Goodwill Hunting

Cultural Diplomacy: The Linchpin of Public Diplomacy

An advisory committee to the U.S. State Department has issued a new report which frankly admits that the war in Iraq, combined with prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib, has deeply damaged America's image in the rest of the world. "There is deep and abiding anger toward U.S. policies and actions," states the report, titled Cultural Diplomacy: The Linchpin of Public Diplomacy. Committee members reviewed several academic studies and conducted interviews in various countries with artists, cultural activists, educators, filmmakers, writers, foreign officials and journalists. "A sense of crisis was everywhere apparent," it states, "first in the growing perception of the United States as a hostile force, then in the scale of the diplomatic problem that must be solved: bridges rebuilt and new links forged. Put simply, we have lost the goodwill of the world, without which it becomes ever more difficult to execute foreign policy."