Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26

"[A] single killer app in isolation won’t topple bureaucracy as usual."

--Gov 2.0 guru Rita J. King; King image from


High-Level US Delegation Led by Undersecretary of State Judith McHale Visits Dubai Media "Dubai Media City (DMC), a member of TECOM Investments, welcomed a high-ranking US delegation led by Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale. … McHale is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Communications, the parent company of Discovery Channel. She successfully built the company into a renowned global media enterprise with 1.4 billion subscribers in 170 countries." Image from article: From left: U.S. Consul General in Dubai Justin Seberell; Mohammad Abdullah, Executive Director, Dubai Media City; Judith A. McHale, US Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; Richard G. Olson, Jr., US Ambassador to the UAE; Saeed AlFalasi, Executive Director, International Media Production Zone.

For the Mideast, a Window of Opportunity - Steven W. Barnes, Jakarta Globe: "[I]n August senior White House officials told reporters that the Obama administration, building on the success of the president’s June speech in Cairo, plans to launch a public relations campaign directed at Israeli, Palestinian and Arab publics, to articulate the president’s comprehensive vision for Mideast peace. This plan was echoed by a recent report, 'Window of Opportunity for a Two-State Solution,' from the Center for American Progress, a think tank, which encouraged the Obama administration to launch a 'public outreach and strategic communications effort in the Middle East,' with the aim of 'building the foundations of public support and to prepare public opinion for the likely concessions involved' in any final deal. Such a campaign, the report’s authors assert, 'cannot wait for an actual negotiated agreement that can then be ‘sold’ ' to the public. Achieving gains in the peace process involves overcoming vast historical, diplomatic and policy challenges, which cannot be swept aside by a PR campaign. But failing to engage in a strategic outreach initiative and conducting effective public diplomacy in the pursuit of policy interests does have consequences for peace."

Tech startup creates State Dept.-approved educational games for Middle East - Andrew Nusca, Between the Lines: "The U.S. State Department has contracted a small Virginia-based startup to create mobile phone games to help citizens of nations the U.S. has poor relations with — mostly in the Middle East — learn about America and its values. The strategy is to use the mobile phone — which even poor families own in countries such as Iran and Iraq — as a portal to learn about quintessential American trivia: our presidents, our history, and the laws that rule our land. The hope is to tone down the anti-American rhetoric by engaging people with a fun game, educate them with American facts, and connect everyone in indirect dialogue through the mobile format. … The move is an interesting 'new media' approach to public diplomacy — a way of taking the true pulse of citizens of nations where freedom of speech is limited or banned entirely. Take Iran, for example, whose citizens turned to social media when opposition to Ahmadinejad’s election was squashed. Is it fair for the State Department to be dabbling with the mobile phones of other nations’ citizens — if only for educational purposes? Leave your thoughts in TalkBack." Image from article.

With video games, public diplomacy by mobile phone- Andrew Nusca, Smart Planet

Gov 2.0 Hero: Rita J. King – [Interview] by Luke Fretwell, GovFresh: King: “My collaborator Joshua S. Fouts has spent the last fifteen years conducting research and strategy and directing projects that explore how the Internet is changing the landscape for cultural communication, identity, foreign policy and public diplomacy. … The military has always been a leader in exploring available technology and continues to do so now, bolstered by a massive budget. Only a fraction of the funding exists for the same level of implementation in the foreign policy world, which could greatly benefit from improvement via Web 2.0 tools. This was documented by Kristin Lord at the Brookings Institution in her report, 'Voices of America: US Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century.'

Anyone on the front lines of cultural engagement, from a public affairs officer in the Army to a public diplomacy officer in the State Department, can benefit directly from deeper, real-time communication with the people of the world." Image from

New Blog on Virtual Worlds and Foreign Policy - Joshua S. Fouts, DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age: "I've just discovered a welcome new blog at the intersection of foreign policy and virtual worlds: Pixels and Policy is a blog that is 'Studying how virtual worlds change our politics, policy, and culture.' The blog is edited by Max Burns."

KU professor talks politics across globe - Brandon Sayers, University Daily Kansan: "Since the beginning of 2008, Burdett Loomis has been a very busy man. Loomis, professor of political science at the University of Kansas, has spent more than two months overseas speaking on behalf of the U.S. State Department in seven different countries. ... Loomis has had a relationship with the State Department’s Public Diplomacy Program that goes back almost two decades.

During his time with the program, he has taken more than 10 trips to countries all over the world to speak about things such as U.S. politics and its place in the world. He returned from his most recent trip a few weeks ago." Loomis image from

Senator Gene Davis Receives 2009 Citizen Diplomat Award – Janeen, Utah Senate Democrats: "The Citizen Diplomat Award is presented annually to individuals who have made a significant contribution to citizen diplomacy in the state of Utah. The awards were presented at the 2009 Salute to Utah’s Citizen Diplomats held at the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, Westminster College. Senator Gene Davis, Senate District 3, has been instrumental in promoting the State of Utah’s global engagement in U.S. public diplomacy and citizen diplomacy through the International Visitor Leadership Program. Citizen diplomacy is the concept that the individual has the right - even the responsibility - to help shape U.S. foreign relations 'one handshake at a time.'”

Boosting women’s role in peace and security - portodigenova: "In general, to ensure women have access to decision-making and democratic processes, the number of women in the workforce needs to grow, particularly in senior positions in corporations, governments and organisations. Stefanie Babst is Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, and one of the few high-ranking women officials at NATO.

At the International Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit in Istanbul early June 2009, she called for the stronger involvement of women in security and defence sectors." Babst image from

Public Diplomacy, Local Staffing Subject: But hospitality budgets for Canadian missions abroad will remain unchanged from last year - Lee Berthiaume, Embassy: "More details have emerged over how surprise budget reductions to all Canadian missions will be implemented, Embassy has learned. In particular, public diplomacy programs will be hit, while vacant positions are expected to go unfilled and honorary consuls will see their spending come under the microscope."

FODP Ministerial Meeting underscores need for international partnershipwith Pakistan for developmentAssociated Press of Pakistan: "The Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan held here on Tuesday underscored the need for international partnership with Pakistan for developing a win-win scenario as an anchor of stability in the region and the world. … The meeting recalled the value of public diplomacy and stressed the importance of developing programmes in this context." See also.


Propaganda Continues? - BarbinMD, Daily Kos: Stars and Stripes reports that the Pentagon has hired The Rendon Group to screen journalists seeking to embed with U.S. forces.

Specifically, the contractor will examine whether these reporters gave "positive" coverage to the military’s work in the past. Image from

US Trying to Match Military Drive in Afghanistan with Socio-Economic Development - Ravi Khanna, VOA: The Obama administration is revving up a civilian effort to begin community development projects. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has gathered a team to build up the civilian effort. The multi-pronged approach also includes disrupting the Taliban's methods of raising funds and countering their anti-US propaganda.

NEA Assembling Artists for Propaganda Machine?! - Andrew Belonsky, Gawker:

According to "art community consultant" Patrick Courrielche, who supports those Obama Joker posters, the NEA organized a recent conference call to assemble an army of artists who will maybe possibly (hopefully?) use their work to inspire service in key social arenas, such as health care and energy. Image from article

The EU Communication ‘propaganda’ debateNew Europe: A brutal debate flared up over the hottest days of the summer in Europe, about the European communication efforts. The discussion was sparked by a report by Swedish think-tank, Timbro, entitled “The European Union’s Burden – Information and Communication to a Reluctant People.” The report, which goes to great lengths to label all communication efforts of the European Commission (and Parliament) as propaganda, was met with both direct responses by European Commissioner for Communication, Margot Wallstrom, and other supporters, as well as critics of the "propaganda machine."

War Clouds in the Caucasus: Putin's strategy has not brought peace - Boris Nemtsov, Wall Street Journal: One of the biggest myths perpetrated by Vladimir Putin’s propaganda machine is that during his 10-year rule over Russia, the former president and current prime minister succeeded in “pacifying” the North Caucasus. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we are witnessing today is the start of the third Caucasus war in 15 years, following the two Chechen wars of 1994 and 1999.

History as Propaganda: The Nazi-Soviet Legacy in Eastern Europe - Karl Naylor, Eastern Europe Watch

Microphone used by Nazi traitor Lord Haw Haw to broadcast propaganda found 64 years after he was hanged for treason - Daily Mail: The microphone wartime traitor Lord Haw Haw used to broadcast Nazi propaganda into British homes has been discovered after 64 years.

A pile of scripts the infamous broadcaster - real name William Joyce - wrote and read out over the airwaves with his famous 'Germany calling' catchphrase have also come to light. The items, including copied British newspaper articles, were seized by soldier Cyril Millwood when the Allies invaded Germany in 1945 and are now set to be sold at auction. Image from article: Traitor's tool: Lord Haw Haw - real name William Joyce - and the microphone he used to broadcast from Germany


--Image from

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