all! (none)
              Yee hah!  before the Iraq war only 50% of Arabs saw the US as an Evil Empire, now 98% do!

              kewl. thats progress! gives us a good excuse to bomb the entire mid-east!  (except Israel)
              I suspect, from talking to people I have met from Iran and Iraq that the "Arab World" is not one monolitic entity with one opinion. There are radical factions, and moderate factions, and a lot of people who don't care and just want to survive.

              The problem for US image in Iraq now as I see it, is that they just dont have enough TV's to watch Fox News.

              Perhaps our first reconstruction effort in Iraq should be to buy every household a TV (and prob ably a generator since I guess the power infrastructure is lousy) in hopes of dissuading them from what they are seeing in the streets!

              Then they'll learn how good this war is for them!

    •  Similar to a theme (none)
      At NAF's Al Qaeda 2.0 conference.

      Over and over, they kept saying, "well we need to fix our public diplomacy."

      And then someone else, perhaps more intelligent, would say, "but we also need to change our policy."

    •  wonder about the source (none)
      seems I read these comments earlier, when they were not attributed to the Pentagon. And since the news today is that rummy stays, I am real confused......
      •  Explaining It All For You (none)
        BushCo is only keeping the best of the screwups from his first term, and I think that Rumsfeld is Screwup Numner One.

        Opinions can be argued with. A conviction is best shot. -- T.E. Lawrence

        by cassandra m on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:57:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  my point was (none)
          I heard this analysis last-week-ish, and it wasn't attributed to the Pentagon. Thus, I am puzzled why it comes out as a Pentagon sourced statement, on the day when I read rummy is here to stay.

          i.e. a Pentagon spokesperson comes out admitting failure on the day that the failsperson rummy is acknowledged "here to stay"?

          although...that tactic wouldn't surprise me.

          •  You read it (none)
            in my diary that was elavated to the front page. That was a first for me. It was always attributed to the pentagons Defence Science Board.

            This was from a wired article on the report.

            The Defense Science Board is made up of civilian experts appointed by the Pentagon, and offers the department advice on scientific, technical and other matters.


            There has been a debate inside the U.S. government on what actions are permissible in providing information intended to influence allies and foes alike.

            In 2002, the Defense Department shut down its new Office of Strategic Influence after critics accused the department of creating a propaganda office to spread lies around the world under the premise of misleading U.S. enemies.

            "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," but was crucial in the U.S.-declared global war on terrorism, the report said.

    •  This Should be all over the Headlines (none)
      This was a diary from someone yesterday.  I posted it on my blog.  I was wondering if it was real.  

      How did you find the PDF?

      To his virtues be very kind, to his vices, very blind.

      by Descrates on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:30:44 PM PST

    •  Hmm (none)
      Yeah, I figured someone would get fired over this too.  But how could it make it out the door without cadaver Rumsfeld's stamp? Or any of the other under-jackasses? Weird. And it drops just as congressional repubs ostentatiously find some backbone. Ulterior motives? Stagecraft? Or just what it seems?

      Now taking bets on when, if ever, this gets major coverage on the big networks. I mean, Peter Jennings ought to be looking into the camera and saying, "Mr. President, WTF?" But I imagine he'll talk about steroids instead.

      •  exactly (none)
        Can someone please explain to me why athletes taking steroids or any other performance enhancing drug is such a big deal? Who friggin cares? What difference does it make?

        Give anybody who tests positive a handicap -- give them an extra 3 seconds on their time, or take 20 runs off what they get, or whatever.

        But get over it already. This isn't something for the government to worry about.

        •  John McCain... (none)
          should have bigger fish to fry than stoked up ballplayers.

          And don't forget about the MSM's incessant coverage of the Princess Diana tapes. You know how important those are in these times.

          Pass the bourbon please!

          by juniper on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:07:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  right (none)
            All that to do about a person who's been dead for what, 10 yrs? Like it matters to her, her family, or anybody who has a life.

            Those types of things belong on E!, Style, or some other non-news outlet like Weekly World News.

            But then again, WWN would just talk to her ghost. Ot that space alien. ;-)

      •  the media is uslesss (none)
        fox news and clear channel have just teamed up ..

    •  Vindication! (none)
      the sweet, sweet smell of my father-in-law's (Hes a Colonel about to retire [we hope]) opinions expressed in offical Pentagon documents.  How much have the Bushies screwed the pooch if the Pentagon will release a report like this?  

      What is depressing is that it didn't come out before the election...and us saying it constantly was not enough to win the election.

      Let the word go forth From this time and place To friend and foe alike That the torch has been passed To a new generation of Americans.

      by TheGryphon on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:32:38 PM PST

    •  pay attention (3.80)
      This report is a bombshell - I'm sure it won't change a thing.

      I wish I could say something more analytical/optimistic.

      •  sadly... (none)
        ...i agree.

        "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

        by anna on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:34:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  oh yea (none)
        who ever wrote this is sure to be purged.
        It's sad in a way.
      •  I'm getting close... (none)
        to being left with nothing else to say.  (some would say,  "and this is a bad thing?") matter how much sense we make... no matter how pathetic and obvious their lies matter how much money we raise and how good a campaign we run..IT KEEPS GETTING WORSE.  


        Yep, I'm feeling at a loss these days.  We have indeed entered Bizarro World.

        It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes.

        by NYBri on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:41:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh those pesky little leakers (none)
        and tellers of the truth

        one liberal fighting against the Christian jihadists

        by missliberties on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:15:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think we're looking at this wrong (4.00)
        Interesting that I just lost the whole following post the second time I previewed it (how's the weather in Langley fellas?)

        Anyway, I'm not convinced we should get excited about this report.  It was authorized by Wolfowitz, and merely reports that the rest of the world thinks our leaderships are a bunch of psycho buffoons, not that they are psycho buffoons.  

        How about the U.S. pursue policies that are inherently more defensible and principled?  OK, never mind.

        The report strikes me as classic neo-con - the recommendation is all about spinning our actions better by dumping hundreds of millions a year into some new sub-ministries of propaganda.  These guys think that we can take the same campaign tactics that just bamboozled 30% of the American electorate (enough as it turns out) out on the road and bamboozle the rest of the world.  Problem is, the rest of the world is not of the "red" tribe and they are likely to find the cool-aid less sweet.

        I'm sure the reason the report is declassified is to help push through the hundreds of millions in new funding proposed for the new sub-sub-ministries of propaganda - and, hey, I bet a bunch of the civilian participants on the task force just happen to work for companies that just might be able to do a lot of this work on a contract basis!  Since we have the money to spare in the public treasury, and need the jobs, how about setting up shop in - oh, I don't know - Texas or Florida?

        The sections on more "public-private partnerships" in the propaganda war should also give us some chills.  In an era when real news organizations are under cost pressure and gradually cutting things like overseas reporting, what a great opportunity for the CIA to swoop in and absorb a bunch of the costs - its win:win!

        (Rupert, Roger - an extra big check is in the mail to you, but keep it on the QT, OK?)

        Further evidence that the DSB is not exactly a club of stalwart independent thinkers: William Schneider, the Chairman of the DSB.  (The members are otherwise not disclosed - I believe this is recent; I'm pretty sure this used to be public information.)

        Anyway, Schneider was a signatory of the famous "Project for the New American Century" report and letter to Clinton in 1998 (aka "Project for a New Invasion of Iraq"), and is a major flack for ballistic missile defense. (see: ).

        In sum, the report does little to dispel that the inmates have taken over all wings of the asylum.

        •  You understate how wrong we were. (none)
          The magnititude and credibility of the problem does scare them to an admission of failure. It explains why they need a giant machine for making people think that something else is happening.

          I guess the one they use on us isn't big enough.

          And it's not just about spin; it's about monitoring and parsing opinion.

          Thanks for the background on authorship.

          •  These guys aren't that dumb (none)
            They knew invading Iraq would be incredibly unpopular in the Arab world.  They just didn't give a crap.  They thought they'd install Chalabi, who would then quickly set up a police state and discretely kill anyone who proved inconvenient.  Used to work pretty well... (See: Shah of Iran.)

            Unless the next terrorist strike gets their motorcades, they'd be perfectly happy to see suicide bombings become daily events in the United States (well, now that the election is over anyway).  It would just give them more license for their military adventures.

            They want to invade Syria and Iran, too.  They would love to have an excuse for a draft to raise a big enough army to do it.  They think of themselves as world-historic figures, titans astride the globe, and imagine their campaigns recounted in future millenia in the style of classic Roman histories.

            They really, really don't care about the near-term fall-out in Muslim or Arab public opinion -- except to the extent it derails their broader ambitions (which they must regard as broadly on track).

            Should any traitorous Congressman hall them up to Capitol Hill to testify about the unfolding catastrophe, the DSB report provides one of the mis-direction "answers" they can use to stall a few more years.

            "Yes Senator -- its clear that we have not done enough to win Hearts and Minds.  We've had to move quickly to do the necessary things to win the war on terror -- and we've had to place winning on the battlefield first.  This hasn't given us as much time and resource as we would have liked to do a little better in the field of public opinion.  But we have a proposal looking forward.  Implement this plan, and see if Arab public opinion hasn't turned around in 5 years time..."

    •  Excellent (none)
      This is the kind of stuff that we need a free press to spread. Thank god (small g) for the bloggers who catch every one of these bastards dirty tricks!

      But...Not This Time George!

    •  No faith (none)
      Once again, I have no faith that this will mean anything who doesn't wish it to be true.  I'd love to think that people would be more open to receiving this news since it comes from the Pentagon, but I don't think this will do a damn thing.

      I hope I'm wrong.

    •  Imagine you are a Moderate in an Arab country.. (4.00)
      More than anything you just want to earn a living and raise a family. You are religious, but not a zealot. And you don't hate America because you are able to separate the American People from Bush & Co. and Big Oil.

      Some of your countrymen are rabidly anti-American. They are talking jihad and martyrdom. But you'd like to dissuade them.

      Well, you can't. Why would you? Go against the Radicals, and you fear for your family. It can't be worth it.

      What George Bush has done is to effectively silence all the moderate voices in the Mid-East. Congratulations W, and fuck your invasion.

      •  Or imagine you're like my stepson ... (4.00)
        ...who was born in America but raised (with his sister) in Libya from the time he was 3 until 21.

        He loves American music - including a lot of the stuff from the '60s and '70s that are my golden oldies - American movies, the education he is getting here and the freedom (so far) to be able to read and say what he wants.

        But when he listens to the vituperative criticism that his Libyan family and friends deliver regarding U.S. policy in Iraq (or Iran), he can't disagree. And when they (carefully) complain that U.S. policy in Libya is all about oil and won't do anything to democratize the country, will, in fact, make Qadafi a stronger dictator, he can't disagree.

        If this moderate young Arab-American Muslim can't defend U.S. policy - certainly nobody in this family does, on the contrary - it's not hard to imagine how young Arabs in places with a narrower understanding of America must feel and may behave in the future.

        We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - David Brower

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:48:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So what is the US supposed to do? (none)

          I agree that Chimpoleon is a catastrophic fuckup.

          But what else is the US supposed to do?  There has to be understanding from the other side too.

          Is the US supposed to overthrow Arab tyrannies?  Look where that got them in Iraq.

          If the US pushes for democracy it is accused of trying to "foist" something on Arab states.

          If the US doesn't then it is accused of being self-centered for oil.  In the case of Libya it is a reward for giving up making nukes, which is a good thing.   If the US punishes countries who give up their nukes by overthrowing them, what is the obvious response going to be?

          Why don't the Europeans or Chinese get criticized for the same thing?  They make self-centered deals for oil and sell weapons too.

          Unfortunatley I think it all comes down to the US not hating Jews enough.

          •  I DO criticize Europeans and Chinese ... (none)
            ...for self-centered deals and selling weapons.

            What is the U.S. to do? Well, a bit late now, but if it had spent 25% of what it's spending in Iraq on rebuilding Afghanistan and giving people there a choice besides opium as the largest cash crop, and stuck to the pursuit of Osama, I think America's stock in the Arab and rest of the Muslim world would be a lot more favorable. And if it would stop SUPPORTING tyrants, it would have fewer to overthrow.

            We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - David Brower

            by Meteor Blades on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:45:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  We do nothing (none)
            We stop supporting the dictatorships and stop invading random countries.  We stop spending money there, except to buy oil, which whomever is in power will sell to us.  Let them figure it out.

            I'm a bit of an isolationist in this sense-the United States should look after it's own nation first and stop monkeying around with the rest of the freaking planet.

            This also means we cut off Israel, at least until they start playing nice.  They want to be asses, fine, they just don't get ten billion dollars a year or whatever from us any more.  Peace in the Middle East is easy-Israel has to draw a line, call everything on one side Israel and everything on the other side not-Israel, completely pull out of not-Israel, and make everybody on the Israel side full fledged Israeli citizens.  Then build a huge honking wall and hide in Fortress Israel.  Easy.  If the wall currently being built is part of this solution, then fine.  If they plan on keeping the settlements too, then not fine.

          •  hmmm (none)
            Dont understand why we need to be invading nations all the time.

            We dont need to overthrow tyrannies, but we can stop making them and supporting them.

            Dont understand how you can "push" democracy with an invasion. Democracy is grass roots.

            However, you can push dictatorship on people by killing some and making the others afraid.   But if the cowed start thinking you are crazy and completely can not be trusted, then you cannot keep them in line even with the threat of death. Because they figure you might just kill them anyway.

            That is why policies in a war like "shoot anything that moves"  are not just bad morally, but bad strategy.

            There used to be something called 'diplomacy'  but I guess that is now all old-hat with the current administration.

          •  well, I can answer *that* question (none)
            Do what we're supposed to do best. INVENT.

            Find the best of the alternatives to fossil fuel and make sure they get enough funding to get into the marketplace. There are more reasons than politics to do this, burning fossil fuel is the biggest human activity leading to global warming.

            This stuff has been researched for generations, we need development, not research. The goal of alternative energy programs must be changed from filling the rice bowls of politcally connected researchers to growing real oil we can burn with clear consciences and using electricity that doesn't come from buring coal. Why are we still funding crap like hydrogen energy?

            The biggest distorting factor in foriegn policy is dependence on Middle East oil and increasingly, dependence on oil coming from Third-World shitholes.

            Where does world terror not made in USA really come from? Follow the money and buy and large, your trail will end in the Middle Eastern oil-producing "friends of America" headed by Saudi Arabia.

            The religious ministries that produce foot-soldiers for the other side (their differences with the USA are not reconcilable, their leaders' mindset is Red State to the nth degree) are funded straight out of this area of the world.

            We need to stop buying Middle East oil, get our military presence out, and let the Arabs figure out for themselves what kind of government they want to live under.

            If they want help, they can ask for it.

      •  So true (4.00)
        Just think of how difficult it was for mederates in this country to oppose the war in the post-9/11 "we are under attack" mentality. Even if you didn't fear for your life you are intimidated by other means - painted as unpatriotic, accused of going against the group interest,  giving comfort to the enemy. Cool heads, rational thought - all swept away by the "us vs them" groupthink. 9/11 tilted support to the radical neo-con agenda.

        The moderates in the middle-east face the same group dynamics. Raed-in-the-middle lamented about it. So did an Arab reporter in the movie "Control Room". Bush's policies have cut away the ground from under their feet. Forget social reform. How can they even talk about moderation when Iraqi civilians are dying by the thousand. Support shifts to those radicals who promise hard-edged revenge. Don't they ever think that Saddam's policies justify the US attack? Just as much as  people in the US think of the idea that US policies in the middle-east justified the 9/11 attack.  

        Democracy. That's something pushed by liberals and moderates - that group of well meaning saps and intellectuals who act out of a sense of fairness and empathy to call for a just and equal society. Marginalise them and poof there goes any chance of democracy. How anyone can think that democracy can be imposed by attacking a group of people is beyond me.  

    •  Wrong Gulag (none)
      We may assume that the author will be exiled to the Alaskan tundra in retaliation for the harsh and honest criticisms

      Don't be silly, that's sooo 2000. His next assignment is digging out the manholes and sewers that they blew up un Faluja.

    •  Al Franken (none)
      has been talking about this on his show. I heard about it a couple times last week. They released it on the wednesday before thanksgiving in order to thwart the media. Let's not let them get away with it!
    •  this (none)
      is some horrible stuff. . .

      What I got to do to WAKE YOU UP?

      by hfiend on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:41:24 PM PST

    •  It wasn't entirely missed or ignored (4.00)
      The following citations are from a Lexis-Nexis search on the Science Defense Board. And I do remember hearing Randi Rhodes, and, I'm fairly sure, Al Franken, talk about the report on Air America.

       4. The New York Times, November 24, 2004 Wednesday,  Late Edition - Final, Section A; Column 5; Foreign Desk; Pg. 14, 810 words, U.S. Fails to Explain Policies To Muslim World, Panel Says, By THOM SHANKER, WASHINGTON, Nov. 23  
        5. Xinhua General News Service, November 25, 2004 Thursday,  8:00 PM EST, WORLD NEWS; Political, 369 words, Pentagon panel says US fails to explain policies to Muslim world, WASHINGTON
        6. PR Newswire US, November 18, 2004 Thursday, 419 words, DoD Directive 'Transition to and from War' Will Be Discussed at Swedish Peacekeeping Intelligence Conference - Everyone Except USA Attending! , WASHINGTON Nov. 18
        7. The International Herald Tribune, November 25, 2004 Thursday, NEWS; Pg. 1, 791 words, U.S. failing to persuade Muslims, panel says, Thom Shanker, WASHINGTON:
        8. The Pakistan Newswire, November 25, 2004 Thursday, Nationwide International News, 665 words, US dealing with Muslim world flawed: Pentagon
        9. The Guardian (London) - Final Edition, December 2, 2004, Guardian Leader Pages, Pg. 26, 862 words, Comment & Analysis: You call this liberation: Pentagon experts have made a discovery: Muslims do not hate America's freedoms, but its policies, Sidney Blumenthal
        10. The Associated Press, November 24, 2004, Wednesday, BC cycle, Washington Dateline, 583 words, Pentagon panel says stature of radical Islamists has risen since 9/11 attacks, By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer, WASHINGTON
        11. Associated Press Worldstream, November 24, 2004 Wednesday, INTERNATIONAL NEWS, 580 words, Pentagon panel says stature of radical Islamists has risen since 9/11 attacks, ROBERT BURNS; AP Military Writer, WASHINGTON
        12. The Toronto Sun, November 25, 2004 Thursday Final Edition, NEWS; Pg. 66, 352 words, WARS BACKFIRING?; PANEL: FOES UNITE IN HATE OF U.S., BY CP

    •  why does the Pentagon hate America? (4.00)
      "But American efforts have not only failed in this respect: they may also have achieved the opposite of what they intended."

      Wait a minute, that's funny. The neo-cons running this country (and the ones that ran the country before getting big, lucrative contracts at the AEI intitute, like Richard Perle) have always seemed to WANT to end internationalism and piss off the world in order to make as many enemies as possible as a pre-text to romp all over the fucking world in a frenzy of imperialism.

      To logical people like us, the US has failed.

      To people like Perle and Wolfie, they've been getting EXACTLY what they've always wanted: sharp increases in Islamic fundamentalism as a pre-text to colonize the entire fucking Middle East.

      •  Uh huh. (none)
        And they wonder why we call people who voted for Bush "dumb."


      •  Colonize? (none)
        I think the vision is more to get rid of all the arabs, build big fences around the oil, patrol with robots, and occasionally have petroleum engineers helicopter in and out for maintenance.

        But that agenda can wait until we've finished helping Sharon relocate all the Palestinians to Jordan or the new Gaza prison (probably inspired by the movie "Escape from New York").  That comes first for Wolfie, Bill Kristol, et al (who must fantasize about seeing their oversize statues on pedastals perhaps next to renderings of Golda Meir and Ariel Sharon, in some future prominent square in Tel Aviv).

    •  Cribbing off someone else's paper... (4.00)
      Am I wrong or wasn't there a bearded man on TV the Friday before the election who was making some of these same points?

      politics: from Gk. "poly" (many) and Eng. "ticks" (bloodsucking insects)

      by garbo on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:42:56 PM PST

    •  I see next month's unemployment figures (4.00)
      going up, by exactly the number of people it took to write this report.

      Bush is a messianic, megamaniacal, imperialistic, sociopathic, borderline retarded facist. But there's also a down side.

      by jazzmaniac on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:46:06 PM PST

    •  Isn't This Policy? (4.00)
      There is consensus in these reports that U.S. public diplomacy is in crisis. Missing are

      Aren't they're supposed to be missing?

      The admin is pretty publicly opposed to conventional diplomacy isn't it? Diplomacy was leading us into all the behavior and relationships the New American Century was launched to sweep away. The Pentagon is running most important international relations activity no?

      Thus when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy --pretty much whenever it is talking, it is talking to American media and voters.

      American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq  has not led to democracy there, but only more

      Well not yet. It's only been a year or few. The Politburo did hope to wrap things up immediately but it seems to me they think they can afford a considerably slower pace.

      U.S. policies and actions are increasingly seen by the overwhelming majority of Muslims as a threat to the survival of Islam itself.

      Sure, for now. But I can't believe the Admin thinks it has a plan for exterminating a belief system. They're probably expecting that if they can force Islam to put up with an emotionally rough ride for a while, they'll soon enough come to realize that we're not trying to crush their religion.

      It still seems to me that there is a plausible curve through all this data that accomplishes what the politburo wants, eventually and admittedly causing vast trauma to interests most of us would have respected. But they don't necessarily blow up the whole world or ignite more than some temporary increase in terrorism.

      What they really are crushing is liberalism and the sort of domestic and world order that goes with it. By whatever moment we might imaginarily be able to take back this country, there would be enough degradation, global fundamentalism and anti-Americanism that the liberal kind of world would be impossible to recreate.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:47:53 PM PST

    •  Read the current Guardian (none)
        This is pretty much what Musharraf is pretty much quoted as saying in the current Guardian.  He says the world is less safe due to US actions in Iraq.

      Winning without Delay.

      by ljm on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:48:39 PM PST

      •  He said it on Wolf Blitzer too (none)
        I saw the clip on The Daily Show tonight.

        The only place to get real news anymore. Here is first though, NPR comes in third -- but only because the station I listen to runs BBC world service 7 hrs a day. (Mostly at night, but I stay up late.)

    •  Obtuse (none)
      Actually this document written in the very best "Pentagonize" is aimed at commencing a new comprehensive massive propaganda campaign to counter misguided Muslim ideas like the US killed 100,000 Muslims in retaliation for 9-11 or that the US invaded Iraq to establish a neo-colony and control its oil.

      Muslims have to be converted to the Fox News world view.

    •  Just a guess : (none)
      State Dept. study - Colin Powell's parting shot ?
    •  First read it (none)
      Prof. Cole blog. The report states the obvious, but it will not change the minds of those who believe the only way to win this war is to level the enemies and kill or convert those who oppose the United States. It has been tried before and didn't work then and it doesn't work now...

      Instead you get this:

      Note to GWB, numbers don't lie, unless you lie about the numbers.

      by Ralfast on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:53:16 PM PST

    •  See Appendix A of this Report (none)
      It is the Study Terms of Reference signed by Wolfowitz.  You don't have to be much of a close reader to see that he has asked this study group t address almost all of the items that we and others have used as evidence of the complete failure of this Iraq thing.  He does not admit that these are failure points, but you can't help but be stunned that here they all are.

      But I have no hope that they will learn any real lessons.  What plays to TV audiences will always take precedence on any real safety, on any real foreign policy.

      Opinions can be argued with. A conviction is best shot. -- T.E. Lawrence

      by cassandra m on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:54:44 PM PST

    •  This will be spun... (4.00)
      ... to the Neocons' favor.  Mark my words.  Remember the report that said that there were no WMD in Iraq?  The Neocons spun it to show that the invasion was justified because the report included Saddams abuse of the 'Weapons for food' program.  That was successful because it came out of mouths of people I know.

      This will be spun in several ways:

      1. Deplomacy doesn't work with Arabs.  They only know force.  Powel was a failure.

      2. Because there are people still questioning Dear Leader, this gives aid and comfort to the radicals.  If we all blindly followed him without question, they would all know our resolve and nobody would be questioning us.

      3. Who cares if nobody likes us?  Our security interest are not the concern of the rest of the world.  We are not in this to win a popularity contest.  Making these decisions is hard.

      This is what will be said on all of the talk shows, if this report ever catches steam, which I doubt.  And when that happens, the media will be too lazy to actually read the report and the Demo's will be too cowardly not to challenge the Repug who says it.  Or, God forbid, the Demo will be Lieberman and he'll actally agree with them.

      I am a good American and I support the Troops. My car bumper says so!

      by RichM on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:55:01 PM PST

      •  I respectfully disagree... (none)
        I think it will be spun:

        America has a public relations problem. And we can spend a few dollars here and there, enlist the support of Eisner, Murdoch, etc., and it'll be all fixed. Thus, patriotic Americans will support the media messages that best serve our nation's PR needs, everyone else will go to concentration camps or something.

        [none / 0], [none / 0], it's off to Kos we go, with a...

        by doorguy on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:03:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  how do we get more people to care... (none)
      about this stuff?  

      51 percent of the country could care less how the US is percieved in other countries, just kickass and take no prisoners, because some whiny liberal will complain when you torture them.  

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:58:57 PM PST

    •  Think we can get Bush to read the report? (none)
      Oh, sorry. I forgot he doesn't read.
    •  Small Problem (none)
      One most people have no idea about their countries foriegn policies, goes in the too hard basket.
      two I have seen Americans who are pretending that they do understand say such things as " dislike us as much as you want" " don't mess with us" and "do as you are told"
      three I don't think they are all republican
      four And some of them are on this site, And I would say most people on Kos are above average as far as the population in America goes
      five I am not American so I could be wrong
    •  It may get no play in the US (none)
      but this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

      The facts of global public opinion reported in this document have been accepted for a long time, 2-3 years, in other parts of the globe, and I think this is just the first in a series of legitimizing statements that will eventually overturn the whole (rotten) applecart.

      My problem is that so many individuals will have been murdered, and at least one state will have been destroyed before the rot is stopped.

      That is shameful.

      Even some republicans now feel rwanda was a gross negligence of global scale.

      What will be thought of Iraq in 10 years? 5? 2?

      "We need to get back to basics and start listening to people from outside Washington." - Howard Dean

      by deafmetal on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:01:33 PM PST

    •  The trifecta (4.00)
      The Pentagon's Defense Science Board Report, Michael Scheuer's Imperial Hubris, and Osama bin Laden's Letter to America, all reach similar conclusions, all issue similar warnings. And as far as I can tell all have been ignored by US mainstream media. The negligence is a travesty.

      "Somehow 'we told you so' just doesn't say it"

      by Rp on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:05:03 PM PST

    •  El Sid (none)  | The new Pentagon Paper: "The new Pentagon Paper
      A scathing top-level report, intended for internal consumption, says that Bush's 'war on terrorism' is an unmitigated disaster. Of course, the administration is ignoring it."
    •  Ted Rall's take on this... (4.00)
    •  Zogby (none)
      Ain't he the guy who's couldn't predict who the won the US election? He's probably wrong here too. Too reality based.
    •  This just in... (none)
      to add insult to injury here...

      10:51pm (ET), NYTimes: C.I.A. Reports Offer Warnings on Iraq's Path

      A classified cable sent by the Central Intelligence Agency's station chief in Baghdad has warned that the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and may not rebound any time soon, according to government officials.


      10:49pm (ET), AP: FBI Letter Cites Guantanamo Abuse

      FBI agents witnessed "highly aggressive'' interrogations and mistreatment of terror suspects at the U.S. prison camp in Cuba starting in 2002 -- more than a year before the prison abuse scandal broke in Iraq -- according to a letter a senior Justice Department official sent to the Army's top criminal investigator.

      Pass the bourbon please!

      by juniper on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:10:46 PM PST

      •  Here we go again... (none)
        The American ambassador to Iraq, John D. Negroponte, was said by the officials to have filed a written dissent, objecting to one finding as too harsh, on the ground that the United States had made more progress than was described in combating the Iraqi insurgency. But the top American military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., also reviewed the cable and initially offered no objections, the officials said. One official said, however, that General Casey may have voiced objections in recent days.
    •  Interesting to me (none)
      That we are fighting an enemy that we have created by our policies, including courting Saddam to help us with Iran many years ago.
      Today we attack their homes and then call them terrorists for defending them.
      No the world is not safer today!

      one liberal fighting against the Christian jihadists

      by missliberties on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:13:51 PM PST

    •  Recommendation 1 (4.00)
      The Task Force recommends that the President issue a National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) on international information dissemination to (1) strengthen the U.S. Government's ability to communicate with foreign audiences and thereby shape understanding of and support for U.S. national security policies, and (2) coordinate public diplomacy, public affairs, and overt international military information. The directive should require all regional and functional National Security Council (NSC) Policy Coordinating Committees to (1) assess the potential impact of foreign public opinion when national security options are considered and (2) recommend or develop strategies for public information dissemination strategies before or in concert with policy implementation.

      "Heh, Rummy, whatayer boys werkin on?  Sounds like some kinda, test to me?!  Are those pentagon doves o'yors qettin squeemish?  What do I look like, some kinda peace president er sumthin?"
    •  I blogged this Nov. 26 (none)
      Why so late here?

      So did everyone else.



    •  I'm glad I saw this... (none)
      Good thing you posted this, my paper is due Thursday.

      For my Honors Comp II course I'm doing a research paper with a comparison of The Battle of Algiers to Iraq, with an emphasis on the use of torture. That paragraph on page 47-48 was basically how I wanted to end the paper.

      Very convenient that the Pentagon wrote that for me. Sounds better coming from them anyway.

      Ben Franklin said: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." Take note.

      by VoidBox on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:17:23 PM PST

    •  Well, (none)
      Welcome to the party, anyhow.


    •  Somebody needs to (none)
      email that pdf to Kevin Drum, Peter Beinart, Joe Lieberman, Matt Yglesias, and the rest of the "Serious Liberals(tm)" who are busy talking about purging the Democratic Party of people like Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky...never mind that neither are Democrats, mind you...

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:21:51 PM PST

      •  Just the suggestion they want to elicit. (none)
        You would blanch if you actually read this document.

        They are obviously trying to get liberals to champion it.

        This is not in any way a report about failures of U.S. policy.

        It is a recommendation for a massive apparatus for monitoring people's opinions and delivering propaganda.

        No kidding.

    •  This would be funny is it was't so tragic (none)
      In the span of three years, the Bush administration has managed to piss away a budget surplus, detain American citizens without due process & using the Constitution like a roll of Charmin in the process, sullied the good name & reputation of the "USA" throughout the world, and help recruit the next generation of bin Ladens.
      But hey, all is not lost!  Shrub has another 4 years.  Let's see, what's next...The rape & pillaging of a generation unborn to pay for Social Security.  At the rate this administration is winning "hearts and minds" and spreading US goodwill, the Bush Admin. will have us on the list of rouge states by the end of his 2nd term.
    •  Perhaps dKos can mirror this report... (none)
      before it goes down the memory hole...
    •  Yea, they sho'nuff be hatin' on U.S. (none)
      We're gonna suffer for being the GWB (giant world bully). Will Bu$hco listen? That's one thing the report chastises them for not doing.

      Much of the current U.S. effort concentrates on delivering "the message" and omits the essential first step of listening to our targeted audiences.

      I read this whole report last week and snipped a number of their suggestions on Strategic Communications to use as ideas for future grassroots political efforts, of which there were many. They weave commercial branding and political election strategies into their advice to Bush on world diplomacy.

      Very interesting reading, but Georgie, he doesn't even read the news.

    •  Hmmm... (none)
      Wonder when this group of fact based thinkers will be replaced with faith based yes-men?

      Anyone want to place bets?

      Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity, only not as much fun.

      by Toktora on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:34:24 PM PST

    •  Two countries separated by a common language (none)
      One reason the linked Google News search isn't coming up with  many American hits is that the link searches for "Defence Science Board". "Defence" is the British spelling. Changing it to the American spelling of "Defense" garners many more hits from American sources, including a story in the WaPo decrying the mainstream media's overlooking this report.
    •  Recommendations Already in Force (none)
      Several cable shows last week covered how the Department of Defense is already implementing the recommendations section of this report. An Army Information Officer was shown using CNN to put out intentionally bogus information on Falujah. If you read the report carefully, you will see that they do not distinguish between intended audiences for their information campaign. U.S. citizens are fair game.
    •  Unbelievable.... (none)
      Simply amazing that many of this was forseen before the invasion. But the people in power -- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. -- they didn't care. They had their sights set on something so irresistable that they went ahead with their plans to invade Iraq anyway, willing to live with the damage they knew they would cause.
    •  we're right, their wrong.... (none)
      Sadly, while many (like those here on kos) view the article as damning confirmation of the failed policies and practices of the Bush administration, to Bush, Rove, Cheney, and their cronies, these facts simply point to the need to convince these wrong headed people to either change their mind or die.

      Bush and Co. will NEVER GET that they are the problem. Given a choice between changing their ways, changing their enemies, or just killing them all, BushCo chooses to kill them all - after of course giving lip service to trying to change them (remember shock and awe).

    •  Downloaded it last week (none)
      after reading Blumenthals' Salon piece about it. It's not classified, it's about 100 pages, and it's the best thing the Defense Dept. has put out since who knows when.

      I say, we have to go with it. We should have teach-ins about the stuff it talks about, for instance. Remember teach-ins ?

      We need to talk about all of this stuff, and repeatedly emphasize it's all in an UNCLASSIFIED DEFENSE DEPT. DOCUMENT. In other words, we're not making this shit up !

      You don't have to frame a thing with this report, it's all there in plain English. For once I read a doc from the DOD and felt like my money was well spent on the group that put it together.

      Oh, and Karl ? We're onto your Friday night document dump thing, big time. Right guys ?

      Let's get some Democracy for America

      by murphy on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:39:52 PM PST

      •  Awww (none)
        Maybe for the next election, eh? 2008? We can all talk about this shit during the next presidential campaign.

        Why talk about it NOW?

        •  Start now! (4.00)
          We need to frame the issues and start changing minds now, instead of collectively chilling for 36-month intervals before firing up a team of consultants to test the waters of public opinion.  The political communication machinery of the right gets up every morning and eats us for breakfast.

          Not only do we have to talk about these issues NOW, we have to talk about them every day.

          Possibly the single most devastating political frame we face in national elections is the slander that the left is "soft" on defense or "weak" when it comes to protecting America.  The sad irony is that if you seriously and objectively evaluate the situation (as the Pentagon report does), the foreign policy of recent years has been disastrous, even if you look at it only in terms of narrow self-interest.  This is something we need to articulate as clearly and fequently as possible.


          •  Not only do we have to talk about these issues NOW (none)
            I must admit, I'm curious as to why you want to talk about this issue.
            •  Why wouldn't we want to talk about this? (4.00)
              Since we're all "talking about this" on the blog, I have to assume you're asking why we should push these issues in public discourse.  It seems to me that the overall thrust of our foreign policy is a tremendously important issue that would deserve attention even if we weren't speeding off a cliff as fast as we are now.

              A Pentagon report that explodes the myth of Bush's foreign policy "strength" and undermines the "Republicans will keep you safe" meme is extremely useful.  These ideas should be circulated as widely as possible, whether in blogs, real conversations, or media reports.

              The left must engage on issues every day, or there will be more dark days ahead.  The political communication of the right is not going to take a similar holiday until the next presidential election.  Only by sustained effort will it be possible to make gains in Congress and form the foundation of public opinion that is necessary to win.  No Democratic nominee is going to be able to pull together a winning strategy in July 2008 if the groundwork has not been laid.

              And regardless of the partisan battlefield, this is serious stuff we're talking about.  If more people paid attention, considered issues thoughtfully, and demanded accountability from the media and elected officials, we'd be seeing far better policy from governments Republican or Democrat.

    •  I could get a job ! (none)
      Because there is nothing in that report at all that I could not have written 12 months ago, in fact, i could have written it in 2003 before we went in.

      What worries me, is that Bush isnt even in his 2nd term yet. we were 9 months into his first whe nthe first crisis (save for the china plane downing) happened and we have gone downhill ever since.

      At some point over the next 4 years, somone is going to realize that now would be a good time to take advantage of Americas present weakness, both militarily because we are spread thin, economically because we cant stop spengings and giving it away to fat cats, and diplomatically, because when bus hsaid your either with us or against us, most of the world, shrugged and said "er, yeah, whatever".

      these insurgents will never give up. they arent insurgents, they consider themselves freedom fighters. The only analysis that osmeone smarter than I needs to make is the following :

      1. If we leave after the elections, will the violence subside, remain the same, or escalate
      2. Can we in good conscience withdraw if we believe the violence will escalate or remain about the same ?
      3. Are there groups of genuine terrorists using Iraq as a base to launch significant attacks on western targets, and by significant, I mean Madrid or larger ? Or is the continued presence of the US there providing them with an active training program that our withdrawlal would remove  to a large degree ?

      Are we in a chicken and egg mindset. We stay because its violent, and its violent because we stay ?

      We are 3 years into this mess, and are only now beginning to hear the right questions being asked, and not even in the mainstream either.

      The Press is AWOL on Iraq and has utterly failed the nation. When they did their appology for the WMD debacle, there was some reason to believe they would change their spots. I guess we will be in for another appology in about 5 years time, probably when we have escalated this war to the region, and have 500,000 draftees over there.

      We strike Iran, or worst yet Israel does, and that is exactly what is going to happen.

      Vietraq, no doubt.

      I am a Reform Democrat

      by Pounder on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:02:58 PM PST

      •  lots could see that (none)
        I could see it would be Vietnam before we even went in. So did a lot of other people, including many Vietnam vets.

        And so did Bush Sr. -- but of course, his son doesn't read and listens to a higher father (Satan maybe?) and didn't pay attention. Bush Sr. shoulda dope slapped him, maybe it woulda knocked some sense into his head.

      •  Iraq elections (none)
        We're not leaving after the elections, at least not voluntarily. I think things are going to heat up way beyond where they are now, because most people expect us to leave.

        But Bush Co. has too much invested in Iraq to leave the country to Shiite fundies who will align with Iran. They can't leave Iraq as a strategic loss, in their minds at least.

      •  The press took the fall. That took (none)
        the blame away from WH for lying.
    •  Contrary to your claim, Kos... (none)
      This was featured prominently on Al Frankin's show a couple of days ago.  An interview segment was included.  Now, maybe this isn't mainstream media, but it does have some level of local penetration.

      More coverage would be nice, you are correct.

    •  somebody hand these idiots a dictionary (4.00)
      American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.


      No, predictably.  

    •  This was clearly written by... (none)
      ...a few bad apples.
      •  To go deeper (none)
        This is probably similar to upthread comments, but for you down-threaders like me:

        We know that polarization is exactly what the Muslim radicals want. In their view, the sooner the mainline Muslims radicalize against moderate governments and the United States, the better.

        Bush had a mandate after 9/11 and the capital to pursue it. He squandered it on his boondoggle and we're the ones left to pay the tab -- both the fiscal costs and the moral ones.

        This rash of bad news (the dollar, the war, etc) needs to be continually pressed as important to aid 06 midterm efforts.

        •  This is the reason for 9/11 (none)
          The Muslim radicals were not successful anywhere in the Arab world before 9/11. They needed the United States to strike back irrationally at the Arab world, to do something so bad that the entire Arab world would be alienated. That's what the U.S. invasion of Iraq achieved for the 9/11 hijackers.

          It was never about Irag. It's not really about terrorism either. It's about Pax Americana.

          by dolphindude on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:55:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  What is the most important thing to these IDIOTS ? (none)
      It's money. They think they understand it, but they don't.

      They are killing the golden goose. Actually, more like raping it; they'll kill it shortly after Jeb's first term.

      For the life of me, I can't understand why any conservative would vote for someone who has devalued the dollar like BushCo has. Currency debasement is so, so antithetical to conservatism that you have to be totally brainwashed to call yourself a conservative and vote Warthuglican.

      Bush's fiscal policy is as big a disaster as Iraq.

      Protect yourself - look into GLD (ETF that tracks the price of gold) and (foreign currency CDs).

      •  uhhhhhh... (none)
        ...forgive moi redundancy.

        For the life of me, I can't understand why any conservative would vote for someone who has devalued ..{snip-snip}.. that you have to be totally brainwashed to call yourself a conservative and vote Warthuglican.

        i bleeb the awLed sage {Marx} caLLed it "the opiate of the masses."  

        ...placarding windshields at services in Ohio...

        ...highlighting issues like 'same-sox-marriages'..

          .....  .... 'culture-FOR-birth' (but who gives a rip about life-after-birth)

        We need to difuse these {thug} frames.
        Win the 'hearts' of the 'bleeberz'...and ya have it in the bag.


        We're just bozo's on this bus...

        by Orj ozeppi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:18:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This report recommends a propaganda bureau (4.00)
      I read the whole report last week.  The analysis reported is interesting but the recommendations, although superficially intriguiging, could very well be used as a (dare I say it? Nazi-like) propaganda machine.   It recommends using public and private agencies, having a cabinet level spin meister familiar with campaign techniques among other things, to convince people our policies are wonderful, to sell our way of life and "values."  I was convinced at first and then started thinking, wait just a minute!  We might want to study some of these motivational and other techniques.  There are some good recommendations, like cultural interchanges.  But when does the spying etc. begin?  I suppose after all the Big Brother type things recently, I don't trust our government.
      •  I'm on that same page (4.00)
        Although I haven't read much of the Report yet, I don't have a good feel for even the first pages, so I was glad to see your comment before I posted the following:

        I'm uncomfortable with the first pages of the Report I've read that haven't been reported on.  For example the following paragraph on page 3 of the report (page 11+ - of pdf file) "We need to move beyond outdated concepts, stale structural models, and institutionally based labels.  Public diplomacy, public affairs, psychological operations (PSYOP) and open military information operations must be coordinated and energized."  Also, the extreme emphasis on Government-Private Sector collaboration, and "Strategic Communication" is unsettling  

        Not having read much of the report, I couldn't say, but my initial instinct is that perhaps the only thing the Bush Admin is being criticized for is showing that they're assholes, versus being assholes.

        I'm wondering whether the self-critical parts of the Report weren't just thrown out there to give the Public a sense that the Government is still able to engage in self-criticism.  I doubt anyone will be fired.  The Report may have even had Rumsfeld's blessing, it's not like they don't know that most of the world knows they're assholes is it?

        •  Some should reboot this (none)
          with a separate diary entry.
        •  Absolutely (none)
          Notice nothing in the report actually suggests changing policy, just changing the perception of the current policy.  Of course, that's what Wolfie ordered the DSB to do - read App. A, p. 95.  

          I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

          by ktxlib on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:18:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Robert Pointdexter (4.00)
        Didn't he run an agency like that in the Pentagon before the press got wind of it?  He resigned, but I'm not sure that the Pentagon wanted to stop the agency.  He was one of the guys involved in Iran/Contra.  Real family values guy.
      •  Wouldn't Karl Rove (none)
        be just the person to head this new Ministry of (Dis)Information?. He's shown the ability to sell these insane policies to the people of this country.

        I'm also not so sure that the real target of propoganda wouldn't still be the U.S. citizen. As long as the administration can keep a lid on things heere and convince enough people that everything's fine, then they can continue to pursue their agenda regardless of foreign attitudes. If a critical mass of dissent is reached here, they have a problem. While the pretext for the new propoganda agency may be foreign influence, I think the real target of misinformation will be here.

    •  Bush Is Batting A Thousand !! (none)
      Yep, Bush is keeping up his perfect batting record of fucking up everything he has touched.

      Someone has to be a king size idiot to fuck up as much as he has in his life.  

      If his "daddy" had not been the sperm donor and let him use his name, that son-of-a-bitch would be lucky to get a job flipping burgers.  

    •  Defense Sciencee Board Rocks! (none)
      Can they show Rummy/Bush/Cheney their reality machine?
    •  Danger: Don't fall for this (4.00)
      Just read the summary recommendations. Haven't finished, but want to warn.

      This document calls for a massive, multiagency -- Homeland & DoD -- propaganda apparatus. Sounds like they're lobbying for a Mid East satellite television service, too.

      These scoops of truth are just bait to add the flavor of credibility to a frightening play for a world-wide extension of government-by-misrepresentation. As ever, their failures indicate only a need for more power.

      Totalitarian themes: Can't rely on private press alone. Need to harmonize with election cycles.

      They're not trying to criticize policy; they're trying to describe a gigantic problem that requires a massive world-wide propaganda effort.

      It got suddenly cold here.

      •  Ditto (none)
        Even the first few pages are unsettling. Tried to post to that effect along with Maebe (sic?) a few posts above.
        •  Just now saw that. (none)

          This "failing communications" whine is just a pleading song they want us to sing, so that they can say "well, you asked for it" when they install a fine-grain dynamic opinion-reading map of the world and a broadcast network to project shapes onto it.

      •  Is Vickie Clarke behind this? (none)
        I know better than to trust the pentagon, however this report at least has the facts right. I wonder if the PR Queen, Vickie Clarke is behind this report.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

        by Hanna for Change on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:10:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  putting this in the limelight (4.00)
      I think this (and all the other crap we reality-based citizens KNOW) should be brought up in the most forceful manner possible at the upcoming cabinet confirmation hearings.

      1. If Rice's hearing isn't a bloodbath then what are we here for?

      2. If Gonzales isn't pinned on his calling long-standing rules of warfare an anachronism - where we now here the FBI criticizing gitmo, then WTF?  I don't need or want Sen. Leahy running through the motions saying "it could have been worse"..

      What follows is the meat of a letter I sent to my senator (Rockefeller - no jokes, I'm a transplant) who sits on foreign relations.  I'm planning on dropping by his office to make sure I can catch the hearing but mainly to make sure he knows I'm WATCHING!
      The first line regards the decision-making involved in our reasons for going to war.

      • For the record, was al-Qaeda involved in the 9/11 attacks?  Would you please explain your Administration's views on this matter, particularly the many remarks of the Vice President?  Also please expand on how it has come to pass that over half the public believes otherwise.

      • For the record, what is your position on Charles Duelfer's report on the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?  Who is responsible for acting on what is now regarded as monumentally bad intelligence?

      • For the record, in what way did Iraq pose a direct, imminent threat to the security of the people and the property of United States?

      • For the record, please explain and defend a resolution that could be sent to Congress based on the information that we know now that would legitimize our incursion in Iraq.

      The second line regards the decisions about post-combat operations.

      • Yes or no, did we have enough soldiers on the ground when major combat operations ended in May 2003?  Keep in mind to date the latest information (available to me) on the 380 tons of explosives in al-Qaqaa is that a lieutenant in charge of a platoon of reservists asked for help in guarding a campus that we knew about pre-war, and did not get it.

      • On what intelligence did the U.S. rely in concluding that we would be treated by Iraqis as friends?  That we would be able to reconstruct the country and create a democracy in that country with little or no trouble?  Is that information still regarded by the Executive Branch as correct?

      • In what forums was contrary information on our occupation heard?  Did they include studies such as the one completed by the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College in February 2003, which equated the necessary work in Iraq to what took place in postwar Germany?

      • Why was the Defense Department put in charge of reconstructing Iraq, when the State Department has historically done such work?  Is that decision still supported?

      The third line of questions regards our policies going forward.

      * The Bush Doctrine legitimizes preemptive war.  Its logical extension, as expanded by the President to free residents from oppressive regimes, would have us immediately turn east into Iran, west to Syria, and south to Saudi Arabia.  After hopping on a boat we would then need to take out North Korea, China, and Burma.  Do you believe we will be able to do this ourselves, since no one will trust our intelligence or our motives for generations to come?


      There was another thread up front here last week about fighting dems (progressives - however you want to put it) I think thesse cabinet hearings offer a golden opportunity to get started.

      anyways - thats my nickel's worth


    •  What it doesn't report (none)
      Let's also not forget that the actions of the US in Iraq that have not exactly been aimed at winning any hearts and minds are largely unreported in the US media who seem to think the US public should only have a warm fuzzy feeling about everything and not have to face real problems.
      I wonder how the general US public would feel about the genocide currently being practiced in their name in Fallujah?
    •  ROW going to single digits too (none)
      Outside the Muslim world, the % of approval for US policies is also going to single digits.  

      Whether in Europe, including UK and Poland, Latin America or non-Muslim Asia, the degree of damage to the image of the US is scary.

      Canada too.

      It will take decades to dig out of this hole.; an oasis of truth.

      by Shockwave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:43:14 AM PST

    •  Failure or Policy? (none)
      Here's what I don't get.

      It looks like the neocons are stupid and incompetent at foreign policy.  

      But they show no signs of stupidity at, say, reelecting their people despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, or pushing their agendas thru what was once more-or-less a series of checks and balances.

      One must at least consider the possibility that the alienation of the Islamic part of the world is deliberate; that the ongoing slaughter in Iraq is deliberate; that we are seeing the results of policy, not failure.

      What end would such a policy serve?

    •  Bravo... (none)
      for a spectacularly honest report.  Let's hope the SCLM has the integrity to discuss it...sometime this decade.
    •  Finally ... (none)
      hmm me think some in that board remembered that they are supposed to be scientific and tried to not embellish the data to report a "nice poliitally correct report to the boss" ... at least in the paragraphs deep down in the report.

      Now let's wait if they put it on the frontpage.

      For free speech, against free lies.

      by mimi on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:12:46 AM PST

      •  it's (none)
        Amazing stuff considering the source. We may assume that the author will be exiled to the Alaskan tundra in retaliation for the harsh and honest criticisms, but this thing had to be approved at multiple levels before it was published. It's clearly not the work of a rogue analyst.  

        This is Rumsfeld getting cold feet and wanting to pull out ... the red carpet beneath someone above him he would rather like to see stumble and fall down ... ?

        For free speech, against free lies.

        by mimi on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:17:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wait... (none)
      What happened to "don't change course in the middle of a war" or "Bush's policies are winning the war on terrorism" ??

      Where the hell is the press on this?  It's annoying that this is one of the finer examples of transparency, the Pentagon calling out the White House in black and white and I probably won't hear about unless Jon Stewart decides to run with it.

      •   preparing for future "excursions" (none)
        See my earlier post - their just gearing up to prepare future battlefields by long-term 'shaping' campaigns before hostility begins, and 'in the absence of immediate threat'.

        I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ktxlib on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:15:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wolfowitz letter page 95 (4.00)
      Appendix A:  He clearly states that the military expeditions to Afganistan and Iraq are "unlikely to be the last such excursions in the global war on terror".  He also discusses the preparation of the battlefield even in the absence of immediate threats.  What is he really talking about?  When did Iraq become an "excursion"? I thought we were at war.  Slippery slope of the 'military conflict' doublespeak.

      I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ktxlib on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:07:21 AM PST

    •  AAUP lawsuit against OFAC (none)
      The Office of Foreign Assets Control's restrictions hindering foreign authors from publishing in the United States is one of many ways that the Bush administration is getting in its own way when it comes to winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world. The American Association of University Presses and the Association of American Publishers have joined a lawsuit to end these restrictions. To read more:

      Documents on the AAUP/AAP lawsuit against OFAC and the Department of the Treasury.

    •  accelerating forces (none)
      I was prepared to hunker down and wait for the whole damn mess to collapse on Bush's watch. To savor the cold terrible vindication to come from the total, absolute failure of policy and tactics. I mourn now for the loss of lives, the robbery of public funds and the cultivating of seeds of hatred that will continue, but Bush will own it from start to bitter end. What I wasn't prepared for was how quickly that end could come. This may be known to all, even the administration, as an unmitigated disaster by any measure, before the inauguration.
      I will always wonder how more people didn't understand the importance of Kerry's debate assertion that invading Iraq was a colossal mistake. For a brief moment, Bush had to face that accusation in a public forum and he failed the test miserably. It was there for all to see.  
      •  This Report is Doomed (4.00)
        Any "board" with the name "Science" in it will be dismissed out of hand by the Bush administration.

        They should've known better and changed their name to something like Defense Faith Baord or Defense Jesus Board than they would've had a real chance to make a difference...

        Everything you know is wrong. Up is down, left is right, right is wrong... - Weird Al Yankovic

        by Florida Democrat on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:16:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This Report is Doomed! (none)
      Any "board" with the name "Science" in it will be dismissed out of hand by the Bush administration.

      They should've known better and changed their name to something like Defense Faith Baord or Defense Jesus Board than they would've had a real chance to make a difference...

      Everything you know is wrong. Up is down, left is right, right is wrong... - Weird Al Yankovic

      by Florida Democrat on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:17:54 AM PST

      •  No! No! No! (none)
        That's not how they work -- They take over institutions like the Defense Science Board, populate it with cronies and wingnuts (the type drawing up party plans for the rapture), and continue to cite the reports produced as "scientifically" derived....
    •  This is (none)
      exactly what Bin Laden was talking about in the last video. This is truly incredible. Who knows what going to happen next and we won't be in a position to stop it.
    •  FBI agent tales of torture do not help either (none)
      LA Times today.     

      Guantanamo Abuse Detailed in FBI Letter   

      In one incident, a soldier reportedly bent a prisoner's thumbs back and "grabbed his genitals." In another, an FBI agent saw a detainee "gagged with duct tape" for refusing to stop chanting from the Koran.; an oasis of truth.

      by Shockwave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:21:16 AM PST

    •  Re: Israel (none)
      I'm Jewish. I love Israel. I'd love to live in Israel. I think that some of what this person is saying about Israel is one-sided. Wah wah wah.

      But, I also understand that Israelis have been doing some counterproductive things when it comes to managing Israeli-Palestinian relations. Such as making life hell for peaceful, law-abiding Palestinians who want building permits and blowing up the houses of law-abiding relatives of Palestinians who happen to be suicide bombers.

      Is Israel responding to terrible provocation? Yes. Would the United States do worse things with less provocations? Yes. See Iraq. Do most Jewish Israelis think, deep down, that law-abiding Palestinians who don't support terrorists deserve the same freedom, prosperity, happiness, and even right to live in Tel Aviv as anyone else? I think so.

      But it's hard to fault a Saudi Arabian or Kuwaiti or Egyptian who is mad at Israel right now, at a time when the Israeli-Palestinian relationship is such a complete mess.

      If someone from an Arab country objects to the existence of Israel right now, well, duh. Israel has to make a serious effort to treat the Palestinians better and improve their lives before she can expect them and other Arabs to accept her right to exist.

      Right now, the goal should be to get all reasonable people on both sides to agree that babies on both sides are beautiful. That the babies deserve not to be bombed to death with Israeli missiles or Palestinian belt bombs, and that they deserve to grow up in nice homes with good food and medical care, not in refugee camps.

      If the person who wrote the essay at the start of this thread can accept that basic idea and (for a bonus) can accept the idea that law-abiding Jews who support justice for Palestinians should be able to live in peace in Palestine, then that person is a force for good and peace in the world. We shouldn't be giving that person guff over not sharing our particular interpretation of the history of Jewish life in Palestine. We should be doing everything in our power to show that Jews want to do right by Palestinians, and that the main barrier to Palestinians flourishing is the violence itself, not any kind of permanent Jewish hostility toward Palestinians.

    •  Not real (none)
      Course its not real silly, this is Kansas, we're all marching down the red brick road to perdition. Its all war games and one day we'll wake up.Actually, I don't think I want to wake up anymore. Whatv are we DOING!!!!!! We used to say in the Europe of my childhood that those who elected Hitler deserved Hitler. JR
    •  This Report is a Trojan Horse (none)
      Please read the first ten pages before thinking this Report is a good thing in its entirety, also see some of the comments interspersed above.

      One clue - PSYOPS (see page 3, that would be pdf file page 11 give or take).

      What an excellent day for an Exorcism...

      by DianeL on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:19:11 PM PST

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