« Foreign Affairs Iraq Roundtable, Round Two | Main | Sunni-Shia or regimes-people? »

July 17, 2006



I still don't get this "public diplomacy" thing. When the Arab media plays shows depicting Christians and Jews as Apes and Pigs, and teaching little girls to become martyrs... what is there to talk about?

There's no common ground. And I don't want some state department asshat pretending that Americans are OK with that kind of hatemongering. We are not.


I am so sorry to only be finding this blog now. Your work is brilliant. Thank you.

Dag Landewall

Weakness invites aggression.

Leaving Iraq? Go ahead, but this is not about Iraq – it’s about the world as we know it.

And here is why: The soon nuclear Iran, Syria, Hizbollah and Hamas link could not be more visible these days – and if anyone has not noticed, they are on the move and they will soon radically be changing the power balance in the Middle East far away from western influence.

Why now? Because the US is bleeding in Iraq and US arrogance to UN, EU and other potential partners make international support for US missions in Iraq hard for W to get. And a bleeding US, won’t be able to stop Iran’s nuclear (nor North Korea’s) ambition, nor to support a peaceful solution for the Israel/Palestine issue. Just because of this – the Iran sponsored offensive is coming just now. The map of the Middle East will be drawn by Iran and followers/ supporters/associates and western influence in the Middle East will probably vanish together with the state of Israel. That’s my scenario and I don’t like the consequences of it.

What to do? Risking to take the “assume a can-opener” approach – a collective US, EU and NATO offensive (probably 500.000 to 800.000 troops on the ground) to seal the borders of Iraq to stop supply of new insurgents and supply. Establish security, law and order in the major cities. Engage in a massive nation building effort with a Marshall plan to give ordinary people their lives back. This is in my perspective a 20 -40 year effort and will be a burden all of us in the western world have to carry collectively. We took it – we own it. We broke it – we’ll fix it.

Sorry for the strange english - It's not my mother tounge...

Sherif Hamdy


Great blog!

I just wanted to mention that this was not the first time he was in Al-Jazeera. He has been the only american punlic official who I have seen at least 3 or 4 times in the last 6 months on hour long talk shows in full debate in Arabic (not easy shows, I mean debating with 2 arab nationlists on "the opposite Direction".)

If I were the admin, I would have him just do that fulltime.

But in the end his utility is limited because as a public dimplomat you are limited in your beautification process by ugly policy and actions always speak louder than words..


AA -
On an unrelated note, I would like to thank you for providing such an excellent selection of links from the Arab press these past few weeks. You're doing those of us who follow Arab politics a huge favor, and you've got a great eye for what's important and interesting. Keep up the good work!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Blog powered by Typepad