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Rumsfeld points to image problem

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Rumsfeld points to image problem

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has told the BBC his country needs to do a "better job" at communicating its policies to the rest of the world.

"I think the US is notably unskilful in our communications and our public diplomacy," he said in Washington.

He made a robust defence of the US role in Iraq, saying it was now up to the Iraqi people to restore order.

On Guantanamo Bay, he said the prison's reputation was "unfortunate" but its existence was necessary for security.

"No one wishes to have a facility like that, no one wishes to have to detain people," he told Sir David Frost in a special interview for BBC Newsnight's Tuesday edition.

However, conditions there were humane, he said, and any guards who had "misbehaved" had been punished.

"The people in Gitmo... 99% have the best food probably, the best medical treatment, they've ever received in their lives," the defence secretary added.

Image problems

People always set out to "bring down or tweak" the world's most powerful states, he continued, citing coverage of the US on foreign media such as Arab TV channel al-Jazeera.

"You just can't hear day after day after day after day things like that that often aren't true, with a lack of balance, and not come away thinking, gee, that must not be a very good country," said Mr Rumsfeld.

Despite its image problems abroad, the US was still the country that "people want to come to, to live and to work".

Asked about relations with other world powers, Mr Rumsfeld predicted China would loosen up its political system within 15 years to match its economic reforms.

On Russia, he suggested Moscow's arms deals with countries like Venezuela and its ties with Syria were damaging its business reputation.

"Right now, Russia is making, in my view, some decisions which are... statistically... leading to a reduction in foreign direct investment," he remarked.

You can watch the interview on Newsnight on BBC2 at 2230 BST

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...cas/4092572.stm

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So, The US is notably lacking in communication and diplomacy skills??? That sounds like an indictment of everyone's favorite "Rushin'"expert Ms Candy Rice. Could there be dissension in the ranks???? That close to the top???Perhaps if we keep pushing our dissatisfaction with this Admin we can bring it to a close. I urge you all to do everything you can to get the Patriot Act repealed and stop the congress from eliminating the 2 term ammendment to the constitution.

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it's an indictment of the media. I urge you all to boycott editorial journalism and opinion as news.

Reality doesn't fit what's reported and what's reported carelessly, as we've seen time and time again, makes things worse and costs lives.

And yes, everyone should do everything they can to get rid of that so called "patriot act" totally agree. I can't imagine the 2 term limit being changed, but if so that would be baaad news too. I couldn't imagine the trouble we'd be in if Clinton had even one more term.

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I don't see the point. Everybody knows the USA government backed by its military takes over countries. No communication is needed for that.

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