Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7

"[H]uman beings, not Web sites, ultimately carry out revolutions."

--Commentator Anne Applebaum; image from


The Death of Phil Taylor


US embassy cables: Warsaw calls for stronger US presence in Poland - guardian.co.uk: "Monday, 22 February 2010, 16:12 C O N F I D E N T I A L ... SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS DEFENSE MINISTER KLICH 1. (C) SUMMARY: Defense Minister Bogdan Klich told the Ambassador on February 18 that Poland is eager to see the fruits of bilateral defense cooperation, which he described as based on a solid political foundation. He emphasized the importance to Poland of an April arrival of the first Patriot battery rotation. Klich

did not repeat recent Polish government points about the configuration of future rotations of the Patriot battery. End Summary ... 5. (C) The Ambassador noted that the bilateral agenda for defense cooperation is a full one, and both governments should work together to inform public opinion about the many useful exchanges under way. Klich strongly agreed that Defense Ministry and Embassy staff should follow up in this area. Deputy Defense Minister Komorowski added that if A/S Vershbow visits Warsaw in the coming months, it might be a good occasion to do some joint public diplomacy work about planning for other forms of an enhanced U.S. security presence in Poland." Klich image from

US embassy cables: Baltic blueprint just the beginning of Nato rethink - guardian.co.uk: "Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 20:29 S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 007810 ... SUBJECT: EXPANSION OF EAGLE GUARDIAN TO INCLUDE BALTIC ALLIES ... 2. (S) Summary and Action Request. On January 22 NATO Allies agreed in the Military Committee to expand the NATO Contingency Plan for Poland, EAGLE GUARDIAN, to include the defense and reinforcement of the Baltic States. Posts in Allied capitals should be prepared to explain, as necessary, U.S. support for this approach and how it fits within our broader vision for NATO contingency planning, as well as how to respond to media inquiries on the matter. ... (S/REL NATO) CONTINGENCY POINTS (FOR USE AT POST,S DISCRETION) ... -- We see the expansion of EAGLE GUARDIAN as a step toward the possible expansion of NATO's other existing country-specific contingency plans into regional plans. This is the first step in a multi-stage process to develop a complete set of appropriate contingency plans for the full range of possible threats - both regional and functional - as soon as possible. At the same time, we believe contingency planning is only one element of NATO's Article 5 preparedness. ... (S/REL NATO) POINTS ABOUT PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF PLANS (FOR USE AT POST'S DISCRETION) ... -- The United States believes strongly that such planning should not be discussed publicly. These military plans are classified at the NATO SECRET level. -- The Alliance has many public diplomacy tools at its disposal. Contingency planning is not one of them. What we should do is explore other public steps for demonstrating the vitality of Article 5, such as exercises, defense investment, and partnerships."

An overheated response to WikiLeaks - Guy W. Farmer, Nevada Appeal: "I read thousands of classified cables (messages) and wrote several hundred of them myself during my diplomatic career, and that's why I'm following the most recent WikiLeaks document dump of State Department cables with great interest. Frankly, I think this alleged 'scandal' is more of a tempest in a teapot although, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, it does have serious national security implications. I question the feverish media reaction to this batch of cables, however, because from what I've seen and read, these reports are mostly low-level diplomatic traffic, classified 'confidential' rather than 'secret' or 'top secret.' During my time in the Foreign Service we often used the 'confidential' classification for routine diplomatic correspondence between our embassies and Washington, D.C. Those cables were usually classified because they might be embarrassing if revealed to the public, as are the WikiLeaks cables. For example, as the American Embassy public affairs officer (PAO) in Canberra, Australia, I would have been embarrassed if my candid opinions about ex-Vice President Al Gore or U.S. Information Agency (USIA)

Director Dr. Joseph Duffey had been made public. I might have lost my job but it wouldn't have been the end of the world. Although some 'experts' described the WikiLeaks document dump as a diplomatic disaster, others said it was a net positive for U.S. diplomats and the State Department." Via LB. On USIA, see. Image from

Julian Assange, a modern anarchist? - Robert Cox, Buenos Aires Herald: "WikiLeaks’ efforts to achieve a more open society would be more convincing if Mr. Assange would take on the task of penetrating closed societies. ... Cablegate will ... be for the good by freeing up information and encouraging diplomats to be more careful, as well as more respectful when they report back from the countries where they have been posted. Traditional diplomacy may now be as irrelevant as Henry Kissinger, who loathed what he called 'public diplomacy.'”

Military Success Doesn't Buy Happiness - The National Interest Online: "A new poll of Afghans, sponsored by the Washington Post, ABC, the BBC, and ARD television of Germany, encapsulates much of what is happening in the war in Afghanistan and indirectly in debate and deliberations back here about the war. ... Overall sentiment toward the United States—which five years ago was unusually high for a majority Muslim country, with 83 percent of Afghans saying they were very or somewhat favorably disposed—continues its decline. The U.S. numbers were down to 51 percent favorable in December 2009; now it's 43 percent. ... General David Petraeus said

in response to these results, 'We clearly have to continue to provide the message to the Afghan people about why we're here and what it is that we want to do, not just for our own national objectives and coalition objectives but also for the people of this country and for the government of Afghanistan.' And so what exactly are those objectives, and do they still make sense given the nature of counterinsurgency and given Afghan attitudes? Or is it now mostly a matter of persuasion and public diplomacy?" Image from

Iraq: Post War Proves More Difficult Than The War - Lawrence Dietz, psyopregiment.blogspot.com: "The US has already downsized its efforts and removed ‘combat’ forces from Iraq. Conceptually the departure of US combat forces was supposed to signal a new era of self-sufficiency, security and prosperity for Iraq and is people. The new era part may be true, but the rest of it is clearly in doubt. While the world watches new hot spots like Korea, continually festering ones like Afghanistan while trying to digest supposed revelations over Wikileaks, US forces are still preparing to deploy to Iraq where the number of troops hovers around 50,000 -- PSYOP (Military Information Support) personnel are among them. I believe the MISO job in Iraq will be more difficult that it was support tactical combat operations and I believe it will be even more nuanced that the Afghanistan mission. MISO works best when it is based on truth and where there is some leverage in the mind of the intended audience. ... In my view there are a couple of keys to success that must be explored even in the face of ... significant challenges. First of all, the US needs to insure dominance over the TV airwaves inside Iraq. This means developing on-going and mutually beneficial relationships with local and regional TV broadcasters. These relationships might include sharing of advanced journalistic techniques and technology (which ought to be spear headed by the Public Affairs Office) and spreading around of advertising dollars. ... [I]f ever there was a time for the other Cabinet Departments to pitch in, it is now. State needs to insure that there is no shortage of coordinated public diplomacy, while Treasury, Commerce and Agriculture along with DHS need to provide their expertise to help Iraq regain its national strength."

Discovery McHale - dotkikifauzia.blogspot.com: "This Friday, December 3 2011, UGM held a special program with a prominent figure from the United States of America. Judith McHale, An Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department. The event took place in the Senate Room, Second Floor, North Wing Rectorat UGM from 08.30-11.00. Around a hundred person joined the program, mostly lecturers and students. The day's program was also connected to nine Indonesian universities through video conference. ... She [McHale] has a strategic yet important position at the Department of State. Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs are very urgent issues regarding the US foreign policy.

Moreover, it is a big homework for the States to influence public opinion, domestically and internationally through smart diplomacy. I wouldn't talk much about political aspects of her position but explore about what we can learn from her endeavor and professional experience. MTV and Discovery Channel. Who didn't know these two internationally-well-known channels. So, what's the matter? It matters since Mrs. McHale had once become an eminence figure who succeed to gain a big achievement for those companies. She had a very sharp visionary sight, and were very passionate about the world development. She was also concern about culture and education which accommodate her hardworking into many accomplishments. Her recent position acquires skill to deal and engage with various different people from around the world. Therefore, she has to equip herself with outstanding qualifications of communication skills, as well as her broad-knowledge. Her background and upbringings were also an advantage for her career. She was nurtured in diplomatic atmosphere since she was a daughter of the US diplomat. She valued a lively experience abroad, especially in South Africa and Great Britain. Hence, Mrs. Mc Hale also absorbed the spirit of apartheid struggle in South Africa." Image from article

Obama Blinks - Amicus, The Spit Shine: "Unlike Reagan, Team Obama have yet to master the art of standing for something, yet being 'Presidential', when it comes time to compromise or showdown. ...They have no sense of the moment. Little clear-cut vision of their role as Executive, as bully-pulpit-in-chief. Little idea how to manage expectations within their own party. What's more, following his post-election admission that they rushed through things because of urgency and didn't take the time for 'public diplomacy', what's his excuse now? India? Lisbon? Afghanistan? This has been on the table since his campaign promise. Besides that, they are trying to do too much, still, so 'the politics' of these weighty issues isn't being handled fully, in terms of the communications effort required, to support any change. So, like George Soros, I'll just watch him muddle through, because it's clear that they still don't have their legs."

Deficit commission finds a few more cuts to make - Humberto Sanchez, National Journal: "President Obama's deficit-reduction commission will propose saving $1 billion by eliminating overlap in Homeland Security Department grant programs and $100 million by cutting the budget for obsolete international broadcast operations by 10 percent. … The 10 percent cut to the Broadcasting Board of Governors' international broadcasting operations account comes after Congress provided $734 million for fiscal year 2010. The Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill would provide $744 million for international broadcasting operations in fiscal year 2011. The House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee called for a total of $757 million in fiscal year 2011 BBG funding. The BBG oversees a host of overseas broadcasting operations, including the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Radio and TV Martí, and the Middle East Broadcasting Network stations of Radio Sawa and Alhurra Television. The commission believes that most of the BBG's programs are worthwhile, but they also believe some are no longer useful - but did not say which." Via GD

Leaked U.S. Embassy Warsaw Cables – Obama to the Poles: Have some Patriot missiles that don’t work to protect you from Russia - tedlipien.com: "Unless forced to do otherwise, the Obama Administration will be treating Poland as a country that only needs to be placated with empty gestures (Patriot battery without live missiles, sending Vice President Biden to Warsaw). The only thing that can change the White House policy on Poland is sufficient public relations and political pressure from U.S. media, Polonia voters, and voters of other Central European backgrounds, that President Obama, his advisers, and the Democrats will fear and will not be able to ignore.

The Polish government should already have in place a public diplomacy campaign to explain and promote its views directly to the American public and the members of Congress." Image from

India Future of Change Network Contest - enyila.info:
"INDIA Future of Change

is India’s broad-based nation branding and public diplomacy initiative.The main element of this programme is a series of Business Plan, Design, Essay & Photography Contests across top campuses in India and over-seas." Image from article

Uzbek diplomats enhance skills in diplomatic correspondence - Journal of Turkish Weekly: "Training on classic and modern diplomatic correspondence was held for the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomats in late November. It was organized by the joint project of UNDP and MFA on 'Enhancing the capacity of the MFA to better respond to the emerging issues of the new Millennium'. ... Joint project of UNDP and MFA on 'Enhancing the capacity of the MFA to better respond to the emerging issues of the new Millennium' works to strengthen professional diplomatic skills, improve technical capacity of the MFA and enhance capacity in Public Diplomacy sphere."

Penning government speeches - sowetanlive.co.za: "Thilivhali [Ratshitanga] is the Deputy Director: Media Research, Analysis and Speechwriting at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation,

where he's involved in conceptualising, researching and drafting speeches for the minister. ... Thilivhali also assists the senior management of the directorate in strategising and implementing the business plan. This in turn affects the business plan of the Public Diplomacy branch and that of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation as a whole." Ratshitanga image from article

Peace prize distances the West from China - Global Times: "Zhang Zhongzai (Zhang), a professor at the Public Diplomacy Research Center [:]... [T]he West is still adhering to the old idea that centered on themselves, in terms of interpretation of human rights and sovereignty.

Country like the US would never allow infringement over its own sovereignty, but it has different standards for other countries." Zhang Zhongzai image from article

Biz Diplomacy Group Disbands as U.S. Image Tanks - odwyerpr.com: "[T]he New York ad man is shutting down his Business for Diplomatic Action organization, a private sector public diplomacy advocacy group, after an eight-year run. BDA is claiming 'Mission Accomplished.' It believes America’s image overseas, which tanked in the aftermath of George Bush’s wrong-headed invasion of Iraq, is on the upswing. 'Our research has shown a clear shift toward more positive perceptions of America and its leadership role in the world. This makes our mission a less urgent priority for U.S. corporations who have joined and supported our initiatives,' says Reinhard. He believes U.S. multinationals have now integrated 'best practices public diplomacy' into their day-to-day operations. BDA representatives made hundreds of speeches to business, civic and academic groups and gave interviews with national and foreign press. Reinhard, who is chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide, testified in Congress and served on advisory committee’s of the State Dept. and Dept. of Homeland Security. In the wake of the WikiLeaks fall-out and the mid-term election of a more isolationist Congress, BDA should stick around for a bit. Its mission is now unaccomplished."

Soft Power Public Diplomacy: Joseph Nye and why China gets it but the neocons don't - The New Diplomacy B: A reflective group blog by some of the students on The New Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University

USAID Jobs Opportunities in Uganda (Current) - bestugandajobs.blogspot.com: "USAID Jobs Opportunities in Uganda (Current) Job Title: Supervisory Development Outreach & Communication (S/DOC) Specialist, USAID/Uganda ... B. MAJOR DUTIES ... (iii) Coordinate with USAID technical teams, implementing partners, and the PAO in planning public diplomacy, press conference and field events related to USAID activities." Below image from

Political and Communication Assistant - naombakazi.blogspot.com: "A full time position as a Political and Communication Assistant at the British Embassy in Brussels has become available. ... The successful candidate will play an integral role in the Political and Public Diplomacy Section, and will be tasked with delivering the Embassy’s strategic communications work alongside the wider team. This will include: managing the Embassy web-site (www.ukinbelgium.fco.gov.uk); acting as the primary contact for public enquiries; assisting in the organisation of public diplomacy events and high level visits to promote UK interests in Belgium; and monitoring and working with the Belgian media."


WikiLeaks "a rapist's propaganda" for 'maligning' all nations: Saudi envoy - sify.com: Slamming the release of secret diplomatic cables by whistle blower website WikiLeaks for 'maligning the leadership of every country', a senior Saudi diplomat has called the website "a rapist's propaganda". "If any body takes a piece of paper, writes his malicious ideas on it, and posts them at a website, what would you call it? This is just a stupid conspiracy to create rift in Muslim brothers," The Nation quoted Saleh Al Mugheeri, Head of Media and Non-Political Affairs at Embassy of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, as saying. It is pertinent to mention that the Interpol has issued a 'wanted' notice in Sweden against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in connection with "sex crimes".

WikiLeaks Disrupts US Propaganda Machinery - John Stanton, Sri Lanka Guardian: WikiLeaks is an information broker with the Internet as its platform.

It cuts out the middle-man, that being journalists/editors/owners who claim privilege over information and how to use it. It also removes the governing elite who claim privilege over the interpretation of reality. Image from article

Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information War: Power, Propaganda, and the Global Political Awakening - Andrew Gavin Marshall, globalresearch.ca: While one should remain skeptical of sources and disinformation campaigns (as those who critically analyze the media have known take place time and time again), one must also consider the personal perspective of the source and decipher between authenticity and analysis. These documents are authentic. In this sense, these are not a part of a psychological operation (psy-op) or propaganda effort, in terms of the actual release of the documents. We must keep in mind that the sources for these cables are U.S. diplomatic channels, and thus the statements within them reflect the perspectives and beliefs of U.S. diplomatic personnel. The documents are an authentic representation of their statements and beliefs, but that does not imply that they are an accurate representation of reality.

This is where the media comes in to propagandize the information within the leaks. The media has essentially read and propagated the documents at face value, meaning that because U.S. diplomats, Middle Eastern and Arab leaders all agree that Iran is a “threat” and is trying to make a “nuclear weapon,” it therefore must be true. This is a non sequitur. If a military general tells several soldiers to commit a raid on a house because there are “suspected terrorists” inside, the fact that the soldiers carry out the raid – and that they believe there are terrorists inside – does not make it so. In contextualizing this example with the current Wikileaks release, just because Middle Eastern and Arab leaders see Iran as a threat, does not make it so. Image from article

Rights panel recommends resuming anti-Pyongyang propaganda - Kim Eun-jung, Yonhap News: South Korea's state human rights agency approved a recommendation for the government to resume anti-North Korea propaganda, officials said Tuesday, as tension was running high after the North's shelling on a South Korean island. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)'s plenary committee in a meeting Monday adopted the recommendation in a 6-2 vote, saying the government needs to show the people of the reclusive North Korea the real outside world "through all means possible."

Is Mossad killing innocent Iranian nuclear scientist for propganda purposes? - Damian Lataan, campaigniran.org: The murder and attempted murder of two Iranian nuclear scientists and academics last week together with the murder of others over the year seems to be the work of Mossad.

However, since Israel knows full well that Iran has no actual "nuclear weapons program," one needs to ask why then are they assassinating Iran’s nuclear scientists? The answer is simple; they need to convince the world that the Iranians indeed do have a "nuclear weapons program" in order to get world public opinion to support an attack on Iran. Since the relentless rhetoric and propaganda coming from Israel and the US over the years about Iran’s so-called "nuclear weapons program" has not as yet had the desired effect, the Israelis have launched a campaign to make their assertions more convincing. Image from


"America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction."

--Benjamin Netanyahu (2001)


David Letterman: Top Ten Signs Your Neighbor Is The WikiLeaks Guy:

"10. Name on mailbox reads 'WikiLeaks Guy.'
9. Spends most of his free time burying stuff in the yard.
8. He insists you speak directly into his necktie.
7. More than once you've caught him crawling in your ventilation ducts.
6. He told you about Jeter's new contract at Thanksgiving.
5. He insists you speak directly into his necktie -- that joke was already in the Top Ten. We really need someone checking these things.
4. On recycling day, he puts out cans, bottles, and classified documents.
3. His idea of small talk is 'Good morning' and 'Want the coordinates of our secret military base in the Strait of Hormuz?'
2. Any time you talk to him, all he says is, 'I know. I know. I know...'
1. Gets drunk and takes a 'WikiLeak' on your porch -- Hi-yooo!"

--From Bulletin News LLC; image from


Storied American jetliner languishes in obscurity — in South Korea: The Juan T. Trippe, the first commercial 747 ever made, was briefly converted into a restaurant outside Seoul; now it sits idle and rusting. But aviation buffs have expressed interest in resurrecting the once-proud bird - John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times


Anonymous said...

Maybe wikileak is a good thing ....

We NEED transparency as part of a proper steering mechanism to survive the global society we created with technology.
At this moment our society has an obsolete 200 years old steering mechanism with to many crisses. How can a few wise people understand these complex global issues pending ?

Would we have gone to Iraq over Weapons of mass destruction is we were part of the diplomatic cable discussion ?
Better of with more transparency ? Credit Crises / Cable gate shows governments are not so much in control of the global society.
Wasn't it work of the press to tell us the truth ?

At least the cork out of the bottle. Fact is that secrets are harder to keep anno 2010.
Shutting down is naive. Discuss it is the only option.. Come on free press, have vision ..take the lead.

rashid1891 said...

This is where the media comes in to propagandize the information within the leaks. The media has essentially read and propagated the documents at face value, meaning that because U.S. diplomats, Middle Eastern and Arab leaders all agree that Iran is a “threat” and is trying to make a “nuclear weapon,” it therefore must be true. This is a non sequitur.