Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 4

"I would love to have seen them go their separate ways, but I was exhausted. The frog was all the time trying to pull the snake off, but the snake just wouldn't let go."

--Photographer David Maitland, regarding his above prize-winning photo, "deadlocked"


Public Diplomacy - - American Public Diplomacy's Use of "Us" and "Them" Language: Public Diplomacy's Fictions – Amy Zalman, About.com: “The world has always been a multi-vocal place. Technology has amplified many of those voices. A strategic approach to communicating with foreign publics could start with the true story that in our currently austere moment, stories--visions of potential futures, of how to be modern, how to be democratic, and how to create plenty--can be found in abundance. Granted, it is the job of American public diplomacy to stake out the American version. And the Undersecretary's office [for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] currently sponsors a few projects afoot that encourage multiple stories, including a global contest in which anyone can make a short film about what democracy looks like to them. But even these will not get far if the dominant perception that there is only one 'us' and one 'them' prevails in policy.”

What the U.S. Should Not Do in the Middle East - Steven Cook, Council on Foreign Relations: “Some observers claim that public opinion in the Arab world does not matter because the regimes in the region are non-democratic. Others argue that Middle Eastern leaders are afraid of their citizens, implying, of course, that public opinion in the Arab world is meaningful. The result is wild swings in American foreign policy from shutting down most avenues of communication to the belief that better public diplomacy is Washington’s salvation.”

Evaluate world engagement on interest, fairness - Elbridge Colby, Washington Times: "Too often ignored, however, is the reality that an effective way for the United States to improve its image abroad is by showing the consequences of what would happen if it were to do less, rather than simply by doing more. This is because the U.S. can substantially restore its standing abroad by getting more appropriate credit for the services it already provides to others rather than allowing these services to continue to be taken for granted." See also.

CNN is Bia's, Yes they are – Gordonfurme, A complex celtic guy with an ADD mind: “It is time we revitalize our public diplomacy arena. The practices of the CIA and TSA / DHS are more than draconian. Having a new approach outside of those agencies is a good start. Advantage McCain."

О новых направлениях развития концепции информационной войны в СШАwhitemoscow: Discusses the Pentagon’s” Information Operation Roadmap” and “oбщественная дипломатия” (public diplomacy); notes the “formation of a strategy of total information war.”

The Consortium Initiative offers to replace OSCE MG by NGOs from conflicting countries?PanARMENIAN.Net, “Representatives of Nagorno Karabakh’s non-governmental organizations met in Brussels with Dennis Sammut, Executive Director of LINKS and Director of the Political Strand of the Consortium Initiative, in the framework of the second Armenian-Azeri ‘European integration process as a possible mechanism of Karabakh conflict transformation’ public forum initiated by International Alert from October 27 to 30. … [I]n the words of Irina Grigoryan, director of Stepanakert-based Institute of Public Diplomacy, the initiative is unreal.”

FM installs new director generals -Lilian Budianto, Jakarta Post: “Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda installed … Elias Ginting as secretary for the directorate general of information and public diplomacy.”


A bold step for US good will in Iraq: Convert the huge US Embassy into a university - Adil E. Shamoo, Christian Science Monitor. See also John Brown, “[T]he … Embassy compound … could be turned into a university or hospital for the benefit of Iraqis whom we ‘liberated.’" (Common Dreams, June 11, 2007)

Guantanamo's final days – Editorial, Boston Globe: Few actions by a new president would draw a clearer distinction with President Bush than a pledge on Inauguration Day to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to adhere to the Geneva Conventions in the handling of war on terror.

Guantanamo Revelation: The first of many if Obama wins – Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal: As we learned under FDR (internment camps), LBJ (spying on political enemies) and Bill Clinton (rendition to Arab regimes), liberals aren't as punctilious about civil liberties when liberals run the government. Who knows, maybe Guantanamo's false reputation as a gulag will be rehabilitated too.

The next president's task in war on terror - H.D.S. Greenway, Boston Globe: To bring about real change in the world, the new president will have to rethink and reorganize the entire concept of preventive war and the so-called war on terror.

After Bush: How to repair US alliances: Bush's exit won't suddenly fix things. Both sides need to step up - Michael Fullilove, Christian Science Monitor: It is the lot of the sole superpower to be on the receiving end of sycophancy and resentment, often simultaneously. Sometimes Americans make it easy for their critics, too. But for all its flaws, the US still does much more good than ill.

Five Election Myths - Anne Applebaum, Washington Post: One of the myths: If Barack Obama wins, our standing in the world will improve immediately, just because he's "different."

Five Reasons Why Barack Obama Won’t be Elected President … of Europe. The press loves him and the polls are phenomenal, mais ici? Jamais! - Denis Boyles, National Review: Although polls here show Obama leading McCain by 99.9 percent to one undecided voter in the Balkans, even a locally grown, genetically unmodified version of citizen Obama wouldn’t stand a chance in any national election in Europe. They may like him as president of somebody else’s backyard -- but not theirs.

E.U. Offers Road Map For Policy With U.S. - Edward Cody, Washington Post, European governments drew up a road map for relations with the new U.S. president Monday in their maiden attempt to present a concerted policy to guide dealings with the United States.

Arab Press Goes All-Out Covering the US Election - Salameh Nematt, Daily Beast: The level of Arab media interest in this year's election is unprecedented -- and the reports suggest many in the region are rooting for Obama.

Obama or McCain Better for Russia? - Rose Gottemoeller, Moscow Times: Obama and Medvedev have the potential to start a truly modern phase in the U.S.-Russian relationship, finally leaving the Cold War behind.

Obama's Neocon in Residence – Philip Giraldi, Antiwar.com: If Obama wins, it is generally believed that the position of Secretary of State will go to Richard Holbrooke. But what is really scary about a possible Obama administration is Dennis Ross. Ross claims that he believes in diplomacy and has even written a book on the subject, though his one major foray in that area, Camp David in 2000, demonstrated that he was more interested in advancing Israeli interests than he was in creating a viable peace with the Palestinians.

Worsening Situation in Afghanistan Spurring New Strategies - Anand Gopal, Antiwar.com: Western officials are increasingly turning to new strategies in an effort to stabilize Afghanistan and defeat the insurgency here, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. The various initiatives -- from negotiating with the Taliban to arming tribal militias -- have differing degrees of support from Afghans.

A Quiet Deal With Pakistan - David Ignatius, Washington Post: There is a growing cooperation -- in secret -- between the United States and Pakistan in the high-stakes war along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, which U.S. intelligence officials regard as the crucial front in the war on terrorism.

Bombing Syria : Borders are for Sissies - Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch: Washington has proven itself to be an international outlaw once again.

The PR battle for the CaucasusBBC News: The South Ossetian conflict, which began in early August this year, not only sparked a military war between Russia and Georgia, but a propaganda battle. Both countries have hired Western PR companies to help put across their messages. Poster: "Peoples of the Caucasus! We will bring you liberation from the Bolshevik yoke!"

Annals of Counterproductive Propaganda – Quico, Caracas Chronicle: “It has come to this. Apparently, the latest good gone AWOL from Venezuelan store shelves is...wait for it...coffee! Scarcity hasn't been this ironic since the Great Newcastle Coal Drought of 1872 . … [W]hen I saw this Ministry of Information press release headlined 'Un cafecito con el pueblo', I figured I was in for a bit of propaganda push back . … Turns out it was just a straight up and down Chávez-Man-of-the-People fluff piece about el comandante turning up unannounced at a Caracas city center cafeteria and sharing a cup of joe with the star struck regulars as they ‘chatted about their experiences and aspiration within the socialist society that is currently being built.’"

The Role of Propaganda in This Election - Tom Smisek, ChronWatch: “Why are we addressing the propaganda of World War II? Because we are experiencing the greatest example of modern day propaganda of our time. There are uncanny parallels with 1930-1940’s Germany and the political process in our country today! Like the 'sheep' in Germany, Americans have been force-fed the party line and they follow. Of course, you must now know I am talking about leftwing-dominated media elite who has inundated the airwaves and print media with pro Obama rhetoric.”

Art and Propaganda - Luis Feliz, Barbaric Yawp PTK: The following quote is from the essay “Why I Write” by George Orwell: “What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, my initial concern is to get a hearing.” Left: Cover of book by Toby Clark.

Youngstown museum's exhibit explores dabblings in medium - Dorothy Shinn, Akron Beacon Journal, OH: Once clear-cut, the relationship between art and advertising hasn't remained so. Given the growing ubiquitousness of the advertising medium and the increased use of propaganda methods and embedded, subconscious manipulations, there arose in the art community new views of ads that took on the character of an institutional critique.


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