FIGHTING THE RIGHT BATTLE….Marc Lynch reports that Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt appeared on al-Jazeera the other day, and he’s pleased:
There’s been something of a war going on in the administration between those (like Karen Hughes) who think that American officials should go on al-Jazeera, since that’s where the Arab political action and largest audience is; and those (like, broadly speaking, the Pentagon and the Office of the Vice President) who see al-Jazeera as the enemy and think American officials should have nothing to do with it. Thanks in large part to Hughes, there has been a really dramatic increase in the number of American officials appearing on al-Jazeera in the last few months. And she’s taken a lot of heat from al-Jazeera’s critics in the administration for it.
Whatever else you can say about Hughes, she’s on the side of the angels in this dispute. Of course we should be appearing on al-Jazeera as frequently and as aggresively as we can. After all, that’s where our target audience is: Muslims in the Middle East who need to be convinced that America is not the Great Satan.
If you retreat from the battlefield before the fighting even begins, you’re guaranteed defeat. So kudos to Hughes for apparently pounding some sense into Donald Rumsfeld and her other Pentagon friends who are so reluctant to acknowledge the real nature of the war we’re fighting.