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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy > Meeting Transcripts and Minutes
September 18, 2002

September 18, 2002

Harold C. Pachios, Chairman: I want to welcome you all here this morning. We have some distinguished Diplomats here, obviously members of the Press, some Congressional staffers and we always have at our Commission meetings representatives of the White House and other offices here in the Department of State.

I have been on the Commission since 1993. The Commission has a 54-year-history, and many of its members over the years, I think, are names well known to many of you, Theodore Hesper, Frank Stanton - we actually have a printed-out list - many of them were leaders in the world of information in the United States.

The Commission was created in 1948. It is statutorily mandated to review public diplomacy programs not just for the State Department but throughout the Government and report to the President, the Congress and the Secretary of State. We produced more than 40 reports, somewhere between 40 and 50 reports. As I suggested earlier, this is just a sampling upon the board. I made note of the fact that many of the recommendations, most of the recommendations in these reports, particularly since the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the 1990ís, contain almost every recommendation that you have heard from any organization in America since 09/11 about what we ought to do about public diplomacy. We welcome, obviously, the new interest in public diplomacy. Just as an aside, and my fellow commission members, Iím sure, will allude to this later, the turn out here, the turnouts at our meetings since 09/11, the telephone calls, the interest from the Press is all rather new to us because there was, in fact, a downgrading of the importance of public diplomacy after the fall of the Berlin Wall and people tended to diminish its importance, particularly on the Hill and, frankly, in the State Department.

That has all changed dramatically and I want to quickly point out that before 09/11, the new Secretary, Secretary Powell, expressed a very sincere interest in public diplomacy. He is interested in it. He read two or three of our reports between the time he was nominated and confirmed as Secretary of State. He has asked questions, and it has made a great difference, I think, in the Department and their view of public diplomacy. I donít know if any of you want to add anything at this point about that, but he really has made a remarkable difference in terms of the attitude toward public diplomacy before 09/11.

The Administration is, in fact, making public diplomacy a priority. Radio Sawa is an example of that. It is an example of something that was conceived of several months ago and is now operating successfully. We read in the Press that the audience has mixed reviews but they listen to it. The Coalition Information Center, which was created after 09/11, I think was very successful in coordinating our message, particularly at the beginning of the War in Afghanistan. There have been new citizen and exchanges of journalists in the Middle East, and I will note later that in terms of resources regarding money that we have devoted to public diplomacy since the beginning of the 1990ís, there has been, frankly, a devastating reduction in resources. Now we are beginning to generate more exchanges with the Middle East. We have countering all this, of course, some visa issues making it a little more difficult to get into the country. The primary problems are problems that are carryovers from the 1990ís. They are organization, staffing and training.

I talked just briefly about some of the issues with training. Foreign Service Officers traditionally have not had to be training in public diplomacy, even those who have selected the so-called public diplomacy cone at the beginning of their Foreign Service careers have not, when they went to the Foreign Service Institute had to receive any training. It was an elective course, an optional course. The training is still, we think, not strong, and we think that every Foreign Service officer needs to have a lot of training in public diplomacy. Some people are good at this and some people are not so good. In the past, the people who were not so good, including some who went into the public diplomacy cone, just functioned as well as they good. In many cases, that was not very good. Now all of them need to be well trained. It is our view that no one should be made an Ambassador of the United States in any country of the world unless they have, like Ambassador Corps, very good skills in the area of public diplomacy. There are other Ambassadors in this room and they know that most of what an Ambassador does today is to reach out to the country in which they serve. So that has been a problem. Recruitment has been a problem. I found out two years ago that the State Department spent $75,000  in 1999 on recruiting - going out and finding qualified people to go into Foreign Service. I did not make a mistake here - $75,000.   I would expect that the Pentagon spent $75 million or much more to recruit. So, there has to be an enormous structural change in this department if we are really going to do the job in public diplomacy.

There are four areas where the Commission believes that it is important to reform beyond just training and recruiting Foreign Service officers. We are very anxious for the President to issue a mandate demonstrating that the President puts at the highest level of priority public diplomacy. I think that is happening in the White House, and we will cover that in a couple of minutes. We think a Presidential directive which states it explicitly will have great impact on others in the Government. The directive would provide a clear vision to harness all of the public diplomacy assets of the Government, and I think everybody would take it seriously.

Second, to fully implement the White House Office of Global Communications, there has been, not just in this administration but in the prior administration, a tug of war as to who would direct the public diplomacy efforts of the United States. Cynical bureaucrats would call it a turf war. Whatever it is, it needs to be transformed, and the White House Office of Global Communications is the way to do it. We think that the White House already coordinates domestic messages, that the President is the chief policy maker of the United States and in Foreign Affairs, and that his office ought to coordinate messages. The office must link Presidential leadership with departments and agencies in the Government and with private sector partners and then the implementation should rest where it rests with the Office of the Undersecretary of State, in this case Charlotte Biers. The message should be a single message. It should be determined by the President, coordinated by his office, and the implementation both here and in the field should be through the Undersecretary of State.

We think that the consolidation of USIA into the State Department should be periodically reviewed. We reviewed it on its one-year anniversary in the lower left hand corner of this border appears our report on it, and it was a mixed report. We found, and think we still find, some cultural obstacles to public diplomacy in the department because it was devalued for many, many years, and that has not dissipated. We think it was the right decision to pull USIA into the State Department. We recommended it for some years before it occurred, and we recommended it for one primary reason: that if policy is made here in this building, then thatís where the public diplomacy specialists should be and that they should be there when policy is made. That didnít occur when the department was separate from USIA. Much remains to be done to integrate this component in the department at all levels. We ask in this report that the Secretary immediate conduct a review with us of consolidation. We will probably do that on our own initiative but we are hoping that the Secretary will ask us to begin this process right away.

We also think that there ought to be some liaison with Congress in the field of public diplomacy because much of what people read abroad are the statements of American politicians. Congressmen traveling abroad and Congressmen here are saying things all the time. This is a free country and a diverse country and these members of Congress represent a free and diverse constituency but there ought to be an understanding of the impact on public opinion abroad that members of Congress have.

Finally in this structural reform, the Department, and particularly the Undersecretary, have begun to undertake a series of initiatives with the private sector to help us inform foreign publics and to explain policy and to explain American values and American life. That was begun. There were meetings at the White House that Jack Valenti had, and we understand they have done an ad - we are not really in the ad business on this Commission - but they have done an ad and we are anxious that they do some other substitute things. You know, back in the 1960ís, George Stevens, Jr., a celebrated American director, did, I think, at least three documentaries for USIA which were shown around the world, and particularly in Eastern Europe. They were absolutely terrific. They were substantive and they had an impact on audiences around the world. That is something that Hollywood can do much better than Government. We have taken some steps to talk to people about doing that kind of thing.

The next area to report, and I hope you all will jump in here - and they will be answering most of the questions but I want to summarize some of the stuff. Money alone is not going to fix the problem, but if you look at all the reports that have come out on pubic diplomacy, they all say the same thing. But since 1993, four years after the end of the Cold War, the real dollars allocated for public diplomacy have decreased dramatically by a third if you account for inflation. More money needs to be spent - more money for exchanges, more money for cultural programs that all but ended after the Cold War. We eliminated cultural centers and libraries that were very popular abroad. They were very substantive and were very popular. So money will help, but money alone wonít fix the problem. The one billion dollars that is spent on public diplomacy is divided up, about 500 million for broadcasting, about 250 million for exchanges and 250 million for all our other activities in public diplomacy including the staffing of our posts with public Diplomats abroad and information programs. If you look at the kinds of things we had been doing and need to do more of in public diplomacy, technology is going to require much more money. The department has done a very good job in developing Internet sites and using the Internet to deliver Americaís message. I recommend a report that the Commission did two or three years ago after the war in Kosovo which is, I think, the third one from the left or second one from the right on the bottom, about the Departmentís use of information programs through the Internet in the Balkans. It is quite a story and was very well done. But money is tight and that is an area where we need more resources. Incidentally on broadcasting, just to give you a comparison, in the UK they spend about as much on BBC as we spend on all of our broadcasting activities, Voice of America and others, and incidentally as everyone in this room knows, BBC does a terrific job and they have a very, very loyal following in most places in the world. We spend more on polling, and I am going to ask Chuck Dolan after I finish this summary to talk a little bit about polling. We spend five million dollars at the Department on polling to determine foreign attitudes and opinions. Thatís not very much. They tell me that Michael Bloomberg spent ten million in New York City in his recent campaign, so that is double what the Department spends throughout the world to determine foreign attitudes and interests.

One of the structural themes that we donít talk much about in this report but we have talked about in Commission meetings and we think needs to be studies some more, and I think is an idea that will evolve very quickly is the decentralization of our public diplomacy efforts. More and more, we are getting ambassadors who really understand the people of the country in which they serve, who are experts at communicating, who are reaching out to foreign publics and who ought to have a greater role in designing and defining our public diplomacy program in those countries, in determining how it is that we are going to explain American policy in those countries, the context of it and the tools we need to explain it. So that does not cost more money and we think what it will do is stimulate more creativity in the posts. I have summarized it and we are going to have questions but I would like to know if any of the Commissioners want to jump in on some things I may not have summarized fully.

Vice Chairman Charles Dolan: Yes, Iíll just touch on the polling. The thing that we have talked about an awful lot here on the Commission is that no modern communication strategy that has any sort of a budget would ever take place without some sort of research. And we are not talking about polling to find out what sort of positions we are going to take. We are trying to find out what are the issues out there with the publics that we are trying to reach, where are the demographic groups that have concerns about specific policies, what are they, and in turn what are the media outlets that they are reading, looking at, what are the sources that they consider to be credible and then testing some of the messages that we then want to project. We talk a little bit about looking toward the private sector. No political campaign and no corporation would ever roll out a new product without testing the message about the product ahead of time. We do that all the time as a Government, and we think there needs to be more resources put into what I like to call research rather than straight polling.

Harold Pachios: I think probably the best way to proceed is to get into the questions and then various of the Commission members may want to respond.

Pamela McClintock, Daily Variety: You mention some of the steps that Hollywood could do much better than Government and that you have had some talks on the steps the entertainment industry could take. What sort of talks are you looking at from the perspective inside the entertainment industry?

Harold Pachios: Not much has happened, and we have been in touch with Mr. Valenti to talk to him about it. He is on board, but they did do an ad. There has been some difficulty with distribution of the ad. I think the Commission has discussed this. We are not real focused on advertising as a public diplomacy tool. The two-minute ad is not something that we think is real important. Public diplomacy, and I think this fits into your question about Hollywood because I think there the idea is how to we sway somebody right now, how do we get their attention and begin to get their thinking in line with what we think it ought to be right now, public diplomacy for four decades was long term. It was strategic. It was directed at influential elites throughout the world Ė academics, journalists, rising government officials and cultural elites. And, particularly in closed societies, it was thought that those people understand us. Those people are able to put our policies in context and over time it will have influence on the more general public that those elites influence in their host countries. It worked pretty well. Now, of course, there has been a communications revolution and now instead of getting information through the elites, the general publics in these countries have microwave dishes and they get it off of satellites and there is a free flow of information. We have to compete for that audience. So, that does change it, and thatís why people look at all these reports. They talk about the message and how we get it out using satellite broadcasting and all these different things. Nonetheless, I ask the Commissioners to jump in on this. Cultural centers, exchanges, the core of what worked in those four decades is still critically important. That is not anything Hollywood can help us with except in the area of documentaries, and we have talked about that. We would like to see something substantive in that regard.

Ira Teinowitz, Advertising Age: In terms of setting the bar or setting goals for this year, next year, five or ten years from now, what should the government accomplish? If you were to set a goal for what the government should be doing by the end of the year, five years from now or ten years from now, what would those be?

Harold Pachios: I think they would be what we have recommended here. I think we need to get this Office of Global Communications in the White House up and running, and I think we need a Presidential mandate right away. I think that things like training and recruitment can happen relatively quickly. There are other things that are going to take a longer period of time. But those are just a few things that could happen right away.

Charles Dolan: I think the Government has moved to the point now where it deals with a 24-hour news cycle. Ten years ago, you could start the day out when you got a story, work on it and figure out when you were going to respond. Now the news cycle follows the sun, and I think that there was recognition by this administration. We give them credit for putting together a series of offices around the world to be able to respond, particularly to negative attacks in very rapid fashion which is necessary in this day and age and keep that up.

Audience member: How do you judge how successful this is going to be? What should have happened a year from now, aside from the issues, aside from setting up a Global Communications Office. How can we judge a year from now if they have been successful?

Harold Pachios: Well, Iíll tell you what should have happened was Radio Sawa and it did happen.

Commissioner Maria Elena Torano: Let me give you one example that I am very proud of. Central America. Letís focus on that region. You remember in the 80ís, Central America was in chaos. San Salvador where the militants were coming from the mountains, Nicaragua who had the Sandinistas in Honduras and Guatemala where the military juntas were taking over and people were being killed. Through the use of international development, students were brought from all those countries to live in the United States and spend one year, their junior year abroad. Of course they learned English, but they also learned about Americaís culture. They learned about the holidays and about the 4th of July. They spent one year here getting involved in education, the areas of specialty, getting very proficient and at the same time experiencing what this country has to offer. If you look at the region today, Central America is the most peaceful, and so far the most successful in the last ten years and continues to be. The reason is that after the Granada invasion, President Reagan asked the Commission and asked Henry Kissinger for his recommendation. His recommendation was to identify the leaders in the region as in high school and in college and bring them to the United States and develop leadership among that generation. If we look at what happened in Palestine and Israel, and if we look at what happened around the world, it is the generation ten years from now that we are talking about that have been trained to serve, to become officials to run for office and not the same kind of elite that usually keeps on reigning in countries. So I think it is both a short-term effort to a very ..... . So I think this is what we should continue to do. And I hope that when this Commission is replaced that the new Commission will look at the role as something that has a much greater purpose than just writing reports.

Student at George Mason University who works as a scholar advisor: I donít think immigration laws change so much since almost the 20ís and especially since they first started bringing in students in the 60ís. I am very fearful that a lot of the new policies, which arenít just coming from Congress but also are coming from State legislatures on how international students and scholars get drivers licenses and also how people get Social Security cards. My fear is that these policies are just now starting to roll out, and the International education community is not well equipped to deal with it. My fear is that is being turned off by their treatment. I had a Korean Diplomat who came in and it took him two months to get a driverís license. There was nothing he could show the State of Virginia to get the driverís license. He was not eligible to get the Diplomatic driverís license. He finally got what he needed and then they changed their policy stating what they needed. I was just wondering, first, is the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy able to influence some of these laws in helping the Government to understand the long term impact and importance of international students and scholars.

Harold Pachios: It is not an area that we are involved in. We are sensitive to it but in terms of our report and what we are focused on, that has not been an area we have focused on. There are people here in the department and in the Undersecretaryís office that I think you ought to talk to about that.

Harry Dumphey from the Associated Press: You mentioned satellite dishes and Radio Sawa. I wondered if the Commission has discussed at all television stations like Al-Jazeera and how the sort of anti-American bias has progressed or whether we have sufficient enough diplomats who are fluent in Arabic speakers.

Harold Pachios: I think we have a sufficient number of diplomats who are fluent in the language. We have always had people in our posts in the Middle East who were fluent in Arabic, but our observation has been this is a very large bureaucracy in which we which we are having this meeting. And in all large bureaucracies, everything is centralized. And the question is the extent to which those Arabic speaking diplomats, ambassadors, have been free prior to 09/11 to go on Al-Jazeera. Al-Jazeera is always looking for programming. The question is you have to get clearances to speak out to television audiences. Thatís a problem and a structural problem here in the department. It leads one to the conclusion there ought to be more decentralization. As to television generally, you have to go slow. We have made some stabs here in the government on government television. Marie Elena could tell you about television beamed to Cuba and the effectiveness, also Morocco. Television signals can be jammed a whole lot easier than radio signals so people are looking at it and people are focused on it but it is not that easy.

Senior Advisor Walter Roberts: Our diplomats have appeared on Al-Jazeera since 09/11.

Harold Pachios: Thatís right. Ambassador Ross was the first to do it.

Imad Mussa for Al-Jazeera Television: I take offense at the gentleman from APís question about anti-American bias, and I would like to ask if you have an example of that. I read a lot and I am wondering what we do that is so anti-American and if it is about reporting things that happen to pertinent America about life, and you can tell me that too.

Yes, Ambassador Ross has been on Al-Jazeera since 09/11 and graciously accepting a few times, but often it is hard because he does have to go through the red tape to get the permission to come on the days we need him, but then he is available on the days that really, just by the nature of TVís 24/7 news channel, we donít need him. I think the impression from the outside worlds, or at least just from my work with Al-Jazeera, I have to agree with what you said. The general gist is that I donít really feel that anybody in the U.S. administration cares about public diplomacy, explaining America first of all, making themselves available to speak. I feel that it is that "we are America and we donít need to defend ourselves in any public arena, and anyway our message is not going to be met positively so why should we bother. These are people who have made up their minds and there is nothing we can do about it." It is really hard and it is an uphill battle to get people on when we want them, which is all the time, actually, and we still do out best to balance things out. I think that people, especially in the State Department, should pay more attention to channels, especially in the Middle East, just to show that the effort itself goes a long way in convincing people overseas or persuading them that the United States would like to be engaged with the rest of the world.

Harold Pachios: Let me just say, though, that what you point to is a structural problem which is you need people to get into the news business - you are in the news business, you see cycles, you have requirements. If we are going to do this well, we need to be aware of those cycles and those requirements. We do it with domestic journalists all the time but the Government is run by politicians. This is the society in which freely elected people run the Government, and they are more sensitive to journalistic deadlines of domestic sources than one can imagine. I will tell you one quick story. Back in 1966, I was in Manila with President Johnson. I was Assistant White House Press Secretary and he was meeting with some leaders from Asia and we had a deadline. In those days, we had a lot of afternoon papers in the United States and we had an afternoon deadline. So they were in this meeting and my boss and I were talking. He said we have only twenty minutes to get something out if we are going to meet the deadline for these PM paper deadline reporters. We went in and told the President, who was a very good politician. He understood these things very well. This was for domestic consumption and he said to the leaders assembled in the room, "Hark, we are stopping. We are going to put out a statement and we are going to do it in the next ten minutes." They understand that and what needs to be understood is that we have to do with foreign journalists exactly what we politicians in America have done with domestic journalists. That is precisely what needs to happen. I do take issue with the question of whether there is interest. Thatís why we are here. We are interested in communicating Americaís message, and we talked about polling, and I hope you will say this on Al-Jazeera. We talked about the necessity for increasing polling and research into the attitudes of foreign publics. That means listening. I think the Secretary said it very well. The Secretary is interested in coalitions. The Secretary is interested in partnerships in the world. And so, in the age of global communications, you will never get a coalition partner unless the public in that country, the general public, favors it. There will be no coalition partner in the absence of favorable public opinion in the host country. The Secretary understands that well. That is why we are talking about this. There are structural problems. They need to be worked out, and that is what we are about.

Commissioner Penne Percy Korth: Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that just as an example to the gentleman in the back, this Commission has been meeting in over fifty years, and in the last five years, the most guests we have had in one single day may have been two or four. So I ask you to look around at the size of the group who today is interested in public diplomacy. You are here because it is a baby who is rubbing sleep out of its eyes. It has for years been known as the elite or top of the diplomatic corps. Since 09/11, we have been on full steam. It has become a very big interest to the White House. There is the global communications being formed. There is now a public diplomacy coordinating committee being formed. It is taking on lots and lots of different areas, all of which are being wrapped around Secretary Charlotte Biers and at the very top of it, as you all know, is Colin Powell. The problem is most foreign publics, if you say public diplomacy, they say what is that? Where have you been? This Commission has been here for a long time. Itís just that our moment has come and I would like to join the Chairman in thanking each of you today in showing an interest in what we are trying to do and what the government now is encouraging as a big reach-out to the foreign publics.

Harold Pachios: Yes,

Pamela McClintock, Daily Variety: I think Al-Jazeera is a good example. I think Al-Jazeera is a valid news organization, but it seems that since 09/11 there has been a subtle message from Americaís government that it is somehow biased. I donít think people here realize that Al-Jazeera is from the one of the few countries helping us. The White House office, as I understand it, was really set up to sort of brief people as to the war efforts. So, how does that tie into public diplomacy and also how do you counteract some of the messages that are being given by the White House or other parts of Washington?

Harold Pachios: Let me say just one thing. Administrations have complained about the bias of the New York Times and the bias of the Washington Post. So whatís new about the complaint of bias of Al-Jazeera? So they join with the New York Times and the Washington Post as the recipients of this criticism.

Brooks Boliek, The Hollywood Reporter: When you talk about public diplomacy that is long term and strategic, that we are basically trying to convince the rest of the world that we are the good guys in the world. How do you do that when youíve got the President and the Vice-President getting up every day and saying, "whether he is dead or alive, Osama bin Laden. We are going to attack Iraq. We are going to take out Saddam Hussein - I mean, you know, Bush Number One could not even say Saddam - he said Saddam. So you know, that public diplomacy completely overwhelms the message so much. So what do you do about it?

Harold Pachios: You canít design policy to fit the opinions of everybody in the world. I think there is a difference between public diplomacy and putting your finger up in the air and saying what do they want to hear - letís do it. That we canít do. The best we can do short of simply saying we will do whatever you want us to do - tell us. The best we can do is to explain our policy in the context of the country in which we live and get them to understand. This is a diverse country with a lot of diverse interests. It is a free country, and there is kind of a babble coming - there is a buzz coming all the time. Our policies you may not agree with, but we want you to understand how it happens. It is the result of living in a free and open society where there is a lot of communication among all of us. And what bubbles up is policy. And I think the President is reflecting the abuse of Americans, too.

Question from audience: Is it realistic to expect that the US is going to be perceived as better as a result of anything the State Department does when the White House is ticking off the world with war efforts towards Iraq or when it does stuff like this - I mean, can there really be progress at a time like this?

Harold: Sure. I think most people in the world, though they may disagree with policy, you can get them to understand it in the context of the country, which creates the policy, this country. We are not in the business in public diplomacy of trying to get everybody to love us. We are in the business of trying to get people to understand it, not necessarily agree all the time.

Commissioner Maria Elena Torano: One of the issues, as everybody is aware, but what we found time and time again during our travels and interactions with foreign publics was that the publics love the United States and they think that the people of America are just good citizens. Now, when it comes to issues of policy, there is a disconnect. So what do we do - that is the question. We donít have the necessary outreach of the Commission, but maybe being here at the State Department we can influence some of those policies.

Howard La Franchi with the Christian Science Monitor: You spoke in your introductory remarks quite a bit about the need to get to substantive issues and substantive reforms, but then most recently you talked about getting people to understand policy, maybe not to love the policy or agree with it, and I am wondering how on something specific like war with Iraq, how do you do that? It that the purpose of the Office of Global Communications that they take on immediate policy and State Department works more on long term exchanges, and then if that is the case, how do you avoid even more of the cacophony or the sense that there are two messages coming out?

Harold Pachios: I donít understand your question on how there would be two messages coming out. If you have a coordinated message from the President, from the White House, this is the message, and that message is an immediate message and we are responding to something. As you point out, what is happening in the State Department is a little longer term; I donít understand why that would necessarily mean a different message. I think it is the same message delivered in a different way.

Howard La Franchi with the Christian Science Monitor: Specifically, with regard to potential war with Iraq, is that something that will be taken up directly in the next months trying to explain that policy, and will that come out of the Office of Global Communications or will that be coming out of here?

Harold Pachios: We hope that the message comes from the White House. Now letís relate that to what happens here in the Department of State. We have public diplomats everywhere in the world, and they deal with journalists every day in capitols around the world, and that is the message they will be delivering to those journalists and to host country nationals and to opinion makers. That is, the message will be the same.

Question from audience: But in terms of specific actions, you noted there is not a great love in terms of advertising. Will there be specific efforts, maybe ads, maybe documentaries, maybe something specific to address the U.S. position on Iraq.

Harold Pachios: Well, I think you are on to something here, and with the permission of my colleagues, and we disagree from time to time, about four years ago, I was in Israel, the West Bank, Syria and Jordan. And I asked our public diplomacy people there, what specifically is our public diplomacy program for fostering enthusiasm for the peace process? Do we bring speakers out here to talk to key audiences about the peace process, people who will attract an audience because they are well known? Do we go on talk shows and talk about the peace process, and do we again bring out Americans who are well known in the region to talk about it? What are we doing? And the answer was, back in the late 90ís, thatís short-term stuff. We donít do short term stuff. I think that is changing, and what we as a Commission have discussed is that the department should be coordinating specific activities in support of our policy goals. And it would include speaker programs. Incidentally, when I asked about speaker programs, they said we donít have the money for that anymore. And they didnít. But, there ought to be a variety of things. Now, about television advertising. We have talked about that and donít think that this is going to work in the long run, and frankly we have not seen any television ads yet. One was produced but it has not appeared in foreign television.

Commissioner Maria Elena Torano: We had an agreement between the Undersecretary of Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy and the Ad Council to develop ads, isnít that right?

Tim Isgitt, State Department: There were discussions but I donít anything ever became of that.

Brooks Boliek, the Hollywood Reporter: You mentioned making documentaries, I believe like why we fought World War II, a 12-part documentary, one of the best documentaries ever made. You talked about incubating some more of that stuff. We know American popular culture sweeps the world. People complain about it. People celebrate it. It seems that Hollywood and the entertainment industry has been hesitant to embrace this effort because they donít want to end of being a pawn of the government. They defend their free speech rights. It wasnít but a couple of years ago that Hollywood was getting pounded for the products they put on the air. Now the government is trying to get them to make something nice.

Harold Pachios: We are not asking them for the same product.

Brooks Boliek, the Hollywood Reporter: Forgive the rambling, but all this comes back to Steve Earl wrote a song American Taliban that was slammed. Toby Keith wrote a song where says we need to stick a boot up somebodyís ass, which is number one on the charts. What do you do about it? I think the people in the Middle East probably heard Toby Keithís song and never heard Steve Earlís. The Toby Keith thing, once again, I think ends up swamping every effort you guys -

Harold Pachios: There is no way to control it. We are a free society.

Charles Dolan: We are talking about two different things here. We are talking about messages, about public policy, and the things you are talking about are primarily entertainment but happened to have some messages attached to them from time to time, but they are being produced solely to make a buck, not to influence anybody in any specific way. So it is an apples and oranges comparison.

Harold Pachios: But a public diplomat in addressing a university audience somewhere in the world where the government may even be a totalitarian may say that the audience has to understand this is controlled chaos here. It is different. We did that. Walter did that in Yugoslavia back in the 60ís. People in Eastern Europe had a hard time understanding how all these different messages could be emanating from our country. It was a case of educating people and saying you know, it is controlled chaos. People can do or say just about whatever they want. So there is nothing we can do about that.

Suzanne Archuleta from Joel Hefleyís (R-Colo., 5th) office: I just wanted to ask about how Congress is going to fit into all these. I work with Congressman Joel Hefley from Colorado, and the fact that integrating Congress into the public diplomacy effort is one of the five focuses you have here. I am wondering in what way are you going to do that because right now congressional members do play a very large role in public diplomacy, and we have congressional delegations that go all over the world. They meet with diplomats and foreigners on a daily basis. How are you planning on integrating Congress members, some of with different opinions, kind of along the same lines that members are going to disagree with the administrationís opinions and message and give a different message. They are very influential leaders and are going to be heard around the world. How do you recommend integrating them into this process?

Harold Pachios: We are recommending that the State Department do it. We donít implement it.

Commissioner Penne Percy Korth: We do call on members of Congress, both the Senate and the House, and explain our position and explain our reports, and are very willing to have a give and take any time with anyone on the Hill that would be interested in listening.

Audience member: I noticed the language in here where you say Congress actually undermined the message. So I am curious about that part of it.

Harold Pachios: It says what?

Question, continued: It says Congress can reinforce or undermine public diplomacy messages.

Harold Pachios: Well. . .

Walter Roberts: In my experience, whenever Senators or Representatives go abroad, they do not do things that upset the apple cart. I remember very well, many years ago, Senator Fulbright at the America Embassy in London during the Vietnam War, and as you know, he was a strong opponent of the American intervention there, was asked by British journalists about the Vietnam War. Senator Fulbright said, "I am in London and not in Washington and I will not comment on it". So I think these people are very well educated and very responsible people and when they are overseas, they do not do things that will upset the apple cart.

Harold Pachios: Let me say one thing in response to your question about the product, what people hear from us. There was a piece in the New York Times a couple of days ago, according to this fellow Tony Saba (?), market researcher in Amman. He said, "You cannot create a product out of an image." Mr. Saba, the Director of Middle East marketing research said, "You can only promote a product if you have one." And the implication is, first you have to create a product. What he means is create a policy I like. But there is a product, and I think he is dead wrong. And thatís what public diplomacy is all about. I think that is a good example of how we can explain what public diplomacy is. He says there is no product. There is a product and he does not understand it. He is in the business, and others donít understand it, as well. If you just take the phrase, "Go home American and take me with you", the question is why? Why can tens of thousands of people from Middle Eastern Countries come here and live and want to bring up their children and grandchildren here. Many come, they say initially to make some money and go home. Most of them stay and their families stay for generations. Why is that? Thatís the product. And we donít do a very good job of selling that product. Thatís where we fall down.

Harold Pachios: We have time for one more question.

Jorge Amselle with the Center for International and Private Enterprise: On this issue of dichotomy in terms of this opinion on the United States, this issue of we like the American people but we donít like your government. What should the approach be in terms of our diplomacy strategy? Are we better off explaining why we have certain policies, or are we better at explaining our policy-making process?

Should public policy focus more on the how we have the policy or why we have the policy that we have?

Audience member: I think it is not either or. I think what the Commissioner said was right. The general impression, at least from my travels in the Middle East is that people love Americans as a people. They are open, they are kind, they are tolerant. They hate U.S. foreign policy that is the least democratic process.

Harold Pachios: The meeting is adjourned.


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