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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 27, 2006 / 6 Teves, 5767

A conversation with Karen Hughes

By Cal Thomas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Karen Hughes is not as visible as when she worked at the White House, or on two presidential campaigns, but her 16 months as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs have given her opportunities to counter what she calls the "propaganda" that the media in many Arab and Muslim countries convey to their people about the United States.


In a meeting (Dec. 19) in her State Department office, Hughes told me she recognizes the difference between the Cold War, when "we were trying to get information into largely closed societies whose people were hungry to hear from us," and today, when "we're competing for attention and credibility in a very crowded communications environment."


She points to three big areas on which she is focusing: (1) exchanges that allow people who have never been to America to come and see for themselves what we are like; (2) communications, which promote the policies of the American government in nations where they have been mostly unheard, or twisted for the political ends of the rulers; and (3) what she calls "the diplomacy of deeds," that is, focusing on America's actions that help people improve their lives.


Hughes has told American ambassadors around the world to get on local television more and articulate official policy to counter propaganda that communicates a false view of America. That's all well and good, but would most Americans accept the pronouncements of an ambassador from, say, Iran? The United States continues to believe that because we see ourselves as objectively good, the rest of the world can be persuaded of our goodness and not take up arms against us. I'm sure some can be so persuaded, but probably not nearly enough and very likely not soon enough to prevent more attacks.


Hughes mentions a group of Saudi clerics who made their first visit to America at the State Department's invitation. She says she had been told their Friday sermons "had been very negative, very anti-American." They visited American synagogues, mosques and churches. Hughes says she was told by "our people on the ground" in Saudi Arabia that the clerics now have a "much different and changed view of our country."


I ask if Hughes has checked on the content of their sermons since their return to Saudi Arabia. She says she has not, but has received reports that there has been a "difference" and that the clerics have a different view of America. I wonder if this is part of the propaganda ploy, to tell us what we want to hear so we will let down our guard. Can they be converted, if not to our point of view, than at least to foreswear violence in pursuit of their political objectives?


Hughes concedes that the Muslim world mostly regards our freedom as licentiousness. They get their impressions of the U.S. through our media, which mostly consists of immodestly dressed women, violence and car chases. That's the "entertainment" and image we export, so why should they not conclude this is who we are?


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Hughes is particularly fond of the exchange program that allows students and others to come to the U.S. to study and to observe Muslims and others able to dress, worship and associate as they please. Again, I wonder if this approach is a Cold War relic. The 9/11 hijackers lived, worked, worshiped and observed our way of life, and they killed 3,000 of us. Following the British bombings two summers ago, the British public expressed shock that "home grown" young Muslim men could turn on their fellow countrymen. The reason is that they did not see Britain as their country, but heaven as their destination and jihad as their vehicle for getting there.


Hughes also speaks of a coming "major Western Hemisphere initiative" to do more and communicate more with Latin American countries. She says the Bush administration has nearly doubled U.S. assistance to the region, but most don't know about it because their media don't tell them.


I wouldn't stop what Karen Hughes is doing, but I do wonder and worry whether this outreach to the Arab and Muslim world, in particular, will make a significant difference in a war between cultures that is fueled by religious zeal. Even Hughes acknowledges, "This is a long struggle."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is the author of, among others, The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas Comment by clicking here.


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