Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9

“Employees throughout the Bureau, including some in the front office, lamented their lack of knowledge as to who is actually doing what.”

--United States Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors: Office of Inspector General Report of Inspection - The Bureau of Public Affairs Report Number ISP-I-10-39, February 2010, p. 9; image from

"I don't want to tweet crap."

--Steve Redisch, VOA Executive Editor, during a conversation with your PDPBR compiler; cited here with Mr. Redisch's kind OK; see also


Bruce Gregory's Updated Public Diplomacy Resources: SMPA [The School for Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University] Adjunct Assistant Professor Bruce Gregory compiles an annotated bibliography of Public Diplomacy-related readings and other resources. Click here for the latest collection (#50)

Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Professor
George Washington University/Georgetown University
(202) 994-6350


Humongous Soviet ground-effect tank-plane, cited at and from


Latest Iran Video: Hillary Clinton's Message to Iranian Women (8 March) - Scott Lucas, Enduring America:

"Another move in Washington’s public diplomacy campaign: last March, it was President Obama’s Nowruz (New Year) message to the people of the 'Islamic Republic of Iran'; this March, it is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s message to Iranian women on International Women’s Day."

Clinton in Brazil - Mark S. Langevin, Brazil: The World Affairs Blog Network: "U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in a townhall of sorts at Zumbi dos Palmares University in São Paulo last Wednesday, March 3rd. This is a format that Secretary Clinton has used around the world to conduct 'public' diplomacy and try to connect to local constituencies, especially women and young adults. The townhall is available for viewing (see below) and in many ways it is worth the watch."

And the Oscar goes to.... - Andre Aprigio, Public Diplomacy Corps: "Ok! The red carpet must have been already taken off and all the celebrities must still be talking about the awards and everything.

But the questions that has just been wandering my mind ever since the 'Oscar fever' came up is whether or not (or yet better) should or will Hillary Clinton be awarded an Oscar in 2011 for her supporting role in Public Diplomacy Efforts - 'The Oath'? Today, at University of Minho (Portugal) I had the honor of participating in a lecture held by professor William H Chafe, from Duke University (US), and as I asked him that very same question I was answered with a confident and assertive yes. As far his concerned, and I quote 'the combination of her smartness, public persona, and the association with former president Clinton will probably make her a successful Secretary of State'."

A Sorry Spectacle: The uninspiring saga of the United States' World Expo pavilion in Shanghai - Adam Minter, Foreign Policy: "On May 1, Expo 2010, the largest and most expensive world's fair in history, will open on 2.5 square miles of prime Shanghai riverbank for a six-month run that its hosts hope will help bolster the city's global reputation. Although largely overlooked by the American public, Expo 2010 has not been overlooked by the U.S. secretary of state's office: For more than a year, Hillary Clinton has spent considerable time and effort raising private money to pay for the construction of a U.S. pavilion to showcase American technology, culture, and achievement to the event's expected 90 million international attendees. Unfortunately, this particular effort at public diplomacy has faltered repeatedly; the behind-the-scenes saga may best be remembered for allegations of nepotism, frictions with the Chinese government and Expo organizers, and a mediocre, uninspiring pavilion design. ... With less than two months until the opening of Expo 2010 and the nearly completed U.S. pavilion, there's little that anyone can do to rectify the mistakes already made. Hopefully, though, somebody at the State Department will exercise some leadership so that the same kind of debacle doesn't happen if the United States decides to participate at Expo 2015 in Milan."

Restoring America’s Reputation And The Tragic Children Of Fallujah - Nicholas J. Cull, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, University of Southern California:

“Last Thursday (March 4, 2010), some of the top thinkers currently engaging the issue of America’s image in the world testified on Capitol Hill in hearings before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs under the title ‘Restoring America’s Reputation in the World: Why it Matters.’ Joseph Nye of Harvard stressed the value of smart power. Andrew Kohut of Pew pointed to the fragility of the recent promising trends in world opinion and J. Michael Waller of the Center for Security Policy provocatively challenged the assembled legislators to stop and think: ‘Would I run my political campaign the way the United States government runs its strategic communication?’ Meanwhile a story broke which has the potential to put yet another hole in America’s already leaky boat. TV, radio and web-based news services of the BBC carried an alarming report from the Iraqi city of Fallujah by the distinguished correspondent John Simpson. ... The deformed children of Fallujah will haunt the United States unless it acts now not merely to intone ‘not my bad,’ but to show that it cares about the children whatever the cause of their illness. ... If the US does nothing, the images will merge with the familiar claims about the poisonous nature of depleted uranium. They will become further grist to the anti-American mill and a sap on American global power and influence regardless of whether Congress heeds Drs. Nye, Kohut and Waller and takes America’s ailing public diplomacy machine in hand."

Freedom's Just Another Word... - Laura McGinnis, manIC: "I've written before on the advantages of using information and communication technologies to promote public diplomacy objectives. Essentially, I believe that mobile and Internet technology have expanded the options available to public diplomats, and they've opened new channels of communication to non-state actors, giving them more opportunities to influence policy formation and enactment. ... Multi-directional communication is a laudable goal, and can be used not only to disperse a uniquely domestic message abroad, but to collaborate with foreign nations and their citizens to identify common goals and values from which to build stronger relationships. But it is important to recognize that ICT development has not been universally positive. After all, the same tools that facilitate civil society organization have been used by al Qaeda and other anti-U.S. groups to recruit and distribute misinformation."

International Women's Day: Colors of Warka opens at the State Department - US Department of State: "The U.S. Diplomacy Center (http://diplomacy.state.gov/) opens the exhibit The Colors of Warka: Paintings by Iraqi Women of Muthanna Province on Monday, March 8, from 4:00 – 4:30 PM, in the Exhibit Hall of the Department of State.

Remarks will be given by Aaron Snipe, a Foreign Service Officer who initiated the exhibit as a public diplomacy project sponsored by a local non-governmental organization, while he was serving in Iraq on a U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). He will introduce the paintings and share the courageousness these women artists of Iraq’s Muthanna Province demonstrated by exhibiting their work in Iraq. These paintings are on view in the U.S. for the first time."

The History of US Policy on Study Abroad - Jim Scott, Learning Across Borders: Fromthe Director of The International Center - University Of Missouri: "Thanks to Beerken's Blog -- here's a link to a power point presentation by David Comp on the history -- and intent -- of US government programs to encourage study abroad. As we scramble to meet student demand and plan for the future, it's helpful to reflect on the original purpose of supporting study abroad. Historically, the US sees study abroad as a means to advance public diplomacy. Student mobility can achieve much more."

How Reagan's Propaganda Succeeded - Robert Parry, Consortium News: "In the 1980s, CIA propaganda experts and military psy-war specialists oversaw the creation of special programs aimed at managing public perceptions in targeted foreign countries as well as inside the United States, according to declassified documents at Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Library. ... The documents show that Casey used a senior CIA propaganda and disinformation specialist named Walter Raymond Jr., who was placed inside the National Security Council in 1982, to oversee the project

and to circumvent legal prohibitions against the CIA engaging in propaganda that might influence U.S. public opinion or politics.

Though Raymond formally quit the CIA after going to the NSC, documents from Raymond’s personal NSC files reveal that he often passed on recommendations regarding the propaganda initiative after meetings at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, or after conversations with Casey himself. ... Among the examples of his 'specific activities,' Raymond listed 'significant expansion of our ability to utilize book publication and distribution as a public diplomacy tool. (This is based on an integrated public-private strategy). … The development of an active PSYOP strategy. … [O]ne of Raymond’s sub-groups, 'the Active Measures Working Group,' met 'to develop an action plan to turn Soviet active measures back onto the Soviets, i.e. take the offensive.' Attendees included Raymond and another CIA operations veteran, Ray Warren, a Casey favorite who was placed inside the Pentagon; Herb Romerstein, a former investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities; and Robert Kagan, a prominent neoconservative who was an aide to Elliott Abrams at the State Department and later led the Office of Public Diplomacy on Latin America. ... Lt. Col. Daniel 'Jake' Jacobowitz was listed as the executive officer inside the State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy on Latin America, where the White House also placed five psychological warfare specialists from the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The main job of these psy-ops specialists was to pick out incidents in Central America that would rile the U.S. public."

Baku support for US 'genocide' measure questioned - Hurriyet Daily News: "Although solidarity with Azerbaijan has led Turkey to tie the approval of the Armenian protocols to progress on Karabakh, there are questions as to whether Baku sufficiently opposed a recent Armenian 'genocide' resolution in the U.S. Congress.

A key partner in U.S.- and EU-backed energy projects in the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is a close ally of Turkey and has been locked in a frozen conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory that has been occupied by Armenia since 1993. 'The Azerbaijani calls for boycott campaigns in April-May 2009 were designed and conducted in a highly professional way. They have also been developing their public diplomacy toward Washington and Brussels on issues related to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh,' Burcu Gültekin Punsmann, senior foreign policy analyst at the Turkish think-tank TEPAV, told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview."

California School Debates Merit of Confucius Classroom Program - Jenny Liu, Epoch Times: "A recent decision to implement a curriculum from mainland China in a southern California school has provoked a debate over the motives behind the program and what should and should not be taught in American classrooms.The Hacienda La Puente Unified School District committee voted 4–1 in late January to approve the Confucius Classroom program at Cedarlane Middle School beginning in September. With no cost to the school district, the instructors and teaching materials are provided directly by the Office of Chinese Language Council International, called 'HanBan.'”

How to revamp China's international image? - Li Hongmei , People's Daily Online: "To grow up into a real global power, China needs a more mature PR policy, which differs from the 'hard power' characterized by economic strength, military might and hi-tech achievements, and is also in a stark departure from the traditional diplomacy, which actively engages one government with another government. ... The U.S. set a good precedent in this area in its post-WWII days:

through movies, and assorted audiovisual publications, the U.S. built a very positive overseas image. ... China should learn a good lesson from the American experience and try to refrain from the diplomatic undoing. The effective way to widespread the cultural influence is targeted at the public, instead of the government. To play the card of public diplomacy, a good player seeks to promote the national interests through understanding, informing and influencing the target audiences, and broadening dialogue between its own citizens and their foreign counterparts. To better the international image, China needs to resort to public diplomacy with its own characteristics, rather than modeling after others, to engage as many diverse non-government elements as possible of a society, and to convince them that, in a way acceptable to them, China is and will always be a good citizen in the international community."

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Answers Questions from Domestic and Overseas Journalists on China's Foreign Policy (NPC and CPPCC Annual Sessions 2010) press release, MFA China: ‎People's Daily: "We have noticed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has adopted the practice of establishing a press center of the Chinese delegation when attending international conferences. And the ministry has been holding the Open Day events, making China's diplomacy closer to the ordinary Chinese people. I wonder if this means that the Foreign Ministry has intensified its work of public diplomacy. And if so, what is the purpose and importance of conducting public diplomacy? My second question is a personal question. This year is the year of the tiger.

And you were born in the year of the tiger. How do you feel about it and what plans do you have for this year? Foreign Minister Yang: Public diplomacy has become an important area of endeavor in China's diplomacy. We are of the view that public diplomacy has emerged as our times require and has a big role to play. In my view, an important part of public diplomacy is to introduce one's domestic and foreign policies to people both at home and abroad through media exchange and other means with a view to increasing mutual understanding and reducing misunderstandings. Last year, we engaged in a series of public diplomacy activities in connection with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and 60 years of New China's diplomacy. These activities achieved a lot. I should also mention here that Chinese leaders attach great importance to public diplomacy, particularly when they visit foreign countries or attend international conferences. They have engaged in in-depth and broad exchanges with the local people. And these efforts have produced very good results. Chinese diplomats have also been very active in doing public diplomacy. This year, we will encourage our diplomats at home to be more active in having interactions with the general public. They will visit colleges and universities and give interviews to media organizations. We will encourage our diplomats posted abroad to be more active in reaching out to the local communities, explaining to them China's foreign policy and domestic development. I believe public diplomacy will achieve new and greater success in this new year. I should like to point out here that China's diplomacy is people's diplomacy. And people have always been the source of wisdom in our effort to carry out public diplomacy. I should thank all Chinese people for their support to China's diplomacy."

Be Inspired By Israel - Ari Bussel, Norma Zager, NewsBlaze: "Apparently, it is raining very hard in Israel,

and after years of drought, the first signs of awakening can be felt: Individuals are doing what the Israeli Government should do but does not. This should by no means be construed as a political statement. No Israeli Government to-date has fathomed the risks of continuing the status quo in the realm of Public Diplomacy. It is because of blindness in this arena, individual initiatives stand out as unusual and refreshing. ... Israeli diplomats' participation at glitzy events apparently has not yielded the necessary results. A change of direction is necessary since the present course proved ineffective in countering the disease of the 21st Century: undermining the legitimacy of the existence of the Jewish State."

Machine-readable or electronic passports? - Gopal Thapa, Nepalnews.com: "But the issue of Passport which is so important for every Nepali wanting to undertake overseas travels, there is a need to try to dispel some of the misperceptions and misunderstanding that seem to be surrounding the MOFA in its efforts to print and secure Machine readable Passports. ... Part of the problem ... has to do with MOFA’s inability to exercise in public diplomacy;

that is to say trying to inform the public and media from time to time what the MRPs are all about, as this generation of passports are being introduced for the first time in the country."

Most Australians Have No Faith in Indonesia - VIVAnews.com: "Lowy Institute is a think-thank institution that analyzes international issues in Australia. The survey says more than half of Australian respondents do not believe Indonesia will be able to perform well on international level. According to Lowy Institute researcher, Fergus H[a]nson, the survey has also obtained similar findings on how Indonesian respondents see Australia. ... Hanson suggests both governments to amend public diplomacy by organizing activities that involve the people."

"The War on Terror" from Krakow's Academy and Balice Airport Security Scares - Krakow's New Dragons: "The truth is that security measures are more likely part of the Polish state's attempt to ramp up a sense of alarm and emergency that justifies Poland's role in Afghanistan as 'protecting the safety of the people' is an easier form of 'public diplomacy' than admitting the war is centrally concerned with arcane geopolitics, constructing the TAPI pipeline and blocking the rival IPI pipeline."

Posting for InterMedia Survey Institute: Job Position Details - bridgestar.org: "Job Description: InterMedia is the preeminent audience and opinion research organization dedicated to measuring and understanding the global reach and effectiveness of U.S. international broadcasting and other instruments of public diplomacy and strategic communications.

Operating in 60 countries, InterMedia continues a six-decade legacy of trusted research in challenging environments for its U.S. and European clients. InterMedia now seeks a Chief Executive Officer to lead a highly qualified staff of 40 dedicated men and women. Applications are invited from individuals with strong, relevant management and representational experience, familiarity with U.S. government contracting policies and procedures, an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit and collaborative leadership style.


Iraq's Remarkable Election: The strategic benefits of an emerging Middle East democracy – Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal: President Obama deserves credit for resisting his own calls in 2008 for a quick American withdrawal. U.S. forces are considered by all sides to be honest brokers and guarantors of stability.

Freedom On The Lurch - Fafblog: VICTOREEEEEEEEE! After nineteen years of bombs and wars and torture and bombs and torture and ethnic cleansing and torture, America's mission in Iraq has finally been re-reaccomplished through the miracle of symbolic purple-fingered brown people!

Oh sure, all the cynics and the critics and the nattering nabobs of payingattentionism will say "Oh but Giblets haven't we had five or six of these already, what makes these purple fingers different from previous purple fingers" and the answer to that is shut up. These purple fingers are the most purplest-fingeriest purple fingers to ever have been symbolically purpled! They stand as unique and compelling evidence of our nation's sincere generational commitment to transform a brutal impoverished dictatorship into a brutal, more impoverished dictatorship by freeing Iraq from the deadly menace of Iraqis.

Iraqis Vote - Editorial, New York Times: Final results from Iraq’s parliamentary election may not be available for days, but this much we can already say for sure: Iraq’s citizens once again showed tremendous courage and determination, defying bombs and a flawed pre-election process to cast their ballots. We hope that Iraq’s political leaders will show at least as much courage in coming weeks as they negotiate the makeup of a new Government. With American combat troops due to withdraw by the end of August, there is not a lot of time and still far too many unresolved issues for the new government to address.

From proximity to peace? – Editorial, Washington Post: The Obama administration appears near to a diplomatic achievement it expected long ago: the relaunch of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

It will be a modest start -- not a big conference or a convocation to Camp David but "proximity talks," in which envoy George J. Mitchell will shuttle between the two camps. On the whole it is better to have Israelis and Palestinians talking than not. But Mr. Mitchell must aim for a quick transition to direct negotiations -- and he should avoid raising expectations about what they can accomplish.

"My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist" - Josh Asen, The Imagination Age: President Obama has fallen well short of the promise he made last April, in Cairo, "to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect...” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Doha last month, at the US-Islamic World Forum, conceding that the Obama administration had not yet fulfilled many of the policy changes it had promised and pleading for patience. The Secretary spoke of "shared responsibility" but the general consensus across the Arab world is that the US commitment has been "insufficient and insincere". One need only look at the stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and ongoing occupation of Gaza, the still-open detention center at Guantanamo, the expansion of the war in Afghanistan, diplomatic deadlock with Iran, and a lack of cultural engagement to see why Muslims the world over are feeling disappointed and deceived.

Institutionalizing a Mess is not the Same as Fixing it – Bernard Finel, American Security Project:

Obama isn’t trapped by Bush’s policies, he has chosen instead to endorse a surprisingly large number of them. Now it is possible that Bush’s policies are indeed wiser than many of us thought or realized at the time, but let’s not let Obama off the hook. Whether we like it or not, a bloated defense budget, an imperial world view, and the accretion of executive power are not just legacies of President George W. Bush, but rather are the essence of Obama’s foreign policy orientation.

Making sense of genocide: Turkey needs to come to grips with its bloody past so it can move forward in its relations with Armenia and the U.S.– Editorial, latimes.com: An estimated 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were massacred in the final throes of the Ottoman empire. That blood bath, carried out by the Turks between 1915 and 1918, was genocide, and should be called by that name.

Waterboarding for dummies: Internal CIA documents reveal a meticulous protocol that was far more brutal than Dick Cheney's "dunk in the water" - Mark Benjamin, Salon

Arab lies and propaganda about the new state of Israel exposed by Arabs who witnessed it first hand - barenakedislam

The Terror of Bollywood: With Hollywood shying away from Islamist villains, it's up to Indian films to give them a showing - Arun Venugopal, Wall Street Journal:

In Bollywood terrorism narratives are pursued full throttle, Islamic radicalism and the suffering it causes come together in extravagant form.

Whereas Hollywood focuses on bumptious American bureaucrats and politicians ("Syriana," "Lions for Lambs"), troubled soldiers ("Stop-Loss") and ruthlessly efficient superagents,

India makes movies about actual terrorists, based on its long, painful history of domestic extremism.


"Last month, a physics professor at the University of Oklahoma poured liquid nitrogen onto a laptop

and then shattered it on the floor, a warning to the digitally distracted.

-- Daniel de Vise, "Wide Web of diversions gets laptops evicted from lecture halls," Washington Post; image from


--A billboard along I-35 in Minnesota

1 comment:

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