Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20

"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships."

--Andy Warhol; image from


Pakistani ministers, army chief arrive for strategic dialogue with US - Associated Press of Pakistan: "A high-level Pakistani delegation, comprising federal ministers and army chief arrived here Tuesday afternoon to attend the Strategic Dialogue with the United States on advancing mutual cooperation in a broad range of development and security fields. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

will lead their respective sides at three-day discussions to forge a wide-ranging partnership, considered critical to peace, security and development in the region. ... Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira will lead the Pakistani team in discussions on public diplomacy and information technology with top US officials at the State Department. The information minister will be assisted by Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Secretary Information Mansur Sohail and Secretary information technology Naguibullah Malik. The U.S. side will be led by Under Secretary of State Judith Michale [sic]." See also. Qureshi/Clinton image from

Restarting the “New beginning” - How American and predominantly Muslim communities can get relations back on track - Dalia Mogahed, "I sat in a packed Cairo University auditorium last June, witnessing firsthand President Barack Obama dazzle and inspire a cross section of Egyptian society. His now famous address, titled the 'New Beginning,'

energized Egypt and the wider region. More than a year after the historic address, tensions between the United States and Muslim majority societies are far from eliminated. ... However, leaders cannot put global engagement on hold until these complex problems are solved. In spite of these challenges, governments and civil society on all sides must take an interactive holistic approach to move the relationship forward. Here is what we must do: 1.Engage the home team: Leaders educating their own constituencies. Often times leaders on all sides view their job as speaking on behalf of their people to the other.. While this type of public diplomacy remains necessary, a far more powerful approach to move U.S.-Muslim relations forward is for leaders to spend at least as much time speaking to one’s own people in a way that shows empathy and respect for the other community. 2. Keep each other honest: Convening a critical mass of influential journalists to form a pact on framing the “other”. ... 3. Cooperate for the Common Good: Creating a multi-national, multi-faith 'Cooperation Corps'. ... 4. Upgrade to Exchange 2.0: Dramatically increasing cross-cultural communication through new media. Studies show that less than half of Americans personally know a Muslim, and even fewer citizens of Muslim majority countries have ever met an American. Studies also show that knowing someone from a group makes one less likely to harbor extreme prejudice against that group. This is why international exchange programs are so powerful, yet have limited reach by their very nature. It is time for an Exchange 2.0 approach, where young people engage in a meaningful way over social media networks, thereby dramatically increasing the touch points between cultures." Image from

US wars: People vs Generals - Marwan Bishara, "Barack Obama's promise to open a new page with the Muslim world on the basis of mutual respect and interests - supplemented and enforced by the use of soft rather than hard power - now rings hollow. This is most evident in the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq and the corresponding surge in Afghanistan - an exercise in redeploying military forces, not extracting them. As the gap between words and deeds; declarations and policies; public diplomacy and military strategy deepens, so the political and strategic crisis facing the Obama administration continues to deepen."

Engaging the Middle East: The View from Washington - Alexander Benard,

"[T]o effectively promote economic, political, and democratic reform in the region, President Obama will have to evaluate the public diplomacy efforts of the Departments of Defense and State, and consider establishing a centralized office of public diplomacy to better coordinate efforts across all departments; make sure U.S. embassies are equipped to do effective public outreach; and reach out to Hollywood, U.S. universities, and other segments of the private sector." Image from

Ras: Public Diplomacy and the Endless Stream
- RasoirJ, 3:17 a.m. Useful bits on telling stories: "At Syracuse I did my usual pitch for the Democracy Video Challenge contest on YouTube as perhaps the best use of social media for a PD end that I know of."

Turkish Trails - Istanbul, Turkey Travel Blog, "After Cappadocia, I took a quick trip off the beaten tourist trail to the conservative business city of Kayseri.

This is were the U.S. embassy houses one of it's [sic] 'American Corners.' These corners are designed to be resource centers for local residents wanting to learn about American culture, history and politics. Since I wrote my thesis on public diplomacy in the Middle East I want to see first-hand how these centers operate and what kind of information is available (thanks to our tax dollars, no less). Despite the website saying the center was 'Open to the Public,' I showed up only to find it closed. I knew I might run this risk but I also wanted to know what an ordinary Turkish person might encounter. I asked a security guard for assistance and he found a friendly English teacher to let me in the room. It was a pretty bare bones office with four bookshelves, a dozen DVDs and two computers. I talked with the teacher for 20 minutes and she had a very positive view of U.S.-Turkish relations. I found this encouraging, however when I chatted with a young student helping me find my way back to the bus station she said relations between the U.S. and Turkey are poor, especially because of our policies in Israel. I inquired if the American Corner is a place where people would even go and she just scrunched her face and said 'not really.' Analyzing these two viewpoints may be somewhat trivial, but it does makes me look forward to visiting more American Corners and spending the next six weeks in Israel." Kayseri map from

US Embassy Manila after Philippine Independence - "The Philippines gained independence in 1946. And since then, the US government has been represented in the Philippines through the U.S. Embassy in Manila. It exercise different functions including political, administrative, economic, public diplomacy, and consular affairs managed under the Ambassador by counselors from the Department of State."

Cyber-threats - Alex Belida, VOA News Blog/VOA Media Watch: "There was a good discussion at VOA last week on online freedom and national security.

Much of the back-and-forth among the panelists dealt with such threats as cyber-crime, terrorist use of the Internet, surveillance needs, outdated laws and so forth." Image from

Arab Voices by James Zogby [excerpt] - "Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why It Matters By James Zogby. On October 2, 2001, less than a month after the worst terrorist attacks in American history, a former ad executive named Charlotte Beers assumed leadership of the U.S. State Department’s efforts to improve communication with the Arab World. Beers had started out as a product manager for Uncle Ben’s rice—a modest beginning to an impressive career. In 1997, she retired as vice president of marketing powerhouse Ogilvy and Mather. That same year, Fortune magazine put Beers on the cover of an issue dedicated to the most powerful women in America. By naming her the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, the White House was betting that Beers,

with her experience from campaigns for Head and Shoulders and American Express, could help to rebrand America in a part of the world where we desperately needed goodwill and cooperation. ... Beers was smart and experienced, and had excelled in her field, but her public diplomacy efforts were widely regarded as a failure. At the time, I noted that if she had attempted to sell rice the same way she had sought to market America, Uncle Ben’s never would have left the shelf. The White House began to look for other ways to promote its message. In March 2003 at the onset of the Iraq War—an undertaking that was to brand America more profoundly than any of her efforts—Charlotte Beers stepped down." Beers image from

Summary report of the Prague conference “Russia, the West and Security in Europe” - "Petr Lunak, NATO Public Diplomacy Division, said there was a recurring cycle in NATO-Russian relations. High hopes when new figures took over followed by disappointment. There was now the prospect of a third NATO-Russia summit – after Rome and Bucharest. Both sides shared common threats – Afghanistan (but differences on how to tackle drug production), terrorism (little progress), theatre missile defence (still problems) and short range nuclear weapons. But there was no Russian participation in any NATO operation."

BBC Agrees to Cut Spending and Freeze License Fee - Sarah Lyall, New York Times: "Caving in to government demands that it cut costs in an era of drastic public-sector retrenchment, the British Broadcasting Corporation has agreed to freeze its license fee at the current rate for the next six years, people at the company said Tuesday. ... Even in today’s broadcasting Babel, and despite criticism from many detractors, the BBC remains one of the world’s great media brands, commanding a respect that few institutions — not the government, not the royal family, not the Church of England — can match.

It is also huge, with more than 17,200 employees. Its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, last year made a before-tax profit of $187 million. Every week, the BBC’s online service is visited by about 27 million unique viewers. Every week, 27 million adult Britons listen to BBC radio, and 85 percent of the total population watches BBC television. ... Earlier this year, the corporation pledged to save about $3 billion over five years. It said it would reduce news-division spending by 25 percent and overhead to just 12 percent of its budget, from 24 percent in 1999." Image from

Can the CNC World save China?--China's global media ambition and its own complication - Global Communicators: "It doesn't surprise me when Xinhua's new 24/7 English News Channel -- 'CNC World' announced it picked up Times Square in New York City to root in their news room. This channel is aimed at providing 'A New Perspective' and is part of Beijing's effort to 'present an international vision with a Chinese perspective,' Xinhua President Li Congjun said at the press conference announcing the launch of CNC World ... . Such expensive expansion 'comes as many Western news media are cutting back.' ... China’s ambition about pitching to global audience—especially the English speaking ones has not been well know for long but seems like Beijing has rooted for it for years. It is the not the ambition itself that interests me, it is the root of such desire of expanding a country’s media outreach to overseas audience and the level of attention that the government has paid to public diplomacy that interests me."

Making friends and enemies - Greg Barns, ABC: "In the world of diplomacy, soft power - the values a nation projects through its people and cultures - is more potent than hard power, or military might. This is because if a nation wants to influence people and win friends around the globe it is easier to do if its image abroad is positive. In this context then Australia today has something to worry about. A new global survey of global image released in New York last week, says that while Australia is in the top 10 in terms of its overall image (the US is number 1), the perception of Australia in emerging powers like India, China and Brazil as a tolerant, liberal society has taken a dive because of a perception that this country is prone to xenophobia. ... As public diplomacy expert Nicholas Cull from the University of Southern California put it last week, the 'expanding ranks of Indian cable news channels have discovered that stories about Australian racism deliver big audiences.

Indeed, the notion of Australian villainy is now so strong that the latest Bollywood film Crook tells the story of a young Indian’s adventures in an Australia beset by racism and sleaze. A time bomb is ticking,' Cull writes." Image from

Tanzania the new star of Africa - Adventure travel vacations: "With the growing investment and tourism potential of Tanzania, the world is watching as this African nation is developing a stronger global position thanks to a strong Government progam aimed at BRAND TANZANIA. According to the Honorable Mme. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism, 'Estimates are that more than 750,000 tourists are expected to arrive in the country this year, bringing in about $950 million dollars. We attribute this growth to several factors, not the least of which is that Tanzania has a stable and peaceful environment with a democratically elected government. H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania is known as a visionary and is well regarding in the International community.['] The political stability of Tanzania is its key factor, with security the country can now fully address the tourism and investment sector stated Prof. Richard Griffiths, Country Branding expert (During a seminar at the Maxwell School of public diplomacy) The importance of brand Tanzania is without question a priority for this region of Africa, as Tanzania can be the 'Star of Africa' the question is 'What is the best method to reach the goal of stronger global positioning for Tanzania.['] Studies are showing the public image of the country is improving however, the need for a stronger effort to improve media relationships, attract overseas investors and provide a constant message remains a major issue to address."

The Netanyahu Government at Halfway Point: Keeping Things Quiet? - Jonathan Spyer, "Netanyahu stressed that given the weakness of the Iranian economy, the country was 'susceptible' to sanctions, providing that they were 'ratcheted up by a variety of means.' ... It has also been suggested that the Israeli security services have engaged in a clandestine campaign of sabotage against the Iranian nuclear program.

The very nature of the policy, however, meant that other than public diplomacy, possible sabotage, the implicit threat of possible Israeli military action, behind the scenes lobbying and presumably an ongoing attempt to monitor the development of the Iranian nuclear project, Israel's role was basically that of a bystander." Image from

Roundtable on Middle East Public Diplomacy Efforts - Fed Events: List of Upcoming Events at Georgetown University: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 1230pm, ICC 241. Participants include Steven Seche, Ana Escrogima, and Mohammed Elshinnawi. Moderated by Adel Iskandar. Light lunch will be served. Sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. RSVP via

Public Diplomacy: Learn A Democratic Citizenship - Jordon Casinger, "Nowadays politicians can not hide from the journalists, every their step is overviewed and criticized. Decades before media was dependent on the government authorities, up-to-date trend of the social democracy removed barriers for the mass media activities. Public democracy describes how the governing decisions are delivered by the people. Citizens of a country can influence the government decision by voting or referendums. Obviously, as we live in the world of democracy, our voices have to be heard and accepted."

John Conyers, Fruitcake Extraordinaire - "Bear in mind, John Conyers (D-MI) is the same guy that didn’t see any point in reading the bill before voting on the massive healthcare bill. Now, at 4:10, John Conyers supports Looney Tunes’ Dennis Kucinech’s [sic] proposal for a Department of Peace. Great concept, but just what would such a cabinet-level agency do? Disarm the military? Undermine the State Department’s public diplomacy? Push it’s [sic] own agenda, like most Federal bureaucracies do?"

The Orange Carpet: Dresses Are No Longer Just for Summer - "Chillier weather and shorter days means it's time to take your favorite sweater dresses out of your closet and start rocking them with different styles. Here Ana Villarreal,

a Public Diplomacy Graduate Student, kicks her sweater dress up a notch as she adds a slimming belt and chic boots. Adding the belt and boots gives Villarreal’s outfit a dressier feel, perfect for class presentations or business casual days at an internship. Sweater dresses can also be worn as a casual look. Pair it with jeggings and moccasins or ankle boots! How do you switch up the look of your sweater dresses? ... Villarreal’s sweater dress is perfect for a fall day in Syracuse!" Villarreal image from article


U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band Visits Sierra Leone - “Five-Star Brass,” a member of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band, visited Sierra Leone from October 9-14 to forge cross-cultural connections through music by entertaining, educating and interacting with Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life.

Before an audience including youth and women’s groups, local musicians and other dignitaries, the five-person band entertained a packed courtyard at the residence of the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone for their first performance on October 10. At that event, they were joined by the Ballanta Academy of Music’s Brass Band, and it was one of the highlights of their visit. The band also held workshops with students of the Prince of Wales School and members of the Ballanta Academy of Music’s Brass Band to teach and share experiences with their fellow musicians in Sierra Leone. After an extremely rewarding trip, the group departed on October 14 to Naples, Italy, where they are currently based. The Five-Star Brass Band visited Sierra Leone as part of the African Partnership Station (APS), a program designed by the U.S. Navy’s Global Fleet Station to enhance regional and maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa. APS has supported 112 band performances in nine countries for an estimated 41,500 people. Via CG. Image from article. See also John Brown, A Modest Proposal: Make the Pentagon Our Very Own Ministry of Culture!, Huffington Post.

New Book Asks Did President George W. Bush’s Decisions Promote Islamophobia and Lead to War Crimes? - MASS DECEPTION: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq by Scott A. Bonn ... MASS DECEPTION investigates the G.W. Bush administration for its use of propaganda to demonize Arabs/Muslims after 9/11 and for its creation of a moral panic in the U.S. that manufactured public support for the Iraq war. This timely new book offers a compelling examination of the George W. Bush administration, the events leading up to the war, and the war's ongoing human and financial costs.

N. Korean Propaganda Appears on Popular Internet Social Media sites - Steve Herman, VOA News: North Korean propaganda has emerged on popular Internet social media sites. It is not for domestic consumption as virtually no North Korean has Internet access. Rather it is targeted at other countries, especially South Korea.

But in the democratic South, considered the world's most connected country, the government blocks such content. South Korea's Internet censors are working harder these days to keep up with an expanding number of Web sites showing material from or sympathetic to North Korea. South Korea blocks such sites under laws forbidding dissemination of false information or activities against the state. Image from

Art and Propaganda Notes -


--Abandoned bowling alleys -- from Boing Boing


cynicalsynapse said...

Thanks for the link! I've corrected the spelling of Kucinich's name, fixed my apostrophe catastrophe, and two other misspellings.

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