Unit 1: Who
are lobbyists & what motivates
Unit 2: Turkey's image abroad.
Unit 3: History of Turkish communities worldwide & reasons for a weak Turkish lobby.
Unit 4: National & ethnic interests:
Anti-Turkey lobbies, misrepresentation of facts & defamation.
Unit 5: The Turkish lobby dilemma in the
United States as a case study.
Unit 6: Problems encountered by Turkish
lobbies in the EU, Germany, France & worldwide.
Unit 7: Current Turkish lobby
issues & the role of public
Unit 8 What can be learned from powerful
lobbies such as the
Unit 9 New approaches to educating &
informing Turkish lobbying groups.
Unit 10 Media relations, advertising & professional communications
Unit 11 Initiatives for individuals & public
Unit 12 Initiatives for
communities, campaigns, &
Unit 13: Fund-raising, public relations,
& what can be done domestically.
Unit 14: Turkish lobbies undergo
a period of transition: The need to strengthen old &
Unit 15: Long-term strategies & lobbying in
the post-September 11 era.
I. OUTLINE FOR UNIT 2: Turkey's image
1. Examples of historic
misrepresentations and distortions.
a. Image of the "Terrible
b. Image of Arabs and Muslims bent on
destroying the West.
c. Problems in creating an informed
2. The difficult
of remaking an image: America's international public relations battle.
II. EXERCISE, ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS ( See History of Orient
●Make a list of things you think are little known about
Turkey and Turkish people.
●Have you ever lived abroad? Find out what are some common experiences of Turkish people
●Define the concept of "Orientalism" and research the work of Professor
Edward W. Said.
●Study 19th century Western images and caricatures of the Ottoman
Empire and colonial attitudes toward the Middle East.
●List recent and past events that may have damaged Turkey's image.
of concern to the Arab/Muslim lobby & advocacy groups (click here)
EXAMPLE: A case often encountered by Turks living abroad
If you find that the
educational material in a university or public library is limited or biased, you can
meet with the librarians and ask them to correct the problem. Your request for
action should be followed up with a persuasive, convincing letter with material
and supporting evidence so they can try to understand why your views might be
right. Unfortunately, many Turks are not fully immersed in the daily life of the
communities in which they live (though they should follow local events just as
Turkish citizens should so that everyone is participating in the development of
society). You could also write letters to local newspapers, educational boards,
academic institutions, and centers devoted to the public interest if you find
that this is the case in many of the libraries you visit. You can also contact
members of the political, economic, or social elite, think-tanks, NGOs, etc,
who can influence the views of others (these people or organizations may tell
you they do not have enough time to look into your request, but let them know
you have time for them and what you have to say is important, particularly if
you are unhappy about the matter, and unhappy with their position). Write to
them and let them know you will be letting others know about their fair or
●How have inaccurate images of the Mongols, Ottoman Empire, and Islam
shaped Western perceptions?
●How do unrepresentative and
repressive regimes use Islam?
●How do extremists and terrorists use Islam?
IV. BACKGROUND MATERIAL
Each country in the European Union,
or around the world has a different image of Turkey. The image is made up of
various components, such as historical events, maritime and
overland relations, trade relations, travel, and
whether communities of Turkish people live in those countries. Centuries
of inaccurate information,
myths, stereotypes, and generalizations have left their mark on the present. The
activities of today's anti-Turkish lobbies have magnified some of these
misrepresentations, especially with systematic allegations against the Turkish people.
Recently however, the ease of travel and
communication, have also contributed to the creation of a more accurate picture
of Turkey. Outstanding citizens of Turkish origin who live in foreign countries
are also beginning to effect public opinion and participate in the political
systems where they live. The recent reforms in Turkey have also enhanced
Turkey's image and have had an impact on public opinion (yet polls still show
large percentages of the population in some EU countries are not willing to admit Turkey into the EU).
There have been many studies on why Muslims and Islam are misunderstood, but
very few scholars, such as Prof. Justin McCarthy, have seriously examined why Turks have been stereotyped
and misrepresented. One reason is the enduring image of treasure-laden caravans
snaking their way toward Europe from mysterious and exotic Turkic lands.
Furthermore, over several millennia many waves of nomads have swept into
Europe, resulting in centuries of vague perceptions. Cenghiz Khan, for example, has become known in the West as one of the most fear inspiring
figures of world history, although historians know little about him. It is true
that he led an army of
Turkic warriors from Central Asia and swept into Europe in the 13th century, but
was he the fiercest fighter the world has ever seen? Long before Cenghiz Khan
haunted Europeans, "Attila the Hun" another "Terrible Turk," reigned from 434 to
453 over a large empire that stretched from Central Europe to the Black Sea, and
from the Danube River to the Baltic. Atilla, synonymous with destruction, has
also become a legendary figure in the history of Europe (it should be pointed
out that many historic European figures fought wars that devastated Europe, as
well as other regions of the world). The negative image of
the Turkic-Mongol legacy was further enhanced by another Turkic figure, Timur,
better known in Europe and America as Tamerlane. Western audiences seem to know a great deal about these figures,
but in reality have only a vague notion.
One objective of Turkish lobbying should
be to make Western audiences realize how their knowledge of history can often be
inadequate. This can be done through exhibitions, or by producing reference material
such as multi-language web-sites. One aim could be to highlight the fact that the military successes of
the 14th century also led to magnificent achievements in which Tamerlane left
behind a civilization of learning filled with architectural and artistic
splendor. Another leader whose achievements receive little attention as a Turkic
is Babur, the founder of the Moghul Empire (1526-1857). The Taj Mahal is but one
of the marvels created by the dynasty of the first six Turkic Moghul leaders. The flowering of learning and science, art and architecture, similar to
the Timurid period, were the most lasting achievements of the Moguls (which
included magnificent monuments, gardens, mausoleums, palaces, paintings,
portraiture, ink drawings, and scientific studies of birds, flowers, and
Many Westerners are not aware of the contributions Islam
has made to different civilizations. One important period of the rise of Islamic
science and knowledge took place in "Islamic Spain," or Al-Andalus, when three
religions thrived and coexisted. Some of the famous reminders of this period of
Islamic rule include the Alhambra at Granada, the mosque "La Mezquita" in
Cordoba, the Alcazar in Sevilla (which was founded as early as 712), and the few
Synagogues that remain in Andalucia.
Some of the greatest philosophers of the period were
Avicenna (Ibn Sina, who died in 1037) and "Aver roes" (Ibn Rushd, died 1198), a
follower of Aristotle whose commentaries on the Greek philosophers influenced
European thinkers. Ibn al-Arabi (died 1240) was one of Islam's well-known
mystics who taught that because all life is derived from one being, all
religions are one. Another famous figure was the physician Maimon ides. Sadly,
much of the finest achievements of Islamic culture were lost due to the
destruction of libraries during the Christian re-conquest of Spain. The period
of Islamic rule in Spain, which began in the 8th century, ended with the Islamic
surrender of Granada in 1492, when both the Muslim and Jewish populations faced
expulsion. But it was the Jews who suffered the worst. Some found homes in parts
of Europe, while many took refuge in the Ottoman Empire, which they helped to
When Muslim civilization, stretching from Spain into
Eurasia, emerged as a center of science and art, invaluable exchanges of
information took place (partially as a result of the Crusades). Because of the
scientific knowledge that was transmitted from the Islamic world to Europe, the
origins of European science lie in the Islamic world, though not all Westerners
are aware of this. Twelfth century translations from Arabic to Latin had an
impact on European knowledge of medicine, astronomy, alchemy, metaphysics,
geography, and philosophy.
Western audiences also have distorted knowledge about the Ottoman Empire, how
the Sultans lived, and how the empire was run. Until the 19th century, rarely
were Turks shown as having compassion and tolerance for other people, despite
Ottoman laws ensuring minority rights and the inclusion of different ethnic
groups in Ottoman leadership. A short-lived "Turquerie"
fashion in Europe created a dimension of amusement, however, the common image of a Turk
was the stereotype of an oppressive Sultan, busy with cruelty and indecent
harems, yet with enough time
to murder infidels. Images
of Cenghiz Khan, the crusades, the Ottoman conquests up to
Vienna, Midnight Express, and the recent violence in the name of Islam are today combining with fears that fundamentalist Islam threatens the world.
The complexities of these subjects must be seriously examined by
Westerners and by Muslims as well as how misconceptions play a major role in the
public perceptions of problems and issues.
Turkish people are ignorant about Turkey's bad image abroad and the prejudices
that exist. Like any nation in the world, Turkey has to deal with its domestic
problems, but it must better explain the "root causes" of some of these
problems. The general public must be aware of the distortions of the realities
associated with these problems, and have the collective will to improve Turkey's
Some of the types of frequently asked questions are demonstrated below:
--Can men take up to four wives?
--Was Ataturk a dictator?
--Why is torture and human rights abuse common in Turkey?
--How hot is the desert in Turkey?
--Did your relatives massacre Armenians?
--Why does Turkey oppress the Kurds?
--What are "honor killings"?
--Why is the military so powerful?
--When will women be allowed to vote?
--Is the press censored?
--Was Islam spread by the sword?
--Why was the Ottoman Empire so large?
--Is it safe to travel in Turkey?
--Are drugs easily available?
An often encountered comment: "Oh, I've never been to Turkey, but
I've seen Midnight Express."
It is difficult to blame people for having the wrong impressions of
Turkey if they have never heard anything good about Turkey, never traveled to
Turkey, or met a Turkish person. Such people are most susceptible to being
influenced by inaccurate information.
It is true that some historical events and facts have
not helped to enhance Turkey's image, such as the "destruction" or
"fall" of an already
weak Byzantine Empire, and the expansion of the Ottoman
Empire. (1) The devastation brought on by Cenghiz Khan is frequently used to recall
barbaric periods of history, often without mentioning any of the barbaric acts of the West
during the Middle Ages. Many nations have had periods of an exploitative and
violent history, which they would prefer not to be reminded of, but which should not
be forgotten (such as during
fascist leaderships under the Nazi party, Mussolini or Franco, Chairman Mao's
China, Stalin's Russian, the colonial
massacres by Europeans, the crimes against humanity by the Khmer Rouge, the
use of atomic bombs, the wars between white settlers and native Americans, the genocides
in Africa, and the recent Balkan genocide in the heart of Europe). However, a nation's
image should not be shaped by its past alone, but also by the future aspirations
of its people.
The Turkish military intervention in Cyprus, after
massacres of Turkish Cypriots, has also often been
presented in an unfair manner by the Western media. (2) Other past and present
issues, such as the death penalty, equality of women, child labor, and human
rights have received the attention they deserve, as they should by the press of
any country. It must however be added that in many cases when negative subjects
related to Turkey are presented, they are not placed in context and are often
from one perspective (other nations such as the U.S. enforce the death penalty,
and in the West and countries around the world people are abused
daily in prisons, by human smugglers, child pornographers, and criminal
organizations, although there are laws to protect them).
Turkey's image has also been effected by the
large number of political asylum seekers from Turkey who have lived in the West,
and the influx of thousands of ethnic Kurdish migrants to Europe (many of whom faced hardship due
to the fight against PKK terrorism in southeastern Turkey,
but many of whom also claimed persecution and torture in order to work in European nations).
In addition, studies have shown that positive coverage of Turkey is limited in the Western mass media. It
is believed the reason for this is due to selective reporting, which does not
present the larger picture (would it be fair to frequently report on hate-crimes
and xenophobic attitudes in the EU without covering positive aspects about
Europe?). In the Western press, Turkey has repeatedly been accused of neglecting
its ethnic Kurdish citizens in the southeast, but these reports fail to mention
that the region is also populated by Turks with no Kurdish identity, who would
also like to improve their living conditions, especially after stability is
nearby Iraq. The press which criticizes Turkey for not protecting the rights of
its ethnic Kurdish citizens also does not recognize the fact that Kurdish groups
maintain family codes of honor and traditions of a feudal structure, and are
often responsible for honor killings, preventing girls from getting an
education, and for clan and tribal rivalry and violence. Many of the problems faced by Turkey are due to
issues relating to development, and are unfortunately reflected in the
educational problems, lack of infrastructure, rapid urbanization, lack of
employment, and other socio-economic conditions which must be improved so that
all citizens, no matter what their ethnic or religious background, have equal
Although a great deal of
misinformation is spread by anti-Turkish lobbies, Turkey can
not blame them for all the negative PR Turkey gets, and Turkish people must make a greater
effort to explain the realities of Turkey.
Other factors that influence the way people from Turkey
are viewed are linked to the negative Muslim and Arab image in the
American news media. The depiction of Muslims has been receiving greater
attention since the U.S. launched the war against terrorism, and passed
legislation such as the Patriot Act. However, long before the Sept. 11 attacks by Middle Eastern men, there has been racist
material in the American press, particularly with caricatures of Arab sheikhs
(in addition to other stereotypes and negative depictions of racial and ethnic
minorities). The leaders
of Arab-Muslim organizations have
criticized the press for tolerating defamatory material, which would not be
tolerated about Jews for fear of anti-Semitism. Muslim bashing and negative remarks are now more common, along
with insults and slander of Muslims, which is often not a concern although comparable references to
Jews would be deplored. As a result, many Arab-Muslim organizations have
been increasingly expressing discontent due to the repeated defamation and dehumanization of
Muslims in the media. The reason for rising intolerance is partly due to the
tendency to equate violence and terrorism with Islam.
The pro-Israel lobby has been accused of media
distortion by Muslim-Americans and by organizations who study how pressure groups use
the media to advance their cause. According to one view, "The Arabs and Muslims have been subjected to more than traditional prejudice
against new arrivals to the American shores. General prejudice against Islam has
existed in the West from the days of the Crusades. Broadly, the Western image of
Arabs and Muslims revolves around camels, harems, terrorism, Khomeini, and
enmity and hatred toward Christians and Jews. In addition, the effort of the
Jewish lobby and publicists in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, and every
large city across the continent has misrepresented the Muslims and Arabs,
creating the image of the ugly Arab and ugly Muslim. For the uglier the Arab and
Muslim image, the brighter the image of Israel, it is thought." (The
Politics of Minority Coalitions edited by Wilbur Rich, Westview
Press, 1995, USA).
Because of a lack of understanding of how the majority
of Muslims (over 1 billion) lead peaceful lives, the Sept. 11 attacks have led
to varying degrees of paranoia, fear, and insult of Muslims, resulting in
Islamophobic hate-speech (which often leads to discrimination and violence). In Oct.
2002, Reverend Falwell announced on CBS that the Prophet Muhammed was "a
terrorist." Well-known supporters, such as Franklin Graham
(son of Billy Graham) have called Islam evil
and "a wicked religion."
The former president of the Southern Baptist Convention has called the Prophet Muhammed
"a demon-possessed paedophile." Pat Robertson has described the Muslim Prophet as
"a robber and a brigand" in addition to describing Islam as "a monumental scam."
In addition, comments from Vatican officials, European Union leaders, and the
European mass media, have singled out Turkish Muslims as having different values.
An example of media distortion was after the 1995 Oklahoma City bomb attack,
when it was assumed Muslims were responsible due to initial media
speculation (the devastating bomb attack turned out to be an act of homegrown
U.S. terrorism, with no Muslim involvement).
Another issue of concern (which reflects upon the image
of the Arab-Muslim communities in America and Europe) is how to prove that
certain organizations which raise money for Islamic charities are not dangerous. How
is evidence gathered about groups who are "suspected" of being affiliated with
groups "suspected" of terrorism? Can new counter-terrorism measures target the
Muslim community for social discrimination and political persecution? Is it fair
to inhibit people from contributions to social programs in the Middle East, such
as orphanages and women's centers? Although Arab and Jewish Americans have tried
to plan joint efforts to attract investment to help the Palestinians,
Arab-Americans feel that stopping the flow of money to charities can undermine
Palestinian economic development. There are many other cases Arab and Muslim
groups are concerned with, along with members of the ACLU who see threats to
civil liberties. The image of Muslims has been further shaken by the
surveillance of Muslim communities, profiling, detentions and requests for interviews with
community members. The Arab-Muslim communities, which are not well organized or
experienced in public relations, have not adequately voiced their concerns,
especially under the intense scrutiny and atmosphere of suspicion. Even though
Muslim American organizations vehemently stated that they were opposed to
terrorism and upheld the rule of law, they have been repeatedly blamed for not
having demonstrated enough of an outcry and expression of outrage. Although many Arabs in the U.S. are not Muslim and
do not wear a veil, they have become fearful for their families who might be
targeted due to events that take place in the rest of the world (and those who do
wear a veil, or turbans such as Sikh
Indians, are fearful due to past attacks). There have already been attacks on and threats
to Muslim places of worship and Arab-Muslim social centers. U.S. and European officials have
with community leaders in order to identify
ways of enhancing mutual and cross-cultural understanding, and inter-faith
dialogue. Nonetheless, after the post-Sept. 11 period, gaps have
been created between Muslim and non-Muslim communities, as well as between the
Muslim world and America in particular.
In Europe, not only is there hostility towards Muslims, but a resurgence of
anti-Semitism, and increased racism against asylum seekers and gypsies. Reports
have found that discrimination in employment and housing have increased since
the Sept. 11 attacks, in addition to vandalism, and verbal and physical attacks.
Statements made by respected leaders in Europe, such as EU politicians and
members of the Vatican, have also contributed to hostility towards Turkey and to
public fear of Turkey. Certain circles have voiced their objections to Turkey's
EU membership on the grounds that Turkey is not part of the European culture,
geography or history. The European media has correctly noted that baseless
allegations have provided those who are opposed to Turkey's EU entry with
arguments to justify what is essentially prejudice. Some political developments
within Turkey, such as the coming to power of the Justice and Development Party,
and Turkey's own unease and suspicion about its Islamic roots, have also given
Europeans reason to worry.
It is not easy for a nation and its people to always have a positive image
around the globe.
Changes in world public opinion are also reflected in the changes that
America's image has undergone, especially in the last decade due to U.S.
policies related to a variety of matters, such as the newly
established International Criminal Court, the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol,
the doctrine of pre-emption, the use of intelligence, disarmament treaties,
trade issues, security rules, the weakening of the UN, the failure of Mid-East
peace negotiations, American justice in Guantanamo, abuse of Iraqis, and the war in Iraq.
and religious claims made by U.S. officials have also led many to believe that
the U.S. is on a self-appointed historical mission, with a messianic militarist
for the U.S., who is the world's leading communication society, and known to be
the land of public relations wizards, the task of remaking its image is
Many commentators stress that America must use soft power to regain hearts and
minds to enhance its image. However, some
international commentators maintain that no amount of public relations can
compensate for unpopular foreign policies.
The worldwide deterioration of America's image has an impact on Turkey's image
as well, since Turkey is a close ally of the U.S. (the impact is most clearly
evident in the Muslim-Arab world and in Europeans circles who view Turkey's EU
candidacy as an Anglo-American Trojan horse). The explosion of anti-U.S. feeling
around the world complicates Turkey's U.S., EU, and worldwide lobbying efforts.
It has also melted away the sense of a common response to common threats, and
some argue that it has even made a "clash of civilizations" more likely in a more dangerous world. This
growth of anti-American feeling is a worrying development for the Turkish lobby
since it may be overburdened with the responsibility of trying to bridge
widening gaps that could have been avoided between cultures and civilizations.
The rebuilding of America's image will take many years according to a
statement in 2004 by a State Department official in charge of public diplomacy.
In an alarming report it was acknowledged that the overall U.S. approach to
public diplomacy lacked strategic direction. Since the report, the U.S. has been carrying out programs
under an existing budget of $600 million for worldwide public diplomacy, which
includes a wide range of efforts, including exchange programs, partnerships
between American embassies and local institutions, distributing textbooks and
supplying textbooks to local schools. A greater role for America's private
sector is also being urged, particularly for media companies, in developing
creative ways to reach out to Arab youth. Some companies are also focusing on
how to improve the image of U.S. brands and promote international business.
America has been struggling with an international public relations battle since 2002,
after international polls revealed that the
attractiveness of the U.S. had declined significantly in dozens of countries.
U.S. officials were frustrated that the U.S. had no coherent plan for
molding public opinion worldwide. Charlotte Beers, who was the U.S. undersecretary
of state for public diplomacy and public affairs in 2002, launched an expensive public relations campaign to enhance the image of America and its
foreign policy, focusing on disaffected populations in the Middle East and South
Asia. After 17
months of mixed reviews Beers resigned. While some praised her efforts, others
wondered how a Madison Avenue advertising executive could change the image of
the U.S. and soften anti-American feelings.
In addition to public diplomacy,
nations use various other methods to influence world public opinion. Throughout history, many countries have long been engaged
in information warfare (a strategy for countering propaganda and for changing
perceptions). Towards the end of 2003, it was reported that the Pentagon had
made plans for an effective strategic influence campaign (which may have
considered providing false news items and disinformation) to influence foreign
policymakers, foreign opinion makers, and public sentiment abroad. Additional
objectives were to improve America's image, and to gain
support for its overseas war on terrorism. Some news reports referred to the
proposed plans as "I.O.," information operations, or psychological warfare,
which were to be run by an Office of Strategic Influence, or Office of Global
general, the American people have been admired and respected by the world, and
have an image of being altruistic. Like other nations who seek to improve their
image, America will need to employ various methods of image building as it
strives to better explain why America does what it does, and promote better
understanding of the principles and institutions that shape American values. It is often through
cooperation and through fostering greater interaction with other societies that
images and perceptions are enhanced. The improvement of America's image will help it to rebuild relations with its allies, and will
have a positive impact on Turkish-U.S. relations. Americans must therefore find
ways to remind world public opinion of the good America has done in the world
for universal values, security, stability, promoting democracy, and of the
sacrifices Americans have made.
was in decline in the 13th century and had been attacked before the Ottomans
took control of the city. Crusaders had attacked Constantinople in 1203 when the
Pope's army destroyed whole sections of the city and even damaged the world's
largest church Saint Sophia.
(2) Reasons for the intervention are often not given, such as
the massacres of Turkish Cypriots and the July 15 coup against the Greek Cypriot president when
sought to unite with Greece.
Panel condemns image U.S. gives to Muslims
By Thom Shanker The New York Times
Thursday, November 25, 2004
WASHINGTON A harshly
critical report by a Pentagon advisory panel says the United States is failing
in its efforts to explain the nation's diplomatic and military actions to the
Muslim world, but it warns that no public relations plan or information
operation can defend America from flawed policies.
The Defense Science Board report says U.S. institutions charged with "strategic
communication" are broken and calls for a comprehensive reorganization of
government public affairs, public diplomacy and information efforts.
"America's negative image in world opinion and diminished ability to persuade
are consequences of factors other than the failure to implement communications
strategies," says the 102-page report, completed in September. "Interests
collide. Leadership counts. Policies matter. Mistakes dismay our friends and
provide enemies with unintentional assistance. Strategic communication is not
the problem, but it is a problem."
The study does not constitute official policy, but it is described by the
Pentagon's civilian and military leadership as capturing the essential themes of
a debate that is now roiling not just the Defense Department but the entire U.S.
The debate centers on how far the United States can and should go in managing,
even manipulating, information to deter enemies and persuade allies or neutral
The rub is that in an environment of 24-hour news and the Internet, overseas
information operations easily become known to the American people, and any
specific government-sponsored information campaign not based on fact risks
damaging the nation's overall credibility.
The Defense Science Board report, "Strategic Communication," proposes a
permanent "strategic communication structure" within the White House National
Security Council and urges elevated roles and responsibilities for a designated
senior officer within other government organizations, including the State
Department and the Pentagon.
The report compares the national security challenge of the post-Sept. 11 world
to the decades-long struggle against Soviet communism. But the study then argues
that the government's cold war-era communications institutions have not
understood that the Islamic world and extremists operating within it present
different challenges. The report scolds the government for casting the new
threat of Islamic extremism in a way that offends a large portion of those
living in the Muslim world.
"In stark contrast to the cold war, the United States today is not seeking to
contain a threatening state empire, but rather seeking to convert a broad
movement within Islamic civilization to accept the value structure of Western
modernity - an agenda hidden within the official rubric of a 'War on
Terrorism,"' the report states.
"Today we reflexively compare Muslim 'masses' to those oppressed under Soviet
rule," the report adds. "This is a strategic mistake. "There is no
yearning-to-be-liberated-by-the-U.S. groundswell among Muslim societies - except
to be liberated perhaps from what they see as apostate tyrannies that the U.S.
so determinedly promotes and defends."
The report alluded to President George W. Bush's address to a joint meeting of
Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks, when described the motives of Al Qaeda and
other terrorist groups: "They hate our freedoms, our freedom of religion, our
freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each
The report said, "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather they hate our
policies," adding that "when American public diplomacy talks about bringing
democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving
In the eyes of the Muslim world, the report adds, "American occupation of
Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and
The report also says: "The critical problem in American public diplomacy
directed toward the Muslim world is not one of 'dissemination of information' or
even one of crafting and delivering the 'right' message. Rather it is a
fundamental problem of credibility. Simply, there is none - the United States
today is without a working channel of communication to the world of Muslims and
Larry Di Rita, the Pentagon spokesman, said no formal decisions had been made
about reorganizing how the Pentagon and military communicate.
"We're wrestling with this," Di Rita said. "But it doesn't change the underlying
principle, at least with respect to the Department of Defense. Our job is to put
out information to the public that is accurate, and to put it out as quickly as