Monday, September 15, 2003

I didn't think anyone still wondered why the U.S. was hated around the world, but fortunately Congress still has money left in its coffers to answer the question.

"The Bush administration spends $1 billion a year trying to polish the United States' image around the world, yet polls show anti-Americanism rising to record levels, especially in Muslim and Arab nations where the government is concentrating its efforts.

Now, a new report from Congress' General Accounting Office explains why the federal government's efforts at "public diplomacy" have been such a failure.

The report, released Sept. 4, concluded that the State Department's efforts have been scattershot and uncoordinated, foreign service officers charged with promoting the nation's image too often get stuck filling out paperwork, and one in five foreign service officers who are supposed to be helping America's image aren't fluent enough in the language of the country in which they're stationed. "

Oh, the reason we're hated abroad has nothing to do with the xenophobic disrespect evident in the Nimrod administration's foreign policy, it's because the foreigners aren't doing their job correctly.

Maybe I walked through a looking glass last week and didn't notice...

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