"Is he a modern-day Tokyo Rose, the nickname GIs in World War II gave to the women they heard on Japanese radio trying to turn them against America? Is he a propagandist set to tear down the country he once served? A collaborator aiding the enemy?" (Sounds a little like what they ask about me and Public Eye).
Rushing says there's nothing for the folks back home to worry about:
"I've given my entire adult life to the health and well-being of this nation. … I wouldn't do anything to threaten that. What the Marines trained me to do was to represent the best of what America stands for to a foreign audience. That's exactly what I'm going to do."
Rushing's career path may not be a surprise to anyone familiar with "Control Room," the documentary by an Egyptian filmmaker about Al-Jazeera's coverage of the Iraq war. Rushing was the public affairs officer charged with dealing with Al-Jazeera. "Control Room" showed Rushing move from being suspicious, if not hostile toward Al-Jazeera to familiar and sympathetic after a series of candid conversations with one of their producers. After the fil was released, the Corps forbid rushing from speaking to the press anymore.
No doubt Rushing's new job will stir passionate feelings, mostly negative, even though those quoted in the article universally praise his patriotism. But do you think Rushing's presence on Al-Jazeera will in any way help change attitudes toward America in the Arab world? Perhaps more interestingly, what would an Arab voice on a U.S. network do to our own perceptions of that network or that part of the world?