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  • On 9/11 Anniversary, Obama Administration Has Conflicting Messages

    The Obama Administration has been seeking advice on how to calibrate its messaging on the 10th anniversary of September 11, conscious of how it may play in the media both domestically and internationally. The conclusion that seems to have been reached by the White House speechwriters is that prudence calls for two different messages, one domestic and one foreign.

    Now, most politicians speak differently depending on whether their audience is domestic or foreign, but those who speak from conviction do not speak from both sides of their mouths. This momentous anniversary is an occasion for U.S. public diplomacy to project a clear message to the world that Americans have suffered but remained strong in the years that followed the tragedy. This would not preclude an appropriate recognition of the suffering and loss inflicted by terrorists on citizens of many other nations—including Muslims, by the way—nor a commitment to future cooperation.

    According to Alexis Crow of the British think tank Chatham House, the White House has been sending out two different messages, one for domestic audiences and one for its overseas allies:

    The first message is aimed at rallying political support, and is likely to tout the killing of Osama bin Laden as an operational victory in the midst of a larger strategic campaign. The second message emphasizes that the anniversary of 9/11 is—according to one official—“not just about us.” The Obama administration seeks to transmit what it calls a “positive, forward-looking narrative” to its allies.

    In the information age—when we can all follow each other’s media and read each other’s Web sites—it does not seem to be a winning idea to bifurcate your messaging. Americans and the world will be watching President Obama on Sunday as he visits the three sites of the terrorist attacks and in the evening delivers his commemorative speech at the National Cathedral in Washington. His message should be seamless, compassionate, respectful, and strong.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to On 9/11 Anniversary, Obama Administration Has Conflicting Messages

    1. As long as the President does not use the first person "I" in his speech, but I'm sure there will be more of them then "WE".

    2. Charles Kyriacou says:

      Isn't funny that we have a President who can't speak from his heart even when it concerns one of the worst attacks on American lives, ever. This guy is not someone I have my children look up to. He's someone we need to get out of office as soon as possible.

    3. AzPatriot says:

      No doubt Obama and his writers will wax poetic. he does, you recall, like to hear himself. He loves the podium. He will appear solemn and hopeful. The message: the real culprit, Bin Laden has been judged and sentence carried out. Fledgling democracies abound. Problems are real but "My Administration" with the help of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and other World leaders, will come together to forge the bonds of peace. …blah, blah,, blah

    4. @Poppie61 says:

      Obama and his people has no idea of how the American people feel about 9/11 or anything else. It is all about Obama and his campaign

    5. myles says:

      I would think 9/11 would be a day where instead of looking for opportunities to attack the president we take the time to honor those who died and those who served. This article implies gestures of remembrance made by the president are merely political calculations. While I may disagree with the president on some important issues I would never suggest his remembrance of 9/11 was insincere. I would hope for better from the heritage foundation.

    6. Bobbie says:

      911 is a very emotional day. where the innocent of Americans faced the evil of men and their evil beliefs. It was commendable of the president to suggest the Muslims reach out on this day as a "National day of service" to fulfill an obligation to be forgiven, because the rest of us reflect upon the American spirit of dignity and courage from those that faced death, controlled in the hands of the freewill of men. It is a day of remembrance for the innocent! God Bless America and the true strength of true Americans!

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