Following up on my post yesterday suggesting eleven steps for success in Iraq, I offer two pictures related to the Little Americas step and cultural awareness and image management.
Above is of the coronation of Amir Faysal as King of Iraq in 1921. Note the prominence of the British military. Further, what is not captured in the picture the British anthem “God Save the King” playing in the background as Faysal received his crown. How well do you think this would play today in a world of cell phone cameras, SMS, and the web, not to mention print and broadcast modes.
Now, what about this picture of Faysal, two years before his coronation in Paris? How might this picture convey a different message than the one above?
For starters, T.E. Lawrence is behind Faysal and wearing Arab headdress. Further, an Iraqi (or rather a guy to become known as an Iraqi) is right there, with possibly another behind him and yet another Arab apparently barely in the frame. Western presence is minimized even though they are in Paris.