Karen Hughes, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, has been strangely silent this summer. The Bush confidante sworn in with much hoopla nearly a year ago to fix America's image overseas has had practically nothing to say recently about pressing issues of the day. Why? Was it a desire on her part to take a break from the demands of her job? Or did her lack of knowledge about the Middle East require her to be unheard if not unseen?
But now, upon the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Hurricane Karen, as she is known in Bush circles (or at least was until Katrina brought the President's poll numbers down), has chosen to let her views about the state of the world be better known, in a September 12 article in the national daily USA Today.
Unfortunately, Hughes's just published global tour d'horizon, reminiscent of a sanctimonious small-town sermon, reflects much that has been wrong with American public diplomacy with her at the helm. Her 928-word piece, "Where's the Outrage: A United World Must Resolutely Condemn Terror" shows Hughes — and her notions about America's place on our small planet — at their worst, for several reasons: