Rumsfeld's first post-Pentagon public comments at a conference today on network centric warfare sponsored by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement. According to Rumsfeld, the United States is losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world, and the answer to that, in part, is through the creation of this new government agency.
During the the Q&A after the speech, I asked Rumsfeld what this new agency might entail (he was pretty clear it wouldn't be a resurrected U.S. Information Agency, which was merged into State Department in 1999), and why, when there is an abundance of media available in the private sector, the government needs to get involved.
I'll just let Rumsfeld speak for himself:
Private media does not get up in the morning and say what can we do to promote the values and ideas that the free Western nations believe in? It gets up in the morning and says they're going to try to make money by selling whatever they sell... The way they decided to do that is to be dramatic and if it bleeds it leads is the common statement in the media today. They've got their job, and they have to do that, and that's what they do.
We need someone in the United States government, some entity, not like the old USIA . . . I think this agency, a new agency has to be something that would take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that exist today. There are multiple channels for information . . . The Internet is there, pods are there, talk radio is there, e-mails are there. There are all kinds of opportunities. We do not with any systematic organized way attempt to engage the battle of ideas and talk about the idea of beheading, and what's it's about and what it means. And talk about the fact that people are killing more Muslims than they are non-Muslims, these extremists. They're doing it with suicide bombs and the like. We need to engage and not simply be passive and allow that battle of competition of ideas.
SOURCE: Continue reading "Rummy Resurfaces, Calls for U.S. Propaganda Agency" »
I'm glad to hear that NATO is getting into the sphere o' blogs. But, wow, this has to be one of the lamer ways to introduce oneself: An e-mail signed "Blogger" and a bitmapped form letter, making links oh-so-very cumbersome.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Jan 21, 2008 3:14 PM
Subject: NATO Allied Command Operations Website and Blog
Please see the attached letter.
Of course the links in the letter are not click-able:
Its a start....They are working on it....
See somebody heard us.
Other language info websites...Special Operations Command.