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AMERICAN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND ISLAM
ONE OF A HEARING OF
February 27, 2003
SEN. LUGAR: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is called to order. Today the committee meets to review the challenges facing United States public diplomacy, an increasingly important component of American foreign policy. We will give special attention today to American efforts to communicate with the Islamic world. But American public diplomacy is a resource that must be applied in all parts of the world.
We are fortunate in our quest to be joined by Charlotte Beers, undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Board of Broadcasting Governors. We look forward with anticipation to your testimony.
They will be followed by a second panel of distinguished experts from academia and government who have thought deeply about public diplomacy strategies.
Recently I outlined in a Washington Post article five campaigns for winning the war against terrorism. Two of those campaigns are at issue in today's hearing: strengthening American diplomatic capabilities and building democratic institutions in the world. American public diplomacy should be a powerful tool in advancing these campaigns.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, we have examined more deeply and more frequently the standing of our nation. Americans are troubled by examples of virulent anti-American hatred in the Islamic world, and they are frustrated by public opinion in allied countries that seems increasingly ready to question American motives, or to blame American actions for a host of problems.
In an era when allied cooperation is essential in the war against terrorism, we cannot afford to shrug off negative public opinion overseas as uninformed or irrelevant. The governments of most nations respond to public opinion, whether it is demonstrated in the voting booths or in the streets. America's economic success has been aided by the magic of marketing, advertising and public relations. It is logic to conclude these same skills could be employed to burnish and to defend the American image around the world. As my colleague Chairman Henry Hyde of the House International Relations Committee has said, and I quote, "How is it that the country that invented Hollywood and Madison Avenue has allowed such a destructive and parodied image of itself to become the intellectual coin of the realm overseas," end of quote of Chairman Hyde. This is a good question, and a starting point for much debate. But as we discuss public diplomacy today, we must resist the temptation to believe that public relations alone can fix the American image overseas.
Successful public diplomacy is not about manipulating people into liking us against their interests. Rather, it's about clearly and honestly explaining the views of the United States, displaying the humanity and generosity of our people, underscoring issues of communality and expanding opportunities for interaction between Americans and foreign peoples.
Even the most enlightened public diplomacy will not succeed overnight, and success will require resources and hard work over a period of decades that focuses on supporting democratic institutions and a free press in the Islamic world and elsewhere. It will also require the United States to engage the world at every opportunity. The missing ingredient in American public diplomacy between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the September 11 attacks was not advertising cleverness. It was a firm commitment by the American people and the American leadership, to all the painstaking work required to build lasting relationships overseas, and to advance our vision of fairness and opportunity.
The experience of September 11 jarred most of us out of our complacency. But the committee is anxious to ensure that the best public diplomacy strategy is being developed now. In particular, I am concerned that our broader efforts at international development and democratization are not sufficiently coordinated with our public diplomacy. Public opinion overseas is driven by everything the United States does and says, and yet policies related to foreign assistance, military cooperation, alliance building, trade negotiations, many other initiatives, are formulated often with little reference to public diplomacy.
We must also examine whether resources devoted to public diplomacy are sufficiently. On February 6th, this committee the State Department budget with Secretary of State Powell. We noted at the hearing that for every one dollar spent by the United States government on the military, only seven cents is spent on diplomacy, and out of that seven cents only about a quarter of a penny is devoted to public diplomacy. The public diplomacy budget includes funding for a wide array of activities, including State Department information programs, international academic and cultural exchange programs, and the U.S. government's broadcasting initiatives. And yet the aggregate amount that we devote to communicating the American vision to the rest of the world, about $1.2 billion, is less than half of what some individual American companies, such as the Ford Motor Company or the Pepsi Company, spend on advertising each year.
The Foreign Relations Committee will be interested in learning the recommendations of our panels on funding levels and effective strategies for our public diplomacy overseas. Your views are timely as this committee is engaged in the process of writing the State Department authorization bill now. We want to support your efforts. We value insights that you wish to provide. It is my privilege at this point to yield to my distinguished colleague, Senator Biden.
R. BIDEN, JR.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding this hearing. We began this process last year to examine the whole issue of public diplomacy and what was lacking, what was needed. I welcome back the secretary and the new chairman -- he was not chairman last time we were here -- or two times ago I should say. And I must say at the outset my statement is going to be more critical than I have been for some time, reflecting my frustration.
I recall years ago during another president's administration, when I was asked by a president to go visit then-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. And it was during the period of, as you will remember, Mr. Chairman, during the period when we were talking about and debating and discussing with our European friends the so-called neutron bomb, and there was a great split between Germany and the United States at that time, and there were questions whether a Democrat president handled it very well that time -- I think he did not. But, at any rate, so I was sent over. And I'll never forget sitting in Chancellor Schmidt's office, and he was a chain smoker, frustrated, angry with us, would not speak to the president at the time. And he pounded his hand on his small conference table, and he said, "But you don't understand, Joe. Every time America sneezes, Europe catches a cold." And the point should be well taken: We have a public diplomacy problem with our European friends right now, let alone our Arab -- I mean, the Arab community worldwide. The Muslim community, a billion, two hundred million people, we know we have a problem. We have as much a problem now in Europe, in Asia, as we do in the Muslim world -- or almost as much. And you know just as American foreign policy cannot be sustained at home without the informed consent of the American people, I would argue it cannot succeed abroad unless it can be explained -- not only to presidents and prime ministers, but also to foreign publics. We must deal with a very simple fact: many foreign governments are constrained by their ability to support American foreign policy if their own people oppose U.S. foreign policy. It seems to me we have to engage with foreign audiences in a dialogue about the objectives of American foreign policy.
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, support and sympathy for the United States was nearly universal. The French, with whom we have a very strained relationship at the moment, the French newspaper Le Monde proclaimed the giant headline, "We are all Americans." Hundreds of thousands of people filled public squares across Europe and Asia in support of the United States of America. It was spontaneous. NATO, without our prompting, involved Article Five of the NATO Treaty. And here we are less than 18 months later, this enormous goodwill and energy has largely been squandered, in my view.
Earlier this month, hundreds of thousands of people rallied in the streets of Europe and elsewhere to condemn American policy. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center, which we are going to hear from later, indicates that the number of people in many foreign nations who have a positive view of the United States fell significantly between the years 2000 and 2002. In key countries with significant Muslim populations, the United States is viewed unfavorably by large majorities -- Pakistan and Egypt, 69 percent of the population had an unfavorable view of the United States. Just 6 percent of the population in Egypt had a favorable view. In Turkey, a NATO ally, 55 percent of the population had an unfavorable view. A remarkable percentage of people in Europe believe U.S. policy in Iraq is driven by a desire for oil, which it is not. As many as three quarters of the public in France and Russia believe this nonsense.
And I remember -- I am recalling from memory from now, but about 10 or 12 months ago there was a poll in France conducted, asking, Can you think of anything good to say about Americans? Don't hold me to the number, but it was close to 70 percent who said, No, they couldn't think of anything good to say about Americans, America. This is -- why this dramatic reversal? Well, I think there's several factors, not all of which can be dealt with by public diplomacy.
First is our projected attitude. I would respectfully suggest that the administration has not followed the advice of its presidential candidate and president in the year 2000 during a debate when he said, really when asked about how the United States should be viewed or would be viewed abroad, he said, "It really depends on" -- I'm quoting -- "on how our nation conducts our foreign policy. If we are an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we are humble nation but strong they'll welcome us. Our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power. And that's why we have to be humble." I haven't heard anybody characterize the utterances of the administration in the last 8 months as "humble." "Humility" is a term not familiar to many senior levels of the administration, with what I would argue the single exception of the secretary of State, which as often been disdainful of the opinions of foreign governments on ranges of issues, from the abrupt abandonment of the Kyoto Protocol, which I did not support, but we abandoned it, to the provocative assertions of the doctrine of preemption, just as diplomatic campaigns were beginning to commence on Iraq.
The second is there's another problem it seems to me, and that is the way in which we seem to be willing to -- maybe inadvertently -- embarrass foreign leaders occasionally, from the first meeting of President Kim of South Korea visiting Washington, to refusing assistance by our NATO partners in Afghanistan, to Secretary Rumsfeld's dismissal of our oldest partner in Europe as "Old Europe," and to the administration's often taken for granted attitude about ally support. We kind of act as if we are never going to need any help again. We kind of act like we are not going to need any alliances in the future. This is not how in my view you win friends and influence people, which means your jobs are going to be a lot harder -- both of you.
I would suggest, thirdly, that our outreach to the world since September 11th has been hampered by the slowness of our response and our failure to properly invest in public diplomacy. Soon after September 11th, at the request of the president, with the Henry Hyde in the Oval Office with me, the president asked for ideas, and asked would we prepare for him a proposal for public diplomacy and how we should modernize it, upgrade it, change it. And so I, along with -- I and I imagine others did do -- gave the president a detailed proposal. I am sure -- I hope -- Secretary Beers has seen it. I don't -- I don't have any particular pride of authorship. As a matter of fact, many of your board helped to draft this. But I don't mind that it wasn't adopted. I mind that it wasn't discussed. I mind that it went nowhere -- not my proposal -- any serious substantive alteration.
Soon after September 11th, the State Department had been planning for an advertising campaign to Muslim countries about the United States. It took them until October 2002 to reach the airwaves, and even then some of our allies in the Middle East refused permission for the advertisements to air.
The administration does deserve credit for attempting to coordinate its message overseas through the White House Office of Global Communications. But organizational change is not policy. Nor does it produce budgetary resources. The Broadcasting Board of Governors also deserves a great deal of credit for the initiative, the innovative radio broadcast to the Middle East, and for proposing a Middle East television network in its budget for fiscal 2004. But the administration's budget for fiscal 2004 otherwise short-changes several major public diplomacy programs. For example, the request for international exchange programs, which are essential in exposing thousands of people to the United States and U.S. citizens, are reduced in the president's budget for fiscal 2004. For example, the Fulbright program falls from 150 million to 141 million (dollars), instead of going up; professional cultural exchanges, 86 million to 73 million (dollars). This will result in reductions of nearly 2,500 fewer participants in exchanges next year.
Similarly, the budget request for the Broadcasting Board of Governors for fiscal 2004 requires the elimination or reduction of broadcasts by Voice of America or Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to several Central and Eastern European countries. We just had the Bulgarians -- you hosted them -- we hosted them in the Foreign Relations Committee. The one thing they mentioned was, Why are you not continuing to broadcast in our country?"
Now, we spent 50 years fighting to get broadcast into their country. And now, because of budgetary constraints, you're going to have to move resources to the Middle East -- I assume that's where they're being moved -- and no longer broadcast in Bulgaria. And the Bulgarian government is asking us not to stop.
Well, I can't understand why we would go off the air or reduce broadcast in places where there's a significant listenership such as the Baltics and/or the Balkans. As our diplomatic efforts in Iraq have made plain, we cannot take allies, old or new, for granted. We must consistently engage them. We should expand our international broadcasting and international exchanges, not contract them. They're valuable tools to tell America's story to the world.
And I would conclude, Mr. Chairman, by making one point in a little different way than you made it. Here, after the first Gulf War, we allowed, over that period of time, then to now, for the Arab world and many in the European world to become convinced that the reason why there were starving children, malnutrition, lack of medical supplies in Iraq was because of the U.S.-imposed embargo.
Public opinion around the world assumed, instead of that madman Saddam taking the money, diverting it to weapons of mass destruction, building palaces and castles and otherwise using the food money and the money he had through legal and illegal means to provide for the means of his citizens, we were blamed. We were blamed.
And that had nothing to do, in my view, with the failure to be humble or the failure to have the proper policy. The only reason I mention those two points at the outset is it makes your job harder. If our policy, in and of itself, if known accurately, is disliked, all the public diplomacy in the world is not going to change anybody's mind.
But it seems to me that we are never given a square deal, a fair shake, and in large part because we have not modernized our diplomacy and we have not modernized our public diplomacy via the use of the airways. And so I hope this hearing will shed some light on that. And I hope, Mr. Chairman, that this committee will be able to convince the administration that prudent investment of more resources in public diplomacy is very, very, very much in our interest.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Biden. Witnesses, with those scene-setters, you can see the challenge. We know you'll arise to it. We're delighted you're here. And I'd like to call upon, first of all, Secretary Beers and then Mr. Tomlinson. Secretary Beers.
MS. BEERS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of the committee. I think you're going to find my remarks a bit like an echo, but I can dimensionalize them from some very recent experiences that help put context in this same discussion that we've been having also.
Before you is a report on CD-ROM, and if you're not CD-ROM- friendly, there's a paper-published report as well of our recent activities in the last year. You also have examples of booklets and you have a copy of the new communication plan for Visa program.
I'm going to depart a bit from my longer remarks with an overview that I think is relevant --
SEN. LUGAR: Your full statement will be published in the record; likewise Mr. Tomlinson.
MS. BEERS: It will be published; thank you very much.
September 11th did give us a highly accelerated learning curve. I must tell you that without the supplemental and the way we could redirect '02 funds, we could never have initiated these programs I'm going to discuss with you into Muslim audiences with whom we've had almost no discourse.
Our job is to both inform and engage. But I must tell you, inform is really the first job. I'd say 60 or 70 percent of the efforts of our 800 people who are in the State Department in the U.S. work 24 hours a day to present, explain and advocate our policies.
Around the world, then, we link into our embassy staff, some 16,000 who are the whole team, 16 public diplomacy officers, and we touch them through web, through e-mail, through cable, and our own embassy television channel. They can take our products and activate them locally in ways that we cannot. With roundtable interviews, they turn them into something very important in the local market.
We also, in the last year, entered through totally new channels of radio and television in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia. Our officials were on those channels in record numbers as we discussed the kind of foreign policy issues we had and the context of those. We also had a number of op-ed pieces, personal interviews, and a great number of roundtables.
Our web site languages and products now include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashtu. We have extremely able partners in this business of getting the word out in terms of CBG. But we've learned the power of a digital video conference. When Ken Pollack, the writer who had produced "The Threatening Storm," a very reasoned and interesting discussion of pros and cons of Iraq, we asked him to interrupt his book tour and put him into nine countries in Europe where we needed that message, as Senator Biden points out. And it had a powerful effect. He's going back again in many other countries.
I think this year we've gained great skills in public affairs. We no longer wait for people to produce our stories. We went into Afghanistan and we did an 18-minute documentary on the reconstruction of Afghanistan. And my proudest moment was when that ran on Pakistan TV on the 6:00 news.
So one of the important lessons of this year is that the television channels, which are more crowded every year, and the radio channels will be very thirsty for programming. And there's an art form to getting them to use programming that we can produce and make available.
The products we produce these days are very different from a few years ago. It requires good detective work. We have to go find the story that's not the story being written in that country in the headlines, which sometime you wonder if you've been in a time warp, because they don't cover any of the things that our people know so well, which explains the mystery sometime about the gap between us and the rest of the world.
In addition to good detective work, we have to have artful writers and photographers. And that's why those samples in front of you are an important comment. International Information Programs can now produce a four-color booklet, translated in many languages; for example, "Iraq: From Fear to Freedom." It talks about the horror of Hussein's regime, but also our deep desire for a democratic and unified Iraq.
Believe me, in some places where we will send this in the world, this has never been heard. So it's important to assume that you're dealing with a great deal of lack of information.
Our most recent program, "Iraqi Voices for Freedom," is a great prototype of how the policy coordinating committee, which was approved by the NSC and co-chaired by myself and the NSC, works. The International Programs people did interviews of the exiles. Department of Defense did some other kinds of interviews.
The Near East bureau vetted these people and we launched this program, offering the press not only the booklet but also the interviews in video, which they can pick up and use as B-roll on their television channels. And the individuals themselves have agreed to do DVCs or interviews.
So it's that kind of total communication that I would say, back in my advertising day, is the way to get the word out in context.
We've just established an Arabic speaking team who are headed to London next week. This is a gateway for much of the Arab and Muslim television and newspaper people. And we need a constant amount of training, teaching, interviewing and engagement.
And now that's my second point, which really sounds like your point. You determined long ago in our charter that it must also include engagement, the building of mutual understanding and trust. Between whom? America and the world. That's a pretty big job. And these days it seems a bit daunting, but it's a very elegant job. And we are passionately committing to doing this.
But we need, we really must have, long-term sustainable investment. And above all, we need an agreement in all the parts of the government that this is a crucial job. It's not a job to be done on the way to something else.
We do have long-tested proofs that we can engage successfully. When we bring people in on our educational and cultural exchanges, they are literally transformed from being hostile and suspicious to friends of the United States. And we can verify this in any number of ways. But are these enough? Thirty-five thousand exchanges a year does not answer the deep need we need to engage with people.
We just had 49 Arab women here to witness our elections and democracy in action. Thirteen women teachers came over from Afghanistan, and now we'll send our teachers back to help them. You know what they ask us? "Please don't desert us." Five northern Iraq Kurdish television people just came into the United States to learn modern broadcasting.
We know how to engage, but we've lost many of the natural points of contact. In Central Asia and Russia, they're the American (corner?). In the Western Hemisphere there are a few binational centers. These should be all over the world. They answer the problem of security. They're co-produced with the local government, and they create a natural dialogue.
We have the ultimate secret weapon, by the way. It is English teaching. English teaching can be allowed in any country in the world, regardless of how they feel about us, because it opens the doors to science and technology.
In the world of Islam, we've discovered that we have a powerful common cause, and that is we really both want our children to thrive. Much of our few extra dollars in ECA has gone to setting up models of teaching in Muslim countries and youth exchanges, partnered again with local governments because we have to get them in the game. That's what the Middle East Partnership Initiative is about, that consulting and agreement to shape things and make something happen.
All of this is promising, but it's only a beginning unless we have a commitment and long-term funding.
Engagement also dramatizes for me a key question which we've attempted to answer this very year: Who are we trying to engage? And given the declines in our budget and resources, the answer had to be, in the last 10 years, the governments and the elites, those leaders in the country. But, in fact, we must be about engaging the peoples of the world. It's not only our charter; it's an urgent need.
Now, we tested the way to do this. We produced messages directed to the people directly in Muslim countries. And what we learned is there's often a disconnect. The government and the elites will tell you they know all this, and you find from other research that the people in the country have simply no knowledge of the most basic tenets of the values of the United States; for instance, religious tolerance.
So we produced a series of mini-documentaries, which were really stories of Muslim-Americans talking about the way they live here. We had to actually pull them back from being too exaggerated for fear people wouldn't believe them, because they have such a passion for their life here. It was about their ability to practice their faith and their integration.
In order to make sure these stories were heard, we bought our own television, radio and newspaper. That was something of a first, and that's why you hear it called an advertising campaign. But, in fact, it was storytelling made possible because we developed our own channel of distribution. We also had all of the people on the television stories traveling to the countries to speak, to add to the authenticity. And the booklet in front of you, "Muslim Life in America," was a part of the way the embassy kept the dialogue going.
I wish you would think about this for a minute. During that time, 288 million people -- 288 million people -- saw these messages two to three times during the holy month of Ramadan. That is the kind of reach we need to do everywhere in the world, and it was the first time we had a program of that kind of penetration.
Focusing on Indonesia, we then went in and tested what these messages were accomplishing. We did it exactly like you would a major campaign for some of our brands that travel around the world. The recall is one number and the message retention is another. The recall of these messages was higher than a soft drink can achieve in six more months of advertising. It broke the bank in terms of recall.
In terms of message retention, every single person who recognized it came back and said, "They're talking about the way they live in the United States. I had no idea." A woman said, "I didn't know you could wear scarves safely in that country." Another said, "Do you mean they're free to pray openly?"
If you could see these visuals, which most of them we taped, you would understand that the need to get the word, to exchange the word, to share ideas, is actually very important.
What this means in terms of results measured against modern marketing is that the messages are interesting and the people are very thirsty, and they're living with a large amount of distortions.
The other thing that happened is a continuing dialogue is stimulated because of this massive reach. Indonesian TV came to us, agreed to do an hour television show -- 50 Americans, 50 Indonesians. It just aired one hour, 135 million people. That is the way we begin to make inroads against the preconceptions and the negatives.
The Muslim Life America booklet, which you have there, is in use in an amazing number of places now; not only schools, libraries and seminars, but my favorite story is Air Asia from Malaysia called and asked for 10,000 copies. So now we have forced reading on the airplanes (laughs), and it's not a bad other new channel of distribution.
The point is, we must engage. We've tested this year very many programs to open doors to ordinary people. We need your support to create a sustained engagement with the world. You know who needs this, too? Our businesses, our universities and our hospitals. They need us to help them engage.
We have, as you know, amazing products -- science, technology, engineering, medicine. We have the whole potent world of our best literature, music, sports and movies. But it is not out there. Our American people are willing to go. In your states are people who constantly approach the State Department and say, "What can I do to help?" And we need to organize these kinds of people, these businesses, these sophisticated musicians and artists, so that they move as emissaries through the world in our behalf.
We have in front of you amazing good programs, but they're in test. They're not funded to go roll out -- Sesame for Teens, the Arabic Youth Magazine, Arabic Television, English teaching co- sponsored with the local governments. We have an army willing to be signed up in the world of the United States. You know that the educational and cultural exchanges are backed up by 90,000 volunteers, people in your states who are saying, "I already know a way to help. How can we magnify that many, many-fold?"
These people we need to talk to do not even know the basics about us. They are taught to distrust our every motive. Such distortions, married to a lack of knowledge, is a deadly cocktail. Engaging, teaching common values are preventive medicine.
I would hope that, as you stated so eloquently in your opening remarks, that you can use your considerable influence to produce a strategic document that makes it clear that this kind and depth of engagement is one of the very important components of the long-term defense of the American people.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Secretary Beers. Mr. Tomlinson.
MR. TOMLINSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I note the presence in the audience of Director Charles Z. Wick, who did so much during the Reagan administration to increase resources for public diplomacy, and it's great to see him here.
SEN. LUGAR: Where is Director Wick? Oh, great to see you, Charlie. Thank you for coming.
MR. TOMLINSON: I also note -- I'll submit my testimony for the record. I also want to note, before I give my brief remarks, I want to pay tribute to the leadership that this committee has given international broadcasting and public diplomacy over the years.
Mr. Chairman, I vividly remember the times that Steve Forbes and I came to you, at the height of the Cold War, for help, and you were always there for us.
Senator Biden, you're the political father of the board I chair. Your vision has been remarkable, and I thank you so much for your leadership. And we look forward to working with you all.
Mr. Chairman, Secretary of State Powell's presentation to the United Nations two weeks ago, laying out the case that Iraq had failed to halt its banned weapons programs, was, beyond any doubt, among the most important statements in the war on terrorism and one that everyone in the world needed to hear.
Had Secretary Powell delivered that speech only two years ago, most people in the Middle East would have heard it only through the distorted filter of radio and television stations controlled by those hostile to the United States. Only a tiny fraction would have had the patience to tune in to Voice of America Arabic service as broadcasting exclusively on scratchy shortwave.
Today the situation is very different. Thanks to the creation of Radio Sawa (?) and its journalistic leadership, millions of people in the Arab world, and most notably the people of Iraq, heard simultaneous translations of the secretary's case, broadcast live, with later programs that re-examined the evidence supporting America's case against Saddam Hussein.
In an age when Arab boycotts of American products are widespread, a U.S. government-run radio station almost overnight has become the most popular voice of its kind in major portions of the Middle East, including Baghdad. Now, how did this come to be? Months before the horrors of September 11th, my predecessors on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, in no small part energized by my colleague Norman Pattiz, recognized the need for a far greater U.S. broadcast presence in the Middle East. These activists, also recognizing that in the Middle East shortwave is a vehicle of the past, set about negotiating agreements that would give us powerful AM transmitters broadcasting through the region from Cyprus and Djibouti. We added FM stations in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Djibouti. We also broadcast on digital audio satellite and the Internet.
Now, in the beginning some dismissed Sawa, because its format featured the best of Western and Arabic pop music, not understanding this music would attract a huge under-30 audience for accurate news and current affairs. Today daily features like "Ask the World," where statements of top U.S. policymakers are used to answer questions from listeners; and "The Free Zone," a weekly discussion of democracy and human rights in the Middle East, and enhance Sawa's basic news coverage. Whenever important events warrant, Radio Sawa interrupts its regular format to present complete and full coverage of events, like Secretary Powell's presentation or President Bush's network address to the nation a few weeks ago, or last evening's AEI speech projecting the president's vision for a post-Saddam Iraq. That speech, by the way, was also carried live on VOA's worldwide English.
It's a little wonder that Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times calls Sawa, quote, "The triumph of the Bush administration's focus on public diplomacy abroad." Now, Sawa may be the star of our efforts in the war on terrorism, but it is only one of our recent initiatives, and it represents only one approach to international broadcasting.
We have added Radio Farda, a 24/7 service to youth of Iran, while maintaining VOA's Persian broadcasting via television and radio and the Internet for older audiences. And, Mr. Chairman, I'll also submit for the record a recent New York Times article, "U.S. Powerful Weapon in Iran, VOA TV."
SEN. LUGAR: It will be included in the record.
MR. TOMLINSON: Thank you, sir. VOA has added a new Arabic language website aimed at opinion leaders throughout the region. The combined signals of VOA and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan delivers news and information to an astonishingly high audience there. VOA and Radio Free Asia have doubled broadcast hours to North Korea, and we hope to do more. We need to do more. Meanwhile, RFA continues to build on its record of scholarship and journalistic integrity to a largely information-deprived part of the world. Nineteen of RFE/RL's 34 language services broadcast to nations with a Muslim majority.
But in my view the most important public diplomacy initiative of our time can be found in President Bush's '04 budget request that would help make a U.S. Arabic language television network a reality in the Middle East, echoing what you proposed, Senator Biden, two years ago.
In the days following the administration's announcement, Congress also made available seed money for Arabic television in the '03 budget, and it's going to be very important to us.
With the spirit that built Sawa, we are hard at work hoping to make Arabic television a reality as soon as possible. Everyone now recognizes that direct-to-home satellite television is not only the biggest medium phenomenon to hit the Arab world since the advent of television; it is also the biggest political phenomenon. Al Jazeera should not go unanswered in the Middle East. We need to present to the Arab world the kind of pluralism of opinions and openings to a broader world that Thomas Friedman says will "act like nutcrackers to open societies and empower Arab democrats with new tools."
Finally, on this day as I sit before you with my esteemed colleague, Undersecretary Beers, I think we need to understand the importance of maintaining the strength of public diplomacy and the traditions of international broadcasting. I am convinced we will not be successful in our overall mission of delivering our message to the world if we fail to grasp that these are two different spheres and they operate according to two different sets of rules. It is very important that government spokesmen take America's message to the world passionately and relentlessly, just as you have done. We should not be ashamed of the public advocacy on behalf of freedom and democracy in the United States of America.
International broadcasting on the other hand is called upon to reflect the high standards of independent journalism as the best means of convincing international audiences that truth is on the side of democratic values. These arms of public diplomacy should be parallel pursuits, because the effectiveness of either is adversely affected when one attempts to impose its approach on the other.
I remember 30 years ago when RFE/RL and VOA began broadcasting the Watergate hearings. These broadcasts cause heartburn for many in Washington. But looking back we see they constituted a veritable civics lesson on the importance of separation of powers and the rule of law. Over the years I have heard so many citizens of post- communist countries tell how those broadcasts helped them understand the real meaning of democracy.
We in America are fortunate telling the truth works to our long- term advantage. That's why international broadcasting is so important in this country. That's why our radio and TV voices to the world need to be stronger. And that's why we need Arabic television. We look forward to your questions, and we thank you very much for your interest.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Mr. Tomlinson. On our first round we'll adopt a seven-minute limit. And let me commence the questions by saying to both of you, as you can tell by the opening statements or really if you have witnessed any of our most recent hearings, the committee is usually more enthusiastic about the project that the witnesses. Now, this is not always the case. You are under some constraints, and we realize that, and the purpose is not to embarrass you. But at the same time we have exhorted the administration to plan much more comprehensively for Iraq, and we are pleased that that is occurring. And one could argue that was already occurring prior to our having hearings about this, and I acknowledge all sorts of things occur unknown to this committee. But nevertheless this does seem to be accelerating, and we appreciate your feedback coming from the administration. I cite that as an example at least of the sort of feeling I have with regard to today's hearing. I think it's shared by my colleagues.
In essence, I am disturbed, as Senator Biden mentioned specifically our excellent interview with the Bulgarian foreign minister and defense minister in a coffee we had just this week. And, as he pointed out accurately, the burden of their major plea was Radio Free Europe. Now, we all went back to the drawing board to see what happened to Radio Free Europe and what appears to have occurred, as well as to the exchange programs that my colleague cited. He mentioned the Fulbright program. I would mention the Congress- Bundestag Exchange program which has been critically important, I believe, particularly in the east of the country over the course of the year, as in all these exchange programs apparently are $150 million less, 2,450 less exchange participants. The Radio Free Europe business is just a part of general pulling back of former Eastern European Baltic States almost on the principle as in foreign aid we just have sort of a graduation out of foreign aid on something else, self-sufficiency. I would -- I believe this is short-sighted, and I am certain, at least as we get into the reauthorization situation in a bipartisan way, we will want to try to correct it. Now, at that point we will probably run into a collision of one sort or another that is with the limits that are imposed upon you as you reduced all these programs going downhill, or OMB or presidential budgets or what have you. So I am not certain as we head out into those territories and who we find. But on the other hand I think we have a feeling these things are very important. And, as a matter of fact, vindication really of those who have been involved in both broadcasting and journalism for a long time -- not only are they appreciated, but these governments that are fledgling democracies, new members of NATO and trying to be a part of Europe, are saying essentially they need this for the integrity of public information in their countries, even as they develop these resources. They are a benchmark and at least a signal of what the United States thinks and does. And that's important to these countries. It ought to be important to us that they believe it's important as subscribers to this.
Now, leaving that point, let me just say that later on we will hear some data from the two foundations, and I will not try to preempt that testimony in the second panel. But it makes an interesting point on one of the charts that in the sort of general question of whether you like us or you don't, the United States is doing extraordinarily well on Uzbekistan, and this is a country which for many Americans was off the radar screen until 9/11. It's on the radar screen now, and as a matter of fact the more active diplomacy has occurred -- visits even by the president of the country over here with some of us. On the other hand, Jordan, in terms of public opinion with regard to whether we pay attention to their government -- that was one of the questions asked, or what they think about the war against terrorism, is really a disaster as far as very much sympathy or rapport with the United States of America.
Some analysts who are outside this hearing and they are talking about the Middle East in general would say this reflects the fact that diplomacy with regard to Israel and the Palestinians has not gone very swiftly. And as a matter of fact that is the issue for countries that are in proximity to the Israeli-Palestinian question. Uzbekistan perhaps more off in the Afghanistan area, where we have been active in other ways, maybe is a different story, and I understand these demarcations. But at the same time, I would just say simply this is a confusing picture, albeit the date was December, and life goes on and you are pointing out dynamic efforts to sort of take hold bit by bit. Can you make any comment about these two issues? First of all the budgetary issues. What sort of support do you need from us? ? In your own mind's eye, what would you do if you had the latitude to do it? And, secondly, explain this extraordinary change in data say between Uzbekistan and Jordan as one of the sharpest of the contrast. Ms. Beers?
MS. BEERS: The budgetary issue is familiar to all of us in that the president's budget gets an amazing amount of restraint based on all of the many things to be done. And that's why our budget is basically straight-lined, although it has variations on the theme.
I think the way I'd take that challenge is to use the money we have to put in place test models that you would be comfortable if rolled out would be very successful in engagement. And we have not failed to do that. We have a number of programs. And now I think we are before you saying that we need a fairly sweeping change in terms of how we make up our long-term strategic direction in terms of engagement. And with that will come the consequences of not only funding but people, and maybe a very important other element that I'd like to add to that mix -- and that is the machinery to tap into the talent pool of the United States. It's troublesome to me to have CEOs and advertising executives around the world say, "I'm ready to help," and we don't have the system and the process to activate them. That's the budget issue.
The dichotomy between a country like Jordan and Uzbekistan is partly the degree of hope and momentum that the country itself has, and it's closeness to the United States in terms of an emerging democracy. I don't know if it applies as much to Uzbekistan or not, but the Freedom Support Act influenced, very interestingly, the ability to do what used to be done -- libraries, American corners, access points, much more generosity and exchanges in teaching. It was like that money was held in tact. And I think you'll find that a really positive effect. And if you look at those numbers, it might be fair to draw a course conclusion that that was a way of being that we'd like to return to. Maybe Ken would like to add --
MR. TOMLINSON: Mr. Chairman, we were so budget-starved, we were so money-starved in international broadcasting, that two years plus ago, in the weeks before 9/11 we came close to eliminating that Uzbek service, and that is astonishing.
In the 10 years following the end of the Cold War, support for international broadcasting declined 40 percent in real terms. Now, this past year -- and God knows being before this committee -- I grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains, and as a boy I used to go to revival meetings. And revival meetings would cause you to focus, to get more enthusiastic about what you're supposed to be doing.
SEN. LUGAR: That's what we do here -- revival meetings -- (laughter) --
MR. TOMLINSON: -- experience just like that. But I'm very proud of the fact that we got a 10 percent increase in our budget out of OMB this last time, which was rather remarkable considering the budgetary constraints of our time. But without question I still think that Arabic television to the Middle East is our most important initiative, and I know you do, Senator Biden -- at least you gave us the vision for it. And when we look at the changes post-9/11, we have to come to the reality that these television programs are vitally important to us.
But I appreciate your views on the other issues. I've been involved on Bulgaria all my life, the Baltic States and know the importance of that broadcasting.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you. My time is expired. I address this to my colleagues who I want to recognize, it would appear to me and other members of the committee that depending upon circumstances as they may flow, whatever, in Iraq, that the administration is likely to approach the Congress for substantial supplemental appropriations, that we are going to have a sizable debate outside of the normal budgetary picture. And at least in this senator's opinion of what we are talking about in terms of public diplomacy in the course of that is tremendously important. I would ask that if you have models that you have rolled out, as you describe this, Ms. Beers, that you make these available to the staff of the committee, both Republicans and Democrats, so we have some idea of what the thoughts are that you have already researched, so we don't reinvent the wheel. So I think in a broad way, even in our authorization process, which is the old- fashioned way, and we are trying to push through that this year, we may likewise have a more emergency situation with a supplemental appropriation debate. And that may offer further opportunities to fulfill the revival spirit of our meetings.
SEN. BIDEN: Praise the Lord. I really don't think there's anything that we are going to undertake in this committee that is more important. There's some think that's important, but not more important. I just want to -- just a little review so you all know, as they saw, where I am coming from on this.
What is being heralded accurately as just an incredible success is Sawa. For those listening, what that is is a radio broadcast in the Middle East that hits Oman, Kuwait, the UAE, even into Iraq. And I just want to review the bidding here. We had a big fight with the last board -- well, not -- I mean, several years ago -- about an idea that one person gets credit for, Norm Pattiz. I went to Norm Pattiz and recommended him to the last president to put him on the board, because this is a guy who made a billion bucks getting people to figure out how to listen to radio. If we were going to decide how we were going to get into Arab horse racing, you'd be the first guy I'd go to. I'm not being facetious. And so what did we do with something totally unconventional from the standpoint of the State Department and the standpoint of public diplomacy?
Pattiz came up -- he's the guy , you know, if you fly across the country and you put on that headset, you know, and you're listening to the broadcast, or rock, where it's interspersed with interviews with the musician, it's interspersed with talk about how the song was written -- you know, it's that whole deal -- he's the one that put that package together, and he parlayed that package into a significant -- I kid him. I say he's the only guy involved in public diplomacy when he tries to get something done he flies his own G-5 to the area. Okay? Well, he did that -- learned how to get people to listen to the radio. And you may remember the big argument was, What's our target audience? Let me remind everybody here, and I'll not go through it all, but let's just take in Turkey -- 19 million people in between the ages of 19 and 30. In Iraq, 23 -- excuse me, in Iran, 23 million people between the ages of 15 and 30. In India, 114 million people it would target. In Indonesia, 58 million. How do you get these people to listen? It sure as hell isn't by a news program. Does anybody in this country between the ages of 15 and 30 tune in in any numbers a public broadcasting? It's an incredibly important means of communication. What do they do? They listen to rock stations. You know who the single best known people are in Egypt? The same single best known people here. A lot of people know our chairman, but they know Britney Spears a helluva a lot better. (Laughter.) And if you are going to communicate to this age category, it's one thing to have former Chairman Joe Biden on a broadcast into Oman talking about U.S. policy. It's another thing to have the rock star -- and the best known people in Jordan are rock stars -- the best known people in Egypt are rock stars. I don't think we know that. We know so little about the Muslim world we assume that it must be clerics or, you know, their version of Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson is what's best known -- I'm not -- fine men, I don't mean that as a knock. And conservative journalists and a lot of other people said this is no way to communicate an idea and a notion.
And Pattiz's idea, embraced by you, Mr. Chairman, and others on the board, starting by the way in 2001 this was put together, before this administration -- and thank God they embraced it, and it's a great success. What do you have now? And I realize I'm using my time not for a question. If you take a look at the listening, 51 percent of those young adults listened within the past 7 days to Sawa in Oman, 25 percent in Kuwait, 30 percent in the UAE. Listening to radio station, all adults, 36 percent -- compared to all other radio stations -- all other radio stations. And I'd ask this to be submitted in the record.
SEN. LUGAR: It will be included.
SEN. BIDEN: Radio Sawa and local media scene in Oman, core target audience. Radio Sawa, 92 percent; MBC, Middle East Broadcasting, 79; Radio Jordan, 78; Radio Jordan AM, 25; BBC, 18; Voice of Palestine, 6 percent. That did not exist at all before. This is a big deal. And the reason I have been pushing so hard, and I know you have been incredibly supportive, Mr. Chairman, for the television version of this, as you said in your statement -- just ride through the Middle East. Every little -- everything from a tent, figuratively speaking, to the most modest accommodation has a satellite dish, a little -- one of those little -- you know, those little RCA deals, or whatever make they are. And so there's an opportunity here that is immense, immense.
But my question is this: Based on the analysis was done, we projected that you need for about all the Muslim world, not just the Middle East, you need about 280 or 250 million dollars of infrastructure, including personnel, to be able to replicate the kind of saturation -- not the same program -- the kind of saturation you've accomplished with Sawa. Why has that request not been made for that infrastructure, including -- including hardware -- hardware -- satellites and the like? And how many of the 1,000 personnel that it was estimated by a fairly thorough study here that would be needed to get up and running and Muslim-wide, a Muslim-wide public diplomacy, not just in the Arab states? How many personnel do you have that exist in country in the United States and in country as well as how much hardware requirements do you have -- my term "hardware" -- that's not the term you guys use?
MR. TOMLINSON: I was just getting ready to submit for the record some of the same stats that you have on the success of Sawa. It is absolutely amazing. We think we can get on the air with Arabic television with $62 million. We hope to have that money soon. There's no question I am going to take every word you said this morning, Senator Biden, back to my colleagues --
SEN. BIDEN: But there's only 30 million allocated, isn't there? Or --
MR. TOMLINSON: Thirty million in '04.
SEN. BIDEN: In the request. There's only been requested 30 million. But it's going to cost you 30 million to start-up costs. It's going to cost you another 30 million to broadcast for a year, right?
MR. TOMLINSON: Maybe a little more, because we're going to --
SEN. BIDEN: So it's going to be at least 60 -- my understanding is at least $61 million.
MR. TOMLINSON: At least.
SEN. BIDEN: And right now the only request that is coming before us, if we pass the president's request, will be 31 million, which means you will not be up and on the air with the television -- I'm overstating it -- with the television version of Sawa -- I mean, for a lack of a better way of saying it in the interest of time.
MR. TOMLINSON: With proper pressure, with people of vision, like you on this committee, maybe we can do something to change that in the coming weeks.
SEN. BIDEN: Well, I know my time is up, Mr. Chairman. I just want to remind all the committee members what they know -- and I know they know it well -- but anyone listening. Al Jazeera has had a catalytic impact on attitudes about us. And let's even -- let's assume it wasn't even intended. Let's give the benefit of the doubt, which I don't, but let's give the benefit of the doubt. There is no counterpart. There is no counterpart for that. And one thing I would argue -- there is not a -- there is not a discrimination imposed by citizens under the age of 30 living in all these countries. They will not boycott this. The whole thing -- you have got to put programming on they want to see, just like you have got to have material on they want to hear. If you build a better mousetrap, you attract those audiences. They will listen. And I sincerely hope, Mr. President, we are able to just in that one small piece be able to give this operation enough of an opportunity to it's not stillborn, to get it up and moving. But I think it's a very small piece, but it's a critical piece.
MR. TOMLINSON: I'll be very brief. I was for many years editor- in-chief for Reader's Digest. The founder of Reader's Digest, DeWitt Wallace, spent more time on those jokes and fillers in Reader's Digest than he did on a lot of the geopolitical articles, because he realized it was vitally important to get people to open that magazine, and that's what we're talking about here.
SEN. BIDEN: I'd like to make one other point my staff made to me. I know you know it and my colleagues know it, but I'm not sure everybody else does. Sawa broadcasts uncensored news. The key to this is that there is total journalistic integrity here. And I think that's an important piece for all of us to keep in mind, not to suggest that our other broadcast capabilities are not useful; they are. But this is important that it's uncensored.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Biden. I recognize now another entrepreneur in both public and private life, Senator Hagel.
SEN. BIDEN: You say another. I clearly do not fit that description. (Laughter.) Mr. Pattis (sp) does.
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE): Joe, you can fit any description you like.
Mr. Chairman, thank you. I welcome our witnesses as well. Secretary Beers, thank you. Chairman Tomlinson, thank you for your leadership, what you're doing at a very critical time, not just in our history but I believe the history of the world.
We are framing the future of mankind in many ways. And what is in your portfolio is much about that -- not propaganda, not what Joe just talked about, but the development of trust is what the coin of the realm is in all businesses and in all of life, and we appreciate that.
Before I ask a question, I want to go back to the recognition, Mr. Chairman, you gave of Charles Wick, who is sitting out in the audience. I had the good fortune for a number of years of working with Mr. Wick on a number of projects. I would say that I don't know of anyone who was more innovative, more creative, who understood long, long ago what you all are doing now better than Charles Wick.
He understood it 25 years ago, what we were not doing and what we should have been doing. And he did amazing things over at USIA. And it was much because of his foresight and tenacity, leadership, perseverance. And occasionally he had to get a little tough, I recall. But he left things a lot better than he found them, and it is upon that rock we build much of what you are doing. And I appreciated your recognition of Charles Wick, Mr. Tomlinson. Thank you.
Secretary Beers, in your testimony, I believe you accurately point out the primary task of public diplomacy and public affairs is to inform. You go on to say every day to present, explain, advocate policies in many languages.
Part of that is education, and I think part of that as well is to always reverse the optics here, understand what the other people of the world are thinking about us and why, not just overload the circuits with fleshing out Americana, Americana. But what's on their minds? Why is it that they have these misrepresentations, misunderstandings of this country?
And so that effort, in my opinion, is very important that it be seen both ways. And the objective here, as you all know, is the future. We have short-term obligations, responsibilities, threats, and we're dealing with those. But we're really playing for the long term. We're playing for the next generation of Muslims and Arabs and friends.
We want those young people that Joe Biden talked about to be our friends, not because we're buying them or giving them credits or F-16s or forgiving debt or giving them grants, but we want them to understand us and like us and trust us and be part of who we are.
And you have an amazing opportunity, which you're taking full not only responsibility for but I think taking full benefit of that opportunity. And as I was going through some of the information that you have presented -- and again, in another part of your testimony, Secretary Beers, referencing on page six the 13 women teachers from Afghanistan and what that project was about.
I want to make a point on that, not just because it was the University of Nebraska at Omaha who helped organize that and put that together -- and they're very proud of that, by the way -- but the University of Nebraska at Omaha put together a compilation of newspaper articles which I'm sure you've seen. But it's an October 27th through December 2002 compilation of stories run in the Omaha World-Herald, stories all over the Midwest, about the personalization of what you did with this project.
And it's really amazing, because it gives the people of the Midwest a whole new appreciation for what's going on and why. Obviously, at the other end of that, the Afghani teachers were, I think, much-enhanced as well.
My point is, and then I'll get to a question, we don't want to lose sight of those personal programs either. The broadcast piece is critically important, and there's no question. But we can use all these programs together, and I know you do integrate those programs, to enhance our overall strategy, objective, and using them as part of that effort.
Now, with that said, Joe Biden said something earlier in his opening comments about world opinion regarding America immediately post-September 11th, 2001, and where we are today, which we'll hear more about in the Pew poll. And we're all familiar with those general numbers.
The first question that could be asked, should be asked, you are dealing with: What happened? Joe used the term "squandering." I don't know what happened either. We all know there are a number of developments and factors that played into that. But what happened to all that good will for America? How did it happen? Why did it happen? And I know you are all dealing with that.
But as you develop your programs, as you have laid out here in the budgets and what you've got ahead, the integration of those programs, you obviously have to have some measure of segmented marketing, targeted marketing, but overall marketing.
So here's a question: How do you differentiate, or do you, in the programming to Islamic societies, for example, in the Middle East versus Southeast Asia versus Africa? Are they the same? Do you take into account the differences? How do you come at that as you define that down? Secretary Beers, thank you.
MS. BEERS: I think that's a really good question. I believe that we need to start -- you said a great phrase called "reverse the optics." In our place, we talk about "It's not what you say, it's what they hear." Obviously we have to be in a dialogue that's a great deal more than informing people of our policies. And even when Ken gets them listening avidly to American music, we still have to get these people to learn English and to open the opportunities in their lives to science and technology.
In spite of how many closed doors we have in the Muslim and Arab world, they will allow and encourage English teaching. And I just think we need to jump on that now and get that done in a degree and depth we've never done before. Can you think of anything that would yield more immediate results? I really cannot.
So when you think about those countries, I'm looking at the countries that don't have as much literacy, that, in fact, don't have television channels outside of their cities, that don't have any access to the Internet. And I'm prepared to work in teaching English on television and in one-on-one channels and through Sesame Street and any other machine we can.
There are other things that are sort of the life cycle of countries that influence us on how we work with them. For instance, in Indonesia, we have a little bit of a more favorable environment. We can start a little further along. We can assume mutual interests. We bring their clerics here. They're encouraged to be more moderate. And we activate them when they go back and see if we can help support their causes.
In other countries, to speak out like that would be automatically unpopular. And we have to just start on a simple program like "Let me tell you what it's like for your fellow Muslims in this country." And so that's what we do.
In Egypt, where we couldn't, for instance, get any dialogue going in putting something on television, we've asked the local television channels in Egypt to help us co-produce stories of USAID projects in that country. They're completely unaware of the money we've all spent in that country. And now we have running on the air, the channel, "The Water Project," "The Rebuilding of the Mosques." And there is a minor recognition that the United States took part in that.
So in some countries we're crawling, like that one. In others we're actually bold enough and life-cycle enough (afar?) to be able to talk about modern Muslims taking up their own voices.
We have been very successful in reaching for women and helping the country see that the empowerment of women is a very potent force. It's very inspiring to see this small group of women who come to the United States, as you've just articulated, go home and become emissaries.
Now, our job is not to lose track of them. Our job is to fund their efforts to buy teaching tools, to train other teachers, and to multiply. And, you know, today we don't necessarily have the means to do that, but I think that's a segmentation of the first order.
SEN. HAGEL: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
MR. TOMLINSON: Mr. Chairman, could I have just 30 seconds?
SEN. LUGAR: Of course.
MR. TOMLINSON: Senator Hagel, I want to pay tribute to you, because you're one member who's willing to take time out of your schedule to appear on Voice on America. You were on the focus program just three weeks ago. We thank you.
In the spirit of, Mr. Chairman, what you and Senator Biden had to say about the situation with broadcasting to the Baltics and the Balkans, let me make a plea that we also remember the importance of preserving and enhancing broadcasting to mature audiences. I'm talking about the traditional MacNeil-Lehrer/BBC type broadcasting that is so important in this world. Lord knows, I embraced the work of Norm Patits (ph) and Sawa early on. I took a pounding for it, in fact. I'm proud of the support I've given that.
I also want to make sure that we preserve our traditional serious programming to the world, because that's important, too. And that's where we get into these budgetary pulls and crunches. And that's why I so welcome what you all have said today.
SEN. HAGEL: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Hagel. Radio Free Europe is a mature audience, I think. (Laughter.)
MS. BEERS: (Inaudible.)
SEN. LUGAR: That's right for most of us. I want to introduce now for his questioning another exchange program beneficiary, Senator Feingold.
SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): (Laughs.) Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me thank you for holding this hearing. I mean, this is a time in our history when a lot of Americans want to sort of be assured that we're asking the right questions post-9/11, that we're looking at the right issues. And I don't think they'll always feel assured.
The fact that you're willing to devote such attention to this issue, I think, is a very positive sign to all Americans that we're starting to really get at the real questions that face us in the future.
In that regard, Ms. Beers, I want to ask you a bit about the considerable attention, press attention, to some of the administration's post-9/11 public diplomacy activities, like the videos created to inform people abroad and Muslim communities in America.
Do any of our public diplomacy materials actually address the policy issues that seem, at least according to the research I've seen, to be at the heart of some of this resentment toward America? And do they seek to explain the U.S. policy choices? If you could talk a little bit about that.
MS. BEERS: I'm so relieved to have that question on the table. I was giving a speech, and a gentleman at the back of the room said, "What about the gray elephant sitting on the table, your disastrous foreign policy discussions?"
So let me answer that now. I've had a chance to think about it a long time. It needs a very specific answer. As I said in my opening remarks, 60 to 70 percent of every single thing we do is about getting the policy out, articulating it and putting it in context.
And we've explored this year many other ways to do it, including third parties and all these many materials that go out, including the reconstruction of Afghanistan, what we hope for for Iraq, stories that are very relevant and timely today. We also work very hard in rapid response with the Office of Global Communications, and we're working on long-term strategic directions as well.
But let me explain to you why I think it's so important to do both. We have an interesting chart, validated by thousands of people in the Middle East and Southeast Asia: "What is most important to you in your life?" And number nine -- one, two, three, four, nine -- is foreign affairs, because what they care most about are -- no surprise here; it would be what you would answer, maybe if you weren't in the office -- "my family, my children's right to thrive, the opportunity to practice my faith."
I am absolutely convinced that when you ask us to develop communication about mutual understanding, you have in mind the great understanding that it's the things that unite us that also have to be brought up to bear.
So admittedly we have limited funds, and I have said to you today that most of our funds, resources and energy go to the number one job, which is the articulation and successful discussion of foreign affairs. And even when we find dissatisfactions with those, we pursue that area. That's what our embassies do. They do it every day, and they do it amazingly well.
But we have this other aspect which I think is neglected, underfunded and vital, which I would summarize as engagement.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Do I understand you to say that you don't go directly, then, at the policy issues in these materials? Is that what you're suggesting?
MS. BEERS: Well, for instance, within the bounds of the two- minute documentaries on Muslim life in America, what we are really talking about -- we've proved that we've communicated this -- is that they take away that the United States stands for religious tolerance. In my way of thinking, religious tolerance is the value that underpins and informs all of our policy. So if you'll accept that definition, I think it's right on policy.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Well, it's an interesting question. I mean, I was sort of getting at some of the larger foreign policy issues that I think are causing us to be criticized. But I'll take that answer for what it is and ask a different type of question.
What mechanisms in our public-diplomacy arsenal actually allow for us to listen to other viewpoints rather than trying to sell our own?
MS. BEERS: Yeah.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Isn't listening a fundamental show of respect for others, in and of itself?
MS. BEERS: Well, anybody who's tried to sell products around the world and taken brands around borders, as the United States has done more successfully than most people in the world, would say if you don't start with listening, you're nowhere. So we're training all of our people in a really different way, I think, these days to talk about not what you want to see but to study people and understand them so well, you know where they're coming from. How can you do that without listening?
So we've incorporated into all of our research plans for the year the kind of research that talks to listening -- not just what they said in polling, but how do they feel and what do they think? Out of those diagnostics will come a better understanding of how we should speak with one another.
And while some of those, like the town hall between the Americans and the Indonesians -- there's no substitute for those moments of discovery -- we need very good data and listening forces. Then we need the rather informal ways of doing DVCs where you're just listening. You're not necessarily coming up with a solution.
But we've learned that one on one and person to person, especially in the Arab world, has an enormous weight. And that's why every one of our officials, and I think so many in the government, have been willing to do DVCs, because you're there; you're repeating what the president has said. You're really there to listen and make an (impact ?).
SEN. FEINGOLD: Let me reinforce that. Since 9/11, both here and in a number of African countries with significant Islamic populations, I've had a chance to meet with government leaders, with Islamic leaders. And, yes, whatever I say hopefully has some merit. But what really counts is that there's an American elected official sitting there listening to them.
MS. BEERS: Exactly.
SEN. FEINGOLD: And that needs to happen not just on a micro scale, but it has to be visible to individuals around the world on a macro basis as well.
Let me follow up on something else you mentioned. You talked about rapid response. Just two weekends ago, the world witnessed massive demonstrations protesting the war in Iraq, and in many cases expressing anger at the United States. I realized, as I was traveling to Africa, that might have been the most anti-American weekend in my lifetime, which is really quite incredible.
How has our public diplomacy machinery responded to these messages? You talked about rapid response. Is it nimble enough to respond to events like these demonstrations? Are we somehow making it clear that even though we don't agree with the protesters, that we are listening?
I'm concerned that if we look like we don't react at all, that that just reinforces the unfair and worst images of America and Americans.
MS. BEERS: I am with you on this one. I think it's very dangerous to have silence as a response. And throughout the world, we've seen things worsen if we do not have a machinery for answering back.
I think, in a situation like this, part of what we do are the materials that are in front of you that help to put in context why we think -- why we are where we are with Iraq, what that regime is about, what our dreams and hopes are for that people.
But the most important vehicle we have for those kind of answers is the president's speech last night, where he is able to talk about how important peace is, why we have come to this decision, and why right has to be backed up by force.
Now, that speech, because of the machinery we have in the world today, was put out on the air the same evening it went out in some 30 languages around the world through the system at State, and I'm sure it went out in many other forms on Voice of America and so on. And that is carrying the main message on those sorts of things.
SEN. FEINGOLD: I appreciate that remark. But I would suggest at this time, given the feelings toward our foreign policy, that to rely mostly on the president speaking would be an insufficient strategy. We need a lot of American voices. Certainly his is preeminent. But at this point there are a number of people who don't want to listen to our president whom we still have to reach.
MS. BEERS: Yeah.
SEN. FEINGOLD: And we need to have those ears opened to other Americans who are pointing out our values and why, even though we may have some disagreements about the specifics, we are united as Americans in trying to solve these problems. We need many voices, as you are obviously devoted to making happen. And that's sort of what I came back with after a week in Africa, hearing some of these concerns.
MS. BEERS: Yeah. One thing I like so much is that you went there and you were able to learn and you did some of the discussion and interviews. One of the things our embassies say to us is that when people like you come to the country, please be available for discussion, for interview, for listening, because you have a way disproportionate influence. And we've been trying to make that point, because it's a great help to us.
But one of the things we've been trying very hard to do is what we call third party, which means that we speak through many other voices. And this is a really important characteristic. When I mention Ken Pollack -- I don't know if you've ever heard this gentleman talk on television -- but we now have him in many places in the world.
His very reasoned approach on the pros and cons of Iraq -- his book is called "The Threatening Storm" -- has completely opened the minds of our audiences. And frankly, it would be in a way that even Secretary Powell could. So you've made the point that it's necessary to do both.
SEN. FEINGOLD: I thank you.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Feingold. Senator Brownback.
SEN. SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much. And thanks for holding the hearing. I think it's an important one, an important topic. And thank you both for being here to brief us and testify and answer questions.
I'd like to direct your focus right now to Iran. I've had some discussions on that. And pardon me for not being able to be here for all the questioning thus far. But I really want to ask you a little bit about Iran and the public diplomacy efforts in Iran. I think they're critical, crucial for what's taking place. As I look and observe, and have held a number of hearings in the subcommittee in previous Congresses on Iran, you have got a real fomenting that's taking place there as one of the countries of the axis of evil. It's one the United States is certainly not going to invade or use a military option, but it seems like the most positive, the best option in dealing with Iran is the public diplomacy option, where you have a very ready population there that wants to hear what's taking place. You have an enormous diaspora in the United States that has lots of personal contacts back in forth with Iran, because there is a communication that can take place back and forth, and that the mixture is there for public diplomacy to be the enormous tool to really change a society that needs changing and a government that needs changing. I'd draw your attention -- and I am sorry I don't have this blown up, but it's a map of funding of terrorism and spread of fundamentalism by the Iranian government around the world -- a lot of it in Central Asia that is taking place, and a number of other different places. But this is a government in Iran that is really attempting to spread a message and a difficulty for us in a lot of places.
The public diplomacy efforts in Iran some have been critical of as not being robust enough, not being targeted and supportive of the student protest movements that are taking place there, of the overall protest movements. I want to applaud some of your efforts. I want to ask you do you think you are hitting the target for the need? And you're -- you're clearly the very point in dealing with Iran and the change of that society that we most need to exercise in a robust, wise, targeted fashion. What's your estimate of your reactions in Iran?
MS. BEERS: Well, we are doing careful and I'd say modest efforts. And part of that is because of the implication that we do not want to go in as the U.S. government being pro a group of people who are trying to workout their own history. So I would say we need to be subtle about our support, and make -- try to make available the pieces of information and the processes that they need to learn from. We do now just have coming up a Persian website. We also know that, you know, there are a number of difficulties into getting into Iran with the Internet and so on. When we did this Muslim life in America story, we tracked the fact that some of the pan-Arab television and some of the others had overlap into Iran, but we were not able to go in and research it or do any formal assessment of it. I --
SEN. BROWNBACK: Ms. Beers, could I ask you -- because my time is going to be very limited here -- how well are you networked into the Iranian-American community here in communications into Iran on public diplomacy?
MS. BEERS: Well, I would say we just have occasional -- at least those of us here in public diplomacy, have occasional meetings with them. Throughout the government I think they have quite a ready dialogue going. But it brings a suggestion up that maybe we need to activate them in the same way that we did the Muslim American group that helped us do Muslim Life in America, where we pulled together a whole team and they took up the advocacy.
SEN. BROWNBACK: Yeah, because --
MS. BEERS: And maybe that's a parallel.
SEN. BROWNBACK: Well, and I think it is a good parallel, and you have got a ready population, they want to do this. They have on some cases on television stations up and going or radio, and you can do webcasting now with some opportunities or possibilities. And they really want to work and work closely with us. You have got to pick obviously the right groups would be credible and ones that would work well with you. But it would be the absolute best entree because this is Iranians speaking to Iranians.
MS. BEERS: The counsel we get is that these people who have good dialogues are the way to work at this point, and pick the right ones. But thank you for that point, because the Muslim American, the Council on American Muslims' understanding has proven to be a very powerful relationship, and I think we could see doing the same.
SEN. BROWNBACK: You have got several radio stations in California that would be good possibilities of broadcasting --
MS. BEERS: Right.
SEN. BROWNBACK: -- just taking programming even on into Iran.
MS. BEERS: Yeah. And what they will say to us is we don't need any U.S. government rubber stamps, but we could use help and support. And that's what we could offer.
SEN. BROWNBACK: That's great. I would just -- I have met with a number of the groups over time, and I have been impressed with their abilities, their desires, their passion in a country that is extremely important, extremely important, and the --
MS. BEERS: Timely.
SEN. BROWNBACK: -- and the way we will be dealing with Iran I think over the future is primarily through public diplomacy.
MS. BEERS: And you have communication.
SEN. BROWNBACK: Mr. Tomlinson?
MR. TOMLINSON: I'll give you for the record what we've done in this area, but I very much agree with your challenge that within the bounds of journalistic integrity that we focus more on the government of Iran, and we focus more on the record of the clerics. And that's what we have been doing in recent weeks, and we have had extensive relations through sometimes members of Congress, with leaders of the Persian community in the United States. But when we went 24/7 with Farda, we literally got thousands -- tens of thousands of e-mails from Iran with people enthusiastically embracing what we are trying to do. We have been increasing the seriousness of our programming in Farda. This weekend we'll have the first democracy and human rights round table. We began last week the weekly "Iran This Week."
But it's also important to recognize -- and I'll bring over to your office later today a copy of this New York Times piece on "U.S. Powerful Weapon in Iran: VOA Television." VOA Television has been absolutely outstanding in Persian, the work they have done. And they can do more. They have two programs each week. We could do more. Both VOA and Farda have active websites. You just would not believe -- in fact, we'll send you copies -- would not believe the copies, the e-mails that come in from young people abroad urging us to continue what we are doing. I think you'll be proud of that.
SEN. BROWNBACK: Well, the people of Iran clearly want to come our way, and I think we really just need to provide information. And I appreciate your great work.
One total side bar, but I just got back from there. I was there at the swearing-in of the new president of South Korea, and met with a number of North Korean dissidents or people that had left North Korea. That is going to be another challenge for you in public diplomacy that has some interesting opportunities now that we haven't had I think for some period of time, and I'd like to engage you on -- it's a totally separate topic, but I'd like to engage you on that. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Brownback. Senator Nelson would have been next up, but he had to leave to make a quorum in another committee. But he asked me to raise questions about Iran, so your intervention, Senator Brownback, was timely, as you have a bipartisan focus, and it was an important set of questions and answers.
MR. TOMLINSON: I'll send you all a copy of a paper on what we are doing on Iran.
SEN. LUGAR: Senator Coleman.
SEN. COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And one of the challenges of being the last is that your question is often asked. And in fact I was going to raise the same question about Iran, and kind of mirroring what my colleague from Kansas has said. What you've got -- one, you have the critical importance of Iran and the role that the present regime is playing in international terrorism that we understand; and, two, the opportunities we have here, significant opportunities with this strong diasporan community that can -- if you look at the challenges we have, that America has as we deal with folks in other parts of the world, it's making the connection with truth, of what -- you k now, what we have here, and the quality of life here, and the values we represent here. I mean, one of my great frustrations in the short time that I have been here, this committee had -- the chairman put together a hearing on world hunger. And you hear about the leadership role that the United States plays in dealing with world hunger, and yet around the world we -- people don't respect -- don't understand that. The discussion about what's going on in Iraq, and the protests that my distinguished colleague from Wisconsin talked about with folks carrying signs, you know, No War For Oil. And as the distinguished ranking member talked about, he was in France, and he said, yeah, this war is about oil, but it's about French oil -- it's not about American oil. And the United States does not have a history or a policy of appropriating other people's resources, and that's not our goal.
So I was going to also reflect upon the incredible challenge that you have. It would appear to me, it's my old background as a former mayor, kind of look for successes, you know, small victories, build on your assets. And we have in this country a very strong Persian community. There are both radio stations and TV stations in the Los Angeles area. And we need to deal with the Iranian situation. So I would hope, Mr. Chairman, that you would also drop by in my office those materials on what we are doing, and that we reflect on the great opportunity of not to present this as an American governmental voice but rather to use the connections with the Iranian community here, the Persian community here, to reach out to their fellow countrymen who are hungry, I believe -- I believe that every sense I get from what I read is that the young people of Iran are ready for change, and it can only come about through the public diplomacy that we are talking about there. So I second the perspective of the senator from Kansas.
Let me ask you a question. We talked a little bit about getting a Middle East and Arabic satellite station, television station, up and running. What's the timing on that? Where are we at with that?
MR. TOMLINSON: If we had money, I think we could be on the air with that television station in a matter of six months plus.
SEN. COLEMAN: I'm a little slow: Ho much money? What does it take to get the money, and how quickly can you get it?
MR. TOMLINSON: We -- the president has 30 million in the '04 budget. The initial -- it's the first time Arabic television has been formally proposed by any administration. The appropriations committees added two to four million dollars in the '03 budget, which gives the latitude to actually begin planning television, which we are doing as we speak -- we have Norm Pattiz on the case. We are hopeful that in coming weeks there will be an infusion of funds to help us reach the $62 million that we need to fully launch this television satellite network. There are many details to be worked out, but we got Sawa on the air in record time, we got Farda on the air in record time -- I used the wrong "we" -- other people did the work -- I sit back.
SEN. COLEMAN: Well, Chairman Tomlinson, I think it's a very important initiative, and we certainly should be moving with all deliberate speed to see what we can to get this done.
MR. TOMLINSON: If we have the money, we will get it on the air.
SEN. COLEMAN: Can you talk just a little bit about new technologies -- I'm at that -- baby boomer for technology -- just kind of past it, but my 16-year-old is kind of enveloped in it -- use of the Internet, how extensive is that? How effective is it? What sort of resources are you putting into that?
MR. TOMLINSON: Virtually every language service in all of our radios has a very important Internet website where people can log on and find out what we are saying in all these languages. We have a problem with Internet jamming in China, for example. We are working hard to overcome it. But it's a very important future consideration. A number of senators have played a real leadership role in focusing the world on the horrors of this Internet jamming. But the Net is a very, very important role for what we do in every section of --
SEN. COLEMAN: In my past life as a mayor I took a lot of advantage of public-private partnerships -- there were tremendous resources on the private side, the tech side. Are we doing the same thing? We've got tremendous lot going on at Silicon Valley and just the vision there. Do we work hand in hand with folks on the private sector to deal with these issues?
MS. BEERS: Well, we have -- excuse me, Ken -- we have several interesting -- I'd call them prototypes with say Microsoft, where they set up a system of computers. My expectation is if we move and are able to get Sesame Street for computer facilities adjacencies of some kind. And we are talking with private sector people about doing this, because in a way nothing is more useful for them and their businesses in those countries than an educated public.
The Internet capacity is a very dynamic situation. In some cities you see a very sophisticated coverage. In others you still have everybody clustered around a cafe. One of the mixed bags about Internet is that anything that comes on the Internet is construed to be the truth. So our enemies use it more effectively than we do, and we are trying to really move that into a communication model in all of our embassies.
But as far as the Internet goes, the whole motor of the State Department's ability to communicate with its 16,000 employees around the world is the web. Without it I hesitate -- I tremble to think what we would do.
What the difference is now that we really have so much more language coverage, and we have a very interactive situation. For instance, in this shared values there was a page in the book and a website. The website was not run by us; it was run by the Council on American Muslims. That's why I like the provocative questions on Iran, because we are meeting with Iranians from California and Ohio and Michigan, and we just want to. It hasn't really occurred to me, but I think maybe we need to see if they want to build a sum larger than the parts and begin to support them in that way.
And the Internet is going to be an important part of all of these communities. But first we have to teach these children English, and then we have to teach them how to use the computer to study science and technology. Without the private sector we don't have the money and the means. And that's why I am so frustrated and plead with you to help get us a system where the private sector's relationship with us is faster, easier and more productive. If you are handed a card by a CEO whom you might know and he said, "I'd love to help you" -- you still got to go through another six months to organize that, to put a team on it, and to put it in proper perspective. And you know how that works.
MR. TOMLINSON: Senator Coleman, one of the first things Seth Cropsey did after he was confirmed as head of IBB was to put together a team on future technologies. Seth and I started out in this business 20-some years ago where everything was shortwave. There has been an amazing revolution, and we have to make sure that we are in touch -- you know, this like direct-to-home broadcast satellite situation is something that cries out for television today -- today. But we also have to anticipate what the technologies are going to be tomorrow, so we don't have to wait until we are too late.
SEN. COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Coleman. We have three additional distinguished witnesses, but I do want to recognize Senator Feingold, who has an additional question for this panel.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Mr. Chairman, thank you for letting me do another round. It's partly your own fault -- you are holding so many good hearings that you are stimulating me to want to do second rounds. But I again thank you for this important topic.
Ms. Beers, do you see as part of your role as undersecretary for public diplomacy to encourage and facilitate the engagement of ordinary Americans in international issues? For example, can you give the committee some examples of opportunities available to Americans who want to reach out beyond our borders? And what more can be done in this regard?
MS. BEERS: Well, I think there is an example that is actually not very well known in this country that simply astounded me when I got my first briefings from the educational and cultural exchanges. While we do 35,000 of these a year, and you fund them with a certain amount of money every year, without the 90,000 volunteers in the United States who house these people, who liaison, who make agendas, who put their programs together, who travel them around, we would never be able to literally afford even that much. And so I think that is one overt way. And I wanted very much to mount a campaign that says thank you, because I wonder sometime if we don't presume that, that good will.
What I think we need to do is we constantly visited, and we see people who have an interest in doing many other things in the world, and we try to organize that in such a way that our embassies and posts can add to that. For instance, Assistant Secretary Pat Harrison is working now on something called "cultural connect." And when this is developed in a full way I think it will be a fascinating model, because we've met with writers, musicians and artists, and they will be going with our support to countries to not just give a performance, but to stay there as a mentor. It's a beautiful idea. They initiated it to some extent with us.
Now, the machinery of doing that is very complex. You have to make sure everybody is in place. You have to be able to fund that on a larger basis. But this pilot program is very encouraging, I think. And Yo-Yo Ma is one of the first contenders. And you know he's such a gifted teacher, but he's one of many.
SEN. FEINGOLD: I'm excited to hear about that, and I'd like to follow up with you. I'd just like to ask about one other thing. I agree, secretary, with your goal of promoting a positive image of America to the Islamic world. But frankly I fear that some developments here at home may be undermining your work abroad. On the one hand, President Bush says that the fight against terrorism is not a fight against Islam, and he's right to emphasize that. But at the same time the administration has taken steps that I believe in some cases unfairly target Muslims for harsher treatment by law enforcement officials and other Americans to immigrants. It began with the Justice Department's roundup of hundreds of Arab and Muslim individuals after September 11th. Next came the Justice Department's interview program, targeting 8,000 male visitors from Arab or Muslim nations for questioning. Then late last year the Justice Department initiated a special call-in registration program that selectively targets male students, businessmen and tourists from two dozen Muslim or Arab nations plus North Korea. And more recently Red News reports that the FBI director has asked field offices to count the number of Muslims in mosques in the respective regions for purposes of formulating performance goals in among other areas wiretaps and surveillance. So when you hear that list, it seems to me that selective law enforcement activities carried out by the federal government could serve to fan the flames of anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world and undermine what you are trying to do.
Have our posts been hearing about these issues? And what are we doing to respond to these concerns in the public diplomacy front? And is there any mechanism whereby the impact of these policies and our public diplomacy efforts are shared with the parts of the administration that actually pursue these policies, such as the Justice Department?
MS. BEERS: Well, in front of you is an interesting answer to that question, I think. It's the visa program. And we put it together for several reasons. One is to harness our own resources, so that we speak with one voice and as Justice turns INS into the Homeland Security representation. In our Policy Coordinating Committee, which I run with the NSC, Homeland Security is part of that meeting that discusses all these issues. So, first of all, we are all around the table.
Secondly, the language that we have used in the visa plan I think is a symbol of the tension that we will have to live with. And the line happens to say open borders -- I mean, sorry, Secure borders, open doors. And that is the problem that we are going to live with for the long term. We have to put security first. We can make no apologies for it. We have got to improve the way we do it, but we have also got to have open doors. In the way that the United States invites people to this country, not only is it true to our character, it is vital to business administration, academics, trade. I mean, we are cutting off too much here if we don't have open doors.
I've give you an example of how it's working now. And these are not perfect stories. In Malaysia I just met with the ambassador, and she had such a huge backlog that it was a controversy in her country. They worked around the clock to clean up those backlogs. They have now this new way of communicating. What will it be like when you come to the United States? Because people are staying away for fear of it, and they might read a story like you just named. We tell them: Here's what you have to go through, here's what it's like to be fingerprinted, here are the special groups. At least being informed about the process is part of the way of dealing with it.
And then we also tell stories locally when the embassies take them up of someone who just went through the process, so that you are able to identify that it's possible. So, for instance, one of our stories is a young student. He said, "The first time I went to the United States it took me three weeks. This time I had to take five months, but it was worth it." So we hope that we are able to open those doors.
Now, listen to this, what the ambassador just mentioned in passing, and this is what gives me hope. She said that in fact we approve 92 percent of our applications. So against all of these stories, we need to get that word out, that we are open, and we get no apologies for being secure, making that effort. And that's a way of handling it.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Well, I appreciate that answer. It just goes to the obvious point, that it's not just our foreign policy but our domestic policy in response to terrorism that will have a great deal to do with how effective we are in achieving the worthy goals that you are pursuing, and I thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the additional round.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Feingold. And we thank both of you very much for your enthusiasm and your leadership, and we look forward to working with you to make sure all of our efforts are successful. Thank you for coming.
SEN. BIDEN: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to ask unanimous consent that I'd be able to submit several questions in writing to each of the panelists.
SEN. LUGAR: Without objection that will occur.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you both.
The chair would like now to call upon Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in Washington, D.C.; the Honorable Kenton Keith, senior vice president, Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C.; and Dr. R.S. Zaharna, School of Communications, American University, Washington, D.C.
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