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POLITICS: Hughes sent to front line in battle for hearts and minds

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posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 10:49 AM
Karen Huges, US Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, arrives in Eqypt today on her first foreign mission for a five day tour including Saudia Arabia and Turkey. Her mission is to improve the US image in the rest of the world.
“During her trip, Under Secretary Hughes will meet with senior government officials, university and high school students and leaders of various religious and non governmental organizations to hear their views and to discuss the common challenge we face,” the State Department said in a statement.

Hughes said after accepting the post in September that the State Department had to be more aggressive in its propaganda battle.

“We’ll create a rapid response unit here at the State Department, it’s already in the works, to monitor media and help us more aggressively respond to rumours, inaccuracies and hate speech,” she said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Mission of diplomacy or mission of propaganda? The Indian news site this article was found on has certainly picked up on the propaganda aspect as it quoted Undersecretary Hughes in her own words. Is this an aggressive State Department mission of 'rapid response' in the works?

As an assistant to Condoleeza Rice, Hughes is charged with advising the secretary of state on how to advance cultural diplomacy. It will be interesting to see what this mission will accomplish, propaganda as stated, or cultural diplomacy as charged?

Will this newest State Department official come home to explain to her boss and the American people the true perception on the Arab street? How to reconcile Islam and Christian ideology in a true sense of fairness would certainly be a breakthrough in anyone's view of public diplomacy.

Related News Links:

[edit on 25-9-2005 by psyopswatcher]

[edit on 25-9-2005 by psyopswatcher]

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 04:21 PM
Here are the reports coming back, and a few quotes of the day:



--Ivo Daalder, a former Clinton administration adviser now at the Brookings Institution; cited in Neil King Jr., “A Diplomatic Challenge: Bush Confidante Takes On A Tough Job at the State Department” (Wall Street Journal, September 26) (see below item 2)


1. U.S. ENVOY HUGHES' MESSAGE TO MUSLIMS: WE CARE – REUTERS (NEW YORK TIMES, SEPTEMBER 27): U.S. envoy Karen Hughes knows how to stay on message and her message to Muslims is: We care. But it's not clear how many are listening. Her modus operandi on a trip to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, is: set basic talking points, stick to them, then keep rolling the tape. Highlights include: Bush is the first American president to call for an independent Palestinian state. The problem in Iraq is the insurgents who kill indiscriminately. No one likes war. The United States is a democracy but it is not perfect. Independent newspaper publisher Hisham Kassim, who was among civil leaders and intellectuals who attended a lunch hosted by Hughes, wondered about her mandate. “Is it democratization or public relations?" he asked. "It's interesting to me how public opinion can be budged. It's a colossal task."

2. A DIPLOMATIC CHALLENGE: BUSH CONFIDANTE TAKES ON A TOUGH JOB AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT - NEIL KING JR. (WALL STREET JOURNAL, SEPTEMBER 26): While America's Treasury and Commerce secretaries usually fly abroad on commercial planes with few staff members, a third-rung State Department appointee is now traveling through the Middle East aboard an Air Force jet, along with 16 reporters and four aides. But Karen Hughes, presidential confidante and the chief U.S. image polisher as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, is no ordinary official. State Department diplomats describe her leverage, after just weeks on the job, as almost on a par with that of her boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, another close friend of President Bush. Skepticism, however, persists about whether message mastery and friends in high places will be enough to make a difference. Ms. Hughes has said she wants to do more than massage the message. As was the case during her 18 months as an adviser in the White House, she will sit in on most major policy discussions at the State Department, too, at least to weigh in on how decisions may ripple around the world. "I agree that we need to demonstrate that we understand some of the underlying policy issues," she said.

3. US ENVOY BLASTS SAUDI HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD; US UNDERSECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY LAUDS SAUDI ARABIA’S EFFORTS TO COMBAT TERRORISM - ISABEL MALSANG (MIDDLE EAST ON LINE, SEPTEMBER 27): A close aide to US President George W. Bush hailed Riyadh's efforts to combat terrorism as she met King Abdullah on Tuesday, after criticising the Muslim kingdom on its human rights record. "I salute the kingdom's efforts to work with us to combat terrorism," said Karen Hughes, undersecretary for public diplomacy, ahead of the meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

4. BUSH'S CONFIDANTE URGES FAIR EGYPTIAN ELECTIONS - GUY DINMORE (FINANCIAL TIMES, SEPTEMBER 27): Before embarking on her first tour of the Middle East, Karen Hughes, the new US minister for propaganda [sic in text of article], said she was coming to listen to how the US could improve its image. Yesterday however, she turned into lecturing mode as she urged Egypt's prime minister to ensure fairer parliamentary elections in November. Mrs. Hughes sees no contradiction in pursuing the president's "freedom agenda" while trying to resurrect America's standing in the Muslim world which, according to opinion polls, took a serious hammering through the invasion of Iraq.

5. REFORMS IN TIME, BUSH ENVOY IS TOLD - STEVEN R. WEISMAN (NEW YORK TIMES, SEPTEMBER 27): Secretary of State Karen P. Hughes, pressing her campaign to promote democracy and improve the American image in the Middle East, won a commitment from the Egyptian prime minister, Ahmed Nazif, to ease emergency restrictions on political freedoms in the next session of the Parliament, her chief aide said. Ms. Hughes, the administration's top envoy for public diplomacy, also met with "opinion leaders" friendly to the United States but critical of some American policies and then flew to Saudi Arabia for meetings with officials and women's groups today.

6. HUGHES REACHES OUT WARILY IN CAIRO - GLENN KESSLER (WASHINGTON POST, SEPTEMBER 26): Hughes acknowledged that she faced "a huge challenge" but said she would focus on stressing the compassion of the United States to highlight the contrast with violent extremism. The administration's policies offer "education, opportunity, freedom of speech and expression," she said. "Terrorists, their policies force young people, other people's daughters and sons, to strap on bombs and blow themselves up."

7. EGYPTIAN STATE PAPER ATTACKS U.S. ENVOY'S MISSION – REUTERS (NEW YORK TIMES, SEPTMBER 26): A U.S. envoy trying to improve Washington's image abroad is bound to fail unless she can promise changes in U.S. policy in the Middle East, an Egyptian government newspaper said on Monday. The new editor of al-Gomhuria daily said Egyptians who meet U.S. Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes should advise the United States to withdraw from Iraq and put pressure on Israel to withdraw from all of the West Bank, after leaving Gaza.

8. A BUSH ENVOY, VISITING EGYPT, DEFENDS U.S. POLICIES IN IRAQ - STEVEN R. WEISMAN (NEW YORK TIMES, SEPTEMBER 16): Under Secretary of State Karen P. Hughes arrived in Egypt on Sunday in her overseas debut as President Bush's "public diplomacy" envoy. She denounced Islamic militancy, defended administration policies in Iraq and said the slow response to Hurricane Katrina was regrettable but not racist. It was a low-key and almost bland first day for Ms. Hughes, who will travel to Saudi Arabia and Turkey later in the week. The audiences were friendly, occasionally asking pointed questions. But the smattering of local journalists at her events suggested that she might not have as big an impact as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice did in June when she championed democracy in a speech in Egypt. Ms. Hughes also used her visit as a showcase for a $10 million United States aid program that has restored an ancient medieval gate and artifacts and artworks in old Cairo.

9. THE KAREN HUGHES CLEANING SERVICE - ABDUL RAHMAN AL-RASHED (ASHARQ ALAWSAT, UK, SEPTEMBER 26): Even if the current US administration turned into to the world’s largest cleaning company, it would still be unable to clean its reputation and improve its image in the Arab world. The mission is nearly impossible. I say this in light of the visit by Karen Hughes, the presidential adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs at the US State Department, or in clearer terms, George W. Bush’s cleaner in the Arab region. The diplomat is deluding herself if she thinks anyone will believe her or show interest in the good deeds she will enumerate. All those she will meet are sure to repeat one word, “Occupation, occupation, occupation.” Her planned meetings will end as they started. Hughes will face an important decision: repair the US’s reputation, which is nearly impossible, or modify the country’s policies, also almost unfeasible. The price to pay will be a Palestinian state, a fundamentalist Iraq, and the ignoring of the region for the next twenty years.
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11. COOL HAND LUKE MEETS KAREN HUGHES - ALVIN SNYDER (WORLDCASTING, SEPTEMBER 26): When Karen Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, and her assistant secretary, Dina Powell, who succeeded others who have failed to communicate, return from their listening trip to the Middle East, they should take a look at Nielsen's Internet ratings which show that the U.S. government is in the top ten of the most popular websites -- No. 6 in world popularity to be precise -- immediately behind such giants as Yahoo, Google, and eBay, but ahead of Amazon, Real!Networks and Viacom International. I'm not talking about branding America or political hype on U.S. government web sites, but rather harnessing the energy of the greatest country on earth into the greatest Internet search engine in the world for learning, to better communicate with the world.

12. CULTURAL DIPLOMACY MATTERS–AND IT WORKS - PATRICIA KUSHLIS AND PATRICIA LEE SHARPE (WHIRLED VIEW, SEPTEMBER 26): Cultural diplomacy, a subset of Public Diplomacy, promotes understanding and good will. Cultural diplomacy is not amateur night -- and these jobs are not places to stash the otherwise unplaceable political hacks, whether in Washington’s educational and cultural bureaucracy or at embassies and consulates overseas. Public and cultural diplomacy require skills that take years to learn. It will take some time to rebuild the machine so recklessly dismantled during the past ten years or so, but it can be done, though not on the cheap -- except by comparison to the present administration’s preference for fighting first, then flailing around in an effort to repair the self-inflicted damage. Unless the U.S. government is willing to invest serious money in a sustained and reliable fashion and is also willing to consider major changes in policy, then don’t expect America’s wretched image abroad to begin to improve.

13. TWO LADIES FROM EGYPT – MAGDI KHALIL (AMERICAN THINKER, SEPTEMBER 27): Two remarkable ladies demonstrate the endless possibilities Americans enjoy. Ms. Dina Onsi Habib Powell is the White House personnel director, who was appointed recently by President Bush to hold the position of Deputy Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, and Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Ms. Laila Ali Hussein is a captain in the United States Navy.



--Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, traveling in Egypt; cited in Steven R. Weisman, “A Bush Envoy, Visiting Egypt, Defends U.S. Policies in Iraq” (New York Times, September 16) (see above item 5)


--A TV technician in the Middle East regarding the almost 6-foot Texan Karen Hughes; cited in Reuters, “U.S. Envoy Hughes' Message to Muslims: We Care” (New York Times, September 27) (see above item 1)

And if that's not enough!... oodles more here:
For more information, please visit

My opinion? She's tall white Rice and has spent way too much time with Karl Rove. We shall see how her Texas bs dazzles them...

This first quote says it well:


It would be nice to have some faith in her, but she's been a Jr. bootlicker for far too long for my taste in public diplomacy.

Where're the photo ops with her in her shawl?

[edit on 27-9-2005 by psyopswatcher]

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 05:29 PM

i'm afraid i was/am quite uninformed about
'karen hughes, undersecretary of state for (public) diplomacy'
[that was my Google search critera]
and if youse type that in you too will get a full page of links.......

but here's the link i feel is the most informative->


there seems to be a SNAFU, which will NOT allow that link to be 'uncorrupted'...
everything after (_diplomacy/) is not in the link address............

ya'll make of it what you will !!

[edit on 28-9-2005 by asala]

[edit on 28-9-2005 by Nerdling]

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 09:33 AM
There is quite a bit more to this story than meets the eye if you ask me. It looks like a thinly veiled excuse for our spooks in Egypt to be in closer contact with "non-government organizations" (gee, where in the hell have I heard that term before...? Sounds like a Freudian Slip to me.)

I think it's a lot more than protecting the United States' image. I think the real reason we want our hand on the pulse of the Egyptian street is so that we won't miss our chance when it's time to move against their government. I've been saying for months that Egypt's government is marked for regime change.

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 04:28 PM
I would say you have a great chance of being correct there. Many incidents in Egypt in the last few months do point to a coup. Unexplained fires, death of the brother or cousin and bombings.

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 05:29 PM
Egypt has six more years of Murbarak...

EGYPT: Mubarak wins presidential election
10 Sep 2005 07:46:11 GMT
Source: IRIN

CAIRO, 10 September (IRIN) - Hosni Mubarak has won 88.6 percent of votes cast in Egypt's first contested presidential polls, the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) announced on Friday.

Mubarak has been in power for 24 years. The result of Wednesday's elections gives him another six-year term as president of Egypt.

The elections were, however, marked by a low turnout with only 23 percent of the 32 million registered voters casting their ballots

30 years of Murbarak? Wow! How democratic is that?

Hughes is a long cool Texan with an agenda in politics and oil. And she's worked with Karl Rove long enough to know his machiavellian ways. Never forget that. She's had six months to write the propoganda, now she's putting it in action.

[edit on 28-9-2005 by psyopswatcher]

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 09:24 PM
The elections in Egypt were a sham. Honestly I've forgotten some of the details but I do strongly recall that some serious obstacles were put in the way of non-approved parties, even while Condoleeza Rice was supposedly leaning on them to open things up.

The one interesting thing I'll note, although it is somewhat a tangent- when you crush minor parties in Egypt to keep the same man in power, that's undemocratic. When two anachronistic major parties make an oligopoly out of American politics, differing only in their approach to violating the scope of their constitutional authority, it's called Freedom and Democracy, just because the puppet masters have to go out and get themselves a new front man after 8 years.

All the same, two wrongs don't make a right. Just because democracy in America is dying doesn't excuse the fact that democracy in Egypt is virtually dead. I could go either way on both the motives and the justice of our recent move in Egypt. Maybe it's just to propagandize, maybe it's to orchestrate/defend a coup. Maybe it's meddling where we ought not, or maybe it's one of those unpleasant necessities to defending out interests as a major power (I hesitate to use the word super-power, because although militarily we are one, the global chessboard has reached a point where brawn alone won't do it, and we aren't THAT greatly advantaged over lesser military powers, at least not in all respects- but I digress, as is my trademark.)

Edit to add: This IS news worthy when you look at the bigger picture folks. Psyopswatcher has alerted us to something that even I wouldn't have known about otherwise, which is sometimes a rarity. He deserves the vote up!

[edit on 28-9-2005 by The Vagabond]

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 09:48 PM
Over 150 views and no upgrade or downgrade. it doesn't take long to vote people and is simple. It stops articles sitting in no mans land by voting yes or no.

Please Vote on submissions when you read them.

It seems the same the world over, political unrest, bombings, deaths, changes, then elcetions and a new regime. The world bank and IMF are often thrown in as mentions or trips by officials of say the US or in the case of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Australia.

Then the cleaners come in.

[edit on 28-9-2005 by Mayet]

posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 01:42 AM
I'm going to alert the story- I know it doesn't fall under the standard use of alert, but give me a break. This is valid news and it's being killed by apathy and lack of vision.
I don't think the mods will give it the automatic upgrade, but it deserves a shot.

posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 09:55 PM

Originally posted by Mayet
Over 150 views and no upgrade or downgrade. it doesn't take long to vote people and is simple. It stops articles sitting in no mans land by voting yes or no.

The number of views also includes non-registered, and hence unable to vote, visitors who view them. I didnt realise this until I checked it out myself whilst not signed in.

And hey, my vote nudged it over the edge. Great!

[edit on 29/9/05 by subz]

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 05:54 AM
More news of Team Bush's attempt at cleaning up the US image ...

From USAToday:

1. Turkish women to Bush PR chief: Iraq war sinks image Sep 29, 2005

Sent to improve America's image in the Muslim world, Bush's public relations chief stressed the need for better dialogue in her address Wednesday to Turkish women. What Karen Hughes heard back was that there's "no chance" for the U.S. to gain favor while the Iraq war continues.

2. Muslims want dialogue, not advertising Sep 29, 2005

Karen Hughes' "listening tour" to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to improve the U.S. image showcases vast cultural ignorance and the divide between the United States and the Muslim world ("Hughes embarks on 'listening tour' to patch U.S. image," News, Sept. 22).

3. Hughes offers steps, not spin Sep 29, 2005

After years of foundering, the Bush administration has put America's public diplomacy in the hands of a team of talented professionals. As the Washington Post noted, the selection of Karen Hughes "is seen by many in Washington as a coup," bringing to the job an almost unique combination of communication expertise and high-level credibility and clout, earned as a result of her close relationship

4. Sales pitch falls flat Sep 29, 2005

In the aftermath of 9/11, the world erupted in an outpouring of sympathy and support for the USA. The plummeting of regard ever since opinion polls, even in friendly countries, record little admiration is not just distressing. It's dangerous: Those who disdain America are more inclined to support, or even become, terrorists.

5. In Turkey, Hughes gets an earful on Iraq Sep 28, 2005

Sent to improve America's image in the Muslim world, President Bush's public relations chief stressed the need for better dialogue in her brief address Wednesday to Turkish women activists. What Karen Hughes got back was a barrage of criticism about the U.S. war in Iraq.

6. U.S. public relations chief visits Egypt Sep 26, 2005

Karen Hughes, President Bush's confidante since he was Texas governor, and the State Department's top public relations official praised an Egyptian educator and his school Sunday for the courage to speak out against terrorism.

7. Hughes embarks on 'listening tour' to patch U.S. image Sep 22, 2005
Karen Hughes, the State Department's top public relations envoy to the world, is embarking on her first overseas trip Saturday as the nation's image among Muslim nations continues to suffer.

And from the Beeb:

BBC News - US concern at Saudi 'hate works' Latest - 28/09/2005
US envoy Karen Hughes tells Saudi editors that hate writings from Saudi extremists have been found in US mosques.

BBC News - Envoy's Mid-east trip to revamp US image Latest - 27/09/2005
US envoy Karen Hughes is touring three Muslim countries in an effort to show America's readiness to listen, as Jonathan Beale explains.

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 07:07 AM
A public relations campigin won't do a bit of good if the policies that outrage and offend people don't change but hten that is the problem with this administration, all surface and no depth.

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 09:38 AM
With all do respect to the "don't hurt anyone's feelings" school of strategic thought, I'm inclined to say that the necessities of the US situation and the desires of the American people are paramount. The outrage of the Arab people will almost certainly have to be dealt with through force, deception, or not at all.
Not to say that our presence and policy in the middle east in it's current form is either necessary or desired by the American people, only to remind you that the US does have to have some kind of middle east policy for as long as that region remains economically and strategically important, and tailoring our approach to not upset the population in an area dominated by religious fundementalism just won't do in any situation where it conflicts with our ability to carry out whatever policy we find most necessary (read: most of the time).

You can bash Bush till the cows come home, and usually my only objection will be "save some for Delay, Frist, Kennedy, Rangel, and pretty much every other member of the two major parties", but in this case, if it is your intent to suggest that Muslims don't like America because Bush is in charge, I have to speak up, not because I am any friend of Bush, but because that's simply absurd.

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 11:37 AM

Originally posted by The Vagabond
With all do respect to the "don't hurt anyone's feelings" school of strategic thought, I'm inclined to say that the necessities of the US situation and the desires of the American people are paramount. The outrage of the Arab people will almost certainly have to be dealt with through force, deception, or not at all.

Forgive me if I've misinterpreted your point here Vagabond, but that same kind of logic makes it very easy for "Arab" terrorists to deal with America through force. The same reasoning that you think America can protect its own interests due to its paramount importance at the expense of "Arab" interests is bound to bite you in the ass at some stage.

If one of the desires of the American people is cheap and uninterupted oil supplies then securing that against Middle Eastern countries wishes will see Americans become targeted for the same reasons. Afterall, couldnt it too be argued that these Arabs are protecting their own interests when they demand that the US leave the Middle East completely?

All talk of ways and means aside, the mentality is similar: I'll do whatever it takes to get what I want. Damned be those that get in my way

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 12:40 PM

Originally posted by subz
The same reasoning that you think America can protect its own interests due to its paramount importance at the expense of "Arab" interests is bound to bite you in the ass at some stage.

That's absolutely right. Reality is a double edged sword. If I am correct in my view of reality, which is minimally concerned with morality (which I do not view as quantitative, proveable, or necessarily existant at all), then America can do what it must to pursue its own interests, and so can everybody else. Somebody will gain, and somebody will lose, but it will be a zero sum equation which only appears to create imbalance when you look at it from a narrow frame of reference. Of course that's the only frame of reference that people, at least most people, are truly capable of- there are very few people, if any who are capable of truly seeing the world as a single entity, and so we're all obsessed with somebody losing something or gaining something while to a God, if there is one, looking at the bigger picture, nothing important has really changed.

Forgive the philosophical digression. My point is essentially that if one refuses to accept morality into evidence (morality being an ad populum fallacy) then there seems to be no discernable reason why the trend of rule by force and threat of force which is pervasive in our history should be seen as illegitimate.

If one of the desires of the American people is cheap and uninterupted oil supplies then securing that against Middle Eastern countries wishes will see Americans become targeted for the same reasons. Afterall, couldnt it too be argued that these Arabs are protecting their own interests when they demand that the US leave the Middle East completely?

Bingo again, and this leads into the real determining factor in these matters as far as I'm concerned. The rational self interest of the people making the decisions (for hypothetical purposes only, I say this in reference to the American people, although I am by no means under any such illusion)
The primary reason why something shouldn't be done is when it can't be done, or when something else could be done better, in my opinion. Americans can try to walk right over the Arabs for the oil. It might be wiser to move our economy off of oil of course, and that's the real question- that and of course whether or not we choose to weigh the concern that the Arabs might strike back.

I'm not necessarily saying we have to be imperialists. I'm just saying that morality isn't really the primary concern. The world doesn't function on morality in my opinion.

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 10:00 PM
So Karen Hughes is coming back to all this business with DeLay indicted, Miller released and testifying to the grand jury, all these political scandals? What's she thinking?

Either she knows what's been going on, or she's gonna be pissed. Pissed she doesn't know, or pissed at the deep doodoo they're in. I say she either spills her guts or lawyers up too. If she opens her mouth at all, pay very close attention to what she says and how she says it.

What say you?

Remember, she was communications director there for two years in Jr's first term. And has worked on a few of the campaigns under scrutiny too. She could be stepping out in it too?

[edit on 30-9-2005 by psyopswatcher]

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 10:03 PM
dangit! quoted myself and made an extra post.. sorry.. can a mod mop this up please?

[edit on 30-9-2005 by psyopswatcher]

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