Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1

"Your Jacksons are far more appealing than your Tomahawks."

--Blogger Ahmed Quraishi; image from

"I remember her only as really cute, an object of desire across a classroom or another."

--Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, reminiscing about Ruth, embezzler Bernie Madoff’s wife, with whom he attended the same Queens high school; image from


New Issue of Public Diplomacy Magazine (summer 2009): "In Navigating the Middle, our contributors offer a framework for defining and analyzing the behavior and characteristics of middle power nations. Eytan Gilboa asserts that the foreign policy priorities of middle powers are distinct from those of small and great powers, and that public diplomacy provides them with the most effective tools to accomplish their goals.

Andrew Cooper argues that 'middle power' status is fluid, with shifting global power structures allowing countries to move around the middle, either increasing or losing soft power in the process. In his book 'Branding Canada,' which we excerpt here, Evan Potter offers recommendations for reconstructing Canadian public diplomacy that could also prove useful for many other countries. " [PDPBR Note: magazine contains articles on other topics.]

Symposium: "The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy, 2009: The Role of Soft Power in the International Environment”: Berlin, 27th-31st July November, 2009

Conference: "Face-off to Facebook: From the Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate to Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century". The George Washington University, Thursday, July 23, 2009, Jack Morton Auditorium

The real asset - Ahmed Quraishi, "Two things made America more influential and awe inspiring than any other nation on the face of the earth: cowboy movies and Michael Jackson. Long before the American Tomahawks, B-52s and the rest of the American weapons used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, Michael Jackson entered the houses of the nations across the Middle East and Central Asia. Some say these Muslim nations want war with America. That’s typical Langley hogwash. Long before Karen Hughes and Don Rumsfeld came up with kooky concepts of public diplomacy, and long before Pentagon and State Department established offices for outreach to Muslims, this icon of modern American culture was welcomed in a region that knew little about American culture or simply didn’t care. America didn’t need men with twisted minds and Darth-Vader plans for global domination to open the doors for American supremacy [this is for you, Richard Perle]. It happened anyway thanks to Jackson, Stallone and Madonna." Image from

Special Report - Bret Baier, Real Clear Politics: "[Political correspondent Mara] LIASSON[: '] I think they [the Obama administration]'re perfectly happy of the outcome of what happened. They would rather not have a Chavez-like president, another one, in Central America. Now, I think it's the correct public diplomacy in politics to say that, of course, we're for the democratically elected president, and we don't like coups in Latin America. But when all the dust settles, they will be happy to work with the new guy. They are not working to get Zelaya back into power. That's not what the U.S. is doing here. You are kind of extrapolating that position from his statements. I think in terms of the split also in terms of the State Department and the White House with Secretary of State Clinton being less forward, not really willing to say this was illegal, I think that, in the end, this is the outcome that the United States would have preferred. This is not the method that they want to publicly condone.[']"

Telesur and CNN cut off in Honduras following coup - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "With television news cut off in H[o]nduras, are Hondurans returning to their shortwave radios? VOA Spanish still transmits on shortwave. Nominally, these shortwave transmissions are to the Andean countries, although they should also be audible in Central America. However, the shortwave transmission schedule cannot be found at the recently redesigned website of VOA Spanish." Image from

Iran media update for 30 June 2009 - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: Contains references to USG-supported international broadcasting: VOA, RFE/RL. See also.

White House 2.0: Spreading its Message: Terming it '21st century statecraft,' the Obama administration is attempting to wed social technologies with public diplomacy, but true interaction may be still out of reach - Peter A Buxbaum, ISN Security Watch: "For the State' [Department']s Alec Ross, the biggest obstacle to public diplomacy efforts is the digital divide - the sparse adoption of broadband internet connections in many parts of the developing world.

'Whenever you push a message through new media you are excluding an important segment of society,' he said. 'But the government can’t wait for ubiquitous access to broadband to take advantage of web technologies.' One way to bridge the digital divide is to provide rich media adaptable to smart phones, according to Ross. 'People will far likely be accessing the network through a smart phone than a laptop in the developing world,' he said. Ross also believes that US public diplomacy efforts could drive demand for internet access around the world. 'Obama putting an online video out there targeted to Persian speakers will make them want to go online,' he said. Other such activities 'could play a big role in catalyzing demand to connect to the network.'” Image from

Liberal-Era Diplomatic Language Killed Off: Key phrases like "good governance" and "public diplomacy" are being discreetly purged from Canadian foreign policy - Jeff Davis, Embassy, Canada

The Government’s “[W]hen it comes to disinformation in a wide-screen, Cinemascope format, the former thespian Ronald Reagan deserves top billing. Assisted by a gullible press corps, the Reagan administration fobbed off sundry falsehoods on an unsuspecting public. … The Reagan administration took its propaganda efforts seriously enough to establish a de facto bureau of domestic disinformation, dubbed euphemistically the Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD). Described by a high-ranking U.S. official as a 'cast psychological warfare operation' aimed at the American public, the OPD was run by a CIA propagandist whom Director William Casey had transferred to the National Security Council in an effort to side-step the ban on CIA meddling in domestic affairs. The OPD enlisted army psywar experts in the campaign to win American hearts and minds over to Reagan’s foreign policy.” Image from

New chair for US Commission for International Religious Freedom - Paolo Gallini, Religious Intelligence: "Leonard A Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society, was elected chairman of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), where he currently serves as a commissioner. … Mr Leo holds degrees from Cornell University and Cornell Law School. His experience with public diplomacy includes having served on delegations to the UN Commission on Human Rights, UNESCO, OSCE, WIPO, and the World Health Organization."


(AM June 30-early PM July 1)

digidiplomacy: public diplomacy 2 minutes ago from web

govwiki: RT @annaberthold: My article on New Technology and New Public Diplomacy in PD magazine: about 3 hours ago from twitterfeed

lovisatalk: RT @annaberthold: My article on New Technology and New Public Diplomacy in PD magazine: #pd #pd20 #gov20 about 3 hours ago from TwitterFon

nassefi: @kimricketts Thx for RT re: Iason.Trying to keep him alive in public eye and allow diplomacy to work for his release.(I've written op-ed) about 3 hours ago from web

annaberthold: My article on New Technology and New Public Diplomacy in PD magazine: about 4 hours ago from web

psfrc: Ranking member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard Lugar on Public Diplomacy in USC Annenberg's PD mag: about 5 hours ago from

ReuvenUri: He 'sounds differently' privately. Well, um, he's Israel's FM - public statements, diplomacy and all that about 6 hours ago from Tweetie

inemmo: CPD Announcements Announcing the Summer 2009 Issue of PD Magazine: USC Center on Public Diplomacy It features th.. about 9 hours ago from twitterfeed

shawnpOwers: [New Public Diplomacy Magazine out. I write on international broadcasting--Check it out!] #PD about 11 hours ago from web

whatsonjakarta: June 29-30: Cultural Affairs, in cooperation with the State of the Arts Cultural Series ... for Public Diplomacy.. about 18 hours ago from twitterfeed

efesevin: looking for a contact in the Public Diplomacy Department of Israel's Consulate General to New England.... about 22 hours ago from TweetDeck

DavidSaranga: @David_Rogers I think you will find this presentation 'The use of twitter in public diplomacy' interesting #pdf09 about 24 hours ago from HootSuite

psfrc: Public Diplomacy - How NOT to handle student exchanges... ; Austrailian response here: 1 day ago from


Turmoil in Iran stifling Obama's outreach - Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY: The president acknowledged that Iran's political turmoil, the most significant there since the 1979 Islamic revolution, will delay his efforts to develop a bilateral relationship with that country. "There is no doubt that any direct dialogue or diplomacy with Iran is going to be affected by the events of the last several weeks," he said. It's not a welcome development for a U.S. president who placed so much stock in words and gestures of goodwill.

Iran is not Iraq, 2009 is not 1979, and Obama is not W - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: Obama’s measured speeches in Ankara and Cairo and his administration’s careful responses to the post-presidential election events in Iran may, in themselves, be far more effective in helping to undermine Kamenei and Ahmadinejad’s anti-foreign -- anti-American --- jingoism in ways that have yet to play out. Below image from

American exceptionalism . . . Without exception - Monica Crowley, Washington Times: In Mr. Obama's kaleidoscopic left-wing view, no nation is better than any other, no country can tell another country not to have nuclear weapons, and we're all socialists now. In other words, American exceptionalism was so last century.

No one is aware that the Propaganda Machine is on - Mike Rivero, What Really Happened: The Soviet government then did not try to hide the truth, they just expected you to hear the lies and shut up, or suffer the consequences. In America it is quite different, as we will not believe that this is propaganda, we believe it is the truth.

American War Propaganda Top Ten - Susan A. Brewer, OUPblog:

10. WE FIGHT TO STOP ANOTHER HITLER. There was only one Hitler, but he lives on in wartime propaganda since World War II.
9. WE FIGHT OVER THERE SO WE DON’T HAVE TO FIGHT HERE. In this message, America typically is portrayed as a pastoral land of small towns, not as an urban, industrialized superpower.
8. WE FIGHT CLEAN WARS WITH SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY. This message suggests that U.S. troops will not be in much danger, nor will innocent civilians be killed in what is projected to be a quick and decisive conflict.
7. WE FIGHT TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN. A traditional theme of war propaganda since ancient times, it is accompanied by compelling visuals and heartrending stories.
6. WE FIGHT BRUTISH, FANATICAL ENEMIES. Another classic, it dehumanizes enemy fighters.
5. WE FIGHT TO UNITE THE NATION. Here war is shown to heal old wounds and unify the divisions caused by the Civil War, class conflict, racial and ethnic differences, or past failures such as the Vietnam War.
4. WE FIGHT FOR THE FLAG AND THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS. The trend has been to emphasize the flag over the republic. The more flags on display, the less likely the people’s elected representatives will debate foreign policy or exercise their power to declare war.
3. WE FIGHT TO LIBERATE THE OPPRESSED. When the oppressed resist U.S. help, they appear ungrateful and in need of American guidance especially if they have valuable resources.
2. WE FIGHT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. During the Philippine War, for example, this message advised that Uncle Sam knew what was best for the little brown brothers.
1. WE FIGHT TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE. Although the American way of life stands for peace, it requires a lot of fighting.

Susan A. Brewer is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her new book, Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq, is history of how successive presidents have conducted what Donald Rumsfeld called “perception management." Image from

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