Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13


“When they incorporated the town, they tried a few names, but those already existed, and somebody wrote back saying we should try something more ‘peculiar.’ And, son, we did.”

--A citizen of Peculiar, Missouri.

PHOTO: A Peculiar street

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

New Book: Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy
Edited by Nancy Snow, Philip M. Taylor

Attributing magical powers to public diplomacy -- and to old bureaucracies - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: “With a budget of over $300 million, the State Department's public diplomacy section is hardly an 'afterthought.' The re-creation of USIA, or something like it, with not magically turn around the U.S. public diplomacy effort. And whatever we think of U.S. policies, many of them are unpopular abroad, and public diplomacy will not make them popular.”

A Message for the New President: Getting Diplomacy Right - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: “The next president will, in reality, have only one foreign policy option. This is the imperative to rely far more on traditional diplomacy, public diplomacy and foreign aid delivered through civilian means to begin to repair America’s face and effectively conduct its business abroad. The military first 'solution' has proven to be no solution.”

Uzbekistan: reporter for RFE/RL, VOA gets ten-year sentence - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Bridging the Digital Divide - Multiple Reality Disorder: “Yesterday, we went to the American Library at the U.S. Embassy up the road, a sprawling campus of Americana. I had never been inside a U.S. embassy, and I was curious to see for myself what these much-talked about libraries were all about, a staple of American public diplomacy during the Cold War. The State Department has been criticized for cutting back on them since, and some suggest the American Library system should be retooled to focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. Sure enough, it looked just like a library, with a very American theme, of course. (No ethnic cleansing here, just Manifest Destiny.) We met with about 15 Liberian journalists … to teach about blogging, a tough thing to maintain in a country lacking ready Internet access. … If only one of those Liberian journalists actually maintains his blog, it will be one more blogger Liberia has to tell its unique story to the world. And in Liberia's case, it might be the only local blogger the country has.”

RELATED ITEMS

On crisis, Europe to US: 'I told you so': Europeans blame economic mess on US 'anything goes' capitalism as Iceland faces a full meltdown - Jeffrey White, Christian Science Monitor: Instances of schadenfreude and we-told-you-so have tapered off lately as Europe, seeing many of its own financial institutions fail in the past week, has been unable to hold up its financial systems as better prepared to mitigate an economic meltdown. But they underscore the fundamentally different philosophies of the US and EU toward market economics.

Moving Beyond Empire – Alan Bock, Antiwar.com: The way out of the current financial crisis should involve giving up our foolish dreams of empire and vowing to create productive economic partnerships that work because they benefit both sides, not because the U.S. has the power to enforce its will.

Big Think: "I hope that we can restore our image" – Video Dog, Salon: "My Guantánamo Diary" author Mahvish Khan discusses visiting the U.S. prison and whether she still believes in American justice.

For president, a generational conflict: It's the key to viewing McCain versus Obama - Russell Baker, Los Angeles Times: The new century has opened with a pervasive sense of American decline, and for good reason. The history of the Bush years is anything but a tonic for the spirit: the nation deceived by official lies into endless Middle Eastern warfare, loss of America's good reputation around the world, erosion of the middle class, astounding budget deficits, growing financial dependence on China, that sinister power-grabbing operation in the vice president's office, torture.

The World Vote: Barack Obama is almost universally favored over John McCain outside the United States. Should that matter to Americans? – Editorial, Washington Post: On the intangible but critical question of American prestige and the willingness to accept U.S. leadership that comes with it, Mr. Obama has more to offer.

Make Love not War: Anti-Americanism and the American Election – Michael Radu, Foreign Policy Research Institute: Anti-Americanism is both a real and a global phenomenon. It has to be dealt with, in the long term, by engaging in realistic policies and attracting allies, not by masochistic exercises, public relations gimmicks, or unilateral concessions. The Michael Moore/Sean Penn/Noam Chomskys in this country are just an irritation here and abroad; to actively seek an accommodation with various foreign anti-American forces in order to make the United States “loved” would be a disaster. Via Len Baldyga.

World weighs McCain and Obama’s global views - Daniel Dombey, Financial Times: No matter who wins next month’s presidential election, some of the fundamental challenges facing US foreign policy will remain the same.

A modern-day Hitler: Ahmadinejad targets Jews - Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Washington Times: Job one for our next president is to signal pro-American young Iranians they are not forgotten and oppressed minorities they are not forsaken. Any potential meeting with Tehran's evil theocrats must be linked to real and verifiable policy changes on the ground. Anything less could lead America down the road to appeasement or war.

Obama Is Right About Talking to Iran: U.S. diplomacy can turn Tehran against Russia - Vali Nasr, Wall Street Journal

Russia rules – Editorial, Washington Times: Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev have demonstrated that the West is powerless to protect Russia's neighbors.

A Collapse, by Any Other Name ... - Michele A. Berdy, Moscow Times: Russia's leaders have avoided image-producing and anxiety-inducing words by simply not mentioning their own financial meltdown on television. The picture is different in the print media. If neutrality reigned in describing the U.S. plan, expressiveness ruled for the global meltdown.

Watching Ukraine Just like John McCain told me to… - Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com: With socialism defeated in the lands of the former Soviet Union but now triumphant on Wall Street and Washington, a new cold war is just what the doctor ordered to get the war economy moving, as everything else comes to a grinding halt, and to divert peoples' attention away from their own increasing misery.

New and Unnecessary – Editorial, New York Times: With the Bush administration, no bad idea ever dies. So it should be no surprise that the Pentagon and the Department of Energy have released a new policy paper -- pitched to the next president -- arguing the case for a new nuclear warhead.

Trusting North Korea: Washington removes Pyongyang from the list of terror-sponsoring regimes - Stephen F. Hayes, Weekly Standard: Barack Obama will inherit a North Korea policy that looks a lot like the one he has proposed throughout his campaign.

Bush's North Korea Surrender Will Have Lasting Consequences: Nuclear proliferators have a new model to follow - John R. Bolton, Wall Street Journal: North Korea has now achieved one of its most-prized objectives: removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. In exchange, the U.S. has received "promises" on verification that are vague and amount to an agreement to negotiate the critical points later. In the Bush administration's waning days, this is what passes for diplomatic "success." It is in fact the final crash and burn of a once-inspiring global effort to confront and reverse nuclear proliferation, thereby protecting America and its friends.

N. Korean Propaganda = Approx. 86% Art - Ayang047’s Weblog: “I don’t think it’s very surprising that most of North Korean propaganda takes on the form of art. I think it’s because art is everywhere; it’s so accessible. Sometimes it’s even forced upon people without their knowing. Also, art has so many forms that it can be applied to our multiple senses. I’ve been brainwashed myself!”

Confessions of a Propaganda Hitman - Zhang Yanlong, Economic Observer online: As a propaganda "hitman," Yu Menghong is hired by Xi'an provincial government officials to churn out polished propaganda pieces lauding their achievements. His stories, crafted with materials provided by his clients, are published in major local newspapers as advertorials.

Shiny Mao Portraits Offer Look at Dismal Propaganda Art: Review - Linda Yablonsky, Bloomberg: At New York's Asia Society, where "Art and China's Revolution'' gathers so many bright and shiny pictures of a smiling, avuncular Chairman Mao in such small spaces it could drive a sane person mad.

Radio propaganda and 1938: Chequered airwaves [review of Battle for the Airwaves: radio and the 1938 Munich crisis by David Vaughan] - The Economist: Radio created the Third Reich’s ethnic battering ram: the Sudeten Germans, stranded in Czechoslovakia under the Versailles treaty. As David Vaughan recounts in his meticulous and poignant study of the war on the airwaves, Czechoslovakia’s own German-language programmes were hopelessly outgunned by the quantity, quality and audibility of the Nazi propaganda effort. What Prague did offer was sometimes magnificently erudite (Thomas Mann, the exiled German literary giant, was a contributor) but had little appeal to skint, resentful German-speaking workers: they were easy prey for made-up stories of atrocities, discrimination, and conspiracies.

1 comment:

sasiraman said...

On October 18, 2006 F&J's President, Mohamed Elibiary, and former F&J Policy Analyst, Shahzeb Gaziani, were invited guests by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the State Department Iftar Dinner. Due to a last minute nuclear crisis requiring the Secretary's attention.
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