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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ambassador Hughes?

For crying out loud, we saw this coming, no? I mean, are we really that stupid to presume that everyone in the world wants to be like Martha or Katie or Donald or any American?

The Bush Administration, in its woeful attempts to make peace in the Arab world, sends Karen Hughes, supposedly its “most scripted and careful members” to reach out to Saudi women and appeal to their desire to westernize. Only it seems that many of the highly educated women in the Saudi audience took issue with her fundamental premise — that they are unhappy with their station in life.

Sheesh! Couldn’t we have a done a little advance prep and research before we started touting the American way to Muslim women? We're doing ourselves a huge disservice by presuming everyone wants to be like us.

Hughes also met a hostile audience in Turkey over the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq. Hughes defended Bush by saying it was a wrenching decision, but necessary to protect peace.

"War is not necessary for peace," shot back Feray Salman, a human rights advocate. She said countries should not try to impose democracy through war, adding that "we can never, ever export democracy and freedom from one country to another."

Tuksal said she was "feeling myself wounded, feeling myself insulted here" by Hughes' response. "In every photograph that comes from Iraq there is that look of fear in the eyes of women and children. . . . This needs to be resolved as soon as possible."

Cool Cleveland by way of PWLGC
Spoke to a class of magazine journalism students at CSU last week and some were looking for ways to break into freelancing. Here’s an opportunity at Cool Cleveland:

Hey Writers! Wanna write about Cleveland music? Cool Cleveland has a
slew of recently-released CDs and DVDs by Cleveland-area musicians that
could use your critical commentary for Cool Cleveland Sounds. If you're
interested, send us a note at

Pilot was a disappointment
I’ve been a huge West Wing fan since the series began. I love its premise, the rich, dynamic characters and lightning-quick dialogue. For a time it was simply the best-written show on television.

And so I was looking forward to ABC’s pilot, “Commander in Chief” last night. What a huge disappointment! The pacing simply dragged under the strain of poor writing and cartoonish characters. Even Geena Davis as the first female president lacked any kind of verve in this role. In fact, the whole episode was circa 1970s cliché of women in the workplace.

WAPO’s always delightfully irreverent Joel Achenbach had this to say about last night’s episode.

Times Select sucks
I hate that the New York Times online is charging me to read Maureen Dowd. Guess I’ll have to wait until it runs in tomorrow’s PD. Apparently I’m not alone in my disgust. See this from mediabistro.

Bush and the ad lib
From our esteemed leader’s mouth on Monday:

"[W]e can all pitch in by using -- by being better conservers of energy. I mean, people just need to recognize that the storms have caused disruption and that if they're able to maybe not drive when they -- on a trip that's not essential, that would [be] helpful. The federal government can help, and I've directed the federal agencies nationwide -- and here's some ways we can help. We can curtail nonessential travel. If it makes sense for the citizen out there to curtail nonessential travel, it darn sure makes sense for federal employees. We can encourage employees to carpool or use mass transit. And we can shift peak electricity use to off-peak hours. There's ways for the federal government to lead when it comes to conservation."

1 comment:

Jill said...

Ok - I'm going to do this backwards:

Does Bush have any idea how much I wish 95% of my weekday travels weren't essential? But, you know, kinda on account of my kids and my working, well, I just kinda need to drive once in a while. (yeah yeah I know it's partly because I've chosen a suburb over a city but give me a break anyway since my point is - I don't know ANY mother who just gets in the car to do nonessential driving. God.)

On Commander in Chief - ha - this is so funny. I warned my spouse that the only thing my fellow archer had going for her was her height and broad shoulders since I'd heard that the script was lacking. Sorry you had to waste that time, Wen.

First things last: You are so right about Hughes and the Saudi women's response. My God, it's just like before we invaded Iraq and everyone but Bush administrators was saying how we needed to plan for the peace since the country would have no infrastructure and many factions. Duh.

I'm sick of saying how appalling I find the level of blissful, purposeful ignorance.

And the main image that comes across? That Americans think their way is the best and only way and if only others saw that, they would convert to whatever being one of us is these days.

God help the rest of Hughes' intended audience.