In the wake
of all of the negative publicity the U.S. has received
as a result of the Quran scandals of Guantanamo, there
is certainly a need for the U.S. to proactively attempt
to burnish its tarnished image in the Middle East. The
Council on Foreign Relations recently released
a report that offers solid advice on how the
administration might reverse the negative views of our
images of the U.S. held by many in the Muslim world are
mainly the result of media coverage that is anti-U.S.
The effects of unfavorable media coverage are reinforced
by stereotypes about the U.S. decision-making process,
particularly about alleged Jewish influence on U.S.
the report, there is an opportunity to change attitudes
in the Middle East, but not by trying to sway opinion
about U.S. policy. Instead, the U.S. should reinforce
positive impressions that have been made regarding the
U.S. about international aid (such as the tsunami relief
effort) and peace efforts in Israel. The report
contained a list of steps the government could take to
polish its image:
partnerships in support of local Muslim initiatives,
without presenting the United States as the motor of
disagree on contentious issues involving other
countries, such as Iraq or Israel and Palestine.
local and regional media via press releases,
interviews, Op-Eds, press conferences, and site
an advertising campaign on U.S. aid and support for
reform in local and regional media, and acknowledge
the U.S. government as the source.
coverage of aid programs, particularly those
concerning economic, education, and health aid, in
U.S. government media.
credible spokespeople who speak local languages,
such as aid recipients, exchange program
participants, and local executives of U.S firms.
Challenge stereotypes on U.S. foreign policy and
alleged Jewish influence through non-governmental
efforts, such as academic dialogues,
videoconferences, and documentaries.