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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Sidney Blumenthal writes a letter to Karen Hughes
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sidney Blumenthal writes a letter to Karen Hughes

it's long... it's thoughtful... it's honest as shoe leather... and it deserves to be read, despite the fact that offering any guidance to anyone in the bush administration is a pathetic joke...
So far, to be honest, you have earned a reputation for being out of touch, for spouting platitudes without understanding the underlying issues. You are seen as oblivious to the concerns and sensibilities of groups of foreigners with whom you have met. However noble the abstractions of your rhetoric, your speeches are uniformly received as irrelevant propaganda. Even after objective observers have called attention to this pattern, you have done little to adjust. While it would be unfair to put the entire burden of transforming the image of the United States on you, it is a sad fact that your actions have deepened cynicism about American motives. And your inability to change has been consistent with the administration's unwillingness to shift course in the face of demonstrable failure.

If you still wish to succeed, you must finally come to terms with how you and the administration are perceived. Self-awareness is the first step to recovery. Denial has been more than this administration's pervasive state of mind; it has become its prevailing strategy. When other rationales have been shown to be false, hollow or self-undermining, denial has invariably become the last defence.


Perhaps if you look closely at the problem, the solution to your dilemma may appear. Your words are not forging a new reality. Lying about the war in Iraq, or torture, is not building the bridges of understanding you are so fond of talking about in your speeches. Instead, empty words only fritter away at your ability to influence. There is power in truth.

You might also use your acquired skills in diplomacy among your colleagues in the inner circle of the White House. Perhaps you could talk to them about the dangers of politicising and militarizing fear.


While you are rethinking how to calm fears and rebuild America's image as a global leader perhaps you ought to begin to think of yourself not as a tool of the Bush administration but as a citizen of the world, not as a propagandist, constantly trying to formulate a hollow ideological phrase or distraction, but as someone who can admit mistakes and correct them.

yeah, well... words upon words upon words, and not a single goddam one of them make the slightest bit of difference...

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