From Canada, a decent summary of the story so far. It's not pretty. Here's a sample:
Jack Trout is a legend in the marketing business. He's written several classic books on branding, and his firm, Trout and Partners, is adviser to dozens of huge clients, from Apple Computer to Xerox. In late 2002, he was hired by the U.S. State Department to develop a strategy for diplomats to polish the image of America around the world, casting the U.S. as a partner in peace. "I presented this idea and they loved it, but they said, 'There's just one problem,'" he recalls. "They told me, 'I think we're going to invade Iraq.' And I said, 'Forget it then. All this stuff goes out the window.' "
Trout sensed a global PR disaster on the horizon, and his fears were soon realized... "This is the mother of all branding problems," Trout says now. "What do you do to rebuild America's brand and image? When a business has had a bad run and turned off a lot of its customers, they hang out a big sign that says 'under new management.' And we will get nowhere until we have that sign hanging out there."