Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26

"Each man calls barbarism what is not his own practice for indeed it seems we have no other test of truth and reason than the example and pattern of the opinions and customs of the country we live in."

--Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592); image from


POMED Notes: “Promoting Security through Diplomacy and Development: The Fiscal Year 2011 International Affairs” - Josh, Project on Middle East Democracy: The POMED Wire: "In a hearing on the administration’s recently released budget request, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs invited Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to give testimony on particular budgetary items relating to U.S. diplomatic and development efforts abroad. ... Referencing Obama’s Cairo speech last June, Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO) asked Clinton to 'provide us with some details about what you hope to accomplish' from the Global Engagement Fund,

which will focus on human development issues. Clinton replied that a number of new approaches arose from Cairo: enhancing public diplomacy outreach; using more of America’s tools such as science, technology, and our communication strength; and establishing more English language programs for young people. 'All these programs bring a different message,' she said. But she also urged the committee 'not to forget that there’s a very diverse population throughout the Muslim world,' meaning that what works in one place doesn’t necessarily translate elsewhere." Image from

Oldie But Goodie - "Obama’s apparent diagnosis of Bush’s foreign policy is not that it was wrongheaded — imperialistic and unachievable — but rather that it was implemented incompetently. Now with better public diplomacy and a retooled military, the policy of remaking the world in our own image — at the point of a gun if necessary — can proceed apace."

Indonesia's Potential - Cameron R. Hume, Inside Higher Ed:

"The recently released annual 'Open Doors' report on the number of international students in the United States made headlines. The data showed that a record number of students from abroad -- 671,616 -- were studying on American campuses in the 2008-9 academic year. The report in general was good news for U.S. higher education and the U.S. economy and good news for international education cooperation. Those of us involved with Indonesia viewed the results with special interest. The report showed that only 7,509 Indonesian students are studying on American campuses. A decade or so ago, some 13,000 Indonesians were studying in the U.S. The number of Americans studying in Indonesia is an abysmal 120 or so. ... Our embassy in Jakarta is pursuing two major goals over the next five years: doubling the number of Indonesian students in the U.S. and the number of American students in Indonesia, and increasing university-to-university partnerships. An embassy education working group has been established to mobilize our public diplomacy, consular, economic, commercial services and development assistance in support of more bilateral higher education cooperation. The embassy is also working to expand science and technology collaboration with Indonesian counterparts." Image from

Free Flow of Information: A Great Tool Against Totalitarianism - "Societies such as North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, where information is tightly controlled by repressive governments, do present valuable opportunities for U.S. international broadcasting and public diplomacy. In the case of North Korea, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, and four South Korean broadcasters supported by the National Endowment for Democracy have growing audiences in this most totalitarian of societies. Currently Voice of America and Radio Free Asia each broadcast five hours a day into North Korea. ... As presented at the National Endowment of Democracy, (Thursday Feb. 18 — 'The Voice of Freedom: Improving Programs for the Citizens of North Korea'), featuring prominent South Korean newsman Sangsoo Kim, particularly the black-market cross border trade with China provides North Koreans with greater access to technology. ... The most effective medium into North Korea today remains short-wave radio, a medium that unfortunately has become undervalued by the Broadcasting Board of Governors overseeing U.S. international broadcasting."

Library of Congress opens exhibit of letters to Radio Free Afghanistan - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Awards to RFA and RFE/RL broadcasters for productions about Uyghur, Iranian, and Armenian women - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Social Media Creates Opportunities And Challenges - Henry Kenyon, AFCEA SIGNAL Scape: "The popularity and growth of social media networks and blogs offers federal agencies new tools to get their message to the nation’s citizens. However, the openness of social media platforms also presents a security challenge.

A panel of government and commercial media experts pondered the implications of widespread adoption of social media platforms at AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference. ... On a larger scale, social media allows a government to present its views to its citizens and the world, said Michael Walsh, project director at Forum One Communications. He cited the example of the U.S. government’s Open Government initiative to provide transparency into federal activities. Walsh said that citizens want government to incorporate their feedback into policy, and social media helps to enable this process. He said that social media is a useful tool for public diplomacy and explained that the United States must become a leader in this context because other nations are actively using social media tools to promote their national agendas. Security remains an issue for social media. However, Walsh contends that the government must strike a balance between risk and openness. 'Cybersecurity can’t trump everything,' he said." Image from

Thing 23: Virtual Worlds – Taiwan lady, Happy Working Lady: "1. On your blog entry for Thing 23, discuss some of the potential uses for using a virtual world for public diplomacy kind of event might be applicable to a virtual world? -- Online game related to American Culture or holiday. -- Story telling program-- English Teaching Program-- Educational Fair. -- Speaker Program-- Book discussion program Can you think of a scenario where a virtual environment might richer experience than a real life environment? Language Learning through virtual world, students could access resource easily to practice speaking and reading, even interactive with English native speakers. How might academic institutions and libraries use virtual worlds in a different way than real life? Academic Institutions and Libraries could use virtual worlds to promote learning, reading and researching/discussion. Virtual worlds are more attractive, young people could hide her real identity, and participate in the virtual worlds programs more than real life programs. 2. How might your Embassy use a virtual world environment for a program? We have virtual American corner, facebook, but we have not tried the virtual world yet. I think that we may use a virtual world environment to do the following programs. --Announcing our programs, -- Conducting a speaker program, the audience could raise questions freely in the virtual world.-- Organizing an Education fair."

NATO pleased with realization of Armenian IPAP- PIMS: Partnership for Peace Information Management Systems: "NATO expertise team arrived in Armenia February 15-19 on a working visit for assessing the 2009 Armenia-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan Program.

The NATO expertise team consisted of representatives of NATO's Defense Policy Planning, Public diplomacy, International Military staff." Image from

Israel's PR ministry takes swipe at foreign media - Douglas Hamilton, Joseph Nasr, Reuters: "European correspondents reporting from Israel are depicted as stupid and condescending in video spoofs on a new government website created to help improve Israel's image abroad. ... Some members of the sizable foreign press corp here see it as a heavy-handed swipe that could turn public opinion even more against foreign media, who are seen as biased against Israel. ... The website is the work of the revamped Ministry of Hasbara, a Hebrew word meaning explanation or publicity. ... 'Like any other campaign, this is a grotesque satire, and every citizen understands that it's only satire,' said Hasbara Minister Yuli Edelstein." Below Edelstein image from

Yuli Edelstein: the man to save Israel's PR crisis? Someone does. That’s why Israel is embarking on a new PR campaign - Jenni Frazer, Jewish Chronicle - "Israel is suffering its biggest public relations crisis for 20 years, according to its information and diaspora minister. Yuli Edelstein told 400 guests at the Zionist Federation dinner in London this week: 'We are facing the 3Ds- deligitimisation, demonisation, and double standards, pretending to be legitimate criticism of Israeli policies.' ... He was in London leading a campaign to improve the country's image. And, as a former prisoner in the Soviet Union - he reached Israel in 1987 after three years in labour camps - he recalled the ultimate success of the worldwide Soviet Jewry campaign."

Reframing myths and reality - Sydney Levy, Muzzlewatch: ‎"The Israeli Ministry of Hasbara and Diaspora Affairs has started a new project to recruit Israelis traveling abroad to the cause of ‘explaining’ the kinder, gentler side of Israel. The Hebrew website ( is called ‘masbirim,’ which literally means ‘we explain.’ The word comes from the same Hebrew root as Hasbara (explanation). For some reason, Israel translates Hasbara as ‘public diplomacy,’ but there is no diplomacy involved at all. Hasbara (explanation) follows the misguided notion that if Israel could only ‘explain’ itself, people would understand the context for the images they see on TV and the reports they read in the press about the horrors of the attacks on Gaza and the ongoing Israeli occupation. Under this philosophy, Israel need not change its behavior one bit, just spend more resources hoping the world will finally get it."

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War Cruise - Cruise Guide and Tips: Comment by Ian C. Ruxton: "Roosevelt’s loudly proclaimed admiration for Bushido, jujitsu and other aspects of Japanese culture, not to mention the training and courage of the army and navy, may in and of itself have been genuine, but it surely also had the useful result of helping to massage the egos of his Japanese guests.

(See my translation published recently Baron Kaneko and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05): A Study in the Public Diplomacy of Japan for further details.)" 1905 image of Russo-Japanese War from


An Eye for an Eye - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Terrorists have no rule book, no borders and no compunction. The global war on terror (GWOT) is untidy. Still, the current accountability void for U.S. targeted killing is unacceptable.

Amnesty International and the Taliban - A staffer dissents from celebrating a terror spokesman, and is suspended - Michael Weiss, Wall Street Journal (subscription): Until two weeks ago, Gita Sahgal led Amnesty International's gender-affairs unit and was considered an exemplar of human-rights activism. Now she's suspended from her job and in need of an attorney willing to confront a venerable nongovernmental organization that is celebrated by the likes of Bono and Al Pacino. What happened? Ms. Sahgal tried to get her Amnesty colleagues to cease their partnership with Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who is, as Ms. Sahgal rightly describes him, "Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban."

German WWII Nazi Propaganda Posters..vintage art. – Real Think Tank. Below image from article

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