chapter  13
Targeting the Inner Landscape
ByMatthew Farish
Pages 18

According to its critics, among the most egregious stumbles committed by the Bush administration during its ongoing “war on terror” is the mishandling and even ignorance of public diplomacy. e Pentagon’s attempt to establish an Oce of Strategic Inuence (OSI) to “provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new eort to inuence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries” was ocially shut down in February 2002 aer a public furor.1 A panel put together in 2003 by Congress and the State Department found “shocking levels” of “hostility toward America” in the Arab and Muslim world.2 e State Department’s position of head PR agent for America, when lled, has been occupied by a rapid succession of advertising executives, diplomats, and close acquaintances of the President. One of the latest occupants of the oce, Margaret Tutwiler, stepped aside in April 2004, just as a now-ubiquitous set of torture photos from Abu Ghraib prison in occupied Iraq fell into the hands of the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh and then the rest of the media.3 She was eventually replaced by George W. Bush’s condante Karen Hughes, whose forays into the Middle East (where she had never traveled) in the fall of 2005 were greeted with signicant derision in both her host countries and in the American press.4