Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31

“It’s phenomenal to hold the Internet in your hands.”

--Apple's Steve Jobs; image from


Poor Obama – Hillary Clinton is doing a fine job - Out of America: The President would dearly love to be as popular as his celebrated Secretary of State - Rupert Cornwell, Independent: "[T]he Obama/Clinton team is improving America's image abroad after the devastation wrought by George Bush Jnr – and ... [Clinton is aware] of her star power as a tool of public diplomacy. ...

Hillary is putting her own imprint on US foreign policy. She constantly emphasises 'smart power', which relies less on military might and more on diplomacy. She has used her celebrity to focus attention on issues such as womens' rights and the global fight against poverty and hunger. She has launched a four-year review to boost the State Department's resources and staff, and put policy planning on a longer-term basis. And, contrary to many predictions, her husband, Bill, has not been an embarrassment. She has worked smoothly with the big-name envoys appointed in key policy areas, including Richard Holbrooke for Afghanistan/Pakistan and George Mitchell for the Middle East." Image from

Top US official to visit India for better educational co-operation - fachcha: "US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Judith McHale will visit India on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) to strengthen educational and academic co-ooperation. The USIEF is the nodal agency for scholarships like Fulbright, Fulbright-Nehru and other scholarships. The foundation is celebrating its 60th anniversary on 2nd February. During the visit McHale will travel to IIT Mumbai and other educational institutions apart from meeting Minister of External Affairs S M Krishna and other dignitaries. She will meet educational, cultural leaders and Bollywood personalities too."

Jimmy Carter, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Liberty - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Branding Canada: Projecting Canada's Soft Power through Public Diplomacy - Evan H. Potter - McGill-Queen’s University Press: "Looking at Canada's public diplomacy abroad through culture, international education, and international broadcasting."

Korea, Spain on meaningful date - Kim Min-hyung, Korea Herald: "Geographical distance doesn't seem to impede the magnetic pull between two dynamic nations, one in Europe and the other in Asia. This magnetic pull was heightened recently due to the 6th Spain-Korea Forum in Cordoba, Southern Spain, which was organized by Casa Asia and the Korea Foundation. ... This year's forum examined issues concerning gender equality, politics and security, logistics, energy and technology, and public diplomacy which includes sports such as Taekwondo, film and educational exchanges." Image from

Govt. Preparing to influence media perception?? - aburman, India as an evolving polity: "While doing some work-related research, I found an interesting sub-heading under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Action Plan document for October, 09 – March, 10. Page 44 of this document (Under the sub-heading Naxal Management Division) mentions a heading called the 'Media / Perception Management Plan'.

The activities planned under it pertain mainly to inane activities such as advertisements and Tribal Youth Cultural Exchange Programmes. So, I did a Wiki-search for the term Media / Perception Management Plan. Apparently, 'Perception management is a term originated by the U. S. military.' The Wiki-article also goes on to state that 'The phrase 'perception management' has often functioned as a “euphemism” for 'an aspect of information warfare.' A scholar in the field notes a distinction between 'perception management' and public diplomacy, which 'does not, as a rule, involve falsehood and deception, whereas these are important ingredients of perception management; the purpose is to get the other side to believe what one wishes it to believe, whatever the truth may be.'" Image from

Cultural Relations, Public Diplomacy and the Clash of Civilisations - graham.leicester, IFF Blog: "I was invited to contribute a paper recently to help stimulate discussion within the British Council on the subject of ‘cultural relations: an idea whose time has come’. There is already a lively contemporary debate about the need to upgrade our international practice to tackle the global issues of the 21st century. My impression is that cultural relations is in danger of being absorbed, or even eclipsed, in these discussions by the more recent concept of ‘public diplomacy‘ - even in the British Council’s own publications. The British Council has been using an International Relations Positioning Spectrum - running from giving at one end, through helping, sharing, boasting and shouting to fighting at the other - to highlight the subtle and important role of cultural relations. ... I hope the paper I have contributed will encourage British Council not to hide its most vital work under a bushel and defend this subtle role against the denizens of ‘delivery’."


Noted US dance company gives free performance - Jakarta Post: "San Francisco’s groundbreaking contemporary dance company is about to take Jakarta’s Salihara small theater stage by storm tonight and tomorrow night — for free, and bring two countries a step closer to each other. Yes, you’ve heard the first bit right. Ten of the best dancers from the Oberlin Dance Collective or ODC, widely acknowledged for its fusion of ballet and modern techniques, will be dazzling a small audience ­— judging by the size of Jakarta’s black-box theater — free of charge. The dance troupe will perform three pieces choreographed by ODC’s artistic director and founder Brenda Way, to the sounds of 17th century J.H. Schmelzer classical music and Appalachian blue grass. ... 'This is a new program by the state department, a return to cultural diplomacy,' said Way, adding she was very excited about representing the Obama administration, after feeling uncomfortable about being American when traveling abroad for the last few years.

Hang on. What does dancing, and the arts, have to do with diplomacy? 'Art is about one-on-one relationships, politics is about one-on-one relationships, and as Edward R. Murrow put it, it’s the last three feet that count when you’re that close one-on-one. And that is what makes for meaningful relationships,' Way concluded." Image: “Luxury Items” at ODC, Saturday, November 7, 2009: Hilarious, with a wicked intellectual spark," Monique “Fauxnique” Jenkinson is a local treasure of a performing artist whose work hurls itself into the gaps between dance, theater, drag and performance. She is currently the Artist-in-Residence at the ODC (Oberlin Dance Collective) Theater."

Budapest exhibition shows Cold War envoys of jazz - Budapest Times: "The US's cultural diplomacy through jazz continued over more than two decades and the Budapest exhibition 'Jam Session: America's Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World' in the Palace of Arts presents 55 images capturing several of the memorable moments. 'Jazz was a symbol of hope to those living without freedom and the simple act of listening to it was itself a form of rebellion,' US Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis said at the opening. 'The men in the exhibition are not just great musicians. They are also prime examples of the importance of diversity and tolerance,' she said."

UGAs Georgia Museum of Art Awarded Grant for Collaborative Exhibition and catalogue - Art Daily: "The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in partnership with the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma was recently awarded a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for the exhibition and catalogue of Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy.

The Georgia Museum of Art will publish a catalogue of the exhibition featuring essays by curators from the organizing museums and an entry on each work. ... Art Interrupted will reassemble, to the extent possible, a group of contemporary, modernist paintings purchased by the U.S. State Department in1946 for a goodwill tour of Latin America and Europe. The original exhibition of 119 paintings, Advancing American Art, was part of a new direction in international diplomacy, and, though it was met with praise from art critics here and abroad, it was directly assailed by American conservative groups who used the national media and members of Congress to vilify its modernist slant. As a result, the exhibition tour was cancelled and the works auctioned as government surplus; the three project partners acquired at a huge discount a combined total of 82 works originally included in Advancing American Art. Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy will feature approximately 100 works, primarily oil paintings and watercolors, representing artists from various backgrounds and at different stages in their careers." On this exibit, see John Brown, "Arts Diplomacy: The Neglected Aspect of Cultural Diplomacy," in William P. Kiehl, ed., America's Dialogue with the World (Washington: Public Diplomacy Council, 2006). Image from

Australian writer pulls out of China tour over dissident jailing - ABC Online: "[A] spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says Mr [Frank] Moorhouse's withdrawal from the tour is a personal decision and that cultural diplomacy is an important facet of Australia's bilateral relationship with China."

Politics In Brief 30/1: Vietnam strengthens ties with countries worldwide - VietNamNet Bridge: ‎"Vietnam will do its utmost to fulfill the role of ASEAN Chair, enhance economic- cultural diplomacy and overseas affairs, and continue deepening relationships with other countries this year. The statement was made by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga at a regular press briefing in Hanoi on January 28, during which she reviewed the country’s key diplomatic achievements in 2009 and spoke about its focus for 2010.

In response to queries about the Vietnam-China Friendship Year in 2010, she recalled how the two countries first established diplomatic ties on January 18, 1950, describing this as an important and significant event in both countries’ histories." See also. Image from

How two mayors broke the mold to rejuvenate their cities - Elizabeth Gehrman, Harvard University Gazette: "The Harvard Kennedy School hosted two iconoclastic mayors on Monday (Jan. 25), both of whom entered government in their countries as a second career and changed their cities by shaking up politics as usual.

The discussion involved the visionary urban landscapes of Edi Rama, a former artist and mayor of Tirana, Albania, and Antanas Mockus, once an academic and a former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia. Addressing an overflow audience, the former mayors outlined the offbeat methods by which they helped to transform their cities, in a discussion titled 'Dialogue in Cultural Diplomacy and Urban Transformation.'" Image from article Antanas Mockus (standing), a former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, and Edi Rama, a former artist and mayor of Tirana, Albania. See also (1) (2)

Leituras: "Cultural Diplomacy (Winter'2010) - USC Center on Public Diplomacy" – Rui Paulo Almas, Blogue Notas: "Numa altura de mudanças na Presidência do Instituto Camões, agora liderado por Ana Paula Laborinho, o Center on Public Diplomacy da University of Southern California (E.U.A.) dedica a edição de Inverno da sua revista ao tema da 'diplomacia cultural'. A ver aqui."


Controversy over Russia Today's juxtaposition of Obama and Ahmadinejad spreads to the United States (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting; image from

Para-military women to counter anti-India propaganda - Press Trust of India: The government has decided to deploy newly inducted para-military women personnel along the international borders, including with Pakistan and China, to give an impetus to civic action programmes and counter anti-India propaganda.Plans are ready to get these young women to talk to the local population and inspire them to participate in government schemes and contribute to civic works in their respective areas.

'Suicide bombers misled due to limited knowledge of Islam' - Akhtar Amin, Daily Times: Peshawar: Speakers at a seminar on “Suicide Terrorism” have said that most of the suicide bombers do not know much about Islam and are misguided and misused by terrorists. At a one-day seminar organised by Sheikh Zaid Islamic Centre, University of Peshawar on Saturday, they talked about how individuals, especially the youth get into the hands of terrorists who use them for suicide terrorism. Addressing the seminar, Director Campus Police Muhammad Iqbal said that most of the suicide bombers who were in custody did not know much about Islam and its teachings. “In fact most of them don’t have any knowledge of the Holy Quran and even cannot recite it,” he revealed. He added that the suicide bombers he interrogated said that their trainers told them that suicide bombers and the people killed in suicide attacks would go to Paradise while the police and army personnel would go to Hell. He said that there was a “myth” that the western nations were carrying out anti-Islam propaganda. Defending his argument, he said that the terrorists carrying out terrorism activities in the name of religion were in fact responsible for anti-Islam propaganda and not the western countries. Below image from

How young Muslims are fighting extremist propaganda - Haroon Siddique, Guardian: The Digital Disruption project is funded by the government's controversial Prevent strategy to stop the spread of violent extremism. By educating the participants about propaganda, the Digital Disruption project – which could be introduced in schools across the country if those running it have their way – hopes to empower them, and their peers, to resist the videos and images that extremists use to gain recruits.

Israel losing war on propaganda - Sean B. Sheridan, letter to the Editor, Albany Times Union: Israel's profile is not that of a nation seeking peace. Put very simply, Israel is losing the war on propaganda. Advocates for Israel often seem to be convincing themselves, rather than others.

Israel Jokes About The Haitian Earthquake & Pushes Nazi Style Propaganda [video] -Truth is Contagious

Speaker recalls life during Nazi Germany - Molly Montag, Sioux City Journal: The Nazi propaganda machine and death camps may have taken place half a world away, but Dutch survivor Louis Leviticus believes it could still happen anywhere. "There'll always be followers and there'll always be people who don't want to think for themselves," he said.

As a child, Leviticus witnessed how the Nazi propaganda, which depicted Jewish people as monsters, changed the way people of Amstradam behaved toward their Jewish neighbors. "What you can do with propaganda to change the mind of a people is unbelievable," he said. Image: 1935 Germany: Jews Are Not Wanted Here in Behringersdorf Photo Credit: The Potter Collection

Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World - Soha ElSaman, Al-Masry Al-Youm: Jeffrey Herf, professor of modern European history at the University of Maryland, College Park, recently authored Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, published by Yale University Press. In 2006 he published The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust. Herf: “Nazi officials dealing with propaganda aimed at Arabs and Muslims concluded that a selective reading of the Quran and the commentaries about it was their most effective means of reaching this audience. In so doing they drew out the already existing anti-Jewish themes. They presented Islam -- not radical, fundamentalist, political or jihadist Islam, but Islam in general --as a religion infused with and inseparable from hatred for the Jews. ... [M]odern anti-Semitism in Europe and the Jew-hatred that diffused to the Middle East, to contemporary Iran and to Islamists more generally, was and remains anti-American. It is both anti-Israeli and anti-American because both the United States and Israel are liberal democracies that reject the idea that there is one absolute truth grounded in religion that should govern all of life.”

A Look at Chinese Propaganda - calabloc: Propaganda, in its purest form, is the manipulation of facts to influence a specified audience.

From the US to the Chinese propaganda has been used to support and bolster various political and imperialistic gains. The Chinese have used internal struggles in the US to support its own government while putting down others. This is especially evident in a poster distributed by the People’s Republic of China which depicts two African-American men revolting against the government. Image from article

Plain Speech Propaganda - Mrs. Major, Tangos With Text: Some people, tired of the propaganda and the agendas, complain that inclusive language and politically correct speech can go too far. For example, the use of “growth areas” instead of “weaknesses.” Is using a word like “mankind” automatically “plain speech” while the new word “humankind” part of an agenda or propaganda? At what point does politically correct speech start to obscure, rather than illuminate, a message? Can you overdo “plain speech” so that your message also becomes manipulative, as in the examples on Lynn Gaertner-Johntson’s Blog.


From: Classic Ads: The Best in Cold War Propaganda -

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 30

"I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability."

--Oscar Wilde; image from


Top 50 Global Education Blogs - Sir Learnalot's Knowledge Blog (believe it or not, the listing includes this blog)


Kerry, Lugar introduce legislation to strengthen US diplomacy - Kokomo Perspective:

"The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 supports provisions to improve the State Department’s public diplomacy mission and to increase the foreign service officer capacity. It will also significantly increase the inspector general’s oversight abilities, address extending comparability pay adjustments to members of the Foreign Service, and provide enhancements to consular services." Image from

Unleash the Googles on Cuba - Liz Harper, Americas Quarterly: "What Cuba programs could—and should—be on the chopping block? Some USAID-funded groups ... are ... saying they are running out of money. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. Senator Russ Feingold (WI) this week proposed axing Radio/TV Marti, which has been around for more than a decade. ... The timing couldn’t seem better for a total rethink—a re-examination of our paradigm on Cuba—since Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton has initiated the State Department’s very first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. USAID will also be under the microscope. ... If our goal is to improve unadulterated access to information in Cuba as a way to promote political freedoms, why does the U.S. government believe it can do it by paying its own staffers—or subcontractors ... —to do it? Note: Cubans do not trust the U.S. government. We’re fooling ourselves to think the U.S. government is going to influence the Cuban government or people through our existing means. This is a waste of time and money. Let’s try public diplomacy through private enterprise."

Public-Diplomacy Fail? - Michael Rubin, National Review Online:

"This showed up, in French, on the website of the U.S. embassy in Morocco, but here's the English original, 'Muslim Americans Strive to Help Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti.' The same story appears, in Arabic, on webpages affiliated with the U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It's all well-and-good to show the important role that Muslim organizations play in U.S. civil society but, especially given the anti-Americanism in the region, shouldn't the State Department and regional U.S. embassies instead focus on the importance of all U.S. aid to Haiti, including that donated by Christian, Jewish, non-sectarian, and any other organization, so long as it is American? (Other stories on do, but not the ones picked up by many of our regional U.S. embassies). It would be interesting to hear a State Department or embassy explanation about the strategy behind such postings, although I suspect that the embassies are acting autonomously and have no overarching strategy." Image from

US official hopes Palestinians demand democracy - Ma'an News Agency: "The US State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative looks to support Palestinian democracy by empowering citizens 'to raise demands with their local government' Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Tamara Wittes explained. ... [D]uring her visit to the region, Wittes - an expert in Middle East democracy and former Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute - explained what she saw as the role of MEPI in Palestine, whose government exhausted its term on 25 January but continues to lead with no elections in sight. ... As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for democracy, human rights, and public diplomacy, Wittes supervises the MEPI, and spent much of her visit meeting implementers and beneficiaries of its programs."

Assistant Secretary for Education and Cultural Affairs - Matt Armstrong, "According to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations website, the confirmation hearing for Judith Ann Stock to be Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs will be held Tuesday, February 2, 2010.

Her testimony will be here (PDF) but it is not yet available (and likely getting polished). (Hat tip to Mark Overmann of the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange.) Still no word on a nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP). Unlike the ECA job, Judith McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, will get to choose this person." Image from

CPD Announcements Just Out: PD Magazine, Winter 2010 - USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "PD magazine's Winter 2010 issue has just been released, and is available online at the magazine's newly redesigned website. Changes to the online newsmagazine include a blog offering up-to-date news and commentary in the field of PD. This issue, the 'Cultural Diplomacy' edition, examines various perspectives on the practice and effectiveness of cultural diplomacy from various public diplomacy scholars. Articles include: Cosmopolitan Constructivism: Mapping a Road to the Future of Cultural and Public Diplomacy César Villanueva Rivas Out from Under the Proscenium: A Paradigm for U.S. Cultural Diplomacy Peter Kovach Pop Culture Diplomacy Kenjiro MonjiLaunched in February 2009 and published twice yearly, PD magazine is designed to serve as a forum for views from scholars and practitioners on key concepts in the field of public diplomacy. PD is edited by members of USC's Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars and published with the support of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School and USC College’s School of International Relations."

United States Department of State - Pronk Palisades: "Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: This Undersecretary leads functions that were formerly assigned to the United States Information Agency but were integrated into the State Department by the 1999 reorganization.

This position manages units that handle the department’s public communications and seek to burnish the image of the United States around the world." Image from

Volko Ruhnke and Labyrinth - Kris Hall, Boardgame News: Volko [Ruhnke]: "The central premise of the game is that the 'War on Terror' ultimately is about governance, specifically, governance of the Muslim world. The jihadists want to reestablish the Islamic Caliphate of old—they win principally by establishing Taliban-style Islamist rule over a large enough chunk of Muslim countries to form the kernel of the Caliphate. The United States and its allies are seeking the opposite—to spread effective, representative governance throughout the Muslim world and thereby ease discontent and choke off extremism at its roots. ... 'War of Ideas' operations are the main US means of attempting to improve governance, representing the constellation of Western means of influence over Muslim governments and populations, including aid, advisors, public diplomacy, and the like. But the War of Ideas is highly dependent on US prestige in the Muslim world—which the extremists or US military action can do much to upset—and on consensus among non-Muslim powers regarding US tactics in the war on terror."

Azerbaijan strongly supports international community's efforts to bring security and stability to Afghanistan (UPDATE) - Trend News Agency: "Being NATO's Partner and having geographic, historical, cultural and religious proximity to the region, Azerbaijan sees a need for a stronger support in the fields of public diplomacy to achieve security and stability in Afghanistan and has a strong will to contribute to the ISAF on this matter.

As a first step, Azerbaijan suggests to host an event on NATO's public diplomacy efforts related to the perception of the ISAF operation in and out of Afghanistan." Image from

Proportionality & Hypocrisy: NATO in Kosovo vs. IDF in Gaza - Martin Sherman, Right Side News: "The blatant disregard for any semblance of proportionality by democratic belligerents and the shameless hypocrisy of their self-righteous and misplaced criticism of Israel highlight a crucial deficiency-often diagnosed and equally often neglected-in the overall structure of its international strategy: the incompetence, indeed impotence, of Israeli diplomacy, particularly its Public Diplomacy. ... Today, the budget for Public Diplomacy is ludicrously small. As MK Michael Eitan pointed out, it totals less than the advertising budgets that some Israeli food manufactures spend to promote their sales of snacks and fast foods."

India plans e-network for small Pacific island states - "With UN reforms inching back on the global agenda and keeping climate change negotiations in mind, India is now wooing Pacific small island states with an e-network, on the lines it created in Africa, to bring them triple benefits of tele-education, governance and medicine. ... The e-network shows the power of technology to bridge long distance and brings the benefits of health and education to remote areas in African countries, Navdeep Suri, joint secretary (Public Diplomacy) in the external affairs ministry, told reporters here Saturday. ... Collin Beck, permanent representative of Solomon Islands to the UN,

said the e-network would suit the island countries given the growing needs for higher education and specialist healthcare in these countries. 'Tele-education, tele-medicine and e-governance is a wonderful three-in-one package,' said Stuart Beck, permanent representative of Palau, an island of 20,000 people that attracts high-end 100,000 tourists in search of exotic beaches and marine life. They [the island countries] have been invited by the external affairs ministry in a public diplomacy outreach to the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) - a cohesive group which has 13 votes in the UN and has acquired an important profile in climate change negotiations.” Image from

MB Foreign Ministry failed 'public diplomacy' successful 'diplomacy for President' – Hope thousand Chun [Google translation from Korean:] "The traditional concept of public diplomacy (public diplomacy) to foreign countries by providing information, understanding and ultimately, by persuasion is to pursue national interests. For example, the U.S. Embassy on the line against South Korea's opinion 'Cafe USA ( / usembassy)' opened to the traffic that can be viewed as an important public diplomacy activities. However, the concept evolved from the current public diplomacy to convince the domestic public opinion an important 'public diplomacy' is located in one area. One of the key concepts of public diplomacy in foreign policy or national identity, domestic support and partnership of citizens, because this must be the premise."

The Foreign Service – jamieschip, The Schipaanboord's: "Public Diplomacy: Public Diplomacy Officers explain American values and policies Jake

chose the Political track, which is fairly competitive, along with the Public Diplomacy track. Becoming a FSO Let me just warn you, this process is not for the faint at heart. It is long and grueling, which I suppose is a comfort, to know those representing our country overseas have been through the ringer and are surely capable and qualified to do their job." Image from article: Jake and family


Battling the Information Barbarians - Ian Buruma, Wall Street Journal: Spurred by Google's announcement that it might pull out of the Chinese market in protest over censorship, Mrs. Clinton talked about Internet freedom in terms of universal human rights. Her speech was promptly denounced in a Communist Party newspaper as "information imperialism." The Internet, which has boomed over the last few years, cannot be totally policed; there are simply too many ways to dodge the censors. But China, with its army of cyberspace policemen, has been remarkably effective at Internet control, by mixing intimidation with propaganda.

Looking North - Melanie Kirkpatrick, Wall Street Journal: B.R. Myers is the author of "The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves—and Why It Matters." The real North Korean worldview, Mr. Myers notes, is based on a belief in the unique moral superiority of the Korean race. The closest analogy is the fervent nationalist ideology that governed prewar Japan and influenced North Korea's founding fathers. Having grown up in colonial Korea, they embraced Japan's propaganda methods after coming to power in 1948. Kim Il Sung, the founder of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea—the North's full name—even had himself photographed, Hirohito-like, astride a white stallion.

Mr. Myers's reading of the North's domestic propaganda takes a scary turn when he examines attitudes toward foreigners, especially Americans. Yankees are depicted as "an inherently evil race with which Koreans must forever be on hostile terms," he says. Image from

Georgian Opposition Says 'Propaganda' TV Will Provoke Russia - Helena Bedwell, Georgian daily - Georgian opposition leaders said the government’s Russian-language television channel is a “propaganda machine” that will stoke anti-Georgian sentiment in Russia and may provoke it to retaliate. The Pervy Kavkazsky (First Caucasus) channel, which features a talk show hosted by the late Chechen rebel leader Dzhokhar Dudayev’s widow, began broadcasting on the Internet earlier this month. “This channel is another tool for provoking Russia,” Zurab Noghaideli, a former prime minister who now heads an opposition party, said by telephone in the capital Tbilisi today. “There’s no need to give Russia another reason to retaliate.” Zurab Dvali, chief producer at the channel, denied that it’s designed to provoke Russia.

A woman with innumerable black dots of braille on her naked body rests on an illuminated box as spectators look on during the performance art show "Consultation," at the ongoing Contemporary Art Exhibition in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province on December 16th

Friday, January 29, 2010

January 29

"Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them."

--George Bernard Shaw; image from


Public Diplomacy: U.K. 1, U.S. 0 - Roy Gutman, McClatchy blog: Checkpoint Kabul: "What gave Britain a claim to leadership on Afghanistan was the seeming abandonment by the United States of public diplomacy. Despite the troops, treasure and energy the U.S. administration is throwing into this fray, it has yet to devise a strategy to sell its policy to the American public. The problem begins with Democrats in Congress, who seem to be running away full speed and don’t want to hear about it. The best evidence of that is the paucity of visits to Kabul since Obama’s speech (only two Senators visited here since Obama’s early December speech, compared to about four times as many Republicans). But public diplomacy starts with the President himself.

In his State of the Union address earlier this week, Obama devoted one-and-a-half sentences to the biggest single military and government operation he has ordered abroad. The U.S. military feels the future of U.S. and western influence will be determined in Afghanistan, with impact in the Middle East, South Asia and beyond. Obama, however, said not a word to rally public opinion, but focused on counter-terrorism. ... Most journalists have an aversion to terms like 'public diplomacy,' for it can be a euphemism for propaganda, but they recognize that complex foreign policy issues involving remote countries, where the United States has an enormous amount at stake, have to be explained to the American public and to the world, promoted by the President himself and elucidated at every opportunity. ... [T]he London conference was a model of public diplomacy. It was made for television, literally, and had the appearance of being a co-production with the BBC, which broadcast hours of it live on its World Service. ... The only problem with the production was that BBC effectively became a participant and promoter rather than a detached reporter of news. That’s the way 'public diplomacy' works, a reason governments need it – and news organizations should keep a distance." On the London Afghanistan confererence, see. Image from

HR 2985: To establish a public diplomacy international exchange program to be known as the Ambassador's Fund for Strategic Exchanges, and for other purposes. Sponsor: James Moran (D) VA - "Summary: 6/19/2009--Introduced. Ambassador's Fund for Strategic Exchanges Act of 2009 - Directs the Secretary of State to establish in the Voluntary Visitors Division of the Office of International Visitors in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs the Ambassador's Fund for Strategic Exchanges to bring political, economic, civil society, and other leaders to the United States for short-term exchange visits in order to advance U.S. strategic goals. Authorizes appropriations."

Snow storm outside, brain storm inside - jjohnson47: "Ten public diplomacy specialists who have come to Vienna from embassies on the European and African continents have taught me a lot this week about how U.S. public diplomacy is progressing on the ground. Of course, I’m the lecturer listed on the formal schedule, not the FSNs [Foreign Service Nationals, local employees at US embassies].

But I should be taking notes. This week’s seminar covers strategic planning and evaluation for communication programs. It applies standard public relations methods to practice at U.S. embassies. And I can see the participants learning — yes, some from me — and also a lot from each other." Image from

Ubiquitous Presence - The Art of Disrupting Influence - LtCol Dean Vrable, USMC, A Thousand Vignettes: "In 2007, at the Joint Forces Staff College, I was introduced to the concept of Strategic Communication, which instantly reminded me of conversations my friend and I had as we plugged away in the Warfighting Lab. Jeffrey B. Jones - former Director for Strategic Communications and Information on the National Security Council, describes strategic communication as 'The synchronized coordination of statecraft, public affairs, public diplomacy, military information operations, and other activities, reinforced by political, economic, military, and other actions, to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives.' ... Strategic communications is all about leveraging the best content delivery systems the world has to offer in order to overwhelm the enemy with information that runs counter to their cause."

UK Plans Another Shake-up of Visa System - UK Student News and Events: "The British industry showed extraordinary dynamism and motivation last year when Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced in November that there was to be an unexpected review of the student visa system, with a number of new proposals put forward to prevent bogus immigrants entering the country.

In fact, the proposals amounted to a full-scale assault on the international education sector and industry bodies were given just 10 days to respond to specific proposals set out by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Hundreds of stakeholders lobbied MPs, signed a petition and returned submissions. ... Tony Millns, Chief Executive of English UK, wrote in an extensive submission, 'given all other controls suggested, we see no reason to introduce such a restriction and note that no other major English-speaking destination country has such a policy. To introduce it would have disastrous consequences in public diplomacy terms because it would lead to the almost total exclusion of students from countries such as Saudi Arabia.'” Image from

New actors of the foreign policy get together in Istanbul - Emportal: "Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) brings together the think tanks of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference between the dates of 28-30 January 2010 in Istanbul for the 'Think Tanks Forum of the Islamic Countries'. ... In the seven sessions of the Forum which will all be held in the first two days of the organization, the topics [include] ....'Cooperation and Institutionalization among the Think Tank Organizations of Islamic Countries in the Perspective of Public Diplomacy.'”

Cultural Diplomacy - Katharine Keith, A World Not Our Own: A Public Diplomacy Blog: "Check out PD Magazine's new issue Cultural Diplomacy. The issue has new developments in PD, Perspectives from public diplomats from the State Department and UNESCO, and many interesting articles. Some of my favs; Nollywood Diplomacy Pop Culture Diplomacy Public Diplomacy in Lebanon..and I hear there is a fabulous interview by yours truly with Joe Mellot, Special Assistant for the Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State. This exciting issue rolls out with a whole new website that allows the PD community to join the conversation. So please, join us at"

Hot off the presses! - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "The newest edition of Public Diplomacy Magazine is now live! It is on Cultural Diplomacy and has some great articles. We have a pieces by: Kenjiro Monji, the Sake Samurai and Director-General of Public Diplomacy for Japan's MoFA on Anime Diplomacy; Leena Nandan, Joint Secretary at India's Ministry of Tourism on the Incredible !ndia campaign; Dr. Richard Arndt, the godfather of Cultural Diplomacy; Evgeny Morozov from Foreign Policy's Net Effect blog, plus much, much more. The website has been redesigned, including pics from moi. It is a quality mag, if I do say so myself. "

American Public Diplomacy: Engaging Middle Eastern Audiences – Monthly Highlights, The Fletcher School, Tufts University: "February 3, 05:30 PM - 07:00 PM Speaker: Evelyn Early, Air University Senior State Department Advisor; Air War College Deputy Commandant for International Affairs Free and open to the public."

Global Public Opinion, US Foreign Policy, and Public Diplomacy – School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego:

Lecture by Yusaku Horiuchi, Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University. Horiuchi image from article

Odds and Ends Thursday 40 - Matt's Samoa Blog:"On the plus side: commenter John Brown linked to me from his blog yesterday. Probably because I used the phrase 'public diplomacy'. On the minus side: He had to 'sic' my spelling of 'Chargé D’Affaires'. Twice."


Afghan conference a propaganda ploy: Taliban - AFP: The Afghan Taliban on Thursday dismissed the London conference on Afghanistan as a propaganda ploy and said the summit will fail to produce results, the SITE monitoring service reported. "The war-mongering rulers under the leadership of (US President Barack) Obama and (British Prime Minister Gordon) Brown want to deceive the people of the world by holding the London conference to show that people still support them," SITE quoted an Internet statement as saying.

Jewish Agency says world anti-Semitism surges: truth or propaganda? - Bill Weinberg, World War 4 Report

North Face - A film review by Jay Antani, It's 1936: the glory days of the Third Reich, when Hitler's master race propaganda dominated all quarters of Germany's national life, including its sporting identity (it was, after all, the year of Berlin's Summer Olympics).

Director Philipp Stölzl's mountaineering saga gains momentum on this theme of nationalist pride in his based-on-fact North Face, about German climbers attempting to conquer the notoriously dangerous Eiger in the Swiss Alps. Image from

Why and who use propaganda? - Eldinasblog: Propaganda is often connected to corporations, it’s their tool for marketing and it’s what they are good at. Politically it’s linked to fascism.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 28

"The passions are the only orators that always persuade."

--François de La Rochefoucauld, French author best known for his maximes; image from


Daryl Copeland and Evan Potter get set to duke it out February 4th over the future of diplomacy

Thursday, February 4, 2010
Rendez vous Room
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario


American artist finds inspiration in Russia, RTTV
by Frank Williams (videos)


Banner Year For 'Brand America': The world views the U.S. more favorably since Obama took office - Andrew Hammond, Forbes: "It's a year into Barack Obama's presidency and assessment of his performance in the White House has been mixed. While his domestic popularity within the U.S. has taken a hit, as last week's Republican victory in the Senate election in Massachusetts indicates, one major success has been his contribution toward the resurgence of so-called 'Brand America.' ... James Glassman, former Under-Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, noted that despite the best efforts of public diplomacy, there may always be outright hostility toward the U.S. in some countries.

Thus, a logical goal in these environments is to work, where possible, in common interest toward mutual goals to undercut support for common enemies (e.g., the mutual interest with Islamabad and Kabul to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaida). It is the failures, however, of the Bush administration's public diplomacy that remain most obvious. For this reason, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) listed 'improving the U.S. image abroad' as one of the urgent priorities facing the Obama team and Congress. ... Washington alone isn't capable of remaking or managing Brand America. Judith McHale, Glassman's successor, said the U.S. will need to continue to 'move beyond traditional government-to-government diplomacy and seek innovative ways to communicate and engage directly with foreign publics.' ... Taken overall, while Brand America has rebounded, reforming U.S. public diplomacy and strategic communications must remain a priority, underpinned by a strategy that can secure bipartisan support." Image from

Reaction Roundup: Heritage Responds To The State Of The Union – posted at Thoughts of a Conservative Christian: “Public Diplomacy ... [T]here were assertions of American leadership and a reach for ideas that seemed to be somewhat of a departure for this self-avowedly pragmatic president. 'America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity,' Obama stated. 'American ideas are its greatest source of strength.' And rather than naively reach out to the regimes of Iran and North Korea, the president emphasized their growing isolation, somewhat optimistically holding out the promise of tighter sanctions on Iran. In that sense, the speech reflected some of the hard earned experience of the past year. In other areas, the speech seemed almost out of touch with reality. ... [author] Helle Dale”

Foreign Affairs Get Little Attention in Obama's State of the Union - Patrick Goodenough, "President Obama dedicated considerably less of his State of the Union address to foreign policy issues than did five previous presidents in their speeches of similar or shorter length.

... Helle Dale, senior fellow for public diplomacy at the Heritage Foundation, observed after the speech that it took Obama an hour before he 'got around to the issue of foreign affairs, terrorism and U.S. foreign military engagements.'” Image from

Haiti, VOA, and the role of shortwave during crises - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Commando Solo transmits VOA and PSAs to Haiti - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

VOL. VI NO. 2, January 15-January 28, 2010 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media: "Winning Hearts and Minds in AfPak? As a climate of mistrust and suspicion settle in over Pakistan and the United States, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a recent visit to Pakistan in an attempt to strengthen ties between both countries. In the meantime, the Taliban is overhauling its image to win the hearts and minds of the region.
Obama and the New America After a year in tenure, President Barack Obama’s ratings remain high abroad, despite a dropping approval rating at home. While America’s image and popularity has improved, the country’s credibility remains very low internationally.
Internet Censorship A recently launched State Department campaign aimed at supporting global internet freedom has provided a context for renewed discussions over ‘soft power’ as a foreign policy tool to promote freedom of speech around the world.
Propaganda Wars Following the Department of Defense's recent update of its doctrine on psychological operations, critics investigate the role the media has played in creating negative propaganda and its interference with foreign policy.
A Small Step for Middle East Media, a Giant Leap for Murdoch? Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is discussing a possible media partnership with Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, owner of the leading media company Rotana. Many Arabs expressed their worries of Murdoch gaining a foothold in regional media, claiming his media machine generally portrays them as terrorists.
Al-Jazeera Creating Rifts in the Middle East? The Qatari channel is hailed by some as a bastion of independent regional reporting while others criticize its bias in reporting on regional conflicts.
Muslims Still Waiting While President Obama’s speech in Cairo was positively received, he has been criticized for not following up his public diplomacy efforts with concrete action on foreign policy issues central to the Muslim world.
Redefining the Enemy The United States government has come under fire for new, controversial initiatives aiming to protect the country from future terrorist attacks. Experts offer their opinion on what the Obama administration is missing in its national security policy.
Iran and America: An Unlikely Alliance? Although prospects remain bleak for the relationship between the United States and Iran, some pro-democracy advocates believe that a regime change is just around the corner and that an alliance between the two countries may be possible.
Ringtones and Fatwas The blockades imposed on Gaza by Israel are pushing some local entrepreneurs to develop innovative commercial ventures through modern media tools and the internet. Palestinians are beginning to export customized cell phone ringtones, while the religious tones rouse the ire of Muslim clerics."

One Nation Under Contract - A Book Review Essay - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "Consolidation and dismemberment of USIA in 1999 which had handled US public diplomacy since 1953 has largely resulted in a dysfunctional, bifurcated operation plagued with problems. ... Today, the Pentagon’s budget and staff for strategic communications (the closest military equivalent to public diplomacy) is multiple times that of State’s public diplomacy operation plus the International Board of Broadcasting which oversees the Voice of America and other international broadcasting elements combined. ... Even to transfer a few funds from the Pentagon budget to the State Department – as Defense Secretary Gates advocates – to begin to reverse the huge problem of over-militarization that hurts, not helps our image and activities worldwide,

will be difficult at best – if not befitting the labors of Hercules." Image from

MEPs debate NATO's future role with Madeleine Albright - press release, European Parliament: "EU-NATO co-operation, the new international security environment, NATO's relations with Russia and 'open door' policy, and the importance of winning public support when redefining NATO's role in the 21st century, were among the issues discussed by MEPs on Wednesday with Madeleine K. Albright and Jeroen van der Veer, Chair and Vice Chair of NATO's Strategic Concept Expert Group. ... Reinhard Butikhofer (Greens/EFA, DE) wanted to know how public opinion is involved in the Strategic Concept review process. Expert Group Vice Chair Jeroen van der Veer explained that this consultation process must first ensure clarity about NATO's role, so that the public can understand it. The Expert Group's final report would therefore be concise, and available to the public, he promised, adding that the consultation process under way would include 'public diplomacy' events such as university lectures."

Congress and Law: U.S. Information Service in the Field – Congress & Law: "The work of the USIS officer involved advocating U.S. positions, but also involved working with a much larger segment of the host country’s society to discuss both broad U.S. government policy, and more specific issues of mutual interest to that country, such as U.S. import quotas or visa issuance policies."

Congress and Law: United States Information Agency in Washington – United States Updates latest:

"When the United States Information Agency existed, there were on-going debates between public diplomacy officers and political officers as to whether official speakers and official events should stick to the party line." Image from

NATO mission in Afghanistan? - Asma Bano, Frontier Post: "Now no one can dominate the world through military power there is dire need of soft power so NATO should try to win the hearts and minds of Afghans. They should try to enhance its image in Afghanistan through public diplomacy."

RI-US interfaith meet stresses religious tolerance in schools - ANTARA:

"A number of religious leaders and youth figures from Indonesia and the United States participating in an Interfaith Dialogue here have agreed to promote religious tolerance in schools in their respective communities. ... The Indonesian delegation to the meeting was led by the Foreign Ministry`s Director General of Information and Public Diplomacy, Andri Hadi and the US delegation by Senior Director of Global Engagement for the White House National Security Council, Pradeep Ramamurthy." Image from

No Good Israeli Deed Goes Unpunished - Martin Krossel, FrumForum – "It’s been years since Israel has had such a good public relations week. The Jewish State established the first field hospital in Haiti after the earthquake. ... 'In Europe, Israel’s image is defined by the Goldstone Report [a highly controversial UN Report authored by South African judge Richard Goldstone in which Israel was accused committing war crimes in last year’s war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza], so news items like those coming from Haiti can definitely help change that image,' an Israeli official told Guttman [Nathan Guttman, who reported for the Jewish national weekly newspaper, The Forward, on Israel’s assistance to Haiti]. But Guttman is skeptical about its aid to Haiti having anything but a short-term impact on Israel’s image. ... [According to Gutman,] ‘[d]uring the first Gulf War in 1992, public diplomacy experts marveled at the outpouring of international sympathy for Israel while it was under attack by Iraqi missiles. Shortly after, however, Washington did not hesitate to pressure Israel in agreeing to attend the Madrid peace conference.’ To understand much of why Israel so quickly falls out of favor, one just has to look of the reaction of two of the country’s own columnists to Israel’s efforts to help Haiti."

Statement: Brand Ghana: Framework for Development - Mathias Akotia, Joy Online: From the speech delivered by Mathias Akotia, Brand Ghana Office:

"Country branding harmonizes national policies as varied as acts and policies of government, the values and behaviors of the citizenry, education, culture, sports, health, taxation, public diplomacy, look and feel of settlements, export and investment promotion, and infrastructure development. ... Culturally purposeful public diplomacy ... has been found to be more rewarding than commercial advertising." Image from

Berlin Wall Topic for Feb. 26 Talk - UA Fort Smith News: "Thorsten Gottfried, consul for consular and cultural affairs at the German Consulate General in Houston, will speak on the topic '20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall' at noon Feb. 26 at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. ... The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall came in 2009 and was marked with a public diplomacy campaign by the German Embassy in the United States."

The Flor de Caña Protest - Paul Rockower, University of Southern California Global Health: "The former workers in the Flor de Caña had left their homes in San Antonio to bring attention to the fact that Flor de Caña and its parent group Pellas had been using pesticides that had contaminated the water supply in the western region of Nicaragua. ...

In my support, I post my photo album of their protest in the hopes to bring more attention to their plight. This is the closest intersection of public health and public diplomacy- the use of new media platforms to make foreign publics aware of public health issues. You can be sure that their struggle will be looming large in the photos for my upcoming exhibit on the world of public health." Image from article

Science Diplomacy and the Prevention of Conflict – Arts and Events Calendar, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "A conference furthers academic understanding of science diplomacy as a valuable element in the wider field of public diplomacy. The USC Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) is pleased to host a conference in collaboration with USIP’s Center of Innovation for Science Technology and Peacebuilding. Science diplomacy provides an opportunity for scientists around the world to work together on projects that address humanity’s most pressing challenges, including sustainable development, preserving the environment, and fighting disease and hunger to prevent conflict around the world."

Undeclared - Matt's Samoa Blog: "I met with Charges [sic] D’Affaires [sic] Robin at the U.S. embassy this afternoon . ... Near the end of our chat today, I asked Robin what sort of graduate program I should attend. I believe my exact words were, 'So what should I go back to school for?' She gave me a pity consolation laugh and then threw out some suggestions.

It depends on what sort of role I’d like to play in the Foreign Service and how different degrees apply to different jobs. Depending on what I was interested in, I should look into politics or international affairs or journalism or psychology or public diplomacy." Image from

Public Diplomacy and Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Section, Canadian Embassy - "SUMMARY OF DUTIES Under the general direction of the First Secretary - Public Affairs, the incumbent contributes to public diplomacy campaigns in support of Canadian priorities; is supporting the Trade sector on priority trade issues through related communications initiatives; is implementing the mission’s public information program, including the management of the web site, the production of communications tools and the provision of translations. The incumbent is responsible for all activities pertaining to the mission’s media relations program, including: networking with the Dutch media, providing advice on media initiatives and implementing all related activities; monitoring and reporting on media for coverage of Canada. Open to: citizens of Netherlands or residents possessing a valid Dutch working permit, whose applications are received by 24:00 on 17 February 2010."

PA Ambassador Deputy Head of Mission - British Embassy - Brussels - Belgium Jobs: "Main Role PA management work: arranging appointments and official travel, diary and programme management,

administrative and secretarial support for the Ambassador and the Deputy Head of Mission, and coordination work for the wider political and public diplomacy section and the wider Embassy. 75%" Image from


Just Google “China” - Mark Dillen, Public Diplomacy: The other day The Wall Street Journal ran a good summary of China’s conflict with Google. It looks like we’re in for another international war of words but, this time, it won’t be a classic Cold War confrontation over political-military issues, but rather a war of words over words — censorship, to be precise.

Holocaust remembrance is a boon for Israeli propaganda - Gideon Levy, Ha'aretz: In his speech yesterday, Netanyahu's [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] equating Nazi Germany with fundamentalist Iran was no more than cheap propaganda. Talk about "degrading the Holocaust." Iran isn't Germany, Ahmedinejad isn't Hitler and equating them is no less spurious than equating Israeli soldiers with Nazis. The Holocaust must not be forgotten, and there is no need to compare it with anything. Israel must take part in the efforts to keep its memory alive, but in doing so it must show up with clean hands, clean of evil of their own doing. And it must not arouse suspicion that it is cynically using the memory of the Holocaust to obliterate and blur other things. Regrettably, this is not the case.