Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 29-30

"The public celebration of the opening of the Moscow–Volga Canal coincided with the execution of the overseers of its construction. A popular book praising the USSR’s affinities with the United States appeared at a time when individuals could be shot for real or imagined personal connections to America."

--Jane Yager, "Moscow Dreams" [Review of Karl Schlögel, Terror und Traum: Moskau 1937], Times online, May 27, 2009; image from


Guerilla Diplomacy; Rethinking International Relations

Enemy of my enemy is my ... enemy? – Matthew B. Stannard, SF Gate: "[T]he White House denounced the coup in Honduras as illegal and 'a terrible precedent.' In response, Honduras's interim president, Roberto Micheletti said that 'nobody, not Barack Obama and much less Hugo Chavez, has any right to threaten this country.' Such plague-on-both-your-houses imagery has some analysts warning that Obama has picked the wrong horse in Honduras. The Heritage Foundation's Ray Walser writes that while Obama might wish to avoid the public diplomacy mess that followed U.S. support for the failed 2002 coup in Venezuela, he should nevertheless support Micheletti over Zelaya." Zelaya image from

Meddling In Honduras - Jonathan Movroydis Blog: "It took several more murders and beatings on the streets of Teheran for President Obama to finally admit the futility of the ‘engagement’ charade and speak out — albeit in relatively general terms – against the brutality of Iran’s clerical-military apparatus. This wasn’t before drawing a moral equivalency between the Khamenei backed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leader of the people’s democracy movement, Mir Hossein Mousavi. The message President Obama is sending is clear, his diametric shift in public diplomacy is now predicated on the perceptions of those traditionally contemptuous of American power, with the hope that our diminished presence will limit our role as occassional [sic] whipping boy. Hopefully he’ll come to grips with the reality that our emasculation will make us a permanent one."

Now We Are All Bearing Witness - David Hazony, Contentions, Commentary: "Convinced that the protesters did not have the world on their side, the Mullahs have now unleashed total violence and horror on their own people. Fewer and fewer reports are escaping the hell, and the silencing of our sources inside Iran, one by one, suggests something far worse than the few dozen dead and few hundred arrested that the official news agencies are reporting. … Groupmember Says: June 24th, 2009 at 1:21 PM [--] You know, the irony is just how captive to the idea of restraint we’ve become. During Bush’s tenure, the argument was that we ought not to deploy our armed forces to solve international crises; instead, we should rely on 'soft power,' such as public diplomacy, in lieu of costly and ineffective military solutions. Now, we’ve apparently arrived at the point where even speech is deemed inflammatory and problematic, and too unpredictable in its consequences to be wielded as an instrument among the President’s levers of influence." Image from

Fun For the Paranoid: Homeland Security TV - Roy Edroso, Village Voice: "That uncle of yours who drinks Jim Beam neat, doesn't get out much, and watches the History Channel obsessively while cleaning his guns will be interested in the new Homeland Security Television Channel, 'world's first online, on-demand television network dedicated to homeland security and global development 24/7.'

The channel debuted in 2005, but has now added 'custom, affordable 24/7 Syndication Services' so you can skim around the offerings, as we did. … There's a show on 'Winning Hearts and Minds in the War on Terror,' following the State Department's public diplomacy efforts, which various experts describe as 'botched' and a 'failure,' partly because in some places where the U.S. is trying to influence public opinion 'people are dying of thirst,' which is perceived as an impediment." Image from

China's Foreign Policy: OptionsThe CIA Memory Hole: "The United States could seek to counter China's global activities by reinvigorating U.S. engagement around the world, including the expansion of U.S. public diplomacy."

Inept TV Marti has defenders, but no viewers - Frank Cerabino, Palm Beach Post, posted at Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba: "TV Marti launched on the afternoon of March 27, 1990. All went well for 23 minutes. Then Cuba started blocking the U.S. signal. And that’s been the story for the 19 years since. We’ve spent a half-billiondollars broadcasting TV shows to nearly no one. That’s 'a colossal waste of taxpayer money,' as U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., once pointed out. This week, the House Foreign Affairs Oversight Subcommittee highlighted the continued absurdity of supporting the Cuba-directed broadcasts. The centerpiece of that hearing was a recent Government Accountability Office report pointing out that despite beaming TV Marti’s signal via the Internet, by two satellites and from an airplane that flies six days a week off theCuban coast, it remains a broadcast without an audience." Image from

Global networks, local action - joannejacobs.net: "I’m liveblogging from the global networks, local network event at Canada House on Trafalgar Square this afternoon. …
16:24 Getting started. Place is probably 3/4 full. Canada House giving us a welcome. Public diplomacy has been hijacked by PR control freaks who believe that communicating with their publics means broadcasting messages out rather than 2-way communications.
16:28 Canada House just got its first twitter account. First problem – what’s the userID? …
16:42 Lovisa Williams talks about the US State Dept’s barcamp as a means of finding people who are working in this space. This essentially set up the Govt 2.0 department in the US. …

17:10 US State Govt used ning to develop http://connect.state.gov/ and this was designed to ensure that the site was branded and that the community was ‘closed’ for ’safe communications. Launched in October, with a video competition on values. 90% or more is usergen. Full time community manger monitoring the site 24/7 for all uploaded content. Currently has 11,000 members. [[JJ's note: will be interesting to see what happens when this site gets too big for ning.]] …
17:18 Stephen Hale says that digital diplomacy in the Foreign Office is using the web to communicate. They use wiki for document development for instance. …
17:44 US State department had to work with the legal departments everyday and it has been an uphill battle to deal with their individual concerns. …
17:52 Diplomacy used to be states talking to states. Now it’s states talking to citizens. Changing behaviour is conducive with social media. Foreign service career progression is best supported by sticking to media releases." Trafalgar Square image from

US launches scholarship program for Palestinian studentsMa’an News Agency: "US Consul General Jake Walles formally announced a new 300,000 US dollar scholarship program Monday that will assist 100 Palestinian students study at American universities over the next five years. Walles launched the Abraham Lincoln Incentive Grants during a visit to Amideast in Ramallah. The funding was initially announced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her March visit to the West Bank. … Walles asked the assembled students about their future plans for study in the United States and then introduced a special video message from Judith McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The Under Secretary sent the students a personal message of encouragement from her Washington office." See also. Image from

Under Secretary McHale to Make Remarks at Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants Concert - Office of the Spokesman, Bureau Of Public Affairs, Washington, DC, June 29, 2009: "Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale will join the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in cooperation with the State of the Arts Cultural Series, to present a concert by Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants, on Wednesday, July 1, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., in the Department’s Dean Acheson Auditorium. The Under Secretary will make remarks from 12:30 to 12:45 p.m. The concert for Department employees celebrates the quartet’s successful five-week tour to Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Armenia in March and April 2009 that launched 'Musical Overtures,' a new cultural initiative to send musical quartets on tour to promote mutual understanding and to strengthen America’s ties with nations involved in or recovering from conflict, or facing other challenges."

Funny that – Bonnie, Potomac Artworks: The Paintings Of Bonnie Ferguson Butler And The Stories Behind Them: "The ARTS in Embassies Program sends borrowed art to the residence of ambassadors around the world for the length of their tour, two and a half to three years. They pack it professionally and take care of the details.In looking at the list of borrowed art, it includes heavy hitters from significant collections." Image from

Obstacles to Arab Hearts and Minds – Belen Fernandez, Palestine Chronicle: "Arab confusion [about US policy] may stem from the fact that the destabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan was initially declared to be in their own interest. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes was deployed to the Middle East in 2005 in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion, but in the end merely confirmed the difficulty of winning Arab hearts and minds when Arabs didn’t know what they wanted. After failing to convince Saudi women that they wanted driver’s licenses, Hughes returned home; she further contributed to Arab confusion the following year by stating that all lives were equally precious in the middle of Israel’s war on Lebanon, in addition to confusing Hezbollah with Hamas."

Conference kicks off in Baku in frames of summer session of NATO international school in Azerbaijan - Today.Az: "The conference on 'Marine security' kicked off in Baku Monday in frames of the summer session of the NATO international school in Azerbaijan. … The international school of NATO in Azerbaijan is a nongovernmental organization, supported by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and department of public diplomacy of the alliance. Since the moment of establishing in 2003 it has held ten sessions on various issues involving about 450 representatives from 42 countries." Image from

Blogging tools – Richard Fernandez, Belmont Club: "The Iranian crisis has highlighted a new source of information: the non-professional journalist. This new species, equipped with a cell phone, a digital camera and access to the Internet and using blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have provided raw data about events in ways which professional journalists, by virtue of their fewer numbers, never could. … [Comment] 23. Cannoneer No. 4: Civilian Irregular Combat Cameramen recorded the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan. Those images persuaded, changed and influenced more people more rapidly than all the official .gov/.mil Psychological Operations/Strategic Communications/Public Diplomacy efforts put together."

Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Rajapaksa Opens Dialogue With Expatriates In U.S. - Asian Tribune: "Unprecedented in the history of overseas diplomacy undertaken by Sri Lanka since its independence in 1948, this South Asian nation’s defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was one of the main strategists to annihilate the ruthless terror outfit LTTE last month, reached to the Sri Lankan expatriates in the United States opening a much needed dialogue. …

There was a consensus among the participants of the ‘Fundraiser Dialogue’ between the Sri Lankan expatriates in California and Nevada with Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the need of a separate ministerial-level official in Sri Lanka administration to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Sri Lankan expatriates abroad and coordinate overseas Sri Lanka public diplomacy and strategic communication work at a time the LTTE is contemplating establishing a ‘transnational government of Tamil Eelam’." Rajapaksa image from

Activist pressure forcing AHRB into a 'make or break' period - Kavi Chongkittavorn, The Nation: "In the past three years, Indonesia has been in the forefront of Asean in promoting democratic values and development-in Southeast Asian style. Indonesia,apart from being the world's largest Muslim country,is very proud of a newly acquired tag, as the world's third largest democracy. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has taken this role very seriously. Two years ago, the ministry allocated a huge fund to promote public diplomacy and the branding of Indonesia. 'This is no longer Suharto's Indonesia, it is a new Indonesia,' Umar Hadi, Director for Public Diplomacy, told the author over the weekend in Jakarta. He had helped set up the Bali Forum for Democracy."

'Soft power' of manga, anime winning fans the world over - Mainichi Daily News: "It has only been in the last few years that the Foreign Ministry has acknowledged the soft power of manga and anime, actively employing them in its public diplomacy efforts. While Yasushi Watanabe, an American studies professor at Keio University, remains cautious, saying, 'Anime and manga are mere hooks into soft power, just as small energy-conservation efforts and recycling (are hooks into environmentalism). Foisting (cultural products) onto others could lead to accusations of cultural invasion.' Yet, it is significant that Japanese manga and anime have brought an unexpected twist in Japan's post war history of accepting and adopting things American." Image from

Cricket, documentaries as medium to build Australia-India ties - Madhurjya Kotoky, Public Diplomacy Blog: "Melbourne (PTI) Amid a spate of racial attacks on Indians in Australia, a Sydney-based film expert is coming out with a documentary aimed at improving ties between the two countries and a local cricket body in Victoria is hosting matches to promote harmony."

Anti-Public Diplomacy Campaign “Tweaking” the Zimbabwean Dictator - Globo Diplo: The 'Trillion Dollar Campaign'–by TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris’s South African office for The Zimbabwean newspaper–was aimed at wrongs committed by Robert Mugabe’s regime. So they plastered billboards with a potent artifact of Mugabe’s corruption and incompetence: The Zimbabwean trillion-dollar bill, whose printing was the result of spiraling inflation." Mugabe image from


Real-time results for public diplomacy (June 30 am); below image from

corywleonard: Anti-Public Diplomacy Campaign “Tweaking” the Zimbabwean Dictator: The “Trillion Dollar Camp.. http://tinyurl.com/mq8kuc about 13 hours ago from twitterfeed

DavidComp: RT @andrewkneale Woah 1st time @ivante includes section on "Public Diplomacy on Twitter" in daily review (RT) June 27 http://bit.ly/pK0o0 about 15 hours ago from web

ScanMyPhotos: @DavidSaranga Consul for Media & Public Affairs, Israeli Consulate, NY "The use of Twitter in Public Diplomacy" http://ow.ly/fEZa #140conf about 18 hours ago from HootSuite

Itaygabay: looking at some new stuff on public diplomacy. oh, i wish i were in Washington. about 20 hours ago from web

blazingblades: - Michelle Kwan: America's First Public Diplomacy Envoy - @ YouTube http://bit.ly/Knc0V about 20 hours ago from web

pablojcr: Even when maybe all other presidents really support what happened in #Honduras they can't admit it in public, is called diplomacy about 21 hours ago from TweetDeck

jax3417: RT @israelconsulate: On my way to Boston to meet with the people of @BI_NEXT and @Davidproject and discuss "Public Diplomacy" and "Branding" 1 day ago from UberTwitter

israelconsulate: On my way to Boston to meet with the people of @BI_NEXT and @Davidproject and discuss "Public Diplomacy" and "Branding" 1 day ago from TweetDeck

DavidSaranga: On my way to Boston to meet with the people of @BI_NEXT and @Davidproject and discuss "Public Diplomacy" and "Branding" 1 day ago from TweetDeck

ivante: June 28 Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review http://bit.ly/3fE8d 1 day ago from web

bantrybay: Real Clear Politics - World: The Iranian Elections and Public Diplomacy 2.0: A Tale of Untapped Potential http://bit.ly/eLhSH #iranelection 1 day ago from TweetDeck

nivcalderon: Had a great conv with @jeffpulver about social media, and public diplomacy 1 day ago from TwitterFon

colinismyname: Changing up USC's Public Diplomacy Magazine website to include the new issue and blasting Last.fm. Ah, the weekend! 2 days ago from web

andrewkneale: Woah -> 1st time @ivante includes a section on "Public Diplomacy on Twitter" in his daily review: (RT) June 27 http://bit.ly/pK0o0 #pdtweets 2 days ago from web


Obama’s Mission To Moscow – Laura Thompson, RFE/RL: Obama’s recent foreign speeches, including his address in Cairo earlier this month, sought to help improve global perceptions of the United States in part by apologizing for past U.S. actions.

But Andrei Piontkovsky, a Russian political analyst who has written books on Vladimir Putin’s presidency, said such an approach “will be disastrous in Moscow.” Although he said he doesn’t know what Obama might try to apologize for, any expression of guilt for the current state of U.S.-Russian relations will be taken as a sign of weakness and a validation of Kremlin-fueled, anti-American propaganda. Image from

Where Iran's Regime Learned Its Tricks - Scott Horton, Daily Beast: What happens to the thousands of protesters who are being carted away by the police and militia? The Iranian state has long had a predilection for torture; the overthrow of the shah and arrival of the Islamic republic produced only a slight modulation of the techniques. Torture is generally being applied with two primary objectives -- to force prisoners to identify others involved in the demonstrations and coerce false confessions. As usual, torture is used to develop false information that works as domestic propaganda. It is used to fuel the Khamenei regime’s propaganda that the opposition is controlled by evil foreign powers, especially the United States and Great Britain.

How Michael Jackson almost took the internet with him - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

PDI Authorized for $3.5M in 2010 National Defense Authorization Bill06-18-2009Carolina Newswire: The Partnership for Defense Innovation (PDI), has been authorized $3.5M for the completion, testing and validation of a Tactical PSYOP Situational Awareness System

that will provide psychological affairs forces capability to maintain situational awareness and immediately share critical imagery, intelligence and information during tactical operations. This means that realtime information can be shared during tactical and combat operations between the warfighter and higher headquarters. Via; image from


From: Guardians of Russian Art Museums

Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 28

“[T]ry wearing a lab coat and bow tie, as Masters always did, while huddling in the steamy corners of a bordello.”

--Cristina Nehring, review of "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maier,” New York Times; image from

“[V]irtual togetherness may overaccelerate a courtship.”

--Peggy Orenstein, “The Way We Live Now: The Overextended Family," New York Times


When the revolution isn't broadcast - Martha Bayles, Boston Globe: "In Iran, the Persian-language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty uses several different radio frequencies and the Internet, while Voice of America’s Persian television service claims to reach more than 15 million viewers. … [C]ontrary to what many assume, these channels do not merely broadcast US government propaganda. Nor do they follow CNN and other 'global’ media in hopscotching between hot spots ... . [T]hese channels maintain a consistent, steady presence, outwitting the censors and keeping brave reporters on the ground, so that the people living in those countries can know what is going on, even when the whole world is not watching." See also (1) and John Brown, "Twittering; or, Where are the Emily Dickinsons at the State Department?" Hufffington Post. Image from

More House and GAO scrutiny for TV Martí - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Limitations on PRC Soft PowerThe CIA Memory Hole: "Beijing is seen to have advantages over the United States in that its overseas activities and investments areconducted by strong, well-funded state-owned companies. These large PRC government activities attract much international attention and give a 'hard' edge to PRC soft power. The United States has little to match such centrally directed initiatives, particularly in the wake of years of U.S. budget cutbacks in high-profile international public diplomacy programs. ... But comparing only government-directed and -funded activities overlooks the huge advantage the United States hasin the extent of its substantial global private-sector presence." See also. Image from

Turkey filling its sails with winds of the times in foreign policy - Emine Kart, Today’s Zaman: “[Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu's idea of integral foreign policy is persuasive in terms of identifying Turkey's foreign policy agenda. However, the validity of this idea depends on the size of the receptive audience. There is a need to keep the EU membership and reform process on the agenda in a way that facilitates the maintenance of a wide, receptive audience for integral foreign policy perspectives both inside and outside of Turkey,' Aras [Bülent Aras, professor of international relations at Işık University] says in a policy paper issued by the Ankara-based Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) a few weeks after Davutoğlu

was appointed to his current post on May 1. In a bid to reach out to that receptive audience, the government is said to be planning to establish a 'public diplomacy agency,' while Davutoğlu continues gathering with columnists of leading newspapers at roundtable meetings to inform them of Turkey's foreign policy moves." Davutoğlu image from

How Israel Uses Twitter and Social Media in Public Diplomacy - David Saranga's Presentation at the 140 Conference - Alan Weinkrantz PR Web Log: "In the process of working with the media for the 140 Characters Conference, the lines blurred between the media covering the event, media taking part in the event as Characters, and media as content providers on the Social Web."

Content analysis challenges view that BBC is anti-Israel - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Iran Detains Some Local Employees of British Embassy - Associated Press, New York Times: "The British have ... drawn fire because of the Ruhollah Khomeini, who was in exile in France. This is a reversal from the way the state and publicly funded BBC was perceived in the run-up to the Iranian Islamic Revolution. At the time, the BBC was widely listened to because it extensively covered anti-Shah demonstrations and activities of the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was in exile in France." Image from

Europe’s Verdict on Russian Courts: Guilty! - La Russophobe: Comment by Socrates & Cassandra: "For more than 15 years, many specialists on the Russian 'legal system' have been writing about widespread political abuse of the courts by the ruling Russian political elite in order to increase their own power and for financial gain. … Yet most Russian officials and business persons, foreign judges, and other promoters of increased trade and investment in Russia have largely downplayed this. The Kremlin prefers to spend large sums of money on public diplomacy rather than addressing the problem."

The Anatomy Of The Long War's Failings - F. G. Hoffman, Alan’s Point: History and Contemporary Events: "The combination of civilian policymakers and a narrow military conception of its professional jurisdiction set the stage for serial failures in anticipation in the run-ups to both Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in the fallof 2002 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. These include … the effect of its poor strategic communications and public diplomacy resources." Image from

Muslims and the Westmisterpoll: "Do we really hate one another? … How can we bridge the gap to understanding? [Choices: (1)] Public diplomacy is a good start. [2] We should respect them and stop looking down on them. [3] We need to stop selling America and start accepting other cultures for what they are. [4] Stop killing civilians and end the damn war!"

Face the threat from rump Tigers in the West politically - K.T.Rajasingham, Asian Tribune: "The government has emerged victorious by decimating the universally declared terrorist outfit - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and its ruthless leader Velupillai Prabhakaran within the confines of Sri Lanka. It has failed in its endeavor to come to terms with the Tamil diaspora abroad.

This hard fact has made the government to consider of an institution to work closely with the Sri Lankan diaspora in the Western Countries. Sri Lankan missions abroad are saddled with bilateral and issues connected with public diplomacy. They are only able to deal with the issue of passports, dual citizenship, and visas." See also. Image from

The Matchmaker Gates Foundation alumni Michele Fugiel Gartner hooks up non-profits in need with friends indeed - Marcello Di Cintio, Unlimited Magazine: "Gartner studied communications at Arizona State University and, after graduation, studied English for two years in, of all places, Japan. She returned to academia with a focus on Asia and made her way to the East-West Center in Hawaii, then to the School of Orient and African Studies at the University of London, where she studied public diplomacy. Eventually, Gartner joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in Seattle."


See also items in PDPBR June 27 at (1) (2)

Teferi Mekonnen Palace acquires preservation fundEzega: "The U.S Embassy in Ethiopia and the Harari Culture and Tourism, and Information Bureau, signed Thursday two agreements on cultural preservation of the Teferi Mekonnen Palace in the walled city of Harar. A total of USD 70,150 grant is allocated as the first grant from the ambassador’s fund for cultural preservation. … Mr. McClellan, counselor for public diplomacy at the embassy, who represented U.S. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, said that those were just the latest in a series of grants the U.S. embassy had provided to preserve Ethiopia’s indigenous faith cultures, both Muslim and Chris[tian]." Image: Butchers at the meat market in Harar

FAPE Shares American Culture and Ideals Through Art - Kourosh Ziabari, Foreign Policy: "FAPE is one of the most brilliant examples in the world demonstrating how the 'soft power' is exercised intelligently. Being so far away from the traditional interventionist policies of the U.S. think tanks and the propaganda tactics that most of the mainstream corporate media practice, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies was established with the objective of promoting and upholding the hallmarks of American culture throughout the world by dispatching freely-commissioned artworks, sculptures, and statuettes to be installed at the embassies of the United States in other countries. … In an interview with Foreign Policy Journal, Jennifer Duncan, the Director of FAPE, sheds more light on the organization."

Maazel Tov – Anne Midgette, The Classical Beat, Washington Post: "Lorin Maazel is concluding his seven-year tenure at the New York Philharmonic this week with performances of Mahler's 8th, the 'Symphony of a Thousand,' in New York, starting tonight. … Maazel and the New York Philharmonic have played adequate-to-fine performances of a lot of standard works. They've started issuing recordings again. They struck a new blow for cultural diplomacy by going to North Korea." Maazel image from

Taiwan Academy to be founded in US next yearTaiwan Today: "In keeping with President Ma Ying-jeou’s campaign promise, the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission and the Council for Cultural Affairs will work toward establishing 'Taiwan Academy' next year. Jen Hong, deputy minister of the Cabinet-level OCAC, said his commission and the CCA will open the academy at the culture centers of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in Los Angeles and Houston as a platform for dialogue with the world to allow Taiwan to become a window for Chinese culture globally. … In addition to the Taiwan Academy, President Ma has said during the last year’s presidential election campaigns that he wants to set up a NT$5 billion (US$152 million) 'cultural diplomacy fund' to finance a 'Taiwan Award' to serve as an equivalent to the Nobel Prize in literature for the Chinese people."

Hermitage Amsterdam Opens Its Doors to Public- Larisa Doctorow, The St. Petersburg Times: "The past 10 days have shown impressive proactivity on the part of Russia’s foreign policy initiators. … This was the background to the bold display of Russia’s 'soft power' — cultural diplomacy — when on Friday President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in the Netherlands for the official opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam together with Dutch Queen Beatrix.

Seven hundred journalists from all over Europe were taken on a tour of the dazzling inaugural exhibition entitled 'At the Russian Court. Palace and Protocol in the 19th century' which marks the completion of a long process of rebuilding and refitting one of Amsterdam’s most significant architectural monuments of the 17th century as what is, in effect, a 10,000 meter Russian cultural center. The Hermitage Amsterdam is the biggest branch of the State Hermitage abroad. It will organize long running exhibitions from the Hermitage collections like the present one, which will last for six months, as well as exhibitions of works from other Russian museums. … Speaking to The St. Petersburg Times on Thursday, Mikhail Piotrovsky [the director of St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum] expressed pride in the project. … He was enthusiastic in his response when asked if the undertaking could be compared with the work of the British Council. '[It’s the same but] with a much bigger budget, dedication and incomparable cultural possibilities.'" Image from

If he had gone to Athens – Arianna Ferentinou, Hürriyet: "The last minute cancellation of the Turkish prime minister’s visit to Athens to participate in the glamorous inauguration of the new Museum of Acropolis, officially made everybody upset. … Personally I do not think that Erdogan’s illness was a diplomatic one. … But if he had been able to visit the Greek capital in its highest show of archaeological wonders and cultural diplomacy, I am sure he would be coming back with a very tiring portfolio of bilateral problems."

Minister proposes opening Taiwan-Japan youth baseball camp - Elizabeth Hsu, Taiwan News: "Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco H.L. Ou proposed Wednesday that Taiwan and Japan jointly open a youth baseball camp as part of their efforts to boost bilateral relations, an idea that was supported by Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh. Ou raised the proposal in a meeting with Oh, known in Taiwan as Wang Chen-chih, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Ou said the idea was derived from President Ma Ying-jeou's focus on the importance of 'cultural diplomacy' and 'soft power' and the fact that baseball is one of Taiwan's best sports." Ou image from

Jennings digs into art and politics at Ottawa's National Arts CentreThe Hill Times, Canada [by subscription only]: Mention of cultural diplomacy, according to Google.

International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy – Press Release, Pressemitteilung WebService: "The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy 'The Role of Soft Power in the International Environment ' Berlin, 27th – 31st July 2009 [.] The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy’s International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy will bring together an international, inter-disciplinary group of 200 participants from across the world for a weeklong program of lectures and panel discussions. The focus of the Symposium is the role of soft power in the international environment."

Morocco to Connect Cultures through Music In Washington & Chicago - MoroccoBoard.com: "For the third year, Sternberg's organization [the Chicago-based nonprofit Genesis at the Crossroads] is producing the outdoor food, art and music festival known as HAMSA-Fest in Chicago's Lincoln Park, named for an expression of luck from the Arabic root word for the number five (similar to the word 'Hamesh' in Hebrew). . … In the same spirit, the U.S. State Department has been increasing its cultural diplomacy programs since 2001, most recently through partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Film Institute and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts."

Dr. Susan Blumenthal, Meridian International Center's Global Health Chair, Named Health Leader of the Year - PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX: "Meridian International Center, founded in 1960, is a leading non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening international understanding. Meridian builds sustainable global partnerships through leadership exchanges, international collaboration and cultural diplomacy."


Iran media update for 28 June 2009 - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Expanded US distribution for Al Jazeera on 1 July - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Backgrounder: A guide to Israeli settlements: How and when did they start, why are they spreading, what are the concerns and should anything be done about them? - Gershom Gorenberg, Los Angeles Times:

In principle, the U.S. has consistently opposed all settlements, including the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. However, most administrations have avoided confrontations over the issue, especially when peace negotiations were underway. In the meantime, settlements kept growing. Public diplomatic tussles during the Carter and George H.W. Bush administrations were exceptions. Image from

Want to Stop Israeli Settlements? Follow the Dollars- Ronit Avni, Washington Post: This month, both at Cairo University and from the Oval Office, President Obama has called on the Israeli government to stop the expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. He should send the same message to the Americans who are funding and fueling them.

The two-state chimera - Arnaud de Borchgrave, Washington Times: Nine U.S. presidents have asked Jerusalem to cease and desist expanding settlements. Reassured by a friendly U.S. Congress, even a wink and a nod from President George W. Bush, successive Israeli governments have ignored gentle slaps on the hand - and expanded.

The trick when talking to Iran: The U.S. must find a way to pursue negotiations without aiding the Tehran regime - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: If the mullahs can be talked into abandoning some of the ideological pillars that have sustained their revolution for three decades, negotiations could undermine their rule in the long run.

For Radical Islam, the End Begins - Joshua Muravchik, Washington Post: As developments in Iran have unfolded over the past weeks, a minor Washington debate has emerged -- along partisan lines -- over whether President George W. Bush's tough policies blunted the force of the radicals, or whether President Obama's open hand has assuaged anti-American anger and inspired anti-regime forces. Both might be true. Or neither. Regardless of the underlying causes, a defeated or merely discredited Islamic Republic of Iran could mark the beginning of the end of radical Islam. Below image from

The repercussions of a 'Twitter revolution'- Evgeny Morozov, Boston Globe: By sticking labels like “cyber-revolution’’ on events in Tehran, we overstate the power of social media and make it look much more threatening than it really is. But the repercussions of a false “Twitter revolution’’ in Tehran might be global too. Unfortunately, it is going to be bloggers in Russia, China, or Egypt who would eventually pay the price for such exaggeration; their governments, already suspicious of new media, may now want to take preventive measures -- that usually involve intimidation and arrest -- well in advance.

Window on Eurasia: Internet Divides Russia Deeply and in More than One Way - Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia: Despite reports about the expansion of Internet use in Russia, more than half of that country’s urban residents over age 12 have never gone online, and more than a third have never used a computer, global figures which set Russia apart from Western countries but ones that conceal deep divisions within the Russian Federation in the electronic world.Those are just some of the findings offered in a 144-page report released this week that was prepared by the Public Opinion Foundation on the basis of interviews with 34,000 people in 1920 cities and towns of the Russian Federation. VIA MP

The Overextended Family - Peggy Orenstein, New York Times: How to perform triage on the communication technologies that seem to multiply like Tribbles -- instant messaging, texting, cellphones, softphones, iChat, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter; how to distinguish among those that will truly enhance intimacy, those that result in T.M.I. and those that, though pitching greater connectedness, in fact further disconnect us from the people we love.


Comics artist Mark Sable detained for Unthinkable acts- Ian Randal Strock, SF Scope: Boom! Studios sends word that comics writer Mark Sable was detained by TSA security guards at Los Angeles International Airport this past weekend because he was carrying a script for a new issue of his comic miniseries Unthinkable.

Sable was detained while traveling to New York for a debut party at Jim Hanley's Universe today. The comic series follows members of a government think tank that was tasked with coming up with 9/11-type "unthinkable" terrorist scenarios that now are coming true. Via


"We can't suffocate ourselves: Babies are born, people get married. At minimum, we must provide for a normal way of life for these people."

--Israel’s new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, regarding the "natural growth" of existing settlements on the West Bank; image from

“The idea of a Germanic people without sufficient space dates back to long before Adolf Hitler brought it to prominence.”

--Wikipedia, entry on “Lebensraum”

"Manifest Destiny"

--Manifest Destiny is the historical belief that the United States is destined, even divinely ordained to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean; Wikipedia

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 27

"Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and their competitors became famous, first and foremost, because they were playful."

--Diandra Louarn, DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age; image from


Smart-er Power - Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress: "Superior military capability remains a critical component of U.S. homeland security because organizations like al-Qaeda threaten violence against Americans at home and abroad. The United States will continue to rely on a strong military to protect its citizens. However, smart power brings the focus on effective public diplomacy programs, including humanitarian aid, which is necessary to protect innocent civilians from becoming victims of conflict." Image from

Morning Coffee - 26 June 2009 - Lindsay Beyerstein, UN Dispatch: "South Carolina governor Mark Sanford was conducting some, um, unorthodox public diplomacy towards Argentina. Last June, Sanford tacked on a side trip on his trade mission to Brazil. For some reason, nobody noticed at the time that he was conducted a trade mission that the United States government had refused to make. Argentina has been a financial pariah

since it defaulted on its international debt and blamed its creditors for its inability to pay. The Commerce Department canceled high-level trade missions to Argentina after the default, but Sanford went anyway. The U.S. Embassy even helped him set up meetings. Sanford confessed this week that he had a mistress in Argentina, though he insists that the trade mission was a perfectly legitimate diplomatic mission. He will, however, reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of the trip. No word on whether Sanford agreed to anything on behalf of the U.S. government, or why the U.S. Embassy didn't notice Sanford was flouting trade policy." Image from

The province that aid forgotin-Iraq: the diary of a journalist embedded with the US forces in Iraq: "Diwaniyah, in the center of the agrarian Al Qadisiyah province, … has not received as much aid as anyone would like, a local Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) representative said. … 'We’re on the cusp of progress,' one team member said. … 'We’ve made great strides in public diplomacy, establishing good connections with the local government. We would like to get out into the private sector.' Translation - The newly elected local government realizes they'd be foolish not to at least pretend to cooperate with the Americans to get some free project money." Image from

U.S. warns Sri Lanka that war crimes cannot be committed with impunity - Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune: "The U.S. State Department organized and sponsored Internet Web Chat on the Situation in Sri Lanka on Tuesday, June 23 in which senior official Director of Public Diplomacy Gregg Sullivan who gave lengthy answers was very clear what the United States wants Sri Lanka to undertake and where it stands on issues with this South Asian nation which internally annihilated a ruthless terrorist outfit last month."

McCain, Graham, Lieberman propose more money for US broadcasts to Iran - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Branding, re-branding, teleprompting managing Nigeria’s image (II) - Paul I. Adujie, Daily Triumph: "Multitudes of Nigerians trust BBC/VOA, regardless of the fact that these are mere propaganda tools of the UK and US governments! Brand faith, blind faith as well!"

Employing Art Along With Ambassadors - Patricia Cohen, New York Times: "The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies … [is] a nonprofit group that works with the State Department to create and donate custom-made artwork for American outposts abroad.

In 2001, the foundation gathered 245 pieces of art for State Department buildings worldwide. … The foundation, which has an art advisory committee whose chairman is Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, has curated some significant pieces, but the vast majority of the art is provided — through loans, acquisitions and commissions — through the [State] [D]epartment’s own ART in Embassies program, created in the early 1960s to promote cultural diplomacy." Image from

On the Road to Burma: Globetrotting with Ozomatli, unlikely U.S. diplomats - Randall Roberts, LA Weekly: "An early-May, three-country U.S.–sponsored tour that ultimately takes Ozomatli to Vietnam and Thailand, Burma will jar even the most jaded travelers. ... [I]f there’s one thing the band has learned on these State Department–organized tours, it’s that the closer you are to situations, the more murky the so-called 'politics' become. ... [Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] Karen Hughes ... had been getting positive feedback regarding Ozomatli’s trips. ... Despite the many public-policy disasters of the Bush administration, even some of its most vocal critics acknowledge that, in specific countries, the administration provided a much-needed injection of both attention and funding for public-diplomacy programs. ... At her Senate confirmation hearing last month, [new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] McHale discussed her goals in the job, at least one of which alarmed advocates for Ozomatli-style outreach programs. 'New technology, used effectively and creatively, can be a game-changer,' she told the committee, citing communications advances that offer opportunities to engage people more efficiently. Whether this sort of diplomacy would work in Burma is debatable. Most citizens don’t have access to computers." Ozomatli image from article.

Thabeet for NBA leagueThe Citizen: "The National Basketball Association(NBA), the most prestigious Basketball league in the world, confirmed Tanzanian Hasheem Thabeet as the second overall draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies. US embassy's Public Diplomacy Officer, Karen Grissette confirmed yesterday her press release report to The Citizen. Thabeet becomes the first Tanzanian in history to join America's NBA, this is a proud moment for both the United Republic of Tanzania, and the United States of America."

Russia forms commission to improve its imageNation-Branding: "Some weeks ago, Russian newspapers reported that President Medvedev had just created a new commission in the Kremlin to promote a positive image of Russia abroad. It is not a new case of nation branding by far, but this high-level commission points out that countries are increasingly conscious of how critical image and reputation are to a country’s prospects in today’s world, especially on economy and foreign affairs. …

The commission not only will be pro-active in playing a role in Russian decision-making processes but will also anticipate and prepare to manage negative stories about Russia. This double function is noteworthy because it points to a dramatically expanded role for public relations and public diplomacy in Russia’s foreign relations and also because it means a notorious advancement in the way the country manages its reputation." Image from

Interview with Ukranian magazine on Russia’s image - Nation-Branding: "Last week a story appeared on Nation-Branding.info about Russia creating a committee to manage its image abroad when it comes to public diplomacy and foreign affairs. Coinciding with the creation of such organ at the Kremlin, I [Andreas Markessinis] was interviewed by Yana Sedova, foreign desk editor at the Ukranian magazine Focus, for a story she was preparing for Focus magazine on the same topic. She asked me to share my opinion on Russia’s image and my thoughts about re-branding with a serie[s] of questions. Since the interview was not published in its entirety (it was only a part of a larger story), I thought it would be interesting to release it here."

Honorary “Brand Spain” Ambassadors Receive CredentialsLatin American Herald Tribune: "The new honorary ambassadors for Brand Spain, among them Agencia Efe, NBA player Pau Gasol, tenor Placido Domingo and researcher Margarita Salas, received their credentials on Thursday from Crown Prince Felipe. … The crown prince praised the leadership and achievements of the individuals and institutions joining the group of ambassadors, calling them a 'dream team' of '21st century public diplomacy' that would improve Spain’s presence in the world." Image from

President Obama goes to Moscow: Implications for the Baltic-Black-Caspian Region - Aha! Network: "The Aha! Network’s Inaugural webcast from June 16, 2009, featuring David Kramer and Damon Wilson of the German Marshall Fund and Atlantic Council, respectively as well as Melana Zyla Vickers. … David J. Kramer joined GMF in May 2009 as a Senior Transatlantic Fellow and works on issues related to Russia/Eurasia and Wider Europe as well as democracy and human rights. … He … was Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington."


Below image from

Real-time results for public diplomacy (8:13 AM, June 27)

Colleen_Graffy: #g2g Re using youtube for public diplomacy, scroll dwn 4 Armenia, Croatia, Romania, Iceland: http://www.youtube.com/user/cgraffy about 2 hours ago from web
Colleen_Graffy: @lovisatalk super insights & updates on what US State Dept is doing in public diplomacy & social media at Canada House conference yesterday! about 3 hours ago from web
Colleen_Graffy: G8 event thx 2 Canadian High Commission in London on social media, public diplomacy. Re Diplomats on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/7ebonh #g2g about 3 hours ago from web
You2Gov: Meyers spy story. Effective Public Diplomacy is harder with people like this undermining. http://tiny.cc/gvRY2 via @colleengrafferty about 4 hours ago from web
laynefisher: John Brown's Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review, Version 2.0 ... http://bit.ly/9Y2pl about 9 hours ago from Ping.fm
alexburns: CPRF09 proposals in with CPD's @barrysaunders and Ben Eltham on the journalist as investigator, and #IranElection Twitter public diplomacy about 12 hours ago from web
Serottared: Another smart step forward for American Public Diplomacy and another on its heels. Engaging "the world" on their communications platforms. about 13 hours ago from web
rdille: John Brown's Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review, Version 2.0 ...

about 16 hours ago from twitterfeed
aljamiat: Oh yeah, EXCELLENT blog, highly rec. RT @CitizenDiplomat: #FF Great blog on int'l ed, public/citizen diplomacy= @DavidComp about 16 hours ago from TweetDeck
CitizenDiplomat: #FF Great blog on int'l ed, public/citizen diplomacy= @DavidComp about 16 hours ago from web


U.S. needs more foreign diplomats

- Eight former secretaries of state, Politico: National security is about more than bullets. “Smart power,” “soft power” and the “Three D’s” — development, diplomacy and defense — are widely accepted as important and effective foreign policy principles. Unfortunately, when it comes to the federal budget, diplomacy, development and democratic governance too often get short shrift. This piece was written by former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Via LB. Image from

Iran's Lessons: Shouldn't 'realism' mandate regime change? – Editorial, Washington Post: By now it ought to be clear that the best chance to protect what Mr. Obama calls "core U.S. security interests" lies in a victory for the Iranian opposition.

Risky Business #113 -- Twitter propaganda

with Maltego creator Roelof Temming[h] and more!
- Risky.Biz: This week we're taking a look at the technology angle to this whole mess in Iran. We'll be chatting with Arbor Networks chief scientist Craig Labovitz about the filtering the government is doing over there, then we'll be checking in with Roelof Temmingh of Paterva. Paterva makes Maltego, the open source intelligence tool that many people are using to analyse various aspects of information flow in Iran-- including the spread of propaganda via Twitterbots. Image from

The propaganda war against Iran - Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Website: The US media, led by the New York Times , is continuing its concerted propaganda campaign against Iran over charges that the government stole the June 12 presidential election. There is not even a semblance of objectivity in the media coverage, which parrots the charges of the opposition headed by defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi as fact and dismisses the government’s claims as lies.

Ahmadinejad’s Very Clever Propaganda… - Tellurian, Pumas Unleashed: "President Ahmadinejad using Axelrod tactics, whitewashes the Truth with propaganda

like truthiness in an effort to elicit an apology from the United State for so-called interference in his fraudulent election. Watching Obama and his cohorts in their day to day drama inflicting Hitchcockian chaos on the consciousnesses of the general public is better than watching a mind bending mystery on Pay TV." Image from

N. Korea steps up anti-U.S. propaganda on war anniversaryFocus News Agency

140 Conf Demonstrates "Twitter's Domination & Scope" - Diandra Louarn, DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age