Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paper of the month: Tara Bahrampour

In wake of unrest, Britain replacing US as Iran "Great Satan"
Washington Post, July 17, 2009 You can read this paper here

This is an excellent paper which points out the difficulties we have in understanding not only foreign people but foreign governments.
How we are viewed abroad, and consequently how some government policies can be designed against us is not always based on facts, on good sense or on good information: it can be based on a reputation or on past encounters. In this report, Britain is seen by the Iranian government as the colonial power it was fifty years ago. I believe it: it took me some decades to change my opinion of Germany after WWII. Painful experiences with people or government make it hard to change our point of view.

This example is a good lesson for the US. We should do better with our strategic communications. and indeed restrict the publicity made by the Pentagon: they need the promotion but they are not the best at this; you should read also in the Washington Post, the paper by Walter Pincus (July 28, 2009)about the criticism coming from the House Appropriations Committee on this subject.)

I suggest that we change our image by hiring the people who promote tourism in Ireland: they make everybody want to go to Ireland which is a flat place with its past destroyed, always in bad weather and always on the verge of civil war. They have been consistently successful with this difficult task, therefore they can do anything. They are the best promoters in the world.

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