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Call for revivial of cultural diplomacy to counter Anti-Americanism

While the US consulate lowered the American profile in Frankfurt by moving to a heavily fortified complex on the outskirts of town, US arts lobbies want to reach out more to the world by utilizing US cultural capabilities and talents. Writing for the International Herald Tribune, Alan Riding asks:

With Washington now dusting off public diplomacy as a strategy to combat rampant anti-Americanism, is it time to revive cultural diplomacy? The purpose would not be to mute American popular culture. In any event, that would be impossible: It is pumped out on an industrial scale and the world responds, often with delight, sometimes with disgust. Instead, rather than trying to compete for the attention of the masses, cultural diplomacy would aim to persuade elites of the virtues of American civilization.

This approach is now being quietly promoted by several arts lobbies in the United States. In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in July, a group called Americans for International Arts and Cultural Exchange wrote: "Our coalition believes America has many cultural capabilities and talents that remain underutilized in the international arena and which can be effective in reaching out and telling our story to the world." (...)
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