Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29

"We sipped Beer beer. That isn't a typo, the beer is called 'Beer.' The slogan is 'Beer na beer,' Beer is beer. That's simple marketing I can respect."

--Gastrodiplomat Paul Rockower, writing from the Philippines; see also; image from


The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary. Includes "The 25 Rules for Effective Communication" (Chapter 1); "Poster that Work" (Appendix IV)


Pakistan Descends - William R. Hawkins, "The delegations led by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met in Washington Oct. 20-22 for what was the third ministerial-level meeting of the Strategic Dialogue. ... The war against terrorism was only mentioned twice in the joint statement issued on Oct. 22 . ... Afghanistan was never mentioned. 'Counter-terrorism' was mentioned once, as part of a laundry list of issues which included agriculture, communications, public diplomacy, defense, energy, finance, economic cooperation, health, law enforcement, water, and women’s empowerment." Below image from

Our Foreign Minister's questionable conduct - Saida Fazal, "Overwhelmed by the importance he received in the US during the 'Strategic Partnership Dialogue' (which is not something to be proud of, for it is about American officials micromanaging our domestic affairs in almost every field of national endeavour, from security to economy, and from energy to agriculture and health care), Qureshi [Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi] thought it fit to give unsolicited advice to Iran on how it should conduct its relations with Washington. Said he, 'this administration has been extending the olive branch; make use of it. Engage the world.' In other words, Iran is behaving badly and needs to mend its ways. The Foreign Minister certainly needs an intensive course in public diplomacy etiquette. Friendly nations' government officials are not supposed to criticise one another in a third country - especially a hostile one."

Washington Must Take a Stronger Stand on Russia-Venezuela Nuclear Deal - ‎Jonathan Pearl, Huffington Post: "A good first step might be for the Obama administration to privately urge Russia to make construction of nuclear plants in Venezuela contingent upon Caracas signing an Additional Protocol agreement with the IAEA. This agreement would grant Agency inspectors broad latitude to investigate Venezuelan nuclear activities and, thus, provide an important buffer against diversion of civilian nuclear material for military purposes.

Washington's behind-the-scenes push could be accompanied by a public effort to emphasize the Iran-Venezuela connection, particularly in the context of U.S., EU, and UN Security Council sanctions. If the Obama administration is able to frame the debate in this way through deft public diplomacy, it would raise the political stakes and give greater currency to its entreaties to Moscow. Simply put, the United States cannot afford to sit on the sidelines in a world where states have often pursued nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian programs, least of all when it comes to Venezuela and its friends in Tehran." Image from

U.S.-India People to People Conference in Washington DC - Tabitha Berg, posted at "The U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with the Indian American Leadership Council and the American India Foundation, will hold the U.S.-India People to People Conference in the Department’s Loy Henderson Auditorium October 28, 2010 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In anticipation of President Obama’s visit to India, this event seeks to highlight the crucial role of Indian Americans in the ever-strengthening U.S.-India relationship. ... The People to People Conference represents the shared belief of the United States and India that through a multitude of people-to-people connections between our two countries, the U.S.-India partnership will continue to flourish." Image from

An interaction with Editor, American Libraries - Partners In Public Diplomacy: A Blog from The Participants Of The LVLP Program 2009 Organized by Department of State: "As Lincoln Corner Karachi Coordinator, I had a welcome meeting with Mr. Leonard Kniffel, Editor ALA American Libraries Magazine. To welcome Mr. Kniffel to Karachi, and discussed different issues and scenarios in Pakistani Libraries and Librarians, I was accompanied by Chief Librarian, Institute of Business Administration IBA Library, Director Sindh, Pakistan Library Automation Group and AIRC Director. ...

On my end, I shared with Mr. Kniffel, about my initiatives at Lincoln Corner, and its marketing as a model American Library here in Karachi and how we remain successful to win the audience in our programs in this digital age." Image from article

Listen Up! - Laura McGinnis, manIC: "The idea that Iraqis -- or anyone, for that matter -- would appreciate having an opportunity to address their leaders and help shape the narrative of their day-to-day lives, is hardly surprising. What is surprising is how little U.S. public diplomacy does to contribute to initiatives like this, particularly in the realm of broadcasting. ... While some aspects of U.S. engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan are collaborative, U.S. radio broadcasts are often not. As the almost exclusive generator of messages in this context, the United States reinforces existing power dynamics, treating radio audiences, for the most part, as passive recipients of information and not co-creators."

NATO Integration, Kosovo Top Agenda of Parliamentarians' Visit to Serbia - "Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, Kosovo, and the situation in South Serbia, were the key themes of the visit of a delegation of 8 members of Parliament from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Democratic Governance to Serbia on 22-23 October. ... Realism and pragmatism were at the heart of the current government’s approach to NATO, the delegation heard. Serbian parliamentarians and defence officials

alike emphasized how the NATO debate in Serbia was still very emotional, marked by the 1999 Kosovo air campaign, which left Belgrade with scars still visible today. ... In the meantime, the current government favoured a progressive approach, aimed at using, to the fullest extent possible, the opportunities provided by the Partnership for Peace, including through the conclusion of an Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO in 2011. Public diplomacy was seen as the biggest problem at the political level." Image from

Failing memory, false hope: In his final Knesset address, Rabin rejected two-state vision, return to ’67 borders - Martin Sherman, "Israel is still accused of intransigence - not only by its foes but by those who feign friendship. Still it is pressed for ever more far-reaching concessions - now not even to reach a permanent settlement, but merely so the Palestinians might deign to resume negotiations. This situation clearly reflects catastrophic defeat for Israel's public-diplomacy and a scathing indictment of those responsible for conducting it."

Government's Public Diplomacy Division gets prestigious e-governance award for 2010 - Calcutta News.Net: "The Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs was on Thursday given the prestigious India eGov 2.0 Awards 2010 for the most innovative use of social media and Web 2.0 tools in government. ... In the last six months, the division has launched a series of digital diplomacy initiatives that have made it one of the first Government of India organisations to tap into the potential offered by social media and Web 2.0 tools. These include (a) A Twitter page ( that has already acquired close to 3500 followers and provides regular information and updates on foreign policy issues; (b) A YouTube channel ( that hosts 21 documentary films and will increasingly provide access to activities organised by India's diplomatic missions; (c) A blogspot account ( that provides a platform for discussing issues raised in the popular MEA Distinguished Lecture Series on India's foreign policy; (d) A Facebook page ( that flags upcoming events and shares information on a

range of foreign policy related issues; (e) Accounts on online publishing sites like Issu and Scribd to make the ministry's flagship India Perspectives magazine accessible to the online community; (f) A new website ( that, inter alia, seeks to build a positive narrative about India in terms of its development partnerships with various countries, about the reach and impact of India's soft power and about activities of India's diplomatic missions." Image from

India to partner African resurgence, denies China rivalry - "[A] day-long seminar, organised by the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank, focused on the economic resurgence of Africa and explored different models of engaging the resurgent continent that boasts of some of the fastest growing economies in the world. ... Navdeep Suri, joint secretary (public diplomacy) in the MEA, [was] among those who participated in the discussions."

Elections, the 2003 Constitution and Rwanda’s Democratic Deficit - "The 2003 elections [in Rwanda] formally established what some political scientists would term an 'illiberal democracy.' Shortly after the 2003 presidential and parliamentary elections, the RPF replaced the 1991 Rwandan constitution. The new constitution made 'denial' and 'minimalization' of the 1994 genocide a crime punishable by law. It also set forth the crime of inciting 'divisionism,'

which is often leveled against dissidents and political opponents who talk about or talk in terms of ethnicity in Rwanda. These terms are all very vaguely defined, allow for a great deal of subjectivity, and provide a potential soft power tool of oppression for the regime. These laws were legitimized through public diplomacy as part of the regime’s national reconciliation strategy and, they claimed, to help prevent another genocide from taking place." Image from

Radio without borders turns 81 - "In 1929 Radio Moscow, currently known as the Voice of Russia, aired its first programme for listeners abroad. ... Now The Voice of Russia is going through many changes, coming up with new series of programmes, building new studios and newsrooms, and putting to use new technologies.

The broadcaster is achieving a more advanced technological level." Image from article

A surprising public diplomacy win - Matt Armstrong, "Yesterday I flew to San Francisco to apply in-person for a visa to Russia. ... The encounter with [a] twenty-something Russian official changed my opinion for the better. Of course, there was no where to go but up: any negative attitude would have been taken in stride, something that was expected. Overall, despite wasting nearly an entire day (much of which was my fault, not Russia’s), Russia scored a public diplomacy win."

Event – The Future of American Diplomacy – A Conversation at Belmont (Nov 9) - "How ready is the United States to deal with its many global challenges through the exercise of diplomacy? That’s the question being posed at a town hall meeting on America’s 'Foreign Affairs for the Future,' featuring U.S. Ambassador George Staples. The program, hosted by Belmont University and the Tennessee World Affairs Council, is set for 6:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9 . ... Staples served a 25-year Foreign Service career and is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, or AAD, which works to improve the quality of diplomatic representation aboard.

As part of that mission, the AAD undertook a major study to determine what is needed 'to enable the State Department and the Foreign Service to accomplish their missions in classic diplomacy, public diplomacy, development diplomacy, and reconstruction and stabilization,' according to the Academy. The next step is to bring the results on the future of American diplomacy to the public through nationwide briefings like the one in Nashville." Staples image from article


The wars we've left behind - Michael Gerson, Washington Post: Among the most striking developments of the 2010 campaign season is the vast silence on matters of war and peace. President Obama seldom raises the topic on the campaign trail, and his Tea Party critics have no discernible foreign policy. Reacting to a list of public issues, fewer than 10 percent of Americans rank the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as their top concern. When Gallup recently asked voters an open-ended question about their main priorities, war in general was brought up by 3 percent and Iraq by 1 percent. Afghanistan was an asterisk, mentioned by less than one-half of 1 percent of respondents.

Intelligence spending at record $80.1 billion in first disclosure of overall figure - Walter Pincus, Washington Post: The government announced Thursday that it had spent $80.1 billion

on intelligence activities over the past 12 months, disclosing for the first time not only the amount spent by civilian intelligence agencies but also by the military. The so-called National Intelligence Program, run by the CIA and other agencies that report to the Director of National Intelligence, cost $53.1 billion in fiscal 2010, which ended Sept. 30, while the Military Intelligence Program cost an additional $27 billion. Spending on intelligence for 2010 far exceeded the $42.6 billion spent on the Department of Homeland Security and the $48.9 billion spent on the State Department and foreign operations. Image from


"Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta may not sound famous, but the University of South Carolina is offering a course next spring devoted to her — and the sociology of fame.

Apparently one secret to becoming famous is to change your name. Ms. Germanotta now goes by Lady Gaga.

What else accounts for the soaring popularity of the 24-year-old global phenom? The question has intrigued and inspired Mathieu Deflem, 48, a sociology professor at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, who plans to teach a course called 'Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame.' He believes it is the only such full-time college course in the country.

He wants to explore what makes a person famous and what being famous means in today’s culture. Or, as the course description puts it: 'The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga.'”

--Katharine Q. Seelye, Beyond ABCs of Lady Gaga to the Sociology of Fame, New York Times; image from


From Boing Boing


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