If you want to understand why the war is going so badly in Iraq, it may help to examine the recent reaction to “Hadji Girl,” the videotaped song about killing Iraqis by U.S. Marine Corporal Joshua Belile.
In our 2003 book, Weapons of Mass Deception, John Stauber and I described the efforts that the Bush administration has undertaken to rebrand America in the eyes of Arabs and Muslims, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on projects including Radio Sawa, Al Hurra, a “Shared Values” campaign, and the Council of American Muslims for Understanding. Through glossy brochures, TV advertisements and websites, the United States has sought to depict America as a nation of religious tolerance that respects and appreciates Islam. These words, however, are constantly being undermined by the actual deeds and attitudes of the Bush administration’s most ardent supporters, including soldiers in the field in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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