Friday, October 24, 2014

10 Parting Thoughts for America's Diplomats

Via JB

10 Parting Thoughts for America's Diplomats
As one of America's foremost diplomats hangs up his spurs, lessons from 33 years at the State Department. Foreign Affairs


Diplomacy is not quite the world's oldest profession, but it remains one of the most misunderstood. It's a predictable and recurring habit to question its relevance and dismiss its practitioners, especially at moments like this, when international affairs are rocked by powerful and tumultuous transitions.

It is true that the world today is far different from the one that I encountered as a new foreign service officer in 1982. Today's international landscape is far more crowded. New global powers are rising, hundreds of millions of people around the world are climbing into the middle class, hyper-empowered individuals with the capacity to do great good and huge harm are multiplying, and more information is flowing more rapidly than ever before.

These realities pose some real challenges and difficult questions for professional diplomats. How can we add value in a world of instant and nearly universal access to information? How important are foreign ministries in an age of citizen awakenings? And who needs foreign assistance from governments when they can get it from private foundations and mega-philanthropists?

These are fair questions, but none of them foretells the imminent demise of our profession. The ability of American diplomats to help interpret and navigate a bewildering world still matters. After more than a decade dominated by two costly conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the worst financial crisis of our lifetime, the United States needs a core of professional diplomats with the skills and experience to pursue American interests abroad -- by measures short of war.

The real question is not whether the State Department is still relevant but how we can sustain, strengthen, and adapt the tradecraft for a new century unfolding before us.

The real question is not whether the State Department is still relevant but how we can sustain, strengthen, and adapt the tradecraft for a new century unfolding before us. As I look back across nearly 33 years as a career diplomat -- and ahead to the demands on American leadership -- I offer 10 modest observations for my colleagues, and for all those who share a stake in effective American diplomacy.

1. Know where you come from.

When I was a junior diplomat, a story circulated that then Secretary of State George Shultz used to invite new ambassadors for a farewell chat. He would walk over to a large globe near his desk and ask the ambassador to point to "your country." Invariably, the ambassador would put a finger on the country of his or her assignment. Shultz would then gently move their finger across the globe to the United States, making the not-so-subtle point that diplomats should always remember whom they represent and where they come from.

We cannot afford to forget where we come from, whom we serve, and whom we represent. While we still have a long way to go, the foreign service today is far more representative of the richness and diversity of American society than when I entered. The white, male, East Coast, elitist caricature has faded. Today's officers come from across the country and from every social background. The percentage of women and minorities has doubled. New officers bring proficiency in difficult languages and a range of work experience that I would have envied 30 years ago. This diversity is a huge asset overseas, where the power of our example often matters more than the power of our preaching -- especially when we ask others to respect pluralism, tolerance, and universal human rights.

2. It's not always about us.

Americans are often tempted to believe the world revolves around us, our problems, and our analysis. The recent revolutions that swept the Middle East remind us that this is not always the case. These revolutions were, at their core, about dignity and the profound humiliation of people denied economic opportunity, a political voice, and solutions to the problems that mattered most to them. Yet these revolutions still matter a great deal to the United States, and we have a central role to play in helping shape their trajectory.

The fact remains that other governments and people look to the United States to help make sense of a chaotic world and to build coalitions to deal with it. That is true in the fight against the Islamic State, just as it is true in the effort to stem the spread of Ebola. Other people and societies have their own realities, not always hospitable to ours. That does not mean that we need to accept those perspectives, or indulge them, but understanding them is the key to sensible diplomacy.

3. Master the fundamentals.

One perverse side effect of WikiLeaks' release of State Department cables was to show that American diplomats are pretty good at honest analysis of foreign realities and how to navigate them in America's best interest. This kind of effectiveness requires a nuanced grasp of history and culture, mastery of foreign languages, facility in negotiations, and the ability to translate American interests in ways that other governments can see as consistent with their own -- or at least in ways that drive home the costs of alternative courses. If we let these basic diplomatic skills atrophy, our relevance will inevitably decline.

In today's world of digital and virtual relationships, there is still no alternative to old-fashioned human interactions -- not in business, romance, or diplomacy. More than a half-century ago, Edward R. Murrow, the CBS News great who joined the State Department, gave advice to incoming diplomats that still resonates: "The really critical link in the international communications chain is the last three feet, which is best bridged by personal contact -- one person talking to another." Diplomats provide that critical link, whether in managing relationships with foreign leaders, ensuring the safety and well-being of Americans abroad, or promoting commercial, cultural, and educational exchanges.

4. Stay ahead of the curve.

While the fundamentals are essential, they are not enough. American diplomats have to stay ahead of the curve -- ready to adapt to new challenges and innovations and ready to lead in emerging arenas of competition and cooperation. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized the need to deepen the partnership between diplomacy and development to address the underlying drivers of instability around the world. The historic President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), launched during George W. Bush's administration, is an exceptional example of American leadership in global health. The Obama administration's food and water security programs have been just as transformational.

Energy, climate, gender issues, and cyberspace are all growing priorities for American diplomats, and each requires us to develop new expertise and master new tools and technologies.

Energy, climate, gender issues, and cyberspace are all growing priorities for American diplomats, and each requires us to develop new expertise and master new tools and technologies. My generation of diplomats spent a good portion of their careers learning about nuclear proliferation and global oil politics. This generation will have to learn about the shale gas revolution and its impact on global energy markets, about cyber-norms and their impact on our security and our privacy, and about the Arctic, which may become as vital a maritime passageway in the coming years as the Suez and Panama canals.

5. Promote economic renewal.

Nothing demonstrates diplomacy's relevance more than its ability to contribute to America's economic renewal. And nothing will support strong American diplomacy abroad better than a strong and vibrant American economy. Since 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States, Americans have a big stake in the role diplomats play in opening markets abroad, strengthening the economic rules of the road, ensuring a level playing field for U.S. companies, attracting foreign investment, and advocating on behalf of U.S. businesses. Renewed focus on economic statecraft in recent years helped generate $150 billion in trade supporting more than 11 million U.S. jobs.

There is no better diplomatic investment in the years ahead than the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreements, which would bring higher standards of free market rules to two-thirds of the global economy and strengthen American prosperity for decades to come. Secretary of State John Kerry continually reminds our diplomats that "foreign policy is economic policy." I could not agree more.

6. Connect leverage to strategy.

Successful diplomacy has to begin with strategic vision, a concept for shaping international order in the service of American interests. Effective strategy requires leverage, connecting concepts and goals to available instruments of national power, including military power. The "rebalance" of U.S. priorities toward the Asia-Pacific region is one clear example, integrating efforts to manage China's rise and build healthy relations with Beijing while strengthening ties to key allies, expanding links to ASEAN, and investing in the strategic partnership with India. Economic and political leverage, along with a genuine offer of engagement, opened the door to back-channel talks with Iran that ended more than 35 years without sustained diplomatic contact and helped produce a first nuclear agreement. Progress toward a comprehensive accord remains difficult and uncertain, but carefully testing the possibilities of diplomacy is very much in our interest.

7. Don't just admire the problem -- offer a solution.

Secretary of State Dean Acheson once complained that senior diplomats tended to be "cautious rather than imaginative." Most of his successors have harbored similar concerns, some more openly than others. It is true that career officers sometimes seem to take particular relish in telling a new administration why its big new idea is not so new or why it won't work. It is also true that the revolution in communications technology and the increasing role of both the National Security Council staff and other agencies over successive administrations have tended to bring out the more passive (or sometimes passive-aggressive) side of the State Department.

Most ambassadors, however, realize that they have an enormous opportunity to make a difference in policymaking and get things done on the ground. They don't just report about the challenges they face -- they try to shape the policy response. Tom Pickering, one of the best career diplomats I have ever known, never wanted to get an instruction from Washington that he had not shaped himself. He understood that he was the president's representative, which carried a responsibility to offer his best judgment on how to fix a problem -- not just serve as a postman for Washington decisions.

8. Speak truth to power.

I have great admiration for colleagues who in recent decades decided that they could no longer serve policies in which they did not believe. More than a dozen foreign service colleagues resigned over the United States' nonintervention in the Balkans in the early 1990s, and several others left over the Iraq War a decade ago. Short of resignation, however, officers are obliged to exercise discipline and avoid public dissent. But they also have a parallel obligation to express their concerns internally and offer their best policy advice, even if the truths they perceive are inconvenient. In the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003, several of my colleagues and I wrote a lengthy memo at Secretary of State Colin Powell's request on what we thought could go wrong. We titled it: "The Perfect Storm." In hindsight, we got some things right and missed others, but it was the sort of effort to offer an honest professional judgment that should be encouraged.

9. Accept risk.

We live and work in a dangerous world. Demanding zero security risk means achieving zero diplomatic results. We take every prudent precaution, and we learn and apply the painful lessons of terrible tragedies like the loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other colleagues in Benghazi, Libya, two years ago. But we cannot hole up behind embassy walls. Every American diplomat was filled with pride when we watched Ryan Crocker excel in a succession of dangerous and important posts from Beirut to Kabul -- and when Robert Ford, as ambassador to Syria, visited areas where peaceful protesters had just been attacked by the regime. In less dramatic moments, diplomats serving in hard jobs in hard places take calculated risks every day. I wish that we could ensure zero risk, but we cannot.

10. Remain optimistic.

Teddy Roosevelt said life's greatest good fortune is to work hard at work worth doing. By that standard, American diplomats have reason to feel fortunate. Yes, the world is getting more complicated and the political paralysis and partisanship in Washington don't make it any easier. It is hard to convince people overseas that we can build coalitions when they prove so elusive at home, when the most popular thing any congressman can do is cut our budget, and when members of U.S. military bands outnumber members of the foreign service. But there are many reasons to be optimistic.

We have a remarkable military and an economy still bigger, more innovative, and more resilient than anyone else's. Our system of government and values remains -- warts and all -- a magnet for people around the world. We possess a transformational energy potential and a diverse and mobile population that is the envy of our competitors. And we have a diplomatic service that still attracts the best young people from across our society to a career of significance.

As I prepare to retire, I have never been more proud of America's diplomats and I have never been more confident in their ability to help renew American leadership in the world. It is hard work, but it has never been more important or more worthwhile.

Navajo court delays presidential election in language dispute: Note for a lecture, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"

From Los Angeles Times

Navajo court delays presidential election in language dispute

Navajo Nation presidential candidate Chris Deschene speaks to supporters in Window Rock, Ariz., on Oct. 9. He lost another round in a language fluency dispute, and the top court has delayed the vote. (Felicia Fonseca / Associated Press)
Navajo election is delayed to print new ballots after a candidate was disqualified in language dispute
'Our sacred language defines us as individuals and as a Nation,' Navajo court says of language dispute
The Navajo Nation’s top court on Thursday postponed the tribe's presidential election to allow officials time to print new ballots without the name of a candidate who was disqualified because of questions about his fluency in the native language.
The ruling follows a decision Wednesday tossing Chris Deschene off the ballot because other contenders had disputed that he was fluent in Navajo. Tribal law requires presidential candidates to be fluent in the language.

“This is a matter of our sovereign right to exist as a Nation with its own language,” the justices wrote in the decision. “Our sacred language defines us as individuals and as a Nation.”
The latest ruling came as more than 100 people attended the regularly scheduled Navajo Nation Council meeting and scores of people concerned with the language issue protested outside the government building in Window Rock, the capital of Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America.

With its scenic rock formations, Window Rock is also considered a spiritual place, reached by a stretch of road named Navajo Code Talkers Highway, in honor of the Navajos who were crucial communicators in World War II. They spoke in Navajo, in effect a code that could not be deciphered.
For many of the demonstrators Thursday, the Navajo language continues to hold a special place and the requirement that the president speak it is an important cultural touchstone.

It is also a tradition at odds with some of the billboards along the road into Window Rock that carry slogans illustrating the linguistic reality of the modern world for the next generation: “Climb the ladder,” “Go Out Into the World” and “Learn English.”
Wayne Claw, 65, a businessman, said his children don’t speak Navajo, nor do his grandchildren, who wonder whether they will be barred from voting at some point because of their linguistic shortfall.
“How far are you going to take this?” Claw said, quoting some of his family.
From Los Angeles Times

Deschene has maintained that he speaks Navajo, but he has refused to demonstrate that he can speak it fluently. That led to his disqualification, which he has fought through the tribal agencies and courts.
On Wednesday, the same Supreme Court ruled against Deschene, who finished second in the August primary. The person who placed third will be elevated to the final ballot.
Election officials were scheduled to meet with attorneys on when to schedule the vote.
Follow @latimesmuskal and@jglionna for national news 
Muskal reported from Los Angeles and Glionna from Window Rock. 
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When exactly was the Committee on Public Information (CPI) established?

Note for a Planned Article
"Creel, Lippmann, and the Origins of American Public Diplomacy"
(comments welcome; draft, not for citation)

Woodrow Wilson: "Executive Order 2594 - Creating Committee on Public Information," April 13, 1917. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project:
Executive Order 2594 - Creating Committee on Public InformationApril 13, 1917
I hereby create a Committee on Public Information, to be composed of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, and a civilian who shall be charged with the executive direction of the Committee.
As Civilian Chairman of this Committee, I appoint Mr. George Creel. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Navy are authorized each to detail an officer or officers to the work of the Committee.
April 13, 1917.
The Complete report of the chairman of the Committee on public information 1917:1918:1919 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1920), p. 1, in a section dated June 4, 1919, addressed "To the President," it is stated that the the CPI, was "Created under your Executive Order date April 14, 1917, the first hours of the war..." Same date, April 14, 1917 is cited in Wilson's Executive Order reproduced in The Activities of the Committee on Public Information (The Committee on Public Information:  January 27, 1918). 

Bruce Pinkerton, “The Campaign of the Committee on Public Information: Its Contributions to the the History of Evolution of Public Relations,” Journal of Public Relations Research, 6 (4), p. 230:
Creel ... reported the creation date of the CPI as April 14, 1917. The Sundry Civil Appropriations Bill for 1919 contains a reading of the executive order creating the CPI, also dated April 1914. Mock and Larson [see] and [Stephen] Vaughn [see] reported the creation to be April 13, 1917. April 14 is reported as the creation date in this article due to the corroboration of Creel and information contained in Sundry Appropriation Bill.

George G. Bruntz, Allied propaganda and the collapse of the German Empire in 1918, p. 31, citing Woodrow Wilson's State Papers and Addresses (New York, 1918) pp. 273 ff.:
"From the outset President Wilson recognized the necessity for a central propaganda agency in this country. On April 14, 1917, just eight days after war was declared, he created by, executive order, the Committee on Public Information."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

State Department Retirees! Watch What You Say! And Don't Do What Big Brother at State Doesn't Expect You to Do!

Via PVB:

U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 3
3 FAM 4210 Page 1 of 2
3 FAM 4200
3 FAM 4210
(CT:PER-678; 06-22-2012)
(Office of Origin: L/EFD)
(TL:PER-254; 4-17-95)
(State Only)
(Applies to former Foreign Service & Civil Service Employees)
Former employees are expected [my emphasis -- JB] to refrain from engaging in activities of any kind, including writing manuscripts or giving speeches, which would be prejudicial to the foreign policy interests of the United States.
(CT:PER-678; 06-22-2012)
(State Only)
(Applies to former Foreign Service & Civil Service Employees)
a. Disclosure of classified information may be cause for criminal prosecution.
b. Unauthorized use for personal gain of information obtained from official
Government records or documents which came into their possession or
knowledge while on active duty is restricted by statute and may be cause for
criminal prosecution.
(TL:PER-254; 4-17-95)
(State Only)

For grammar fans: See.

Nixon invites Creel to lunch; Creel looks for a job in the Eisenhower administration

Note for a Planned Article
(comments welcome; draft, not for citation)

JB Note: These letters from America's first propaganda tsar (1917-1919), who was a most loyal confidant of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson ...

Richard Nixon to George Creel, on United States Senate stationary (Committee on Labor and Public Welfare), December 10, 1952

Dear George:

Pat and I will be delighted to have lunch with you on the 19th. However, we would like to have you as our guest rather than the other way around. If you will call my office when you get into town and let us know where we can reach you I shall give you a ring and complete arrangements then.

With all best wishes,



Richard Nixon

--Folder "General Correspondence,  Jan+Aug 1953, Box 4, George Creel Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Nixon image from


Copy of Creel letter to The Honorable Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 12, 1953

My Dear Mr. President:

By reason of my experience in the first World War and a close and continuous study of OWI and VOA, I feel I have something to contribute to your “psychological warfare” plan, as outlined in your San Francisco speech of October 8th. If you agree, may I ask to be put in touch with Mr. Jackson, or whoever it is you may have in mind for the task.

I shall be here at this Club [Metropolitan Club] until the 18th and at the University Club in Washington from the 21st to February 1st.


P.S. Congratulations on everything.

--Folder "General Correspondence,  Jan+Aug 1953, Box 4, George Creel Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Propaganda and Censorship: Committee on Public Information Creel's Powers over the Press

Note for a Planned Article
"Creel, Lippmann, and the Origins of American Public Diplomacy"
(comments welcome; draft, not for citation)

Committee on Public Information (1917-1919) Chairman George Creel's censorship powers/responsibilities is well described in article (which cites the key works by Mock and Larson and by Vaughn on the CPI) by Bruce Pinkerton, "The Campaign of the Committee on Public Information: Its Contribution to the History and Evolution of Public Relations," Journal of Public Relations Research 6 (4), pp. 230-1:
The Creel Committee possessed no official censorship authority. Creel advocated voluntary censorship opposing the severe restrictions favored by the U.S. military leaders and already in use in Britain and France  [JB note: Secretary of State Lansing also favored restrictions]. In May 1917, the CPI issued a "Preliminary Statement to the Press of the United States," dividing news into three categories: dangerous, questionable, and routine. The dangerous category contained news items relating to military operations in progress, threats against the life of the president, the movement of official missions, and related service matters. This information was never to be printed. The questionable category included information concerning training-camp routines, technical innovations and war-related rumors. The bulk of news materials fell into the routine category and was of no concern to the CPI. 
Image from, with caption: An unidentified group of American military censors at work in an unidentified location during the First World War. During this conflict, the US military began its first large-scale censorship of troop mail. Censors were on the alert for anything that might aid the enemy. References that were almost certain to be cut or blacked out were those to troop locations and movements.
Despite the voluntary nature of this agreement, Creel was a member of the Censorship Board [JB note: established by Wilson's executive order on October 12, 1917] and possessed a high degree of influence. From his position, Creel could suggest that the Department of Justice prosecute an editor, prohibit a newspaper from using the mail, or cut off a newspaper's supply of newsprint. Evidence indicates that Creel sought to suppress information that portrayed the United States unfavorably or that contained ideas he felt were too dangerous for the U.S. public

Friday, October 17, 2014

Colonel House and George Viereck: Former Wilson Confidant's Foreword to a Book (1930) by an American pro-German propagandist in WWI

Note for a Planned Article
"Creel, Lippmann, and the Origins of American Public Diplomacy"
(comments welcome; draft, not for citation)

In a Foreword to a 1930 book (Spreading Germs of Hate) critical of U.S. propaganda during the Great War written by George Sylvester Viereck, a pro-German U.S. propagandist during WWI, Woodrow Wilson confidant Colonel House underscores -- over a decade after The War to End All Wars -- the pernicious effects of propaganda, including American propaganda :
But the whole terrible thing called war is cruel, and is exaggerated, if that is possible, by inflaming the imagination by propaganda which regards neither facts nor truth. I recall a conversation with President Wilson on this subject. He earnestly hoped the United States would be spared of this evil that usually follows a declaration of war. He did what he could to inform America upon the real issues at stake and the high reasons there were for our participating in the World War. But his efforts were futile. As soon as our people were asked to purchase Liberty Bonds, which were issued in unprecedented quantities, as many lurid stories were told by our patriotic orators, and as many ghastly cartoons were printed, as were to be found in Europe.
--Edward M. House ("Colonel House"), Foreword, p. vi in Sylvester Viereck, Spreading Germs of Hate (1930).

Viereck writes in his above-cited book (pp. 164-167):
When the break with Germany came, the men associated with The Fatherland [the weekly magazine Viereck edited during WWI], even for a short time, found themselves outlawed and outcast. ...
Except for a short reference his name disappeared from Who's Who in America for twelve years. ...
The editor of the Fatherland was never "indicted" or "arrested." His office was never "raided." His papers were never "seized." Those facts, however, did not percolate through the thick layer of propaganda which coated the consciousness of the average American.

Viereck image (1922) from

Note: I have found no mention of House's revealing Foreword (which did not appear in the second edition of Viereck's book) in the literature I have read thus far in preparation for the above planned article. Despite having supported Creel as chairman of the Committee on Public Information, House seems quite repentant about the whole USG propaganda enterprise, while praising in his Foreword how "calmly" and "fairly" Viereck writes about this topic.

Born in Munich in 1884, and brought to America by his immigrant father Louis in 1897, Viereck was a poet, editor, and publisher. As the bio (George Sylvester Viereck: Poet and Propagandist by Neil M. Johnson) added to the finding aid to his papers at the University of Iowa notes, Viereck launched
The Fatherland, a weekly magazine to present the German side and to promote strict American neutrality. Beyond that, he agreed in the fall of 1914 to assist German propagandists sent to the United States to promote sympathy for the German cause. Serving in what he later admitted to be a "propaganda cabinet," he accepted German money in printing hundreds of thousands of pamphlets and booklets as well as his journal. ...
[I]n the 1920's he wrote articles reflecting sympathy for Hitler and Ludendorff on the one hand and displaying deep respect for Shaw, Freud, and Einstein on the other. He became in this period the chief American spokesman for the ex-Kaiser in Holland. He also interviewed Hitler in early 1923 and published the interview in his own journal after several newspaper editors turned it down as not newsworthy. At that time he concluded, "If he lives, Hitler for better or for worse, is sure to make history." ...
Viereck serv[ed] as a publicist or propagandist for Nazi Germany after Hitler's rise to power. Except for Nazi anti-Semitism, which he mildly criticized and rationalized as peripheral to the movement, he sympathized with what he believed was the Nazi Party's rightful objective of restoring Germany to a place of honor and equality of power among the great nations of the world. ...
Viereck ... carried on important correspondence with Edward M. (Colonel) House in the 1930's, and these letters are located in the House papers at Yale University.
One more note:

There is an 2013 article by Lisa Lampert-Weissig on one of Viereck's earliest

image from

works, House of Vampire: "The Vampire as Dark and Glorious Necessity in George Sylvester Viereck's House of the Vampire and Hanns Heinz Ewers' Vampir," in Samantha George and Bill Hughes, ed., Open Graves, Open Minds: Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day, Manchester University Press. See.

Updated 10/19/2014

Upon rereading sections of Viereck's book yesterday, I came upon a passage that I should have immediately noticed, and that explains (in part) why House would approve of his book (but, as mentioned above, his Foreword did not appear in the book's second edition -- was House told not to praise a Nazi sympathizer?) Here's the passage, pp. xi-xiii (it's Viereck speaking):
The World War lured me from Parnassus. I gave up ten years of my creative -- for what? To be a footnote to history.
It was my intention to relate my exploits in the battle of propaganda some day as a chapter of my autobiography. However, the shrewdest editor in the United States persuaded me that the inside story of propaganda was of peculiar significance to the American people to-day. World power brings new perils. Propagandists ever sow the dragons' teeth of war. A knowledge of the methods by which propagandists spread germs of hate should enable us to read startling revelations between the lines of the historians and history. It may help to save our faltering feet from future pitfalls.

image from

My friend the editor suggested that the intrusion of my personality would make my reminiscences too controversial. Accepting this wise counsel, I wrote a series of an anonymous articles for the Saturday Evening Post in which I dealt with my own propaganda activities in the third person. I was dumbfounded to discover how this method enabled me to maintain a detached point of view, even toward myself. 
I made no attempt to conceal clews to my identity Nevertheless, it remained a secret for months. Colonel Edward M. House, the one man in the world who has looked behind the curtain on every front, said to me: "I thought of you as the last person in the world capable of writing so dispassionate a history of the events in which you yourself played so stirring a part." I need not here speak for Mr. House. In  the Foreword which he has so graciously written the Colonel voices his own convictions.
A distinguished expert on propaganda, Edward L. Bernays, told me that my articles mystified him completely. "At first," he said, "I suspected George Creel of being the author. [JB personal note: When I first saw -- and read --- one of the anonymous Viereck Saturday Evening Post articles in the Creel Papers at the Library of Congress, I too thought it had been penned by Creel, and was ready to announce to the world that I found an intriguing Creel article in which he showed uncharacteristic remorse for his propaganda activities in WWI!]. I then thought of Samuel G. Blythe [see] and Will Irwin [see]. Once or twice I seemed to detect the fine Italian hand of an Englishman familiar with the intricate machinery of propaganda. I never even remotely, suspected you." ...
Propaganda is the primary weapon of the world's invisible government, The microbes it scatters infect humanity like a plague. My book is an attempt to administer an antidote or a serum against this scourge by inculcating Propaganda Resistance [JB note: Here Viereck is -- inadvertently? -- using a favorite "propaganda" word (inculcate); is he using propaganda to combat propaganda?] . No one can escape the propagandist. But if we become propaganda conscious, we may in time develop a measurable degree of immunity. With this object in view, I narrate here, for the first time [JB note -- this is an exaggeration] the part played by propaganda in the United States during and after the War.