Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21

“This new perfume, sir, its name is Obama."

--One Cairo perfumer; image from


Clinton Reaches Out To New Generation In India - Michele Kelemen, NPR: "The secretary spent the whole weekend doing … public diplomacy and — as she joked — eating too much Indian food. She is clearly hoping that this sort of personal contact will pay off in the future — if she can manage to get this fast-growing global power to be a closer partner with the U.S." Image from

India's Environment Minister Rebuffs Clinton's Climate Change ProposalsFOXNews.com:

"Clinton, on her fourth visit to India and her first as secretary of state, used her appearance at Delhi University to stress the importance of stepping beyond formal diplomacy to encourage U.S.-India contacts on other levels, including academic and business."

Ghana: Self Help Diplomacy - an Emerging Obama Doctrine Towards African Countries? Jean Lukaz Mih, allAfrica.com: "President Obama whilst in Ghana had a new orientation to the carrot and stick US foreign policy [the legacy of George Bush], one that does not explicitly elucidate elements of that tradition. It was rather a 'reverse diplomacy' concept whereby all the efforts at promoting US interest in a country rather lies with the latter, which has the sole responsibility of generating that interest through the establishment of strong institutions. This is certainly not public diplomacy. Public diplomacy has to do with the promotion of national interest and has an outreach approach contrary to the inward looking stance being yelled out to Africa, by President Obama. It marks the demise of Aid and the rise of expectations management, an emerging principle for 'containing' the over-expectant. … Africa only appears to be ever ready for US Cultural Diplomacy imports without any focus on its own public diplomacy. With all the negative branding in the world, President Obama's visit was a good opportunity for Africa to see the 'hope' side of Brand Africa whilst America was in the process of managing their nation brand and Africa's expectations." Image from

Obama's Cairo speech brings tempered hopedelawareonline: "Egypt is suffering from a strong case of Obamania. Intellectuals and ordinary people need little encouragement to talk about President Obama's recent speech there. While some are cynical and skeptical, optimism is generally the order of the day. I was in Egypt last week leading a delegation of American scholars and leaders in an exercise in public diplomacy. We engaged scholars, activists and community leaders of different intellectual and political currents on issues of democracy, faith and community and on U.S.-Muslim relations. At the Egyptian Council on Foreign Relations, several leading members of the Egyptian establishment expressed that there is indeed a 'new language' in President Obama's discourse toward the Middle East, but they remained skeptical about prospects for significant change in U.S. policy." Image from

What is strategy? Readers respond – Bruce Clark, examiner.com:
"In yesterday’s article we defined strategy using the Joint Chiefs of Staff definition of it being 'the art and science of developing and using the political, economic, psychological powers of a nation, together with its armed forces, during peace and war, to further national interests, priorities and policies.' … [A] reader wrote: … 'When a country's key policy makers are influenced by the voices of journalists, academics, students, union leaders, military officers, politicos and businessmen, then public diplomacy has been successful. One important element of an overall directional plan (strategy) is to influence the climate of public opinion through a well-supported public diplomacy program - an on the ground activity. The Bush administration supported a PR effort in its grand strategy and ignored public diplomacy. Sound public diplomacy can avert military action. Therefore a strategy must be dimensional.'” Image from

Heritage blog criticizes VOA's "internet-only approach" (updated with responses) - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Fear of Frying: Victorino Matus gets fried - Victorino Matus, Weekly Standard: "On a recent visit to Prague (under the auspices of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty), I discovered a bastion of fried goodness, where breaded and battered food is still warmly embraced. This naturally horrified the Americans whom I encountered. As one expat complained, 'The Czechs have a terrible palate; it's not very broad.' I couldn't disagree more. At a café inside Radio Free Europe's headquarters, I noticed a wide variety of entrees, including fried cod, fried chicken schnitzel,

fried mushrooms, and fried cheese. What more could you want? (The café, with its low prices, boasts no fewer than three different coffee machines, including a Jacobs and a Nespresso, granting your every wish, from cappuccino to espresso to hot chocolate to a rich blend of hot chocolate and espresso. Radio Free Europe's president, Jeffrey Gedmin, says such creature comforts are a small price to pay to keep his workers happy. Hint, hint.)" Via; image from

Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy is at Odds with Social Media, and What to Do about It: an interview with Matt Armstrong – Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner

Ready to tackle Pakistan expat turmoil - Ashfaq Ahmed, Gulf News, posted at Overseas Pakistani Friends: “Dubai-based Ambassador at Large to Pakistan Javed Malek … has recently been given the mandate by Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani to interact with OPs and revamp the Overseas Pakistani Foundation (OPF) – a body established in 1979 for the welfare of OPs, but which so far has performed poorly. In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Malek … talked about his role as Ambassador at Large and his mission of public diplomacy to improve the image of Pakistan by establishing people-to-people and business-to-business contacts." Image from

Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict - Azernews: "Azeri and Armenian intellectuals … [visited] Upper Garabagh, which represented a public diplomacy effort."

The Secret Way to War (June 9, 2005) - Mark Danner, posted at Centurean2’s Weblog: "That September [2002] the attempt to sell the [Iraq] war began in earnest, for, as White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card had told The New York Times in an unusually candid moment, 'You don’t roll out a new product in August.' At the heart of the sales campaign was the United Nations. Thanks in substantial part to Blair’s prodding, George W. Bush would come before the UN General Assembly on September 12 and, after denouncing the Iraqi regime, announce that 'we will work with the UN Security Council for the necessary resolutions.' The main phase of public diplomacy—giving the war a 'political context,' in Blair’s phrase—had begun." Image from

John Jacobs -- "My God, This is History!" – Mark Taplin, Global Publicks: "John Jacobs, Sokolniki exhibition’s press officer: 'On the general subject of public diplomacy … Nixon told our little group of about six that what we were doing wouldn't change world events: national policies and actions are what change world events. But he said, very earnestly and emphatically, what you are doing is extremely important to our country. For that moment I liked him.'" On Sokolniki exhibition, see.


Obama at Ghana's Door of No Return: In his visit to Ghana, Obama offered a vision of history and the future that only he could have provided - Gregory Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times: The first family's historic visit to Africa suggests that Obama's presidency is adding an entirely new dimension to how the world sees the U.S., as well as how we see ourselves.

Web 2.0 warfare from Gaza to Iran: Traditional propaganda in new media - yaman’s amateur ramblings. Source

Rules of Propaganda – Claudia, I Want to Stand Up
for My Ideals and for What I Believe in
: Listed below are the fundamental rules of propaganda, according to the experts – taken from Storia d’Europa By Norman Davies.

1. Orchestration: repeating the same messages over and over with different variations and combinations. 2. Deformation: discrediting the opposition with slander and crude parodies. 3. Unanimity: presenting your point of view as if everyone is in agreement with it and conquering those who doubt it thanks to the appeals of famous people and social pressure. 4. Transfusion: manipulating the prevailing values of the public to your own advantage. 5. Simplification: reducing all facts into a comparison between "good and evil" and "friends and enemies." There are numerous parallels with Berlusconian propaganda. Image from



CCTV density-maps of the UK - Boing Boing: John sez, "As a UK resident I am getting increasingly pissed off with the amount of cameras aimed at me. I live and work in central London and cameras are everywhere. I was amazed to see from this map of the UK showing number of CCTV cameras per 1000 that London did not beat all. This place is crazy."

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Bruce Clarke now has a whole series of short articles posted on strategy and the causes of war. Go to: http://www.examiner.com/RSS-17537-Defense-Dept-Examiner and peruse them at your leisure. You should find them interesting and provocative.