Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10

"For me, all art is propaganda; and it is high time that modern art became propaganda for social justice instead of propaganda for the flatulent and decadent ideals of bourgeois Capitalism."

--British artist Eric Gill (1882-1940); on Gill, see

“Propaganda got to be a bad word because of the Germans . . . so what I did was to try and find other words [such as] Public Relations.”

--Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and American-based pioneer in the field of public relations


Lawmakers urge integration: Concerns Loom About Strategic Communication, Public Diplomacy - Inside The Pentagon (by subscription only): From summary of article: "As U.S. government strategic communication and public diplomacy programs grow in importance overseas, Senate authorizers are concerned about whether those programs are fully integrated within the Pentagon or the broader U.S. government and if lawmakers can properly oversee the funding for the multitude of efforts." Courtesy LB.

Rising politicos: John O. Brennan - Mike Allen, Politico: "John O. Brennan, who holds the dual titles of White House homeland security adviser (the job created after Sept. 11, 2001, for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge) and deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism, is a rising star who’s headed for an even bigger job when one comes open — perhaps secretary of homeland security or maybe even national security adviser. … In an interview with National Journal during last year’s presidential campaign, Brennan said that although Obama would make public diplomacy a major part of his foreign policy approach, 'there needs to be the companion discussion about the need to act forcefully to ensure that U.S. lives and property are protected.'” Brennan image from

U.S. International Broadcaster Voice of America Unable to Recover from a Crippling Cyber Attack for More Than Two Days – ted, Blogger News Network: "While other U.S. government computer networks have long been back in operation after the cyber attack launched last weekend, the lead Federal agency in charge of communicating with the world on behalf of the United States suffered a catastrophic failure, which it has been unable to overcome for several days. As of Thursday morning, the Voice of America (VOA), the main U.S. international broadcaster, still could not make its main website,, operational, days after a suspected North Korean cyber attack. Those attempting to access VOA multilingual websites were still experiencing major problems Thursday morning. The main VOA English website and foreign language websites were partially restored by early afternoon Thursday." Image from

Xinjiang media update for 9 July 2009 - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "[A]n excellent start would be to merge the RFA [Radio Free Asia] and VOA broadcasting efforts to East Asia in general and to Xinjiang specifically. This is because it is difficult to get reliable news out of Xinjiang and to transmit it back into Xinjiang. Doing so is not facilitated by having two entities competing for scarce resources and duplicating one another's efforts. Furthermore, a merger

would eliminate the need for the budget increase so many … conservatives advocate … . If all the good reporting in English from RFA, and from RFE/RL (which also, officially, does not have an English service), and from VOA could be smooshed together, the resulting English-language news website could be a contender. It probably won't happen, because such a smoosh could realistically be accompanied by a budget cut, and the conservatives would probably object to that."

Iran media update for 9 July 2009 - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: Mention of the Voice of America and BBC.

The Homegrown Face of Regime Change: Social Media’s Influence in Public Diplomacy - Chris Battle, Security Debrief: "Social networking’s influence in the realm of public diplomacy and cross-cultural communications is becoming ever clearer. An article published in IslamOnline ('Iran’s Crisis in the Western Media' ) inadvertently highlights the power of sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to give voice to the once-voiceless in the seminal events of contemporary history. … One has come to expect the standard assertions from apologists for Middle Eastern autocrats (both those who are hostile to and those who are friendly with the U.S. government) that American media are controlled by the U.S. government. And certainly CNN and the New York Times take their hits in this article. What is fascinating, however, is how quickly new media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have achieved the same level of fear and loathing from these apologists in such a short amount of time." Image from

Foreign Ministry reaches out to Latin America
Daniela Feldman, Jerusalem Post: "[L]ast month, the Foreign Ministry and the Knesset hosted a conference for diplomats in Israel and 26 leaders from 13 Latin countries. The conference lasted four days and was aimed at exposing legislators to Israel and regional issues. David [deputy spokesman Andy David] said funds have been budgeted to increase outreach and diplomatic activity in Latin America. This type of public diplomacy is very important to build economic ties with developing markets, he said."

Eritrea: Representatives of Consular Affairs And the PFDJ in the U.S. Reiterate Readiness to Counter "In an assessment meeting they held in Washington D.C. from July 3 to 5, representatives of Eritrean Consular Affairs and the PFDJ [People's Front for Democracy and Justice] in various parts of the United States asserted that they would enhance their role in countering hostilities and psychological warfare. Speaking on the occasion, the Eritrean Ambassador to North America, Mr. Girmai Gebremariam, pointed out that the Eritrean government is exerting utmost endeavors to expand equitable social services in all parts of the country and stressed the significance of the meeting in strengthening the contribution and organizational capacity of Eritrean nationals residing abroad. Following the presentation of reports on the activities of communal and consular activities in all cities, the participants conducted extensive discussion on various tasks. They also mapped out action program aimed at undertaking strong community activities in the coming 6 months on the basis of public diplomacy." Miss Eritrea image from

Eisenhower to Guides: "He Warned Us Not to Brag..." - Global Publicks: "This blog will be devoting a great deal of attention in the days ahead to the role of the 75 American guides who were the heart and soul of the American exhibition in Moscow fifty years ago -- and we at the George Washington University are thrilled that so many former guides and exhibit staff will be able to join on at the 'Face-off to Facebook' conference on July 23. … Former guide and retired Berkeley professor Dan Slobin has provided us a witty account of the White House photo-op in his journal of that summer, which is deftly written, wonderfully illustrated with his photos -- in short, thoroughly compelling even half a century after he wrote it. Image from article. See also: John Brown, "Subtlety one of the paradoxes of propaganda: The effective forms don't appear as if they're intentional," San Francisco Chronicle, which talks about the guides. Reference to conference at

Otto Reich Won't Rest Until the Real Coup Plotters Are FoundBoRev.Net: "Another day, another Honduras Op-Ed from some washed up Iran Contra shitbag. Only this one is different. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems somehow more...defensive. Nah! Probably just me. (First rule of public relations, mister 'office of public diplomacy,' when you argue your opponents' frame, you lose. Loser.)" On Reich, see.


A collection of speeches and papers presented at the 100th Anniversary Edward R. Murrow Memorial Conference

in cooperation with the Edward R. Murrow Center for the Study and Advancement of Public Diplomacy, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Communications and Media Studies Program, Digital Collections and Archives, and Tufts University on April 14 and 15, 2008. Image of Murrow in his early years from. On Murrow, see.

Alan K. Henrikson
“Credible Public Diplomacy:” Truth and Policy, Persuasion and People

Mark McDowell
Public Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Definitions and Challenges in an “Open Source” Era

Bernard L. Simonin
Nation Branding and Public Diplomacy: Challenges and Opportunities

Leonard J. Baldyga
The Practice of Public Diplomacy and Its Perpetual Critics

Roberta Graham
Globalization’s Reluctant Shepherd

Lauren Brodsky
Broadcasting Democracy? Matching Foreign Policy Goals and Messages

Mark J. Davidson
Elements of Credible Cultural Diplomacy: “Landmarks of New York” in Tokyo

Harry Radliffe
Ed Murrow’s Legacy and the Real World Broadcast News

Erik Iverson
A Revolution in Informational Affairs: Winning the War of Ideas

Sandy Vogelgesang
Perspectives on Public Diplomacy: Vietnam to Iraq


dominic_v: Proud and happy to report I got an A in my Public Diplomacy mid term exam! Hourra! Vive la diplomatie ouverte, j'adore ce cours. 40 minutes ago from web

hornokplease: RT @NomiLite My take on the coverage of Iranian elections & public diplomacy: about 1 hour ago from web

NomiLite: My take on the coverage of Iranian elections & public diplomacy: about 1 hour ago from web

RobinHarper: Second Life and Metaplace show how virtual worlds can contribute to public diplomacy. about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck

israelconsulate: RT @Israel's Public Diplomacy will concentrate less on Palestinians more on #Iran, Facebook & Twitter (RT @transracial) about 1 hour ago from HootSuite

DavidSaranga: Israel's Public Diplomacy will concentrate less on Palestinians more on #Iran, Facebook & Twitter (RT @transracial) about 4 hours ago from TweetDeck
ConsulateIsrael: Israel FM Embraces Social Media in Public

Diplomacy - According to a recent blog post on Transracial, with reports ... about 6 hours ago from HootSuite


Obama Surprises Russia - Vladimir Ryzhkov, Moscow Times: Obama’s visit made a very strong impact on Russia, the results of which will last a very long time. It will be difficult for the ruling elite to deny the fact that the world had changed and that the United States had also changed.

America has become more dynamic, wiser and more attractive, and the old, worn-out anti-U.S. propaganda that the Kremlin has relied on for the last eight years will no longer work. … No U.S. president has ever spent so much time meeting with Russian civil society as Obama did. Courtesy MP. Image from

Plumage -- But at A Price - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post: The perfect distraction from the major issue between the two countries: Vladimir Putin's unapologetic and relentless drive to restore Moscow's hegemony over the sovereign states that used to be Soviet satrapies. That -- not nukes -- is the chief cause of the friction between the United States and Russia.

Trampled by the 'Civilian Surge' - Anna Husarska, Washington Post: The U.S.-led provincial reconstruction teams’ (PRTs’) performance in Afghanistan has been criticized by humanitarian groups on the ground:

One aid worker from a European nongovernmental organization said they behave like "Humvees in a china shop." PRTs are a military tool attempting to perform civilian tasks. Inherently, they undermine the necessary distinction between the development objectives of humanitarian aid workers and the political-military objectives of coalition forces. Image from

The silver lining in Iran - Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy: Ironically, Iran's ideological appeal would have been enhanced had Ahmaninejad & Co. run a fair election and permitted the Iranian people to express their preferences without coercive interference, but they didn't do that. The one remaining tool in Iran's ideological arsenal is anti-Americanism, which still plays well in the region.

Mourn On The 4th of July – John Pilger, New Statesman, posted at Security without State: From his early political days, Obama’s unerring theme has been not “change”, the slogan of his presidential campaign, but America’s right to rule and order the world. Of the United States, he says, “we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good . . . We must lead by building a 21st-century military to ensure the security of our people and advance the security of all people.” What is most extraordinary about the United States today is the rejection and defiance, in so many attitudes, of the all-pervasive historical and contemporary propaganda of the “invisible government”. A majority want the government to care for those who cannot care for themselves. Image from

The Big Whorehouse On The Potomac - Paul Craig Roberts, posted at Womblog: The US has no media. But it does have a Ministry of Propaganda. Americans were programmed with days of propaganda that Islamic Iran, a member of the US-designated “axis of evil,” stole the election from the Iranian people. According to the US Ministry of Propaganda, the Iranian people are allied with the US government against the Iranian government.

Global warming: The heat is on the U.S.: A climate-change bill in the Senate is a test of this country's commitment to deal with the problem – Editorial, Los Angeles Times: With his leadership on climate change at the G-8, Obama posited that the United States would no longer ignore a pressing global threat that is largely of its making. If the Senate proves him wrong, it would harm more than our international standing.

Rebranding Africa - Bono, New York Times: "On a visit there [Ghana], I met the minister for tourism and pitched the idea of marketing the country as the 'birthplace of cool.' (Just think, the music of Miles, the conversation of Kofi.) He demurred ... too cool, I guess. … If more African nations (not just Ghana) are going to meet the millennium goals, they are going to need smart partners in business and development. That’s Smart as in sustainable, measurable, accountable, responsive and transparent." Image from

Don’t just watch – Marc Lynch, The National: Today, after Obama’s grand visit to Cairo, the American battle with the Netanyahu government over settlements, and Iran’s electorally-induced implosion, the leaders of “moderate” Arab states seem to be in the driver’s seat. But their comfort will likely be short-lived. The leaders of the Arab world need to decide where they fit within Obama’s regional strategy. Thus far, they have largely continued on autopilot, pursuing Bush-era policies of bashing Iran, marginalising Hizbollah and Hamas, ignoring Iraq, and cynically maintaining domestic autocracy.

Exclusive: Career diplomats protest Obama appointments - Nicholas Kralev, Washington Times: According to a list AFSA (American Foreign Service Association) keeps on its Web site and updates every two weeks, there are 175 ambassadorial positions around the world.

As of July 1, about 26 percent of them were occupied by political appointees, but more than 11 percent were vacant. The White House, unaware of historic norms, had been on track to give more than the usual 30 percent of ambassadorial jobs to political appointees until objections from career diplomats forced it to reconsider, administration officials say. Image from

DNC fundraiser tapped as ambassador to Germany - AP: President Obama plans to nominate Philip Murphy, a former finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee, to be ambassador to Germany, the White House announced Thursday. The nomination continues a pattern of naming high-profile fundraisers and contributors to Democratic politics to choice ambassador posts, a long-standing political tradition.


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