Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 9

"Re: The Clash of Frames (none / 0)
What's another word for "public diplomacy"?
Colman ...
Re: The Clash of Frames (
4.00 / 3)
Er - Obama?
ThatBritGuy ...
Re: The Clash of Frames (
4.00 / 4)
de Gondi ...
Re: The Clash of Frames (
4.00 / 4)
Astroturfing? A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds; a man of deeds and not of words is like a garden full of turds — Anonymous
Migeru ..."

--Exchange in European Tribune re the article The Clash of Frames by Colman; red color added by PDPBR compiler; image from


Moscow's Fantasies: President Obama tries to work with Russia's regime without indulging its dreams of empire – Editorial, Washington Post: "By focusing first on nuclear arms control, the president allowed the Putin-Medvedev regime a forum reminiscent of the dual-superpower era. … While declaring that Russia has a 'rightful place as a great power,' Mr. Obama made an effort to coax Russians away from their leaders' misguided ideology. … The next few months will show whether the mix of warhead talks and public diplomacy yields benefits for more vital U.S. interests; the early indications are not good." Image from

Obama on Israeli attack on Iran: 'Absolutely Not' – Juan Cole, Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion: "I argued on Monday that Vice President Joe Biden did not intend, by his remarks on Sunday, to give Israel a US go-ahead to bomb Iran. ...[Comment by] Walking Wounded: Re Biden and US public diplomacy: Good cop-bad cop. [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm.] Mullen yesterday said 1-3 years timeline to prevent Iranian weapons, which is radically shorter than a recent public Mossad estimate."

An Unfortunate Vacation - Bilbo's Random Thought Collection --Random observations and comments from the Fairfax County, Virginia, Curmudgeon-at-Large: "Like it or not, the First Lady and the members of the president’s family play an important part in what we sometimes call 'public diplomacy' – putting a human face on an America the rest of the world often sees only through the prism of policies and actions that in the recent past have shown an in-your-face disrespect for the interests, feelings, and opinions of other nations. To the extent that people around the world see Americans as a family on vacation

[reference is to the Obamas’ ‘recent European trip, complete with several photos and descriptions of shopping and sightseeing trips taken by his family in Paris and London after Mr Obama had already returned to Washington’], shopping and eating fish and chips in a London pub, rather than soldiers fighting in other lands, I think it’s a good thing. That said, of course, the President and his family also need to set an example. … [A]t a time when the economy is in the toilet, millions are out of work, and millions more have been ruined by the reckless greed of the financial management industry, this vacation was at the very least ill-timed, and sends a very unfortunate message to the American people." Image from

Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith: “It’s not about the American flag being waved everywhere” - Shahed Amanullah, altmuslim: Altmuslin: "Let’s fast forward to today. You had done this work with the State Department with Muslims in Europe and then all of a sudden, there’s an announcement that you’ve been appointed in the Obama administration to continue that work, but at a larger scale. How did that happen? [Pandith reply]: It’s very rare that people who worked in a previous administration get validated and appointed to continue their work in a new administration. It was really funny for me because I had made plans to leave by the beginning of February. I came into government through a funny mechanism, which is for an area expert. … Clearly, she [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton]’s looking at the track record of the last 18 months in Europe and hoping to expand that across the world. Altmuslim: Without getting into specifics, what are the challenges you see in taking something that was designed for Muslim communities in the West and extrapolating that to the larger Muslim world? [Pandith reply:] Right. Well, I think that it’s really important that we understand what her [Clinton's] vision is for this role. This isn’t simply making everybody love us, that’s not what this job is. Altmuslim: There’s some confusion that this is similar to Karen Hughes’ public diplomacy role, which was seen by many as trying to make people calm down but not really do anything substantive in terms of relationship building. [Pandith reply:] If you look at the kind of work I did in Europe, you would know firsthand, from European Muslims as well as others, that it wasn’t about going in and saying 'you must love us.' There are significant and important grievances from all pockets around the world in different communities, and it’s important to have those conversations and hear what they are and not dismiss what is being said. But at the same time, this position has been created to seed new initiatives around the world that will allow us to build connections in ways that we haven’t, to connect like-minded thinkers who are doing cool things, and to build up communities organically." Pandith image from

Farah Pandit's America: Reality or Caricature?

Akrasia: "It is good that the United States has taken the baby steps to explain itself to the Muslim worlds. However it, at the same time, constitutes an insult to the Muslim imagination to believe that a few words that caricature the United States can assuage the injury meted out to the Muslim collective conscious. ... [T]he best form of public diplomacy as well as real diplomacy on part of the United States may be to withdraw from the Muslim worlds and concentrate on real flaws and problems that define the contemporary United States." Image from

Secret Interim Review of Italian and Columbian MOU's - Cultural Property Observer:A Web Log Championing the Longstanding Interests of Collectors in the Preservation, Study, Display and Enjoyment of Cultural Artifacts against an "Archaeology Over All" Perspective: "Today's Federal Register indicates that CPAC Cultural Property Advisory Committee] will hold a closed session to undertake interim reviews of the Italian and Colombian MOU's. See: CPAC's review will focus on Article II of each MOU. See: and . The Obama Administration has promised transparency and open government. Moreover, the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' secrecy in processing import restrictions on cultural artifacts is under Court scrutiny in an ongoing FOIA case brought by numismatic groups. Yet, CPAC is conducting this interim review in complete secrecy. Given this secrecy, it is unclear whether any member of the archaeological community will be invited to the session. It is clear that no opponent of the Italian MOU has received any such invitation.Has the Administration's new Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, Judith McHale, been briefed about the secret meeting? Is she aware that former CPAC Chair Jay Kislak has criticised State Department secrecy in a declaration filed in the FOIA litigation? See: Are the Obama Administration's promises of transparency and open government hollow when it comes to the secretive operations of ECA and CPAC?" Image from

Books on Propaganda – Sheldon Rampton, PR, Center for Media and Democracy: "A student contacted us recently who who is writing a paper that 'explores the legal limits of US government propaganda.' He asked if we could recommend any books or essays that "deal with the limits of US legislation concerning PR and propaganda." Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of books written about this particular topic, although there are several that discuss how U.S. government propaganda techniques were developed and practiced, often to the detriment of democracy. … readers might be interested in Matt Armstrong's 'Mountain Runner' weblog. Armstrong is generally friendly to the arguments of some Pentagon strategists. For example, they would like to see revisions to the Smith-Mundt Act, which places limits on domestic dissemination of U.S. government information campaigns that target other countries. (It is the Smith-Mundt Act which states that Voice of America broadcasts cannot be rebroadcast within the United States.)"

Obsolete arguments to keep an obsolete law - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner: "By all means, let's keep a law designed for another era on the books because, well, it's there. That's the argument many have offered in defense of the restrictive provisions [prohibiting the domestic dissemination of public diplomacy]

added to the Smith-Mundt Act in 1972 and 1985. … It is time to really understand what the purpose of the restriction was and accept that purpose is gone, destroyed by both technology and basic reality of the purpose of public diplomacy, and yes strategic communication, today." Image from

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

VOA among websites affected by denial-of-service attack - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Most is best: RFA is Broadcaster of the Year - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy. On the USG-supported Radio Free Asia, see.

US jazz influence on Poland, decades ago - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: References to the VOA jazz programs of Willis Conover, with the note that “Actually, Willis did not begin broadcasting for VOA until 1955. He was heard on VOA until his death in 1996.”

Smart public diplomacy & outreach: US Ambassador-designate prepares a new plan - Ashish Kumar Sen, Dateline Washington, The Tribune: "Mr. [Timothy J.] Roemer, who if confirmed will replace former President George W. Bush’s appointee David Mulford, plans to make 'smart public diplomacy and outreach' part of his daily mission at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. 'Our relationship with India is a good news story. And while our relationship has gone through different stages, we are certainly moving ahead on an upward trajectory,' he said, adding, 'This is not a zero-sum game with winners and losers but a positive sum game — with India as a strong, stable global democracy increasing peace and prosperity for all.' Image from

Brussels to host next NATO-Azerbaijan meeting: minister - TREND Information: "On July 15, Brussels will host the NATO-Azerbaijan meeting in a 27+1 format, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told journalists on July 9. … The minister has expressed his satisfaction with the current level of cooperation with NATO, including in the fields, such as mission on stabilization, civil extraordinary planning, science and public diplomacy."

Azerbaijan responsible for Armenian refugees - PanARMENIAN.Net: "Azerbaijan is responsible for Armenian refugees, said Grigory Ayvazyan, leader of the Assembly of Azerbaijani Armenians. … He was critical about the public diplomacy. 'Armenia should be tougher because Azerbaijan is preparing for new aggression against Nagorno Karabakh,' he said." Image from

Facebook in the Kingdom - Emily Tavoulareas, US-Saudi Women's Forum on Social Entrepreneurship: "Minister Abdulaziz Khoja, Saudi Minister of Information, and a former Saudi Ambassador to Turkey, Russia, Morocco and Lebanon... has a facebook page. Yes... a facebook page. I hesitate to dive into all the hype surrounding 'new media' and 'web 2.0' as a revolutionary tool, but this move undeniably sends a significant message: Saudi Arabia, a country which has a track-record of blocking and restricting access to these types of sites in the past, now has an Information Minister who is embracing the networking site and using it to communicate with the public. … What does this mean for youth in Saudi Arabia? What does this mean for the future of communications-transparency-public diplomacy-etc... in Saudi Arabia? I guess we shall see..."
1 saudi

Lieberman shifting focus from Palestinians to Iran - Barak Ravid – "Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman convened a clandestine meeting in a Jerusalem hotel about a week ago with several senior officials in his ministry. The purpose of the meeting, which was kept secret from most Foreign Ministry personnel, was to begin an internal reform of the ministry. Lieberman's principal message to the participants was that instead of being preoccupied with the Palestinians, the ministry should wage an international campaign against Iran and engage in public diplomacy that would rehabilitate Israel's international status."

After Honduras coup outburst, Chavez works in wings - Frank Jack Daniel, Reuters: "When the army ousted Honduras' president, his Venezuelan ally Hugo Chavez at first let loose with typical ire by blaming Washington and threatening military action. But then he went uncharacteristically quiet. … It is the second time in a month Chavez has stepped back and let others head the public diplomacy, in a sign he knows his controversial style can obstruct foreign policy goals." Image from

Presidential poll monitored by 54 foreign observers - ANTARA News: "Some 54 foreign observers from 26 countries conducted direct observation in six areas in Indonesia on the country's presidential election, a spokesman said. The 26 foreign observers were invited to observe the presidential election in cooperation with Foreign Affairs Ministry in the implementation of the 'Indonesian Presidential Election Visitor Program', Andri Hadi, Information and Public Diplomacy Director General at foreign affairs ministry said here on Wednesday."

Book Review: Engaging the Muslim World by Juan Cole -

"I recently finished reading Engaging the Muslim World by Juan Cole, the influential academic, well known liberal-left blogger of Informed Comment, past president of the Middle East Studies Association and occasional media talking head. Cole has written an intriguing book on contemporary foreign policy that is of special interest to those readers concerned with public diplomacy, the Muslim world, terrorism and the domestic politics of American foreign policy, particularly the war in Iraq." Image from

Relocate to sunny Baghdad - Mark Overmann, Working World: "Word on the planned hiring surge of FSOs at the State Department is continuing to spread. (in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley) reports that potential relocation to Baghdad or Kabul looks a lot more appealing than it used to, because of ‘this economy’: ‘A hiring initiative called Diplomacy 3.0 now calls for the State Department to add 750 generalists and more than 500 specialists this fiscal year and a similar number next fiscal year. Most people apply to work in public diplomacy and politics; the agency is seeking more management, consular and economics officers.’ Also of note from this article is the tidbit that State is not just looking for young applicants, but more experienced ones as well."

TFD PD – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I was offered a fellowship in Taiwan at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy to research and write about Taiwan's Public Diplomacy outreach! I would be in Taipei and it would last for four months. I'm working on the details, the fellowship would either be during my second semester next year, or after I graduate." Image from

Joining CNAS - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: "I've joined the Center for a New American Security as a non-resident senior fellow. … I'm obviously quite excited about joining the CNAS team. I can't say exactly what I'll be working on over there, but one might imagine that it would involve public diplomacy and strategic communications, the Arab world and Islamist movements, that sort of thing. It should be intellectually exciting."


Israeli know-how - Arnaud de Borchgrave, Washington Times: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and the other chiefs are known from private conversations to feel that an Israeli strike against Iran, even with precision-guided ordnance, would produce heavy civilian casualties and silence Mr. Obama's voice of a new America in the Muslim world. Oil at $300 would be the least of it.

Consulting Shaykh Google – Joshua S. Fouts, DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age: Radical Middle Way has a new video up that is worth viewing. It's a discussion about the influence of the web on young Muslims. The UK panel discussion called "Wired Warriors," describes itself like this: "Welcome to Muslim 2.0 – a wired generation whose members would rather pose their tough questions to Shaykh Google than their local Imam and who feel more connected to the Facebook ummah than the congregation at the local mosque.

Never has Muslim conversation buzzed with so many divergent, combative and off-the-wall perspectives." … The power and potential the Internet provides, combined with the fact that teenagers often go outside their family for information about the world, creates a unique challenge to organizations who are trying to provide accurate information about religion and culture. Image from

Are “Cyber Attacks” Propaganda For Cybersecurity Act of 2009? - jeihesser, Daily Kos: You’ve probably heard or read some of the breathless corporate media reports in the past few days about "cyber attacks" against the U.S. government. Is all this a propaganda blitz to grease the skids for passage of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009? If passed, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 will allow the U.S. President to shut down the internet and will give the government authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any regulation, law, rule or policy restricting that access.

The People in Arms: A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding Insurgency and Dealing with it Effectively - Colonel G. L. Lamborn, Small Wars Journal, posted at Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group: The hypocrisy of the American people and government concerning propaganda is only too obvious.
While condemning “propaganda,” American political parties and pressure groups regularly spend hundreds of millions of dollars shaping the views of the American voter and motivating him or her to support certain candidates and programs and to oppose others. By the same token, American advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry and has as its purpose the persuasion of the American consumer that one brand of toothpaste is far superior to all others and therefore only it is worthy of purchase. If propaganda is central to the way that we form the political and economic opinions of our own citizens – and it is – then it stands to reason that such efforts could be put to productive use abroad. Image from

Hostile propaganda against operations - Sajjad Shaukat, Pakistan Observer: Since the end of April this year when the Malakand military operations were launched, Pakistan’s armed forces have achieved unmatched victory by dismantling the command and control system of the Taliban and forcing them to flee from Swat, Dir and Buner, while these operations are now in progress in Waziristan. Meanwhile, some external and internal elements have intensified their propaganda against the security forces under one or the other pretext. These hostile propagandists include BBC Urdu Service, Indian media, human rights organizations, foreign and Pakistan-based NGOs entailing some of our particular newspapers and TV channels which are serving the interest of their external paymasters.

North Korea Sets Up Propaganda Mobile Web SiteCellular News: The North Korean council for reconciliation and cooperation with the South has set up a mobile internet site to promote its news agenda and provide a propaganda image service. The move is reported by the Korea Herald as being partly a way of bypassing South Korean censorship on accessing North Korean websites. The censorship doesn't ­apply to mobile internet access.


What makes the arts 'essential'? Let me draw you a picture: Experiencing art is a crucial to producing young people who can understand the world's complexity. That's something philanthropic leaders should remember - Ben Donenberg, Los Angeles Times:

Last month, the results of the U.S. Department of Education's National Arts Report Card revealed that only 16% of the eighth-graders visited a museum at least once last year. That's down from 22% in 1997. The percentage of adults who visited a museum decreased too, from 26% in 1997 to 23% last year. The performing arts are experiencing steadily declining audiences. And arts education in schools is being cut drastically. Image from

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