Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 28

“Message: do not fuck with the Jews.”

--Marty Peretz, in the New Republic, regarding “at 11:30 on Saturday morning, according to both the Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz, as well as the New York Times, 50 fighter jets and attack helicopters demolished some 40 to 50 sites [in Gaza] in just about three minutes, maybe five."

"uniquely despicable"

--Salon's Glenn Greenwald, regarding the above Peretz statement


Twitter and Public Diplomacy: Deputy Assistant Secretary Colleen Graffy (Part I) – Darren Krape, DN Blog: “Anyone interested in the intersection of public diplomacy and 'web 2.0' has probably heard about the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Colleen Graffy’s use of Twitter (a popular social networking and micro-blogging service).

During a recent trip to Europe, Graffy Twittered her journey through several countries, mixing personal and professional 'tweets'. Some of her more personal comments, as well as her general tone, met with criticism by several reporters and commentators. I have a few points of my own which I will make in a following post, but I thought a summary of the timeline and major critiques might be useful.”

Sizing up U.S. diplomacy -, Canada: “The [US] public diplomacy staff, which seeks to influence foreign publics by promoting U.S. policies, culture, society and values, is currently 24 per cent smaller than in 1986.”

Israel launches well-coordinated PR blitz to garner support for Gaza action - Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post:

“Diplomatic officials said the purpose of the public diplomacy campaign was to give Israel as much diplomatic legitimacy for the operation as possible.”

Gaza raids hand propaganda coup to Hamas and Iran: Only one group of people can have derived any satisfaction from the footage of blood-covered children being pulled from the rubble in Gaza on Saturday night: the fanatics of Hamas -

“Poker?” said Barak to Barack - Cites comment by Dan Kervick: “One had to expect that, following the humiliating stalemate of the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel would plan something big to get its mojo back. There seem to be only two strategic alternatives here for interpreting the Israeli planning and action: ... . The less optimistic [second] alternative is that the Israelis expect a predictable cycle of counterattacks, sabotage, terrorism, kidnappings and and hostile rhetoric from its regional enemies, and are laying the groundwork here for staged escalation to a broader military campaign, including an air strike on Iran. Let’s see where Israel’s public diplomacy goes."

Journal Article: Empire, internationalism, and the campaign against the traffic in women and children in the 1920s. Gorman D. 20 Century Br Hist 2008; 19(2): 186-216SafetyLit: “The article also explores the use of public diplomacy as a new political tool, with a particular focus on the public-private cooperation evident in the League of Nations' work to combat the trade.”


A wrong role for Bill Clinton - Editorial, Boston Globe: Despite formidable political skills and an enduring popularity overseas, former president Bill Clinton would be an awkward choice for a foreign policy assignment in an Obama administration. This would be a mistake for several reasons -- most notably that he should not serve in a position that reports to his wife, Hillary Clinton, the likely secretary of state.

Iranians Ponder Future U.S.-Iranian Relations in an Obama Administration: Travelling to Iran as a Citizen Diplomat for Peace - Ann Wright, Common Dreams: “As a retired US Army Colonel and a former US diplomat, I hope that the Obama administration will throw away the old template of 30 years of crisis, threats of military action, vindictiveness and retaliation and look to diplomacy to develop a peaceful future with Iran!”

What's Next on Gaza/Israel and Why Americans Should Care - Daniel Levy, Huffington Post: Demonstrations across the Arab world and contributors to the ever-proliferating Arabic language news media and blogosphere hold the U.S., and not just Israel, responsible for what happened in Gaza (and that is a position taken, for good reasons, by sensible folk, not hard-liners). America's allies in the region are again running for cover. America's standing, its interests and security are all deeply affected. The U.S.-Israel relationship per se is not to blame (that is something I support), the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict is -- and thankfully we can do something about that.

U.S. psyop in the Philippines - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

The Coming Surge Into Afghanistan: Obama and the Graveyard of Empires - Gary Leupp, CounterPunch: The blood and treasure spilt in Afghanistan was a key factor in the collapse of the once-mighty Soviet Union. As Obama orders his troops into that graveyard, how will the empire, reeling from crises unprecedented in many decades, respond?

A New Chance for Darfur - Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times: Genocide is serious. That’s something that Mr. Obama and his aides understand. Partly for that reason, Sudan fears the Obama administration, and now for the first time in years, there’s a real chance of ousting President Bashir and ending his murderous regime.

Propaganda Fliers to N.Korea to Resume in, South Korea

Indian Filmmaker Casts Off Stereotypes: Md. Director Challenges Homeland's Notion of Immigrant Life in U.S. - N.C. Aizenman, Washington Post: "I want to portray what life is actually like for 20-something Indian immigrants here," said Indian-born, Maryland-raised director Shilpa Priya Jagadeesh (known to her Indian audiences as Priyabharati Joshi).

Condi Finally Dragged into Middle Eastern Shoe Art Renaissance: Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog I keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to:

PHOTO: Turks set an effigy of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on fire, with a shoe fixed to her head, as they shout slogans during protest against Israel's attacks against the Gaza Strip, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008. Several thousands of protesters carrying Palestinian flags chanted anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans and called for an end of Israel's attacks against Gaza. (AP Photo/Ibrahim Usta) COMMENT: "And again the Middle Eastern Shoe Art Renaissance™ defies expectations. First we saw the homages to Oldenburg and Rauschenberg, then Jeff Koons, so naturally I thought the forward momentum through art history would continue. I envisioned perhaps a shoey Damien Hirst, either encrusted with diamonds or suspended in formaldehyde, or maybe a Chris Ofili tribute dotted with elephant dung. But no! They've gone back to the 1930s and found inspiration from an unlikely source: Elsa Schiaparelli's famous Shoe Hat, her wonderful collaboration with Salvador Dali (memorably referenced by Terry Gilliam in Brazil). And then, like another great modernist, Edward Steichen, they immediately grew disaffected with their creation and set it on fire.I'm through trying to predict the future of this delightful art movement. Like the rest of you, all I can do is sit back and wait for whatever marvels lie ahead."

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