Vol. 2, Issue 4, January 27, 2004
New Homeland Security Center to Focus on U.S. Popularity
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has chosen the University of Chicago as the second Homeland Security Center of Excellence, joining the University of Southern California as part of the Homeland Security research network.
U. Chicago is expected to receive $18 million over the course of the next three years to study why nations around the world dislike the United States. The Department of Homeland Security and USC are now undergoing grant negotiations to formalize this partnership.
"Secretary Ridge and I are delighted that the University of Chicago is partnering with the Department in our efforts to ensure domestic security," said Charles McQueary, Under Secretary, Science and Technology. "We are confident that the cooperative efforts of the newest Homeland Security Center of Excellence will greatly enhance our ability to combat terrorism by helping us understand why otherwise reasonable people the world over object to the policies and cultural impact of the United States."
The Bush administration has been perplexed by international resistance to its war on terrorism, and by the tendency of other nations to view its policies as arrogant, imperialistic and unilateral.
"Now there are some people that just can't stand a democracy exercising its democratic freedom to democratically pursue a morally justifiable war against terrorism around the globe, and other stuff," said President Bush. "And I don't even want to get into the French. But frankly, I really think this is some kind of miscommunication. How could it be anything else?"
The HS-Center will leverage U. Chicago's combined expertise in psychology, philosophy and public relations.
The award comes a year after America drew considerable flak for pushing its plans to invade Iraq unilaterally. The U.S. has since spent some time struggling to set a conciliatory tone with its allies, but has apparently had about enough of the effort.
"I really just want to know what their problem is," said Vice President Dick Cheney. "It's great to be an American, and there's no reason anyone should think otherwise. We need to get to the bottom of this inferiority complex everyone has, especially in the Muslim world."
Although the grant is for a period of three years, it is apparent that the Bush administration is pushing hard for results within the next six months, most likely so the president can come up with a "quick fix" for America's deteriorating image abroad in time for the fall 2004 elections.
"Hey, let's face it - everyone wants to be liked," said Bush. "We'll figure out why other countries don't like us, even if we have to do it all by ourselves."