Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal
the way you dream, the things you feel.
Deep in your spirit let them rise
akin to stars in crystal skies
that set before the night is blurred:
delight in them and speak no word."
"Molchi, skryvaisya i tai
I chuvstva i mechty svoi -
Puskai v dushevnoi glubine
Vstayut i zahodyat one
Bezmolvno, kak zvezdy v nochi,-
Lyubuisya imi - i molchi."
--Silentium, Fedor Tyutchev, image from; translation by Vladimir Nabokov
"Audacity on steroids"
-- Frank Micciche, managing director of the Next Social Contract Initiative at the New America Foundation, on Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget proposal
U.S. Will Adapt to Evolving Terror Threat, Counterterrorism Director Says - Ashley Matthews, UVA Law School News: “The United States and other Western countries face constantly evolving terror threats, said Michael Leiter, director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center …
‘What we’re going to see, and what I think is a very good thing that we are seeing, is a continuation of certain elements of this policy using elements of hard power, but a greater focus and greater prioritization of soft power: of developing the State Department public diplomacy, the counter-radicalization programs, the outreach to communities at risk, the aid programs and foreign-aid programs and the like that are structured to support counter-radicalization programs for the U.S. government,’ Leiter said." Image from
Smart Power In, Public Diplomacy Out? - John Brown, Notes and Essays: “[T]he Obama administration is making a departure from the public diplomacy of the post-9/11 Bush years. The future will tell what final shape -- if any -- it will take. For now, however, it appears that the American government voice overseas will lose much of its brashness and self-glorification. It will sound less like base propaganda, and that is not to be regretted." Image from
Traditional diplomacy: What are your impressions of the ‘old’ diplomacy? Has it become outmoded? - Joanna Dubois, The New Diplomacy: The Reflective Blogs of the Students on the New Diplomacy Module at London Metropolitan University: “[T]he reason for the use of public diplomacy is rather based on the will of the political leaders to pass a message to their audience. Government use the new diplomacy as a tool to influence foreign audience and as a means to communicate with its citizens, but also as a propaganda tool.”
Russia Today as Cultural Diplomacy (aka Adventures in Bingerle): Global Media Monitor: “While I do not question the importance/relevance of 'the Liberator's proclivity to bingerle, it is interesting that RT [Russia Today television] chooses to use its limited space (three paragraphs at most) to recite snippets of one of Alexander [I]'s love letters to his mistress. RT's Russia Now section is designed to pique foreigner's interest in Russia. This is certainly one way to do so.” Image from
O problema de Israel é de imagem pública, não de legitimidade - - Marx Golgher, PLETZ.com: “Com todo o respeito que merece o Prof. Manuel Tenembaum, faço algumas ponderações a respeito de seu artigo 'A legitimidade de Israel' distribuído pela excelente 'Rua Judaica' de 25.02.09. … Mas o que, data-vênia, mais distancia do texto do respeitável Prof. Tenenbaum diz respeito à imagem de Israel. Nenhum Estado moderno está só, impondo-se-lhe o dever natural de se apresentar ao mundo, mostrar a que veio no concerto das nações, cultivar boas relações com nações amigas, a usar uma boa politica externa oficial e uma ‘public diplomacy’, de modo bem claro e transparente.”
[Book Review] Propaganda, Inc – esevin, Reaching the Public: “What I like about Propaganda, Inc. [By Nancy Snow] · Dr. Snow’s personal experience and account in USIA are incorporated to the structure of the book. · The differences between Clinton administration and Bush administration are discussed in details. · The little crumbs of hope and optimism about the future of PD. · Listing the shortcomings of U.S. governments in PD. What I don’t like about Propaganda, Inc. · Premature labeling of every attempt as being propaganda, imperialism or manipulation. · Chomsky citation.” Image from
Paul Rockower Photo Proposal - Levantinephotoproject: "Proposal: I am interested in obtaining sponsorship and space to put on a photography exhibition in the Annenberg School for Communication in the Fall 2009 semester. I am willing to put the exhibition on at cost, as I am interested in having the photos gain exposure as opposed to commercial purposes. A major focus of the proposed exhibit centers on Public Diplomacy. The field of Public Diplomacy deals with promoting values, ideas and concepts to foreign publics. Public Diplomacy focuses on the transmission of message and values, and the exchange of ideas via advocacy, cultural exchanges and cultural diplomacy, listening endeavors and the field of international broadcasting. This photo exhibit will highlight the cultural diplomacy realm of Public Diplomacy, and help promote cultural exchange by transmitting images of the outside world to USC students."
Women's History Month: Julie Connor – Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of State: “Julie Connor is currently serving as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation (VCI). …
In Washington, she has been a Senior Advisor and Acting Deputy Director for the Department’s Office of International Women’s Issues, served as the Deputy Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy; and was the desk officer for France, Spain, and Portugal with the former United States Information Agency (USIA).” Image from
Ahmadinejad Tangles With Hollywood: Iran's hostile reception for a Hollywood delegation is a sign the nation may not be ready for "Movie Diplomacy" - Reza Aslan, Daily Beast . Image from
Gaza Stripped, Occupation Remains: Middle East Medical Mission Heroes - Sonia Nettnin, CounterPunch: The Obama Administration should help the victims of war and occupation receive humanitarian assistance, and they should help the injured travel abroad for medical care. Moreover, the Obama Administration should help all medical professionals who travel to war torn areas, so they can care for the victims and train local doctors.
American SUV sales jump in Iraq - Alan Gomez, USA TODAY: Now that security has improved, Hummers and other SUVs are big sellers among young and wealthy Iraqis. Image from
The Iraq “pullout” meme: Textbook Beltway propaganda - Christopher Dowd, Boston Libertarian Examiner
It’s Obama’s War Now - Chris Hedges, Truthdig: Barack Obama has shown that he is as capable of doublespeak as any other politician when he announced an end to the war in Iraq.
U.S. influence in Iraq far from over - Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun: Mr. President, keep your word about withdrawing from Iraq. Enough with the Bush doubletalk.
Obama's retreat on Iraq withdrawal - Steve Chapman, Baltimore Sun: Obama has moved a long way toward Bush's view that we cannot leave Iraq until some sort of victory or success has been achieved. What he doesn't tell us is what he will do if that day fails to come, or if things get worse.
Partial Peace, Looming War - Tom Hayden, Nation: In Iraq the situation remains unpredictable. There are still more battlefields in the long war.
We're really leaving Iraq: Some Iraq war critics are fretting about Obama's speech on Friday, and his plan to stay a little longer. But here's why there's no reason for alarm - Juan Cole, Salon:
Obama is prepared to depart Iraq even if it remains somewhat divided, even if a drumbeat of subdued violence continues in its cities, and even if anti-Americanism retains a certain purchase on the population. Image from
A Hard-Earned Opportunity, Indeed: The good news of the surge’s success has finally reached Obama – Editors, National Review: We now know that Obama won’t simply throw away that sacrifice in a fit of anti-war purity. And that’s a start.
Debating the Iraq exit: The right claims Obama's plan vindicates Bush. The left fears Obama will continue Bush's war. Both are wrong - Gary Kamiya, Salon: The truth is there is no right way to leave Iraq. Faced with this unsolvable moral, tactical, strategic and political conundrum, Obama has chosen a middle path. And that's a justifiable choice.
An alternative course in Afghanistan - Dana Rohrabacher, Washington Times: The way to win in Afghanistan is to help rebuild the country from the bottom up. Do that and the whole Muslim world will know it is good to be America's friend in more ways than one. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, is a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee and recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan. PHOTO: Dana Rohrabacher (left) with Afghan military and political leaders in Kabul, Afghanistan.
To Talk With Iran, Stop Not Talking - James Dobbins, Washington Post: The time for exchanges of presidential correspondence and even face-to-face meetings may come, but that is not where to begin. Dropping the barriers to routine diplomatic exchanges between responsible officials speaking on the basis of existing policy is the easiest, lowest-risk means of crossing the threshold from not talking to talking.
Concessions to Terror: Will Hillary Clinton’s visit to Israel today mark a new beginning for land-for-peace make-believe? - Tom Gross, National Review:
Hillary Clinton arrives in Israel today on her first visit since becoming secretary of state, at a time when many influential people in America and beyond are clamoring for the Obama administration to pressure Israel into making major concessions. Before she succumbs to those pressures, she might want to bear in mind the pain Israel suffered the last time it was forced to make such concessions -- when Mrs. Clinton’s husband was president. Cartoon by Mr. Fish, Truthdig
Israel is Crossing the Line - Steve Clemons, Huffington Post: Israel controls a great deal of temperature in the Middle East and could significantly change the views of many Arabs towards the US, the West, and even Israel if it tried. Not doing so actually animates the bravado from and tension with Iran's political leadership.
Thawing out 'Cold War II': As the US seeks to 'reset' ties with Russia, it must not expect a complete reboot - Editorial Board, Christian Science Monitor: In the end, it has to be remembered that while Russia is not the Soviet Union, its "managed democracy" is not democracy. The Obama team deserves encouragement for its new openness with Moscow. But it must also be open-eyed about the possibilities.
Is China Just Another Failing Bank? There’s more to Beijing’s balance sheet than its holdings of U.S. public debt - Therese Shaheen, National Review: Greater U.S. pragmatism on China is needed. This calls for U.S. policies that are less dependent upon China’s often capricious Communist leadership and instead built on stable, traditional, and reliable partnerships with Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
Wars, Endless Wars - Bob Herbert, New York Times:
The nation as we’ve known it is fading before our very eyes, but we’re still pouring billions of dollars into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with missions we are still unable to define. Image from
Radical Rethink Needed in Washington – Philip Giraldi, Antiwar.com: If Barack Obama were able to bring about even a tiny shift in direction for an impoverished America circling the globe in search of dragons, it would truly be change that we can all believe in.
The Imperial Unconscious: Afghan Faces, Predators, Reapers, Terrorist Stars, Roman Conquerors, Imperial Graveyards, and Other Oddities of the Truncated American Century - Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: Empire-speak, American-style. Is the language -- behind which lies a deeper structure of argument and thought -- that is essential to Washington's vision of itself as a planet-straddling goliath.
Utah Shows Big Love for Porn – Truthdig:
Where in this great nation would you think the per capita consumption of pornography would be at its highest? Perhaps a decadent coastal blue state such as California or New York? Guess again, people -- the answer is Utah. Image from