Donald Rumsfeld et la puissance intelligente

Donald Rumsfeld, Secrétaire américain à la Défense, s’est récemment exprimé au sujet de la guerre mondiale contre le terrorisme menée par l’administration Bush. « Dans cette guerre, certaines des batailles les plus dures ne se livrent pas dans les montagnes afghanes ou dans les rues irakiennes, mais dans les salles de presse à New York, Londres, au Caire et partout ailleurs. Nos ennemis se sont brillamment adaptés aux combats médiatiques, alors que nous avons échoué.»

La bonne nouvelle est que Rumsfeld réalise peu à peu que la lutte contre le terrorisme ne peut être uniquement gagnée par les armes. La mauvaise nouvelle est qu’il ne comprend toujours pas en quoi consiste la puissance douce – la possibilité d’obtenir ce que l’on veut par l’attrait plutôt que par la contrainte. Le journal The Economist a ainsi commenté sa déclaration « jusqu’à récemment, Rumsfeld considérait manifestement cet intérêt pour la ‘puissance douce’ comme une marque de faiblesse, à l’image de la volonté d’apaisement du terrorisme propre à la Vieille Europe. »

Désormais, Rumsfeld a fini par comprendre combien il est important de convaincre les esprits et les cœurs mais, comme The Economist l’explique, « une grande partie de son discours s’est concentrée sur la manière dont l’Amérique, grâce à des relations publiques plus douces, pourrait remporter la guerre de propagande ». En d’autres termes, en accusant les médias des maux de l’Amérique, Rumsfeld a complètement oublié la règle de base du marketing : si le produit que vous vendez est mauvais, aucune publicité, aussi brillante soit-elle, ne parviendra à le faire vendre.

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