Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20

"During World War II, British officials still tended to use the words 'information,' 'propaganda,' and 'publicity' interchangeably among themselves, but the popular view had long since changed, and the public was primed to accept Orwell's now common assumption, canonized by 1984, that any official linkage between information and government is intrinsically sinister."

--Mark Wollaeger, Modernism, Media, and Propaganda: British Narrative from 1900 to 1945 (2006), p. 7; image from


Clinton On Mideast Peace Talks: ‘What’s The Alternative? -

Political News & Thoughts Keeping the Politicians Honest: "On This Week with Christiane Amanpour, an interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. First of all, this is public diplomacy. Obviously, Clinton is only telling the truth as it suits the long-term Mideast strategy." Image from

America The Invisible - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "The British Embassy recently announced the three month American tour of the Tricycle Theatre Company’s production of 'The Great Game: Afghanistan' that began September 15 in Washington, DC. 'The Great Game' has been playing in London since 2009. As a part of the UK’s public diplomacy efforts in the US, the British Council plans 'to host a slate of energetic public events exploring ideas from the Great Game' with high profile speakers from the media, public diplomacy, cultural communities and others who engage interactively with audiences. ... [T]he British government clearly thinks it worthwhile to attempt to influence American public opinion and not just that of our government officials. Witness the British public diplomacy efforts I wrote about at the beginning of this post. And come to think of it, isn’t the US-UK relationship supposed to be 'special?' ... [F]or all intents and purposes, the US presence in London appears to be confined to a less than inviting Embassy webpage seemingly emanating from behind the walls of a well fortified fortress on Grosvenor Square. Last spring, the Embassy has announced plans to move away from the center of power to an even more fortified fortress, ur-um office building, in a redevelopment area on the Thames' south bank. ... Voids tend to get filled – and unless the US changes its approach to the public in places like London, Paris and elsewhere in Europe, the something that fills the void won’t be pretty."

Spirit of Frank Zappa returns to Baltimore - The rocker's exploits are rooted in L.A., but a twist of fate sends a special statue to his hometown - Richard Simon, "A bronze bust of the mustachioed Zappa — one of rock's great iconoclasts — was donated by Zappa fans from Lithuania, which has had its own Zappa sculpture

in the capital, Vilnius, since 1995. Although Zappa never visited the Baltic country, he was admired there for his advocacy of free expression as well as for his music. ... The Zappa bust might have ended up in Los Angeles — if not for a cultural attache at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius who happened to be from Baltimore. He suggested the city when the Lithuanian Zappa fans offered to donate the statue." Via WM. Image from

Islamaphobia, Whitewashes, VOA and Media Criticism - Alex Belida, VOA News Blog: "Two reports by VOA correspondents on the controversy over plans to build an Islamic center near the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City have come under fire. One of the critiques scolded VOA for underplaying anti-Islamic sentiment in the U.S. while the second accused VOA of overplaying anti-Muslim attitudes among Americans. ... Journalists ... believe this: if you’re being criticized by both sides, you must be doing something right."

A Funding Question About VOA’s New Afghan TV Program - Alex Belida, VOA News Blog

Iran - Ahmadinejad to nullify hegemonic equations - official, ISRIA: "Deputy Foreign Minister in Science and Research Affairs Mohammad-Baqer Khorramshad said on Sunday President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech in New York will annul the hegemonic system and equations. Talking to IRNA while referring to the UN General Assembly underway in New York, Khorramshad said the assembly would be an ample opportunity for Iran to criticize the present unfair international system. He further said public diplomacy and arrogance are two important issues that the Islamic Republic of Iran will talk about in the assembly. The US has been trying to prevent the Iranian voice from being heard worldwide, Khorramshad

said, however Iran's voice has been the most sonorous one in the global communities. President Ahmadinejad arrived in New York early on Sunday to attend the 2010 United Nations General Assembly." Khorramshad image from

Crisis in Aggressive Diplomacy‎ - Al-Arabiya: "Generally the public diplomacy of the Iranian administration, which the ninth and tenth government prided themselves with, and which has been useful to it because of its aggressive nature, requires that there be some support for its views and posture among its target audience. The new atmosphere indicates that Ahmadinejad has been stepping away from his aggressive posture and is getting closer to a defensive posture. But the rapid and significant drop in the popularity of the Iranian leadership after the among public opinion of Muslim countries and the developing countries after the rise of the green movement had already constrained the active and aggressive diplomacy even prior to these events. And now the express and open criticism made by Fidel Castro indicates that Iran’s luck is rapidly eroding even by the non-aligned countries."

Towards Strategic Goals: US Initiatives for Peace in West Asia‎ - Arshi Khan, Media Monitors Network: "The Palestinians are occupied, enslaved and fortified. Israel is their self-imposed post-Colonial master with. There is no equation factor between Israeli State and Palestinian National Authority. It is like a Rambo

with bombs and guns in his hands on the one side and a weak and a lame Young man on the other side. So the situation is not conducive to any type of settlement unless the mediator overpowers the Rambo or asks him to follow the command and not the request or smiles. This kind of US initiative is not solution package but a part of public diplomacy to show its sincerity in settlement so that it could win more favours on the issue of Iran nuclear policy." Image from

Ahmadinejad Next Week at the U.N. -- What to Watch For - Alan Elsner, Huffington Post: "[Comment by polderman:] it is a good thing if American Jews or Israeli’s are joining the debate about developments in the Middle East. It is only disappointing they seldom have a new insight or anything substantial to add. It usually no more than parroting the incomplete and skewed information like for instance spread by the Israeli ‘Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs’
or by GIYUS org. ( ), or by the dozens of other fiercely pro Israel websites. No need to look there for accurate information or a balanced view on Middle East current affairs. Everybody who disagrees with or opposes Israeli policies is by definition suspect. He/She naturally belongs to one of the following categories: an Anti-Semite or a self hating Jew, a Leftie (either naïve or malicious), an Arab lover (either culturally astray or because of their money), an (open or covert) Islamist etc. In short they see their battle as one between the forces of Light against the forces of Darkness."

A committee's work is never done - Take Nina's Word for It: "An innocuous-looking item in the Jerusalem Post caught my eye the other day and gave me the shivers: 'Public diplomacy Web site finally appears in English', said the heading. No sooner had I come to grips with that bit of news, than another bit of similar information landed on my desk: the leaflet Masbirim Israel, called in its English incarnation Presenting Israel, is nearly ready for print. Theoretically this is Good News.

So why the shivers? Because I know that both the website and the brochure are the result of the work of a committee of experts… Much has been said about the painful work of a committee. ... The subject of hasbara, or public diplomacy, is very close not only to my heart but also to my keyboard and my hard disk. I have been involved, to one extent or another, with both projects, and beg that you do not put them under a microscope and do not put me through the wringer. Or rather, if you're in the mood to criticize, go ahead, but send your feedback directly to the Ministry. Minister Edelstein's efforts are commendable, and I support him whole-heartedly. But the committee, the committee…" Image from

Quotes of the Week - “'Lately, Israel has been subjected to incessant attacks from people and countries around the world who cast aspersions on its policies and its very right to exist. The Goldstone Report and Turkish flotilla incident illustrate just how vital it is for each and every Israeli citizen to take part in Israel’s public diplomacy.' Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, about a new website that aims to help Israelis defend the country’s image abroad."

Volume 15, Number 3, Fall 2010, Israel Studies - Project Muse: "Shaul R. Shenhav Tamir Sheafer Itay Gabay: Incoherent Narrator: Israeli Public Diplomacy During the Disengagement and the Elections in the Palestinian Authority Israel Studies - ... pp. 143-162 Indiana University Press"

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Second Annual Arab Youth Survey - tracinaranjo: "Our 2nd Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest-ever survey of Arab youth covering 2000 young people in nine Middle East nations. The results of the nine-country survey were unveiled Dubai by Karen Hughes,

Global Vice Chair of Burson-Marsteller and former US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; this video shows the highlights from our evening event. More detailed highlights from the survey can be found at" Hughes image from

Guest Blogger: Taleen Ananian on Cold War Diplomacy - September Lessons Learned from the Kennan ‘Long Telegram’ of 1946 - Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "The Cold War presented a unique case study into what was, in [George] Kennan’s opinion, the “greatest task our diplomacy has ever faced” or will face ... . The recommendations for the American response to Soviet Russia ... are good lessons for conducting diplomacy. ... Taleen Ananian is a master’s candidate in public diplomacy at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, as well as a contributing researcher to Public Diplomacy in the News, a media aggregator at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy."


American Asks Iran to Free Others - Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times: "Sarah Shourd, a teacher released last week after 410 days in an Iranian prison, said Sunday after her arrival back in the United States that she felt only 'one-third free' because the two other American hikers arrested with her remain incarcerated in Tehran. ... President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran called Ms. Shourd’s release “a huge humanitarian gesture” during in an interview Sunday on ABC’s 'This Week' and said that in return the United States should 'release the Iranians who were illegally arrested and detained here in the United States.'

Mr. Ahmadinejad is in New York for the start of the annual United Nations General Assembly. His generally provocative remarks to the news media usually provide some electricity away from the speeches by dozens of world leaders — although there has been little movement for years in questions about Iran’s nuclear program and long frozen ties with the United States." Image from

Jailed blogger, Hossein Derakhshan (”Hoder”) may face death penalty - A reliable source has told Global Voices that Tehran's prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan (also known as “Hoder”). The presiding judge, named Salavati, has not yet ruled in the case. Derakhshan has been accused of “collaborating with enemy states, creating propaganda against the Islamic regime, insulting religious sanctity, and creating propaganda for anti-revolutionary groups.” He was arrested 22 months ago, and his trial began in June 2010. Image from article

Iranian-American Dreams‎ - Roya Monajem, Payvand: How fantastic and unbelievable! Finally, an Iranian has made a visual Travel Account, an Epistle about his own country as well as the foreign land of America. Finally, an Iranian has made a sensible attempt to present a realistic criticism of America and the famous American Dream from the eyes of three generations of Iranian-Americans as well as natives and other immigrants.these films do not deal with the most popular theme of the visual arts since the revolution, which in short is: the oppressed class and their living environment, no matter what may have been the intention of the artist, propaganda or criticism. In Letters from Iran (2006 30 min) we see the typical living milieu of a middle class Iranian intellectual with educated parents. In other words, no ugly poverty stricken areas, no ghettos, no crowds of women in black chador, no crowds of shouting militant men.

Iran is not a nuclear threat‎ - Scott Horton, Christian Science Monitor, posted atGulfNews: Politicians, lobbyists, and propagandists have spent nearly two decades pushing the lie that Iran poses a nuclear weapons threat to the United States and Israel. After a brief respite in the intensity of the wolf cries over the past two years, the neoconservative movement has decided to relaunch the "Must Bomb Iran" brand. The fact that Iran is not and has not been a nuclear threat to either nation is rendered irrelevant by a narrative of universal "concern" about its nuclear programme.

Late last week a group of Marxist holy warrior exiles called the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, working with the very same neoconservatives who sponsored Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress — which manufactured so much of the propaganda that convinced the American people to support the invasion of that country — accused the Iranian government of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility buried deep in tunnels near Qazvin. Headlines once again blared in total negligence and without verification that here indeed was, an official told Fox News, proof that Iran has a "hidden, secret nuclear weapons programme". Image from

Evenings of Poetry Provide a Space for New Voices - Kareem Fahim And Nawara Mahfoud, New York Times: Damascus, Syria — Lukman Derky, the host of a weekly poetry salon here, was in classic form, a beer perched below a microphone he used to joke, to soothe, to provoke. He read a short poem by Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian national bard, and gave a shout-out to a regular, a young American named Mitch, who sat in the crowd, among dozens of other foreigners. “We brought you an imperialist,” Mr. Derky kidded his audience. “So you would have some peace of mind.” He also politely apologized to any secret policemen he might have offended with one of his stories. Two men who fit that description, sitting at a table by the bar, quietly sipped their drinks. So it goes on Monday nights at Bayt al-Qasid, or the House of Poetry, a space for freewheeling expression in a country where that space is usually in short supply.

Islam's Encounters With America: A survey by Elaph, the most respected electronic daily in the Arab world, saw 58% object to the building of the WTC mosque - Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal: Islam in America is of recent vintage. This country can't be "Islamic." Its foundations are deep in the Puritan religious tradition. The waves of immigrants who came to these shores understood the need for discretion, and for patience.

Why Muslims Thrive On Hate - Emanuel A. Winston - The renowned psychiatrist, Carl Jung,

explained the phenomenon of why and how aggressors justify attacking a selected victim – individual or collective. The aggressor first plans and assembles itself and cohorts for the attack. But, it needs an excuse to attack and conquer. That is accomplished by a propaganda campaign, claiming that "it" – the aggressor – is the intended victim. That is, the victim is the provocateur who plans on attacking the aggressor. Generally, the excuse is that the intended victim is going to do exactly what the aggressor has planned. The Muslim-Arab-Islamists are successfully moving in this direction as they claim "victimhood" wherever they are or to wherever they have migrated. Jung image from

Obama aide, appointee share Chicago business interest: Envoy friends in high-rise places - Washington Times: President Obama's ambassador to the Netherlands, Fay Hartog Levin, and senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett, a shortlist candidate for White House chief of staff if Rahm Emanuel leaves to run for mayor of Chicago, have ownership interests in a multimillion-dollar, 46-story luxury apartment building in Chicago - a business relationship that predates the ambassador's appointment last year. "I was hoping for a fundamental shift in the way he hands out ambassadorships, but it hasn't happened," said Craig Holman, legislative representative for Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group. Mr. Holman said he found it "disturbing" that the Obama administration has continued handing out these "plum ambassador appointments to people who are friends or fundraisers or in the same social network."

Mexican Newpapers Become Propaganda Arm to Drug Cartels -

America's silence makes us complicit in Russia's crimes - David J. Kramer, Washington Post

Born in the USSR, Living in WestportAfter an arrest by the KGB and exile from his home country, artist/activist Gennady Shikariov now lives in Westport and paints for his grandchildren - Chandra Niles Folsom, Shikariov:

"My most recent trip [to Russia] left me with a scary feeling of revival of Stalinism," he says. "Propaganda of Stalin on TV and in the media as a 'great ruler' along with the Orthodox Church being 'the savior' of Russia is maleficent." Shikariov image from article.

Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism - James Petras, The evanescent goal of barbarous imperialism is total military control, based on the prevention of any economic and social rebirth which might lead to a revival of secular anti-imperialism rooted in a modern republic. The goal of securing a colony ruled by cronies, satraps and ethno-religious warlords – willing givers of military bases and permission to intervene – is central to the entire concept of military driven empire building. The erasure of the historical memory of a modern independent secular nation-state and the accompanying national heritage becomes of singular importance to the barbarous empire. This task is assigned to the academic prostitutes and related publicists who commute between Tel Aviv, the Pentagon, Ivy league universities and Middle East propaganda mills in Washington.

"Manufacturing Dissent": the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded ‎by the Corporate Elites: The People's Movement has been Hijacked - Michel Chossudovsky, Center for Research on Globalization: The term "manufacturing consent" was initially coined by Edward S Herman and Noam Chomsky. "Manufacturing consent" describes a propaganda model used by the corporate media to sway public opinion and "inculcate individuals with values and beliefs..." "Manufacturing consent" implies manipulating and shaping public opinion. It establishes conformity and acceptance to authority and social hierarchy. It seeks compliance to an established social order. "Manufacturing consent" describes the submission of public opinion to the mainstream media narrative, to its lies and fabrications. This article focuses on a related concept, namely the process of "manufacturing dissent" (rather than consent), which has played a decisive role in serving the interests of the corporate establishment. It is in the interest of the corporate elites to accept dissent and protest as a feature of the system inasmuch as they do not constitute a threat to the established social order. The purpose is not to repress dissent, but, on the contrary, to shape and mould the protest movement, to set the outer limits of dissent. Under contemporary capitalism, the illusion of democracy must prevail.

No comments: