Monday, July 13, 2009

July 12-13

"Why is it easy for supermarkets to give us stacked aisles of fruit from other continents but increasingly difficult for impresarios to give us the fruits of other civilisations?"

--London Times critic Richard Morrison; image from


Obama Engages the World - Michael Zubrow, BBC: "President Barack Obama has definitively recast American foreign policy, shunning the Bush administration’s leadership-centric diplomacy and engaging directly with the people of the world. … Barack Obama’s weapon of choice is public diplomacy, speaking plainly and persuasively, directly to the people. While President George W Bush was well known for relying on close relationships with heads of state, President Obama’s rhetoric is aimed at the ruling elite and the common citizen alike." Image from

Obama's 2.0 visit to Ghana - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Secular Indonesia - saba7saba7, Political Islamism: "[L]umping all Muslims regardless of their language, ethnicity and culture together in one boat does not help to empower moderate forces in Muslim-majority countries who wish to see a permanent secularisation of Islam and its divorce from any distopian vision of a pan-global Islamic caliphate. … President Obama has made it a lynchpin of his public diplomacy efforts in the Middle East and beyond that the US is not ‘at war with Islam’ and persisted with this narrative from his first interview with al-Arabiya, through Istanbul and finally to Cairo. Any congratulatory message to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or future dialogue with Indonesia should avoid this destructive typology." Miss Indonesia image from

Splitting Waterboarding The Baby - Tim F, Balloon Juice: 1. joe from Lowell: "Like the Iraq withdrawal and public diplomacy regarding the Iran crisis, it’s far more important that the administration act effectively and strategically than run around like Bruce Willis in Die Hard and give hardliners a reasons to pump their fists and yell 'Woo-hoo!'”

More House and GAO scrutiny for TV Martí (updated again)- Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Senate panel OKs $24M for East-West Center - Honolulu Advertiser: "The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee announced it has approved a $24 million budget item for the East-West Center at the University of Hawai'i for next year. The budget item still must be approved by the full Senate.

The date of the vote is unknown. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, said in a news release the appropriation is necessary because the center serves as an 'invaluable education center and meeting ground for representatives of the Asia-Pacific community wishing to work toward a peaceful Pacific Rim. Through cooperative research, education and public diplomacy, the center has provided a critical understanding of the region's dynamic issues for global leaders involved in moving their countries together into the future.'" Inouye image from

30 Saudi Women to Attend US Forum - John Burgess, Crossroads Arabia: "Last week, I wrote that I’d found a website focused on entrepreneurship training for female Saudi students offered by Babson College at Wellesley University and the Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah. Today, Saudi Gazette repeats an article from The Boston Globe reporting that 30 Saudi women will be attending a two-week forum in Boston sponsored by the colleges, with funding from the US State Department. It’s good to see that the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), which funds programs suggested by host country entities, is continuing and that Saudis are making use of it. That’s useful public diplomacy."

Wag the dog anyone? The Daily Clarity: "The art of Perception Management is not science fiction, it firmly based in fact and is referenced quite openly in the US Department of Defense handbooks. … To quote others on the issue, '…the phrase 'perception management' has often functioned as a 'euphemism' for 'an aspect of information warfare.' A scholar in the field notes a distinction between 'perception management' and public diplomacy, which 'does not, as a rule, involve falsehood and deception, whereas these are important ingredients of perception management; the purpose is to get the other side to believe what one wishes it to believe, whatever the truth may be.' In relation many issues, take the opacity around Iran and its nuclear objectives as just one example, there definitely is a potential for such techniques to be in play. Perception management has various elements to its usage, and many degrees of application." Image from

Greek forum interviews Keith Dinnie - [QUESTION:] "You are the editor of 'Nation Branding – Concepts, Issues, Practice' (2008). What is actually NB, besides a logo and a smart, moto-driven advertising campaign? [ANSWER:] Nation Branding (NB) does not always require an advertising campaign. The goals of nation branding are extremely diverse and for some of those goals the power of advertising is probably quite limited. … [I]mportant techniques of nation branding include diaspora mobilization and public diplomacy, neither of which are advertising-based. … Frequently, NB and PD [Public Diplomacy] focus on the same issues but there is very little overlap between the business scholars who write about nation branding and the international relations scholars who write about public diplomacy. NB and PD resemble ships passing in the night."

How to Start a Company (and Kiss Like Angelina) -
Julie Creswell, posted at Slow Movement: "Howcast executives see opportunities beyond corporate America. They’re hoping to get more work from the federal government. So far, they’ve worked mostly with the State Department in its 'Public Diplomacy 2.0' initiative to use new media to communicate, says James K. Glassman, a former under secretary of state for public diplomacy. 'What we saw in Iran is that the private sector played a very important role in disseminating information there,' Mr. Glassman says. 'Companies like Twitter and Facebook facilitated a lot of the activity in Iran.'” Image from

iPhone takes to the battlefield (English version) - Thomas Wiegold, Augen geradeaus!: "Blogs, Twitter, Facebook - all these are new possibilities for NATO. Call it public affairs, public diplomacy, or even propaganda: the new NATO commander-in-chief won't discard any possibility to use new media to influence public opinion for the alliance. This is applied StratCom, Strategic Communication. There's one crucial point, however. How will NATO and its members armed forces deal with pictures not taken by tasked professionals - but by the soldiers themselves? When a private takes the opportunity to post When a private takes the opportunity to post a picture from the landing zone to twitcpic? To put it bl[u]ntly: When social media means loss of control, how will the military leadership respond?"

Public Diplomacy and Anti-War - Madhurjya Kotoky, The Public Diplomacy Blog: "Public Diplomacy has become an important strategic tool for countries to prevent conflicts and maintain a status quo in international relations. Case is point is maybe China.

Recent news stories on China feature Chinese leaders harping on the 'peaceful rise' of China. This is an idea that is communicated again & again. A rising China is not a threat to anybody. Once a country's influence expands beyond its traditional sphere, conflicts are bound to arise as it competes 'within' the spheres of influence of other countries. Chinese Public Diplomacy efforts are increasingly geared towards negating this perception." Image from

Guest Post: China's Image Marketing: How Well Can Confucius Do? – Tiger Zhang, MountainRunner: "As part of China's public diplomacy efforts, over 300 Confucius Institutes have been established in more than 80 countries so far. The number is expected to reach 500 by the end of next year and finally around 1 000 in all major cities around the world. … [O]ne can reasonably doubt how well the Confucius Institutes can do to expand China's cultural influence around the world. Should Confucius come back to life, he might as well feel himself unfit for this much bigger and more divided world today."

FNC – Striving for Excellence - Khaleej Times: "Acting as the government’s ‘eyes and ears’, the Federal National Council is doing a commendable job. The legislative arm of the UAE, which has been tasked to not only bridge any communication gap between the citizens and the government but also to review the policies of the executive, in a short span of time has made its presence and utility felt. … The Council has also been contributive on the foreign policy front whereby it had involved itself in public diplomacy on the islands dispute with Iran. All this goes on to prove that the UAE is an evolving democracy, and from politics to business and social mobility to customs and traditions, there is nothing that is outside the purview of public representatives." Image from

Re-branding Russia: the key to renewed EU dialogue - Christian D. de Fouloy, New Europe: "The communication difficulties between Russia and the EU exemplify how images negatively influence the political and economic relations between the two sides. In this case images are important as reality is different and image management should therefore be a core activity. To eradicate these negative images, it is necessary to first objectively analyse each image and try to understand why it was created. Next, Europeans in particular must avoid at all cost using the negative stereotype images made popular during Soviet times. It is imperative to change negative or false stereotypes and here cultural diplomacy and extensive exchanges at all levels of society can be a more efficient and credible way of changing them. … Here are some recommendations on what is really needed [among them]: A better co-ordination between image building (country branding) public and cultural diplomacy. ... It is also important for Russian leaders to embark on a more proactive economic and public diplomacy by engaging, informing and influencing key international audiences in order to advance Russia’s economic and security interests."

Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk becoming more prestigious - The BEING HAD Times: "The importance and prestige of the Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk festival is increasing, deputy of the Russian State Duma and the Union State Parliamentary Assembly Anatoly Lokot told a press conference dedicated to the opening of the festival on 10 July. Anatoly Lokot underlined that the Union State cannot ignore such a significant event and takes part in it every year. This participation involves financial support: RUB25 million is allocated for this festival from the Union State budget. In his words, the festival is important from the political point of view, too: it is an efficient element of public diplomacy as it gives nations an opportunity to reach an agreement where politicians fail.“ Image of Slavonic Bazaar participants and organizers from


It’s Not Arts Funding That’s the Problem, It’s the Lack of an Arts Policy - Jerome Weeks, KERA: "[W]e need someone in the administration, perhaps the new Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts [that would be Rocco Landesman], to provide leadership and coordination to ensure that all grants-making agencies are working in a common direction and that the money expended creates an arts ecology that benefits all Americans. We need policies in at least three key areas: sustaining American arts organizations (both large and small), arts education, and cultural diplomacy."

Richard Morrison misses US orchestras at the Proms – Richard Morrison, London Times: "Touring an American orchestra in Europe was always dauntingly expensive. … But the rising cost of air freight and the sudden scarcity of corporate sponsors (at least $3 million is needed to tour a US orchestra in Europe) have made matters worse. So have tighter security requirements, which mean that vital hours are forfeited in tight schedules while expensive musicians hang around airport check-ins. … [W]hile it is fashionable to decry 'cultural diplomacy', or its big bad cousin 'cultural imperialism', I believe that it’s a lot healthier to try to win over foreign hearts and minds with music, dance and theatre than it is with nuclear stockpiles." Image from

The Royal New Zealand Ballet goes to China John Daly-Peoples, The National Business Review: "New Zealand Consul-General, Shanghai, Michael Swain says at its best, cultural diplomacy works on several levels. 'It connects New Zealand performers with a global audience, gives government and business a new platform to reach out to our own specialised audiences, and helps move our relationship beyond stereotypes - China as a market, New Zealand as a landscape,'” he says.

It’s Dr. Shah Rukh Khan from now on - The Daily Star: "The NGO Routes 2 Roots … endeavours to bring people and cultures together across SAARC countries in general, and India and Pakistan in particular. Some of Routes 2 Roots' initiatives in cultural diplomacy include bringing Sabri Brothers and Asif Mehdi Hasan from Pakistan to India and taking Shubha Mudgal's first classical performance to Karachi. Quoting Routes' founders, such cultural diplomacy 'enhances people to people contact in our SAARC neighbourhood, promoting peace. Music concerts and food festivals under the exchange programme reiterate our common history and culture.'” Image from

RI’s global cultural products - Franki Raden, The Jakarta Post: "Indonesia is invisible for the general international public on the global cultural map. Yet, it is one of the richest cultural resources in the world. All of these phenomena, of course, do not merely indicate the weakness of our official cultural diplomacy and representatives abroad. ... I realize that this cultural strategy cannot be designed and implemented by a single individual or institution, or even government institutions such as the Foreign Ministry or the Culture and Tourism Ministry. This is a cultural strategy that needs to be developed from a national consensus." Image from


Obama Rewrites the Cold War: The President has a duty to stand up to the lies of our enemies – Liz Cheney, Wall Street Journal: Mr. Obama's method for pushing reset around the world is becoming clearer with each foreign trip. He proclaims moral equivalence between the U.S. and our adversaries, he readily accepts a false historical narrative, and he refuses to stand up against anti-American lies.

Illuminating the Dark Side of the Moon: Frankel on Kitchen Debate, Exhibit – Mark Taplin, Global Publicks: American journalist Max Frankel: “Truly sophisticated coverage of the American exhibit [in Moscow in 1957] would have done more than emphasize the obvious curiosity and consumer delights of Russian visitors; it would have asked why Khrushchev dared to expose his people to the subversive ideas, freewheeling discussions, and shiny baubles of capitalist society.” Image from


Gross-Out of the Year (So Far) - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog I STILL keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to: "The NY Times has a great Sarah Roundup today about the events which brought about her [Palin's] resignation. I simply had to share the above photo, an absolutely superb gross-out featuring Sarah autographing a disabled child. You're welcome."

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