credibility

Watching the events unfold in Egypt over the past weeks has been akin to watching a slow moving train wreck as two powerful forces – the army and the Muslim Brotherhood – collide together. Both have strong wills, resources, and high stakes in the outcome. Whereas social media played a pivotal role in uniting the Egyptian public during the January 25 revolution in 2011, it appears that mass media may be playing the critical role in dividing the Egyptian public during the current events.

Watching the events unfold in Egypt over the past weeks has been akin to watching a slow moving train wreck as two powerful forces – the army and the Muslim Brotherhood – collide together. Both have strong wills, resources, and high stakes in the outcome.

There was a time when American power was viewed as decisive in the Middle East. If Washington sneezed there was a sense that the region would catch a cold. Times have changed. Many factors brought us to this point. Perhaps most important is the fact that though the region has changed, U.S. policies have not adapted.

The use of social media for the purpose of public diplomacy has increasingly drawn the attention of U.S. diplomacy professionals, observers and political analysts especially after the recent attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya that were triggered by outrage over an anti-Islamic video released on Sept. 11.

If India is perceived as corrupt on international indices as well as amongst its own people, then her credibility is damaged, and her ability to conduct public diplomacyis diminished, if not demolished.

Canada will be able to "punch above its weight" at the G20 summit as a result of the country's reputation as a strong performer during the recession, say some observers.

December 14, 2008

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