Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17

“Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.”

--Eric Hoffer; image from

Below images from: Examples of American Cold-War Propaganda - Mirko, Designer Daily

NOTE: The PDPBR will not appear for the next week or so.


Let USAID be USAID – Not Let Confusion Reign - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "Whatever happened to the U.S. Agency for International Development? Wasn’t it supposed to play a key role in the Obama administration’s accent on diplomacy as a major tool of US foreign policy?

Didn’t Hillary Clinton emphasize development as a crucial part of diplomacy – in fact, as important as traditional diplomacy and defense – in dealing with the world? … [W]hat about those few FSOs who still engage in public diplomacy, e.g. interact with foreign media on a regular basis (and those few American correspondents still abroad), administer educational and other exchange programs, English teaching programs, run the few libraries and cultural centers that still exist and support and enhance visits by American cultural figures? This all used to be done by the US Information Agency before those tasks and staff were slurped up by State and shrink-wrapped and diluted big time. … USAID also needs to take care of the top level leadership vacuum. The clock is ticking."

Trade not aid, Nawaz tells US - "Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Sunday urged Washington to support Pakistan’s efforts to finalise a Free Trade Agreement with the US and to encourage greater American investment in Pakistan, especially in its energy and power sectors, as these will have a direct bearing on the country’s economy as well as on the people’s well being. This was observed by Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with President Obama’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke who called on the PML-N Quaid in Islamabad. … Ambassador Holbrooke assured the former prime minister that the US viewed Pakistan as an extremely important country that deserved the help and assistance of the entire international community in its efforts to confront militancy and to strengthen the economy. He reiterated that the Obama administration and US Congress were also committed, on a long-term basis, to support Pakistan and developing its institutions. … Holbrooke was accompanied by Ms Judith A McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.” See also.

New US Ambassador To Morocco: Statement of Samuel L. Kaplan Ambassador-Designate to the Kingdom of Morocco Senate Committee on Foreign Relations July 22, 2009, 9 a.m.Arab News: Kaplan: “I deeply appreciate the trust and confidence placed in me by President Obama and Secretary Clinton in nominating me as ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco. … Growing press freedom in Morocco, one example of which is the opening in recent years of a vibrant independent radio sector, also warrants continued support through U.S. public diplomacy initiatives. It is in our long-term national interest to continue this effective partnership with the Moroccan government and people as they face the challenge of violent extremism, while making increasing strides toward a more democratic, more transparent and more inclusive society that respects human rights."

The Medium IS the Message: - Ren's Micro Diplomacy - "Public Diplomacy: How to Think About and Improve it[:]This short Rand report by Charles Wolf, Jr. and Brian Rosen looks at public diplomacy from a practitioner’s standpoint and dispels the myth that public goods can be 'marketed' in the same way as private goods. It’s, essentially, a breakdown of the key components to consider when crafting a PD program (rhetoric, audience, forum, etc) with specific recommendations concerning PD in the Middle East."

Inconvenient Ignorance - Craig Hayden, Intermap: "The U.S. cannot willfully exclude itself from the chaotic global contest of opinion and news framing between international actors. More importantly, the U.S. cannot ignore that globalization involves increasingly porous borders and the flow people. … With domestic media institutions having few resources (or incentives) to provide meaningful programming to intervene in pivotal diasporic markets, that leaves the solid reporting of the VOA and other U.S. information programs to fill in the gap. Except, of course, that Smith Mundt protects the U.S. from these government entities. Enough of the ignorance, please!"

Thought US healthcare opposition was bad? Just wait for the climate bill - Alex Evans, Global Dashboard: “[T]he argument that David [Steven] and I made last summer in Towards a Theory of Influence, an essay the Foreign Office commissioned from us for a book on public diplomacy: [']A new ‘game’ is about to begin [on climate change], one that has the opposite dynamic to chess. With every step that is taken towards an endgame (painful cuts in emissions; proposals for international agreement; new types of regulation, market mechanism, or tax), the number of pieces on the board will grow, not shrink. Swarming behaviour will become increasingly evident, as factions of all kinds are suddenly, and with unpredictable effect, galvanized into a passionate attempt to protect their interests.[']”


State Dept. adds more aid workers in Afghanistan - Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY:

Months after President Obama announced a new Afghanistan strategy based on stepped-up civilian efforts to rebuild the country, the State Department has put 92 new people in the field, department figures show. That's about a third of its year-end goal of 313 additional aid workers and diplomats outside the Kabul embassy.

Perfect: Iran Creates Propaganda Gold Out Of Hillary's Empty "We Empowered The Protesters" Bragging [Video]- Omri Cere, Mere Rhetoric: Actually the State Department had little to nothing to do with Twitter staying open in Iran. The Twitter CEOs were more than smart enough to figure out that a "highly visible global event" was an opportunity they didn't want to screw up. As for giving Iranian dissidents financial or logistical support: Obama zeroed that out of the 2010 budget.

Proof the 1st casualty of Pakistani propaganda war - Kay Johnson, AP: Finding and killing Pakistan's most-wanted militant was a difficult task. Proving his death may be even harder.

Most indicators point to Baitullah Mehsud's death in a CIA missile strike last week, and the U.S. government says it's "90 percent" sure of it. But the Pakistani and U.S. governments will have a tough time confirming the death because the Taliban control the South Waziristan region, a remote, mountainous tribal area where the drone-fired missile reportedly destroyed the home of Mehsud's father-in-law.

Anti-American Amigos: Why is the Obama administration trying to help Hugo Chavez? – Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal

China's Great Firewall: The Green Dam episode suggests that the West has some influence in preserving Internet freedom - Editorial, Washington Post: Last Tursday, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced its withdrawal of requirements that Green Dam Internet censorship software come pre-installed on all computers. This victory is not unblemished. China is continuing to install the software in computers at Internet cafes and universities. And some manufacturers continue to include it with computers shipped to the country. But the outcome -- although not perfect -- is a success for the Chinese people and the cause of Internet freedom.

Examples of American Cold-War Propaganda - Mirko, Designer Daily: “Last week I published a guest article about cold war propaganda posters on Designer Daily, it was a great piece by Tom Walker.

However, one sentence in his article bugged me, it was when he wrote that western democratic states practically decommissioned their propaganda machines post 1945. This is very far from the truth, propaganda was very widespread in the western world post-WW2.”

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