Washington Post columnist
David Ignatius hopes the US aid effort in the Indian Ocean will lead to greater emphasis on public diplomacy:

"We talk often these days about an "exit strategy" from Iraq. But the truth is that we need a better "entry strategy" into the lives and welfare of people around the globe."

Yes, I know America is already doing more than its share. But is enough being done to change the rest of the world's perceptions? Not really. I don't think most Americans appreciate this. Even in a country as supposedly friendly as Britain, there's work to be done.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph notes that the oil-rich
Arab states have not exactly been digging deep into their pockets, even though prices are at a high:

"...As the worldwide aid total reached £1 billion, the Saudi contribution was still only £5 million. Kuwait has raised its contribution from £1 million to £5 million, Qatar has given £12.5 million and the United Arab Emirates is to give £10 million. Libya's contribution still stands at £1 million.

"But the Arab total fails even to match the £50 million given by the British government. "It's not right," said Jamal Khashoggi, a media adviser to the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Turki al-Faisal. He said: "We should do more to help, particularly given our special relations with Asia." He blamed the Saudis' reluctance to give more on international criticism of the kingdom for funding terrorist groups through Islamic charities. He said: "We used to be very active in relief work but after September 11 we were discouraged by the investigations into our relief organisations.

"We felt burned. People are afraid that if you go and help out you might be accused of being a terrorist financier."

Does that sound convincing to you? Thought not.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/helping-out-washington-post-columnist.html|||1/04/2005 03:18:00 pm|||||||||