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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

24 March 2006

Communicating the Iraq war

David Ignatius writes in the Washington Post: “Ask senior military commanders what they think about Bush and they will tell you they love his toughness -- but wish the White House could communicate its Iraq strategy better. Bush has tried. … But it's not working, and the president owes it to the troops, above all, to figure out a better way to communicate.”

The overall column is very interesting and I suggest reading it. I agree with Ignatius and would like add two problems I see with the Iraq communication strategy: first, it seems like the words are the same, and so is the tone. I haven’t looked into it, but I suspect you can find an overall correlation between current speeches and past ones (WMD rationale and all that notwithstanding) without much change over time.

The other defect is the spin. The inability to look at the broader picture and the anger towards those who disagree is particularly depressing. I think there is something to be said about the fact that the media tend to report one thing and others who come from Iraq (including so I have spoken to) say another. But this is a far cry from just lambasting the media for their coverage.

References:
David Ignatius, “Communication Breakdown,” Washington Post, 24 Mar 06 (link)

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