It is a poor dancer who blames the dance floor
The United States lags dangerously behind al-Qaida and other enemies in getting out information in the digital media age and must challenge the enemy on the new communications battleground, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday.
Modernization is crucial to winning the hearts and minds of Muslims worldwide who are bombarded with negative images of the West, Rumsfeld told the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Pentagon chief said todayâ€™s weapons of war included e-mail, BlackBerries, instant messaging, digital cameras and blogs.
â€œOur enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in todayâ€™s media age, but … our country has not adapted,â€ Rumsfeld said.
â€œFor the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a â€™five and dimeâ€™ store in an eBay world,â€ Rumsfeld said, referring to old-fashioned U.S. retail stores and the online auction house, respectively.
Rumsfeld said U.S. military public affairs officers must learn to anticipate news and respond faster, and good public affairs officers should be rewarded with promotions.
I guess a few million thrown at Pajamaline Media might help. Or maybe not.
Additionally the US has relied on disseminating good news via taxi drivers who are always eager to please their fares by agreeing that the war is a “good thing” and, no, they can’t break a fifty. Modern technology must move out of the “swarthy driver and hack” age and into the space age, or more accurately, the flying-on-planes age:
Why Soldiers Have to Buy Advertising Time to Explain the War
Reader Sara Kennedy writes:
I just wanted to let you know that I had a very interesting conversation last night with Patricia Macintosh. She is a flight attendant with Omni Airlines International which handles some of the transporting of soldiers from the US to Iraq. She is older, from Birmingham England (she has lived in the US for 30 years) and decided to take these flights after she retired.
I was curious about her experience and I asked her about the flights. She immediately expressed her anger and frustration with what Americans did not know. She explained there were schools and sewer systems being built and soldiers going back tour after tour. She said she would do anything to get the word out because Americans just “don’t have a clue.” I explained that some of us do. She was obviously emotional over the media circus surrounding the war and it was clear this was discussed with the soldiers on these very long flights. She is very supportive and has been given letters and medals from some of the soldiers she has met. It was a captivating conversation. Even though I know the situation in Iraq is much better than I’m being told, it was still very emotional to hear first hand what has been going on in Iraq and with the soldiers. She is in Edina until March 1st when she leaves to go back to Iraq. She said she would be there now if she wasn’t having minor health problems.
She also saved a young mother and her baby from drowning in our apartment complex pool. She is nearly 70, probably doesn’t weigh more than 110 lbs. What a lady!
She’d better be careful, though, about expressing those “un-American” views, or the Democratic Party will start demanding that she shut up.
Stewardesses are now the new
Pass it on…