Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 6

"We're drowning in facts here, but we're starved for information."

--Los Angeles Times correspondent William Tuohy, summing up the consequences of Operation Maximum Candor, launched by the Johnson administration and the Pentagon to improve relations between the press and the military in South Vietnam; cited in Susan A. Brewer, Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 190-191; image from


Image from

Public Diplomacy Success: American Journalists and a Frail Kim Jong Il – N. Perkins, Central Exit: "Former President Bill Clinton rocked the world of public diplomacy yesterday after negotiating the release of two American journalists held prisoner in North Korea. This is a triumph of public diplomacy in practice. A Few Questions: 1) What could these two 'journalists' have been up to? 2) What did Bill say or promise to get them out? 3) Why did Kim Jong Il agree to meet with Bill Clinton?" Image from

The Propaganda Chronicles: North Korea Edges Out US - Nancy Snow, Huffington Post: "The North Korean state-run press played up the meeting of the 'Dear Leader' and former U.S. head of state as a joint meeting of issues of common concern to the U.S. and North Korea, not a major public relations coup for Clinton in securing the release of U.S. journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. But on the American side of the Pacific, it was 'Showbiz Tonight' meets 'High School Reunion.'

Clinton's Unwise Trip to North Korea - John Bolton, Washington Post: "[T]he Clinton trip is a significant propaganda victory for North Korea, whether or not he carried an official message from President Obama." Kim Jong Il image from

Deciphering Korean propaganda on the Clintons - Andre F. Radzischewski, Washington Times: "Mr. Clinton clearly received kid-gloves treatment because the North Koreans wanted to portray him as a high-profile U.S. emissary out to make amends for what the North Koreans see as a 'hostile' U.S. policy toward the country."

Was Bill Clinton’s trip a propaganda victory for North Korea? - Steve Parker, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Mission accomplished: Former President Bill Clinton went to North Korea Monday to secure the release of two jailed American journalists and this morning they returned to California. But there are many who say North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was too big a winner in this diplomatic episode."

McCain sees N.Korea as using Clinton visit for propaganda – Steve Holland, Reuters Blogs


Public Diplomacy: More People Needed To Do More For America Abroad - Mitchell Polman, Understanding Government: "The FY2010 appropriations bill for the Department of State (H.R. 2410) contains most of the commission’s proposals for strengthening U.S. public diplomacy. Amongst those proposals is a long standing recommendation to create a Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps (PDRC) that would recruit Foreign Service retirees and others with public diplomacy experience to fill public diplomacy related vacancies at the State Department. ...

The State Department might consider developing the PDRC not just as a way for retirees and public diplomacy professionals to pitch in, but as a channel for both younger people and mid-career professionals from outside the department who are interested in public diplomacy careers. The number of Foreign Service candidates expressing an interest in public diplomacy is on the rise, but until now the State Department has not even had enough staff on hand to expend all the funds allotted for public diplomacy." Image from

Global Intentions Local Results – Book Review Essay [Review of William P. Kiehl, Global Intentions Local Results: How Colleges Can Create International Communities, 2009] - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "Internationalization efforts on campus have usually had minimal impact on the respective local communities. The communities and the campuses - with too few exceptions – seem, sadly, to operate in parallel – and not necessarily mutually supportive - universes. …

The only time the two intersected well [in the case of the Pennsylvania colleges covered in this volume] was during a summer program funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This interrelationship happened only because the federal grant to the college that financed the program stipulated the need for community involvement. … Kiehl has put his finger on a major failing of American higher education today. It has a crucial job to perform in educating our citizenry about the world." Image from

First NATO Press conference by Secretary General Anders Fogh RasmussenPIMS:

Anders Fogh Rasmussen: “[A]s I indicated in my introductory remarks, we will launch a comprehensive public diplomacy program and within the framework of that, people will get direct channels through new media to provide input for the whole process and we will listen, we will read and people’s ideas will be taken into consideration.” Anders Fogh Rasmussen image from

Foreign office challenges - Editorial, Taming Korach: "David Brummer … [is a] blogger and recipient of the Congressional Recognition for Excellence in Public Diplomacy in Support of Israel (on behalf of his work with The Israel Project)."


Best Communications Practices for Making a World of Difference - Colleen Turner, Huffington Post: Our national and international interests are too important to risk due to easily avoided verbal missteps. Without the application of best communications practices, our leaders cannot optimally serve our nation or the world.

Autocracy and the Decline of the Arabs: The Arab world is plagued by despots. But don’t expect the U.N. to give President Bush any credit for challenging this order – Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal: There is no mistaking the animating drive of the new American policy in that Greater Middle East: realism and benign neglect, the safety of the status quo rather than the risks of liberty. Image from

Hillary of Africa: A welcome focus on failed governance – Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal: The Obama Administration has put a notable focus on failed governance as a major source of Africa’s woes.

What Biden Should Have Said - Stephen Sestanovich, Washington Post: Almost all the states of the former Soviet Union are already working with Western governments, and with each other, to increase their independence from Moscow. This trend does not mean that American support for Russia's neighbors is unnecessary, only that it has a realistic chance to succeed. What Dean Acheson called "the added energy and power of America" will often be decisive. Image from

Ambassadorial Appointments - Hans N. Tuch, Whirled View:

The practice of giving ambassadorial appointments to non-professional people solely as a reward for their political contributions to the president's campaign is as stupid and potentially dangerous to the national interest as if the president were to appoint the contributor to a high command in the military. Image from


Superglue Revenge 2009 - David Emery's Urban Legends Blog: Buck Wolf over at Weird News just blogged about a sticky situation in Wisconsin involving an unfaithful husband, his jilted wife, three different women he cheated with, and a tube of Krazy Glue. Predictably, it didn't end well for the lothario.

According to a police report the four women allegedly confronted the guy in a motel room, beat him, and glued his penis to his stomach. Image from


Michelangelo's The Torment of St. Anthony - Boing Boing: Michelangelo's first known painting is The Torment of St. Anthony, which is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York through September 7, 2009. He was 12 or 13 years old when he painted it, which goes to show you that the kinds of things that intrigue 12 year old boys haven't changed much in the last 500 years.

No comments: