No democracy, but superb PR

Sean Brierley (“Sending the coalition PR offensive down the tube”, MW April 17) parades his political leanings rather too brazenly for a magazine whose masthead doesn’t include the words “socialist” and “worker”.

Like all good US-bashers, he thinks cynical PR only applies to big bad Uncle Sam, while unvarnished Truth is the sole domain of the perceived underdog – in this case the Arab world.

He concludes his student-level rant by stating as fact that the “root cause” of Arab hostility to the US is the latter’s “support for Israeli aggression in the occupied territories”. This, of course, is utter rubbish.

If one is to talk about “root causes” then one should begin by pointing the finger at the Arab world’s almost complete lack of democracy and its seeming love affair with brutal and repressive dictatorships. It has always been in the interests of these regimes to use first Israel, then the US, as a kind of opiate of the people: convenient distractions for the impoverished, disenfranchised Arab masses.

In a stunning inversion of Brierley’s argument, this anti-Israel, anti-US invective has, arguably, been the most effective PR campaign of modern times.

The fact that so many people in the West have now fallen under its spell just goes to prove the opposite of what Brierley would have us believe: the problem facing the US in the Middle East is most definitely one of communications, not politics.

Unfortunately, such has been the level of, at best, miscommunication and at worst unrelenting hate-mongering – against the US and the West in general, and against Israel and Jews in particular – that the Arab world will require many years, perhaps many generations, to overcome the Frankenstein’s Monster it has created.

Robert Dwek


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