Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 31



“Give us bombs for peace.”

--American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, pleading for air force action in the Balkans, during a telephone call to colleagues in Washington, September 5, 1995, as mentioned in his book, To End A War (p. 132); see also.

“Serbs ... respected only force or an unambiguous and credible threat to use it.”

--Holbrooke, To End A War, p. 152. PHOTO: Richard Holbrooke with Serbian strongman Milosevic

SITE OF INTEREST

American Voices Association: American Music and Culture Abroad

John Ferguson (L),
Executive Director,
American Voices


PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

Muslim world reacts positively to Obama's outreach, and expectations have been raised - Warren P. Strobel, Miami Herald: “Obama's outreach to Muslims since he took office is ‘a superb first step,’ and has undercut the propaganda of al-Qaida and other Islamic radicals, said

former ambassador Edward Djerejian, who chaired a 2003 panel on public diplomacy toward the Muslim world.” Image via LP.

What type of leader do we have? - Chuck Raasch, The News Journal, DE : “Obama's interview with Dubai-based Al-Arabiya indicated he will himself engage in public diplomacy, that his message will be less confrontational and that he sees both as essential parts of the presidential bully pulpit. Obama's interview drew wide praise in Arab media, but critics at home said he was too apologetic.“

Obama on Al Arabiya: more discussion (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Towards a More Effective Public Diplomacy Campaign - Arabic Media Shack: “I’m not convinced that US Public Diplomacy in the Middle East is rooted in solid grasps of how the target audience – Arabs and Muslims — view things. … I think its fruitless for US public diplomacy campaigns to try and discredit Al-Qaeda. … Simply saying nothing about Al-Qaeda is probably better than trying to make an argument to the people of the region that Al-Qaeda is illegitimate. Why? Because almost everyone in the region would reject, on principle, the idea that Al-Qaeda does not have the right to use force against the US military in the Middle East.”

Obama policies to benefit from feelgood factor – Paul Gillepsie, The Irish Times: “Even if the changes he makes are more stylistic than substantive, more to do with process and consultation than policy outputs, and even when he makes the screw-ups inevitable in any opening presidency, the fact that [Obama] is not George Bush and is good at public diplomacy will smooth the way towards a friendlier relationship with allies and adversaries alike. So argued Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at Tufts University, a prolific author and blogger on the subject.”

More American misunderstanding of international broadcasting - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: “Radio Sawa is not, or at least should not be, ‘sell,’ soft or otherwise. In the Arab World, people are generally using television for news, radio for entertainment. Radio Sawa provides a youth-oriented entertainment that draws in audiences, who are there to hear brief but reliable newscasts that provide an antidote to the anti-American propaganda coming from other sources. Reliable news in larger doses would be the job of Alhurra.”

@rmack Agrees: Obama's Outreach to China Should be Social - China Media Blog: “[T]he new US administration needs to extend its diplomatic outreach to China beyond the nation's leadership, its foreign affairs apparatus, and elites by reaching out to the Chinese people, and social media is a way to do it. … [T]he shift in thinking required to capture the potential of new media [is] simply too large for journalist-bureaucrats steeped in an old-media tradition. … . So as much as it might seem to make sense on paper to leave the government's international social media outreach to the VOA or Radio Free Asia, doing so misses the point. Turning a conversation over to an agency that is seen as the de-facto propaganda arm of the government undermines their credibility and thus their ability to conduct conversations, but more important it limits the scope and effectiveness of the online public diplomacy effort. … If public diplomacy is to be conducted over social media, we need hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of participants on both sides. … Who will win the global contest for hearts and minds depends on more than just media, but America cannot assume it will win that contest without an effort.”

What Kind Of Arts & Cultural Leader Will Obama Be? - András Szántó, The Art Newspaper: “Public diplomacy: Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department is expected to dust off the arsenal of ‘soft’ statecraft to burnish America’s image in the world. Sponsorship for cultural and educational exchanges, exhibitions and festivals, heritage and preservation could uncork funds for the visual arts. Questions abound: would Secretary Clinton recreate the United States Information Agency (which her husband’s administration merged into State)? Would public diplomacy initiatives range beyond hot zones like the Middle East? Does today’s art faithfully represent America’s positive ideals, as Abstract Expressionism was believed to have done during the Cold War?”

Grim reminder in Russia - Arthur I. Cyr, Washington Times: “The double murder in Russia of two prominent young human-rights advocates is a remorseless reminder that the Cold War may be over, but brutality has not been abolished ….

Long after the Cold War, Voice of America still has an important mission; coverage of this case should be sustained. … [D]uring the height of the Cold War the Dwight Eisenhower administration wisely promoted artistic, scientific and wider cultural/educational exchanges with the Soviet Union. A more open society is more likely to oppose the killer and the thug. Mr. Obama should indicate he's like Ike."

Innovation and Shortcomings in US Public Diplomacy – Jameson, Perspectives on Public Diplomacy: “[A] key role for public diplomacy in the context of the overall institution of U.S. foreign policy can be establishing a "constituency" for the State Department. … For instance, DoD has everything from major commercial interests to large military populations inside and outside of the U.S. that are directly reliant on the ‘business’ of the DoD. While it is not realistic to expect the State Department to develop a similar constituency, in size or type, it could be useful to consider the role of public diplomacy in informing the U.S. population and engaging it more fully in the ‘business’ of foreign policy. In other words, the new U.S. administration's notion of a dialogue and teamwork must aim inward as much as it does outward in restoring, but also transforming, America's image.”

Effective leadership judged at the polls US Prof Errante - Njabulo Dlamini, Swazi Observer, Swaziland: “Professor Edward Errante - a specialist in American law - said elections were the most important mechanism for any society to gauge effectiveness or otherwise of its leadership. He was responding to various concerns from civic groups who had attended a digital video conferencing at the US Embassy, Public Diplomacy Section on Friday.”

One bishop’s public diplomacy - Douglas LeBlanc, GetReligion.org: “When the Episcopal Bishop of Washington participates in a conference on religion and politics, it’s not necessarily newsworthy. When that conference takes place in Tehran, Iran, and the same bishop has a private meeting with the theocratic nation’s top spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Hoseini Khamenei, it deserves more attention. Interfaith Voices, an independently produced public-radio show, featured a fine interview with Bishop John Chane [PHOTO]. At one moment Chane describes his work, which will lead to another conference in the United States later this year, as public diplomacy.”

Thoughts on Meridian International Center - U Street Girl: “The mission of the Meridian International Center is ‘advancing international understanding through public diplomacy and global engagement,’ so it’s pretty cool they also host a well-curated art gallery, donated by the Caftritz Foundation.”

Tourism industry submits proposal to Mills - Ghana Business News: “The Private Sector of Ghana’s Tourism industry under the umbrella of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) has delivered a letter full of recommendations to His Excellency President Mills [. Among them:] … Synergizing the roles of the Ministry of Tourism & Diasporean Relations (MoTDR) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in promoting a consistent image of Ghana[Brand Ghana] Internationally through aggressive National Tourism Marketing & Promotion and Public Diplomacy respectively.”

West unaware Sri Lanka’s true story - Barbara Crossette Faults overseas diplomats & Colombo’s 'short-sightedness' - Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune: “Ms. Crossette is now a travel essayist and a freelance writer on foreign policy and international affairs. … . Iterating Sri Lanka’s failure on overseas public diplomacy and strategic communication Ms. Crossette says: ‘Sri Lanka, a small country without powerful international backers, still has not made its case in the West, where old habits and perceptions die hard.’"

UNESSO Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship International Travel Fellowships for Summer 2009 Application Due: March 1, 2009 - Joseph McKeen, [Bowdoin] Center for the Common Good: “This fellowship is intended for American college/university students who express an interest in international collaboration but as of yet had not been afforded many opportunities to travel abroad. The length of time for the travel is expected to be between 4 and 6 weeks and should include interaction with individuals from other nations. During his/her travel, the recipient should be willing to participate in public diplomacy events arranged with the pertinent U.S. State Department Consulate, Mission, and/or Embassy.”

RELATED ITEMS

Humbled Masters At Davos - David Ignatius, Washington Post: U.S. officials, who can't seem to resist being pitchmen at such global gatherings, mostly stayed away at Davos. The Obama administration's absence gave a "post-American" feel to the session, but that's deceiving. Barack-o-mania is as strong among the global titans as it is everywhere else.



Palestinian Myth Machine: The humanitarian crisis in Gaza evokes sympathy, but responsibility for it lies at the feet of Hama - Mona Charen, National Review

The BBC’s warped impartiality: The BBC delights in finding Palestinian spokesmen who lack media skills and whose speech is difficult to understand, while always wheeling in trained and polished Israeli PR people - Stuart Littlewood, Middle East Online

Mideast Facts 'n Spin: Time for Mitchell's Model - Avuncular American: An expatriate view of America and the world from Europe by former diplomat Gerald Loftus: Everybody's doing an assessment of the most recent fighting. Mitchell will be assessing what has changed since he last ‘did’ peace processing, and will be looking deeper and broader than the still-smoldering Gaza. For now, the after-action reports are still focusing on image, PR, spin, and public opinion.

Mr. Mitchell in the Mideast: The Obama administration would do well to follow the advice he already offered -- eight years ago – Editorial, Washington Post: Even as it builds confidence, though, the Obama administration needs to show that the United States is still committed to a separate Palestinian state, and to countering those on both sides who are working against it.

Using the Holocaust to Attack the Jews - Walter Reich, Washington Post: There's genuine anger in the Muslim world, as well as in Europe and elsewhere, about Israel's actions in Gaza. And there are also plenty of people who are angry at Israel because it stands for the reviled United States. But the reality is that much of the vitriol directed at Israel has indeed been spouted by anti-Semites.

Be Not Afraid: Terrorists rely on intimidation and deception. We can’t be fooled, and we must resist - Gabriel Ledeen, National Review: Why do democratic and liberal nations condemn Israel for fighting against terrorists who deliberately target civilians? The fundamental answer to this question is that we, as democratic and liberty-loving societies, are afraid to identify candidly the defining nature of our common enemies.

Hamas is a Mideast reality: The group has evolved dramatically as a movement that can't be wished away by the U.S. and Israel - Fawaz A. Gerges, Los Angeles Times

Samantha "We Should Invade Israel" Power Appointed To NSC – Omri Ceren, Mere Rhetoric. PHOTO: Samantha Power.

How to Export an Awakening: Afghanistan, viewed from Iraq - Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Joshua D. Goodman, Weekly Standard: None knows better than he that U.S. progress in Iraq over the past two years owes much to the rise of the "Awakening" movement, an alliance of Sunni tribesmen, Iraqi nationalists, ex-Baathists, and others united by the goal of driving al Qaeda from their country. Gneral Petraeus oversaw U.S. forces' work in partnering with, protecting, and spreading the Iraqi Awakening. Now he has presented a plan to U.S. allies to spur a similar movement among Afghans.

Holbrooke: Insensitive Choice for a Sensitive Region - Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus/Common Dreams

Options for Iraq, and for US – Editorial, Boston Globe: At best, the Iraqi elections will produce leaders who seek to insulate Iraq from the influence of overbearing neighbors, include previously excluded Sunni Arab political forces, and resolve Kurdish-Arab conflicts. That will go a long way toward creating the stability needed to facilitate the complete withdrawal of US combat troops President Obama promised.

A New Approach to Terrorism – Kerry Kennedy, Huffington Post:

We must act globally because terrorism is a global problem. But labeling those efforts as the so-called Global War on Terror has been destructive.

End of the War on Terror - Philip Giraldi, Campaign for Liberty: The war on terror has been a fiction since the phrase was first articulated by President George W. Bush nine days after 9/11.

Anywhere But Yemen: One group of Guantánamo detainees will prove especially difficult for the Obama administration - Stephen F. Hayes & Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard

Jurisprudence: Cancel Water-Boarding 101 -- The military should close its torture school. I know because I graduated from it - David J. Morris, Slate: In order to ensure that the atrocities of Guantanamo aren't visited upon the world by future administrations, Obama must also eviscerate the structures that enabled and supported torture. At the top of a long list is the U.S. military's secretive torture school, known as SERE, which stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape.

Russia's Crisis I: Obama's opportunity? - Andrew C. Kuchins and Samuel Charap, International Herald Tribune:

The Obama administration now finds itself in a unique position. For the first time in nearly 10 years, the Russians have the economic impetus to work with us.

Russia's Crisis II: Confusing friend and foe - Viktor Erofeyev, International Herald Tribune: Now Russia finds itself in total isolation, losing its last allies.

Will there be a thaw in US-Russian relations? - Cathy Young, Boston Globe: Obama's policy on Russia has struck the right note, confronting autocracy but leaving the door open to partnership.

The Russians Are Coming? - Christian Cary, New York Review of Books: In reality we are not entering a "New Cold War" or anything like it. Treating Russia like an eternal enemy probably won't be very effective.

George Bush’s Gift To The World: The End of American Imperialism - David Michael Green, Common Dreams:

George Bush left us many gifts, but perhaps the greatest of them is that he has ruined the sport of imperialism in America, maybe forever. The fun has really gone out of eviscerating small foreign countries.

Speculation About Where Clinton Will Travel First - Mark Landler, New York Times: The Obama administration, officials said, is determined to spread its senior people around. With so many big names trooping off to Europe, they said, Mrs. Clinton can deliver a greater diplomatic punch by going to Asia.

Lawsuit challenges Clinton eligibility: State department officer claims Constitution bars appointee from serving

- Chelsea Schilling, WorldNetDaily

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1 comment:

mberenis said...

Obama is a great president. His presence is impacting grants like no other president prior. Grant funding for minorities and middle class have increased nearly 10,000% in the past week.

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