Friday, August 14, 2009

August 14

"Welcome Hillary Clinton, a Woman of Substance"

--Banner in Monrovia, Liberia; image from


Envoys Resisted Arrival of Pentagon Africa Command, Report Says - Viola Gienger, Bloomberg: "The Pentagon’s new Africa Command, established by President George W. Bush in the face of opposition on the continent, also ran into resistance from U.S. diplomats, the State Department’s inspector general said. …

'There continues to be some public and considerable internal debate about the wisdom of military funding of U.S. developmental and public diplomacy activities in Africa,' according to the inspectors’ report." Image from

Delhi snubs US criticism on religious freedom - Peninsula On-line: "India yesterday slammed a US body’s move to put the nation on its ‘watch list’ for allegedly inadequate response in protecting its religious minorities, and asserted that the Indian constitution guarantees freedom of religion and equality of opportunity to all its citizens. … The USCIRF [US Commission on International Religious Freedom], which released its annual report early this year, had put off the publication of its India chapter due to the general elections held in April and May. USCIRF members were keen to visit India for their first hand assessment of the situation but they were not given visas. The Commission also said it wants to have freedom of religion and belief to be an integral part of the Indo-US public diplomacy. 'The reason why we placed India on the ‘watch list’ is because as part of our growing relationship in order to make sure that it is productive and meaningful as possible,' Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair, told the PTI in an interview." See also.

VOL. V NO. 17, July 31-August 13, 2009 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media

U.S. Detains Journalist Fleeing Pakistan Threats - N.C. Aizenman, Washington Post: "U.S. immigration officials have detained a Pakistani journalist employed by the U.S.-sponsored Voice of America news service who was hoping to find refuge in the United States after Islamic militants in Pakistan destroyed his house and threatened his life.

Rahman Bunairee, 33, was taken into custody Sunday afternoon upon his arrival at Dulles International Airport, according to VOA officials. It is not clear why Bunairee was detained." Via; Bunairee image from

Voice of America Report Shows Confusion and Divisions Over Obama’s Policy Toward Russia - tedlipien,

From Nation to Corporation: An Outsider’s View on Nation Branding - Zen Marie, Brand Master: "Simon Anholt … and other brand consultants … altogether avoid the term brand in relation to nation states. He prefers to label the enterprise either ‘public diplomacy’, as it is referred to in United States and United Kingdom government, or more recently he advocates for the use ‘competitive identities’, an older concept that he now deploys for nation branding … . This change in nomenclature shows recognition of the tenuous synergy between corporate and public interest. To have a ministry of branding, which Anholt predicts is not too far in the future, would be to show the corporate underwear under national dress. It would be to signify that national and corporate interests are actually very similar and work to undermine the mythology of the nation as benefactor or protector as it reveals the nation state as an institution geared towards the selective creation of profit. Anholt seems to be entirely aware ofthis as he re-brands ‘nation branding’ into ‘competitive identities’.”

Nation Branding Africa ’09 - How can African nations combat “Brand Africa”? - Shanna, Ai Newswire: "Professor Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister, Zimbabwe and John Mahama, Vice President, Republic of Ghana; will be speaking at the Nation Branding Masterclass in Accra on 28 September, at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel. The event, supported by the BBC, Africa Investor, africapractice, the Ghana Chapter of the IAA, Business Day, Business World and Publicis Ghana, is led by Simon Anholt, the world renowned leading expert on managing and measuring national identity and reputation. Simon will explain how having a positive image can make a world of difference to a country, city or region, just as it does for companies and their products. That is why the expressions which Simon Anholt first coined more than twelve years ago – “nation brand”, “city brand” and “place brand” – are now heard so often. Simon Anholt is a member of the British Government’s Public Diplomacy Board and has advised the governments of many countries, as well as organisations including the United Nations, NATO and the World Bank." Image from

Don’t forget the science bit… - NATO Review: "Initially, NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme drew a clear distinction between supporting civilian science and NATO defence cooperation. Its work concentrated on the physical sciences. Later it took in biological, environmental and social sciences. … The SPS Programme is overseen by NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) with an SPS Committee of senior scientists who advise PDD. The programme has a unique network of 57 states: 26 member States, 24 Partner nations and 7 Mediterranean nations."

EU Commission officials - coming to a Uni near you - Open Europe blog: "We have just seen an email that the European Commission would probably have preferred we didn't. Dominic Brett, Head of Public Diplomacy (!) at the European Commission Representation in the UK, has just sent an email out to students and teachers using the huge mailing list of the University Association for Contemporary University Studies. (UACES)In it, he offers Commission staff to speak to students, either by visiting their universities or by hosting meetings in London, about topics such as climate change and the Lisbon Treaty.As we've argued many times before, the Commission is engaged in many attempts to influence young people's thinking about the EU - but this has to be one of the most blatent [sic]." Image from

Laar: CEE is thinking with its head –: Baltic Business News: “Mart Laar, chairperson of Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) wrote in his blog that the open letter leaders of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) sent to the US President Barack Obama shows that CEE is still able to think with its own head … . This letter shows, among other things, that CEE is still able to think with its own head, in other words approve those steps which seem rational and right, and tell their opinion. Adding public diplomacy to official diplomacy is practical step at this point.”

Davutoğlu Era in Turkish Foreign PolicyToday’s Zaman: "[Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu should consider Turkey’s democracy as the main source of its soft power. The challenging task is to manage Turkish foreign policy in such a way to limit the securitizing impact of a number of issues--like the Cyprus issue and Northern Iraq—in domestic politics.

Another dimension of this challenge is the need for public diplomacy in Turkey’s actively involved regions and to create communication channels with Turkish public opinion. For example, the attempts for normalization with Armenia triggered a nationalist Azeri response and this response found support in Turkey in a form of allegation that the Turkish government is selling out Azerbaijan. Preventing this kind of negative input should be on the agenda in relation to Turkey’s increasing activism in regional policy." Davutoğlu image from

Battle for Honduras--and the Region - Greg Grandin, Nation: "The campaign to oust [Honduras president] Manuel Zelaya and prevent his restoration has reunited old comrades from that struggle, including shadowy figures like Fernando 'Billy' Joya (who in the 1980s was a member of Battalion 316, a Honduran paramilitary unit responsible for the disappearance of hundreds, and who now works as Micheletti's security adviser) and Iran/Contra veterans like Otto Reich (who ran Reagan's Office of Public Diplomacy, which misused public money to manipulate public opinion to support the Contra war against Nicaragua)."


Rights group: Israel waging 'propaganda war' against usYnetnews: Human Rights Watch condemned what it called the "propaganda war" Israel is waging against it in order to undermine, according to the group, the credibility of the report published Thursday on Israel's conduct in Operation Cast Lead.

Obama propaganda tactics learned from Hitler - Cory Cramer, Image: Obama as seen by Pesky Emotional Republican

News or Propaganda? - Matt Armstrong,

No comments: