Sunday, October 5, 2008
"John Quincy Adams who can write [against] Andrew Jackson who can fight."
--Campaign slogan in 1828
Adams (left); Jackson (right)
Working World Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development
Sherry L. Mueller, Mark Overmann
Georgetown University Press
Elections 2008: The View From the “Arab Street” – Foreign Policy Association: Egypt -- The Largest Network of Global Affairs Blogs Online: “[N]o one should have any illusions about how the US reputation can be improved. It will not depend on Iraq, Afghanistan or Guantanamo Bay. At least in Egypt, it will depend primarily on US policy toward Israel-Palestine, which is the number one issue people care about.”
Thereby hangs a tale of United States double standards.. - ShutterBug_Iconium: “[T]he United States asserts its own right to invade the sovereignty of any country in pursuit of suspected international terrorists. Thereby hangs a tale of United States double standards and the failure of the State Department's public diplomacy. A staggering 83 percent of Turks hold an unfavorable view of America. The corresponding figure in Germany is 66 percent.”
"Third party networks" discussed at GWU's what's-its-name public diplomacy center - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "At the panel at the George Washington University, 'Public Diplomacy and the War of Ideas,' on 30 September, moderator Marc Lynch began by saying that GWU's Public Diplomacy Institute 'has currently been relaunched. Not yet formally named, we're going with the name Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communications for now. And this is actually our inaugural event.' Among the subjects discussed: Michael Doran, deputy assistant secretary of defense for support to public diplomacy (pause for breath) on 'empowering partners' … . We're not set up, he argued, to create third party networks who might not necessarily support U.S. policy but whose efforts help American interests.”
Public Diplomacy and the War of Ideas – Marc Lynch, Abu Aardvack: Some comments on Abu Aardvack blog regarding the panel discussion held at the Institute for Public Diplomacy (working title) and Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, "Public Diplomacy and the War of Ideas: Agendas for the Next Administration." Participants were Marc Lynch, Michael Doran, Kristin Lord, Hady Amr: Hanna: “I have studied the approach of American public diplomacy intensively and I do not see anything new here [at the panel discussion]. … I think it is absurd that the USA does not have a net of cultural institutes across the ME with a strong head office independent from the State Department . ... I found it remarkable that Germany took its idea for the Goethe Institute from the former 'American Houses' we had in Germany after WWII. Now, Germany has a strategic cultural diplomacy policy towards the ME that aims at the involvement of local partners to encourage open and critical thinking and provide information about all facets of Germany.” Sleepless in Seattle: “Marc … What Ms. Lord said could have been taken from the State Department homepage, with a few minor modifications here and there. Mr. A[mr] … had only one memorable thing to say -- that those who use violence to produce social change should not be assisted/approved of by the US government (yes, that makes the Bush administration not eligible). Mr. Doran's remarks were essentially a defense of black propaganda … As for you, be praised: you said that there have been enough conferences/reports on PD."
When will Second Life include Arabic text? - DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age: “Second Life's leadership has been quoted at numerous speaking engagements noting that one of the benefits of Second Life is that it is a useful device for public diplomacy. … Public diplomacy can't work if we're only speaking in only one language to an audience. Part of the success of public diplomacy is in letting your audience know that you are willing to listen. Part of listening is listening to people in their language. Public diplomacy at its worst is a monologue in one language -- at its best it is a dialogue, a conversation, collaboration. The beauty of virtual worlds is that they have the potential to facilitate all of this. But they can't do it if they prevent people from communicating in their own language.” GRAPHIC: DIP exectutives: Schmilsson Nilsson is the avatar of Joshua S. Fouts and Eureka Dejavu is the avatar of Rita J. King.
Grim reality of life beyond Helmand: British officials are pleased with their reconstruction. Our correspondent finds little for them to crow about - Christina Lamb, Sunday Times: “[E]arnest civil servants boast of British success in winning over the population and creating five zones of development in Lashkar Gah, Sangin, Musa Qala, Gereshk and Garmser, [Afghanistan]. … A day spent in this Foreign Office fantasy land was reminiscent of a propaganda tour I was taken on by the Russians in the dying days of their occupation in the late 1980s. They too controlled the cities and towns but not the roads or countryside. The man heading the British project [is] Hugh Powell, [one of whose uncle[s], Chris Powell, an advertising executive, recently visited to advise on public diplomacy.” GRAPHIC: The Man Who Would be King.
Nudie Jeans - Ingerid & Washington D.C.: “I går var jeg på luncheon i Presseklubben. Utrolig fine lokaler, og god mat:) Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs holdt et foredrag om 'Public Diplomacy and the war of ideas'. Veldig interessant, skal skrive rapport på mandag.”
He Told Us to Go Shopping. Now the Bill Is Due - Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Post: Bush tried to remake the world on the cheap, and as the bill grew larger, he still refused to ask Americans to pay up. During this past week, that gamble collapsed, leaving the rest of us to sort through the wreckage.
The Fall of America, Inc.: Along with some of Wall Street's most storied firms, a certain vision of capitalism has collapsed. How we restore faith in our brand - Francis Fukuyama, Newsweek: The American brand is being sorely tested at a time when other models -- whether China's or Russia's -- are looking more and more attractive. Restoring our good name and reviving the appeal of our brand is in many ways as great a challenge as stabilizing the financial sector. Good branding is not, to quote a presidential candidate, a matter of putting lipstick on a pig. It's about having the right product to sell in the first place. American democracy has its work cut out for it.
See the world, get elected: Amend the Constitution: We need leaders who're well-traveled - Peter Guttman, Los Angeles Times: “I suggest the Constitution be amended to require that candidates for the presidency (and vice presidential selections as well) have visited a minimum of 20 countries.”
And in other news – Oliver North, Washington Times: First, and most important, the campaign in Mesopotamia is all but won.
Winning the Battle, Losing the Faith - Nathaniel C. Fick And Vikram J. Singh, New York Times: Reduced violence in Iraq will probably free up troops and matériel to do what we must in Afghanistan, but a government viewed by its people as worth fighting for is at least as important as adequate numbers of troops, helicopters and reconnaissance drones.
Book Review: 'The Forever War' by Dexter Filkins: An account of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that deserves a place in humanity's long tradition of war reportage - Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times: Dexter Filkins' brilliant new reportorial memoir, "The Forever War," deserves to be ranked as a classic of the latter genre and is likely to be regarded as the definitive account of how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were experienced by those who actually waged them.
A Manhunt or a Vital War? - Robert D. Kaplan, New York Times: In Afghanistan we are not simply trying to save a country, but to give a whole region a new kind of prosperity and stability, united rather than divided by energy needs, that would be implicitly pro-American. What the Pentagon calls the “long war” is the defining geopolitical issue of our time, and Afghanistan is at its heart. The fate of Eurasia hangs in the balance.
Is Karzai's Brother a Drug Lord? - Juan Cole, Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion: Some of the Pushtuns the US and NATO call "Taliban" seem to me actually to just be villagers angry that US or Afghan troops forcibly eradicated their poppy crops.
Afghanistan, Pakistan split over US presidential hopefuls – AFP: From Pakistani tribesmen to violence-weary Afghans there are hopes but few expectations, on the frontline of the "war on terror," that the next US president can solve the problem of Islamic militancy.
Guardians of sovereignty - Amina Jilani, Nation, Pakistan: The anti-Americanism now sweeping Pakistan, spurred on by the Taliban and their supporters who can see no farther than the end of their noses, is pure hypocrisy. The most rabidly vocal of our anti-Americanism subscribers would sell their souls for a US visa.
India and the US marching on - Jim Lobe, Asia Times: While the United States Senate's approval of a controversial nuclear deal with India was hailed by the White House on Thursday as a major advance in Washington's "strategic relationship" with the South Asian giant, weapons experts have warned it dealt a serious blow to more than 30 years of US and international non-proliferation efforts.
Condi Unable to Sign India Nuke Deal Because –Whoopsie!– It Isn't Legal Yet - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: I keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to: India and the US were unable to ink the pathbreaking civil nuclear agreement on Saturday with New Delhi making it clear that it would do so only after President George W. Bush signs it into a law, an occasion when it expects certain misgivings to be cleared. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Bush's signing of the legislation, which was approved by the US Congress earlier this week, into law had got delayed due to "administrative" reasons and there were "no open issues" involved.
Lost In Translation? A Swede’s Snub Of U.S. Lit - Charles McGrath, New York Times: Publishers are always claiming that translations just don’t sell in the U.S., and they no longer even try anymore. Meanwhile we flood the rest of the world with our schlock, and the rest of the world doesn’t complain much.
ONE MORE QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Now take a deep breath, close your eyes and try the following exercise in historical revisionism. It’s September 11 2001. After two planes have flown into them, the Twin Towers have just collapsed in billows of smoke and fire. Vengeful messages have been disseminated by al-Qaeda. The president of the United States goes on international television and says:
‘We have suffered a grievous loss – a blow has been struck at us that was motivated by an obsessive desire to harm us. We realise that this was the work of a small group of fanatics. Other nations might bomb the stuffing out of the civilian population where those fanatics are at present located, but we recognise the futility of such an action. Nor will we accuse any bystander nation of having been involved. We realise that acts of vengeance recoil upon the heads of the inventors, and we do not wish to perpetuate a chain reaction of revenge. Therefore we will forgive.'"
‘SNL’ Spoofs the VP Debate - Truthdig
Madonna's music ages gracefully as tour hits USA - Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY: “Manhattan newcomer Barry Sherman, 29, came dressed in fishnet and spandex in homage to his idol. In his old house in Vermont, he added, ‘One of the bedrooms is a shrine to Madonna.’"