Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1

“How to Win Friends and Twinfluence People.”

--How-to-Guide by Mark Drapeau, a leading authority on social media in government and society; cited in How to Tweet (Twitter? Twit?)

"plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"


Public Diplomacy, Iran, and Moral Clarity [Michael Rubin] – The Corner, National Review: "Yesterday, AEI hosted a day-long program looking back on the U.S.-Iran relationship, 30 years after the Islamic Revolution (the anniversary of Khomeini's return is tomorrow). Jeffrey Gedmin gave a great keynote addressing the U.S., Iran, and public diplomacy."

Emile Nakhleh’s A Necessary EngagementBook Review Essay [of A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America’s Relations with the Muslim World (Princeton University Press, 2009, pp 162)] - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: “Nakhleh’s fourth chapter entitled 'Public Diplomacy: A Blueprint' lists ten core themes that resonate in the Muslim world. He recommends that the US needs to enunciate these themes if it wants to gain traction with the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims.”

And three doors down from the boiler room... - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: Citation: "The number of venues for the practice of public diplomacy has continued to grow. Although USIA-run libraries once served as a beacon, the Internet now brings mass connectivity to billions [sic] in the developed and developing worlds. Internet cafes in the Middle East may be both vehicles for societal development and cybermasdrassas. The United States needs an innovative way to engage in public diplomacy in cyberspace. We recommend the creation of a Center for Digital Diplomacy at the Department of State, where U.S. diplomatic professionals could work America's immigrant population to send a clear message that the U.S. is present on the world stage and listening. From Christopher Bronk, Information Technology Policy: Recommendations fro the Next Administration, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, 19 December 2008, via Tech Daily Dose, 29 January 2009." [Elliott comment]:

'Would this replace the functions under the undersecretary of State for public diplomacy? Or compete with them? What would become of the Bureau of International Information Programs, doing much of the same work already?'” PHOTO: Kim Elliott.

Tough Love - Liz Losh, virtualpolitik: A Blog about Digital Rhetoric That Asks the Burning Questions about Electronic Bureaucracy and Institutional Subversion on the Internet: “I mean well. Really. Even when I made fun of the launch of the State Department blog Dipnote with a parody blog of my own called Dopenote, I was honestly trying to help. … Yes. You are trying. I can see that. You post entries like 'First Week Launches New 'Smart Power' to indicate that you know that this is about public diplomacy and a new take on 'soft power.' You post your 'share block' to demonstrate that you have heard of social media, and we can see your Twitter postings in a column to the right. … But when is the writing for the web going to get any better? When will there be any actual information in the posts that citizens might choose to forward to each other? When, at the very least, will you start hyperlinking more regularly, perhaps to other diplomatic blogs from other countries?”

For me, it was ‘Mets,’ for the New York Mets, ‘GWU’ ‘GW,’ and ‘Colonials’ for news about my alma mater, and ‘public diplomacy,' for well, duh. See what people are talking about, and check out their feeds. Do they se’m interesting? Follow them."

How to Tweet (Twitter? Twit?)Softer Power: “The People Search function of Twitter can be frustrating, and I’ve found that most Twitter novices I know don’t really have a firm grasp of the Tweet search at the bottom of the page. USE IT! Search terms that fascinate you."

Collaboration, Community and Culture - DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age: “We've uploaded the Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds mini-documentary to YouTube." ... “'With this report, Josh and Rita have illuminated a new path–a definite intelligible plan–for practical public diplomacy in an area of supreme urgency. Furthermore, they have done so by elevating humanity’s most distinguishing feature: the imagination.' -- Joel Rosenthal, President, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.” SEE ALSO

Literary Update for February 1, 2009 - Sonoma County Literary Update: “Host a Foreign Exchange Student From the U. S. Department of State: ‘Secondary School Student exchange programs have been part of U. S. public diplomacy efforts since 1949. These programs promote mutual understanding by providing foreign students the opportunity to study in American high schools while living with an American host family.’”


Pointing to a New Era, U.S. Pulls Back as Iraqis Vote
- Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times: The outlook of Iraqi citizens has changed. They are more confident that their problems are their own, and that the Americans cannot fix them and often have only made matters worse. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has agreed to finance a substantial scholarship program to send Iraqis to the United States and British Commonwealth countries for study, in an effort to create a better educated professional class.

New president, new battlefield: Fixing Afghanistan and Pakistan will be harder than fixing Iraq, and the penalties for failure are greater: Doyle Mcmanus, Los Angeles Times: The goal -- denying extremists and terrorists a safe base -- is more modest than bringing democracy to the region, but crucially important.

Key to Afghanistan: Pakistan - Brahma Chellane, Washington Times: Mr. Obama needs to face up to a stark truth: The war in Afghanistan can only be won in Pakistan, whose military establishment fathered the Taliban and still provides sanctuary, intelligence and material support to that Islamist militia.

The other Iran - Roger Cohen, International Herald Tribune: Obama should do five other things. Address his opening to the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, because he decides. State that America is not in the Iranian regime-change business. Act soon rather than wait for the Iranian presidential elections in June: Khamenei will still be around after them. Begin with small steps that build trust. Treat the nuclear issue within the whole range of U.S.-Iranian relations, rather than as its distorting focus.

Good Words for a War That Goes On - Jim Hoagland, Washington Post: Obama has abandoned a George W. Bush slogan -- the war on terror -- that even Don Rumsfeld and other aides thought was misleading. But the struggle to locate, disrupt and destroy international terrorist networks -- which target other Muslims even more often than they target foreign infidels, Jews and "crusaders" -- goes on.


“’Trying to write intellectual history is like trying to nail jelly to a wall,’ the historian William Hesseltine once observed. Standing hammer in hand, there are three obvious ways to grasp hold of this slippery subject. The first is to focus on the thinkers or, to continue the craftsman metaphor, the producers of the ideas. The second method is to concentrate on the genetic development of the ideas themselves, or the product. The third is to focus on the consumers; that is, to trace the transmission and interpretations of these ideas among the wider population."

--Pulitzer-prize winning author Debby Applegate

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