Friday, August 24, 2007

Sealed in Blood

At a time when there has been so much public discourse about whether or not blogs make a positive or negative contribution to the news and information ecology, the story of the signing of a contract worth $50,000 a month by former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi with powerful Washington lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers is of great interest, particularly in light of the Bush administrations expressions of disenchantment with current prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. Not only did the by-subscription blog IraqSlogger break the story, but they also posted a copy of the actual contract, so readers could peruse the details of the agreement for themselves. Apparently the Allawi-for-Iraq Internet domain has been purchased and e-mails soliciting support have been sent out from that address. (Although the site is still under construction, I can see that the publicists used the excessively pricey Network Solutions for their Internet hosting, which gives me even less faith in their control on the purse strings in this matter.)

As self-proclaimed experts in "strategic consulting" in international affairs this story demonstrates the central role that often misguided initiatives for public diplomacy tied to conservative lobbying groups or large advertising firms have played in U.S. international policy decisions.

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Blogger bob c said...

the selling of influence is nothing new. The staggering amount of money spent in this persuit shows us just how high the stakes are and the lenth those that want control will go to. "imagine all the people sharing all the world"

10:10 AM  

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