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September 04, 2003

unease in Georgetown 

Last February, a friend had invited me to a coffee salon in Georgetown populated by some of the good and great, influencers if not practitioners of several DC administrations

As the only Brit, they were expecting me to happy with their love of Blair; and the way they were cancelling all conferences and other things they had planned to convene in France and other anti-american euopeans on the forthcoming war. I didnt play the part they wanted of me:

asked whether i was in favour of the war, I said I had no clue. I went into an opposite speil of mine about democracy. I dont think democracy means that I have enough information to vote on every big issue

to move the subject on, I then volunteered the one issue i would like to think through- what happens after American's have won Baghdad? the after-war and rebuilding of Iraq

Unease deepened because nobody around the room had really connected their thinking one day past the toppling of the statue or other icon moment signifying the symbolic deposing of Saddam but not necessarily the overthrow of his cultural network of ghosts. Or if they had, this was a taboo topic

Today, we know that more Americans have been killed in the after-war than the war

and we can google how everyone has started to question whether the quality of the postwar planning - more on this topic if you find the thread at my homepage on "lets map Iraq to be the world's favourite nation"

what has this got to do with global marketing? well you tell me

one conversation opener: personally I dont believe Americans are very competent at integrating cultures. They might disagree on their homeland although their big unifier seems to be a chase for money and letting micro-religions practice locally quite odd behaviours from the excesses of boston catholics to a texan minister just executed this week for killing a doctor (of an abortion clinic)

Money is not a great cultural integrator, at least worldwide its a great conflict maker between neighbouring identities.

In fact, Americans may even be the worst practitioners of what human beings might want from global marketing, yet you'd never know that because almost every textbook is (you guessed) made in America; the lack of diversity in MBA thinking and doing around the world is one of the compounding disasters connected to that control of business-think as well as policy-think - do you have any ideas on how we can change all these conventions round?
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