PR for People Monthly September 2017 - Page 10

book because, despite the gutting of the government offices of science and technology and an apparent lack of understanding at the highest levels of government of what cyber tools deployed by Russians have wrought, this is the world today.

You might wish to look also at Jared Cohen’s opinion piece, “How to Prevent a CyberWar,” (New York Times, August 12, 2017) The work he proposes can and should go on, with or without the current administration.

Finally, who would have thought that the North Korea situation would be nearly eclipsed in the news by the tragic events in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia? Not in my lifetime have I seen members of white supremacists and Nazi groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, gather en masse with hoods and torches on a Friday evening, and in violent assault, with and without hoods but with weapons, the next day.

Predictably, we have a presidential statement on Saturday’s events that does not even allude to the actual situation, and replies upon the most platitudinous rhetoric: “No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST.” Republican and Democratic members of Congress have suggested the president harshly condemn the white supremacists, with some suggesting they fought the Nazis in World War II, and were willing to re-enlist in that fight again.

It is clear that the president will not directly condemn his own supporters using his usual tweets. He has left it to his staff to produce statements that try to paint his tweets as strategic, but it is Former KKK leader David Duke who makes clear the connection: “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists," and at the same time complains about the platitudes: “So, after decades of White Americans being targeted for discriminated & anti-White hatred, we come together as a people, and you attack us?”

I began by saying that the stakes have never been higher. The dark cultural underbelly of this country is now visible, not merely because we have smartphones and can document it, but also because we have a leader who thrives on stirring things up, whether North Korea, China, and Venezuela – while he ignores both Russia and the larger threats to this country, while we try to move past injustice, inequity and moral meltdown toward what the founders called a more perfect union. Rhetoric matters.

“Reprinted with permission from ASA News & Notes, August 14, 2017 issue.”

Annie Searle is Principal of Annie Searle & Associates LLC – also known as ASA Risk Consultants – an independent consulting and research firm, serving businesses and organizations that are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

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