Friday, May 28, 2010

May 27-28

"It is essential that U.S.-supported Persian-language radio broadcast the truth, but it must also remain on message."

--Michael Rubin, writing in Commentary; image from

"'Truth' that is also 'on message' is public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is a necessary and honorable profession, but it's not news."

--International broadcasting specialist Kim Andrew Elliott; see also "A message with truth is public diplomacy," inspired by the above quotation


Liu Launch US-China People-to-People Initiative - ‎press release, "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong have launched a people-to-people initiative aimed at enhancing understanding and engagement between the Chinese and American people through a variety of exchange programs.

Clinton and Liu signed the initiative in a ceremony at the National Center for the Performing Arts near Beijing's Tiananmen Square May 25. They were joined by more than 300 American and Chinese students, scholars, teachers, musicians and cultural representatives. ... Clinton said the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, Judith McHale, will coordinate the expanding exchange efforts. ... (This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:" Image from

Worldview: A chance to talk to Chinese : U.S. officials belatedly seized an opportunity presented by a world's fair in Shanghai - ‎Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: "The mammoth World Expo 2010, which just opened here, offers a terrific opportunity for U.S. public diplomacy - reaching out to millions of Chinese via our exhibition. Yet the United States, alone among the world's leading countries, nearly had no pavilion at the Expo, because of congressional restrictions that make it almost impossible to use federal funds for world's fairs. ... Beijing officials have set a goal of 70 million mostly Chinese visitors (they want to well surpass the attendance at all past expos) and are busing in workers and farmers from far-flung provinces. This presents a unique chance to expose a broad swath of Chinese to U.S. ideas. ... The Chinese eagerness to see the U.S. exhibit is evident in the long lines that zigzag in front of the building, with a wait of at least 90 minutes. The shiny silver facade of the pavilion, with a waterfall cascading down its front, may not be as dramatic as many of the other countries' buildings, but Chinese visitors eagerly pose for photos under the huge, red 'USA' on the front. As for the presentations inside - three large rooms with multiscreen film offerings and a fourth with interactive video displays by corporate sponsors - they represent a creative gamble. There is no sensational physical exhibit of American technology, but rather a subtle presentation of ideas. ... I must admit I wasn't certain that Chinese visitors would get the message that citizens can work together for change without being directed by their government. Yet, in conversations with a couple dozen Chinese visitors, I heard comments such as 'Even a little girl can make a change' and remarks about 'the American spirit of cooperation' and 'working together to make things better.' Many approved of the film's 'message to protect the environment.'"

Clinton visits world's fair in Shanghai, not as impressed with U.S. pavilion - Preeti Aroon, Foreign Policy: "U.S. law makes government funding of an American pavilion difficult, so Clinton used her fundraising skills to bring in private money for the USA Pavilion. (See the March FP article, 'A Sorry Spectacle.' For fairness, check out the rebuttal piece 'Defending the USA Pavilion.') The result: an ugly USA Pavilion. ... Still, the USA Pavilion has proved popular among the Chinese. (The pavilion doesn't mention anything about democracy and freedom of expression, with the head of the pavilion's steering committee telling the Post that a main goal was not to be 'insulting' to the Chinese.)

When asked her opinion of the Expo in its entirety, Clinton appeared moved and said, 'It's so much of a tradition of these expos, all the way back to St. Louis or New York.… It's like a coming-out party for countries and cities. There's a real historical significance.' Asked about the USA Pavilion in particular, she said less enthusiastically, 'It's fine.' Well, if corporate America paid for it, then it only makes sense that it should be a 'corporate America' pavilion. Image from article: Clinton greets Haibao, the Expo's mascot.

Who's in charge of the State Department today? - ‎Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy - "Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale is on the Beijing trip."

China’s quest for soft power – The World: "China’s power has been growing in recent years – its economic clout, its military capacity, its political influence on the international stage. But there’s one kind of power China’s leaders still crave – soft power. This is the informal influence a country has – through the attractiveness of its culture and values.

The obvious example is the United States – which has gained soft power through its values, its lifestyle, its movies, and its music. China’s leaders now want the same for China – but, characteristically, they’re trying to do it in a state-planned way. ... [Reporter] Mary Kay Magistad: ... [C]ensoring isn’t likely to win Xinhua’s new network many admirers. David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University’s School of International Affairs, says China is still trying to figure out the influence game. He says at this point, its media outreach falls more into the category of public diplomacy than what academic Joseph Nye meant when he coined the term soft power." Image from

AYUSA Global Youth Exchange Awarded Mexico Youth Leadership Program Grant - press release, PR Web: "In a joint statement released last week, President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón announced a new exchange program for high school students designed to promote mutual understanding between the two countries. AYUSA Global Youth Exchange, a San Francisco nonprofit organization promoting global learning and leadership through foreign exchange programs, has been awarded the grant to facilitate this program, called Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action). ... 'AYUSA is excited to support the efforts of the Department of State’s U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to develop this important new public diplomacy initiative,' said Geoff Watson, president of AYUSA. 'The program objectives are in complete alignment with AYUSA’s commitment to promoting life-changing cultural exchange and leadership experiences for young people around the world.'” Image from

Obama on Security: Echoes, Contrasts With Bush Years - ‎Joseph Schuman, AOL News: "Judging national security through the sole prism of military threats and strength is an outmoded way of protecting the interests of the United States, President Barack Obama argues in the new National Security Strategy unveiled today. Like those of his predecessors, this White House strategy, required by Congress every four years, sets the 'safety and security of the American people' as the administration's top responsibility and maintains the right to use unilateral force as a last resort. ... Th[e] application of public diplomacy toward the Muslim world could be seen in remarks made Wednesday by John Brennan, Obama's assistant for homeland security

and counterterrorism, that inflamed conservative critics of the president.'Our enemy is not 'terror' because terror is a state of mind and as Americans we refuse to live in fear,' Brennan said. 'Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children. ... Describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie -- propagated by al-Qaida and its affiliates to justify terrorism -- that the United States is somehow at war against Islam.' Even beyond the Islamic world, 'engagement' seems to be the Obama administration's tool of choice." For text of National Security strategy, see (p. 12 and p. 29 mention exchanges, per LBJ email). Image from

The American century is so over - ‎Dilip Hiro, Asia Times Online: "[A]t the White House, where it was naively believed that a few well-scripted speeches in foreign capitals by the eloquent new president would restore US prestige left in tatters by George W Bush's policies. What the president and his coterie seem not to have noticed, however, was an important Pew Research Center poll. It showed that, following Obama's public diplomacy campaign, while the image of the US had indeed risen sharply in Europe, Mexico, and Brazil, any improvement was minor in India and China, marginal in the Arab Middle East, and nonexistent in Russia, Pakistan, and Turkey. Stuck in its self-congratulatory mode, the Obama team paid scant attention to the full range of options that other powers had for retaliating to its pressure. For instance, it did not foresee Beijing threatening sanctions against major American companies supplying weapons to Taiwan, nor did it anticipate the stiff resistance the PRC would offer to revaluing the yuan."

Sleepwalking with Iran - Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy: Comment by Dan Kervick:

"[T]he US government is actively engaged in a variety of covert assaults on the Iranian state. These are not rumors and conspiracy theories. They have been widely supported. So isn't it clear that what we have is a regime change policy, and a policy of escalation? That regime change policy is accompanied by an entirely unconvincing PR program with no other end than to buy support from a few saps at home and abroad. This should come as no surprise. The most important theme among the Democratic foreign policy think-tankers as the tankers prepared to take power - though not among actual rank and file Democrats - was that we most needed was improved 'public diplomacy' ... i.e. better lies. Elite mainstream Democratic foreign policy is dedicated to the same old bull, with mo' better bullshit." Image from

Pakistan Asks: Why Do You Hate Us? - Steve Inskeep, Daily Beast: "Americans who once asked of extremists, 'Why do they hate us?' may be surprised to learn that some people here turn the question around, asking why America hates Pakistan. ... Comment by snebel [:] The fact that so many Pakistanis oppose extremists and terrorist actions should be a good basis for a public diplomacy approach that assures and engages these moderates. Change for the better might then come from within."

The Great Lakes Region: Current Conditions and US Policy - ‎Johnnie Carson Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Washington, DC May 25, 2010 - U.S. Department of State: Carson: "We are keeping a close eye on upcoming elections throughout the region. Burundi has just held the first of five separate elections for local and national level institutions. This election marathon will continue through September 7, with important presidential elections on June 28 and national assembly elections on July 23. Through our foreign assistance and public diplomacy programming, as well as our direct observation of the electoral process, we have regularly seized public and private opportunities to reinforce the message, across a broad political spectrum, that credible elections and legitimate transfer of power are necessary for Burundi’s long-term stability and economic growth."

H.R. 5136: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 – Let DC Know: "Strategic Communications Efforts: In addition to budgetary increases totaling $25 million

for research and development into counter-ideology programs and terrorist use of digital media, the bill would encourage DoD to expand its efforts to understand terrorist use of media, counter terrorist use of the Internet, and consider the establishment of a Center for Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy." Image from

"Don't Silence Voice of America," and, in general, radio in USIB, she writes - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Heritage Foundation, 26 May 2010, Helle Dale: "'With the proliferation and fragmentation of traditional news sources, what do most people identify as the medium they trust most for information? According to a new poll by Ofcom, the independent regulating authority of the British communications industries, the answer is radio. ... Over the past decade, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), whose nine members are appointed by the President and which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, has made the decision to close down nine transmitter sites around the world, leaving just 13 active. In previous decades another 14 sites were closed down, including in 1997 the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty site in Gloria, Portugal, the largest shortwave transmitting facility in the West. ... In order to make full and appropriate use of the considerable investment made by the U.S. over the years to build up its international broadcasting capability, Congress should: ... ▪Hold hearings on the appropriate role of radio in U.S. international broadcasting strategy, considering the possibility of recalibrating the relative weight given to television and radio. The Obama Administration should: ▪Revisit its major public diplomacy strategy documents, promulgated this spring by the National Security Council and the State Department, neither of which has assigned a major role to U.S. international broadcasting. America has important, but not unlimited, assets whose potential should be maximized. Although diplomats and pundits have crowned Web 2.0 as the new communications king, radio remains the globe’s most trusted source for information.' [Elliott comment:] International broadcasting has a news function distinct from that of public diplomacy. Good thing, then, that the 'public diplomacy strategy documents' did not assign 'a major role' to USIB. The role of USIB should be discussed in other 'documents.' Ms. Dale begins her essay by citing the high levels of trust for radio in the UK, then extends that finding to the entire world. Globally, radio is not doing very well. For news and for entertainment, television dominates in East Asia, urban South Asia, the Middle East, Russia and the former Soviet Union, and the Americas. In Africa, radio is still important, but direct-to-home satellite television is growing quickly on that continent. Yes, there should be hearings on the appropriate role of radio in USIB. Shortwave arguably remains the medium most resistant to interdiction, but do enough people still have shortwave radios? If they do, are they willing to use them? Someone from BBC World Service should be invited to the hearing to explain why they plan to eliminate most shortwave within five years. (See previous post.)"

One of the "coordinating themes" will involve the Iranians tuning to other stations - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Commentary, April 2010, Michael Rubin: 'Fluent Persian speakers serving in the U.S. government should address the Iranian people and the regime daily to provide a counter-narrative to that advanced by Iran’s state-controlled media. Here, it is ironic that John Limbert, a fluent Persian speaker whom Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed as her lead Iran man, served as an adviser to a group that threatened to sue Voice of America and Radio Free Europe for airing regime opponents on their Persian services. Too often, Voice of America producers seek to prove their independence by broadcasting voices hostile to the United States (hence the reputation of the service under both Clinton and Bush as 'Radio Khatami'). It is essential that U.S.-supported Persian-language radio broadcast the truth, but it must also remain on message. If Congress provided significant financing for Persian-language media and if the Broadcasting Board of Governors came to understand that coordinating themes revolving around regime change is a vital national interest, such media could play a key role in enabling protest. If Iranian security services shut down cell-phone networks and Internet-service providers, over-the-air news reports, which cannot be jammed so easily, would become integral methods of helping to coordinate protests.'

[Elliott comment]: Brilliant. Let's kerjiggle USIB newscasts to 'enable protest.' That will give Iranian opposition a real made-in-America feel to it. 'Truth' that is also 'on message' is public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is a necessary and honorable profession, but it's not news. News is what Iranians are seeking when they make the effort to get information from abroad. It will be exactly the role of the new members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose nominations have just moved forward under mysterious circumstances (see previous post), to protect the independence and integrity of that news. That means the BBG must have the courage resist any schemes that involve 'coordinating themes.' News that is 'coordinated' will have an audience only on Capitol Hill and among the assorted think tanks of Washington. Meanwhile, can VOA and RFE/RL really be sued for 'airing regime opponents on their Persian services'? I want to be in that courtroom. Clarence Darrow could be useful here if he were not, unfortunately, deceased." Image from

Glimpses of Bangladesh: Cultural night in USA - ‎The New Nation: "Ambassador of Bangladesh to USA at a cultural show at the Bangladeshi Embassy in Washington DC in USA said that culture could function as a powerful tool to connect peoples across borders. Akramul Qader, Ambassador of Bangladesh to USA, said this while welcoming the audience at the cultural function under the banner of 'Glimpses of Bangladesh: Bangladesh Cultural Night,' on May 20. Ambassador Qader mentioned about the impressive achievements Bangladesh made over the decades. He, however, lamented that the country is largely seen from a negative prism in a section of the world media. Bangladesh Ambassador hoped that the cultural show would leave a positive imprint about Bangladesh on the minds of the participants. ... The event is a part of the Embassy's public diplomacy and outreach program to project Bangladesh's rich culture and heritage to wider audience in the USA."

Formulating a Response With Israel-America Postcards - ‎Ari Bussel, NewsBlaze: Our enemies have used the guise of 'free speech'

and 'academic freedom' to hijack our system to attack Israel and prevent free speech from anyone not in agreement with their radical agenda. The response? Organizations like Stand With Us are doing the work, individuals from Israel come to speak, but this is the job of the MFA and the Ministry of Public Diplomacy. They, apparently, were quite surprised when the Israeli Ambassador to the USA was not as welcomed during a speech he attempted to give at the University of California Irvine. Alas, like the current sailing, it was not the first, nor the last occurrence." Image from

Israel increases diplomatic, PR offensive against flotilla - ‎Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post: "As the flotilla of ships trying to break the blockade of Gaza sailed toward the region on Thursday, Israel stepped up both its diplomatic and public diplomacy efforts trying to forestall a possible public relations disaster. Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal met separately on Thursday with the ambassadors from Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden and Ireland – countries from which the ships involved in the flotilla have set sail – and reiterated the country’s position that the move is nothing more than a 'provocation.'”

New Turkish warning as Israel plans to stop Gaza aid ships - "Turkey renewed its call for calm to Israel that already revealed its plans to halt international aid convoy to the Gaza Strip that has been under years of siege. International activists on Thursday reaffirmed its efforts to break three-year Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip despite Israeli threats it will stop a convoy of aid ships. ...

Dimitris, who joined the flotilla from Greece on behalf of Ship to Gaza movement, in his speech, said, 'We all know that governments, intellectuals and artists are here with us to support this cause. We are carrying out a public diplomacy attempt here. We are demanding a free Mediterranean and a free Palestine.'” Image from

Trade powers to push for Doha deal to boost economy - ‎Jonathan Lynn, Elizabeth Fullerton, Reuters: "Ministers from major trading powers decided on Thursday to redouble efforts for a deal in the stalled Doha round, arguing that opening up global trade would boost the world economy without hitting budgets. They acknowledged the 8-1/2-year-old Doha round was at an impasse and that serious negotiations -- away from the glare of the media and public diplomacy were now needed to break the deadlock."

Ambassador Liu Meets with the Delegation of Journalism Education ‎Foundation - press release, MFA China: "On May 24, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming met with the 20-people delegation of Journalism Education Foundation Hong Kong headed by Chairman Lau Chi Kuen, former Chief Editor of South China Morning Post. ... After the meeting, Minister Counsellor Zhang Lirong, Counsellor Liu Weimin of the Press and Public Diplomacy Section of the Chinese Embassy and other officials from the Chinese Embassy held a discussion with the delegation and exchanged their views on China-UK relations, the characteristics of the media and public diplomacy."

Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy holds Advanced Foreign Service Program graduation ceremony - ‎APA: "Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) held graduation ceremony for the Advanced Foreign Service Program. ...

The participants attended the lectures on international relations, international law, public diplomacy, consular service, international economics and other areas." Image from

Islam as a Political Tool: The Bhutto Era of Islamization of Pakistan - Mubarka Ahmad, Baytunur: "Bhutto was handed a country that had only recently been split into two. International politics and external alliances were in complete disarray. Having lost its only significant ethnic and religious minority, the Hindus, Pakistan drew closer to its neighbours in the East . The Governments of Saudi Arab and the United Arab Emirates supported all kinds of Islamist activities in Pakistan to save it from falling in the clutches of socialism, and negating its thus-far latent Islamic identity. Bhutto acknowledged this interest, and realised the advantages of building alliances with these oil-rich states. The most powerful alliance Bhutto would seek with the Gulf would be an ideological one; Islamic brotherhood. At the level of public diplomacy, the Islamic Summit in Lahore was seen as the right political move to further this growing bond."

May 28th, 2010 – Workshop: Government Applications of Social Media Networks and Communities, University of Maryland, Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) - Marc Smith, "Visualizing Social Data

to Improve Diplomacy Leonard Lidov, President, Morningside Analytics [:] This talk will focus on how Dr. Lidov’s firm, Morningside Analytics, uses data visualization to understand public diplomacy, both in and outside government. Morningside’s signature 'dot-maps' picturing 'Attentive Clusters' in the blogosphere have been featured in the media and opened business development doors in DC (, but they are just one of several innovative approaches the firm uses to help clients understand how its network analyses can improve their understanding of how messages move in the online 'Link Economy.'" Image from

Propaganda In America - Glenn Beck, FOX News: "How do you do change public perception? Woodrow Wilson faced a similar dilemma: He had to change the minds of the people about World War I. He created the Committee on Public Information, using handpicked propaganda gurus George Creel along with Edward Bernays and the now-revered (but spookiest person ever) Walter Lippman [sic]. Bernays was great — the Nazis' top propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, kept copies of Bernays writings in his own personal library. Creel sought to make 'associates' out of the media and went on a mission to get all Americans to conform to the pro-war viewpoint. Bernays in fact said, 'It was, of course, the astounding success of propaganda during the war that opened the eyes of the intelligent few in all departments of life to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind. It was only natural, after the war ended, that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was not possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace.'" PDPBR compiler note: "After the entry of the United States in the world war in 1917, Lippmann enthusiastically accepted an appointment as the US representative on the Inter-Allied Propaganda Board, with the rank of captain. But Captain Lippmann soon crossed swords with George Creel, chief of the Committee on Public Information, an official federal government agency that whipped up war support through jingoism. When Lippmann submitted a blistering report in 1918 on how the committee manipulated news to foster national hysteria, Creel sought his dismissal - and Lippmann quit his post to assist the US delegation at the Versailles peace conference" (Sidney Blumenthal, "Walter Lippmann and American journalism today," Open Democracy, 31 October 2007)

Managing a Country Brand, is it possible? - ‎Sandy Dhuyvetter, businesstravelradio, eTurboNews: "Simon [Anholt] specializes in national identity and reputation, public diplomacy and the public perceptions of nations, cities and regions. Acceptability and perceived value in terms of destinations is not like marketing cola.

Simon will discuss why national reputation is not judged about what a country says about themselves but rather their actions.We'll also talk about country rankings and his companies bi-annual surveys. Simon prescribes to the thought of what can we do to make ourselves more relevant not more famous. A very interesting conversation is in store." Anholt image from

Switching Careers: leaving journalism for greener pastures - WalletPop: "After graduating with a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in German in 1995, Nathan Cooper thought he had found his calling as a writer and editor. Then the recession came and the magazine publishing world was changed forever. ... ‘I was active in the Obama campaign's volunteer base and found myself lingering on his calls for all Americans to find ways to contribute to society in meaningful ways,’ he explained in an e-mail to WalletPop. ‘As I assessed my work and life goals, particularly looking for a pursuit with a strong element of service, I realized that many of the skills I had acquired in publishing were relevant to the work of a Foreign Service Officer, specifically one working in the realm of public diplomacy.' Cooper, now 36, heads to Washington, D.C. in July for training and an assignment after a grueling 18-month process, which included passing the Foreign Service Exam, a thorough security clearance investigation and an all-day, in-person oral assessment."

'Fire and Rain': How swiftly have the years flown by - ‎Pranay Gupte, Khaleej Times: "I completed college in the United States, I began a career as a reporter and then a foreign correspondent at the New York Times, I became a columnist for Newsweek International, I wrote profiles and investigative stories for Forbes, I produced documentaries for public television, and I published a newspaper on environmental and sustainability issues for more than a decade. ... So it would be fair to say that I’ve been far more fortunate than my parents.

But it would also be fair to ask, has my life been as fulfilling as theirs? To what extent has my work in journalism and public diplomacy been a catalyst for change in the societies where I’ve lived and worked? Has my life made a difference to those around me?" Image from

Interview - Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market! - Full Gastronomic Tilt: "Remember how I told you about the amazing world-travelers Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll, better known as the couple behind Uncornered Market? In between some stateside downtime, Audrey was kind enough to answer a few of my burning questions. A bit about Audrey and Daniel, from their website: We have been described as adventurers, adaptable professionals, and – most recently – as full-time travelers. Our passions: creativity, personal development, technology, public diplomacy and street food. And yes, we do believe there is a common thread woven between them all."


Obama administration gets tough on business corruption overseas - Mark Brzezinski, Washington Post: The FBI is deploying "legal attaches" in more than 75 embassies worldwide, partly to focus on bribery investigations. But how can FBI agents

prepare for this kind of work? Corruption in Paris is different from corruption in Kabul. There is no single, useful definition. As the United States claims the moral right to pursue corruption around the world, we are obliged to remember that our own record is not beyond reproach. Image from

Twits – Laura McGinnis, manIC: “Some disturbing observations about the information age ... . Ashton Kutcher has 4.97 million followers on Twitter. There are 125 countries with populations smaller than 4.97 million.The U.S. State Department, for the record, has 21,287 followers on Twitter.”

Iranian artists, musicians give voice to opposition amid censorship - Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post: Nearly a year after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory led to wide-scale protests and a fierce government crackdown, members of Iran's thriving and internationally acclaimed cultural scene have emerged as a driving force for the opposition. Filmmakers, singers and rappers are each, in their own way, pushing for social and political changes, and many are paying the price of speaking out against a government that brooks little dissent.

In response to films, songs and paintings inspired by the largest grass-roots opposition movement the country has seen since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the government has arrested artists and markedly increased censorship. Image from

Noam Chomsky takes on Israeli propaganda in an interview on Israeli TV [video] -

Israel’s botched propaganda on life in Gaza - Paul Woodward, War in Context:

Al Jazeera reports on Israel’s propaganda campaign whose aim is to promote the message that the residents of Gaza, even while living under a severe economic blockade, “have everything they need.” As part of that effort, Israel distributed video footage of a guests enjoying fine cuisine in a gourmet restaurant in Gaza — guests including Mahmoud Abbas who hasn’t set foot in Gaza since the siege began! Image from

Propaganda between the Koreas - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Saakashvili opens propaganda monument to “freedom fighters” – Russia Today: On Wednesday, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili unveiled the country’s tallest monument. The “Tower of Heroes”

is in honor of the soldiers who died for independence – but only to the ones who fought against Russia. The 48-meter-high structure of metal and plastic has golden engravings of almost 3,500 names. Many plaques are left blank, and new names will probably be added in the future. In a solemn speech, Saakashvili, the mastermind behind the tower’s concept, said he is prepared to have his name on the monument, and every true Georgian should be too. Image from article


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