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29 September 2005

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alex

I would appreciate any links for the Karen Hughes quotes. The Constitution does not use the word God anywhere

Nathan

uh, the "one nation under god" quote comes from the Pledge of Allegiance

tell me she isn't this daft

BostonGemini

Ugh. Alex & Nathan beat me to it.

nanook

What is disconcerting to me is that this Administration treats every thing as a PR exercise. They are obviously not doing such a great job at it either.

Maybe I am naive, but shouldn't there be some serious debate among the policymakers about the consequences of our actions in Iraq and how best to extricate ourselves without further inflaming the Middle East.

With bombings, counter-insurgency operations, assasinations daily I can't imagine what life is like for innocent civilians caught in the middle. Add to that the machinations of Iran and other countries and what we have is increasing instability not some altruistic democracy and libery for all venture.

Jim S

Another Quiet American goes overseas with innocence and enthusiasm. In their bumbling wake, death and destruction follows.

hk

The problem, I think, is that Karen Hughes' job is not to sell America to the Muslim world, but to sell the story that the administration is trying to sell America to the Muslim world to the administration's supporters. Or, put differently, it's all just a PR job for consumption by the ignorant middle America, regardless of how badly it damages U.S. interests abroad.

I mean, gee, foreigners need to understand how important faith is to Americans? So, what are we? Bunch of modern day crusaders out to slaughter the infidels--i.e. the very people to whom Ms. Hughes is supposed to convince of our good intent?

The Wanderer

Karen Hughes isn't the Quiet American - she's the quintessential Ugly American, bouncing along through the world, loudly wondering why Those Unwashed Foreigners can't be more like Americans.

She is definitely NOT the person we need to send out to burnish our image.

Curious

With these mental giants in charge, we are utterly screwed aren't we ?

Mrs. K8

nanook in a previous comment wonders aloud why there isn't more substantive policy debate.

Sadly, early on in the first monstrous Dubya administration, there was a fellow (whose correct name escapes me -- something like Ianucci or Ianelli??) who was assigned the task of working with the White House on "Faith-Based Initiatives." He was quite a serious person, and even though I disagreed with the whole premise of such unholy mixing of holy matters and government, he at least had a grasp of the issues and the need for a delicate balance within the framework of church/state separation concerns.

This chap was eager to engage the White House staff in serious policy discussions on the matter. To his horror, he discovered that there was no attention to ANY POLICY DISCUSSIONS on ANY topic taking place in the WH. Absolutely everything was being discussed as a matter of public relations, propaganda, the spin war, etc. As though every single matter were pure politics.

He was horrified, and resigned the position post-haste, and wrote an excellent (and hair-raising) article about it. If I weren't in such a hurry today I'd try to track down the article -- I think it was in Esquire -- and would make it a point to get his name nailed down.

Maybe someone else here remembers? The article made quite a splash, at least among folks concerned about what's really been going on.

It's always been a great puzzle to me whether this admin is more incompetent than evil, or more evil than incompetent. This article came down heavily on the incompetence side of the ledger.

Dan

John Dilulio. He apparently recanted later. Here's a rundown: http://www.dailykos.net/archives/000639.html

Rev Zafod

I agree that Hughes is Osama's best ally in her clueless wanderings, but I'd like to clear up a factual point re Jim S and The Wanderer. Jim has it right; the Quiet American is the one most people mean when they refer to the "ugly American". The actual "Ugly American" was a good guy in the 1958 book by Lederer & Burdick. He was a physically 'ugly' construction expert hired to look for places to build roads and dams, who got his hands dirty when he went out into the countryside and devised a way for local people to use their bycicles to power irrigation pumps. Of course, the irony in the book was that the real ugly Americans were the ones at the embassy who sent him home when he wouldn't tell them where to build their money-spinning projects. The Ugly American is still pertinent reading today.

RJJ

Drat. I forgot to explain 42.

the moment is past.

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