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State Department's Townhall Democracy 'in the Face' of Bush's Freedom Agenda

Karen Hughes announced her resignation yesterday. For over two years she epitomized George Bush's 'innocents abroad' public relations stategy for the Middle East, with the expected zero results. Think Progress continues:

President Bush had asked Karen Hughes to go to the State Department and help sell America's ideas about democracy and the war on terror around the world. Polls show that there has been no improvement in the way the world views the United States since Hughes took over (The situation vis a vis our popularity is even worse).

In September, 2005 at a Townhall meeting at the State Department in Washington, Karen Hughes launched the Bush 'freedom writ large' strategy for the Middle East.

So our overall mission is to put in place a long-term strategy to ensure that our ideas prevail. The strategic framework that we developed has really three key components. First of all, we have to offer a positive vision of hope that is rooted in the President and the Secretary's freedom agenda and ...that's freedom writ large. And we plan to forward-deploy regional SWAT teams who can look at the big picture and formulate a more strategic and focused approach to all our public diplomacy assets.
Perhaps she wasn't thinking of Blackwater, but much of the Arab world must associate State Department SWAT team, forward-deploy stategy, with the State Department giving Blackwater immunity following their shooting 17 unarmed Iraqis in a Baghdad public square... that's 'Freedom (or Immunity) writ Large' but spelled BLACKWATER, MADE IN AMERICA. Even such an eternally 'happy camper 'as Hughes says of the Blackwater shootings "Negative events never help", (ditto for the occupation).

At the same time as Hughes was resigning, Condi, now the only top Bush advisor aside from Cheney, left from Bush's 2000 campaign, is having to quell a 'peasants' revolt, from another State Department Townhall meeting, in the same auditorium, that Hughes made her pitch. They were perhaps much the same State Department audience, as the one two years ago, but a little wiser and less restrained..

Many of the "foggy bottom" types understandably still see Iraq as one 'giant car bomb' and evidently haven't grasped the 'big picture' that Hughes talked about.

Some of the career civil servants at the meeting, voiced their anger that they are being commandeered for the Baghdad embassy, since the State Department has run out of the 'innocents abroad' volunteers that once made up the personnel intake. From 'Envoys Resist Forced Iraq Duty'

Service in Iraq is "a potential death sentence," said one man who identified himself as a 46-year Foreign Service veteran. "Any other embassy in the world would be closed by now," he said to sustained applause.

See video of statement of potential death sentence This 'brave chap' better be careful that he won't be selected or deployed to go to Baghdad, as part of the big picture or as part of Bush's freedom agenda.

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