Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12

"As of Sept. 1, Operation Iraqi Freedom has been rebranded Operation New Dawn."

--Operation New Dawn, a new inscription for troops killed during operations in Iraq that could appear on headstones in Arlington cemetery

"We never know what will happen yesterday."

--Old Soviet joke; above image from


Five Questions for Condoleezza Rice: Former Secretery [sic] of State, Condoleezza Rice answers five question for USA today - Rene Alston and Martin Klemik, USA TODAY; see also: An 'Extraordinary' memoir: Becoming Condoleezza Rice, Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY; image from


VOA discussion and webcast for journalists and bloggers on Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m - "Join VOA for the first of a series of discussions on major issues in the digital world. Our guests, Valerie E. Caproni: General Counsel at the FBI; Martin Libicki: Senior Management Scientist at RAND Corporation; Greg Nojeim: Senior Counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology; and Nancy Scola: Associate Editor at 'techPresident' at the Personal Democracy Forum, will explore current issues at stake in the battles over Internet freedom and privacy in a live webcast. VOA reporters and outside media are invited to cover the briefing, which will also be available online. Audio and video will be provided in Dalet. The briefing will also be webcast; links will be available closer to the event." Via CS


Peter Horrocks warns over World Service cuts: The BBC's director of global news says 'careful thought' must be given to any cuts in the radio service, which operates in 32 countries - James Robinson, guardian.co.uk: "Horrocks said that when previous cuts had been implemented, the World Service had asked whether: 'The cuts diminish[ed] our services to a level where our presence is merely symbolic or lacking quality that damages our standing.' Horrocks added last night that: 'The importance of communications, as a component of public diplomacy and 'soft power', has risen commensurately.

This does not mean we should be spared the pain that many others in this country are going through. But it does mean that careful thought must be given before Britain diminishes its voice in the global conversation.' Horrocks pointed out that other countries have spent heavily on global news services in recent years. CCTV, China's state-owned English-language news channel, plans to increase its bureaux from 19 to 56. A similar service launched by the Russian government, Russia Today, had a budget of $70bn in its first year, he added. Horrocks also pointed out in his speech that Hague recently said: 'The BBC World Service will remain a fundamental importance to this country's presence in the world.'" Horocks image from article

BBC Global News director contemplates the UK's "disinvestment in international broadcasting" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Keep the blogs alight - Jimmy Leach, fco.gov.uk: "In truth, we’re still learning about social media as you always should be, given the pace of change but, in government terms, we’re doing pretty well on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and we’re trying out things on iTunes and rationalising a little on YouTube But we should be old hands at blogging by now. Since the FCO started blogging, around 3 years ago, we’ve posted over 4000 blogs, covering a huge range of topics (obviously) and in a growing range of languages, from Vietnamese to Tagalog. And in doing so, we have, perhaps even inadvertently, created the main public face to public diplomacy and digital engagement.

We’ve had a rolling cast of bloggers as diplomats move from job to job (and some re-consider whether their work needs a blog as a front end), but we currently have around 50 ‘live’ bloggers who all see it as an important part of their public diplomacy. Most see it as an opportunity to explain and enlighten, perhaps nudging the reputations of themselves and their Office up a notch as they do. ... The trick now is to understand what works and to develop the platform further." Image from

Netanyahu and Lieberman: Find the Differences‎ - Haim Baram Alternative Information Center (AIC): "During the week I read the texts of the UN speeches of Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman. Bibi won, exactly one year ago, hysterical compliments and sticky hugs from the old school patriots and it reminded me strongly of the golden days of Golda Meir, days which were suddenly ended on Yom Kippur in 1973. The message of Lieberman, on the other hand, was almost identical to that of Menahem Begin until the latter's awakening following the Camp David Accords and peace with Egypt. It seems that we all returned to the Middle Ages of Israeli politics, only that the human material sitting on the ministerial chairs has declined even in comparison to Golda's time. One year before Lieberman's horror show at the UN, we saw Netanyahu waving documents testifying to the destruction of European Jewry and marketing his emotional contentions lifted from Israeli hasbara (public diplomacy efforts) from thirty years ago. The prime minister reminded us of a classical comedy sketch of Israel's Chamber Quintet, in which the head of Israel's delegation to the Olympic games demanded benefits from the German judge in the name of the terrible suffering in exile and primarily in the Holocaust. 'Haven't we suffered enough?' he asked the judge, who was forced to give our lazy sprinter a ten meter lead over his competitors."

Philip Seib on Terrorism and New Media Conference in Dublin - jihadisalafismus.wordpress.com: [Google Translation:] "Vor wenigen Wochen fand eine Konferenz zum Thema Terrorismus und neue Medien in Dublin/Irland statt. A few weeks ago there was a conference on terrorism and new media in Dublin, Ireland. Der Politikwissenschaftler Philip Seib, der auf der Konferenz einen Vortrag über Public Diplomacy hielt, hat einen Artikel zur Konferenz in der Huffington Post veröffentlicht. Philip Seib ist Professor für Journalismus und arbeitet als Direktor an dem USC Center für Public Diplomacy in Kalifornien. Political scientist Philip Seib,

who gave a talk at the conference on public diplomacy, has published an article on the conference in the Huffington Post. Philip Seib is a professor of journalism and works as director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy in California. Der Begriff Public Diplomacy wird in Deutschland nicht verwendet. The term public diplomacy is not used in Germany. Man kann es hingegen auch als psychologische Kriegsführung bezeichnen. It can however also be called psychological warfare. Für mich beschreibt der Begriff 'war of ideas', den Jarret Brachman benutzt, am ehesten das Problem des Online-Jihadismus und die Auswirkung, die diese Propaganda auf den Westen hat. For me, the term 'war of ideas', Jarret Brachman to use, most likely the problem of online jihadism and the effect that this propaganda on the West." Image from

Fabiola Rodríguez-Ciampoli became the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in August 2010, after serving as senior advisor in that Bureau - hispanictips.com

The coming wars in Somalia and Yemen‎ - UPI.com: "Justin Marozzi of Albany Associates, a U.K. company specializing in public diplomacy strategies,

sees the emergence of the militant Islamist al-Shabaab movement as a looming international threat. Al-Shabaab, which has confined the Western-backed Transitional Federal Government to a small corner of the capital, Mogadishu, has long had ideological links with al-Qaida." Albany Associates logo from

Blog Entry # 7 - Calvin Hayes, FAMU Office of International Education: "My internship experience this semester is professionally fulfilling and is preparing me for my career in every way. I work with the FAMU Office of International Education. In this capacity I work as a public relations intern and a special assistant to the director of the program. ... I am learning more than I expected from my internship. In my pursuit to expand global awareness on campus, I find myself learning about growing trends across the international spectrum. The field of public diplomacy requires one to be fully engaged in current events that are going one throughout the world. In order to communicate effectively about international programs, it requires me to know a great deal about the climate of each country that I converse about. In addition, there are new study abroad programs and fellowships that are formed each day. Usually, I can learn about programs and fellowships that I can apply for after graduation."


Poll: Most Americans Don’t Want War with Iran - publicnewsservice.org: Despite sanctions and harsh rhetoric from the Obama Administration, when it comes to bombing Iran, most Americans say, 'Take that option right off the table.'

According to a recent 60 Minutes-Vanity Fair poll, just one American in ten would support a U.S.-led attack, even if Iran tested a nuclear bomb or attacked Israel.
Image from

Influence and Propaganda Conference this week - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner.us

Pakistan Is Not America's Enemy: A sustained U.S.-Pakistani partnership after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan could have produced a very different history than the one we wrestle with today - Ryan Crocker, Wall Street Journal

The Latest Crisis - Editorial, New York Times: When President Obama visits India next month, he must quietly urge its government to revive peace talks with Pakistan. That may be the best hope of getting Pakistan’s military to focus on fighting the insurgency. Next week, senior Pakistani and American officials will hold the latest in a series of “strategic dialogues.” They have a lot to talk about. Above image from

Should Afghanistan Exist? - Christopher de Bellaigue, New York Review of Books: “Why does Afghanistan exist?” The country contains about a dozen ethnic groups, whose distribution is shown here in simplified form.

There is no coast to attract people and trade. One should also bear in mind Afghanistan’s tribal divisions, particularly within the Pashtun ethnic group, which is split into numerous clans and smaller descent groups. If, as seems likely, President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy comes unstuck over the coming months, more voices are likely to be raised in favour of partition. Image from article

In Afghanistan, the first hints of success - Michael Gerson, Washington Post:

President Obama's July 2011 deadline for the beginning of American troop withdrawals from Afghanistan is being used, according to a NATO official, as "an opportunity for propaganda." "They are trying to convince Afghans that we are out in July. They are saying we will be gone, telling people, 'We will remember our friends, and remember our enemies.' "There are two ways to combat this claim. The first is to build up the Afghan army and police, so that an eventual American drawdown will not leave a void. The second response is to make clear that America is not abandoning Afghanistan in July. Image from

Iran, the Paper Tiger - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Obama won’t attack Iran and nor will Israel, not by next July or ever. Iran is a paper tiger, a postmodern threat: It has many uses but a third Western war against a Muslim country is a bridge too far.

Smoking Gun Or Whitewash - the Continuing State Department Human Resources Saga - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "As I’ve noted in previous “Broom” and other WV posts on HR’s spotty stewardship of State’s Foreign Service personnel system, chaos has been the order of the day in the conduct of the Reconstituted Boards since at least 2004."

Families, veterans call operation name on Arlington headstones propaganda move - Christian Davenport, Washington Post: Unlike in past conflicts, the overwhelming majority of headstones for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan at the nation's most hallowed military burial ground use the military's official names for those conflicts: Operation Enduring Freedom for Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom for Iraq. As of Sept. 1, Operation Iraqi Freedom has been rebranded Operation New Dawn. Some families and veterans groups say those slogans are little more than propaganda tactics, ways for politicians and the Pentagon to sanitize the wars and drum up public support.

The phrases are also confusing, the veterans groups say, because many people have no idea that Operation Enduring Freedom refers to Afghanistan. Using the words "new dawn" to mark a person's final resting place is inappropriate, even insulting, some family members say. Image from

The Emperor's Spokesman Has No Clothes‎ - Prison Planet.com: And the whole word propaganda is a Nazi, communist kind of thing which has no place in the same sentence as America.

Right? While the U.S. government has repeatedly claimed that it was launching propaganda programs solely at foreign enemies, it has actually used them against American citizens. Image from

China wages propaganda war after Nobel - AFP

Russia to spend $26 million on patriotic propaganda - paper - en.rian.ru: The Russian government will invest 777 million rubles ($26 mln) in propagating patriotism in the next 15 years in line with a state program aimed at increasing patriotic consciousness, a Russian business daily said on Tuesday. As the Culture Ministry and Youth Federal Agency are responsible for publishing patriotic books and promoting museums, Russian law enforcement bodies will also contribute to boosting patriotism, Vedomosti daily said.

Russia inflates its military with blow-up weapons - Steve Rosenberg, BBC News: The Russian military has come up with an inventive way to deceive the enemy and save money at the same time: inflatable weapons.

They look just like real ones: they are easy to transport and quick to deploy. You name it, the Russian army is blowing it up: from pretend tanks to entire radar stations. The decoys are a hundred times cheaper than the real thing, which means Moscow will save a lot of money by blowing up its own weapons. Image from article; via

Portraits and Power: Curator Franziska Nori reveals her thinking behind an exhibition illustrating how artists and photographers challenge images of social, economic or political power - telegraph.co.uk:

In modern Western and democratic society, power is no longer the prerogative of single individuals or families, but is rather distributed by sophisticated systems and political and economic bodies that are mutually coordinated. Consequently, artists’ relations to the representation of power are highly ambivalent and varied. No doubt, works are still commissioned, yet free art is chiefly engaged in a critically independent analysis. Image from


"What I don't favor is 'We need 25% of this and 10% of that.'"

--Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, cited in USA Today (October 12, 2010)

"I tell my students that policy-making is 90 percent blocking and tackling and 10 percent intellectual."

--Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, cited in Mary Beth Brown, Condi: The Life of a Steel Magnolia (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2007), p. 180; see John Brown, "10 Percent Intellectual": The Mind of Condoleezza Rice," prwatch.org (2008); image from

1 comment:

cornerofhope said...

This won't really have effect, I think so.