Negative attitudes [toward the U.S.] and the conditions that create them are the underlying sources of threats to America's national security and reduced ability to leverage diplomatic opportunities. Terrorism, thin coalitions, harmful effects on business, restrictions on travel, declines in cross border tourism and education flows, and damaging consequences for other elements of U.S. soft power are tactical manifestations of a pervasive atmosphere of hostility. [...]
Today ... the perception of intimate U.S. support of tyrannies in the Muslim World is perhaps the critical vulnerability in American strategy. It strongly undercuts our message, while strongly promoting that of the enemy. [...]
Muslims do not "hate our freedom," but rather, they hate our policies. [...]
[T]he dramatic narrative since 9/11 has essentially borne out the entire radical Islamist bill of particulars. American actions and the flow of events have elevated the authority of the Jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims.
Was it Richard Haas? Christiane Amanpour? Timothy Garton Ash? Kevin Drum? Try the Defense Science Board, a federal advisory committee set up to give advice to the Department of Defense. The DSB's recent report (PDF) on America's global public relations "crisis" makes for fascinating if tedious reading, not least for its recommendations on how the U.S. government can act more like an "insurgent" than an "incumbent." (Link via Secrecy News)