The Ripon Forum

Volume 40, No. 3

June - July 2006 Issue

A Note from the Chairman

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A Note from the Chairman

by BILL FRENZEL

From the moment the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, Americans have known that we were in a different kind of war. But in at least one respect, the war we are fighting today bears some resemblance to wars we have fought in the past.

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Branding America

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Branding America

by LOUIS M. ZICKAR

After nearly five years, we no longer remember all their names. But we remember their faces. And we will never forget their eyes. They are the eyes of killers. They are the eyes of the 19 hijackers who commandeered four planes on September 11, 2001, taking the lives of over 3,000 people and taking us into a war which we continue to fight to this day.

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Karen Hughes’ Challenge

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Karen Hughes’ Challenge

by JOSEPH S. NYE

Since Sept. 11 , 2001, it has become commonplace to say that the United States is engaged in a war of ideas for the hearts and minds of moderate Muslims. Even Donald Rumsfeld has admitted that the metric for measuring success in a war against jihadist terrorism is whether the numbers we kill or deter are greater than the numbers that the jihadists recruit.

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On the Frontlines of Freedom

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On the Frontlines of Freedom

by WADE ZIRKLE

Today on the world stage, particularly in Muslim nations, our military is too often viewed only as the enemy, a disturbing fact not lost on those who now wear the uniform. Make no mistake — death and violence are products of any war. But lost within today’s highly partisan environment are such deeply held goals as freedom and democracy. While policymakers and pundits attempt to score political points highlighting the former, today’s military is busily dedicated to securing the latter.

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Madison Avenue’s Take on Brand America

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Madison Avenue’s Take on Brand America

by HANK WASIAK

If any country in the world can be viewed as a brand, it’s America. After all, we invented “branding.” So why, when we are the most powerful nation on earth and facing precarious times, can’t we leverage America’s brand assets? For inspiration and guidance, I returned to the basics of brand building that have worked so well for so many American companies and products.

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A View From Abroad

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A View From Abroad

by JAMES SODERHOLM

It is too late to walk or talk softly. The big stick—the enormous military might of the U.S.—bears its own ominous message, but the U.S. might try to promote its democratic ideals with more skill, conviction, and volume. Even the British, our most loyal consumers and faithful allies, are losing the faith, despite their relative appreciation of American businesses along their high streets.

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Q&A With Bill Thomas

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Q&A With Bill Thomas

Earlier this year, Congressman Bill Thomas announced his retirement after nearly 30 years in the U.S. House of
Representatives. First elected in 1978, Thomas has served as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee since 2001. He recently sat down with the Ripon Forum to discuss his experiences in politics and share his thoughts on what the future holds on Capitol Hill – not just in this year’s mid-term elections, but in the years ahead, as well.

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No More Mistakes

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No More Mistakes

by PAT ROBERTS

As the world becomes increasingly focused on Iran’s nuclear activities, we are once again looking to our intelligence to determine what those activities mean.

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Russia Under Putin: Neither Friend Nor Foe

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Russia Under Putin: Neither Friend Nor Foe

by MICHAEL McFAUL

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his supporters were “outraged.” A Kremlin spokesperson denounced the speech as “inconceivable” and “subjective” in its interpretations of Russian internal affairs. Others in Moscow, as well as some in the West, called the speech a return to the Cold War. One Moscow headline suggested that U.S.-Russian relations were at their lowest level in the last 20 years.

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How the Millennials Get Their News

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How the Millennials Get Their News

by MICHAEL HAIS, PH.D.
JACK MACKENZIE

Last year’s media coverage of the Gulf Coast hurricanes helped re-define the domestic political agenda leading into this year’s mid-term elections. But it wasn’t just storm coverage. Political damage control was in full effect, with elected officials from all sides of the political spectrum flocking to cable news channels to assuage public fears, tamp down public outrage and cover their backsides.

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