Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 2-5




"Public diplomacy is difficult because it never quite ends."

--Safiya Ghori-Ahmad, recently on a State-Department speaking tour in Pakistan; Ghori-Ahmad image from

Below Images: Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 - denverpost.com: These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations.

The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color. On the Office of War Information -- the US propaganda agency during World War II -- see.

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN THE NEWS

Africa: Leaders' Forum Seeks to Broaden, Deepen US-African Engagement - Merle David Kellerhals Jr, AllAfrica.com: "President Obama will meet with approximately 115 young African leaders from a cross section of African life to broaden and deepen an understanding of their vision for the future of sub-Saharan Africa . ... The President's Forum with Young African Leaders begins August 3 and runs through August 5. It will bring young civil society and business leaders from 45 sub-Saharan nations together with senior U.S. government officials as well as business and civil society officials for intense discussions . ... Judith McHale, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, said the delegates to the forum were nominated through U.S. missions in Africa and were selected because of their involvement in the economic and political lives of their countries. 'They're all people who've held positions or hold positions that allow them the opportunity to implement a lot of the new ideas and changes that we are seeing across Africa,' McHale told reporters."

'There's a sort of generational shift of almost seismic proportions taking place across the continent of Africa, and this is our opportunity to reach out and connect with the people who are actually leading that change.' This initiative, AGOA and the African Women's Entrepreneurship Exchange Program are part of a broader effort by the United States to deepen its partnership with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, McHale said. The U.S. government is more of a catalyst and convener for these discussions. They are being treated as a learning opportunity." See also (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).

USAID looks to expand its media-building efforts in Afghanistan - Walter Pincus, Washington Post: "Saying that 'freedom of information is essential to stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan,' the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has decided to expand its media activities in that country. Since 2002, USAID has funded a network of 43 FM radio stations in Afghanistan, trained Afghan journalists and established a content and distribution service for news and radio programming that reaches 80 radio stations. This new ambitious effort, tagged the Afghanistan Media Development and Empowerment Project (AMDEP), is described as 'essential' to expand 'the availability of reliable information that allows Afghans to make informed choices about goods, services, their government and the future of Afghanistan,' according to a pre-solicitation notice posted last week. Of course, USAID is hardly the only U.S. government agency that has become active in the Afghan media arena. Agency overlap exists -- albeit on a smaller scale -- such as the overlap within the intelligence community, as The Washington Post reported last month. In May, for example, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul announced it was open to applications from 'local representatives of civil society, including non-governmental organizations and universities,' for grants from the State Department's public diplomacy funds. Grants would range from $500 to $10 million, the notice stated, and could pay for projects that 'expand media engagement . . . build communication capacity of the Afghan people and government . . . [or] counter extremist voices that recruit, mislead, and exploit.' The U.S. military and coalition partners also sponsor various media activities in Afghanistan. A Pentagon official recently provided an example related to the Defense Department budget next year. It calls for spending $180 million on 'psychological operations' in Afghanistan and Iraq, a category once known as strategic communications. The Pentagon defines such activities as those that 'induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives.' In Afghanistan, they are almost all run by civilian contractors. ... What has been the result of the first eight years of USAID media programs? Its Afghan office is trying to find out, with a national media assessment, audience survey and efficacy study occurring this summer. Its purpose, according to USAID, is 'to gain an understanding of the role media plays in Afghan societies.'"

Kerry and Lugar introduce new investment fund for Pakistan - Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy: "Senate Foreign Relations heads John Kerry and Richard Lugar have put forth a bill that would create a new fund to lure private enterprise to Pakistan, using funds out of their own aid bill. The idea is to use money to help drive capital and foreign direct investment into Pakistan.

It's based on similar programs Congress has funded in other parts of the world, such as the Support for East European Development (SEED) Act and the Freedom Support Act (FSA), which authorized nearly $1.2 billion for USAID to establish funds throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. ... According to the original bill, the money was to be spent primarily in five areas: building democratic institutions, expanding the rule of law, promoting economic development, investing in education, and strengthening public diplomacy. These are admittedly difficult and ambitious goals, but the administration's focus on infrastructure doesn't really get at them at all, some on the Hill are saying. A committee staffer wouldn't comment on the Senate's position regarding the projects already announced, but said the committee sees the enterprise fund as something that can go alongside the administration's initiatives."

Let's be friends, not frenemies‎ - Safiya Ghori-Ahmad, alt.muslim: "This May, I traveled all over Pakistan for two weeks as a part of a State Department public diplomacy program aimed at addressing anti-American sentiment taking control of the country. As a part of the State Department’s International Visitors Program, I was able to meet with leading academics, NGOs, and students in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. ... Although the aim of my program was to talk about the American Muslim identity and women’s rights in Islam, I spent the majority of my time talking about a woman named Aafia Siddiqui, the mistreatment of Pakistanis at American airports, drone attacks, and a general barrage of frustrations with U.S. foreign policy. I’ll be honest - people in Pakistan are outraged. The minute I told people I was an American born Muslim of Indian-descent, people’s expressions would visibly change from intrigue to anger. ... [M]any Pakistanis feel that there is a disconnect between President Obama and his policies. ... Just like young people anywhere in the world, the youth in Pakistan are concerned about educational standards, job opportunities, and the national security of Pakistan. At the same time, they also love rock music, hanging out at coffee shops, and are addicted to Facebook. Alongside some young people who are disaffected and angry are those who admire the freedoms and technological advances in America. ... Pakistani youth should be America’s target demographic for increased public diplomacy initiatives. These are the people who are working to build stronger institutions in Pakistan, and dream of a stable, democratic Pakistan. Not only are they listening and engaging, but they are trying to provide constructive solutions to address the issues that they face. ... Pakistani anger at the U.S. is not permanent. Upgraded and better-funded public diplomacy initiatives can and will make a difference. American public diplomacy officers are at the forefront of this fight, and hopefully their jobs will get a bit easier due to Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Holbrooke’s commitment to dedicate more assets to public diplomacy programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

The CIA & Pakistani ISI: More In Common Than We Think? - Nida Khan, The Market Oracle: "As an American of Pakistani descent, I was met with enthusiasm, sometimes with intrigue and most often with suspicion. Walking down the streets of the country's largest metropolis, you could hear the latest Lady Gaga song blasting through someone's radio, or see your favorite Hollywood blockbuster bootlegged on the sidewalks.

But traveling to such a volatile region in a post-9/11 world, you could also easily feel a sense of growing concern. At times hesitant to congregate in crowded areas over fear of random violence, these Pakistanis were simultaneously openly critical -- yet divided -- on their views of Americans. [W]e are not -- and never have been -- at war with Pakistan. So why is it that our own intelligence agency and military engages in secret, covert attacks that have led to the deaths of over 700 civilians in 2009 alone? If our own undisclosed actions conflict with our public diplomacy, can we really be enraged when Pakistanis are alleged to do the same?"

US bid to win Pakistani minds and hearts‎ - Anita Joshua, The Hindu: "Eager to show itself as an 'all-weather friend' of Pakistan — a position currently held by China — and not just an ally in the ‘global war on terror’ (GWOT), the United States is making its presence felt in the international support extended to the strife-ravaged country as it battles the worst flood in this region in 80 years. And, since the U.S. has taken a drubbing in public perception — where the dominant view is that Americans will walk out on Pakistan after it is done with the GWOT and that Pakistan is paying a heavy price for an American agenda — much attention is being paid to public diplomacy and every installment of assistance to the flood-affected areas is announced to the media. Fact sheets are being issued on a daily basis to the media on the ‘U.S. Response to Pakistan’s Flooding Disaster’. ... Thus, the American relief effort seeks to show the U.S. presence among the devastated multitudes. The bags of food clearly bear the Star-Spangled Banner and as of Wednesday night, 4,60,000 halal meals from U.S. stocks in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region had been handed over to the authorities in Pakistan. Minute details of the efforts are being provided to the media such as the U.S. Transportation Command Commander Duncan McNabb having brought on his flight 12,200 halal meals for emergency ration distribution during a scheduled visit to Pakistan earlier this week. That U.S. helicopters have rescued more than 730 people and transported more than 4,990 kilograms of aid to victims trapped in remote areas."

WikiLeaks' Pakistan-fixated cyber activism - Muhammad Nawaz Khan, Pakistan Daily Mail: "WikiLeaks’ Pakistan-fixated hyperboles are explicit array of assaults inflicted on State pillars of Pakistan.

The timing of the secret reportage is ominous, as it endorses the pressure tactics being applied on Pakistan to mount an attack on North Waziristan. Instead of brooding over the American failures and war crimes that remained concealed from the world for eight years, the mainstream US media chose once again to indulge in rampant and endemic anti-Pakistanism leading to a rude awakening, messaging antithetical consequences for the regional interests and Afghanistan’s stability. US government and military officials succeeded in making Pakistan and ISI the lead story and ensconced 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."

Obama's Cairo speech yields fruit in Damascus, a year later: President Obama's Cairo speech in June 2009 opened the door for a flurry of grass-roots diplomacy that supporters hope will lead to broader rapprochement - Sarah Birke, Christian Science Monitor: "Public diplomacy is taking off in Syria, where an initial thaw in relations with the US has opened up new opportunities – despite frustration that Washington has yet to send a new ambassador more than a year after promising to renew diplomatic ties. This week, a new US non-profit organization – Open Hands Initiative – started its first project in Syria. Disabled children from the US will meet with their Syrian counterparts in Damascus, producing a comic book featuring a disabled hero, while an American music producer will work with Syrian artists to record material to promote abroad. Open Hands is not alone. Last week, Houston-based American Voices ran its YES (Youth Excellence on Stage) Academy ran a workshop for Syrian musicians, culminating in two concerts. The flurry of activity is new. Organizations found it almost impossible to work in Syria under the previous US administration. ... A new generation of Syrian youth growing up in a globalized age – where coffee costs $4 even in Damascus – have a different mind set. 'People here distinguish between people and politics, especially young people who are less concerned with politics than their parents,' says John Ferguson, the founder of American Voices, who has run projects around the world since founding the organization in 1993. 'They want to have new experiences and to use those to judge for themselves what they hear about the US.' Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma believes the initiatives will have mutual benefits, also affecting how Washington views Syria. 'This sort of soft diplomacy – as well as rising tourism – will have an effect on Washington in time,' he says. 'There is so much ignorance about Syria – some of which can be blamed on the Syrian authorities – but most people who visit love it and wonder why it is demonized.'”

Brazil Seeks New Balance in US Relations - sustainabilitank.info: "Advertising posters on the sides of Manhattan bus shelters are part of a new campaign to help Americans understand Brazil. And with a new defense agreement and regional issues taking on greater importance Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism Wednesday hosted Brazil Corporate Communications Day. These events couldn’t have come at a better time. Over the past year China replaced the United States as Brazil’s top trade partner, the World Trade Organization awarded Brazil the right to impose up to $830 million in sanctions in a cotton subsidies dispute and Hillary Clinton’s State Department launched a public diplomacy campaign critical of president Lula’s foreign policy. Against this backdrop, the Pentagon has characterized the new military to-military pact as being 'aspirational.' Brazil, by opting for negotiations rather than maxing out sanctions against a key ally, has projected a balanced, non-confrontational style for government and business to deal with foreign counterparts."

U.S. Should Prioritize English-Language Promotion – Frankie Sturm, World Politics Review: "Disney is picking up steam in China, and in addition to bringing cartoon characters, theme parks, and Americana, it's also bringing the English language. U.S. policymakers should take notice. During the next five years, Disney will spearhead a massive expansion of English-language schools in China, from a mere 11 today to 148 by 2015. According to Russell Hampton, president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, the expansion could deliver operating earnings of more than $100 million. In other words, teaching English is good for business.

But it can also deliver strategic benefits in terms of trade, public diplomacy and even military strength. That's why English-language programs should be given more priority in U.S. foreign policy. ... Teaching English can also provide a helping hand to U.S. public diplomacy. When other initiatives are falling on deaf ears, English-language training could pay dividends. Take Pakistan, where the U.S. is funding expensive television content that portrays the life of Muslims in America. Unfortunately, according to Katherine Brown, a former communications adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul who recently returned from a research trip to Pakistan, such efforts are instantly received by their target audience as propaganda. ... [T]he U.S. has not given English-language programming the funding priority it deserves. To its credit, the Obama administration did request ... additional funds for English-language programs in its FY2010 budget, but the overall numbers remain low." See also.

The Battle Over Internet Regulatory Paradigms: An Intensifying Area For Public Diplomacy - Monroe E. Price, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, US Center on Public Diplomacy: "As global framing contests go, one of the most spectacular is the transnational effort to define proper regulation of the Internet (and in the process characterize China’s information policy). In June, China’s State Information Office issued a White Paper on the Internet. It could be seen as a response to another important text, Hillary Clinton’s much acclaimed January Newseum speech on the same subject, called 'Remarks on Internet Freedom.' ... Here, then, is the essence of China’s international pitch: 'To build, utilize and administer the Internet well is an issue that concerns national economic prosperity and development, state security and social harmony, state sovereignty and dignity, and the basic interests of the people….' Administration and management are the key to making the Internet successful in the society, not autonomous free market growth. ... The players are sharpening their arguments and lining up support—and the stakes are large. The Clinton speech and the China Internet White Paper will be important monuments as the diplomacy and public diplomacy battles unfold."

Digital Diplomacy: So what if Hillary Clinton's "21st Century Statecraft" isn’t exactly reinventing international relations for the information age? It's still a worthy endeavor - Sam Dupont, Foreign Policy: “'21st Century Statecraft,’ ... [is] a new diplomatic initiative that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has fully embraced over the past year.

Forget the grandiose name; the idea behind it is actually a modest, practical one: In today's interconnected world, individuals and organizations -- not just countries -- can play a defining role in international affairs, and the State Department needs to capitalize on this new landscape. Ultimately, Foggy Bottom plans to infuse its mission with an understanding of how the global communications network ties the world together; for now, the initiative consists of a series of smaller projects designed to use the Internet, mobile phones, and social media to promote U.S. foreign-policy goals."

Twitter, YouTube, the State Department and public diplomacy - The Strategy Den Blog: I was excited to read this article in the New York Times. It is edifying to see that Cohen and Ross can get peoples’ attention at State, and may even influence how people at embassies do their jobs. One thing to keep in mind is that in most dictatorships or countries characterized by a deficient civil society, people are media savvy. They assume that state sanctioned media outlets are, for the most part, tools to perpetuate presidential power or make money for elites served by those outlets. For a short time, people with unfettered Internet access in less democratic countries may look at Web sources like Twitter, Wiki Leaks or YouTube, but it is unlikely that they will view them as any more credible than other media sources. They are also aware that ruses and hoaxes exist on the Internet. Events portrayed in YouTube videos like that showing the death of Neda Agha-Soltan are not conclusive enough proof to many people. Videos, photos, provocative stories with little factual substance or just made up stuff… People don’t know what to believe anymore. In the countries where I work, I sense that educated and not so educated people feel that information from all sources is disseminated for the benefit of its creator."

VOA computers cannot be used to "download, browse, or e-mail" the WikiLeaks AfPak documents (updated) – Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting

RFE/RL journalist arrested covering environmental protest in Moscow – Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting


Report: VOA and DW not yet on list of authorized media in Rwanda - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Report: US ambassador [to Kosovo] says he did not say what VOA said he said - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Time to Discipline DOD: The Disappointing Perry-Hadley Report - Gordon Adams, Huffington Post: "[T]he report [the report of the Independent Review Panel on the DOD Quadrennial Defense Review], like the QDR [DOD Quadrennial Defense Review], betrays, sadly, an all-to-common reality of US strategic planning. It is all done from a military perspective, and has been since the Nitze containment analysis of the late 1940's. The challenges we face are all described as military challenges, and the missions of the military now continually expand to meet new challenges - from nation-building to public diplomacy to foreign assistance to advice on how to govern to solving the energy crisis to climate change. There seems to be no end of the mission list and no end to the role of the military. This is what Adm. Mullen was worried about when he warned of 'the militarization of US foreign policy.'"

The Road Home: Deployment Reflections from Iraq - DoD Live: "Army Capt. Rebecca Walsh is the public affairs officer for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. This is her second deployment to Iraq’s Salah ad-Din province. Last September my unit, the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division left Fort Riley Kansas for northern Iraq’s Salah ad-Din province.

As the brigade public affairs officer I focused not just on telling the story of the 'Dragon' brigade, but working with the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s Public Diplomacy section to support their efforts to foster relationships with local reporters. For the pasts 11 months I’ve listened to stories of Iraqi reporters and their struggles to fight through fear and intimidation to report the news. Over cups of sugary chai they have told me how they hope the seeds of democracy will continue to grow so that they can keep enjoying the freedom to write what they want and even speak out against the government without worry of being imprisoned, tortured and killed."

3rd Brigade update: Fixing corruption at the local level - Benjamin R. Kibbey, WLTZ - NBC 38: "HILLA, Iraq – Traditionally, Iraq has been an incredibly centralized country. Policy, administration and even utilities were kept tightly controlled and everything that happened was directed from Baghdad. ... Bob Wong, the public diplomacy officer for the U.S. State Department’s Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, said that the movement to more decentralized practices is absolutely critical. 'Historically in Iraq, initiatives have come from the top down,' said the Eustis, Fla. native. 'What we’re trying to do here is foster local control of those responsibilities.' A good example is rule of law, Wong said, as people are very aware of the corruption that takes place there. 'Well, of course there’s corruption when you don’t have somebody at the bottom end watching the people at the top end and vice-versa,' he said."

Kazakh delegation to study TB control‎ - Julie Bryant Fisher, Bizjournals.com: "The Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV) is hosting a special delegation from Kazakhstan that will visit Georgia’s leading health care institutions and organizations to study better ways to manage tuberculosis (TB). The delegation arrives in Atlanta Aug. 4 and will study successful U.S. models for management and social support for Tuberculosis patients. The GCIV is coordinating the three-week Community Connections exchange program funded by USAID.

The Community Connections Program, managed by the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by World Learning, is designed to promote public diplomacy through the exchange of cultural ideas and values among participants, U.S. families and local community host organizations. The program seeks to establish and strengthen links between U.S. communities and communities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV) is a nonprofit organization that works with the U.S. Department of State and other agencies to develop a broad spectrum of professional and cultural exchange programs for emerging global leaders. GCIV’s non-partisan citizen diplomacy programs provide Georgians with unique opportunities to share best practices, insights, and friendship with distinguished visitors to the United States. Last year, GCIV hosted nearly 500 visitors from 124 different countries."

Great Falls Students Visit Japan‎ - Great Falls Connection: "This year’s graduating sixth grade Great Falls Elementary School Japanese Immersion Program (JIP) class, accompanied by parents and some of the younger siblings who are also in the program, as well as their teacher Sahara Sensei — AKA Mamiya Worland — visited Japan July 1-14. There were 25 participants in all. ... The Great Falls students ... met the deputy minister of education, as well as the director general of the Public Diplomacy Department at the Ministry of Public Affairs."

Time to realise the days of 'quiet diplomacy' are over - bangkokpost.com: "Apparently, the old guard within the Thai Foreign Ministry hold tightly to their obsolete diplomatic textbook, that diplomacy must be conducted in secrecy and away from the public glare, especially when they deal with sensitive issues. As one watches the unfolding of Thailand's business of international relations, one cannot help but think that Thai diplomats are still trapped in the last century. With the greater flow of information and the birth of new media, including the emergence of Wikileaks, it is becoming clear that diplomacy can no longer be practised without greater public scrutiny.

The intricate issue of the Preah Vihear temple deserves to be better explained to the Thai public. The reason is clear: to prevent certain political factions from taking advantage of the issue while stirring up irrational nationalism once again. It is time for the Foreign Ministry to educate Thais about the true nature of the conflict, or should I say, the misunderstanding that has led to the conflict with our Cambodian neighbour. The latest controversy erupted following the alleged proposal by the Cambodian government to develop the overlapping area adjacent to the sacred temple - the 4.6-sq km buffer zone over which Thailand and Cambodia both claim possession - to fulfil its listing of the Hindu temple as a World Heritage site. ... The lack of information on the part of the government permits different interest and pressure groups to dangerously indulge in their own interpretations of the situation. The Foreign Ministry could start a more 'public diplomacy' by providing the proper context and correct information on its own website, pertaining to the Preah Vihear conflict, so as to benefit the current debate on the issue. So far the Foreign Ministry's website seems to have been reserved strictly as a forum to showcase the activities of Thai embassies abroad. It is a platform for ambassadors to compete for the spotlight at the headquarters. Nothing more, nothing less."

Effective diplomacy required to counter the separatist lobby overseas - Srinath Fernando, The Island.lk: "Sri Lanka received excellent support in the form of materials, training and intelligence from United States, Israel, India, China and Pakistan and none of these countries has been sent a message of gratitude for having stood by us at the critical moment in our history. With the decimation of LTTE military wing there is a clear convergence of forces lined up against Sri Lanka. Now the war on the battle front is over and we need to wage a Public Diplomacy (PD) war on the international front which is complimentary to the official diplomacy. President needs to silence the loose canons in the first place and appoint a National Committee on Public Diplomacy by harnessing the skills of experts in this field. This is a new phenomenon to Sri Lanka. Israel seems to be the only country with expertise in mobilising public opinion and PD programs through various Jewish Diaspora organizations. ... Sri Lankan associations overseas need to be converted to Political Action Committees in line with the laws of the respective countries with the active coordination by the Ministry of External Affairs. There should be a PD strategy for each country along with official diplomacy. ... PD is a public relations effort aimed at areas where official diplomacy is minimal or absent and this should be carried out in conjunction with official diplomacy. We need to exploit every available opportunity to demystify adverse propaganda through international print and electronic media as well as organising cultural and educational events overseas and by closely monitoring the activities of pro-separatist lobby."

Israel Cannot Win the PR War Without A Paradigm Shift‎ - Ari Bussel, NewsBlaze: "Israel is entangled in bureaucracy, making any movement with ease and agility close to impossible.

There are multiple government ministries and offices whose assignment covers different aspects of public diplomacy, but in totality they achieve very little with negative results (i.e. harming Israel where they should be helping) . ... Israel's total investment in its PR efforts is negligible at best, often far less than what a company would spend annually on advertisement. If one looks at the priorities map of Israel drawn against expenditure of resources (money, person-power, etc.), PR or Public Diplomacy is on the very bottom, approaching zero. The void is only partially filled by philanthropists underwriting the work of NGOs. The balance is charged against Israel in continued deterioration of her position. How can the situation be corrected? One way ... is for a leader to rise who will have the courage to make officials, whether appointed or elected, accountable for their actions, position Israel's Public Diplomacy as a top priority, alongside defense, social services, health care and education and dismantle the huge bureaucracy now existing. This could be accomplished by shifting resources to dry up those branches that are only concerned with their own self-importance in favor of tending to the very fragile new growth."

Exclusive Interview with Melody Sucharewicz - DEFEND ISRAEL is a pro-Israel and pro-Western but unPC Jewish blog: "For those of you who don't know Melody is, to quote her Wikipedia entry; 'the winner of the second season of Israel's popular TV show, The Ambassador, a reality series resembling Donald Trump's The Apprentice TV format, though instead of business its theme is public diplomacy and political PR. Elected among hundreds of candidates. The aim is to choose, amongst several thousands of young professionals, a spokesperson for Israel. Rhetoric and diplomatic skills, social competence, coping with hostile media, and skills in creative political PR of 14 final candidates were tested throughout a series of international challenges (Uganda, Sweden, Russia, United States), later broadcast on Israel’s Channel Two. The three finalists of the show held speeches on their vision of peace at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.' ... 8. What have you be involved in in terms of being pro-Israel? [Sucharewicz:] Lectures, talk shows, interviews, MC-ing events and demonstrations, all in all: public diplomacy with the attempt to bring Israel - what and how it really is – closer to the hearts and minds of people around the world, especially in Europe. Pro-Israel for me is pro-peace, i.e. pro-peaceful coexistence with Palestinians, so I also am involved with organizations who substantially advance this latter cause such as the Peres Center for Peace."

Should We Stop Using The "A" Word? - Ira Sharkansky, Shark Blog: "I understand that the Foreign Ministry has an 'inquiry commission' (probably by another name) looking at the media and public-diplomacy aspects of the Gaza flotilla fiasco.

This is one way of calling for better Israeli explanations of what it does, and better campaigns to defend itself against outrageous accusations. That would be nice. Maybe ideal. However, the proposal has been around for a long time. It surfaces whenever there is a perceived loss to those who accuse Israel of abominations. I doubt that it is doable."

6000 Students to Eilat Mega-Festival to Promote Israel's Image - Eli Stutz, Arutz Sheva: "Eilat is in for a mix of fun and diplomacy on a grand scale. FunJoya, a first-of-its-kind mega-festival for students from around the globe, is expected to bring 6000 students in September to the vacation city on southern the tip of Israel. The festival, which will take place September 2-4 in Eilat with a Tourism Ministry investment of 4 million shekels (slightly more than $1 million), is expected to attract students from Israel and overseas, including, among others, England, Holland, Italy, Poland and Spain. The 2-night, 3-day festival will offer participants a pleasant vacation packed with social and cultural events, movie screenings, karaoke, stand-up performances and live music shows. The students will also participate in workshops and debates on various political, diplomatic and public diplomacy issues."

Hasbara For Israel - 613 - August 3, 2010: Special Update: Israel-Lebanon Border Clash: "Written by Benjamin Sack Director of National Initiatives Department of Public Diplomacy[.]"

Finland - Ministry's media training programme for young foreign journalists gets underway - ISRIA: "The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has invited 21 newly graduated or graduating journalism students to attend a four-week media training programme in Finland. The average age of the students on the Foreign Correspondents’ Programme (FCP) is 23 and they come from Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine, and the United States.

The course begins on Monday, August 2 and runs through to Friday, August 27. Its aim is to broaden the participants’ interest in Finland, to foster a positive attitude towards Finland and a deeper understanding of the country, and to sharpen Finland’s profile. In the longer term the programme can be seen as an investment in future media relations and as such as an integral part of the Ministry’s efforts in the field of public diplomacy."

'Government should see reputation as people's most valuable asset'‎ - Neta Nwosu, Daily Sun: "Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora speaks more on national reputation, consequences of the military rule, leadership and other contemporary issues. Excerpts: ... National reputation is a formed opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of outsiders toward a group of entities called nation, on a certain criterion. The core of national reputation essentially lies on how a nation as a whole; its people behave towards, interact with, and present themselves to other nations and their people. Sen. Mamora observed that since the advent of globalization, national reputation has become ever more critical assets in the modern world. Attempts to enhance these assets are sometimes pursued by Governments under the name of 'nation branding’- all too often a naïve, ineffectual and application of commercial marketing techniques- and sometimes in a narrow and primitive form of public diplomacy. ... Whether we are speaking of competitive identity or public diplomacy, there seems little doubt that if the world’s governments placed half the value that most wise corporations have learned to their names, the world would be a safer and quarter place than it is today."

China: Assessing “Core Interests”-driven Foreign Policy - D.S.Rajan, C3S Paper No.557 dated August 5, 2010, Chennai Centre for Chinese Studies: "Formation of new institutions in the Chinese Foreign Ministry assumes significance in the context of China’s focus on ‘core interests’.

They are – 31-member Foreign Policy Advisory Group (Wai Jiao Zheng Ci Wei Yuan Hui) under the Foreign Ministry Party Committee, formed on 14 October 2008 and led by Wang Guangya; Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs (DBOA), set up on 5 May 2009, a week before fixing of outer limits of continental shelf by the UN Convention on Law of the Sea; Centre for Consular Assistance and Protection, and Public Diplomacy Office."

[Yang resume] Minister of Foreign Affairs - replica-handbags-chanel: "[Yang] I would like here to mention more than a year we are trying to co-ordinate geographical regions and specific areas of foreign diplomacy, this little to say a few more. We are well aware of geographical regional diplomacy, such as big power diplomacy, peripheral diplomacy, diplomacy with developing countries, and even a degree of multilateral diplomacy. But the specific areas of diplomacy, we need more attention, that is, such as economic diplomacy, security, diplomatic, cultural diplomacy, public diplomacy and so on. [2009-03-07 10:06:28]"

Carleton Opens India Centre - Kenneth Gray, Ottawa Citizen: "This is a release from Carleton University: Carleton University has officially launched the Canada India Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy. Unique to Canada, the centre will raise awareness of bilateral studies and public diplomacy, and develop initiatives to build a better understanding of both countries.

The launch of the centre was marked by a recent visit from Shri Sanjiv Nair, Mission Director for Geospatial Applications in India's Department of Science and Technology. The event was hosted by Carleton President Dr. Roseann O'Reilly Runte and involved representatives from the Indian High Commission, the Government of Canada and the private sector."

Del poder blando al inteligente: crónica de un concepto (I) - Felipe Santos, diplomacia pública: A blog in spanish by Felipe Santos on Public Diplomacy, Smart Power and the common ground shared by Strategic Communication, Politics, Diplomacy, Security and Defense: "Podría parecernos que el concepto de diplomacia pública es algo nuevo, como todos esos nuevos términos que se han venido acuñando desde cayera el Muro de Berlín con el fin de explicarnos, de una forma algo improvisada y provisional, el momento histórico que nos ha tocado vivir. La realidad es que muchos de ellos han permanecido latentes entre las costuras de la Historia para cobrar vida de repente, como si surgieran de la nada, impulsados por los nuevos avances tecnológicos y sociales. A la diplomacia pública le ha ocurrido lo mismo. Su eclosión no significa que la diplomacia tradicional vaya a desaparecer, como se discutía fútilmente en algunos foros especializados hace unos años, sino que las relaciones internacionales no pueden entenderse hoy sin el eco ni la proyección que la imagen de los países ejercen sobre los ciudadanos y dirigentes del resto del mundo. Cuando menos, la diplomacia pública forma parte ineludible del cuadro de toma de decisiones en las estrategias de política exterior."

British prime minister's terrorism allegations anger Pakistan - Jamie Munn, opendemocracy.net: "Comments Lawrence Efana [:] We might have a million and one or more definitions of 'public diplomacy',

nonetheless - criticize the old and allow the space for the new to emerge, do not choak it at this time of the lessons, abnormal sufferings and longing for redefined change, progress cum peace - I know it is 'man-made' world!"

What I'm Reading: Soft Power - buildingpeace.netI've: "I hear a lot about 'soft power' these days. Joseph Nye brought the term into both popular and academic discourse, and now it appears everywhere from IR articles to political speeches to university lectures. My professors at UJ are particularly fond of Joseph Nye and like to speculate about what soft power means -- usually in the context of American foreign policy. I've had a nagging sense that many people who use the term 'soft power' don't understand what it means, so I finally decided to read the book. Nye defines soft power as 'the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies.' When Nye unpacks this definition, the result is about what I expected: a lot of emphasis on multi-lateralism, coalition building, public diplomacy, cultural exchanges, and foreign policies that win friends rather than alienating them. Nothing struck me as particularly novel, but Nye has composed an organized, systematic presentation for what soft power is and how it can be employed."

Daily Cultural Diplomacy News -- cites recent articles pertaining to Cultural Diplomacy


Spice Island Gastrodiplomacy – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Apparently Indonesia has also done some gastrodiplomacy. They established a Restaurant Task Force back in 2008 to try to expand the Indonesian culinary diplomacy outreach in the US."

CIT appoints new head of comms, marketing and gov. relations at CIT‎ - Asset Finance Europe: "CIT continues to transform its senior management team. This week in a significant catch the global finance provider appointed Margaret D. Tutwiler (59) former US undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and former US ambassador to Morocco as executive vice president, head of communications, marketing and government relations. She will report directly to chairman and CEO John A. Thain."

No Instruction (Part 2) – Matt’s Samoa Blog: "I admit I try to be liked. I’ve still got emotional scars from my own years in middle school, and consequently, I try and carry myself in a manner that will make students and staff like me.

This actually works well in the Peace Corps because from a public diplomacy standpoint, they also want me to be liked. I’m not saying I’m a foul, despicable ass in sheep’s clothing; I’m just saying I consciously try to put the best foot forward. And sometimes diplomat Matt and teaching Matt run into conflicts."

Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas Fellow Dr. Gerald Galloway Examines Water Management (source: Dipnote) - mynewsledger.com: "About the Author: Tina Huang serves in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the Office of Public Diplomacy."

Job Vacancy (Indonesia): Konsulat Jenderal Amerika Medan - Job Vacancy Center: "POSITION Public Affairs / Economic Assistant, FSN-8*; FP-6* . ... BASIC FUNCTION OF POSITION: Under the supervision of the Deputy Principal Officer and the guidance from the Political / Economic Specialist and Public Diplomacy Assistant, the incumbent is responsible for supporting the U.S. education and exchange programs as well as economic and commercial programs, analysis, and reporting."

RELATED ITEMS

NATO's Abysmal Effort to Win Afghani Hearts - Worldmeets.us: "According to NATO records for July, Taliban insurgents were responsible for at least 95 civilian deaths and wounding another 235. Unfortunately, the Afghan government and NATO have been unable to tar the militants with the carnage.

Militant and insurgent propaganda, however, has succeeded spectacularly in using casualties that result from the counter-insurgency against Kabul and the international community."

Wikigate - The Truth Will Out - Eric Margolis, Huffington Post: "I've been reporting on the untruths and propaganda about the Afghan War since 2001 when, as an old Afghan hand, I wrote to warn the US not to get involved in Afghanistan. WikiLeaks has done the world a service by confirming what critics of the Afghan War have long been saying."

Control freaks – The Ottawa Citizen: There is both a business and a moral imperative for companies like Research in Motion to stand up to totalitarian governments. The Canadian company has been in a spat with the United Arab Emirates over its BlackBerry smart-phones.

The UAE government has threatened to suspend BlackBerry services if it doesn't get access to encrypted messages. Communications technology is a powerful antidote to propaganda. That's why the Internet scares governments that rely on propaganda to keep their populations in control. That's why the U.S. government has been calling the spat between RIM and the UAE a freedom-of-speech issue. In Iran or Saudi Arabia, if the government has the ability to look over your shoulder, the chances are very good that it will.

ISAF: ISAF Discusses Insurgent Propaganda Messaging - Operations in Afghanistan: Official Blog for UK Military Operations in Afghnistan: A senior ISAF intelligence official conducted a press conference here today to discuss propaganda and contradictory messaging employed by Taliban leadership. “The Taliban attempt to manipulate the media in order to misrepresent the truth and deny the Afghan people their basic right to free and independent media,” the official said. According to the official, the Taliban use a formalized propaganda network overseen my Mullah Omar and executed by media spokesmen, including Yousaf Ahmadi and Zabiullah Mujahid.

August 04, 2010; Assessment Criteria On Diplomacy And International Relations Assignment Module - Thinking Made Easy” Question: Discuss The Similarities And Differences Between Public Diplomacy And Propaganda.

Assessment Criteria: In marking students essays, the lecturers will consider: •The extent to which the remit of the assignment has been met' The degree to which the theories, concepts and data are described, discussed, integrated and contextualized,The range of research and collation of information and material. •the structure and coherence of the argument. •The originality of the analysis. •The clarity and accuracy with which ideas are expressed. •The selection and correct attribution of sources in support of an argument.

The Positive Power of Propaganda - Rob Oakes, Apolitically Incorrect: “[P]ropaganda is a necessary form of communication. It’s one of the most effective tools for influencing the attitude of a community over time. ... In fact, propaganda is little more than communications tool and is hardly nefarious. (Though it can certainly be abused, just as statistical/scientific reporting can also be used to confuse and mislead.) A good piece of propaganda tells a story in an effective manner or presents information within an appropriate context. The difference between propaganda and impartial reporting is that propaganda uses arguments, evidence, pleas to emotion and opinion to influence an audience. Over the past few days, I’ve been looking into one very interesting piece of anti-slavery propaganda. In his latest book, beautiful evidence, Edward Tufte publishes a schematic of a slave ship. It chronicles, in gruesome accuracy, the close confines of the Vigilante, a French slaver ship captured in 1823 by the British Navy.

Exhibition Shows Both Koreas Using Stars for Propaganda - The Chosun Ilbo: An exhibition of South and North Korean propaganda pamphlets from the 1980s and 90s shows that both sides used celebrities to appeal to people across the border. Among the North Korean pamphlets displayed in the DMZ Museum in Goseong, Gangwon Province, one features the Korean Wave star Bae Yong-joon, who is known as "Yonsama" in Japan. It often shocks the actor's adoring Japanese fans who visit the museum.

In the pamphlet, Bae, holding a child in his arms and wearing his trademark 1,000-watt smile, says, "I want to live in the loving arms of gracious General Kim Jong-il." In another pamphlet, actress Lee Seung-yeon has her thumbs up with a message that reads, "Long live General Kim Jong-il, pride of the people." Image from article: Clockwise from left, a North Korean propaganda leaflet featuring actor Bae Yong-joon; a leaflet sent from the South to the North featuring actress Won Mi-kyung; and another leaflet from the North featuring actress Lee Seung-yeon.

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