Thursday, May 26, 2005
Yet another "are you kidding me?" moment in U.S. foreign policy
Seeking to improve its image among Palestinians, the United States has launched an advertising campaign in the West Bank, using billboards and television commercials filled with grinning children to tell Palestinians they have cleaner water and more classrooms thanks to its generosity.Yes, and thanks to its "generosity" to Israel their home may have been demolished or their water cut off, and they may not be able to make it to their classroom. This kind of shit is absolutely fucking infuriating on so many levels. First is the condescending attitude that the Palestinians aren't thankful enough for the U.S.'s "generosity." It's also extremely condescending to think that the Palestinians are so stupid that all they need is a well-coordinated ad campaign and they'll forget all about the U.S. support of Israel (monetarily, politically, and militarily). Furthermore it's just such a poor use of money. As the ever-articulate Hanan Ashrawi is quoted:
"The United States should prevent Israel from destroying our infrastructure, instead of spending money to fix it," said Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian legislator. "Through the Israeli polices and practices, the U.S. loses credibility. It is going to be very difficult to undo the damage through PR campaigns."And it's money that is not being used to do those good things that USAID does. So not only is this campaign not going to work (because the Palestinians aren't so stupid that an ad campaign is going to convince them that what they see before their eyes isn't the case) but it's wasting money and it's liable to increase anger even more through its overwhelmingly imperious and condescending nature. It's absolutely unbelievable to me that somebody signed off on this somewhere and was like "hey, that's a good idea!" and may still have his or her job (though hopefully for not much longer).
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