A few words from America’s Chief Public Diplomat

From CNN and AP:

"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy," Obama said in an interview with Al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite television network. "We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."

Public opinion does matter.

See also this Public Service Announcement and Marc Lynch’s comments.

One Reply to “A few words from America’s Chief Public Diplomat”

  1. President Obama also said in that interview that he had instructed his special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to “start by listening.” Only through listening – and having the capacity to understand what we hear – can public diplomacy work. The new occupant of the White House gives us good reason for hope on that score. There is a remarkable article in this week’s Newsweek about how many of Obama’s closest advisors have had the experience of living and traveling internationally and how those experiences have shaped their world views. In the article, incoming national security advisor Gen. James L. Jones reflects on his experience growing up in France and says that the opportunity to experience other countries and cultures is “one of the most important components of how to be successful in today’s shrinking world.” He goes on to say: “And if you’re going to hold national office, I think it’s an imperative.” This new American leadership is setting the tone for a future in which, hopefully, all Americans will understand that study abroad, foreign-language learning, and experiencing other cultures is not just something fun to do – it’s essential to our country’s ability to lead responsibly in the world and effectively manage the enormous global challenges that will come our way.

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