Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"Why do women not eat the heart of lettuce?"
--Question posed by Plutarch; image from
Preserving the slender thread in Pakistan - Kaustav Chakrabarti, opendemocracy.net:
"Coercive public diplomacy with Pakistan has outlived its utility. Repeated public admonishment by the United States is counter-productive and will only serve to snap the slender thread of consensus against terrorism among the people and the soldiers of Pakistan; and undo the most decisive driver behind successes in Swat and South Waziristan – a Pakistani ownership of its war against extremism. Given the growing ties between different militant groups, Pakistan seems ready to expand its counter-terrorism strategy. But such a break from the past needs time, and a sense of ownership. Patience, therefore, will yield greater long-term returns." Image from
Al Qaeda eyes on Bangladesh - Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, Sri Lanka Guardian: "Osama Bin Laden remains the un-rivaled hero and leader of Muslim youths aspiring to join the Jihadist. His efforts to inspire young Muslims to jihad against the U.S.-led West seem to be proving fruitful. Easily accessible satellite television and Internet streaming video will broaden Muslim youths' perception that the West is anti-Islamic. U.S. public diplomacy cannot negate the impressions formed by real-time video from Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan that shows Muslims battling 'aggressive' Western forces and validating bin Laden’s claim that the West intends to destroy Islam."
Obama's Speech at Cairo: One Year Later - J. Scott Carpenter and Dina Guirguis, The Cutting Edge: "In Cairo, President Obama sought to connect with Muslims around the world by highlighting America's perceived strengths in education and scientific innovation. Specifically, he announced thirteen new public diplomacy initiatives ranging from expanded exchange programs to a promised 'Summit on Entrepreneurship.'
After the speech, the bureaucracy in Washington shifted into high gear to devise mechanisms for implementing these initiatives, with the State Department's Policy Planning Staff -- not typically an operational institution -- taking the lead in what was projected to be an exemplary use of 'soft power.' So far, however, only one of the original thirteen Cairo ideas -- the Entrepreneurship Summit, which convened in Washington in April -- has fully come to fruition. In the meantime, regional disillusionment has simmered amid growing perceptions that the president has not made good on his various promises." Image from
Of soccer and Mideast policy: Watching the US play Ghana in Cairo and drawing sweeping conclusions: Eric Trager: New York Daily News: "On Saturday night, I watched the United States-Ghana World Cup match in a Cairo coffee shop. ... I was the only American in the coffee shop and, by the time the game started, it became very clear that I was the only person rooting for America. Even as the coffee shop reached maximum capacity, it was just a lot of Egyptian men rooting for Ghana, and me. This shows that President Obama's public diplomacy has failed to win Arabs' hearts and minds. I mean, they're rooting for Ghana, for crissakes! (Does Ghana give them $2 billion a year in foreign aid?) ... The second half begins. About 15 minutes into it, the United States finally scores. I jump out of my seat. Everyone else sits listlessly, not even throwing me a courteous nod. And it figures: Whenever America does anything good (scoring a goal, sending foreign aid), nobody notices. But when we do something controversial, they take to the streets."
America's Best Export - Stuart W. Holliday, Huffington Post:
"Today, as America looks for ways to engage the world -- and not compromise its core values in the process -- promoting our culture of volunteerism and service stands out as a promising avenue. The State Department recently invited over 100 leaders from 97 countries to participate in a leadership exchange program called 'Volunteerism: United We Serve.' This group of dynamic civic leaders and activists from around the world met with counterparts in over 50 US cities. ... This group was so motivated by their experience in the US, and the opportunity to share best practices with each other, that they wrote a letter to Secretary Clinton and committed to build a network to keep them and their US partners in sustained communication about the issues they discussed during their visit. ... The best public diplomacy is actually the alignment of people towards a shared outcome in which everyone has a stake." Image from Meridian Ball (Diplomatic Courier): (L-R): Sen. Patrick Leahy and Mrs. Leahy, Kristen and Nels Olson, Ambassador Stuart Holliday.
Turkey's Islamic education model draws worldwide attention - Today's Zaman: Religious Affairs Directorate Deputy Chairman for Foreign Relations Professor Mehmet Görmez: "Religion and diplomacy are two words that are very different from each other. Diplomacy has its own rules. It’s based on imposing its own reality onto others even if it is wrong. The most basic component of religions is sincerity. These two concepts don’t go well with one another. Unfortunately, however, the intermixing of religion and diplomacy has become a fact of this century. I am not happy about this as a religious person. But, due to my job, I find myself being a part of it as well. While in public diplomacy propaganda is particularly important, in divine religions conveyance is fundamental. Conveyance and propaganda are not the same thing. The way religions shift from conveyance to propaganda is degenerative. I don’t agree with it. I don’t think the term religious diplomacy is correct for Islam at all. However, in public diplomacy there is perception management.
A certain set of perceptions are created and, by managing those perceptions, diplomacy obtains results that serve its own interests. Perceptions regarding Islam that have been created in the globalizing world were so dangerous that a certain set of Muslim institutions and organizations were compelled to turn to diplomacy for perception management. But it is obvious the issue will not be resolved solely through diplomatic means, which includes all kinds of factors. ... Diplomat and current US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza visited me. He said he wanted help from the Directorate of Religious Affairs to train imams in the US, Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. We told him that those countries had to make the request themselves and that we wanted to interact with them directly. As the directorate, none of our works will ever be part of international politics. We will not be in those places, we said." Mehmet Görmez image from article
Political scientist: Common ground of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict sides can be found through web communications - Trend News Agency: "Under the current circumstances over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, some common ground can be found through web communications, Deputy dean of history chair of Moscow State University, Dr. Alexei Vlasov
said. ... People should learn to assert their interests without picturing neighbor as enemies. Public diplomacy can help heal hatred between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, Vlasov said." Vlasov image from article
Thailand - Foreign Minister welcomes Media from Muslim Countriesduring Media Familarization Trip to Thailand - ISRIA: "On 28 June 2010, Mr. Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with 16 Muslim media representatives from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Tajikistan, and Egypt, who participated in the 'Media Familiarization Trip to Thailand Programme' being held from 27 June – 3 July 2010. The Programme, which is a part of Foreign Ministry’s 'Public Diplomacy', aims to promote a better understanding about Thailand among the Muslim Media. It also seeks to increase good relations between Thailand and the Muslim Countries and increase opportunity for economic cooperation."
'Boycott efforts worsening in Britain' - Jerusalem Post: "The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) effort against Israel is getting 'worse and worse' in the UK, Vivian Wineman, the president of British Jewry’s representative body, the Board of Deputies, warned on Sunday. ... Asked what Israel could do to help, he said Israel should improve its public diplomacy for its own sake, but that this would also have a beneficial impact for Diaspora Jews.
Israel 'must make sure its narrative is out there at the beginning,' he said, citing the belated release of IDF material showing commandos being attacked as they boarded the Mavi Marmara en route to Gaza last month. It took 'some time' before this material became public, he noted, 'by which time the narrative of ‘unarmed civilians shot by commandos’ was established.' Israel fell into 'a trap set by Islamic militants – two of whom had left suicide notes,' he said, and the outcome was 'a victory for Hamas.'” Image from
How do we deal with the Canadian diaspora? - Don Devoretz and Yuen Pau Woo, Vancouver Sun: "More than 'loyalty' -- which evokes vague and often dubious notions of allegiance -- the concept of attachment covers a range of measurable actions that connect Canadians abroad with Canadian society, and which allows for an understanding of Canadian identity that goes beyond residency in Canada. In a paper released this week by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Kenny Zhang identifies a number of ways in which attachment can be expressed. ... Public policy can play a significant role in influencing the attachment of overseas citizens to Canada. Citizenship and voting rights, taxation policy, consular services, and public diplomacy affect Canadians abroad to one degree or another, and help determine the extent to which they see themselves as Canadian. The current approach to policy formulation on Canadians abroad alternates between crisis management and benign neglect, with little or no coordination among the many departments that have a role to play."
Launching of Think Tank and Website by External Affairs Minister Raising the Bar for SL Foreign Policy - Rajika Jayatilake, The Island, posted at RATATHOTA.com: "In the current post-conflict situation with its attendant conciliatory approach, Sri Lanka needs to re-examine its foreign policy.
It is in such an environment that Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris, recently made the timely announcement of establishing a think tank focused on foreign policy. ... [I]n 2010, China has overtaken other countries to take second place after the US, in its number of think tanks, which has now reached 428. With China’s ascending position in the global arena, policy makers have begun to rely more and more on the analyses of think tanks. Apart from providing expertise, think tanks are vital instruments of public diplomacy in China, communicating the government’s perspective to international audiences." Image from
Diplodocus - who's there, and what are they doing? - Stephen Hale, blogs.fco.gov.uk: "People are using Diplodocus to talk about location based apps, how to centralise/devolve global web presences, social media guidance, copywriting, diplomacy hashtags, using social media during a crisis, and public diplomacy. And we have members from the US, Israel, Belarus, Canada, Malaysia, France, Estonia, Bahrain, Denmark, Norway, Australia, the UN, the EU, the UK and Finland."
New Issue of Journal of International Communication - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence - "Volume 16: 1, 2010 of Journal of International Communication, edited by Naren Chitty at MacQuarrie University has just turned up in my mail box there are several pieces that might interest readers of this blog Li Xiguang and Wang Jing, ‘Web Based Public Diplomacy: The Role of Social Media in the Iranian and Xinjiang Riots’ (7-22)
this concludes by arguing that China should develop its own social media PD strategy. There is a lecture by Mark Scott, managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on ‘A Global ABC: Soft Diplomacy and the World of International Broadcasting’ that discusses the international strategy of ABC (75-85)." Image from
Time for Smarter PD? - Wandren PD: "Two thoughts while watching this video from Jess3; … how do government numbers compare? … PD needs to become smarter, to get beyond ‘audience’ numbers to thinking about measuring interaction, understanding networks and the connections between participants. JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo."
High vs. Low Politics – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Over a very interesting series of discussions with my fellow fellows, a notion popped up on the nature of high politics versus low politics in a social sense related to what kind of issues NGOs in China could engage. ... So to all my geeky PD friends
, I throw out the question of whether we could create a classification of social high politics vs. low politics, or would that only apply to more closed socities?" Image from
Trust Us: We Are the Organization! – John Brown, Huffington Post: "Through PR/psyops/'religious' ceremonies ('public diplomacy' as they see it) Organizations proclaim, over, over, and over again, that The Organization Has the Answer."
The Ghost In The White House – Gerald Stanley Lee, scaryhaunting.com:
"Wе аrе weary οf politicians’ politicians. Wе want ours. Politicians mау nοt bе ѕο bаd but during thе war thеу dο nοt seem tο υѕ tο hаνе done аѕ well аѕ mοѕt people. In thе dead-earnest οf thе war, wіth ουr Liberty Loan аnԁ Red Cross аnd Council οf Defense, аnԁ ουr dollar a year men wе hаνе half taken over thе government ourselves аnd wе feel nο longer awed bу thе regular political practitioners οr government tinkerers. Thеу аrе nοt аll alike, οf course, bυt wе hаνе turned ουr national glass οn thеm аnd hаνе come tο see through thеm–аt lеаѕt thе wοrѕt ones аnd many thousands οf thеm–аll thеѕе busy lіttlе worms οf public diplomacy building thеіr faint vague lіttlе coral islands οf bluff аnԁ unbelief far far away frοm υѕ, out іn thе grеаt ocean οf thеіr nothingness аll bу themselves." Image from
Science as a shaper of global diplomacy: The U.S., admired worldwide for its leadership in technology, should pursue science diplomacy with Muslim-majority countries. Such a policy could complement efforts to promote human rights - Ahmed Zewail, latimes.com: In today's world, America's soft power is commonly thought to reside in the global popularity of Hollywood movies, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Starbucks. But the facts tell a different story. In a recent poll involving 43 countries, 79% of respondents said that what they most admire about the United States is its leadership in science and technology. The artifacts of the American entertainment industry came in a distant second. In the 1970s, what I, as a young foreign student studying in the United States, found most dynamic, exciting and impressive about this country is what much of the world continues to value most about the U.S. today: its open intellectual culture, its great universities, its capacity for discovery and innovation.
Info War: the battlefields of the propaganda war - Yaseen Ashraf, twocircles.net: The anti-Islam nature and propaganda of the media pave way for a big cultural invasion. The world of media is moving towards a single culture.
Even though it has the support of the western Christianity, it is basically controlled by the market. A sense of being apolitical, trivialisation (murdochisation) surrounds the media. News cease to have its politics – they tend to be mere entertainment. Image from article
Obama's 5 foreign-policy victories - Robert Kagan, Washington Post: Naming Gen. David Petraeus commander in Afghanistan; the U.N. Security Council resolution on Iran; the administration's policy toward Japan hasn't been pretty, but it has worked; signaling a new determination to achieve a free-trade agreement with South Korea; the administration made clear that there is one area of continuing disagreement between the United States and Russia: Georgia.
What would reconciliation look like for the U.S. and Taliban? - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Both the United States and the Taliban have set heavy preconditions for negotiations, which for now have stymied serious dialogue.
Washington insists that Taliban fighters disarm, renounce any links with al-Qaeda and accept the human-rights provisions of the Afghan constitution. The Taliban demands the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. For now, those demands have produced an impasse. Image from
Afghanistan: Eyes Wide Shut: President Obama's ambivalence toward the war is energizing our enemies and undermining our allies – Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Panetta's Bomb: Now the CIA tells us Iran is going nuclear, and sanctions won't work - Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal
Tehran accuses US spy chief of 'anti-Iran propaganda'
Tehran on Monday rejected US Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta's claim that Iran could have nuclear weapons within two years. "These remarks are baseless and just another scenario of anti-Iran propaganda by the US," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the state television network IRIB. Image from
The Art of Listening: pop, propaganda and North Korea - Daniel Trilling, New Statesman: First you hear the wail of a siren-like synth, which is quickly followed by a chorus of female voices yelping in syncopation to a strutting beat. In these initial moments, it could be Girls Aloud or the Pussycat Dolls, or any one of a host of less well-known Anglo-American girl bands - but in fact the group is 4minute, one of the stars of South Korea's homegrown K-pop scene. Singing in a mix of Korean and English, the polyglot 4Minute also bear the dubious distinction of having reopened the propaganda war between North and South Korea. Following the sinking of the Cheonan warship earlier this year, the South has begun broadcasting from 11 loudspeaker points along the demilitarised zone that separates the two countries.
4Minute's song "Huh" was the first to be played, provoking a threat from the North Korean regime to turn South Korea's capital, Seoul, into a "sea of flame". Image and caption from article: 4minute: there are five of them.
BBC Commemorates Palestinian Nakba With a Bit of Fakery and Propaganda - Myron Kaplan, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America: BBC World News broadcasts, seen in the United States on BBC World News America, didn't report on Israel's Independence day celebration but did remember the Palestinian “Nakba” which occurs at the same time and in reaction to Israel's Independence celebration.
Vatican admits 'possible errors' - Guy Dinmore, Financial Times: The Vatican yesterday admitted possible mismanagement of its vast property portfolio following an Italian investigation into suspected corruption among senior officials in Rome that has rocked Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right government. In a statement the Vatican acknowledged "possible errors" in the valuation of property managed by Propaganda Fide, a church agency reported to be in charge of assets worth €9bn used to fund missionary activities. Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, and head of Propaganda Fide from 2001 until his removal by Pope Benedict in 2006, was told this month that he was under investigation by the Italian authorities probing the 2004 sale of a Rome property.
Image: Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, looks at the glass vial with San Gennaro's blood, 19 September 2007 in Naples, at the Feast of San Gennaro. The festival celebrates the day in 305 Ad when Saint Gennaro was martyred for the faith.
Seeing Languages Differently - Mike Shaughnessy, Boing Boing: These differences in how we perceive space (eg. size, distance, depth, and direction, etc) lead to corresponding linguistic differences manifested in the words we use to describe our surroundings in different language. This lens of language here affects how we perceive and feel about our surroundings. Apparently, the only universal content in regards to spatial perception in language appears to be the direction 'up' since it is a function of the gravity that we all feel, regardless of our cultural or linguistic background.
Condi To Get Special Piano Prize - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog
Any news is good news on the Condi front. "I must say, I'm surprised she's avoided the spotlight to the extent she has since leaving Washington. So anyway, since I can't find anything else to post about at the moment, here's your Condi piano news: Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who started college with a goal of becoming a concert pianist,
will return to to the Coachella Valley in February to receive the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition's Lifetime Achievement Award. She'll be presented the award at the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition's Black and White Gala on Feb. 20, 2011, at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage. Is that enough warning for you? You have only eight months to prepare! Save the date!" Image from article.
ONE MORE QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"On Facebook, you can be as mean as you want.”
--A Middle School Student
Monday, June 28, 2010
“Many laptops seized from the Taliban and al-Qaeda are loaded with smut. U.S. intelligence analysts have devoted considerable time to poring over the terrorists’ favored Web sites, searching for hidden militant messages.”
--From I Am The Chaplain blog; image from
If War Is Not the Answer… - Robert Haddick, american.com:
"[T]he United States and its allies need to develop leverage against Iran. The absence of leverage is the principal reason the engagement and sanctions strategies have failed. ... Offensive action should not be limited to just conventional military actions. It should also include public diplomacy, cyber warfare, unconventional warfare, and covert actions aimed at undermining the authority of the regime. The goal would be to create credible capabilities in these areas in order to persuade the Iranian leadership to adopt different policies." Image from
The Case for Calling Them Nitwits - I Am The Chaplain: "Current U.S. public diplomacy centers on selling America to the Muslim world, but we should also work to undermine some of the myths built up around our enemies by highlighting their incompetence, their moral failings, and their embarrassing antics."
Are you empowered? – Martin, site14.fourfiveone.com: "But it’s not just cranky customers who can use readily available, powerful, hyperconnected technologies to make an impact. Employees can, too… Mark Betka and Tim Receveur, of the U.S. State Department, used off-the-shelf software called Adobe Connect to create Co.Nx,
a public diplomacy outreach project that presents webchats with U.S. government officials, businesspeople, and others." Image from
Through the Wormhole: The Secret State's Mad Scheme to Control the Internet - Antifascist Calling... - Exploring the shadowlands of the corporate police state: "That the revolving door connecting the military and the corporations who service war making is a highly-profitable redoubt for those involved, has been analyzed here at great length. With new moves to tighten the screws on the immediate horizon, and as 'Change' reveals itself for what it always was, an Orwellian exercise in public diplomacy, hitting the 'kill switch' serves as an apt descriptor for the new, repressive growth sector that links technophilic fantasies of 'net-centric' warfare to the burgeoning 'homeland security' market."
Public Diplomacy, Sports, and the Waning Influence of American Popular Culture - John Brown, Huffington Post: "As the worldwide popularity of that up to now quite un-American sport -- fútbol/футбол (the Italians have resisted the Anglo-Saxon linguistic temptation and call it calcio) -- tells us, US soft power, as concerns sports, may not be as automatically seductive to the rest of the world as we Americans sometimes naively assume it to be."
Note: From the New York Times: “[Kobe Bryant] moved to Italy when he was 6. His father, Joe Bryant, was playing basketball in the Italian league. Bryant has often said that had he stayed in Italy, he might have tried professional soccer. Instead, he moved back to the United States when he was 13.” Image: Kobe Bryant visited a youth soccer camp in Soweto in his first visit to South Africa.
Introducing My New Research Project - Di's Quiet Moment - Di Wu, Di's Quiet Moment: "Recently I was involved in a research project named Nation Branding at Expo 2010 Shanghai. It's a very edge cutting yet entertaining project mainly about how do countries portrait themselves using nation branding efforts to the Chinese audiences during the Expo. My two colleagues Chen and Cesar are in Shanghai videotaping the interviews, while I stay in LA maintaining the website and be supportive. Basically my job is to make sure the videos are shown on the CPD website and sometimes communicate with the LA team and Shanghai team. This project is going to be 12 weeks long. Each week we will feature one country, which means that there will be 12 countries in total. We plan to make 2-3 videos for a certain country every week. The videos will contain segments on certain topics. For example, there is a video on South Africa's co-branding with World Cup. The project is launched in early July and so far three countries have their videos on. The latest videos are on U.S., focusing on student ambassadors. We interviewed some student ambassadors working at the U.S. pavilion, either introducing their daily job or sharing their thoughts and opinions. Take a look at the side bar Youtube video. If you are in China, which is not likely because of the firewall, you can also watch our videos on Tudou.com. Just follow the link above and you'll find all the info. ... About Me [:] Di Wu Los Angeles, California, United States [.] A Chinese native living in LA who's interested in public diplomacy, strategic communication and international relations."
Russia forms commission to improve its image - Nation Branding: Some weeks ago, Russian newspapers reported that President Medvedev had just created a new commission in the Kremlin to promote a positive image of Russia abroad.
It is not a new case of nation branding by far, but this high-level commission points out that countries are increasingly conscious of how critical image and reputation are to a country’s prospects in today’s world, especially on economy and foreign affairs. Image from article
On U.S. policy in Afghanistan, who's running the show? By naming Gen. Petraeus to replace Gen. McChrystal, Obama only began to resolve the crucial question concerning the war effort in the region - Doyle McManus, latimes.com
In 'Restrepo,' the Afghan war's brutality as viewed through the soldier's scope - Philip Kennicott, Washington Post: In the post-Vietnam era, artists, writers and filmmakers have sought closer communion with members of the military. Part of this is no doubt a long-standing redress for the neglect and in some cases overt hostility with which soldiers returning from that highly divisive war were treated. It also reflects a real sense of obligation and indebtedness to the troops in the age of the all-volunteer army. But part of it is also an act of self-protection. By viewing the war through the prism of the soldier's experience, the artist can insulate himself or herself from the danger of appearing anti-military.
"The Tillman Story," for instance, criticizes government propaganda about the war through the experience of Army Cpl. Pat Tillman, the football star killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Image from
World Cup Diplomacy: We Should Send Ghana Fans to the Quarter Finals - Americans should set up a way–through a simple text message or a website–to send over a few dollars to help send Ghana fans to the Quarter Finals. Sure, for good public relations, some corporations could pitch in. But this strikes me as the perfect opportunity to engage in some “people-to-people” diplomacy, as the US State Department has called it, or even “fan-to-fan” diplomacy. Considering the world’s craze for the World Cup, there is perhaps no better way to win “the hearts and minds” of soccer fans around the world than for American fans, as individuals, to contribute to sending fellow fans to cheer their own team.
Deja Vu - England Germany - World War II – goal.com: Commando! For decades, British kids devoured these naughty little propaganda comics (maybe they still do) filled with evil German soldiers marching around saying "Himmel" and "Achtung" in nicely pressed uniforms that their mums had ironed before they went out to kill everyone in sight.
The Brit right wing tabloid newspapers keep this tradition of pasting Gerry alive and Sunday's battle between the two old foes offers another opportunity to fire one more shell for World War II. Expect to see in print the march of perceived German faults, from their cold-hearted style of play, to their humorless defense, and should England prevail and the Germans look unhappy, the "sour-kraut" label sticks. Image from article. See also
Terrorists Versus Soccer: Repressive governments and extremist insurgent groups have attempted to tamp down soccer obsession without success - Adam Serwer, The American Prospect. Via PR.
MORE QUOTATIONS FOR THE DAY
'In the discreet white-collar realm,
men and women are interchangeable, doing the same, mind-based work. Physicality is suppressed; voices are lowered and gestures curtailed in sanitized office space. Men must neuter themselves, while ambitious women postpone procreation. Androgyny is bewitching in art, but in real life it can lead to stagnation and boredom, which no pill can cure.'
--Camille Paglia, "No Sex Please, We’re Middle Class," New York Times; image from
Definition: a man who adopts a traditional masculine style in dress and manners
Example: 'Think of him as the anti-metrosexual, the opposite of that guy who emerged in the 1990s in all his pedicured, moussed-up, skinny-jeans glory. That man-boy was searching for his inner girl, it was argued. The retrosexual, however, wants to put the man back into manhood.' — Lini S. Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, Apr. 7, 2010
Submitted by: West4th, NY
Editor's Note: Retrosexual is a word that has been used in two very different ways.
It sometimes describes an old-fashioned 'manly man' – e.g. a beer and football-loving guy who cares little for his appearance.
But it has also been used, as in the example above, to describe someone who self-consciously adopts traditional masculine styles – e.g. old-fashioned manners and clothes typical of the early 1960s (think Mad Men)
--Top 10 User-Submitted Words, Vol. 3, Miriam Webster; image from article
Saturday, June 26, 2010
14.) Does Gen. McChrystal's itinerary each day include a quote from Bruce Lee? NO NOT EVERY DAY. ONLY FOR OUR TRAVEL ITINERARIES - WITHIN AFGH OR INTERNATIONAL. ONE OF OF HIS SENIOR NON COMMISSIONED OFFICERS CHOOSES A NEW ONE FOR EACH TRIP.
--From: “Rolling Stone fact checker sent McChrystal aide 30 questions” [question 14]; Lee image from
Lesson 14 The Idea of America - Larry D. Lauer: Pioneer in Integrated Marketing for Academic and Nonprofit Institutions:
"After all, everyday extremists and terrorists grab the headlines and set the daily news agenda. Even failing suicide bombers succeed in making news and speading fear. And to make the situation worse, everyone else winds up sounding defensive about what happened. ... In pondering all this I remembered my graduate student days at American Unversity when a government agency known as the United States Information Agency (USIA) was in full force. It was charged to communicate the larger story of the American people and their values, a story that would go far beyond official foreign policy. Based mostly on people-to-people communication, I thought this agency was very effective. But the USIA I knew was eliminated by the Clinton admnistration and replaced by a smaller strategic communication activity inside the state department… losing independence, not to mention important credibility with the rest of the world. ... Extrem[is]ts and terrorists are already winning the war to dominate the public agenda. The United States therefore should quickly re-establish a highly visible strategic communication and public diplomacy organizaton. Then we must find and hire the best and most creative professionals in the land to run it." Image from
Europeans React Skeptically to McChrystal Debacle - Soeren Kern, Pajamas Media: "[T]he overarching theme in European newspaper commentary is that McChrystal’s insubordination is a symptom of a much larger problem, namely that Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan is not working. ... [Comment by] vb: Europe’s pundits for the most part are still trying to show how much more sophisticated they are than American rubes. Take everything they say with a huge block of salt, but remember that they shape the opinions of their consumers. What have Obama’s ambassadors been doing to counter the fallacious messages of the foreign media? Has Obama done anything to improve on the much criticized public diplomacy of Bush? Not that I have noticed."
Anti-American refereeing highlights failure of Obama's public diplomacy –
mattyglesias, Twitter entry; cited at. Image from
Institutional Insularity and Public Diplomacy - John Brown, Notes and Essays: "BP says we the 'small people' want oil-powered motion (we drill for you); the military says we want protection (we kill for you); the church says we want salvation (we illusion for you). ... 'Public diplomacy' for such ... organizations? PR/psyops/religious ceremonies ... which we the 'small people' all too often are willing to accept in order to find emotional comfort in our chaotic age -- an era marked by an explosive mixture of excessive technological rationality and sheer societal madness."
Campaign of Mass-Distraction: A Review of Anne-Marie Brady’s Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China - Marie-Eve Reny, posted at Posthuman Destinies: "China’s foreign propaganda directed at non-Chinese audiences has undergone major reform in the last decade.
These reforms are indicated by the Chinese media’s avoidance of the term 'propaganda' in foreign language publications to discuss CCP media management, though the term 'xuanchuan' (propaganda) continues to be used in Chinese. So for example, the CCP Central Propaganda Department (Zhongxuanbu) is now translated as Central Publicity Department by China Daily and Xinhua and they use terms such As 'publicity,' 'information,' 'public relations,' 'cross cultural communication' and “public diplomacy” to discuss activities which are still classified as waixuan (Foreign Propaganda) in Chinese language publications. As in its domestic propaganda, China now adapts many of the methods of public opinion management which originated in modern industrialized societies such as the United States." Image from
Gastrodiplomacy: The Yummiest Politics – Olga Belogolova: "Paul Rockower, a recent graduate of the Master’s of Public Diplomacy program at the University of Southern California wrote an article about Gastronomy and the re-branding of Korea. 'Gastrodiplomacy,' he writes 'most plainly put, is the act of winning hearts and minds through stomachs.' He also notes that the technique was perfected by Thailand, where the 'Global Thai Program' in 2003 was a means for the government to increase the number of Thai restaurants globally and as a result, create a tourism boom and, according to an article in The Economist, 'deepen relations with other countries.' ... The people of the world, in general, can be pretty bright, but we can also be just plain old ignorant. One thing everyone has in common, though, is food. It has a mass appeal and a mass understanding and therefore creates a large market for cultural diplomacy."
Worse Than a Nightmare - Bob Herbert, New York Times:
President Obama can be applauded for his decisiveness in dispatching the chronically insubordinate Stanley McChrystal, but we are still left with a disaster of a war in Afghanistan that cannot be won and that the country as a whole will not support. Image from
Reasons to be hopeful about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan - Michael O'Hanlon, Washington Post: There are indeed weaknesses in U.S. strategy, including problems with the Afghan police and an inadequate plan to fight corruption. Gen. David Petraeus and military and civilian leaders should focus on these and other matters. But on balance, we have many assets and strengths in Afghanistan -- and better-than-even odds of leaving behind a reasonably stable place if we persevere.
Iraq’s Ancient Ruins Face New Looting - Steven Lee Myers, New York Times: The looting of Iraq’s ancient ruins is thriving again. This time it is not a result of the “stuff happens”
chaos that followed the American invasion in 2003, but rather the bureaucratic indifference of Iraq’s newly sovereign government. Thousands of archaeological sites — containing some of the oldest treasures of civilization — have been left unprotected, allowing what officials of Iraq’s antiquities board say is a resumption of brazenly illegal excavations, especially here in southern Iraq. Image from
Cheers at Europe’s Expense - Rob Hughes, New York Times: Soccer, after all, is game underneath all the FIFA marketing and the win-at-all-costs mentality. But something got under the skin of the surly, withdrawn, self-obsessed and now departed French and Italians. They are big names in soccer, but of small consequence to the World Cup as it goes forward without them. They will not be missed. The old order is dead, long live the new.
On Evonne Levy’s Propaganda and the Jesuit Baroque National Post — May 29, 2004 by Ian Garrick Mason - posted at John Brown, Notes & Essays: Propaganda is a technique of persuasion. Perhaps it is going too far to say, as advertising pioneer and WWI propagandist Edward Bernays did, that “whether, in any instance, propaganda is good or bad depends upon the merit of the cause urged, and the correctness of the information published.” But demonizing propaganda may be even worse, by leading us either to deny that it’s part of our society at all, or, if we do accept that it’s present, to demonize our society along with it.
For Levy, though, it’s a matter of how we understand art. The main problem with today’s anti-propaganda attitude is that it boxes us into a one-dimensional view. If we see only the propaganda, as the nineteenth-century anti-Jesuit historians did, we turn art into “evidence”, its aesthetic nature denied. And if we see only the art, as the twentieth-century museum, “its galleries filled with objects separated from the altars of their original gods”, does, then we turn art into a false idol, stripped of its context and purpose. Her point is simple: can we not learn to see both? St. Ignatius image from
Friday, June 25, 2010
"You knew it was going to happen. It was inevitable. Gen. Stanley McChrystal cancelled his subscription to 'Rolling Stone.'"
--Talk show host Jay Leno, cited in Political Bulletin, Bulletin News, LLC (June 25); image from
"Dear Fellow Citizen Diplomats,
Hi. I’m William Harvey, the founder of Cultures in Harmony. I’m writing you to share a short video that I recently submitted to the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD) as part of their 'share your stories' campaign. I was so excited by the opportunity that USCCD was offering to spread the word about our important work that I jumped at the chance and submitted this video. ... Please take a moment and watch this short video and then please share it with your friends using the form provided. We want as many people as possible to know about the Share Your Stories opportunity." -- from an email from Mr. Harvey
What McChrystal Got Right - Ahmad Shuja, Huffington Post: "No matter what you think of Gen. McChrystal after the Rolling Stone article and the fiasco that ensued, he knew how to work in Afghanistan.
Here are a few things he got right. ... He issued strict directives to avoid civilian casualties. McChrystal called it insurgent math, and the Rolling Stone article summed it pretty nicely: 'For every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies.' In addition to significantly altering the rules of combat, he engaged in smooth public diplomacy. He apologized publicly to the Afghan people for confirmed civilian deaths in the hands of his soldiers. Suspected civilian deaths were investigated, perpetrators punished and, on occasion, the rules of engagement accordingly tweaked. As a result, civilian casualties dropped significantly." Image from
McChrystal-izing a Problem: The Militarization of American Statecraft - Gordon Adams, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: "The Pentagon has taken increasing responsibility for the American message abroad. Through a variety of accounts ranging from the Joint Staff to the regional COCOMs, to local commanders, the military may now spend more on 'public diplomacy' (sometimes called 'strategic communications') than the entire budget of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, ostensibly responsible for all US international broadcasting. ... [P]utting the military in the vanguard of statecraft sends a confusing message to our friends and potential partners overseas: America is globally engaged, but that engagement wears a uniform."
Keeping America Connected: End the Static at the Broadcasting Board - Sen. Dick Lugar, Huffington Post:
"America's international broadcasting operations are a key element in our diplomatic efforts to communicate our values to the rest of the world and to bring news and information to closed societies. ... Rapid technological change, shifting demographics, new competition and stepped-up jamming all pose fresh challenges to our broadcasting system. Unfortunately, our ability to respond to this fast-moving environment is hampered by chronic functional problems with the organization in charge, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). ... The BBG has not had its full complement of governors since 2004, and has had no chairman since 2008. Today, only half the seats are filled, two Republicans and two Democrats, each of whom has been serving since 2002, well past their official three-year terms. ... In the short term, I urge my colleagues in the Senate to move quickly to approve all the nominees so they can get to work. However, should the chronic dysfunction in the confirmation process persist, Congress may well have to consider a new structure to oversee our international broadcasters so that this important tool of public diplomacy gets the consistent management and oversight it deserves." Image from
Establishment of a Partnership in English with Kabul University, Afghanistan - grants.gov: "Category Explanation: Public Diplomacy program in Afghanistan ... Description[:]The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul announces an open competition for a cooperative agreement to establish a Partnership between a U.S. four year college or university, or a U.S. non-profit organization in partnership with a U.S. four-year college or university, and Kabul University in the primary field of the teaching and learning of English language and literature."
A final day's mission and a farewell to Iraq - Mary-Denise Tabar, Tampabay.com: "Editor's note: A few weeks ago, Mary-Denise Tabar finished her last tour in Iraq as a State Department public diplomacy adviser. Hired as a civilian contract employee, she was assigned to a Provincial Reconstruction Team, which was embedded with a combat brigade.
The program followed the surge to bring reconstruction efforts to each of Iraq's provinces. Each Provincial Reconstruction Team comprised an interagency mix from federal departments such as Justice, State, Agriculture, military civil affairs and engineers, and Iraqis. ... Since returning to Tampa, Ms. Tabar began 8 to 10 weeks of doctor-ordered rest. She has been re-organizing the closets in her parents' house and visiting the chiropractor to realign her back from carrying 40 pounds of body armor, Kevlar and pouches and backpacks." Image from article: The author checks in on a reading and writing class for women in Sab Al Bor. Proud of her homework, the student is showing her workbook.
Economy's future lies in a global education - Jeremy Levitt, Orlando Sentinel: "How many universities are training linguists and regionalists with expertise in Africa, Asia and the Middle East? How do you prepare American students to compete in a world where success necessitates global insight and collaboration if globalism is not a part of the curriculum? These are the questions that we must begin to grapple with from primary school through college. At Florida A&M University College of Law, we, too, wrestle with these issues. ... In the past two years, our students have immersed themselves in the study of international law, studied abroad on every continent and served as interns at the most prominent institutions in the world. They include ... the U.S. intelligence and public-diplomacy communities and not-for-profit sectors."
Football, Soft Power and the Decline of Europe - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "A couple of weeks ago John Brown posted on the waning influence of American popular culture in part because of the failure to export American sports. (Of course the US has the UFC but I’m not sure that’s the image the State Department wants to promote*) Over this side of the Atlantic we’re now wondering about the the decline in European football.
I’m particularly fascinated by the fact that President Sarko is personally investigating the state of the French team. The last time the Italians were knocked out of the Mondiale at this stage they were pelted with rotten fruit on their return home. What’s Silvio going to do? I’m rambling: the reason I started this post was simply to point out that Nation Branding has an interesting analysis of the impact of the world cup on national brands." Image from
Moscow Rallies Countries to Fight International Drug Trade - Nikolai Surkov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia, posted at watchingamerica.com: "Dmitri Rogozin, Russian permanent representative to NATO, stated that solving a question of cooperation between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance has two levels. 'First level is the Russia-NATO relationship. Second level is purely political'. ... Speaking about Russia-NATO relations, Rogozin suggested actively employing public diplomacy in order to convince public opinion in Western countries that the money from selling drugs, particularly in Russia, is used for training and equipping the militants who are fighting against international forces in Afghanistan. 'We have to explain how dangerous it is to ignore the issue of Afghan heroin and influence the politicians in the West through public opinion,' stated Rogozin."
A new broom - The News International: "The new British foreign secretary, William Hague, has been paying us a visit for the last three days. There were the usual photocalls and press conferences and meetings with senior figures in our government, and a nod to modernity with a Facebook posting of pictures of the visit. ... He succeeds David Milliband, who was a frequent visitor and appears no less able than his predecessor at turning out a well-honed platitude.
Platitudes are the bread and butter of public diplomacy and designed to yield few clues as to what went on out of sight of the cameras and reporters, but we may be able to decode some of them. Perhaps the first thing to note is that Mr Hague does not appear to be slavishly following an American line." Image from
PCIJ's Ed Lingao is 2010 McLuhan Fellow for Journalism - ABS CBN News: "The Marshall McLuhan Prize, named after the world-renowned Canadian communication scholar, is the Embassy of Canada’s flagship public diplomacy initiative. Launched in 1997 to encourage investigative journalism in the Philippines, the Prize underlines Canada’s belief that a strong media is essential to a free democratic society."
Thinking About Relationships - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence:
"Ok so we are convinced that PD needs to take a relational turn. That is we ought to stop obsessing about messages and communication and think about how we can build relationships." Image from
What Academics Say About PD (Revisited) - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "At the moment I’m working though a huge stack of PD reading and it keeps getting bigger because I keep finding interesting references to follow up. So today via a citation in Kathy Fitzpatrick’s piece in the Hague Journal of Diplomacy it’s Kristin Lord’s 2005 conference paper ‘What Academics (Should Have to) Say About Public Diplomacy‘ that that got to the top of the reading pile. The starting point is that most of the post 9/11 writing on PD was by practitioners, policy types and think tankers not the academy. In the paper she examines the resources that the research literature can provide. In particular she focuses on work in constructivist international relations and social psychology."
(below images from)
The General Who Played with Fire – McChrystal and the Media - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View:
Strategic communications is often about the dark side of information dissemination – the propaganda, lies, disinformation and deceit that is part of the battlefield and conducted in secret beneath the surface. Genghis Khan was a master at it. But that’s not what public affairs is all about. Credibility and putting the government’s best foot forward is the name of that game.
The PR school of foreign affairs - David Warren, The Ottawa Citizen: Countries are like companies in some limited sense, trying to preserve the polish on a brand name. There is a whole school of thought, in contemporary Israel for instance, that holds by the classic PR strategy: no news is good news. And indeed, it is hard to argue that a day without Israel on the world's front pages is like a day of sunshine, whatever the weather happens to be in Tel Aviv.
Will Holbrooke be next to exit? Obama has hinted that other members of his Afghanistan war team may go the way of McChrystal. That may imperil his special envoy to the region, but Richard Holbrooke has shown a knack for perseverance - Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times. See also John Brown, "Richard Holbrooke: Able and Insufferable," Huffington Post (May 13, 2009)
Nation building in Afghanistan? That's Afghans' job - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post:
The good news? Nobody has to pretend anymore that Gen. Stanley McChrystal knew how to fix Afghanistan within a year. The bad news? Now we're supposed to pretend that Gen. David Petraeus does.
Afghanistan: The 7/11 problem - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post: What the Afghans hear from the current American president is a surge with an expiration date. An Afghan facing the life-or-death choice of which side to support can be forgiven for thinking that what Obama says is what Obama intends. That may be wrong, but if so, why doesn't Obama dispel that false impression? He doesn't even have to repudiate the July 2011 date, he simply but explicitly has to say: July 2011 is the target date, but only if conditions on the ground permit.
The realism of seeking democracy in Iran - Leon Wieseltier, Washington Post: Real realism consists of the recognition that nuclear peace and social peace in Iran will be reliably achieved only with the advent of democracy, and that since June 12, 2009, the advent of Iranian democracy is not an idle wish.
The Jones Act ship law has outlived its usefulness – Editorial, Washington Post:
The Jones Act is a vestige of the post-World War I years, when the vulnerability of U.S. shipping to German U-boats was still fresh in the public's mind. To maintain a "dependable" merchant fleet for the next "national emergency," Congress restricted coastal shipping between U.S. ports to U.S.-built vessels owned by U.S. citizens; related laws require U.S. crews. If FedEx can move cargo across the country in European-made Airbuses, why can't a boat built in, say, Canada, ship wheat from Los Angeles to Honolulu? The Jones Act lobby crushed the last attempt at reform back in the 1990s. May the next one meet with more success.
Indian propaganda war: Manufacturing 'terrorists' the Indian way - Pakistan Defence Forum: Almost every other day, newspapers are agog with stories about 'dreaded Muslim terrorists' being nabbed across the country. At the same time, savage violence unleashed by Hindutva groups continues unabated without any effective steps being taken against them. In the ongoing 'war on terror', globally as well as within India, Muslims have come to be framed collectively as 'terrorists', while terrorism engaged in by people belonging to other communities is generally condoned or ignored altogether or, at least, is not described in the same terms.
N.Korea Boosts Propaganda for Kim Jong-il's Son - The Chosun Ilbo: North Korea's ailing leader Kim Jong-il is speeding up the transfer of power to his son Jong-un, intelligence suggests.
Basic Principles of Propaganda: War, Propaganda and the Media - Anup Shah, bearmarketnews.wordpress.com/:
As the various examples below will show, common tactics in propaganda often used by either side include:
1. Decontextualizing violence: focusing on the irrational without looking at the reasons for unresolved conflicts and polarization.
2. Dualism: reducing the number of parties in a conflict to two, when often more are involved. Stories that just focus on internal developments often ignore such outside or “external” forces as foreign governments and transnational companies.
3. Manicheanism: portraying one side as good and demonizing the other as “evil.”
4. Armageddon: presenting violence as inevitable, omitting alternatives.
5. Focusing on individual acts of violence while avoiding structural causes, like poverty, government neglect and military or police repression.
6. Confusion: focusing only on the conflict arena (i.e., the battlefield or location of violent incidents) but not on the forces and factors that influence the violence.
7. Excluding and omitting the bereaved, thus never explaining why there are acts of revenge and spirals of violence.
8. Failure to explore the causes of escalation and the impact of media coverage itself.
9. Failure to explore the goals of outside interventionists, especially big powers.
10. Failure to explore peace proposals and offer images of peaceful outcomes.
11. Confusing cease-fires and negotiations with actual peace.
12. Omitting reconciliation: conflicts tend to reemerge if attention is not paid to efforts to heal fractured societies. When news about attempts to resolve conflicts are absent, fatalism is reinforced. That can help engender even more violence, when people have no images or information about possible peaceful outcomes and the promise of healing.
— Danny Schechter, Covering Violence: How Should Media Handle Conflict?,
ONE MORE QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"confession, celebrity and cynicism"
--Historian Jonathan Zimmerman, identifying what he considers the "three broad and mutually reinforcing trends in contemporary American life"
Thursday, June 24, 2010
"The graveyards are full of indispensable men."
--Charles de Gaulle; image from
Perspectives on U.S. International Broadcasting (Heritage Foundation)
Women's Rights Are Human Rights - Voice of America: "In a recent report, that office [the Secretary’s Office of Global Women's Issues] detailed its work with other State Department agencies, the United Nations and other public and private partnerships to promote programs which improve the lives of women and girls around the world. For, as Secretary Clinton noted on the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Conference, 'women’s progress is human progress.'
The U.S. Department of State works toward the political and economic inclusion of women, for equal access to quality education and healthcare, and toward freeing women from the threat of violence. To achieve these goals, the Office of Global Women's Issues works toward fully integrating women's issues into U.S. foreign policy decisions and State Department practices; creates programs and partnerships, bilaterally and multilaterally, to protect and empower women; works to expand legal reforms and strengthen the international framework for protection of women's rights; and engages in sustained and comprehensive public outreach and public diplomacy, according to the report." Image from
Clinton: We 'recognize with gratitude' contributions by LGBT members of State Department - Steve Rothaus, MiamiHerald.com: "Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton At An Event Celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Month June 22, 2010 Loy Henderson Auditorium Washington, D.C. SECRETARY CLINTON: ... [H]ere at the State Department, we will continue to advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We are elevating our human rights dialogues with other governments and conducting public diplomacy to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons."
East Africa getting ready for internet revolution - Daily Ethiopia: "A June 28–29 symposium in Uganda organized by the U.S. telecom firm Verizon Communications and other planning partners is an effort to help improve East Africa’s Internet links with the rest of the world and thus stimulate enhanced educational opportunities and economic growth and development across the region, the executive said. Kathryn C. Brown, senior vice president of public policy development and corporate responsibility at Verizon, spoke with America.gov June 21 and previewed the event, which is expected to attract some 120 government, business and education representatives from the target countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The symposium seeks to improve Internet access and applications for the region’s institutions of higher education. ... [S]he said ... U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale will address the group. 'We are just so pleased that she is going to come to speak at the conference,' Brown said. Additionally, major service providers like AT&T, Google, Motorola, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Intelsat will join local operators to lend their voices and expertise to the conversation." Image from
Secretary Clinton not coming to Uganda - John Njoroge, The Independent: "The US Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs [sic] Hillary Clinton will not be visiting Uganda as earlier reported. Reports in the Ugandan media last week indicated that Ms Clinton 'is expected in the country this week for high-level talks with government officials.' However the US Mission in Kampala said today it had 'no information of such a trip.' Instead it’s the US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale who will visit Kampala on Monday, next week. The information about a ‘U.S Secretary' coming to Uganda was misunderstood and assumed to be a visit by Ms Clinton. McHale will deliver a keynote speech at the East Africa ICT and Higher Education Symposium at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo."
Assistant Secretary Judith Ann Stock confirmed - Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy: "More than six months after receiving her nomination, the Senate has finally confirmed Judith Ann Stock to become Assistant Secretary of State for Education [sic] and Cultural Affairs. 'Ann Stock is already on the job and we are thrilled,' said Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley. 'This day has been a long time coming.' … Stock is currently the vice president for Institutional Affairs at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and served as an assistant to President Clinton and his social secretary from 1993 to 1997. She will report up to Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale. 'I am delighted by the confirmation of Ann Stock as Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. I know she will provide terrific leadership of that bureau's people, programs, and initiatives in public diplomacy,' McHale told The Cable. According to the State Department website, the slot for her principal deputy is still vacant."
Pragmatic Overdose: Ethics and creativity are stifled in the draft U.S. development policy - Evan O'Neil, Policy Innovations: "The Obama administration is in the design phase with its Presidential Study Directive on global development, calling for 'A New Way Forward.' A leaked draft of the policy review indicates that American development funding should 'reinforce the universal values we aim to advance.' Yet the administration is doing little to examine its values or whether they are accepted globally. Obama's advisors want to energize U.S. development policy by framing it in terms of American national security, calling development a 'strategic imperative.' ... But national security can't be the only way to sell a development policy. A less cynical way to frame the new way forward would be through a narrative of public diplomacy, cultural identity, fair trade, and green energy innovation. ... The need for better public diplomacy is driven by the explosion of information and communication technologies and the transparency they engender. As my colleague Joshua S. Fouts points out,
no amount of political spin can save a country from being judged by its actions. International relations going forward must be about authentic dialogue, not information (or actual) warfare. ... [T]he emergent ethic of Green Diplomacy—using development policy to build renewable energy infrastructure—holds great promise in light of the BP oil spill, especially with regional countries that might be affected. Such projects would tie in well with a revival of public diplomacy. ... We won't see a new way forward until the United States views other nations as equal peers in the quest to realize a good life, instead of treating them as instruments in pursuit of American national security or favorable trade. To achieve this, the State Department must stake out its own values—beneficial immigration flows, fair trade, and regional green energy innovation—instead of cutting turf from Defense and other departments." Fouts image from
Cultural Diplomacy: Message from Dan Sreebny, Senior Media Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs - John Brown, Notes and Essays:
"John - I read your discussion of the Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy caucus meeting, and noted your short description of the discussion of Cultural Diplomacy by Ms. DiMartino. I was surprised you only included what you did – Ms. DiMartino also underscored how cultural diplomacy is a critical tool in our toolbox for engaging foreign publics, talked about how it furthers our interests by allowing us to establish contacts with people who we might not otherwise engage with, and noted how cultural diplomacy allows us in many instances to engage with the important change agents within societies. Best regards, Dan Dan Sreebny Senior Media Advisor Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R) Department of State." Sreebny image from entry
Currency Manipulation and Globalism: The Big Backstory - Eric Ehrmann, Huffington Post: "[W]hile Washington puts the negative public diplomacy spotlight on China, Japan, with a current portfolio of about $769 billion, is the largest long term holder of US Treasury bonds.
Thanks to US trade imbalances linked to its globalist induced dependence on foreign goods China and Japan hold more than $1.52 trillion in US Treasury instruments. That's about ten times the total amount of gold (148 million ounces) believed to be held at the US gold depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky." Image from
MN delegation reacts to McChrystal dismissal - Derek Wallbank, MinnPost.com: "Rep. Keith Ellison said he supports the decision to replace McChrystal and reiterated his calls for more civilian aid to Afghanistan. 'I have long argued that in order to achieve peace and security in the region, we must have a civilian surge coupled with transitioning our troops out of combat missions and readying them for redeployment,' Ellison said in a statement. 'I continue to call on President Obama and General Petraeus to increase public diplomacy to ensure long term stability, and to bring our troops home from this near decade long conflict.'"
Foreign exchange students risk exposure to predators - Danielle Grijalva, SDNN: "[T]here have been numerous cases of abuse of foreign exchange students by host families throughout the world,
and ... there are 700,000 convicted sexual predators in the U.S. So the United States Department of State is now proposing tighter scrutiny before foreign exchange students can be placed in homes. ... Many wonderful memories and lifelong international friendships can result from participating in the Exchange Visitor Program of the United States. It is the cornerstone of our nation’s public diplomacy efforts. Planning in advance and being informed can ensure a positive experience for the foreign teenager and the host family." Image from
“Get a Ph.D. in America Without Knowing English!” - twitter myspace facebook: "This is the style of a June 16th article about U.S.-based rogue providers (unauthorized schools) operating in Vietnam. The 'university' in question is Southern Pacific University, what one. has two 'accredited centers' in Vietnam. SPU also has agents in China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK. In this put in a box, the director of the department of culture, sports and tourism in Ph Th in north Vietnam 'earned' an online Ph.D. from February 2007 to September 2009. The of the university work, such as it was, was in translation, including the 'essay defense.' And the cost of a 'Ph.D.' from SPU? ... Below is an excerpt from a forthcoming article of mine about rogue providers in Vietnam. This result is a quietly ticking time bomb that will explode not every part of at once but over an extended period of time, slowly, insidiously, invisibly for the most part but nevertheless destructively. The cumulative effect of 'US higher discipline institutions' cheating students and parents will tarnish the luster, damage the fame and dilute the integrity of accredited US colleges and universities. Thus, we leave be doing ourselves and foreign countries a favor by taking the passage out of learner protection seriously and taking the necessary steps to control in, or at least expose, unaccredited schools. It is an issue that should also concern the US State Department because part of its work is immediately related to public diplomacy and the United States’ image in the eyes of the Vietnamese and lower classes of other nationalities."
US seeks concept papers for HIV/AIDS prevention in VN - VOVNews.vn:
"The US Mission to Vietnam is seeking concept papers from local public, non-profit organisations and civil society groups interested in designing and implementing small activities for HIV/AIDS public diplomacy and outreach communication in 2010." Image from
Shanghai 2010, the USA Pavilion and the Future - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View:
"I think Clinton, the USA Pavilion private sector steering committee headed by Frank Lavin; Ambassador-at-large Elizabeth Bagley; Beatrice Camp, US Consul General in Shanghai; and US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman as well as their staffs and others involved deserve bouquets of roses and kudos not huzzahs and raspberries for doing the very best they could within the limits forced on them and beyond their control. These restrictions are home grown. They can and should be changed. Now is the time to start." Article includes comment by Bob Jacobson: “The long and short of it ... is that we could have had a publicly-funded, formidable US Pavilion -- one representing all Americans -- in place well before the opening of the Expo. We could have, had not the very people you want to award roses and kudos done their work responsibly, openly, and collaboratively. They did not. ... Also, there may be congressional hearings after the elections that will look into the privatization of public diplomacy that the US Pavilion in Shanghai portends.” Image from
Turkey and Iran: America's true allies in the region? – Lena, Global Chaos: "Yesterday I got to attend one of the many 'launches' of Stephen Kinzer's new book: Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future . ... Kinzer did make a substantial presentation, outlining his views on the current and future U.S. policy in the Middle East. ... Kinzer called for more, what seemed to be, public diplomacy. He said it is important to think beyond the 'narrow spectrum of acceptable options', and switch from a 'regime-to-regime' approach to one that considers the people of these nations. Thus, a hostile American policy toward Iran (or, especially, a military action) will 'kill the biggest strategic asset in the region': the pro-American sentiment. He said the U.S. needs to involve, rather than marginalize hostile regimes, since that will expose the cracks to their own publics and thus, facilitate an organic process of change. Such an approach would be more viable in the long-term, as opposed to attempts to 'impose democracy' in places where its natural pace simply needs more time."
ConnectSolutions Project in Harvard Business Review - Jeff Hale, connectsolutions: "ConnectSolutions collaboration with the US State Department was recently mentioned in the Harvard Business Review. The article 'Empowered' by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler is included in the July-August 2010 issue, and focuses on empowering employees to solve company’s problems. Here’s an excerpt: 'But it’s not just cranky customers who can use readily available, powerful, hyperconnected technologies to make an impact. Employees can, too. Mark Betka and Tim Receveur, of the U.S. State Department, used off-the-shelf software called Adobe Connect to create Co.Nx, a public diplomacy outreach project that presents webchats with U.S. government officials, businesspeople, and others.
The webchats now have international audiences in the tens of thousands and more than 100,000 Facebook fans.' The State Department’s Co.Nx public diplomacy project has conducted over 250 live broadcasts with ConnectSolutions, featuring speakers like President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, ambassadors, policy analysts, and even an astronaut. Their next broadcast will be another in a series of World Cup webchats. The chat on Wednesday, June 30, will feature a discussion with DC United Head Coach Curt Onalfo." Image from article
Gov. Hirschberg speaks at Heritage Foundation Event - On June 21, the Heritage Foundation hosted an event titled 'Perspectives on U.S. International Broadcasting' and BBG Governor Jeff Hirschberg gave remarks and participated in the discussion. Also in attendance were James Glassman, Founding Executive Director George W. Bush Institute; Ambassador Tom Korologos, Strategic Advisor TCK International, LLC; Robert Reilly, Senior Fellow for Strategic Communications American Foreign Policy Council; Josh Carter, Legislative Director Office of Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Tim Shamble, President AFGE Local 1812. To read Hirschberg's remarks, as prepared, click here."
Tuesday's 63 Senate confirmations do not include the eight BBG nominees - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Activist hopes for "new direction" at VOA Persian, says Congress will be monitoring - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Terrorist Motivations – Shooting to be Big Shots? - Michael B. Kraft, Counterterrorism Blog:
"The vexing question of 'what makes terrorists tick' is an important one, especially as governments are paying more attention to the need to counter radicalization. Some countries such as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have programs, with limited success, to try to deradicalize captured terrorist suspects. They and western governments, especially Britain, the Netherlands and more recently the United States have been trying to develop and strengthen programs to counter terrorism radicalization, including public diplomacy efforts. This is important and necessary. It is essential that we try to counter the ideology, spread so easily on the internet that justifies mass murders for the sake of some 'sacred cause' or restoring an idealized 15th century world of purity and/or the Muslim Caliph that stretched from the Middle East into Spain. Ideology, however, is not the only factor in why some people, especially young men, embrace violence and terrorism and done suicide belts. Although some writers have discussed the psychological aspects of terrorists, this aspect is often overlooked in the pontification about policies and 'root causes.'” Image from
Oiling the Hoi Polloi – Martha Bayles, World Affairs: "The art of public diplomacy, very different from that of advertising, is to engage people over and over, to listen patiently to their complaints and objections, to show that you appreciate their point of view, and then to explain as clearly as possible why your government is doing what it’s doing. The private-sector equivalent would be to keep running the same ad campaign even though no one is buying. The point is not to move product, it’s to keep the lines of communication open. If you think this is a useless exercise, just imagine how Americans would feel if, instead of finding a more suitable representative to talk to us in our own language, BP were to simply cut us off."
"Militainment"? Or "Operation Perception Management"? – Lena, Global Chaos:
“One of the major public diplomacy discussions I have come across ... is the use of the entertainment industry to promote the country's relevant interests. The US government is, perhaps, one of the few major countries that does not directly support the production of from-America-with-love type movies (with a single exception that dates back to the 1960s), and my understanding is that it prides itself for that. 'Hollywood will do the job by itself.' And yet, the case is far from being such for Pentagon, which has a long-running relationship with the film industry (and not only).” Image from
World Cup Diplomacy – Katherine, A World Not Our Own: A Public Diplomacy Blog: "As I've been following the FIFA World Cup, I can't help but wonder how all the events surrounding it further public diplomacy. I think of the Ping Pong diplomacy between China and the US and wonder if football (or soccer for my fellow Americans) can be a vehicle for diplomacy. Therefore, I'd like to start a discussion on the public diplomacy of the World Cup, and sports diplomacy more broadly. If you come across any articles pertaining to this topic, please post in this discussion thread. Includes comment by John Brown, “Public Diplomacy, Sport, and the Waning Influence of American Popular Culture,” which appeared earlier in the author’s Notes and Essays. See also.
National football teams and country brands - Felix Wetzel, Nation Branding Everything about Nation Branding and Country Brands: "With football players becoming celebrities in their own right, their impact on the nation brand will increase in importance, which highlights the lack of control a nation has over its brand, especially as nation brands do not have the power to control who will become a famous representative. The adoption of one specific individual as the brand representative leads to other dilemmas: are they representative of the entire population?
What happens if their reputation gets tarnished (especially as they are seldom replaceable as brand personalities are in the corporate world)? The synthesis of the research culminates in to the following point: the most influential method of nation branding is public diplomacy by individual citizens, be they well known players or individual fans, interacting with other citizens of other nations. The effectiveness of this public diplomacy depends on the level of pride, ownership and voluntary participation of the individual citizen towards his or her own nation brand." Image from
Bridging the trust deficit - Ashok K Mehta, Daily Pioneer: "The three-day grand Peace Jirgah of 1,600 delegates held earlier this month in Kabul, which was briefly interrupted by suicide-bombers, produced 16 recommendations chiefly about establishing peace by reconciling with 'our opponents'. ... The 16-point Kabul declaration following the Jirgah was a shrewd act of public diplomacy — a message for the Taliban, the Kabul Government, Afghanistan’s neighbours and the international community that Afghans are committed to holding parliamentary elections in September 2010, respecting human rights and democratic values."
Bosphorus Diary: Freedom on razor's edge - Yavuz Baydar, Bosphorus Diary:
"The bans wildly and often ignorantly implemented on the Internet are ... [a] cause for concern -- and certainly a shame for Turkey. The problem of the YouTube ban remains; and the government’s battle with Google displays signs of arrogance rather than enhancing the domain of freedom on the Internet. The most significant part of the problem is this: At the moment, it is impossible to access data on the number of banned websites because the supervising authority, the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), refuses to share it with the public. The estimated number of banned sites is around 6,000-7,000. It is perplexing that the government, which needs the Internet if it wants to expand its public diplomacy on the international front after issues such as the off-Gaza incident and Iran, prefers to shoot itself in the foot instead. The only leader who shows signs of concern in this matter is President Abdullah Gül, but he has no power to change the problematic law." Image from
Edelstein: Disengagement Harmed Israel's Public Diplomacy - Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva: "Yuli Edelstein, Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, disputes the claim that the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif five years helped Israel's image. He visited the Nitzan community of expulsion victims, who were evicted from their homes in the Jewish communities of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip five years ago as part of the Sharon government's 'disengagement' plan. Edelstein came to visit Nitzan in wake of the recent report of an inquiry committee that concluded that the government abandoned and neglected the expulsion victims and to mark the fifth anniversary of the eviction, which will be marked during the upcoming week. Speaking with Arutz Sheva TV, Edelstein says that such action should never be repeated and that the claim that the pullout would promote Israel's image may have been right for a week or two but has since been proven wrong."
'Israel to fund high-school programs': Exclusive: Gov't, JA launch major effort to extend funding to youths - Haviv Rettig, Jerusalem Post - "After spending tens of millions of dollars in recent years to bring college-age Jewish youth on subsidized trips to Israel, the government and Jewish Agency are launching a major new effort to offer similar funding for high-schoolers. Together, Israel and the Jewish Agency have spent well over $100 million in recent years to help fund short-term trips through Taglit-Birthright Israel
and long-term stays in the country in the framework of Masa. In recent days, the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry and the Jewish Agency have offered $2m. to the Lapid organization, an umbrella body of 27 trip providers for high school-age kids, to start a pilot funding mechanism that will offer financial assistance to Diaspora youth applying to Israel programs." Image from
UK - MFA - Minister of State visits Olympic Site - ISRIA: "This afternoon Minister of State Jeremy Browne toured the London 2012 site in Stratford to see how the Olympic Park is developing. We are on track to deliver venues and infrastructure on time and on budget. ... Jeremy Browne is Minister for the Olympics and Public Diplomacy at the Foreign Office."
Tim Fischer draws attention to Mary MacKillop's 1873 visit to Rome - CathNews: "Australia's Ambassador to the Holy See, former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, has said he hopes Mary MacKillop's extraordinary trip to Rome to see Pope Pius XI in 1873
would serve as inspiration for pilgrims to her canonisation ceremony. 'All of us should recall that in 1873, a thirty-one year old Australian lady battled her way across the high seas, then through Egypt, across the Mediterranean, then Brindisi to Rome to meet with Pope Pius XI,' Mr Fischer is reported saying by the Blessed Mary MacKillop website. ... Mr Fischer said arrangements for the events being held in Rome to mark Mary's canonisation are coming along well. 'It has been a joy and a privilege to work closely with the Sisters of Saint Joseph, especially Sr Anne Derwin at HQ and Sr Maria Casey in Rome on the Public Diplomacy and coordination aspects of the canonisation of Mary MacKillop.'” Image of portrait of MacKillop from
A Profile of the Taliban's Propaganda Tactics - Abdulhadi Hairan, Huffington Post: The Taliban's propaganda tactics exploit a particular incident or issue by elevating it with seemingly related background information to provoke the local people to stand up for violence. Mosques are favorite places for the Taliban propagandists who always seek to convince the villagers that the international forces are fighting against Islam and it is their holy obligation to stand up for jihad. Internet has proved the fastest and the most useful propaganda tool for the Taliban during these years. According to news reports, several times the Taliban established its Voice of Sharia radio which aired propaganda programs at least two hours a day and was listened to on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border from Waziristan to Khost and as far as Ghazni and Logar. There is so far no official Taliban newspaper (though there are two Hizb-e-Islami newspapers: Shahadat and Tanveer openly published and distributed in Peshawar and the adjacent areas) after the group fell from power in 2001, but many Pakistani newspapers volunteered to fill this vacuum.
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South/Southwest) – 232345UTC Jun 10 - MILNEWS.ca Blog
SKorea, Japan activists fly leaflets toward NKorea - Associated Press: South Korean and Japanese activists floated hundreds of thousands of leaflets by balloon toward the border with North Korea on Wednesday to condemn the country's government amid tensions over the sinking of a South Korean warship.
North Korean defectors living in the South and other activists regularly fly leaflets across the heavily armed frontier in a campaign to urge North Koreans to rise up against leader Kim Jong Il's authoritarian regime. ...
The sending of the leaflets comes amid North Korean threats to launch an all-out strike against any South Korean government propaganda facilities at the border such as loudspeakers. Image from article: A South Korean activist prepares to release balloons with leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Cheorwon near the demilitarized zone, South Korea, in Wednesday, June 23, 2010; Trojan prophylactic image from
Israeli Gaza move called 'propaganda' - Vancouver Sun: Israeli officials said Sunday they are easing a land blockade on the Gaza Strip to allow in everything except weapons. The softening of a policy criticized as collective punishment of Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinians to weaken their hard line Islamist leaders follows an Israeli raid on a flotilla in which nine activists died. But Canadian activist Rifat Audeh, who was aboard the flotilla when it was raided on May 31, said he doubts Israel has done anything to help people in the Palestinian territory. He dismissed the announcement as "Israeli propaganda."
Expert: Azerbaijani Propaganda Machine bit its own tail - aysor:
Azerbaijan’s hysteria before and after any negotiation on Nagorno Karabakh conflict has got regular, YSU Department of Journalism lecturer Anahit Menemshyan said. According to her, Azerbaijan’s propaganda is not competent, it lacks for arguments and connection between cause and effect. In Menemshyan’s opinion, Azerbaijani media mainly work on quantity, not on quality. In return, information security expert Samvel Martirosyan, speaking about the June 18 Chaylu incident said that the Azerbaijani Propaganda Machine acted strangely and “being in time trouble bit its own tail.” “Various officials, experts spread contradictory information that allegedly it was Armenia that had started the attack, while the very Azerbaijani Propaganda Machine got something like schizophrenia since the Azerbaijanis did not expect aggressive information advancement from the Armenian side,” Martirosyan said. Speaking about Armenian media Samvel Martirosyan stressed that “they were consolidated in their actions against the foreign enemy.” Image from
Russian propaganda - claritaslux.com: "I have been a Russian history buff (and Russian propaganda buff) since I was 14 years old. Why? In the New England prep school where I went, there was no Polish or Ukrainian history courses (because of my family roots, I had interest), but there were a few Russian history and Russian studies programs, as the 1970s was the height of the cold war. And Russian history for me was close enough. At 14 I was an arm chair Pan-Slav. My interest in Russian history absorbed me, reading Russian literature, history and even listening to the Voice of Moscow, on a short wave radio set. I have a 100 yard antenna across our back yard I constructed. Of course I knew it was all Russian propaganda, but for me it was a connection to a culture that fascinated me. It was a strange as Russian propaganda in Soviet realistic art. Today I think the best sources of Russian propaganda are Pravda.ru and ruvr.ru (both pages conveniently have an English language version of course, so you do not need to learn Russian to read and listen)."
Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum - geeza.com.au: "Yang Pei Ming was concerned that the posters created since the formed Chinese Republic in 1949 were disappearing and in danger of being lost forever.
So he set up a museum. I was in Beijing a few years back and bought a bunch of replicas from the markets, i love them, so stark and real and strong." Image from entry
Coda on Propaganda by the Deed - Sina Odugbemi, blogs.worldbank.org: "I am interested only in adding a coda to an earlier post: The Power of Propaganda by the Deed. In that post, I drew attention to a technique available to the underdogs of the world when confronting the powerful. It works as follows:
1. You organize and launch a visible public action designed to provoke the powerful.
2. You endure the lashing out of the powerful.
3. But you make sure it is all captured on camera and beamed to a broader audience of bystanders.
If it works, you achieve at least three things:
1. You suddenly drive your issue up the Agenda for Public/International Action.
2. You shift public opinion in your direction, including, as in this case, international public opinion.
3. You inspire bystanders -- those who had stayed out of the fight - to join the fight on your side.
In this instance the propaganda of the deed would appear, for now, to have produced a result."