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This morning’s news is filled with discussion about a January memo from Defense Secy. Robert Gates that says the U.S. needs a long term strategy in the middle east. What’s missing from the coverage is that Pentagon insiders actually refer to such a call to action as the “Long War” strategy — one that postulates the U.S. may be engaged in military action in the Middle East for another 60 to 80 years.
Is a “Long War” what you want? Is this what America wants? Below is my blog entry from Mar. 31, with a link to a story that outlines the situation. Indeed it looks like the Pentagon is now launching a public relations effort to try to “engineer the consent of the public” for their strategy.
Do you want military engagement in the Middle East for more than another half century?

Time to speak up.

March 31, 2010 in Congress, Draft, Iraq War, News Media, Politics, Security, public relations | 1 comment (Edit)
Check out this disturbingly provocative story for an analysis of the Pentagon’s apparent long-term strategy.

It reminds me of a private presentation I attended that Colin Powell gave after the Gulf War of the early 90s, in which he said one of the Pentagon’s problems was that it no longer had a pervasive enemy as the U.S. had with the old Soviet Union in the Cold War. So it would be difficult to focus our defense development efforts.

Well, now, apparently the Pentagon has crafted the future, with their Long War scenario.

Why don’t we hear more about this in the press? Why isn’t Congress debating it?

Perhaps it’s because the Pentagon planners think public opinion is something to be manipulated, rather than sought out. This is the dark side of what was once a popular definition of public relations: the engineering of consent.

However, in a democracy, even a representative democracy like our own, public opinion matters.

For the sake of this and future generations, look into this and start by going into the story at this website. Then, ask questions until you get answers.

We had eight years of Bush and Cheney. Now you get mad?

You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President?

You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy?

You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed?

You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed?

You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us?

You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion (and counting) on said illegal war?

You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq?

You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people?

You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans?

You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden?

You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed?

You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city drown?

You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich?

You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark, and our debt hit the thirteen trillion dollar mark?

You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick? Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans ? Oh hell no.”

Just 40 years ago this Wed., April 22, 1970, the environmental movement splashed into the headlines as 20 million Americans turned out to mark the first Earth Day, the creation of Wisconsin environmentalist and U.S. Senator, Gaylord Nelson. Learn more about what it means to us today at This Sunday, April 25, there will be a massive Climate Rally on the national mall in Washington, D.C.

But Earth Day can start in your own backyard. In my own, this Wed., on a 6-acre arm of old oak forest, we will be doing a professional burn as part of a 2-year program to restore this old woods by ridding it of exotics and clearing the ground so that new young oaks might again spring up. This is part of a USDA-sponsored conservation restoration program.

Here in the Geneva Lakes area of southeastern Wisconsin, many people support community conservation efforts.
Our local land trust, The Geneva Lake Conservancy, where I’ve served on the board for a decade, permanently protects nearly a thousand acres of natural habitat on private and public lands through conservation easements. These voluntary land protection agreements allow communities, companies and individual land owners to create their own permanent reserves of natural habitat, which will remain through successive generations regardless of other nearby development. Learn more about land conservation strategies at

Protecting the environmental character of our own backyards, our greater communities and of our entire green earth is how we and you can make every day a good Earth Day.

CEO confidence dropped two points in the first quarter, down to 62 from 64 at the end of the fourth quarter, on The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence survey. Additionally, 71% of CEOs reported economic conditions have improved, down from 75% saying so in the previous quarter, and 52% expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to 58% last quarter.

From today’s PRWeek online.

If you liked, I predict you’ll like, just getting rolling today. If you’ve browsed neither, check ’em out. You’ll find each provide an often eye-opening, thought-provoking, usually intelligent slant/tilt on current news from experienced journalists.

Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after his Declaration of Independence had been adopted. He was 83 years old and wrote his own epitaph before he died. It didn’t mention anything about being president. It said: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.”

He said: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Jefferson introduced french fries to his guests at the White House.

My Monday morning opinions on 3 major ongoing crises in public relationships:

1. Sexual abuses in the Catholic Church: Today’s reports say the Vatican is rapidly at work updating their 2001 policies on dealing with and preventing sexual abuse by priests. A one-page summary of that update was just published. This, perhaps, is a beginning in the sort of substantial change to Church policy and practice that is needed before improvements in perception by the public can be expected. With more than 4,000 confirmed child abuse cases by Catholic priests in the U.S. alone over the past 50 years, representing abuse of minors by as much as 5% of the clergy, there is a lot of change needed. Before Catholic communicators can be held accountable for improved perceptions, deep and continued real changes, along with its symbolic counterpoints, will be needed.

2. Toyota accelerator recall: Yesterday’s NY Times shocked the PR world with the revelation, through internal Toyota emails, that the long time, well-regarded head of U.S. PR for Toyota warned Toyota leadership that “the game is up” 5 days before they agreed to significant recalls. He was responding to an email from another Toyota executive urging spokespeople to keep quiet about the issue. Not surprisingly, he has since “retired.” Media reports also indicate that NHTSA is also considering additional fines against Toyota related to the tardy recalls, after they assessed against Toyota the largest fine ever levied on an automaker last week. If Toyota objects to such fines, they will be further dragged through the media mill. Meanwhile NASA heps search for the technological culprits.

3. Tiger Woods redemption: The host of Morning Joe this am characterized Tiger as a “punk” in terms of his demeanor through and in the aftermath of yesterday’s Augusta Master’s Tournament. He didn’t just lose the tournament (came in 4th), but he lost the opportunity to redeem himself to his fans by not demonstrating more appreciation for their patience with him, despite the barrage of moral cheapness he has forced them to endure. His most significant pronouncement through the game was that his performance “sucked.” He had nothing to say when it was over. Compared with tournament winner Mikelson, who shed tears not over his triumph, but out of empathy for his wife leaving her hospital bed to join him at the finish, Woods came off like so much arrogant trash. A little grasiousness would have gone a long way. Guess he doesn’t have it in him. I can’t believe his sponsorships will not further suffer.

April 2010
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