The Christian Science Monitor has summarized articles written from around the world that detail a report released the day before Thanksgiving titled Strategic Communication (need Adobe Acrobat to download) that was released by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board. Quotes from the report include: 'Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies [the report says]. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing, support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states. Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.' The board also called for a strategic communications overhaul. If we really want to see the Muslim world as a whole [the report states], and the Arabic-speaking world in particular, move more toward our understanding of moderation and tolerance, we must reassure Muslims that this does not mean that they must submit to the American way. Definitely read the CS Monitor article if you can't download the report for more details. This report should be spread far and wide.
Tracy Van Slyke, a former publisher of In These Times, is the project director for The Media Consortium.