Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 28-29

"I had this overwhelming feeling that China felt like a teenager. Sometimes petulant, sometimes wise. Busting with potential. Equal parts brash and insecure. Eager to show off its new threads and its place at the big kids table, yet not past throwing tantrums or acting tough when feeling unsure of itself. That China is rising is not really a question- the question is if we will see a China maturing."

--Paul Rockower, Levantine; image and caption ("As its growing pains recede, China's maturing nightlife is diversifying") from


Mexico Anti-Cartel Aid: Still Strangling in Red Tape - "The Obama Administration can ill-afford to slow up working and aiding the government of President Calderon as it goes head-to-head with the kingpins of the deadly drug business. The emergence of a 'narco-state'

in Mexico remains one of Washington’s worst security nightmares. Therefore the White House cannot backburner the assistance or let it be straight- jacketed by bureaucratic red tape and congressional tinkering. It needs to undertake additional steps — building a cross-border anti-drug coalition, strengthening military-to-military ties, and engaging in effective public diplomacy along with other measures." Image from

Leaks Destroy The American Case Against ISI - Ahmed Quraishi, International Analyst Network: "Since late 2006, United States government, military, intelligence and media have been orchestrating regular attacks against Pakistan, creating a false alarm about its nuclear capability and portraying its premier spy agency, the ISI, as a threat to world peace. The weak and apologetic reactions by Pakistan’s political and military officials encouraged this American double game. But here comes the smoking gun, more than 90,000 leaked US intelligence documents, which prove how the Washington establishment has been running a vilification campaign against Pakistan both under Bush and Obama administrations, without any evidence except malicious intent. Here is a chance for Pakistan to use these documents to argue its own case more confidently. As soon as the classified documents were leaked over the weekend, US government sprung into action to minimize damage by shifting the focus toward Pakistan. US government and military officials succeeded in making Pakistan and ISI the main story and hide the massive and spectacular US failures in Afghanistan, including evidence on war crimes and civilian carnage. It’s an exercise that bears the hallmarks of a CIA-style public diplomacy [a la Iraq invasion]."

Cape woman appointed to state department job - Cape Cod Times: "Local homeowner Dawn McCall

has been appointed coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs at the U.S. Department of State, the federal agency announced Monday. Judith McHale, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, cited McCall's leadership in international communications as key to providing the bureau with vision and expertise 'to strengthen their important global communication and engagement activities.' The Bureau of International Information Programs communicates with the public in foreign countries about U.S. policy, society and values. The bureau uses public speakers, print media and the Internet as communication tools. It also provides policy and technical support for official embassy websites and develops new social networking and other types of outreach tools. McCall founded International Media & Entertainment Partners LLC in 2009. From 1999 to 2007, McCall was president of Discovery Networks International, a division of Discovery Communications. As the senior executive in charge of Discovery's international business, McCall oversaw a staff of 1,000 and expanded the business from a single channel operating in a handful of European countries to 19 television networks and new media products offered in 170 countries in 35 languages. McCall holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, advertising and public relations from the University of Georgia." Image from

Nigerians to attend Obama forum‎ - Ifedayo Adebayo, NEXT: "Three Nigerians are among the 120 youth selected to participate in the 2010 President Barrack Obama’s Forum with Young African Leaders in Washington. Edwin Flynn, Public Diplomacy Officer in the US Embassy, said at a news conference, on Wednesday, in Abuja, that the Nigerian delegates are Taiwo Awole, Ruth Audu and Bako Kantiok. The event, slated from August 3 to August 5, would provide a platform for discussion on youth empowerment, good governance and economic opportunities for participants from more than 40 sub-Saharan African countries."

African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Brings Women to Washington, D.C.- kamran Abdi, "The African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) started yesterday in Washington, D.C., and will go on through August 3 in conjunction with the 2010 United States/sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum). Women from AGOA-eligible countries will participate in the program.

The AWEP is organized by the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the auspices of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. ... For more information, and to receive a schedule of open press events, contact: Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Public Diplomacy Office U.S. Department of State" Image from article

Senate Hearing: Scot A. Marciel, nominee for ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia - The Week That Was - "Ambassador Marciel is the current U.S. ambassador to ASEAN and deputy assistant secretary for Southeast Asia in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. In his testimony, he emphasized his mission would focus on developing the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, promoting increased opportunities for American business, and taking advantage of new public diplomacy initiatives."

Smith-Mundt in CQ Weekly – Matt Armstrong, "CQ Weekly, a publication covering Capitol Hill, ran a story by Tim Starks titled 'For Their Ears Only' on the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2010, co-sponsored by Congressmen 'Mac' Thornberry (R-TX) and Adam Smith (D-WA). ... To read the whole article, you'll have to visit the CQ website."

A Necessary Engagement: The US and the Muslim World
- "A new and more vigorous public diplomacy towards the Muslim world is needed if the US is to repair the damage done to relations with the Islamic world during the Bush administration, according to Dr. Emile Nakhleh, a former advisor to the US government on political Islam.

Dr. Nakhleh outlined the basic tenets of his recently-published book, A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing Americas Relations with the Muslim World, at a DSG Policy Forum on October 20. The entire lecture can be viewed at" Nakhleh image from

21st Century Statecraft In The Obama Administration--Same Ploys, Different Toys? – Soccer Dad: "Narrowing the goal of statecraft down a bit, Ross [Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation at America's Department of State] has been working on using Twitter in the field of digital public diplomacy [.] [']The world just doesn't seem to understand how great America is. This is the central problem of public diplomacy, which is expected to fill in the gaps between America's policies and its self-image. I'm not sure how Twitter is going to help.[']Like most tools, it works great when spreading you message to people who think the same as you and organizing them. However, there is nothing in such a tool that inherently makes a message more impacting."

OIG [Office of the Inspector general] to VOA in Islamabad: Everything looks fine. Goodbye – Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Report: WikiLeak documents mention payments to Afghan radio stations for "friendly stories" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

VOA computers cannot be used to "download, browse, or e-mail" the WikiLeaks AfPak documents - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Keller woman to leave for yearlong opportunity in Germany
‎ - Alice Murray, Fort Worth Star Telegram: "A 2006 graduate of Keller High School will become an ambassador for the United States when she travels this week to Germany to begin a yearlong business fellowship. Chrissy Grigalis, 21, graduated in May from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Communications and was accepted into the Congress-Bundestag Fellowship program in which she will spend a year studying and working in Germany. She is one of 75 young Americans selected for the program, which will have 75 counterparts from Germany come to the United States, said Will Maier, program officer for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals.

'The program was conceived and enacted in 1983 to celebrate the German-America relationship on the anniversary of 300 years of German settlers in America,' Maier said. Further, it was created as a public diplomacy initiative where participants act as ambassadors of their own country and promote a positive image for the United States and Germany, he said." Image from

Does Japan still need 23-yr-old exchange program?‎ - Tomoko A. Hosaka, The Associated Press: "JET emerged as one high-profile solution to ease trade friction, teach foreigners about Japan and open the country to the world. Under the program, young people from English-speaking countries — mostly Americans — work in schools and communities to teach their language and foster cultural exchange. They receive an after-tax salary of about 3.6 million yen ($41,400), roundtrip airfare to Japan and help with living arrangements. More than 90 percent of this year's incoming class of 4,334 will work as assistant language teachers. Word about possible cuts began filtering through JET alumni networks several weeks ago, and members of the New York group mobilized quickly, starting an online signature campaign. ... James Gannon, executive director for the nonprofit Japan Center for International Exchange in New York, describes JET as a pillar of the U.S.-Japan relationship and the 'best public diplomacy program that any country has run' in recent decades. But many taxpayers are asking if the program is worth the price — and criticism of JET has become part of a larger political showdown about how much government Japan can afford."

Indonesia - Minister: The Best Form of Diplomacy is Friendship‎
- ISRIA: "The greatest form of diplomacy is personal friendship leading to peace and cooperation between nations. This was stated by the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, at the opening ceremony of the Indonesian Art and Cultural Scholarship Program for 2010 at the Pancasila Building, Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon (26/07).

As explained at the press conference by the Directorate for Public Diplomacy, BSBI is a regular program that the Ministry has been holding since 2003. The program is aimed to optimize people to people contact through art and culture. In the upcoming future, the program is hoped to bring positive impact by pushing forward cooperation in various fields." Image from

Playing With Fire‎ - Lee Smith, Tablet Magazine - "While it is true that all states engage in a range of activities to make its case to the rest of the world—from public diplomacy to propaganda—and some Middle Eastern countries are famous for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on such efforts, the use of the Hebrew word hasbara (meaning “explanation”) indicates that the Jewish state is engaging in a dark conspiracy to pull the wool over the eyes of the public in order to justify its crimes. After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it still isn’t kosher."

The two sides of one 'peace advocate' - Atara Beck, "Checking out the personal web site of Syrian-born-and-raised attorney Hind Kabawat – winner of the Women’s Peace Initiative Award in 2007 and one of eight members of Together in Hope, a Toronto-based group of Jewish and Arab women aiming to promote dialogue and to find a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict – could lead to serious questions. For instance, the central article on the site, posted in Arabic only, refers to the 'Zionist entity' that broadcasts 'fake history, geography and religion.' ... Kabawat

divides her time between Syria and Toronto and is known for public diplomacy efforts in her native country to promote 'interfaith tolerance and cooperation.' ... She ... mentioned J Street (an American organization that 'advocates for urgent American diplomatic leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader regional, comprehensive peace') and said: 'I salute them and New Israel Fund and other human rights groups in Israel. They love Israel so much; they can criticize. They are fighting against discrimination. This is how to make the world better, fighting for justice.'" Kabawat image from

Israel's Pressing Matters - - "Sixty medical students from around the world visited IDF base Bahad 10 at Tzrifin Tuesday and learned about humanitarian medicine, at the first Humanitarian Medicine Conference (HMC). The event was organized by pro-Israel advocacy group Stand With Us. The initiative for the HMC came from 20 students from Tel Aviv University who are members of the StandWithUs Fellowship, a leadership program in public diplomacy run by the StandWithUs International Organization."

Israel's Pressing Matters - Ari Bussel and Norma Zager, "What excuses will be provided next for Israel’s failures on the Public Diplomacy Front? Lack of personnel? Insufficient funds? Politics? Corruption? The 'Other' Party or 'Someone Else is at fault,' 'We did not know,' 'We did not expect,' 'Events took an unexpected turn,' 'It concerns us not,' 'What is Israel to do?' There is more planning of excuses than strategies to avoid failure.

Wake up Israel’s leaders and guards. You are entrusted with preparing for such untold and unforeseen eventualities. ... The Israeli public is constantly misled into a false sense of security by the plethora of ministerial and governmental entities entrusted with Israel’s Public Diplomacy. More than all other failures, this is the most egregious, for the very existence of structures must be dismantled in order to improve the health and well being of the Jewish state. Israel must shift her thinking and understand the war machine must be equally divided between two fronts: the armory and public relations." Image from

Some cool information technology news images: The CSIS-Schieffer Series Dialogues: Public Diplomacy in the Digital Age [photographs] -

Pursuing Human Rights through Public Diplomacy‎ - Matt Armstrong, "The latest issue of PD is available. PD is a bi-annual magazine that focuses on one particular subject area in each issue. The theme this time around is 'Pursuing Human Rights Through Public Diplomacy', a complex area not often explored by public diplomacy researchers."

Salutations from Little Rock, Arkansas!* - Leslie, Destination: Diplomacy: "Q: What is A-100? A: A-100

is the official name of the introductory training course for entering Foreign Service Officers. It is named after the classroom that the training took place in once upon a time. Although the classroom has moved, the course name stuck. I get this feeling that the State Department likes traditions, yeah? ... Q: What will you be learning? A: Lots and lots and lots and lots! The mission and structure of the State Department, the diplomatic history of the United States, the role of public diplomacy, diplomatic security, and more! There is also some practical skills training- writing, public speaking, that kind of thing. I'm sure there's a ton more, but I don't know what it is so you'll just have to stay tuned." Image: Dodge A100 truck (1966)


Envoy Says Corruption Helps Taliban Win Recruits - Mark Landler, New York Times: "Rampant corruption in Afghanistan provides the Taliban with their No. 1 recruiting tool, the Obama administration’s special representative to the region, Richard C. Holbrooke, said Wednesday, describing it as a 'malignancy' that could destroy everything the United States was trying to achieve there. The Taliban, in their propaganda, highlight the corruption of local officials to lure people to the insurgency. 'If you read Taliban propaganda, which we study very carefully, they never mention the issue of women, girls in school, because that was their most losing issue,' Mr. Holbrooke said. 'What they talk about is corruption, which is why we’re here. That’s their No. 1 recruiting tool.'”

US directs "propaganda drama" against Iran with Russia help: Ahmadinejad - ISNA: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the US has directed a new "propaganda drama" against Iran with the help of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"Enemies have waged psychological war against Iran and some of them have made coordination with some individuals inside Iran for military attack against the country with the help of a couple of regional countries, which are friend to Iran, and Zionists to undermine Iranian nation's will as they imagine," he said Friday night in the closing ceremony of national youth festival. He added, "the propaganda drama kicked-started by Russian President's speech among the country's ambassadors where he said Iran will have got access to atomic bomb by next two years." Image from

Putin tones down anti-Ukrainian propaganda, Nemtsov says ‎- ZIK: There is a thaw regarding Ukraine in Russia public opinion, Moscow opposition leader Borys Nemtsov told Kyiv’s The Day. Public opinion in Russia is formed by Putin-controlled TV channels. When Yushchenko was president, anti-Ukrainian brainwashing was done on a daily basis, Nemtsov says. “Russian spin doctors would say that all in Ukraine were Banderites, SS-men, riff-raffs, CIA and Mossad agents, you name what. Russians were subjected to this kind of brainwashing for the past 5 years. Of course, it left the mark. You know what stunned me most? According to a public opinion survey, Russians rooted for Saudi Arabia who played Ukraine during the 2006 world soccer championship. Not for a brotherly Slavonic nation but for Russia’s main rival on oil markets! All thanks to that moronic brainwashing.” The anti-Ukrainian propaganda has now stopped. Now Moscow’s foremost bad guy is Belarus Pres Lukashenka, not the Ukrainian president. So Putin’s TV channels are busy lambasting him now.

Russian court blocks YouTube - Ben Leach, Russia's
anti-extremism laws have been criticised for being used to stifle freedom of expression.

The decision came after a video entitled "Russia for Russians," a Russian extremist slogan, was allegedly posted on the video sharing site. The court, in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, also ordered the local internet services provider, to block four other websites. The other sites were blocked for containing excerpts of Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf, which was banned by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office in March after it was found in violation of laws against extremism. Image from


Here Are Your Condi/Aretha Pics - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: So there you go: it really happened! The Washington Post was on the scene: ["] Putting Aretha Franklin and Rice together on the stage had a kind of goofy brilliance. It was evidently Franklin who decided that the two should perform together; she may have sensed, with the same stage-animal instinct she demonstrated throughout the evening, that Rice would provide curiosity value to augment, or even showcase, Franklin's entertainment value. [...] There was a single duet with Rice, who emerged from the wings like a vision from a far more formal world, sat down at the piano and began 'I Say a Little Prayer.' 'You didn't think she could play it, right?' Franklin teased the audience. But for all that Franklin had supposedly initiated this project, the on-stage interaction between the two women seemed distant; and this music certainly isn't Rice's home turf. In a nod to Rice's political roots, Franklin brought her back out to close with a song that she called 'our national anthem' and turned out to be 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' -- a mixed political message right in keeping with the general goofiness of the evening.["] Here's a photo of the odd couple (not the oddest Condi's been part of) with their bouquets:


From; see also John Brown,"10 Percent Intellectual": The Mind of Condoleezza Rice,"


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