"Whatever of social importance is done to-day, whether in politics, finance, manufacture, agriculture, charity, education, or other fields, must be done with the help of propaganda. Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government."
--Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928)
“We’ll let the donations speak for themselves.”
--A spokesman, regarding the $7 million Mr. Bob Perry, a wealthy home builder from Texas, has given since September to American Crossroads, the conservative group; Perry image from
Entrepreneurship As Diplomacy - Cari Guittard, Newswire – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), EO (the Entrepreneurs Organization) and the US Department of State just wrapped in New York -- a ground-breaking exchange program, which brought 28 entrepreneurs from 28 countries to the US for three weeks of intensive mentoring, coaching and business development.
The fellowship, aptly titled 'New Beginnings – Innovation & Entrepreneurship' is part of the President’s Initiative on Entrepreneurship and was announced at the White House Summit on Entrepreneurship last April. The impetus behind an entrepreneurship focused exchange program has been building since the President delivered his address in Cairo." Image from
US Consulate General has new public affairs team - Associated Press of Pakistan: "LAHORE. Jennifer Larson, Tristram Perry and Mark Hilbert Thursday joined the public affairs section of the US Consulate General in the city. According to the US Consulate General spokesperson, the new public affairs team would assist the US Consul General Carmela Conroy and work with the media, initiate American cultural programming and increase educational opportunities for the Pakistanis locally as well as in the US. Jennifer Larson will serve as the Public Affairs Officer and manage the broad portfolio of public diplomacy efforts in the Punjab, Tristram Perry as the Information Officer with tasks as spokesman and main liaison for the media while Mark Hilbert look after as the Cultural Affairs Officer, coordinating U.S. cultural and educational programming. The officers bring with them extensive experience from previous diplomatic postings in the countries like Sudan, Indonesia and Poland as well as rich experience in the private media and education sectors."
Recipient of the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award For Excellence In Public Diplomacy - unclassified State Department email:
"The Department is pleased to announce the selection of Eric A. Johnson, Public Affairs Officer, Am Consul St. Petersburg, as the recipient of the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy." Image from
VOL. VI NO. 21, October 8 - October 21, 2010 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media:
"Good Press, Better Parades Iranian President Ahmedinejad's visit to Lebanon sparked a dialogue over Iran's degree of influence in the region. Although he was welcomed by throngs of supporters in some areas, many commented that this was simply a propaganda tactic.
Stalemate at Sirte The Arab League struggled during a recent summit to reach a consensus on several key issues, such as the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. There is some question as to whether it may be more effective to redesign the structure of the Arab League itself.
@Israel: A Nation's Online Image The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is launching several new media offensives to improve its image. The government’s efforts come amid high profile abuse scandals, complete with unflattering video footage.
Chronic War and the Search for the Cure Sudanese President Al-Bashir warns that a failure to resolve key pre-referendum issues may ignite a new civil war. The US voices its desire to help the North and South fulfill their commitments, but many fear it is too late.
Al-Qaeda in Yemen: New Army, Web Magazine Al-Qaeda's military chief recently announced the creation of the Aden-Abyan Army in Yemen. Acknowledging the need to address AQAP's presence in Yemen, analysts detail the security situation and offer suggestions about combating terrorism within the nation's borders.
Egypt 2010: The Other Way to Monitor Elections The Egyptian government is taking significant measures to control the country’s environment prior to the upcoming November elections as the US announces it will not fund international monitors. Some argue that the Egyptian government's measures significantly hamper the freedoms of Egyptian citizens and the press.
Turkey Loosens the Veil BanT he Higher Education Board of Turkey (YÖK) is working towards finding a peaceful solution between Islamic religious practices and the secular state by encouraging universities to lift the ban on the hijab in classrooms.
WikiLeaks to Keep Dripping WikiLeaks is set to publish classified documents on the Iraq war at the end of October. The whistle-blowing website found itself at odds with the US government after publishing documents about the war in Afghanistan in July." Image from
''The NATO Chronicles'' take a new look at the Alliance - isria.com: “'The NATO Chronicles' are five documentaries and a web documentary (www.natochronicles.org) that take viewers to the heart of the Alliance’s missions. With a rigorous journalistic approach, the stories throw new light on programmes and initiatives that are little-known to the public. ... The project is a key component of NATO’s Public Diplomacy efforts in the run up to the Lisbon Summit on 19 and 20 November. At the Summit, Allies should approve NATO’s new Strategic Concept among other things."
Romania - State Secretary Bogdan Aurescu attends conference on “EU-NATO Shared Responsibilities in Contiguous and Frontier Areas” - isria.com: "State Secretary Bogdan Aurescu attended the opening of the conference
on 'EU-NATO Shared Responsibilities in Contiguous and Frontier Areas,' organized by the Aspen Institute of Romania, with support from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division."
Authors of Best Topics on NATO Awarded at Ministry of Education - messenger.com.ge: "An Award ceremony for the winners of the competition Master and Bachelor Papers on NATO and Security was held at the Ministry of Education and Science (MES). The competition was held by the NGO New Generation-New Initiative and NATO Public Diplomacy Division, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. The competition was designed to improve the knowledge of the youth on NATO and international security issues." Image from
Image makeover could do with more finesse - Maria Siow, TODAYonline: "Over recent years, China has become increasingly concerned with the challenges posed by its rapid growth and global events to its diplomacy as well as development. By working to project a more favourable image, China hopes that being better understood by the rest of the world will help strengthen its soft power and expand its regional and even global influence. In July last year, President Hu Jintao said public diplomacy would be a key focus of China's foreign affairs policy; his administration elevated the new form of diplomacy to a national strategic level. Soon after that, the country launched a 'Made in China' advertising campaign in several international media outlets to boost the image of Chinese-made products. In August this year, Beijing set up a public diplomacy research centre, the first of its kind. Right now, the country is in the final stages of producing a national image publicity film. The first part - a 15-minute feature film - will showcase the country's accomplishments and present 'the Chinese spirit in modern times'. It will be screened at official events. The second part, a 30-second commercial, will feature prominent Chinese elites from all walks of life and will be aired on mainstream international media. It is aimed at 'presenting China's national image as a dynamic country'. ... The ongoing efforts in setting up and running the various Confucius Institutes worldwide should also count as another one of Beijing's major public diplomacy efforts. These non-profit public institutions aim to promote the Chinese language and culture and support Chinese teaching internationally. While such endeavours to improve the country's image are expected to - and indeed should - continue, the inescapable reality is that they are too little and apparently too feeble, in altering perceptions of a country as vast, diverse, complex, controversial - and which invites as
much criticism as it does attention - as China. The efforts appear hugely inadequate when confronted with negative events, be they the Tibetan uprising, the Xinjiang ethnic riots, the controversy over tainted milk powder, perceived belligerence in the South China Sea, or the government's reaction to the Nobel Peace Prize award - all of which have easily turned the tide of international opinion against China. ... There is ... the lingering mistrust that, more than just an effort to make itself better understood, China's public diplomacy is an extension of its global ambitions for resources and a zero-sum influence that will result in the decline of western, especially American, influence. These uphill battles should not stop China from engaging in public diplomacy. But what needs to change is for Beijing to improve the level of sophistication and finesse in getting its message across. China also has to accept that no matter how the country tries to explain itself to the rest of the world, misunderstanding and suspicion, whether deliberate or otherwise, will continue to exist so long as such public diplomacy efforts are spearheaded and directed by government departments and bureaucrats, with little involvement and input from civil and non-government organisations." Image from
In France, public diplomacy and international broadcasting seem to be en casserole - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Why would a party member be planning strategy at 'France's state-run international broadcasting company' -- presumably l’Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France, parent entity of France 24 and Radio France International -- and writing a report about public diplomacy? If French international broadcasting is to be competitive, it will have to decide whether it is in the business of news or of advocacy. Hint: the former is competitive. The www.france.fr website could and should be the public diplomacy website that complements France's international broadcasting efforts. The easy to overlook pull-down menu in the upper left corner of the home page shows that france.fr is available in French (default), English, German, Spanish, and Italian."
Taking 'hasbara' to cyberspace - Gil Shefler, Jerusalem Post: "Brig.-Gen. (res.) Michael Herzog answers questions about the delegitimization of Israel, and how to counter it. ... 'We think we need to increase our profile on campuses in Europe and the US. We need to find funding and support the creation of more student organizations. At the moment Hillel is alone at that front. We need to bolster them. Another area is cyberspace.
Some at the panel said we’re neglecting it. If someone spreads a false rumor [in cyberspace], it keeps getting repeated and repeated. By the time you dispel it, the damage is done. We have to increase our presence there. ... hasbara [public diplomacy] ... isn’t enough, we need policy change too. If one thinks that all we need to do is explain ourselves better, then that’s a mistake.” Image from
Half The Malaysians Nabbed Overseas Since 1991 Linked To Drug Trade - Bernama: "Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Richard Riot ... [d]escribing drug-trafficking as a very serious issue among Malaysians, ... said 785 cases were reported ... . The deputy minister was speaking to reporters after officiating the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Outreach, Information and Public Diplomacy Programme."
Scientists' diplomacy role must grow: panel - Emily Chung, CBC.ca: "'The extraordinary controls that are in place at the moment of scientists and diplomats in the employ of the federal public sector prevent public diplomacy from delivering the results of which it is capable,' says former diplomat Daryl Copeland. ... Copeland
also believes 'public diplomacy' that entails connecting directly with the population of other countries through partnerships and communication with NGOs, scholars and journalists is more effective than relying on 'envoys talking about government business' when it comes to global, science-based problems." Copeland image from article.
Moving Forward: Making the Case for Cultural Diplomacy - John Brademas, arts.gov: "The Brademas Center is now coordinating research into what the federal government and the private sector are doing in the field of international cultural exchanges. And over the next two years, the Brademas Center will be working with a group of institutions here in the U.S. and abroad to hold a series of international conferences that will focus on various themes and challenges in international cultural engagement.
The first of these meetings was held this month at Washington, DC’s Phillips Collection in partnership with the Aspen Institute; we are planning future conferences in the Persian Gulf, England, and Europe. We hope that both the research we are undertaking and the convening of these international conferences will highlight the significant impact international arts and cultural exchanges make in the cause of peace, economic growth and stability, and mutual understanding, respect and tolerance, and make the case to policy-makers of the need for greater resources for this vital tool of diplomacy." Brademas image from
The Role of Religious Leaders and Religious Communities in Diplomacy - religiousfreedomusa.org: "The members of the working group on the Role of Religious Leaders in Public Diplomacy issued the following statement at the conclusion of the 2010 U.S.-Islamic World Forum: Moral purpose must be at the core of the work undertaken to implement nation-building, end conflicts between nations, and prove humanitarian assistance for all whose lives are negatively impacted by war, poverty, illiteracy, human rights violations, natural disasters and religious extremism. Moral purpose is at the very core of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religious leaders must re-affirm this truth and exercise their leadership, and engage in partnership with diplomatic initiatives, to bring about a cessation of violence against our common humanity, to work to confront and end religious extremism in all its forms, the domination of one religion over another and the domination of one nation over another. The formal gathering of the three Abrahamic faiths and their religious leaders at this seventh U.S.-Islamic World Forum must be actively involved with stakeholders and decision-makers in the global community. And religious leaders must be seen as equal partners and as positive agents of change in 21st century public diplomacy."
Press Freedom Update - Alex Belida, VOA News Blog/VOA Media Watch: Reporters Without Borders has come out with its annual press freedom index. The 10 lowest ranked countries are: Rwanda, Yemen, China, Sudan, Syria, Burma, Iran, Turkmenistan, North Korea and, at the bottom, Eritrea.
At the top of the list are: Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, Estonia and Ireland. The United States is ranked 20th. Image from
What triggers the suicide bomber: Foreign occupation, not religious fervor, is the primary motivation behind this form of terrorism - Robert Pape, latimes.com: The United States does realize that prolonged troop deployments abroad are leading to an increase in suicide attacks and violence against troops and civilians. What we should be doing is asking whether our military presence in Afghanistan and continued campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan are making us safer. Unfortunately, our research suggests just the opposite.
Could airstrikes save lives in Afghanistan? - Charles J. Dunlap Jr., Washington Post: Reports this month that airstrikes are being used to push Taliban leaders toward the negotiation table suggest that the controversial policy restricting airpower in the Afghan war may be ripe for review. Indeed, new data indicate that a reevaluation cannot come soon enough.
What Jihadists Talk About Online - Amarnath Amarasingam, Huffington Post: Global Islamist terrorists have today shifted from meeting in restaurants and barber shops to meeting in online forums. Internet discussion forums have become the transnational meeting places of jihadists, especially al-Qaeda affiliates.
After 9/11, for example, al-Qaeda used Alneda.com to post and disseminate its statements, theological justifications and propaganda materials. Counter-terrorism experts are only beginning to understand these new developments. Although only about 6 percent of the population in the Middle East has access to a computer, Internet cafes have become hubs of youth radicalization, were jihadists can log in and discuss their religious and ideological viewpoints with like-minded individuals thousands of miles away. Image from
The art of black propaganda - Ibrahim Hewitt, middleeastmonitor.org.uk: Governments like Hamas need to allow the media to thrive. Yes, there will be instances where black propaganda will be produced; all the more reason to encourage an atmosphere wherein journalists can produce an abundance of positive material which can counter the negativity.
Russian Influence Intensifies in Kyrgyzstan After Elections - Erica Marat, georgiandaily.com: The leaders of four political parties –Ar-Namys, Ata-Jurt, Respublika, and Social-democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SPDK) – traveled to Moscow days after the October 10 parliamentary elections (www.24.kg, October 15). By collaborating with Moscow all four parties shield themselves from the Russian media’s black propaganda, compete for the Kremlin’s financial support and gamble on an opportunity to dominate other political forces in the future with the help of a presidential system.
Walt Disney's wonderful life (photos) - news.cnet.com: The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco opened its doors to the public for the first time just over a year ago, on October 1, 2009.
It's not just a celebration of Mickey Mouse and friends. The museum also highlights some of the more controversial parts of the animator's life, including his testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee, a major strike at Disney Studios, and the company's work making war propaganda for the U.S. military. Image from article
Values and propaganda - Shaun Chamberlin, energybulletin.net: The new Common Cause report, which explores the battle over cultural values that underlies communications and marketing, while keeping one eye always on our environmental challenges. The report has both stimulated a fair bit of controversy and, excitingly, provided an answer to a question raised by reading Edward Bernays’ influential 1928 book Propaganda.
Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, and the pioneer founder of the industry now termed “Public Relations” (the “Propaganda” name being discarded due to associations with the German war effort). Building on his uncle’s ideas about subconscious urges and desires that drive our decisions, Bernays argued that: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society… We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society…In almost every act of our daily lives…we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.” This is pretty distasteful stuff, but it has undoubtedly proved a potent force in shaping the consumerist society around us. We may disapprove of the marketers, PR men and spin doctors invading our minds at every opportunity, but we cannot deny the power of the techniques Bernays developed. Image from article
German Propaganda, 1929--a Call to Militarization - JF Ptka Science Books Post 1168: "In my 'reading' of the Illustrirte Zeitung (Leipzig) I found this full-page illustrative representation of data (11 April 1929), one of the earliest propoagandist pieces (to my mind) in that magazine, showing the state--and great height--of militaristic weakeness in Germany, one of the lowest points that it reached in the breathing space between the two wars.
It was really a picture of nothingness, a mention of the lost possibilities, and also what needed to be done--it was an early call to attention, to arms, to the reconsider of the Paris agreement, of doing 'something'. Four years later the rearming business would be kicking into action, six years and five months later, the Second World War would start in earnest." Image from article
ONE MORE QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: A CAUSE FOR UNEASE
"Presentation of Epaminondas, who was regarded in Antiquity as a highly principled and effective leader, as an analogue for George Bush's Iraq war may cause unease."
--Michael Whitby, reviewing an article in Makers of Ancient Strategy by Victor Davis Hanson, also the editor of this volume; cited in Times Literary Supplement (October 15, 2010), p. 28; Epaminondas image from