--Part of the LA Times headline, “Stock market closes the books on a 'lost decade': For the first time since the 1930s, the Dow is ending lower for the period. Some see value in the market now”; image from
"The wasted decade"
--Washington Post headline for an article by E. J. Dionne, “The decade when the U.S. lost its way”
"Current Decade Rated Worst in 50 Years"
-- Title of December Pew Research Center survey
“the past decade's sense of sadness”
--What Pew's numbers touched the heart of, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger; image from
Using twitter for Public Diplomacy Los Angeles October 27, 2009 - David Saranga (@DavidSaranga) [there appears to be technical problems with the video]
Sonic Diplomacy: American Jazz in Pakistan - Time; via
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN THE NEWS
In Cuba, Hopeful Tenor Toward Obama Is Ebbing - Marc Lacey, New York Times:
“Mr. Obama, whose election was broadly celebrated by Cuba’s racially diverse population, is now being portrayed by this nation’s leaders as an imperialistic, warmongering Cuba hater. ... 'It’s unfortunate,’ Wayne S. Smith, a former American diplomat in Havana, said of the rising tensions. ... Mr. Smith, now a Cuba analyst at the Center for International Policy who advocates a lifting of the American trade and travel bans on Cuba, was supposed to accompany Barry McCaffrey, a retired American Army general, on a trip to Havana from Jan. 3 to 6 to discuss how the two countries could cooperate on fighting drug trafficking. But General McCaffrey pulled out, incensed by recent criticisms of Mr. Obama by Cuban officials. ‘This type of shallow and vitriolic 1960s public diplomacy also makes Cuban leadership appear to be nonserious, polemical amateurs,’ he said in a letter to Mr. Smith. ‘President Obama is the most thoughtful and nonideological U.S. chief executive that the Cubans have seen in 50 years.’ At the same time, still hopeful that the two countries can put their grudges aside, Mr. Smith said the United States should continue efforts to improve relations by removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, for instance, and by closing Radio Martí and TV Martí, the anti-Castro broadcasts financed by the United States government and sent from American soil to Cuba.” See also. Image from
Antigua – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "We took the bus to El Trebol, where we hopped on a chicken bus to Antigua. By the way, a chicken bus is an old school bus that is brightly colored with designs painted on the side. They ply the inter-city routes with regularity. The bus took us down Avenida Roosevelt, through sprawling traffic of the choked, crowded capital city. On the way out, I spied some EU public diplomacy on the back of a city bus. A large add proclaiming an EU-Guatemala project for social welfare improvement. The advert touted the EU development project aimed at social cohesion and designed to improve the livelihood of society's dispossessed. Good pd, especially well done for knowing how to reach your audience via adept placement. Reminded me of a goog pd campaign done by one of the groups in 504, as trying to conduct PD with Israelis by advertising on buses- something that are in widespread use in Israel. ... PS: Good article about baseball public diplomacy smoothing the way for respect between America and Venezuela through Buddy Baily, an American manager in Chavezland."
Information Operations folks: A new blog is for you - PoliticalWarfare.org: "A big welcome to the new Information Operations Institute (IOI) and its blog, IOblog.org, which debuted today. IOI is run by my friend Joel Harding as a professional trade association for information operations, information warfare, strategic communications and public diplomacy. It's under the wing, so to speak, of the Association of Old Crows (AOC),
otherwise known as the Electronic Warfare and Information Operations Association." Image from article
India's quiet diplomacy turns quieter - United Press International, Asia - "According to the parlance of political science, diplomacy is the management of international relations and politics through negotiations. But it can get vociferous at times, with coercion being applied by one state over another. On the other hand, quiet diplomacy rests on the tenets of rapprochement – providing space and applying ethics and morality – and shuns the 'realpolitik' or politics based on realism. Quiet diplomacy is distinctly different from 'gunboat diplomacy' that uses force or 'public diplomacy' that uses propaganda. In fact, quiet diplomacy can be interpreted as a subset of 'preventive diplomacy.' The latter is defined in Article 33 of the U.N. Charter and encompasses all possible modes of conflict resolution – negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement and other peaceful means adopted by the parties to the dispute."
Who's been naughty: The attempted Christmas Day attack - Jonathan Schachter, Jerusalem Post:
"Despite the change in administration and the subsequent improvement of America's image around the world, US efforts to combat terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan might be creating more terrorists than they are defeating or dissuading. This is just the latest manifestation of the considerable challenge terrorism presents to governments around the world: How can they use the full spectrum of counterterrorism tools (e.g., legal, public diplomacy, military) to meet this threat without making things worse?" Image from
Lord Ahmed for better government policies for Overseas Pakistanis - Rahman Jahangir, Associated Press of Pakistan: "Leading British Muslim Parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmed has urged Islamabad to review its strategy on overseas Pakistanis by giving them a role in the nation building process by acknowledging their contributions and encouraging them to further enhance their support. Lord Ahmed is currently in Dubai as a part of his visit to the Middle East and held a meeting with Pakistan’s Ambassador at Large Javed Malik. ... On his part, Mr. Malik said that he has sent detailed proposals to the Prime Minister as well as the relevant Ministries on how influential and affluent overseas Pakistanis can be given an effective role in dealing with the challenges being faced by Pakistan. He has also sent detailed proposals on public diplomacy on how affluent and influential overseas based Pakistanis can play a role in projecting the positive image of Pakistan at an international level."
Comments by Ken Yates, Senior Vice President Jefferson Waterman International, regarding "Avatar" and Public Diplomacy – John Brown, Notes and Essays. Below image from
[Twitter message] - duniya_ki_beti: "Wow I think James Cameron took a course in public diplomacy while creating #avatar -- Great movie, must see for all PDers!” See also.
Obama to get report on intelligence failures in Abdulmutallab case - Karen DeYoung, Washington Post: In preliminary reports due for delivery to the president Thursday, the State Department will now take responsibility for checking for visas under all names included in every terrorism-connected report it submits through interagency channels.
Afghanistan far deadlier than Iraq for U.S. troops in 2009 - Tom Vande Brook, USA TODAY: More than twice as many U.S. troops died in Afghanistan in 2009 than in Iraq,
U.S. casualty records show, and Afghanistan is likely to become an even deadlier place for American forces as reinforcements are rushed there to battle insurgents. Image from
A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy: No despot fears the president, and no demonstrator in Tehran expects him to ride to the rescue - Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal: Under Mr. Obama, we have pulled back from the foreign world.
The decade when the U.S. lost its way - E. J. Dionne Jr, Washington Post: Our current president is more deliberate about the use of U.S. power than his predecessor was, and he is determined to repair America's image with other nations. Obama is committed to fighting terrorism but does not believe that a "war on terror" should define our foreign policy.
Now Yemen – Editorial, New York Times:
It is good news that the Obama administration -- which shockingly missed a series of warnings about the plot -- has been paying close attention to Yemen and, in recent months, has stepped up covert operations against Al Qaeda forces there. Image from
Obama's Security 'Breach': Returning Gitmo's detainees to Yemen defies common sense – Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal
Obama administration is right to prosecute alleged Detroit bomber in U.S. court - Editorial, Washington Post
Unholy war in cyberspace - Arnaud de Borchgrave, Washington Times: Moderate Arab leaders from Morocco in North Africa to Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, interviewed by this reporter, invariably come up with the same wet-finger-to-the-wind stats:
No more than 1 percent of their populations are religious extremists, and 10 percent fundamentalist, essentially in sympathy with the extremists' agenda. Extrapolating these figures on the global scale of 1.3 billion Muslims, we get 13 million extremists and 130 million sympathizers. That should provide intelligence and security services and Special Operations decades of derring-do. Image from
In the face of protests, Iran's leaders are at an impasse - Ray Takeyh, Washington Post: The Obama administration should take a cue from Ronald Reagan and persistently challenge the legitimacy of the theocratic state and highlight its human rights abuses.
Mass demonstrations in Iran to counter Western propaganda narratives - arabmonitor.info: Teheran, 30 December – Following the violence stirred up last Sunday by armed groups acting from within anti-government protest demonstrations during the Ashura celebrations, today in all of the country millions took to the streets to counter the anti-government forces. While massive demonstrations were under way, Iran's Coordinating Council for the Propagation of Islam issued a statement condemning the anti-government protests on Ashura. The statement claims that "a limited number of trouble-seekers hostile to the Islamic Revolution, who are against the Iranian nation's security, progress, honour and glory, sought to target the most sacred values of Islam in some streets of Teheran under the leadership of foreign media and with the support of certain domineering powers." Below image from
Islamic Republic enjoys high level stability despite Western propaganda: MP - Xinhua: An Iranian influential lawmaker said Thursday that the nationwide rallies on Dec. 30 indicated the Islamic Republic enjoys high level stability despite Western propaganda, the official IRNA news agency reported. Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, also the Head of Parliament (Majlis) Cultural Commission, said that "Wednesday's demonstration in support of the Islamic values and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei have proved that Iran enjoys a high level of stability despite West's propaganda against the country," the report said.
ONE MORE QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“America's 16 intelligence agencies, employing some 100,000 spies and analysts, with a budget of $50 billion.”
--Arnaud de Borchgrave, Washington Times; image from