Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The salesmanship axiom
Quote: "In my judgment, you're going to see a lot of this hostility disappear only when various countries really feel they need friendly relations with the United States, probably for their own security," said Richard Solomon, a veteran diplomat and negotiator who is president of the U.S. Institute of Peace, a federally funded nonpartisan think tank. "It will probably take some major event for that to take place."
"We probably deserve a D or D-plus as a country as how well we're doing in the battle of ideas," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said March 27 at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. "We're going to have to find better ways to do it, and thus far we haven't." end quote.
In other words, the first observer believes that the only way to win respect is to create a desperate situation in which the world depends upon the U.S. The second, of Pentagon and Iraq War fame, believes that there is a battle of ideas, and we must fight for approval.
I want you to like me, so I'm going to set your house on fire, or your neighbors' house, and then you'll come to me for help. And then I play hero and you like me.
Or, I make my point with a hard-sell, and I talk about a battle of ideas. I give you the false dilemma, it's up or down, black or white, me or death. And then you choose me and like me.
It's all the same conservative & now neocon tripe; if you sell the idea, the policy, the crime, the evil persistently enough, everyone in the world will buy it.
And our policies and culture are not at fault, it's the perceptions of others that are at fault.
I hate to say it, but we really are like the French. I really don't think Rumsfeld, Solomon or anyone in the power or investor class really gives a damn how Americans and American policies are perceived. As in the Gilded Age, it's interest and interest alone that creates American policy, both foreign and domestic. Principle be damned.