Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28

"Instead of invasions we have translations."

--Cesare Pavese; cited in The Times Literary Supplement (November 20, 2009), p. 25; Pavese image from


Let Americans travel to Cuba - Lillian Manzor - "Academics like me who form part of ENCASA (Emergency Network of Cuban American Scholars and Artists to Press for Change in U.S.-Cuba policy, fully endorse and strongly support approval of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act. The proposal before Congress comes at the right moment: Polls demonstrate that the majority of Cuban Americans and an overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens now support travel to Cuba. ... As scholars and artists, ENCASA supports, in particular, educational and artistic exchanges with Cuba.

During International Education Week, celebrated last week, Under-Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Judith A. McHale presented 'Open Doors: The Annual Report on International Education' at the National Press Club in Washington. During her speech, she underscored the value of international education and the need to create more opportunities for American students to study abroad. She stated: 'Personally, I believe there is no better way to improve our relations than by expanding these critical programs of our students studying overseas.' ENCASA agrees: there is no better way to improve our relations with Cuba than by eliminating current restrictions and expanding opportunities." Image from

Senator Feingold would zero out Radio/TV Martí as part of his "Spotlight on Spending" - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "Easing travel restriction might help 'engage with the people of Cuba,' but for providing uncensored news to Cuba, there is still no substitute for international broadcasting."

No Propaganda Obama – John Brown, Notes and Essays: "As Andrew J. Bacevich puts it, ‘permanent war has become the de facto policy of the United States.’

US taxpayers have gotten so used to wars (even those they don't like) outsourced to the ‘professional’ military (i.e., not them, the hard-working taxpayers) that there's no need -- beltway pundits/bandits, perhaps not so imaginary, would argue -- for the US government to promote war anymore. Not even overseas through ‘public diplomacy.’" Image from

China values its friendship with Pakistan: FM Yang Jiechi – APP, The Pakistani Newspaper - "Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here Thursday that his country values its friendship with Pakistan. 'Pakistan and China are good friends', said Yang while talking to APP after the launch of China’s Foreign Affairs Photo Album. The book comprising photographs of public diplomacy including bilateral visits and various important events that took place in 2008.Prominent display was given to the Photographs taken on the occasion of visits of Pakistan leadership including President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani."

Worst "Idea of the Day” - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy:

"Washington's think tank fellows are always yearning for organization charts that even they can understand. But they don't understand how successful international broadcasting works. Audiences listen to VOA for news that is more reliable than what they receive from their state controlled domestic media. If that news is coordinated, integrated, and directed 'towards common objectives,' it will lose its credibility and lose its audience. Doing such a thing to the news does not seem very 'progressive.'" Image from

Alhurra press releases bury mention of Alhurra - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

#140Conf Tel Aviv Schedule Update - Alan Weinkrantz’s Stream of Life: "The fourth #140Conf takes place in Tel Aviv on December 6 at Afeka College of Engineering in Tel Aviv. Here's the most recent schedule. ... Schedule Day 1 - 6/12/2009 ... 11:20am David Saranga (@DavidSaranga) The Use of Twitter in Public Diplomacy"

The Face of Polish Russophobia - Karl Naylor, Eastern Europe Watch:

"Poland has been an uncritical and unconditional vassal state of the USA is not even popular with the majority of Poles, one reason for the continuous attempt to bait Russia. After all, it is the assumption of Poland[’]s elite that only by playing on exaggerated fears of Russia in 'public diplomacy' can the sheep be moved into supporting an expansionist role for NATO in Ukraine & Georgia." Image from

CNN reports on RFE role in the Velvet Revolution - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

This Week in Jazz - Sriram Gopal - "Inspired by the jazz program on Voice of America, trumpeter Valery Ponomarev grew up in the Soviet Union with dreams of playing with Art Blakey's famous Jazz Messengers.

Ponomarev defected to the States in the 1970s, and eventually fulfilled his ambitions, spending several years with the legendary drummer." Via; Ponomarev image from article.

On the Register! - melissa, Three Years of VonHinken's: "I was working late on Wednesday evening, so Chad came out to have dinner with me and a coworker (Mike!). He handed me a fantastic letter, dated November 20: On behalf of the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service, I am please to inform you that your name has been added to the register of those awaiting appointment to the Foreign Service as an Entry Level Officer in the Consular Affairs career track. I could hardly believe it. After all of the time I spent pending investigations [pi in italics] with Diplomatic Security (eight months and one day, from April 8 – November 9), I had finally cleared the second to last hurdle towards becoming a Foreign Service Officer. So what’s next? I say that because that’s the question I’ve been getting all (Thanksgiving) weekend from my family. So I may as well share the answers with you too.
For each career track, or cone (Consular, Management, Public Diplomacy, Economic, and Political) there is a list of people awaiting an offer to attend a training class called the A-100. The register is dynamic, and my place on it depends on two things: my score from the Oral Assessment, and the date I reached the register. Since my score was very low (but still passing!), and I was added to the register VERY recently, I’m pretty much at the bottom of the list."


Get real on Afghanistan - Colbert I. King, Washington Post: The selection of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for President Obama's announcement of his new Afghanistan war strategy is media manipulation worthy of Michael Deaver, the legendary image protector of Ronald Reagan.

What better setting than an audience of military cadets to project Obama as the reluctant warrior and commander in chief who, because of circumstances not of his making, is forced to commit the nation's finest to a war not of his choosing? Makes for a great visual, too. Image from

Diplomacy 101 – Editorial, New York Times: We were thrilled when President Obama decided to plunge fully into the Middle East peace effort. He appointed a skilled special envoy, George Mitchell, and demanded that Israel freeze settlements, Palestinians crack down on anti-Israel violence and Arab leaders demonstrate their readiness to reach out to Israel. Nine months later, the president’s promising peace initiative has unraveled.

Critics call Poland Patriot missile plan a symbolic gesture - Opinia.US:

An article in the U.S. semi-official military newspaper Stars and Stripes suggests that the Obama administration’s plan for placing a limited number of Patriot missiles in Poland has no military significance and is being implemented largely for diplomatic reasons to appease Warsaw after President Obama scrapped President Bush’s far more ambitious anti-ballistic missile defense system. Via MC on Facebook. Image from

Honduras's democratic solution: Why the Obama administration is right to support Sunday's election
- Too many Latin American governments are more interested in backing leaders who share their political inclinations than in upholding the rule of law. While loudly denouncing the "coup" against Mr. Zelaya, they have ignored the rigging of elections and the violent suppression of opposition by fellow leftists. In rejecting their attempt to nullify Honduras's democratic vote this Sunday, the Obama administration has taken a relatively isolated stance -- and a correct one.

Hollywood elitists and other morons - Burt Prelutsky, Saving the best for last brings us to Leni Riefenstahl. In Berlin, in the 30s, as in Hollywood at any time, it wasn’t what you knew but who you knew, and Leni was a chum of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda. Think of him as the head of Germany’s NEA.

It was Herr Goebbels who helped get her the opportunity to make “Triumph of the Will” and “Olympia,” a couple of over-wrought “documentaries” dedicated to hyping the Third Reich. After the end of World War II and for the remaining half of her 101 years, American and European cineastes — the same twerps who do cartwheels over Michael Moore’s propaganda flicks — showered her with honors and acclaim. This in spite of the fact that although she claimed she wasn’t a Nazi and would barely have recognized Hitler if she’d tripped over him, had said, “To me, Hitler is the greatest man who ever lived. He truly is without fault, so simple and at the same time possessed of masculine strength.” Sort of sounds like Chris Matthews going on about Obama or Oliver Stone mooning over Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro, doesn’t it? In 1993, Riefenstahl had the gall to deny that she deliberately attempted to create pro-Nazi propaganda. For good measure, she claimed she was disgusted that “Triumph of the Will” was used in such a way. It was reminiscent of Captain Renault’s shock upon discovering that gambling was taking place in the backroom at Rick’s, all the while pocketing his winnings. Having seen her most famous films, I can assure you that unless you cut the movies up into a million little slivers of celluloid and used them for toothpicks, there was no other conceivable use for them except as Nazi propaganda." Image from

1 comment:

WGP said...

China's sixth-generation fighter aircraft design based on nuclear propulsion: