Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4

"[T]he polarity between art and propaganda that [Orson] Welles maps in his notes on the theater: the transient coherence provided by shared aesthetic experience versus total identification with a single point of view."

-- Mark Wollaeger, Modernism, Media, and Propaganda: British Narrative from 1900 to 1945 (2006), p. 259; Welles image from; see also, "Culture Vultures and Others" section of (scroll down link)


Strategic engineering - Asif Ezdi, "In his confirmation hearing, Munter [Cameron Munter, Ambassador-designate to Pakistan] promised a more effective public diplomacy through better communication with diverse sections of the society. In other words, if the Pakistanis are unhappy or angry with US policies and actions, such as the attack last Thursday by US helicopters on a Pakistani border post at Teri Mengal, it is because they do not understand that what the US is doing is actually good for them and all that is needed is a better effort to sell US policies. Munter

also repeated another misconception: that Pakistani scepticism about US motives in South Asia arises mainly from historical doubts about America’s staying power and long-term commitment in the region. That might have been true at one time, especially in the immediate aftermath of Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. But Pakistani scepticism over US policies is founded today not so much on the past 'fickleness' of the US (as Shuja Nawaz wrote in a recent article in the Washington Post) but its present and future geostrategic plans for the region." Munter image from

Why doesn't the U.S. take credit for aiding Pakistan? - David Ignatius, Washington Post: "I wrote last week from a village called Pir Sabak in northwestern Pakistan that U.S. flood relief wasn't evident there, or along the way. 'The U.S. military has been working hard to provide flood assistance, but most of that is invisible to Pakistanis,' I noted. That seemed to me to be a missed opportunity -- and characteristic of a weird misfire in U.S. public diplomacy. For a superpower, we can be oddly shy about advertising our good works. ... American soldiers and civilians here have been making a difference in helping the desperate flood victims, and their work shouldn't go unsung, by Pakistanis or visiting columnists."

Pakistan delegation to visit US State Department - "A Pakistani delegation consisting of nine professionals, who have achieved distinction in their respective fields and are on a visit to the US since October 1, will visit the US State Department, which has arranged special briefings for them with its Public Diplomacy wing.

The delegation is visiting the US at the invitation of the Rotary Club (RC) of Wilmington, Delaware." Image from

Community Radio in Afghanistan – A Call for Action: Jake Chapnick, "Abstract: This is a proposal for building community radio stations in rural areas of Afghanistan. I will discuss the developments of media since 2001 and explain why community radio is an inexpensive and valuable tool to aid the United States, its allies, and Afghans on the road to creating civility and sustainable peace. ... Funding for this project will be requested from the United States Agency for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.) ... . This fiscal year, the article states, the U.S. will budget seventy-two million dollars for 'communications and public diplomacy' in Afghanistan."

United States Public Diplomacy in the Middle East (a critical cultural approach) - [Google trnslation:] "Abstract: یکی از بخشهای در حال رشد در حوزه ادبیات روابط عمومی، تحقیق عمقی با عنوان دیپلماسی عمومی است. Part of the growing literature in the field of public relations, research, public diplomacy is as deep. این علاقه در حال رشد به دیپلماسی عمومی در کنار افزایش توجه دیپلماسی عمومی ایالات متحده به خاورمیانه قرار گرفته است. The growing interest in public diplomacy increases in the United States to the Middle East public diplomacy has been. بر اساس یک تحلیل انتقادی از استراتژیهای دیپلماسی عمومی در خاورمیانه، نویسنده نشان میدهد که مدلهای سنتی دیپلماسی عمومی بصورت دیپلماسی عمومی فعلی تغییر کرده است. Based on a critical analysis of the strategies of public diplomacy in the Middle East,

the author shows that traditional models of public diplomacy as the current public diplomacy has changed. بر اساس یک مدل آیینی ارتباطی و تئوری کنش ارتباطی که در این مقاله تعقیب میشود، نویسنده بهوضوح استدلال میکند که یک رهیافت فرهنگ محور در اجرای دیپلماسی عمومی بینالمللی ضروری است. Based on a ritual model of communication and theory of communicative action that is followed in this article, the author clearly argues that a culture centered approach in the implementation of international public diplomacy is essential." Image from

Bricks and Mortar Still Count in International Influence Games - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "Years ago, when the US was interested in projecting a positive and powerful image abroad, it engaged top-flight architects to design its new Embassies. After 9/11, these architectural masterpieces were enveloped in ugly bomb-deterrent concrete barriers, surrounded by high block and wire fences and security perimeters that extend into neighborhoods and cut off streets to cars and pedestrians – whether merited or not. ... The images these American Embassies and Consulates now project are not of power, but of fear.

The migration of those buildings to places with more secure perimeters – like the plans for the new London Embassy – distant from the people with whom those who work inside should be interacting, including but not exclusively the country’s leaders, brings their future relevancy into question. ... The one public diplomacy campaign pledge President Obama made when he was campaigning for office was to reopen real bricks and mortar America Centers overseas – particularly in the Muslim world. Every so often, I hear rumblings of something in the works but I wonder how much has been achieved." Image from

Angella Harvey has a passion for helping others - "As we continue to celebrate the Inter-American Year of Women, the Bureau of Women's Affairs turns the spotlight on Angella Harvey who continues to make an outstanding contribution to national development through her involvement in cultural programming, volunteerism and public diplomacy. Angella Harvey is a very highly motivated, reliable and committed individual, who manages several programmes including the Fulbright Programme, the International Visitor Leadership Programme, other exchange programmes, and all cultural programming at the United States (US) Embassy in Kingston. Since March 1980, she has held several positions in the Public Affairs Section (PAS) which was previously called the United States Information Service.

She has successfully pursued degrees in English Language and Literature at educational institutions in the former Canal Zone, Panama, and in North Carolina, US. ... Prior to working with the embassy, she worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With a 30-year history of service with the US Embassy and as the cultural affairs specialist, she has been primarily involved in the selection of Jamaicans for prestigious Fulbright grants and for participation in other exchange programmes." Harvey image from article

Graduate students present public diplomacy project to State Department - Kara Dunford, "Students in professor Price Floyd's public diplomacy course will have an unlikely evaluator this semester: the U.S. Department of State. As part of a team project, students enrolled in U.S. Public Diplomacy - a graduate level course in the Elliott School of International Affairs - will be asked to tackle a real world public diplomacy problem and present a solution and implementation plan.

Students will write a two-page memo as well as a one-page implementation plan and present their ideas to the class in a 15-minute presentation during which a State Department official will be present. Floyd - who is team-teaching the course along with Dr. Kristin Lord - recently left his post as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs at the Department of Defense." Floyd image from

Coast Guard cadets benefit from foreign officer's world view - Jennifer McDermott, "A foreign service officer from the U.S. Department of State is teaching at the Coast Guard Academy for the first time in about 15 years. Foreign service officers used to teach at the school as members of the visiting faculty but the program was not kept up over time. The dean of academics and the head of the humanities department recently worked to resurrect the relationship between the school and the State Department. Robin Holzhauer, who joined the foreign service in 1998, arrived at the academy this summer. She most recently worked as the information officer and press chief at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. She is teaching classes in U.S. history, foreign policy in Latin America and public diplomacy this school year. She plans to stay at the academy for two years."

Polish patriot sent WWII radio dispatches - Matt Schudel, Washington Post: "Among some circles in Washington, Zofia Korbonski's apartment came to be seen as the unofficial embassy of Poland. She and her husband, Stefan Korbonski, settled in the District after years of struggling to preserve the independent spirit of their homeland, enduring arrest, suspicion and, finally, long years of exile. ... They arrived in the United States with little money, and Mrs. Korbonski soon began working for Voice of America.

She and her husband came to in Washington in 1954, when Voice of America moved its headquarters from New York. Mrs. Korbonski saw her work as a continuation of her wartime service to Poland. ... 'She took her job seriously, and it was a very important job,' Lipien ['Ted Lipien, who grew up in Poland and later worked with Mrs. Korbonski at Voice of America'] said. 'Without Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, people in Poland and Eastern Europe would not know what was going on outside their immediate circle of family and friends.'" Via TL. Zofia Korbonski image from

Medvedev: To The People of Belarus - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "Having a tech-savvy President seems to be proving advantageous for Russia's public diplomacy (for its effort, at the very least). Medvedev has been reaching out to the people of Russia, as well as the foreign publics, through his personal (verified!) Twitter accounts - in Russian and English - his official blogs (again, Russian and English), and the official Kremlin YouTube channel (with disabled comments section, by the way). Having combined what many in the U.S. would differentiate as public affairs and public diplomacy, Medvedev often covers overlapping subjects, especially when it comes to issues related to Russia's 'near abroad'. In his latest video blog post, for example, Medvedev expressed his concern about the recent Russia-bashing rhetoric in Belarus

(with the elections coming up next year), and criticized President Lukashenko for attempting to brand Russia as the new 'outside enemy' of the Belarusian people." Image from

Indonesia - The Australian National University (ANU) is Offering The Opportunity to Indonesian Diplomats to Pursue Advanced Degrees - ISRIA: "The preceding statement was one of the items in the Arrangement between Pusdiklat Kemlu RI (the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Center for Education and Training) and the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy of the Australian National University (APCD ANU). ...Last but not least, APCD ANU is also committed to assist the Pusdiklat Kemlu RI to bring in other highly competent experts in public diplomacy, public speaking and negotiation skills."


US Army psyop personnel teach Iraqi counterparts how to do focus groups. etc. - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting. Below image from

Differing assessments of US Army psyop soldier internships at US television stations - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Because the Army personnel were not practicing psyop at the two television stations, I see no problem with the internships. And they are presumably learning about good, accurate, balanced journalism, which I think would would be the best psyop."

Please let us know what you think of our leaflets, and other inter-Korean propaganda news - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

America's deepening moral crisis: The language of collective compassion has been abandoned in the US, and no politician dare even mention helping the poor - Jeffrey Sachs, Guardian: Both parties increasingly defend the interests of the rich, though Republicans do so slightly more than Democrats. Even a modest tax increase on the rich is unlikely to find support in American politics.

The result of all this is likely to be a long-term decline of US power and prosperity, because Americans no longer invest collectively in their common future. America will remain a rich society for a long time to come, but one that is increasingly divided and unstable. Fear and propaganda may lead to more US-led international wars, as in the past decade. Image from

Soviet Collapse Ruined the U.S. - Alexei Bayer, Moscow Times: After the Soviet collapse, Washington found a different adversary: al-Qaida. As a result, the leading 21st-century military and economic power is wasting its resources on a medieval war, gradually descending to the level of its new foe. Osama bin Laden may be history’s greatest military strategist. He made Washington abandon its lofty moral ideals, forced the United States into a sea of debt and played a key role in pushing the United States off its pedestal of being the world’s supreme economic power.

Even 'winning' in Afghanistan would include some failures - Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post: Countering terrorist groups around the globe and defending the United States against them is an ongoing business. The war in Afghanistan, in other words, is one part of the broader global counterterrorism strategy, which is itself just one part of a broader national security strategy. It cannot be waged without a sense of tradeoffs or limits. Whenever we decide to scale back, Afghanistan is going to look messy.

It is highly unlikely that we could ever achieve "total victory" in Afghanistan. Image from

Our view on defeating al-Qaeda: Afghanistan echoes Vietnam, but the stakes are higher - Opinion, USA Today: Win or lose in Vietnam, life for most Americans was not going to change. There was no al-Qaeda equivalent intent on attacking the United States. Withdrawal today does not equal peace. At best, it equals a different form of war because leaving al-Qaeda alone to prepare its next attack is not a serious option. For all the problems in Afghanistan, we are not reliving Vietnam. This is something much, much worse.

Opposing view on defeating al-Qaeda: Stick to the timetable - Matthew Hoh, USA Today:

We've heard for nine years that we're making progress, yet conditions now are worse than ever. Setting a timeline forces Karzai to negotiate in the same way that setting a timeline in Iraq was indispensible to achieving the orderly exit of our combat troops now. Image from

U.S. warns Americans to be extra cautious in Europe - Thomas Frank, Laura Bly and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY: The Obama administration formally warned Americans Sunday about potential terrorist attacks in Europe, urging U.S. citizens to be careful on public transportation and at tourist sites. The State Department "travel alert" stops short of advising Americans to stay away from Europe or to take precautions in any specific country, city or activity. The administration said nothing about an increased possibility of an attack in the USA.

Games India Isn’t Ready to Play - Pankay Mishra, New York Times: So who is anxious over India’s image in the wealthy world? That particular burden is borne by India’s small affluent elite, for whom the last few months have been full of painful and awkward self-reckonings.

Yet the greatest recent blow to wealthy Indians’ delusions on the subject of their nation’s inexorable rise has been the Commonwealth Games, for which Delhi was given a long and painful facelift. For so many, the contest was expected to banish India’s old ghosts of religious and class conflict, and cement its claims to a seat at the high tables of international superpowers. But the games turned into a fiasco well before their scheduled opening. Image from


Manatee sheriff: Man says cocaine in his buttocks isn’t his - Paradise Afshar, A search of a 25-year-old man following a traffic stop Wednesday morning revealed one bag of marijuana and one bag of cocaine in the driver’s buttocks, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver said only the marijuana belonged to him. Via; image from

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