Monday, August 3, 2009
From: Social-networking diplomacy, Idiot box; via MK.
U.S. to Push Peace in Middle East Media Campaign - Mark Landler, New York Times: “'The minute Abu Mazen [the president of the Palestinian Authority] and Netanyahu sit down to negotiate, it’s going to be clear there are galactic differences between them,' said Aaron David Miller, a public policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars who was a peace negotiator in several administrations. Mr. Obama, he said, will have to present proposals to bridge those differences. Assuming that Mr. Mitchell [the administration’s special envoy to the Middle East] can break the deadlock over settlements issue in the next few weeks, Mr. Miller said, the Obama administration will most likely aim for a peace conference in the fall. To get even that far, however, the United States may have to do more aggressive public diplomacy, according to analysts. Mr. Obama, commentators in Israel noted, delivered his major speech on the Middle East in Cairo. He has not yet visited Israel as president, and in the view of some, has not laid out his broad strategy to the Israeli people in a persuasive manner." See also. Image from
Monday, 03 August 2009 15:02 Chrann Chamroeun - People's Daily Online, posted at Leave Freedom: "[T]he US stresses 'public diplomacy' and non-governmental exchanges to change US’ image within the international community. The Obama administration dropped pretentious airs, listened to the voice of Southeast Asian countries and facilitated non-governmental exchanges. During her two trips to East Asia, Clinton carried out exchanges with college students, non-governmental organizations and women's associations, in hope of changing the US’ image among the grass roots."
US Embassy Rangoon: Postscript to a Tour – Domani Spero, Diplopundit: "'The chargé d’affaires and the DCM provided strong leadership to Embassy Rangoon on policy and program issues during a period of Burmese political crisis and intensified U.S. policy focus. They engaged heavily in the design and successful implementation of very imaginative small grants and public diplomacy programs, and the chargé communicated effectively in shaping U.S. policy. However, leadership and management of the mission by the chargé and DCM have been inconsistent and have failed to provide necessary communication, coordination, problem solving, and fairness to foster a genuine sense of teamwork.' Inspection of Embassy Rangoon, Burma (ISP-I-08-36A) Excerpted from Office of Inspector General Semiannual Report to the Congress, April 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008." Image from article.
Minorities, Part Four: The Maoists in Eastern India
- Patricia Lee Sharpe, Whirled View: "Hostages for Jharkhand [eastern India]: Later I actually was kidnapped (aka involuntarily detained) by tribals.
It was in 2000. A big strike for the creation of a new state to be called Jharkhand was underway. The experience didn’t last more than half a day, and I never told the Consul General, because I knew I’d lose the little freedom of movement I’d retained since he’d arrived to embody, arrogantly, aggressively, the State Department takeover of U.S.I.A. So far as he was concerned, we public diplomacy people were no longer of any significance to the mission. (Note to all bosses: if you want to be well informed, treat people with respect.)" Image from
Logo System - DY - DiscoverYellow Visual Communication Theory & Practice - Section 4: "Visual message:The logo system has to be first of all simple and un-invasive, considering my audience, with plain shapes and lines and easy to read fonts. The idea is to represent Public Diplomacy as message transmitting field to the publics, so I drew a logo based on something that you would see in info-graphics with regards to broadcasting and radio waves in air. Logo is clean and conservative, with a bold statement. Audience: Audience would include governmental and international agencies, as well as multinational corporations, that require conservative approach to correspondence."
Political hounds should definitely be In the Loop - Lisa Van Dusen, Edmonton Sun: "In the Loop is the relentlessly tense, talky British-American ensemble film that takes a plot based on the runup to the war in Iraq and makes it as hilarious as the truth might have been if it hadn't been so, well, true. There's The Sopranos' James Gandolfini as a barrel-chested, vaguely pervy cross between Colin Powell on the moral ambiguity front and Norman Schwarzkopf in temperament. Asked for his lunch order in the state department office of public diplomacy chief Karen Clark (Mimi Kennedy in no possible way inspired by Bush appointee Karen Hughes), he snarls, 'Why don't you order me some little mammals?' Karen Clark's teeth keep bleeding profusely and without warning for reasons we're never sure of except that there was clearly no designated driver among the four brilliant Brit scriptwriters." Image from
What’s Different About the Obama Foreign Policy? The continuities with Bush are striking. But what happens when diplomacy fails? – Eliot Cohen, Wall Street Journal: The biggest difference between the Obama and Bush administrations, though, is Messrs. Obama and Bush, or rather, their images at home and abroad.
Mr. Obama is popular, and he dominates American foreign policy. Brimming with confidence in his abilities and certain of the rightness of his views, he has undertaken a wildly ambitious agenda at home and abroad. Image from
GAO Says Pentagon's Officer PR Program Is Legal and Ethical - Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers, U.S. News & World Report: In another twist that raises new questions about a New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning story, the Government Accountability Office has given its blessing to a wartime Department of Defense program that briefed retired military officers about operations in Iraq and Afghanistan before they went on TV to talk about the conflicts. "There is no doubt that DoD attempted to favorably influence public opinion with respect to the administration's war policies" with the program, said the GAO. "However, we conclude that these activities did not violate the publicity or propaganda prohibition."
Culturally Sensitive’ Imperialism Is it possible? The Brits seems to think so - Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com: We need only look at the Brits’ experience in Afghanistan – and the Russians‘, and others’ going all the way back to the Parthians and Alexander the Great – to realize the only realistic strategy would be to get out while the going is good.
Taliban slick propaganda confronts US - Dawood Azami, BBC News: The Taliban have a sophisticated public relations machine which is making it harder for governments and their international allies to win the ever-important propaganda war.
The insurgents are keen to exploit a sense of alienation among people, fostered by "bad governance" and "mistakes" made during military operations. Civilian casualties in American air strikes and the violation of local traditions including house and personal searches create an atmosphere where Taliban propaganda can take root. Image from
NATO Condemns New Taliban Code Designed to Avoid Civilian Deaths as ‘Propaganda’: Taliban Manual 'Doesn't Reflect True Nature' of Insurgency - Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com
Putin does Lake Baikal - RedPossum, The Young Turks: "There's a new story on Al Jazeera English about Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin diving down 1400 meters in Lake Baikal in a mini-submarine to 'explore for energy resources'. I get the impression that the whole thing was remotely-controlled, and Putin was along strictly as an observer, but it's still a wonderful exercise in propaganda. The video goes on to discuss his other recent 'manly deeds' which are obviously part of a carefully-orchestrated PR campaign. You have to hand it to the Russians, they have a deep and profound understanding of Propaganda which the USA lacks. We Americans are damn good at Marketing, but that's not quite the same thing. Good propaganda is more than simply Politics-flavored Marketing, just as Leadership is more than simply military Management."
Counter false propaganda with expatriate goodwill ambassadors - Ashley Weerasooriya, Sunday Observer: Finding ways and desired course of action to combat and eradicate false propaganda and other issues that affect the tourism trade etc had been one of the difficult tasks Sri Lanka had faced during the last few decades. In this instance the Goodwill Ambassador’s main task would be to provide promotion of Sri Lanka Tourism, her potential as a safe tourist destination and he or she counters false propaganda.
War Stories: Explaining Why We Fight to the American Home Front - Susan A. Brewer, History News Network:
President Barack Obama confronts a formidable task as he tries to explain the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to the American people. Not only does he contend with the troubled legacy of past policies, but he also inherits a long tradition of government efforts to rally popular support for war by convincing Americans they fight for freedom, democracy, security, and economic opportunity. Combining a vivid blend of fact and fiction, these war stories have informed, inspired, and deceived. Ms. Brewer is the author of: Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq (Oxford University Press).
Brewer image from