The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity.
Toggle display of website navigation Marc Lynch: Public diplomacy and strategic communications: Marc Lynch Public diplomacy and strategic communications: February 20, This early outreach — and emphasis on listening — suggested a dramatic departure from George W Bush.
The question has never been more urgent. The Bush administration has left behind an American image in tatters. Public opinion surveys show catastrophic levels of hostility towards American foreign policy — and that anger may be spilling over into deeper negative judgements about America itself.
American support for the Israeli attack on Gaza during the presidential transition poisoned the honeymoon for the new president, with many Arabs and Muslims who had been excited about Obama expressing outrage over his silence as the fighting raged.
A recent poll, unsurprisingly, found that only 2.
Obama is exceptionally well-placed to change the terrain, because of his unique background as well as his orientation toward a foreign policy that engages adversaries and bridges divisions.
And Obama has signalled his seriousness by appointing one of his most trusted foreign-policy advisers, Denis McDonough, as director of strategic communications at the National Security Council, where he is expected to play a new and major role in directing US outreach to the world.
But there are no guarantees. Many Arabs and Muslims yearn for a fresh start after the Bush years. But very few agree with the dominant conceit in Washington: The problem, they feel, is the policies themselves.
Arabs are certainly watching keenly for signs of serious changes in US policy. But the dichotomy between words and deeds is a false one: And from the conclusion: Nor will changing foreign policy alone be enough, since almost anything the US does today will be met with suspicion.
This means asking some basic questions. Or is it engaged in building long-term relationships of trust and support for broadly defined American foreign policy objectives?
Are Arab and Muslim audiences objects to be manipulated or partners to be engaged respectfully? The most important starting point is to recognise that American policy is the most critical issue.
No amount of public diplomacy will convince Arabs or Muslims to embrace American actions they detest. Even when public diplomacy officials had a seat at the table, they have had little influence on shaping decisions.
This has to change.
It has always been ludicrous to believe that effective foreign policy could be made without understanding and anticipating the responses of the other parties. That starts with listening.
The US needs to do a far better job of listening to what Arabs and Muslims are saying and taking their views seriously. This must include listening to voices beyond the usual circle of friends and like-minded officials.
The educated middle classes have grown ever more vocal and expressive in the last five years, and talking only with the small minority of pro-American voices makes little sense. The US needs to address and interact with the Arab world as it actually is — to listen to representative voices and be willing to engage in tough, frank and respectful arguments that it might well lose.
In practice, this means that American officials should watch and appear on Al Jazeera, no matter uncomfortable they find it.
Public opinion surveys, which are presently considered the benchmark for American progress in this arena, are a blunt instrument for the measurement of Arab responses to American policies, and more precise means must be devised to evaluate shifts in the Arab public sphere.The Bush administration’s conception of public diplomacy generally involved putting lipstick on a pig – attempting to sell policies formulated in isolation from their likely reception.
Apr 16, · Canadian Foreign Policy Essay Words | 12 Pages Canadian Foreign Policy Introduction As the 20th century comes to an end, Canada is a transcontinental nation whose interests and representatives span the face of the globe and extend into every sphere of human behaviour.
Inside the Obama administration were key policy makers who understood the value of “declassified diplomacy”—for the families of the victims, for the appropriate use of U.S.
documentation to advance the cause of human rights, and for the simple sake of history. Can the Obama Administration Result in Success? - Abstract: In order for one to rate the progress of the Obama administration, you must begin with an honest view of his entrance into office.
The President came into office on the promises of change, and some very lofty ideas. Judicial Confirmations By the Numbers: A commenter to an earlier post wondered whether the relatively low rate of Senate confirmation of Bush appellate nominations in the past two years can be explained, in part, because Bush nominees were confirmed more rapidly (in comparison to prior administrations) earlier in his term.
During his first year in office, U.S. President Barack Obama made engagement with U.S. adversaries one of his administration's priorities. The historical record makes clear that Obama is on the right track: reaching out to adversaries is an essential start to rapprochement.