Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 4

"It can come as a surprise, even to myself, how much you can know about what’s going on by listening to almost nothing."

--Author Jonathan Frazen; image from


Humiliation of Pak military delegation in US‎ - Sajida Khan Niazi, Pakistan Daily Mail: "Pakistani nation has become shocked, when a private television brooked the news on Tuesday midnight that a delegation of senior Pakistani military officials who were going to visit USA on invitation by US department of defense, has interrogated and rudely treated by security officials at Dulles International Airport, it considers insult of whole Pakistani nation

because the delegation was the representative of Pakistan and going to attend meeting on behalf of Pakistan. ... USA on one hand trying to built a positive sketch in public minds regarding of its policies by using public diplomacy while on other USA is loosing friends and increasing enemies by doing such humiliations, because a nation can not endure its insult." For details on this incident, see. Image from

Semper America: A Cozy Family Affair - Semperpapa, Just My Thoughts: "It is obviously a tender moment for the State Department and the Obama administration. Daisy Khan, the wife of Feisal Adbul Rauf, must have been feeling lonely with her lovely hubby away and roaming the Middle East looking for terror money for his 'bridge' at Ground Zero, so State is sending her too on a nice vacation to meet her man ... . And you will be happy to know that the trip is funded by the Amrican [sic] taxpayers, just as her husband’s is. This is known at State as 'public diplomacy' where about 1,200 Americans every year are paid to go around the world talking about what it means to live in America. Sort of a taxpayers funded oureach [sic] -to-our-enemies program. The only reason Obama does not do so on his own is because it would interfere with his golf game and that much bowing would not be healty [sic] for his back."

Photo: Public Diplomacy - Christopher R. Albon, Conflict Health:

"Caption: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Angela McLane, assigned to Combat Camera Pacific, documents two Soldiers assigned to Outlaw Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment providing overwatch security during the opening of Khalis hospital in Khalis, Diyala, Iraq, Sept. 28, 2008. Photo by Spc. Ronald Wright."

Russian officials embrace Twitter. By a mistake - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "[T]here can be many different uses for social media (public diplomacy among those). However, when they are used by official representatives themselves, the latter should not forget that social media are primarily social, and therefore can easily lead to (political) perdition."

Russia - Interview of First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov, ‘The Foreign Policy Factor in Russia’s Modernization,’ VIP-Premier, May-June 2010 - ISRIA: Denisov: "Since the beginning of the 21st century meetings with the President of the Russian Federation have been regularly held on Smolensk Square every two years in the format of a conference of RF ambassadors to various countries.

This year too, such a meeting is traditionally planned for mid-year. ... An important part of a conference is meetings of sections on various areas of our work – for example, the section on cooperation with international organizations, on the development of relations within the CIS, on economic and public diplomacy, and country and regional sections." Denisov image from

Political Dimension of International Communication - Sonam Journo, Media Studies: "[T]here is an increase in public diplomacy as well. Our political even social leaders are sing international media and the tool of international communication for influencing the political and public policies in other countries. At the same time those countries are creating diplomacy in our own country. Then there decrease in political homogeneity. The dominance of one political party/organisation/idea has come to an end."

Senior CIA Executive to Speak at SVU Devotional Sept. 10‎ - Rockbridge Weekly: "Stephanie Danes Smith, a member of the Senior Intelligence Service of the Central Intelligence Agency, will give a devotional address entitled 'On Becoming Truly Converted'

at Southern Virginia University Friday, September 10, at 11 a.m. in the Stoddard Activities Center. ... Smith was senior CIA advisor to Karen P. Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs.

In that role, Smith helped establish the state department’s first counterterrorism communications center. She also successfully developed and launched the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy, the most prestigious public diplomacy award the department bestows on private citizens." On the Benjamin Franklin award, see also. Smith image from article; Hughes image from

DUCIS Welcomes Ambassador Patrick D. Duddy, Diplomat In Residence - Dan Smith, Duke University Center for International Studies: "Ambassador Patrick D. Duddy recently accepted the post of U.S. Department of State Diplomat in Residence at the Duke University Center for International Studies. ... He most-recently served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela where he oversaw one of the most complex political, economic and public diplomacy portfolios in the Western Hemisphere. He was the chief architect of the U.S. strategy to promote American interests in Venezuela and acted to steward of one of the United States’ most important energy relationships. He also served as the lead spokesman in a nationwide public diplomacy effort to preserve strong people to people ties between the two countries while directing a staff of nearly four hundred professionals representing ten U.S. government agencies."

Daydream Believer / Day Job Achiever
- 30 Days to Fix My Life: "I need to find a job. Preferably an awesome job. Preferably like yesterday. And it’s even more pertinent for today because this afternoon I got an email from the State Department informing me that I’ve been approved to take the Foreign Service Exam in October. This is exciting since the Foreign Service is on my shortlist of possibly dream careers. That and event planning. And freelance writing. Oh, and some days I just want to make organic dog treats. I’m a little all over the place.

But living abroad and being involved in public diplomacy sounds pretty darn awesome to me. Unfortunately, immediately after I received said exciting email, I started to do a little research. Research led to heart palpitations. Listen to some of these sample questions that I found:
Approximately how many tons of the nerve agent VX remained unaccounted for in Iraq by 2002?
A. 500 pounds
B. 900 pounds
C. 1.5 tons
D. 14 tons
In the summer of 2002, longtime Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, whose grouped was blamed for attacks in more than 20 countries was found dead in the city of
A. Gaza
B. Mecca
C. Baghdad
D. Ramallah
The terror group in the Phillipines [sic - JB] with ties to al-Qaeda is
A. Jemaah Islamiyah
C. Tamil Eelam
D. Abu Sayyaf
Gah. I. Am. So. Screwed. I salute you, those of you who are informed citizens. Clearly, I’m not part of your exclusive group because I’d have a 25% chance of getting each of those right. As in, I couldn’t confidently eliminate even one answer. And I’ve always been a good test taker. Shit. ... I already purchased a prep book for the exam, and subscribed to a whole bunch of political/economic/foreign affairs-y blogs and twitterers." Image from article


The brain behind Obama's speeches: Adam Frankel, a 29-year-old responsible for oratories on healthcare, the West Virginia mine explosion and more, dismisses criticism that the president's prose has become uninspiring - Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times: A president who rose to office on the strength of his eloquence is facing criticism for delivering speeches that lack memorable turns of phrase — speeches that fail to inspire people to listen and act on what they hear.

Cordoba House Opponents Fueling Terrorist Propaganda - Cord Jefferson, The Root: The cycle of bigotry and violence continues

with the help of America’s far-right conservatives and some cowardly Democrats, whose hatred and fear of Muslims is literally being broadcast around the world. Image from

Anti-Mosque Organizers Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy‎ - Joshua Holland, AlterNet

China Launches First Medical Diplomacy Cruise - Christopher R. Albon, Conflict Health: Yesterday, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) deployed its first purpose-built hospital ship on an 87 day medical diplomacy mission.

The 10,000 ton vessel, called Peace Ark, will “provide medical treatment to soldiers and officers serving in the Gulf of Aden”, “provide medical treatment to people in five African and Asian countries – Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, the Seychelles and Bangladesh”, and “conduct various exchange programs with medical workers in the countries the ship calls at”. Image from article

Azerbaijan's propaganda based on disinformation, says Zakarian‎ - Aysor: "The initiative of the authorities of Azerbaijan to introduce in the UN General Assembly of September 9 the Resolution on Nagorno Karabakh will replenish its propaganda arsenal, while its propaganda campaigns are fully based on synthetic political views and disinformation, told media at today’s press conference Armenian lawmaker, Republican Artak Zakarian."

The BBC's propaganda for fundamentalist Islam‎- Andrew Gilligan, As we reported, and as the BBC must have known, the East London Mosque is in fact controlled by, and is the headquarters of, an Islamic supremacist group called the Islamic Forum of Europe – which, in its own words from one of its own leaflets, is dedicated to changing the 'very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed … from ignorance to Islam.”

WWII: Intense Propaganda Posters -

Artsworld – Poster art or propaganda in Lebanon – 20 Aug 08- Arstworld asks if the ubiquitous political posters in Lebanon are art or propaganda. Plus we hear some magical sounds coming out of the forests of Finland.


Gen. McChrystal's seminar: The syllabus - Yale Daily News: Retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal [via LB]

has decided on a tentative syllabus for the graduate-level seminar he is teaching this semester. Eric L. Robinson GRD '11, a research assistant for the course, sent out the following course outline Thursday afternoon to students enrolled in the class, "Leadership in Operation" (INRL 690). Note the Nov. 16 seminar theme, "Communicating the Story — the Media Environment.”

■7th September 2010: “The Importance of Leading Differently – The Changing Operating Environment”
■14th September 2010: “Case Study: The Changing Military 1972-2010”
■21st September 2010: “Role of a Leader”
■27th September 2010 (6-8pm): “Coping With Failure”
■28th September 2010 (Assignment 1 Due): “Building Teams – What Makes Some Great”
■5th October 2010: “Driving Change and Operating Differently”
■12th October 2010: “Navigating Politics”
■19th October 2010: “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 1 – How We Decide”
■26th October 2010 (Assignment 2 Due): “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 2 – Dealing With Risk”
■2nd November 2010: “Loyalty, Trust and Relationships”
■9th November 2010: “Dealing With Cultural Differences”
■16th November 2010: “Communicating the Story – the Media Environment”
■30th November 2010 (Assignment 3 Due): “The Leader – the Personal Impact of Responsibility, Notoriety and Other Realities”
■7th December 2010: “The Future Leader”; image from


Crystal Jellybean Skull only $6 in Boing Boing Bazaar - Boing Boing


"You can't neutralize anybody who has $20 billion."

--Former NY mayor Ed Koch regarding the current mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg

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