Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27

"[T]he most effective propaganda paradoxically uses information to drive information out of circulation."

--Mark Wollaeger, Modernism, Media, and Propaganda: British Narrative from 1900 to 1945 (2006), pp. 143-44; image from


Re the Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review being "firewalled" in mainland China, here is an observation, kindly provided to its compiler, by a PDPBR reader who is familiar with that part of the world: "Yes, unfortunately one needs a VPN to get it [PDPBR in China] but there are many people with it." Re VPN, see.


President Obama's interview on BBC Persian analyzed - Kim Andrew Elliott Reporting on International Brodcasting: "There was consternation at VOA because BBC Persian,

and not VOA Persian News Network, was granted this interview. The White House may have selected BBC because of the perception, however incorrect, that VOA is the administration's poodle. This perception would also not be helpful for VOA. Instead of trying to get its own interview with the President, VOA Persian News Network should wait for the next occasion in which British-Iranian relations are in the news. Then, using its large audience in Iran as collateral, try to get an interview with David Cameron, Nick Clegg, or William Hague. For the same reason the White House opted for BBC, Whitehall might choose VOA PNN as its avenue to speak to the Iranian people." Image from

Going (Lady) Gaga Over Headlines Just(in) Time for Ahmadinejad! - Alex Belida, VOA News Blog: " headlines are pretty straightforward – i.e. serious.

That’s understandable. We are a serious news organization. But a lighter touch might occasionally be more effective. The problem is: how do you link Ahmadinejad with Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber? Hmmm. Send us your suggested headlines." Image from

Afghan students connect online with Soldiers‎ - U.S. Army Sgt. Albert L. Kelley, Clarksville Online: Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan – "Female students from a local Jalalabad high school recently spent a morning chatting online with three female Soldiers from Forward Operating Base Fenty September 21st. The students were participating in a State Department sponsored program called the Global Connections and Exchange program. The GCE is administered through a grant to the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club Foundation located in San Diego. 'The purpose of the program is to promote mutual understanding and democratic values in Afghanistan through links with American teens,' said Anna Mussman, a Department of State Public Diplomacy Officer attached to Task Force Bastogne. 'These links encouraged Jalalabad students and teachers to conduct research, improve their English language skills and learn about life in the United States.'”

Image from article: U.S. Army Spc. Jessica A. Walker, of Anoka, MN, noncommissioned officer in charge of psychological operations, assigned to the 319th Tactical Psychological Operations Company, Task Force Bastogne, participates in an online chat session with a teenage female Afghan student in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province Sept. 21st.(Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Albert L. Kelley, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Lesson 27 People-to-People Power - Larry D. Lauer: Pioneer in Integrated Marketing for Academic and Nonprofit Institutions: "I was invited by the CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Lee Hamilton (also the former co-chair of the 9/11 Commission and the Iraq Study Group), to participate in his Center’s new project to design a business plan for an independent organization to conduct US public diplomacy. The first meeting of the Wilson Center project took place this past week. Much of the discussion centered on the urgent need to harness more of the country’s strategic communication talent to utilize all the communication tools in the tool box (especially new and social media), and to call upon the human and financial resources of corporations, foundations, universities, nonprofits, and other organizations, to explain the 'idea of America' around the world. The most compelling argument is that establishing such an organization independent of prevailing government policy is the only way to achieve genuine communication credibility. In other words, there is nothing more credible, or powerful, than people-to-people communication."

Pete Peterson and the New America Foundation - masaccio, "[Comment by] Frank33 September 26th, 2010 at 5:40 pm 4 The NAF

is the young, edgy and hip Think Tank, as they catapult the corporatist propaganda. Most of these phony shills are sponsored by the same old disaster capitalists. ... Peter Peterson has been one of the biggest supporters of Endless War. He set up a 'Corporation for Public Diplomacy' to catapult endless war propaganda paid for by taxpayers." Image from

September 27, 2010 - "New Strategic Policy for an Alliance in Transition. Memo 25: Focusing on the core mission, strengthening global partnerships, and launching broad public diplomacy initiatives are’s top three recommendations for NATO’s new Strategic Concept."

The man with the world on his shoulders: The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, talks to Ian Williams about his critics, Israel and the challenges of global leadership - New Statesman: "[O]stentatious do-gooding is not in the quiet style of the former South Korean foreign minister.

Indeed, his focus on internal diplomacy with heads of state has caused him to neglect some of the public diplomacy opportunities offered by his current position." Ban Ki-moon image from

UN-dignified: Our no-show at Obama’s UN speech – Succot notwithstanding – is yet another expression of our nonchalance to public diplomacy efforts - Jeremey Ruden, Jerusalem Post:

"President Barack Obama devoted a good portion of his [UN] speech to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Among other things, he was optimistic about an agreement. He called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to continue the settlement freeze, and warned countries against questioning Israel’s legitimacy. When watching excerpts from the speech, I was shocked to see the empty seats of the Israeli delegation when the camera cut to their position. Seems our representatives took time off to observe Succot. This is a prime example of how to fail in the sphere of hasbara – a sphere where we cannot afford any more blunders. Without making light of the Feast of Tabernacles, priorities must be drawn. When that camera pans to empty seats, it looks like Israel is boycotting the speech. ... Furthermore, those same representatives must be available for media appearances afterward. We don’t need any more misunderstandings. It was just as important for us to be on the floor for the hate-filled speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which took place on the same day. Our delegates should have walked out in disgust, together with our American and European allies." Image from

Jewish Peoplehood Leadership Conference Launches - Dan Brown, "With a vision to contribute to the cohesiveness of the Jewish people, the International School of Jewish Peoplehood Studies (within Beit Hatfutsot) in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, the NADAV Foundation and KolDor hosted the first, of what is planned to be annual, Jewish Peoplehood Leadership and Entrepreneurship Conference. At yesterday’s all-day event, several hundred participants gathered at Beit Hatfutsot to connect and re-connect. While the attendees crossed generations, many of them were 'the usual suspects'. That said, there was a fair mix of new, younger, faces coming from countries including France, Germany, Sweden and Venezuela."

In the Arab world, impact of online media "has not always been positive" - Kim Andrew Elliott Reporting on International Broadcasting: Palestine News Network, 21 Sept 2010, Daoud Kuttab: "'Until the mid-1990s, radio and television stations that Arabs were able to follow were mostly government owned. With the exception of international radio stations such as BBC, Voice of America and Monte Carlo radio, hundreds of millions of Arabs were forced to hear and see protocol news of their presidents and kings leading and dominating newscasts. ... The [later] success of media entrepreneurs in using the Internet to circumvent government controls was not without a strong governmental response in most Arab countries. While some countries applied strict proxy restrictions banning locally produced content from being seen by the country’s citizens,

or carried out brutal crackdown actions, the majority of the Arab regimes decided to join the revolution. When it became clear that they couldn’t totally stop many alternative websites, Arab governments decided to either co-opt existing sites or create their own sites camouflaged as independent sites. ... Oppressive governments also used a number of other ways to clamp down on alternative media. Bloggers and media owners faced various bureaucratic problems that included travel bans, imprisonment and in some cases physical punishment.' ABC News, The MidEast Memo, 22 Sept 2010, Lara Setrakian: 'What’s happening online is a catalyst, not a revolution. It’s a first alert for human rights groups monitoring Arab countries from thousands of miles away, and a prompt for greater accountability from governments. ... ‘The question isn't, 'How many regimes have social media overthrown,' because the obvious answer is 'None,' ' columnist Mona Eltahawy told VOA. 'The question should be…how are social media enabling those most marginalized groups in the Middle East to mature and go into the realization that their opinions count and that they have the ability to bring about change in a region that is largely run by dictators?'" Image from

A New..Muslim Superhero! - A Kind Word and a 2x4: "Oh...goody? Wait it gets better..the hero is not only a muslim teenager..he's disabled. Which means of course that anything derogatory I say about the new super hero will be consider anti muslim...well duuhhhh, and social inept, and hateful towards the disabled. Oh boy. 'The new superhero is the brainchild of a group of disabled young Americans and Syrians who were brought together last month in Damascus by the Open Hands Intiative, a non-profit organization founded by U.S. philanthropist and businessman Jay T. Snyder.' Now this here should be your FIRST warning. Yep a rich Philanthropist..who is also a Democrat Party activist. "\'From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Snyder served as Public Delegate, United States Representative to the 55th United Nations General Assembly, functioning as a representative ... on general policy matters, reform issues, and the Millennium Summit, and formulated and presented statements before the U.N. on a variety of public diplomacy questions.'"

Image from Washington Post: In this artwork provided by Liquid Comics, LLC, the "Sliver Scorpion" is shown. The new superhero is Muslim, who loses his legs in a tragic landmine accident and must learn to come to terms with the reality of his disability while learning to use his newfound power to fight for social inclusion, equity and justice. The "Silver Scorpion" is the first cross-cultural superhero with disabilities created by bringing together Syrian and American youth with disabilities in Damascus, Syria as part of the Open Hands Initiative’s inaugural Youth Ability Summit.

Supper, China's "big shots" who. Today, Buffett, Gates will arrive in China, "Charity Dinner" in the final countdown. A simple gathering of the world's two wealthy charitable act. September 29 night, whether to give China what charity? What can change? - "On the eve of Bill Gates and the 'Warren' Warren Buffett, 14, issued a 'Bill Gates and Warren Buffett response to the Chinese Xinhua News Agency interview letter.' Reads as follows: There are a few weeks, we will visit China again. In this trip, we will have the opportunity with the Chinese group of successful business people and philanthropists to China's charity work and learn about the profile of philanthropy in China, and sharing (how donations impact on society and the world?) experience. ... However, the 'wealth donor commitment' is just one of many forms of charity. We do not yet know, for China, this model is appropriate? There is some speculation that we trip to China, will persuade people to donate - in fact, is not the case. ... After attending the Beijing Foreign Studies University hosted the International Forum on Public Diplomacy (2010) and the Third diplomats Forum, Feng [Patriot Feng: no need to leave the children a penny Feng Jun] received a press interview. He said that would honor its promise to donate the entire property, not to leave children a penny, let the children live on their own ability."

India, CWG and Beyond - madhavibhasin, "There is no dearth of reports, articles and analysis on India’s preparation or the lack of it for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010. Apart from the Indian news channels inviting ‘experts’ of all hues to comment on what went wrong and the national mission to discover where the ‘buck stops’, criticism in the international media has been equally acute. The level of corruption and delayed preparations are a cause of concern and hopefully the CWG experience will allow the Indian state to get its act together. However the sweeping criticisms have two dimensions which need to be disentangled: what the Indian state is capable of achieving in the context of the country’s social milieu and what the international community expects of India. ... Undoubtedly, the Government of India should have been more vigilant in organizing the Games; but does this failure on part of an Indian state agency spell doom for India? The Guardian selectively puts together reports and ├╝ber leftist opinions to show that many Indians see the CWG crisis as a 'symptom of a failed state.' I agree that the Indian state should have done better and its under-performance is inexcusable. The handling of the CWG by UPA-II [United Progressive Alliance] particularly disappointing. This was an excellent public diplomacy exercise for the Indian government which has now gone wasted. Thus in meeting the expectations of the international community the Indian state has fared poorly. ... Though the verdict on India’s poor performance on the CWG is already out there little rationale for referring to an administrative failure as a verdict on national incompetence.


The Airport Scene - Time to Change Those American Welcome Mats - Patricia Kushlis, Whirled View:

Rehabbing international airports, significantly expanding the number of immigration officials at the booths, decreasing wait-times for visa interviews at US Consulates abroad, and seeing that immigration officials have access to the most recent databases should be the priority. After all, it's clear that at this point the US doesn't do a very good job of welcoming visitors from abroad that do travel here. Image from

Survey: Officers favor ‘soft power’ - Andrew Tilghman, A majority of military officers — especially the mid-career officers in the O-4 and O-5 paygrades — support giving more money and strategic emphasis to nonmilitary initiatives such as diplomacy and economic development in order to advance U.S. security interests, according to a recent Via PDC

Al Jazeera journalists released after being "treated humanely" by NATO-led ISAF in Afghanistan - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Ahmadinejad stands by 9/11 probe call: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stood by his call for the establishment of an independent fact-finding committee to investigate the 9/11 attacks -

The Iranian chief executive again underscored that the US-led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan came under the pretext of the 9/11 incident. "Under the same excuse, all Muslims, revolutionaries and justice-seekers around the world were accused, and the fiercest propaganda campaigns were launched against hem," he noted. Image from article

Iranian Poems for Peace - Iran Book News Agency: Rira Abbasi has won the Parvin E’tesami Poetry Award in 2005 and is a member of Iranian Writers’ Association and director of the Biannual International Poetry of Peace Festival since 2007. Maryam Ala Amjadi, an Iranian poet and translator, conducted the following interview with Rira Abbasi. MAA: What is your opinion about the propaganda launched by the Western media against I.R. of Iran to distort its image? RA: I think the world is poisoned by the Western media. The media, specially the television produces a sort of poison for which they have a ready antidote. The media know the extent of the damage they inflict with this poison. In such circumstances, as you have pointed out, we are aware of the fingers that point at our country, the homeland of Rumi, Hafez, Saadi, Khayyam and Cyrus the Great, as a den of trouble. Iran is a country with thousands years of civilization. No great power can deny this fact.

Digital media makes more work for ministry of truth - Michael Sainsbury, The Australian: Traditionally, the propaganda department has preferred to use the telephone and face-to-face meetings to transmit its directives to editors-in-chief, who are generally selected by the department. The idea has been to leave no paper trails and editors are often ordered not to take notes but memorise instructions and deliver them verbally. But the advent of digital media has opened a crack in the system. With a multiplying number of websites and media outlets to deal with, the internet monitoring department now delivers instructions via email, creating documents that are more easily leaked, said Xiao Qiang, founder of China Digital Times and adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley. The US-based, bilingual website CDT, which is blocked in China by the Communist Party's great firewall, started to translate and publish a selection of these directives in March. Like much of China's state apparatus, the propaganda department operates in a grey region. Its head office is a big but unremarkable building on Beijing's main thoroughfare, Chang'an Avenue, close to the impenetrable walled leadership compound Zhongnanhai that sits between the Forbidden City and a string of picturesque lakes. The department is not officially part of the government that is controlled by the state council and is therefore not technically in legal control of anything. But as an arm of the party, it sits above any decision made by the government, reporting only to the CCP's ruling 25 main politburo and its pre-eminent Hu Jintao-led standing committee. This consists of nine men, one of whom, Li Changchun, is in charge of ideology and is therefore the country's propaganda chief.

Irish Falun Dafa Association Seeks Arrest of Visiting Chinese Official - Gerald O'Connor, The Epoch Times: Li Changchun was promoted in 2002 to the standing committee of the politburo, the leadership unit of the Chinese Community Party. His current role in the Chinese government is to head its "propaganda machine" according to the press release sent from the Irish Falun Dafa Association. Due to the tight control the Chinese government holds over the media in China, and Chinese media throughout the world, Li Changchun can dictate what stories appear, or do not appear in the media, thus having a powerful influence over the views and opinions of Chinese people. Above image from article

My Conscience: Why Africa must not be Scared of China - Makwaia wa Kuhenga, The Citizen, Tanzania: The propaganda against China most often than not is as if China is poised to grab vast swathes of land in Africa to meet this Asian country’s “hunger” for raw materials and energy! But the real worry of those projecting China in this manner with the intent to scare African countries is that the owners of these multinational media

agencies are wary that Africa may diversify its trade relations in favour of China, thus ditching Africa’s former colonial powers. Makwaia wa Kuhenga image from article

North Korea: Personality cult - round three - Petteri Tuohinen, Helsingin Sanomat: Propping up the personality cults of the family dynasty is evident everywhere in Pyongyang, but no pictures of Kim Jon-un have been seen in the city yet. Everybody over the age of 13 wears a Kim Il-sung lapel pin. Massive monuments and statues tower over everyone. Secondary school pupils spend a sixth of their time in school studying the thoughts of the country’s leaders. “Defend the leader! What have you done for our nation?” asks a propaganda poster on the wall of a Pyongyang school.

A list of the school’s friendship cities in different countries is displayed as evidence of the extraordinary position that North Korea has in the world. They exist in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chile, and Pakistan. Image from article


"Celebrate the Lowly Comma!"

--Alex Belida, VOA


French Burqa Ban Represents Islamophobia - Sam Schneider,

1 comment: said...

This can't succeed as a matter of fact, that is exactly what I believe.