Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29

--"Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth."

--Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662); image from


Entering The Network Phase In Public Diplomacy - Gerard Lemos and Ali Fisher, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The command and control structures of state actors in budgeting and decision-making, which are essential for traditional public legitimacy, are ill-suited to an evanescent virtual world requiring quick, flexible responses. Even more fundamentally, the people working in traditional state organisations are, for the most part, at a loss in the network world, not least because they are too old to have grown up in this world. … In the network phase of Public Diplomacy an organisation seeking diplomatic outcomes (whichever whatever sector they emanated from) would move from holding events, having contacts and organising exchanges to bringing all the people involved in those events and exchanges into a global network."

US Public Diplomacy Explained - Bo Zheng Hu, "Not too long ago, the term 'public diplomacy' was brought up by our number one newspaper in Singapore. The next US ambassador to Spore, David Adelman, wanted to score points in front of a Senate hearing to get his new job in Spore, and thus said that he is shooting from the hip when he comes over to try our chilli crab. He is also going to realise that contrary to what Chinese restaurants in the US claim, there is no such thing as Spore Fried Noodles in Spore. And there is also no US-styled democracy in Spore too. ... So WTF

is US 'public diplomacy' although some talked about its big evil empire implications? Well, it is actually the euphemism 'to promote the national interest of the United States through understanding, informing and influencing foreign audiences.' Oh. Ouch. So public diplomacy or foreign propaganda by another name, is expected anyway as that is what all embassies do – set up shop in another country and do their Jedi mind trick on the natives. Gunboats, missionaries and death stars just don’t do the trick anymore and it is up to embassy staff to strut their national stuff for their goals using pop culture to student exchanges to fast food chains to whatever soft power tools are available. Heh. Sporeans are not taught US-styled democracy for our own good, it is for the US’ own good! Errr hokay." Image from

Jihad in Philadelphia and Jihad USA - Tom Trento, Right Side News: "Frank Gaffney addresses the Defense Forum Foundation (DFF) in the House of Representatives on the topic of Shariah and, broadly defined, it's threat within the United States. Some topics include Shariah-Compliant finance and AIG, homeland security and the Muslim Brotherhood. ... QUESTION: To your comment on the QDR, the quadrennial homeland security review, obviously it's also a diplomacy and development review for the first time starting. You know, the offensive terms that DOD uses with human terrain or the diplomatic community uses with public diplomacy are all geared towards trying to shape hearts and minds outside our borders. And it's obvious that people are doing that to us through cyber means, through violent means and through cultural means. What would you like to have seen in the QDR and since the QDDR is still under development, what should we be trying to promote in that document? GAFFNEY: ... We have got to equip our people with the knowledge that that's what we're up against and we've got to counter it as though our lives depend on it because indeed they do."

Indo-US diplomacy classes for masses - Archis Mohan, Calcutta Telegraph: "When it comes to Indo-US ties, diplomacy must begin at home. This appears to be the thinking at the ministry of external affairs, which is unleashing a battery of retired ambassadors on India’s civil society. Their brief is to enlighten students, academics and journalists about New Delhi’s foreign policy in the 21st century, particularly the importance of the growing Indo-US relationship that many view with apprehension. The former ambassadors are lecturing at leading Indian universities under an 'outreach programme' started by the ministry’s public diplomacy division.

The first in the series was a lecture on March 20 by Ronen Sen, ambassador to the US from August 2004 to March 2009, at Lucknow University on the 'evolution of India’s relations with the USA.'” Sen image from article.

(Sub)Cultural Diplomacy - Laura McGinnis, ManIC: "So how does RT [the Russian government TV channel Russia Today] contribute to Russian public diplomacy? Let's just say it's not the sharpest tool in the Russian PD shed. In Soft Power, Joseph Nye notes of Cold War-era Soviet PD that it relied on methods such as promoting high culture, broadcasting and launching disinformation campaigns. These efforts were supported by the nation's considerable economic, military and technological hard power. Ultimately, however, Soviet soft power was undercut by the closed government, failure to effectively use pop cultural diplomacy and its own propaganda, which was undermined by its inconsistency with government policies. Today, high culture still features prominently in Russian PD. … Without proper financing, Russian pop culture can't hope to compete with more lucrative foreign competitors. And, clearly, cultural diplomacy is a task Russia's foreign-language news services can't carry alone."


How do you build a country brand? - Saher Sidhom, Nation Branding: A country brand should start with a coherent brand and attitude but allow for paradoxes.

A country brand should have a framework in which its paradoxical values can thrive, this framework is ultimately its culture. Don’t build country brands, use the country’s culture to contaminate other cultures. See also. Image from

Snapshot: Who buys American arms? – USA Today: Top buyer: South Korea ($4.7 billion).

Welcome to Europe: America has changed its course, perhaps forever - Pete Du Pont, Wall Street Journal: Now, for the first time in our history, we are becoming just another European nation, with bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation of almost everything, and the basic public-policy preference that the government, not we the people, should be in charge of the nation's choices.

The war on WikiLeaks and why it matters - Glenn Greenwald, Salon: A newly leaked CIA report prepared earlier this month (.pdf) analyzes how the U.S. Government can best manipulate public opinion in Germany and France -- in order to ensure that those countries continue to fight in Afghanistan. This classified Report was made publicly available: because it was leaked to and then posted by,the site run by the non-profit group Sunshine Press, that is devoted to exposing suppressed government and corporate corruption by publicizing many of their most closely guarded secrets. The public and private organizations most eager to maintain complete secrecy around what they do -- including numerous U.S. military and intelligence agencies -- are obviously threatened by WikiLeaks' activities, which is why they seek to harass and cripple them. See also. Image from

Some in Indonesia praise, seek to replicate China's fight against United States - Andrew Higgins, Washington Post: China has won a particularly strong following among those upset with the free-market policy prescriptions of the so-called "Washington consensus," which many Indonesians blame for a severe economic crisis in the late 1990s. The Washington-based International Monetary Fund is widely loathed in Indonesia.

China's propaganda machine busy as media indulge in Google-bashing - Michael Sainsbury, The Australian: As soon as Google announced on January 12 that it was prepared to walk away from its potentially extremely lucrative search business in China, the world's largest internet market, the country's massive propaganda machine swung into action. When it became clear about 10 days ago that Google was going to make good on that promise to shut its China search business, the Propaganda Ministry issued a typical edict: "Google has officially announced its withdrawal from the China market," it read.

In terms of internet content control, the Central Propaganda Department sits at the top, making sure outlets toe the party line. And there is also the State Council Information Office -- some might say a bit like the Prime Minister's Media Office in Australia -- which has established "Internet Affairs Bureau" to oversee all websites. The raft of stories that did emerge in the state-run press attacked Google and the US government. Image from

North Korea Warns South Over Buffer Zone - Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times: North Korea accused the United States and South Korea on Monday of creating provocations by allowing tourists and journalists into the heavily armed buffer zone that has divided the Korean Peninsula since the armistice signed more than a half century ago. In a statement reported by news agencies, the North demanded an end to the tours in the so-called demilitarized zone, calling them part of a pattern of “psychological warfare” and warning of “unpredictable incidents including the loss of human lives in this area for which the U.S. side will be wholly to blame.” While North Korean statements of belligerence are routine, the warning came as tensions in the Korean Peninsula were already high over the mysterious sinking of a South Korean naval patrol ship near the disputed border with the North on Friday. Regardless whether North Korea was involved, the vessel’s sinking reawakened South Koreans’ worst fears about the North Korean military. Ubiquitous propaganda billboards in North Korea’s cities and towns exhort its soldiers to turn themselves into kamikaze-like “human bombs” when war breaks out.

Kim's hold loosens as Koreans succumb to world view - Blaine Harden,

Evidence is mounting that Kim - Jong-il's propaganda is losing its grip on North Koreans; more than half the population listens to foreign news, grass-roots cynicism undercuts state myths, and discontent is rising even among elites. A survey of refugees has found that ''everyday forms of resistance'' in the North are taking root as large swaths of the population believe that pervasive corruption, rising inequity and chronic food shortages are the fault of the government - and not foreign forces. The report was prepared by the East-West Centre, a research group set up by the US Congress. Image from

Best Propaganda Posters Since they were Invented - No Fricken Clue. Below image from article

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