“Am I faithful? Frequently.”
--Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, as quoted by Financial Times journalist Beppe Severgnini; via LB; image from article
International Broadcasting, Public Media, and the News Deficit: Mission and Market Gaps [with video]
Battening Down the Hatches, Circling the Wagons: The WikiLeak Effect on the Public Diplomacy of Internet Advocacy - Monroe Price, Huffington Post: "A few months ago, I
blogged here and elsewhere about the similarities and differences between China and the United States in terms of articulated policy concerning the development of the Internet. Wikileaks -- so huge an event in the history of the way we think about these questions -- is dramatically bringing the two positions more closely together and will probably have some significant impact on what might be called the 'public diplomacy of Internet structuring.' ... There are very different takes on the impact of WikiLeaks and its implications for national security. But it will also have its mark on how the United States is perceived and projects itself in the ongoing debate over architecture of information, the role of the state, and the power of law itself." Price image from article
Wikileaks an asset for the democracy brand - Pat Kane, caledonianmercury.com: "As Evgeny Morozov wrote in the Financial Times earlier this week, Assange’s movement could become 'either a new Red Brigades, or a new Transparency International. … But handled correctly, the state that will benefit most from a nerdy network of 21st-century Che Guevaras, is America itself'. At the very least, we have an immediate branding glitch: Hillary Clinton was making speeches about the power of free information to create healthy societies only a few months ago, but is now squeezing the fibre-optics of the internet like the most enthusiastic Chinese firewall manager.
As Morozov says, better to harness the power of these hackers 'as useful allies of the West as it seeks to husband democracy and support human rights' – that is, make them a complement of Western soft power or public diplomacy – than to martyr their main representative and thus radicalise his followers. The leaked US embassy cables themselves hardly show a steely American empire bent on world domination – more a faltering hegemon, resigned to world mitigation. There’s surely some grounds there for mutual understanding." Assange image from article
Surprise, Surprise: Private Sector Media Better Bulwark Against Against Islamic Radicalism Than U.S. Taxpayer-financed Media - Ken Shepherd, NewsBusters: "Reporter Devin Dwyer has a post at ABCNews.com today noting that a 'confidential cable published by WikiLeaks' reveals that 'American television shows broadcast across the Middle East are proving to be effective 'agents of influence' in the ongoing battle over hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims pondering jihad. ... The Saudi government, which exerts tight control over media in the country, has permitted the satellite broadcasts of American programming uncensored with Arabic subtitles over the privately-owned Middle East Broadcasting group (MBC) as a 'means of countering the extremists.' 'If the Saudis are saying that the popular culture helps young people like America, that it helps people like Americans, that it is a more powerful tool in public diplomacy than any of the stuff coming out of government – it's absolutely true,' James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, told ABC News."
Islam en France: Les Américains sont clairement engagés dans une stratégie d'influence auprès des Musulmans en France - Benjamin Pelletier, islamenfrance.fr: "Wikileaks a permis de lever le voile sur ce qui était déjà une évidence: les Américains sont clairement engagés dans une stratégie d’influence de vaste ampleur vis-à-vis des minorités en France.
Pour les lecteurs de mon blog, et notamment de l’article du 16 septembre dernier Les banlieues françaises, cibles de l’influence culturelle américaine,
http://gestion-des-risques-interculturels.com/pays/europe/france/les-banlieues-francaises-cibles-de-linfluence-culturelle-americaine/ il ne s’agit pas là d’une découverte mais d’une confirmation: oui, il y a une claire et nette entreprise de manipulation des minorités en France par les Américains. Les opérations mises en œuvre sont scrupuleusement planifiées, suivies et évaluées. ... [citing cable:] 'To achieve these aims, we will build on the expansive Public Diplomacy programs already in place at post, and develop creative, additional means to influence the youth of France, employing new media, corporate partnerships, nationwide competitions, targeted outreach events, especially invited U.S. guests.'" Image from
Wikileaks: el embajador que difama a Ortega y Chávez encubrió narcotráfico en Honduras - Jean-Guy Allard, elcipitiojalva.blogspot.com: "Robert J. Callahan, el ex embajador norteamericano en Nicaragua, que pretende vincular a los presidentes progresistas Hugo Chávez y Daniel Ortega al narcotráfico, estaba de brazo derecho del criminal de guerra John Negroponte en Honduras cuando la CIA traficaba cocaína a favor de la Contra nicaragüense manejada desde Tegucigalpa. Callahan, profundamente implicado en las operaciones de desinformación, una parte fundamental de la guerra sucia desencadenada contra los Sandinistas al poder en Managua, se encontraba en Tegucigalpa con el cargo de agregado cultural y de prensa en Honduras – en claro, responsable de las 'operaciones psicológicas'. En este periodo, actúó en apoyo a nada menos que Otto Reich, el cubano-austriaco-americano que es, luego de abandonar la USAID, director del desastroso Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), la unidad secreta de guerra sicológica y de intoxicación mediática que maneja Oliver North, desde el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional."
Reports: US cable suggests Qatar uses Al Jazeera as bargaining chip; Al Jazeera says this is "very far from the truth" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
State Sends Ambassador to Terror-Promoting London Mosque - Omri Ceren, commentarymagazine.com: "As part of the White House’s public-diplomacy push, we sent Ambassador Louis Susman
to an al-Qaeda-supporting mosque a few days ago. CBN’s Erick Stakelbeck has a report on the inspired act of 'outreach to the Muslim world,' along with video of East London Mosque and a rundown of some of the radicals it’s hosted. Prominently featured is Anwar al-Awlaki, who couldn’t speak to assembled worshipers last year except by video link, on account of how we’re currently trying to kill him. This is the same line of reasoning that has State dispatching President Obama to pro-Ahmadinejad mosques, sending pro-Iran apologists to Saudi Arabia, and funding domestic 'dialogue' panels run by implacable Israel-haters. Hearts and minds have to be won, after all. And if you can’t do that, then pantomiming 'listening' in a particularly obsequious way is apparently the second-best option." Susman image from
Un-American Books - Laura McGinnis, manIC: "USPD tends to emphasize education over culture ... . U.S. pop culture has the strength of the market behind it, but high culture--like foreign literature--lacks that support."
AFSA opposes mid-level lateral entry program to address mid-level experience gaps - Domani Spero, diplopundit.blogspot.com:
"How much longer will the 'when we're fully staffed' be part of the FS wish list for Santa? How many of the expanded limited appointments would be spouses and partners? ... Most limited appointments going to the warzones, how many are going to temporarily fill in the gaps in the hardship posts that are not in the warzones? We also note that a GAO report released in 2009 concluded that 'State faced a 28 percent greater deficit at the FS-02 level than it did in 2006, with mid-level positions in the public diplomacy and consular cones continuing to experience the largest shortages of staff overall.'” Image from
The 21st century diplomat - Beth Day, Manila Bulletin: "In a recent article in Foreign Affairs magazine, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited the changes that have taken place in the role of an ambassador. The original foreign service consisted of people trained to manage US relations with foreign states. They dealt with government officials in their host country and colleagues in the diplomatic service. Today, they are just as apt to be out in the field meeting with village elders or local citizens and supervising development projects. Globalization has increased their work to include economic and environment regulations, drugs, disease, organized crime, and world hunger. ... As these global needs have surfaced, domestic agencies dealing with these problems must now do their work overseas, operating out of embassies and consulates. Today, an ambassador creates ties not only with governments, but also with its people. QDDR [Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review] endorses a new public diplomacy strategy that makes public engagement 'every diplomat’s duty' through town hall meetings, interviews with the media, student exchange programs, and civic organizations. Public diplomacy, however, must 'still start at the top.' Secretary Clinton offers the example of her recent visits to Indonesia and Turkey where she first conducted bilateral meetings with government officials, but also met with civic leaders and even appeared on TV talk shows. She makes the point that she has held town-hall meetings 'on every continent I have visited' because the 'durability of the United States partnership abroad will depend on the attitudes of the people as well as the policy of their government.'”
Ya'alon: Elad Riven and Ahuva Tomer – This Generation's Heroes - Gil Ronen, Arutz Sheva: "Brigadier General Ahuva Tomer and volunteer firefighter Elad Riven, both of whom perished in the great Carmel fire, are this generation's heroes, Vice-Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said at Bnei Akiva's Jewish Heroism Week event in Beverly Hills Tuesday. ... The former IDF Chief-of-Staff
stressed how important it is for Jewish communities around the world to assist Israel's public diplomacy and advocacy efforts, and criticized Jewish organizations that do not take part in this struggle: 'Muslims know that terrorism will not defeat us, so now the war is for legitimacy; this war is more difficult than the war for security, because [the enemies] have even succeeded in affecting the Jews: Even today there are Jews who think there is apartheid in Israel.'" Image from article, with caption: Yaalon at Bnei Akiva event
Thankful for the Lights and for our Diversity - Bill Fulton, Mayor of Ventura Bill Fulton, Mayor of Ventura, California, discusses current city issues and explains his own positions on matters before the City Council:
"The next day it was my honor to participate in our annual community menorah lighting program at the Ventura Harbor. Rabbi Yakov Latowicz of the Chabad Center here in Ventura – and his colleagues from around the country – always do a great job of putting a program on. This year, I had the special privilege of sharing the stage with Yuli Edelstein, a former Russian diplomat and currently Israel’s Minister of the Diaspora and Public Diplomacy, who went some 30 feet up in the air in a cherry-picker to light the huge menorah." Fulton image from article
Maritime Transportation Security: The Week in Review - John C.W. Bennett, maritimeprofessional.com: "Chinese FM Speaks, Barely, of Maritime Security [.] On December 1st, the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi delivered the keynote speech at the First Lanting Forum in Beijing. Over 70 diplomatic envoys from foreign embassies and representatives from international organizations, China-based foreign business leaders, experts, scholars, and Chinese and foreign journalists heard the address, entitled 'Shape the Future of Asia Pacific with Confidence and Cooperation.' Although regional security issues featured significantly throughout the six and a half page speech, maritime security, in general, and maritime transportation security, in particular, was relegated to a single sentence: 'We should join hands to fight terrorism and piracy to safeguard maritime security and normal trade flows.' While hosted by China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), the Forum, which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, appears to be a public diplomacy effort by China to spread understanding of Chinese policies. The theme of the inaugural forum was 'The Situation in the Asia Pacific and China’s Policy.'"
A Taiwanese Take on Four-Eyes - Paul Rockower, Huffington Post: "There is a strange and ubiquitous fashion trend seen among Taipei's teens and twentysomethings who sport eyeglass frames sans the lenses. It is not entirely clear where the trend originated, as some point to the Japanese and Korean pop scene as the trend's provenance, while others argue it to be a homegrown Taiwanese fashion. Regardless, the lensless frames of glasses have become a fashion accessory worn by Taipei's fashionistas. ... With the recent thaw in relations between Taiwan and China, and in the wake of the recently signed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), there has been an up tick of cultural exchange across the Taiwan Strait.
As trade liberalizes between the two sides, and with the expectation of increased agreement facilitating broader cultural diplomacy between Taiwan and China as part of the latest round of ECFA negotiations, it is easy to expect the lensless fashion will soon be commonplace among China's fashion conscious teens." Image from article
Russia Presents Vision For Arctic Wealth, December 2010 -theriseofrussia.blogspot.com: "The first visit by a Russian leader to a desolate chain of disputed islands in the Pacific is a clear signal to Japan: follow China's example if you want to do business with the Kremlin. President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Kunashir, one of four disputed islands known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, sparked one of the worst diplomatic rows with Japan in decades.
But behind the rhetoric, Russia is signaling to Tokyo that if it wants to get any compromise, Japan's rulers must sit down and do business with the Kremlin as China's leaders have so successfully done over the past decade. ... Japan has tried ever since to push Soviet and then Russian leaders to return the islands, though Moscow has repeatedly taken offence at Japan's public diplomacy and what it sees as a failure to develop the wider trade relationship." Image from article: Medvedev's Kuril visit
Bill Clinton: "Russian Immigrants (in Israel) Biggest Obstacle to Peace" - garyfouse.blogspot.com: "Bill Clinton has upset many people in Israel by stating that Russian immigrants are the biggest obstacle to peace since they tend to oppose any division of the land with Palestinians. Just by chance in the past few days I happened to attend a presentation at UC Irvine by the Israeli Minister for Public Diplomacy and the Diaspora, Yuli Edelstein, himself a Russian immigrant. The event was hosted by the Olive Tree Initiative. During the Q and A, he was asked for his reaction to Clinton's remarks. His answer, which I am paraphrasing, was that he would suppress his emotions and say simply that if you go back through the last several elections, the Russian community has always voted with the mainstream. He chose to leave it at that."
Indonesian Scholarship Darmasiswa Ri Program - bnugraha1.blogspot.com: "DARMASISWA is a scholarship program offered to all foreign students from countries which have diplomatic relationship with Indonesia to study Bahasa Indonesia, arts, music and crafts.
Participants can choose one of 45 different universities located in different cities in Indonesia. This program is organized by the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). ... Visit the website at: www.darmasiswa.diknas.go.id, applicants should notify to the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate General before applying online. The documents of applicants who have been selected by the Indonesian Embassy will be submitted to the Bureau of Planning and International Cooperation, Ministry of National Education or the Directorate of Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs." Image from
Sri Lanka is snubbed once, twice, thrice, but will such subtle diplomacy have any positive impact on the Rajapaksa regime? - blog.srilankacampaign.org: "A recent article by Tisaranee Gunasekara published posted online by in the Asian Tribune, entitled ‘The Oxford fiasco and beyond’, brings to light how the recent efforts of the Rajapaksa regime to win - over the interstate community western powers have failed miserably, with the Oxford Union speech being the most recent event. A recent article by Tisaranee Gunasekara published posted online by in the Asian Tribune, entitled ‘The Oxford fiasco and beyond’, brings to light how the recent efforts of the Rajapaksa regime to win over the interstate community western powers have failed miserably, with the Oxford Union speech being the most recent event. Citing the Indian International Film Awards (IIFA) episode earlier this year in Sri Lanka and the flopped reception held by Sri Lanka in New York at the time of UN General Assembly in September as other snubs, the article is encouraging in that it highlights that Western powers, along with India are still wary of their democratic norms being questioned by close association with the Rajapaksas whilst generally seeming to be acting with implied acquiescence to the human rights and humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. ... [T]he unwillingness of key countries (whether various states in the West, India, Japan, Brazil, South Africa or other powers) to engage in public diplomacy that corresponds to these occasional snubs has its own form of legitimating effect on the Rajapaksa regime – making it possible for the regime to pretend that it is accepted in good standing in the international community. The rest of the world must start combining principled positions with taking a public stand based on those positions."
In Memoriam, CPD Remembers Dr. Philip M. Taylor - Nicholas Cull, CPD Announcements, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Phil Taylor was born in Liverpool in 1953. He joked that he went to college -- Leeds University -- because he was too cowardly to join the army and didn't know a girl he wanted to marry. At Leeds he worked closely with diplomatic historian David Dilks and media historian Nicholas Pronay, and as a BA and PhD student carved out his own niche as a historian of propaganda.
His doctoral work examined the emergence of Britain's policy of national projection in the inter-war years, which became his first book: The Projection of Britain. He remained at Leeds for his entire career teaching first in the School of History, where he was associated with international history, and then at the Centre for Communication Studies. He enjoyed visiting appointments at Vanderbilt and elsewhere. His later works included a history of the media's role in the first Gulf War, a history of the evolution of British propaganda called Selling Democracy and a text book of propaganda through the ages called Munitions of the Mind, which was widely translated. He also wrote a biography of Stephen Spielberg. Phil was often sought after for advice from the UK and US military. He never pulled his punches and let them know where he believed they were going wrong. He was a gifted teacher and friend to his students." Taylor image from
India diplomat gets 'humiliating' pat-down at Mississippi airport - Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY: The "humiliating" TSA pat-down of a female India diplomat is generating headlines today in Mississippi. That's where The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reports that India's ambassador to the United States was subjected to the agency's new enhanced pat-down as she went through security at Jackson-Evers International Airport last weekend. The Clarion-Ledger writes Ambassador Meera Shankar was in Jackson last weekend as a guest of Mississippi State University.
"While in town, Shankar met with Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, representatives from the Mississippi Development Authority and members of the Indian community in Jackson, and she spoke to more than 100 people at the Executive Lecture Forum of Jackson," the paper writes. Shankar apparently was selected for enhanced screening, even though she did not set of the airport's metal detectors. Witnesses tell the Clarion-Ledger security agents told Shankar she was singled out because she was wearing a sari, which the paper notes is as "a traditional Indian robe that is draped across the body." Image from
USAID Suspends Academy for Educational Development from Receiving New U.S. Government Awards - Press Release, USAID: "Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) suspended the Academy for Educational Development (AED) from receiving new U.S. Government awards pending an ongoing investigation by the USAID Office of Inspector General (OIG). Initial findings by USAID's
OIG reveal evidence of serious corporate misconduct, mismanagement, and a lack of internal controls, and raise serious concerns of corporate integrity. The investigation was initiated in the spring of 2009 and OIG informed USAID of its findings this summer. USAID took this suspension action in response to substantiated evidence of misconduct by AED. The Agency takes seriously any allegations involving the mismanagement of U.S. Government funds. USAID is conducting a review of every program associated with AED. The review will determine the best steps forward for ensuring the protection of U.S. taxpayer funds and the continuity of the United States' development goals. USAID will continue to work closely with OIG during its investigation." Image from article
Propaganda war escalates; use of loudspeakers mulled - Christine Kim, joongangdaily.joins.com: The South Korean military has flown tens of thousands of fliers into North Korean territory as a means to retaliate against the North’s attack on Yeonpyeong Island. The official also added that the South is prepared to broadcast propaganda along the DMZ and that the ministry is “weighing the timing.” Loudspeakers are already installed in 11 areas along the DMZ for further propaganda attacks. North Korea had strongly protested propaganda broadcasts in the past and the two Koreas had agreed in 2004 to suspend them.
Exhibit features WWII propaganda - guampdn.com: A new exhibit featuring World War II propaganda posters is being hosted by the War in the Pacific National Historical Park. The exhibit, titled "Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II," will contain dozens of colorful and evocative propaganda posters representing the constant battle for the hearts and minds of the American people, a press release from the National Park Service stated.
Part of the National Archives exhibit in Washington, D.C., the posters will help people understand how persuading the American public became a wartime industry, "almost as important as the manufacturing of bullets and planes," according to the Park Service. Although the exhibit will be open through May, on Dec. 18 there will be a Curator's Corner presentation on propaganda and secrecy. The presentation will provide visitors insight into Japanese propaganda methodology during the Second World War. Image from
PBS 'History Detectives' to visit Museum of Flight's B-29 bomber - NW Local News: PBS' "History Detectives" are scheduled to visit Seattle's Museum of Flight Monday as part of their look into propaganda leaflets Americans dropped from Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers over Japan during World War II. While going through her brother's belongings in El Paso, Texas, a "History Detectives" fan came across a leaflet with Japanese writing and war images, accompanied by a note saying: "This box contains an original propaganda leaflet dropped on Japan. I know the woman who did most of the artwork and printing for the U.S. propaganda leaflets." This prompted the History Detectives to look into the history of the leaflet. In Seattle, they plan to visit the Museum of Flight's B-29
and interview Allison Gillmore, author of the book "You Can't Fight Tanks with Bayonets," about psychological warfare against the Japanese Army in the Southwest Pacific. Image from article, with caption: The Museum of Flight's restored B-29 Superfortress is displayed during a ceremony on July 25, 2010 at Boeing's Plant 2 to mark the 75th anniversary of the B-17 Flying Fortress' first flight.
Retro Posters Show Off Superheroes’ Home Cities - Allison Davis, wired.com: As if the fictional worlds from comic books and sci-fi flicks weren’t already on most geek’s destination wish lists, Justin Van Genderen’s new travel posters show off pulp cities like Gotham and Metropolis. “If superheroes really existed in this world we might see a poster like these in some old travel agency, all tattered hanging on the wall,” Van Genderen said in an e-mail interview with Wired.com. The homes of Batman, Superman and the rest all get the retro-pop treatment in.
Van Genderen’s five new images, which were inspired by minimalist propaganda posters and old Art Deco travel prints. The style has become a trademark of the Chicago freelance artist. Image from article
"WikiLeaks reminds me of the time when I lived in the totalitarian regime of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania. Comrade Ceausescu was informed that every time the Communist Politbureau had a closed door secret meeting, the Voice of America and Free Europe radio stations were already informing the world before their 'manicured' version of the news was published in their Communist media. Therefore he gave orders that no one could leave the room until the meeting was over. It happened that one of the politbureau’s members, comrade Iliescu got an upset stomach, and he could not hold it. A few minutes later, someone was banging on the closed door. It was his wife with clean underwear and a new pair of pants because she heard on Voice of America radio that her husband messed up his clothes. This was the joke, but behind every joke is a truth, and it sounds like a few insiders gave the information to WikiLeaks."
--István Javorek, Kansas City Star; via
An SPFXMasks employee, left, sprays a layer of paint on a mask called "The Player." That model was used by a white man, right, in a string of robberies in Ohio. An innocent black man was held until the culprit was turned in.
--From The Los Angeles Times
From “Supreme Court Upholds Freedom Of Speech In Obscenity-Filled Ruling,” The Onion. Via JB from facebook