Supermacht fehlt die Soft Power

--- Der 9/11-Report beschäftigt am heutigen Sonntag noch einmal groß die US-Medien, hier und da gelingt es ihnen auch, noch interessante Aspekte herauszuarbeiten. Die LA Times etwa konzentriert sich -- vermutlich auch aufgrund des lokalen Bezugs zu Hollywood -- auf die Teile des Berichts, die den USA ein Schwächeln bei der Soft Power, also der kulturellen und imaginativen Macht im Gegensatz zur harten Militärmacht, vorwerfen: In calling for a sweeping overhaul of American diplomacy in the Middle East, the Sept. 11 commission last week joined a growing consensus that the United States had not done enough to win over the world's huge Muslim population. The bipartisan panel urged in its final report that the government engage more deeply in a "struggle of ideas" against Islamic radicalism and develop a preventive strategy that was at least as political as it was military. ... In the nearly three years since the Sept. 11 attacks, a broad agreement has developed that the United States needs to do more to advance its values — and to convince an increasingly fractious Middle East that Americans really are the good guys they believe themselves to be. There is far less agreement on how well the Bush administration has been handling this job, and how these principles of "soft power" can be reconciled with the other goals of suppressing Islamic militants. ... The commission wrote that polling had shown anti-Americanism, a longtime fact of life in the Islamic world, had soared since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of Sept. 11. The report cited polling data indicating that in Egypt, which had received substantial U.S. aid, 15% of the public had a positive view of the U.S. in 2002. Fresh polling shows that in the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse and continuing media coverage of Iraqi casualties, the numbers have worsened considerably. Recent polling by Zogby International found that the share of Egyptians who disapprove of the United States government increased from 76% in 2002 to 98%, while sympathy for Al Qaeda has risen.

Die New York Times beschreibt dagegen, wie der Report mit zahlreichen von der Regierung teils bewusst gepflegten Mythen rund um den 11. September aufräumt: In meticulous detail, the 567-page report, including 116 pages of detailed footnotes in tiny, eye-straining type, rewrote the history of Sept. 11, 2001, correcting the historical record in ways large and small and shattering myths that might otherwise have been accepted as truth for generations. The commission's report found that the hijackers had repeatedly broken the law in entering the United States, that Mr. bin Laden may have micromanaged the attacks but did not pay for them, that intelligence agencies had considered the threat of suicide hijackings, and that Mr. Bush received an August 2001 briefing on evidence of continuing domestic terrorist threats from Al Qaeda. Auch der Spiegel hat die wehrlose Weltmacht auf dem Titel, der im Netz aber nur kostenpflichtig abrufbar ist.