Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31

"Ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right."

From a statement by The Anti-Defamation League opposing a planned mosque and Islamic community center near NYC’s ground zero; image from


Disco and Atomic War - Basil Tsiokos, Indie Wire: “'Disco and Atomic War' reveals the unusual, provocative, and very funny story of how 'Dallas' and 'Knight Rider' led to the fall of the Iron Curtain.

A story of coming of age under Communism, the documentary cleverly and cogently argues that the influence of 'soft power' - pop culture via illegally intercepted Finnish TV broadcasts of Western media - weakened the tenuous foundation of the Soviet system in Estonia, hastening the collapse of the Soviet Union." Image from article


Mouse-Click Insurgency - Adam Elkus, Rethinking Security: "At this point, it seems apparent that WikiLeaks is waging an information war against the US national security establishment. ... WikiLeaks is no longer about an abstract desire for transparency--it is about advancing its founder's specific--if somewhat incoherent--policy agenda. For all of the volumes of writing since 9/11 about public diplomacy, information operations, and such this is a bona fide adversary information operation and a very successful one on the tactical level. Of course, it seems doubtful that WikiLeaks is going to actually change the course of policy."

Were Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, and VOA way ahead of WikiLeaks? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Mr David Cameron and Pakistan - Voice Of Karachi: "[W]hen reports and studies emanate from various sources, aiming at demonising Pakistan, it is expected that our intelligence agencies and foreign missions would track them to counter such initiatives. There is indeed a pressing need for well-funded and adequately staffed Public Diplomacy organisations, which have links with think tanks, foreign intelligence agencies, universities, as well as the print and the electronic media.

If groups of well-educated and intelligent analysts are developed to trace and examine studies, reports, journals etc, keeping themselves abreast of ideas emerging from seminars and conferences, only then useful material can become available for the purpose of decision making at higher levels. Presently, and in the past too, all that our government or Foreign Office does whenever volleys are fired, is to issue statements of protest which soon enough fade away." Image from

Gen Pasha's goal: Burnishing the ISIs image - Rupee News: "In Pakistan, Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha,

the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is more often in the news than many of the country’s ministers. Pasha’s influence should not be surprising: ISI, the country’s apex intelligence agency, is often described as a 'state within the state,' operating autonomously and sometimes in direct confrontation with constitutional powers. ... [U]nder his [Pasha’s] leadership the ISI has embarked on an unprecedented mission to revamp its international image. On the one side, this has led to a campaign of 'public intelligence,' in line with the very fashionable public diplomacy concept. Never before have so many Western journalists and delegations been invited to visit ISI’s headquarters in Islamabad, where they are object of an intense PR campaign 'over tea and PowerPoint briefings.' On the other side, on the terrain, the agency has also tried to at least give the impression that it is distancing itself from the radical nest of Islamic extremist organizations it had nurtured in the past." Pasha image from

“Turkey’s New Foreign Policy Direction – Implications for U.S.-Turkish Relations” - Jennifer, POMED Notes:

"The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing to discuss changes in the direction of Turkish foreign policy and their effects on U.S.-Turkey. In particular, the hearing focused on shifts in policy toward Iran, Israel, and Palestine of concern to policymakers. To discuss these issues, the full committee – chaired by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), with ranking member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in attendance –requested the testimony of [among others] ... Dr. Soner Cagaptay, Director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy . ... Cagaptay suggested pursuing a strong public diplomacy program aimed at reducing anti-Western attitudes and misunderstandings in the Turkish public, as well as pushing EU membership as the key element in bilateral relations to discourage Turkish mediation in Middle East issues." Image from

"Voinovich's View" - A Legacy of Fighting for Freedom - Senator George V. Voinovich, American Chronicle: "Extending visa waiver privileges to allies of the United States has also been one of my top priorities, and I worked to make it easier for our allies´ citizens to visit the United States. ... I continue to work to improve our national security and public diplomacy through the Visa Waiver Program."

Setting the Record Straight - Sam duPont, NDN:

"Working in a geeky little niche as I do, it's never a surprise to encounter well-informed people who actually don't have a clue what I mean by 'mHeatlh' or 'digital learning' or 'intermediary liability.' But (and maybe this is just the IR student in me) I expect more from Foreign Affairs. Their online article 'Getting Digital Statecraft Right,' by Betsy Gelb and Emmanuel Yujuico is so flawed and misinformed, I feel the need to set them straight here-- a bloggerish indulgence that I don't usually go in for. ... The authors compare our government's efforts to leverage the global communications network to Henry Ford's crackpot scheme to build a model midwestern town in the Amazon rainforest, and to the One Laptop Per Child program's misguided attempts to shower the developing world with inexpensive technology. It's entirely unclear how these failed schemes relate to State's efforts to conduct public diplomacy via social media, or their effort to see internet censorship treated equally to offline censorship. But somehow, the authors take the lesson that Secretary Clinton is overreaching with her 'grandiose' strategy. ... But deeper than all that, what Gelb & Yujuico misunderstand is that the State Department's efforts are not rooted in some messianic desire to change the world. The truth is quite the opposite: 21st Century Statecraft and Internet Freedom are initiatives crafted in response to changes in the way our world works. We're not throwing technology at other countries and hoping it makes them prosperous and democratic. The technology is already there. The network is already global.

And what the State Department is doing is an attempt to use the same tools that everyone on earth is using, for the same objectives they've always pursued." Images from (a) (b)

natural hair - TolonTolon: "I am suspicious of the phrase '21st-century statecraft'. I am suspicious because I can't define it, even though I've listened to Alec Ross speak about it twice. (Mr Ross is the senior advisor for innovation at America's Department of State.) Is it a new kind of state-run broadcaster, a digital Radio Free Europe? Is it a new kind of public diplomacy? Is it a ... new kind of foreign aid, a digital USAID? Is it a quicker, less centralised way of determining America's public response to an international event? Does it signal a focus on the role the internet plays in human rights and international trade? . ... I've decided that '21stcentury statecraft' is just a grab-bag; it means all of those things. Some of them are good ideas. Some of them are not. And all they have in common is that the internet exists." On Ross, see.

Thing 23: Virtual Worlds - Mariam al Maskary, IRC Muscat: "A virtual world

is a computer-based immersive environment in which users control their surroundings through the use of a personalized 'avatar' (a virtual representation of oneself). Virtual worlds enable avatars to manipulate and interact with virtual elements or other avatars in a two- or three-dimensional setting. assignment: 1. public diplomacy can use AVATAR to promote awarness of issues such as saving energy, environment and facilitated information. example, how saving environment save future generation and vice versa damaging environment with irresponsible actions kill the coming generation and deprive them from resources. 2. creating virtual books might help spread knowledge. 3. we can use virtual worlds in teaching how to use encyclopedia, teaching English, social networks and courses like this one: Learning 2.0: 23 things to do." Image: virtual plastic surgery

Public Diplomacy in Croatia - Goreto - "Ivan Sverko and Daniel Carev are both Ron Brown alumni. Ivan did an MBA degree from University of Kentucky, Louisville, KY and works for Hypo Alpe Adria Bank in Zagreb. He was one of the initiators of a special memorial site in Cavtat, Croatia where Secretary Brown’s plane crashed and after whom the scholarships are named. Daniel did an MBA from Emory Atlanta, Goizueta Business School, Atlanta, GA."

“The Domestic Political Ramifications of the Beijing Olympic Games” - Jian Wang,

"Jian 'Jay' Wang studies international corporate communication and public diplomacy and teaches public relations at USC Annenberg’s School of Communication." Image from

Communication Specialist - Madagascar - Naombakazi.Com: "The USAID Mission in Madagascar is soliciting expressions of interest from qualified individual to serve under a resident hire one (1) year Personal Services Contract (PSC), as a Communication Specialist in the Program Development and Assessment Office (PDA) Office. ...Serves as the USAID point of contact for USG interagency efforts and planning to promote communications and public diplomacy in Madagascar. Liaises with other US agencies represented at post and communicates information back to USAID as needed. Ensures that clearance on communications materials is obtained clearance from the Public Affairs Officer as necessary. Works with the Embassy Public Affairs section to establish guidelines for USAID regarding communications. This includes acceptable format, permissible contact with the press, and timeline for submission before events."


TIME’s Epic Distortion of the Plight of Women in Afghanistan - Derrick Crowe, Tomorrow, TIME Magazine will treat newsstand customers everywhere to one of the most rank propaganda plays of the Afghanistan War. The cover features a woman, Aisha, whose face was mutilated by the Taliban, next to the headline, "What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan."

Far more people will see this image and have their emotions manipulated by it than will read the article within (which itself seems to be a journalistic travesty, if the web version is any indication), so TIME should be absolutely ashamed of themselves for such a dishonest snow job on their customers. Readers deserve better. Let’s clarify something right off the top when it comes to this cover: Aisha, the poor woman depicted in the photograph, was attacked last year, with tens of thousands of U.S. troops tramping all over the country at the time. This isn’t the picture of some as-yet-unrealized nighmarish future for Afghan women. It’s the picture of the present. Image from

Polling Pakistan: America the Unloved - Patricia Lee Sharpe, Whirled View. Via LB.


"If Paul Revere had been a modern day citizen, he wouldn't have ridden down Main Street. He would have tweeted."

--State Department Senior Advisor on Innovation Alec Ross; image from

Friday, July 30, 2010

July 30

“proper public relations, what the Americans call ‘public diplomacy’, and more cynical Europeans call propaganda.”

--Alexander Lucie-Smith, Catholic Herald Online; image from


Disparate Cultures Engage in a Youthful Dance - Wall Street Journal (July 22): "In June, the National Dance Institute—a New York-based nonprofit that brings dance programs to 30 public schools—sent three teaching artists plus 13-year-old dancer Andrea Ting to Shanghai's Children's Palace, a state-run after-school arts program. ... The exchange project also illustrates how the private and nonprofit sectors are taking up the mantel of arts and cultural exchange. NDI's connection to Shanghai's Children's Palace was facilitated by Shirley Young, a Chinese-American consultant to corporations looking to expand in China and a member of the U.S.-China Cultural Institute (formerly known as the Committee of 100 Cultural Institute). ... 'In the absence of more substantial

funding from the federal government, organizations like this are trying to raise that money privately,' said Margaret C. Ayers, president of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, which in April published a report titled 'Promoting Public and Private Reinvestment in Cultural Exchange-Based Diplomacy.' 'This [program] is an excellent example of a reciprocal exchange that will promote mutual understanding between China and the United States. But to capitalize on such programs, we need increased public support for international arts engagement.' The State Department's allocation for cultural programs, which is overseen by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (and includes music, dance, theater and writing), for fiscal year 2010 is $11.5 million—roughly equivalent to George Soros's Open Society Institute gift to New York City arts institutions, announced Wednesday." Via LB. Image from article: NDI founder Jacques d'Amboise with pupil Andrea Ting, who traveled to China in June as part of the Institute's cultural exchange with Shanghai's Children's Palace.

Russia - Comment of the Russian MFA Press and Information Department Following the Publication of the US State Department Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments - ISRIA: "The US State Department released on July 28 its 2010 Report on Adherence and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, which presents evaluations of the implementation by foreign countries of the relevant treaty obligations during the period January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2008, including sections which contain allegations of Russia's violations of its international obligations. Without the presentation of any evidence Russia is ranked among the category of 'violators' of nonproliferation agreements. ... [I]t is appropriate to emphasize that the publication of such reports is not conducive to establishing a new spirit of partnership and a trustful relationship between our countries, about which so much has been said. We believe that it is high time to abandon stereotypes of the past and stop clinging to forms that have outlived their usefulness and do not correspond to the new nature of our interaction. It is unlikely that such exercises of public diplomacy, not based on facts, will serve to achieve our common nonproliferation goals."

Swearing-in of the new Broadcasting Board of Governors – Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting:

"Thursday, 29 July, at 5:00 PM EDT (2100 UTC), Vice President Biden will swear in the new members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building." Image from

David Cameron's courageous talk is site-specific‎ - Globe and Mail: "David Cameron, the new British Prime Minister, is a refreshing presence in the world, but some of his frankness this week has been misplaced – quite literally, in the wrong places. In both India and Turkey, he has given an unfortunate appearance of playing to the gallery, as if to ingratiate himself with his immediate audience, rather than giving a salutary message to those who really need to hear it. If Mr. Cameron had been in Islamabad or Karachi, a frank warning about the aiding and abetting of terrorism by some elements in the government – and among the people – of Pakistan might well have had a good, chastening effect. Public diplomacy too often consists of empty commonplaces. But to have spoken in such terms about Pakistan in New Delhi was worse than useless. India and Pakistan are not precisely enemies, but they are certainly rivals with border troubles and mutual historical grievances; they have fought wars with each other and are now both armed with nuclear weapons."

VOL. VI NO. 15, July 16-July 29, 2010 - Layalina Productions:
"WikiLeaks and Afghanistan
Wikileaks, an organization that has published numerous internal memos to reveal “unethical behavior” by governments and corporations, recently disclosed a trove of classified military field reports about the Afghan war, stirring quite a controversy.
DoD’s Operations’ New Namesake
US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) recently replaced the term psychological operations (PSYOP) with the term military support to information operations (MISO) to allegedly improve the procedures of the public affairs officer and clarify operations. However, some in the field disagree, claiming that it will only bring more confusion.
Using New Media Landscape to Digitize Public Diplomacy
As the social media revolution becomes a more prominent feature in Arab youth's daily experience, the US is now keener than ever to utilize these tools to promote greater engagement between American and Islamic societies.
Mrs. Clinton Goes to Pakistan

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to Pakistan appeared more successful than her previous visit in October 2009, possibly hinting that her public diplomacy efforts have yielded some success.
Getting Rid of Extremists
Saudi Arabia recently fired or transferred some 2,000 high school teachers described by the Saudi Interior Ministry as extremist and potential supporters of terrorism, indicating a change of policy against terrorism in the Kingdom.
Oops, Hollywood Said it Again
The Oscar-winning film-maker Oliver Stone stirred quite a controversy following his description of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as history's "easy scapegoat," angering Jewish and Holocaust remembrance organizations.
Clashing Civilizations and Cooperative Civilians
With little, if any, perceivable advances being made on relations between the US and the Muslim world, commentators propose new approaches to foreign policy and public discourse. Meanwhile, citizen-led initiatives in the United States and the Middle East are developing creative new projects to improve relations at a local level.
Niqab Ban Unveils Controversy in Middle East
Syrian Minister of Higher Education Ghaith Barakat recently decided to ban the niqab in universities, following the dismissal of 1200 school teachers for wearing it in class last month. This appears to be the latest attempt to combat what the Syrian government perceives as growing radicalism within the country.
Battlegrounds Shifting in War on Terrorism
More details of Faisal Shahzad's bomb plot come to light as parts of his martyrdom video recently aired on Al-Arabiya. With all eyes on Pakistan and Yemen, the UN also recently placed Anwar Al-Awlaki on the Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee list." Image from

When the Catholic Church excelled in PR: The Counter-Reformation shows us how to ‘detoxify the brand’ of Catholicism‎ - Alexander Lucie-Smith, Catholic Herald Online - "In Europe ... faith and culture have become separated, and Catholicism is marginalised. Hence the Pope has recently set up the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, under the leadership of Archbishop Rino Fisichella. ... [T]he situation of the Church in Europe today greatly resembles that of the Church in Europe during the Reformation period. Vast territories that once were Catholic are Catholic no longer; many symbols of the faith endure, but they are symbols whose meaning is now obscure to all but the antiquarian-minded. One thing that the new Pontifical Council must do is open up a way for the Church to speak to the world without being misunderstood.

This means, in essence, proper public relations, or what the Americans call 'public diplomacy', and more cynical Europeans call propaganda. ... Before anything like evangelisation can begin, we need to detoxify the brand, to make it attractive once more, to undo the damage to the Church done by paedophile priests and their enablers. Re-enchanting Catholicism, and making it synonymous with beauty again, will perhaps take centuries." Image from

Minister Elena Udrea: Tourist brand emphasizes what Romania has most beautiful - Financiarul: "Romania’s tourist brand was launched under the logo Romania – Explore the Carpathian Garden, at the World Expo Shanghai 2010, on Thursday. ... Along with officials and visitors, Romania’s best known sports people Nadia Comaneci, Gheorghe Hagi and Ilie Nastase were also attending the ceremony of presenting the brand. ‘Picking up Shanghai as a venue to host the event is not accidental. We are witnessing the biggest event of public diplomacy, of this year. Over 70 million people are expected to visit the exhibition, over 200 countries and organizations present their pavilions here, therefore there is no better place to get the whole world know our tourism potential,’ Minister Udrea pointed out."

Slovakia - Students from a number of European countries visiting MFA - ISRIA: "Within the framework of public diplomacy over 60 students from Slovakia, Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Lithuania visited the MFA on 26 July. They are in Slovakia

to attend the International Youth Summit of Europe organised by the Secondary Business School in Trenčín." Image: Miss Slovakia Eva Veresova

China-made documentary series spotlights Israel‎ - Liang Jun, People's Daily Online: "An event to mark the launch of the TV documentary series 'Walk into Israel – The Land of Milk and Honey,' the first comprehensive TV series about the Jewish civilization and the State of Israel produced by CCTV, was held at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on July 29. 'The TV documentary series 'Walk into Israel – The Land of Milk and Honey' is the most important TV series ever produced in China about Israel and the Jewish People, and it offers the viewer an historical, comprehensive and systematic introduction to the Jewish civilization and Israel,' said Guy Kivetz, Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel in Beijing."

What Mpds And Mbas Can Learn From Each Other - Cari Guittard, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy:

Key Life Lessons from Business Strategy for Public Diplomacy • Remember the Importance of Humility -- Humility as defined not by self-deprecating behavior or attitudes but by the esteem with which you regard others. Good behavior flows naturally from that kind of humility. • Create a Strategy for Your Life -- Keep the fundamental purpose of your life front and center as you decided how to spend their time, talents, and energy • Allocate Your Resources -- Your decisions about allocating your personal time, energy, and talent ultimately shape your life’s strategy. • Create a Culture -- Build a culture in your life that promotes the development of self-esteem and confidence in those around you. Like employees, children build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works • Choose the Right Yardstick -- Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people." Image from

Public Affairs/Economic Assistant (FSN-65/2010) - "The U.S. Consulate in Medan has a vacancy for Public Affairs/Economic Assistant (FSN-65/2010), FSN-8* (Rp. 116,373,611 p.a. Full Performance Starting Salary). Under the supervision of the Deputy Principal Officer and the guidance from the Political / Economic Specialist and Public Diplomacy Assistant, the incumbent is responsible for supporting the U.S. education and exchange programs as well as economic and commercial programs, analysis, and reporting."


3 Americans killed in Afghanistan, making July deadliest month of war for U.S - Associated Press, Los Angeles Times

Local Afghan Media Outlets Paid to Run US Propaganda – DemocracyNow!: Yahoo! News has revealed the leaked Afghan war logs include evidence that the United States is paying local Afghan media outlets to run US propaganda.

The logs include several reports from Army psychological operations units that show local Afghan radio stations were under contract to air content produced by the United States. Other reports show US military personnel apparently referring to Afghan reporters as "our journalists" and directing them in how to do their jobs. The Pentagon ran a similar program in Iraq, where it hired a private company called the Lincoln Group to pay Iraqi newspapers to run stories written by US soldiers. Image from

Time Magazine Exploits Afghan Girl Who Had Her Nose Cut off to Defend Occupation - But why is Time ratcheting up the war propaganda in the most shameless avenge-the-atrocities way, even going so far as to aestheticize the cover victim so she looks remarkably like a disfigured version of National Geographic’s famous “Afghan girl” from the 1980s? Or, more to the point, why does Time seem to be far ahead of even the usual media jingoists in its effort to increase U.S. support for the war?

Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban “Critique” of Petraeus’ New Approach - Blog

Psychological Operations by another name are sweeter - Christopher Paul, Small wars Journal: The Department of Defense has decided to change the name of military psychological operations (PSYOP) and this is a good thing. I make this assertion despite concerns about the name change raised by others . ... Public and congressional support for PSYOP has lagged because of the incorrect assumption that these operations are inherently insidious. Changing the name from the menacing “psychological operations” to the more benign “military information support operations,” with the friendlier acronym MISO, should go some ways toward fixing the problem. ... PSYOP (now MISO) doctrine

should be rewritten to ban misleading or false content or disseminating messages with false attribution. Image from

Paul the Octopus denounced by Iranian President as agent of western propaganda - - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared war against the German cephalopod decribing him as “a symbol of all that is wrong with the western world,” and proclaimed that "Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values."

Event: Influence and Fighting Propaganda! - Matt Armstrong, The IO Institute, in partnership with the MountainRunner Institute, presents a conference on Influence & Fighting Propaganda on October 13-14 at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.

Image: Turning Stone Resort Turning Stone Casino and Golf Resort in Verona, N.Y., is owned and operated by the Oneida Indian Nation.

Woo joins cast of Chinese propaganda blockbuster - Min Lee, AP: A-List filmmaker John Woo is the first celebrity to join the cast of the second major film in the leading Chinese state film studio's campaign to reform the propaganda genre with a heavy dose of star power. Last year, China Film Group Corp. released "The Founding of a Republic" to mark the Chinese Communist Party's 60th year in power. China Film Group is now following up the 60 million Chinese yuan ($8.8 million) production with a second star-studded blockbuster that commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party next year.

Latest Directives from the Ministry of Truth: July 22-July 28, 2010 - China Digital Times: Examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.

Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation. Image from article

Russians may be more negative but less depressed than Americans
- Alan Mozes, USA Today: Despite what many social observers have described as a generally dark and brooding take on life, a new report suggests that Russians are actually less likely than Americans to be depressed. In fact, researchers have uncovered indications that the Russian cultural tendency to dwell on of distress when engaged in self-reflection.

The deception of real-world inception - David Sirota, For all of its "Matrix"-like convolutions and "Alice in Wonderland" allusions, the new film "Inception" adds something significant to the ancient ruminations about reality's authenticity - something profoundly relevant to this epoch of confusion. In the movie's tale of corporate espionage, we are asked to ponder this moment's most disturbing epistemological questions: Namely, how are ideas deposited in people's minds, and how incurable are those ideas when they are wrong?

Many old sci-fi stories, like politics and advertising of the past, subscribed to the "Clockwork Orange" theory that says blatantly propagandistic repetition is the best way to pound concepts into the human brain. But as "Inception's" main character, Cobb, posits, the "most resilient parasite" of all is an idea that individuals are subtly led to think they discovered on their own. This argument's real-world application was previously outlined by Cal State Fullerton's Nancy Snow, who wrote in 2004 that today's most pervasive and effective propaganda is the kind that is "least noticeable" and consequently "convinces people they are not being manipulated." The flip side is also true: When an idea is obviously propaganda, it loses credibility. Indeed, in the same way the subconscious of "Inception's" characters eviscerate known invaders, we are reflexively hostile to ideas when we know they come from agenda-wielding intruders. Image from

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 28-29

"I had this overwhelming feeling that China felt like a teenager. Sometimes petulant, sometimes wise. Busting with potential. Equal parts brash and insecure. Eager to show off its new threads and its place at the big kids table, yet not past throwing tantrums or acting tough when feeling unsure of itself. That China is rising is not really a question- the question is if we will see a China maturing."

--Paul Rockower, Levantine; image and caption ("As its growing pains recede, China's maturing nightlife is diversifying") from


Mexico Anti-Cartel Aid: Still Strangling in Red Tape - "The Obama Administration can ill-afford to slow up working and aiding the government of President Calderon as it goes head-to-head with the kingpins of the deadly drug business. The emergence of a 'narco-state'

in Mexico remains one of Washington’s worst security nightmares. Therefore the White House cannot backburner the assistance or let it be straight- jacketed by bureaucratic red tape and congressional tinkering. It needs to undertake additional steps — building a cross-border anti-drug coalition, strengthening military-to-military ties, and engaging in effective public diplomacy along with other measures." Image from

Leaks Destroy The American Case Against ISI - Ahmed Quraishi, International Analyst Network: "Since late 2006, United States government, military, intelligence and media have been orchestrating regular attacks against Pakistan, creating a false alarm about its nuclear capability and portraying its premier spy agency, the ISI, as a threat to world peace. The weak and apologetic reactions by Pakistan’s political and military officials encouraged this American double game. But here comes the smoking gun, more than 90,000 leaked US intelligence documents, which prove how the Washington establishment has been running a vilification campaign against Pakistan both under Bush and Obama administrations, without any evidence except malicious intent. Here is a chance for Pakistan to use these documents to argue its own case more confidently. As soon as the classified documents were leaked over the weekend, US government sprung into action to minimize damage by shifting the focus toward Pakistan. US government and military officials succeeded in making Pakistan and ISI the main story and hide the massive and spectacular US failures in Afghanistan, including evidence on war crimes and civilian carnage. It’s an exercise that bears the hallmarks of a CIA-style public diplomacy [a la Iraq invasion]."

Cape woman appointed to state department job - Cape Cod Times: "Local homeowner Dawn McCall

has been appointed coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs at the U.S. Department of State, the federal agency announced Monday. Judith McHale, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, cited McCall's leadership in international communications as key to providing the bureau with vision and expertise 'to strengthen their important global communication and engagement activities.' The Bureau of International Information Programs communicates with the public in foreign countries about U.S. policy, society and values. The bureau uses public speakers, print media and the Internet as communication tools. It also provides policy and technical support for official embassy websites and develops new social networking and other types of outreach tools. McCall founded International Media & Entertainment Partners LLC in 2009. From 1999 to 2007, McCall was president of Discovery Networks International, a division of Discovery Communications. As the senior executive in charge of Discovery's international business, McCall oversaw a staff of 1,000 and expanded the business from a single channel operating in a handful of European countries to 19 television networks and new media products offered in 170 countries in 35 languages. McCall holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, advertising and public relations from the University of Georgia." Image from

Nigerians to attend Obama forum‎ - Ifedayo Adebayo, NEXT: "Three Nigerians are among the 120 youth selected to participate in the 2010 President Barrack Obama’s Forum with Young African Leaders in Washington. Edwin Flynn, Public Diplomacy Officer in the US Embassy, said at a news conference, on Wednesday, in Abuja, that the Nigerian delegates are Taiwo Awole, Ruth Audu and Bako Kantiok. The event, slated from August 3 to August 5, would provide a platform for discussion on youth empowerment, good governance and economic opportunities for participants from more than 40 sub-Saharan African countries."

African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Brings Women to Washington, D.C.- kamran Abdi, "The African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) started yesterday in Washington, D.C., and will go on through August 3 in conjunction with the 2010 United States/sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum). Women from AGOA-eligible countries will participate in the program.

The AWEP is organized by the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the auspices of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. ... For more information, and to receive a schedule of open press events, contact: Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Public Diplomacy Office U.S. Department of State" Image from article

Senate Hearing: Scot A. Marciel, nominee for ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia - The Week That Was - "Ambassador Marciel is the current U.S. ambassador to ASEAN and deputy assistant secretary for Southeast Asia in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. In his testimony, he emphasized his mission would focus on developing the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, promoting increased opportunities for American business, and taking advantage of new public diplomacy initiatives."

Smith-Mundt in CQ Weekly – Matt Armstrong, "CQ Weekly, a publication covering Capitol Hill, ran a story by Tim Starks titled 'For Their Ears Only' on the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2010, co-sponsored by Congressmen 'Mac' Thornberry (R-TX) and Adam Smith (D-WA). ... To read the whole article, you'll have to visit the CQ website."

A Necessary Engagement: The US and the Muslim World
- "A new and more vigorous public diplomacy towards the Muslim world is needed if the US is to repair the damage done to relations with the Islamic world during the Bush administration, according to Dr. Emile Nakhleh, a former advisor to the US government on political Islam.

Dr. Nakhleh outlined the basic tenets of his recently-published book, A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing Americas Relations with the Muslim World, at a DSG Policy Forum on October 20. The entire lecture can be viewed at" Nakhleh image from

21st Century Statecraft In The Obama Administration--Same Ploys, Different Toys? – Soccer Dad: "Narrowing the goal of statecraft down a bit, Ross [Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation at America's Department of State] has been working on using Twitter in the field of digital public diplomacy [.] [']The world just doesn't seem to understand how great America is. This is the central problem of public diplomacy, which is expected to fill in the gaps between America's policies and its self-image. I'm not sure how Twitter is going to help.[']Like most tools, it works great when spreading you message to people who think the same as you and organizing them. However, there is nothing in such a tool that inherently makes a message more impacting."

OIG [Office of the Inspector general] to VOA in Islamabad: Everything looks fine. Goodbye – Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Report: WikiLeak documents mention payments to Afghan radio stations for "friendly stories" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

VOA computers cannot be used to "download, browse, or e-mail" the WikiLeaks AfPak documents - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Keller woman to leave for yearlong opportunity in Germany
‎ - Alice Murray, Fort Worth Star Telegram: "A 2006 graduate of Keller High School will become an ambassador for the United States when she travels this week to Germany to begin a yearlong business fellowship. Chrissy Grigalis, 21, graduated in May from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Communications and was accepted into the Congress-Bundestag Fellowship program in which she will spend a year studying and working in Germany. She is one of 75 young Americans selected for the program, which will have 75 counterparts from Germany come to the United States, said Will Maier, program officer for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals.

'The program was conceived and enacted in 1983 to celebrate the German-America relationship on the anniversary of 300 years of German settlers in America,' Maier said. Further, it was created as a public diplomacy initiative where participants act as ambassadors of their own country and promote a positive image for the United States and Germany, he said." Image from

Does Japan still need 23-yr-old exchange program?‎ - Tomoko A. Hosaka, The Associated Press: "JET emerged as one high-profile solution to ease trade friction, teach foreigners about Japan and open the country to the world. Under the program, young people from English-speaking countries — mostly Americans — work in schools and communities to teach their language and foster cultural exchange. They receive an after-tax salary of about 3.6 million yen ($41,400), roundtrip airfare to Japan and help with living arrangements. More than 90 percent of this year's incoming class of 4,334 will work as assistant language teachers. Word about possible cuts began filtering through JET alumni networks several weeks ago, and members of the New York group mobilized quickly, starting an online signature campaign. ... James Gannon, executive director for the nonprofit Japan Center for International Exchange in New York, describes JET as a pillar of the U.S.-Japan relationship and the 'best public diplomacy program that any country has run' in recent decades. But many taxpayers are asking if the program is worth the price — and criticism of JET has become part of a larger political showdown about how much government Japan can afford."

Indonesia - Minister: The Best Form of Diplomacy is Friendship‎
- ISRIA: "The greatest form of diplomacy is personal friendship leading to peace and cooperation between nations. This was stated by the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, at the opening ceremony of the Indonesian Art and Cultural Scholarship Program for 2010 at the Pancasila Building, Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon (26/07).

As explained at the press conference by the Directorate for Public Diplomacy, BSBI is a regular program that the Ministry has been holding since 2003. The program is aimed to optimize people to people contact through art and culture. In the upcoming future, the program is hoped to bring positive impact by pushing forward cooperation in various fields." Image from

Playing With Fire‎ - Lee Smith, Tablet Magazine - "While it is true that all states engage in a range of activities to make its case to the rest of the world—from public diplomacy to propaganda—and some Middle Eastern countries are famous for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on such efforts, the use of the Hebrew word hasbara (meaning “explanation”) indicates that the Jewish state is engaging in a dark conspiracy to pull the wool over the eyes of the public in order to justify its crimes. After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it still isn’t kosher."

The two sides of one 'peace advocate' - Atara Beck, "Checking out the personal web site of Syrian-born-and-raised attorney Hind Kabawat – winner of the Women’s Peace Initiative Award in 2007 and one of eight members of Together in Hope, a Toronto-based group of Jewish and Arab women aiming to promote dialogue and to find a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict – could lead to serious questions. For instance, the central article on the site, posted in Arabic only, refers to the 'Zionist entity' that broadcasts 'fake history, geography and religion.' ... Kabawat

divides her time between Syria and Toronto and is known for public diplomacy efforts in her native country to promote 'interfaith tolerance and cooperation.' ... She ... mentioned J Street (an American organization that 'advocates for urgent American diplomatic leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader regional, comprehensive peace') and said: 'I salute them and New Israel Fund and other human rights groups in Israel. They love Israel so much; they can criticize. They are fighting against discrimination. This is how to make the world better, fighting for justice.'" Kabawat image from

Israel's Pressing Matters - - "Sixty medical students from around the world visited IDF base Bahad 10 at Tzrifin Tuesday and learned about humanitarian medicine, at the first Humanitarian Medicine Conference (HMC). The event was organized by pro-Israel advocacy group Stand With Us. The initiative for the HMC came from 20 students from Tel Aviv University who are members of the StandWithUs Fellowship, a leadership program in public diplomacy run by the StandWithUs International Organization."

Israel's Pressing Matters - Ari Bussel and Norma Zager, "What excuses will be provided next for Israel’s failures on the Public Diplomacy Front? Lack of personnel? Insufficient funds? Politics? Corruption? The 'Other' Party or 'Someone Else is at fault,' 'We did not know,' 'We did not expect,' 'Events took an unexpected turn,' 'It concerns us not,' 'What is Israel to do?' There is more planning of excuses than strategies to avoid failure.

Wake up Israel’s leaders and guards. You are entrusted with preparing for such untold and unforeseen eventualities. ... The Israeli public is constantly misled into a false sense of security by the plethora of ministerial and governmental entities entrusted with Israel’s Public Diplomacy. More than all other failures, this is the most egregious, for the very existence of structures must be dismantled in order to improve the health and well being of the Jewish state. Israel must shift her thinking and understand the war machine must be equally divided between two fronts: the armory and public relations." Image from

Some cool information technology news images: The CSIS-Schieffer Series Dialogues: Public Diplomacy in the Digital Age [photographs] -

Pursuing Human Rights through Public Diplomacy‎ - Matt Armstrong, "The latest issue of PD is available. PD is a bi-annual magazine that focuses on one particular subject area in each issue. The theme this time around is 'Pursuing Human Rights Through Public Diplomacy', a complex area not often explored by public diplomacy researchers."

Salutations from Little Rock, Arkansas!* - Leslie, Destination: Diplomacy: "Q: What is A-100? A: A-100

is the official name of the introductory training course for entering Foreign Service Officers. It is named after the classroom that the training took place in once upon a time. Although the classroom has moved, the course name stuck. I get this feeling that the State Department likes traditions, yeah? ... Q: What will you be learning? A: Lots and lots and lots and lots! The mission and structure of the State Department, the diplomatic history of the United States, the role of public diplomacy, diplomatic security, and more! There is also some practical skills training- writing, public speaking, that kind of thing. I'm sure there's a ton more, but I don't know what it is so you'll just have to stay tuned." Image: Dodge A100 truck (1966)


Envoy Says Corruption Helps Taliban Win Recruits - Mark Landler, New York Times: "Rampant corruption in Afghanistan provides the Taliban with their No. 1 recruiting tool, the Obama administration’s special representative to the region, Richard C. Holbrooke, said Wednesday, describing it as a 'malignancy' that could destroy everything the United States was trying to achieve there. The Taliban, in their propaganda, highlight the corruption of local officials to lure people to the insurgency. 'If you read Taliban propaganda, which we study very carefully, they never mention the issue of women, girls in school, because that was their most losing issue,' Mr. Holbrooke said. 'What they talk about is corruption, which is why we’re here. That’s their No. 1 recruiting tool.'”

US directs "propaganda drama" against Iran with Russia help: Ahmadinejad - ISNA: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the US has directed a new "propaganda drama" against Iran with the help of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"Enemies have waged psychological war against Iran and some of them have made coordination with some individuals inside Iran for military attack against the country with the help of a couple of regional countries, which are friend to Iran, and Zionists to undermine Iranian nation's will as they imagine," he said Friday night in the closing ceremony of national youth festival. He added, "the propaganda drama kicked-started by Russian President's speech among the country's ambassadors where he said Iran will have got access to atomic bomb by next two years." Image from

Putin tones down anti-Ukrainian propaganda, Nemtsov says ‎- ZIK: There is a thaw regarding Ukraine in Russia public opinion, Moscow opposition leader Borys Nemtsov told Kyiv’s The Day. Public opinion in Russia is formed by Putin-controlled TV channels. When Yushchenko was president, anti-Ukrainian brainwashing was done on a daily basis, Nemtsov says. “Russian spin doctors would say that all in Ukraine were Banderites, SS-men, riff-raffs, CIA and Mossad agents, you name what. Russians were subjected to this kind of brainwashing for the past 5 years. Of course, it left the mark. You know what stunned me most? According to a public opinion survey, Russians rooted for Saudi Arabia who played Ukraine during the 2006 world soccer championship. Not for a brotherly Slavonic nation but for Russia’s main rival on oil markets! All thanks to that moronic brainwashing.” The anti-Ukrainian propaganda has now stopped. Now Moscow’s foremost bad guy is Belarus Pres Lukashenka, not the Ukrainian president. So Putin’s TV channels are busy lambasting him now.

Russian court blocks YouTube - Ben Leach, Russia's
anti-extremism laws have been criticised for being used to stifle freedom of expression.

The decision came after a video entitled "Russia for Russians," a Russian extremist slogan, was allegedly posted on the video sharing site. The court, in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, also ordered the local internet services provider, to block four other websites. The other sites were blocked for containing excerpts of Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf, which was banned by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office in March after it was found in violation of laws against extremism. Image from


Here Are Your Condi/Aretha Pics - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: So there you go: it really happened! The Washington Post was on the scene: ["] Putting Aretha Franklin and Rice together on the stage had a kind of goofy brilliance. It was evidently Franklin who decided that the two should perform together; she may have sensed, with the same stage-animal instinct she demonstrated throughout the evening, that Rice would provide curiosity value to augment, or even showcase, Franklin's entertainment value. [...] There was a single duet with Rice, who emerged from the wings like a vision from a far more formal world, sat down at the piano and began 'I Say a Little Prayer.' 'You didn't think she could play it, right?' Franklin teased the audience. But for all that Franklin had supposedly initiated this project, the on-stage interaction between the two women seemed distant; and this music certainly isn't Rice's home turf. In a nod to Rice's political roots, Franklin brought her back out to close with a song that she called 'our national anthem' and turned out to be 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' -- a mixed political message right in keeping with the general goofiness of the evening.["] Here's a photo of the odd couple (not the oddest Condi's been part of) with their bouquets:


From; see also John Brown,"10 Percent Intellectual": The Mind of Condoleezza Rice,"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 27

"In heaven all the interesting people are missing."

--Friedrich Nietzsche; image from


Philip J. Crowley Assistant Secretary Daily Press Briefing Washington, DC July 26, 2010 - ‎US Department of State: "QUESTION: ... The State Department has responsibility for public diplomacy and getting public opinion behind U.S. Government policy, particularly abroad. How do you think this [the disclosure of classified information by WikiLeaks pertaining to the war in Afghanistan] has affected that? Have you had any indications? Are there any new diplomatic public diplomacy offensives you’re going to undertake to deal with the damage of this? MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, we -- public support is fundamental to this campaign. We’ve worked hard to sustain public support because the mission in Afghanistan and next door in Pakistan is significant not only to our security, but to the region and others, including in Europe.

Obviously, the revelations are now, what, 16, 18 hours. So it’s hard at this point to say what impact it’s going to have. This is something that we’ll be watching carefully and working with NATO and other troop-contributing countries. We’ll try to do our best to explain what these documents mean. But again, I think that while they individually might create a snapshot of what might have been the case in 2005 and 2006 and 2007, we think that we have put in place over the past several months a strong foundation working with Pakistan, working with Afghanistan, and the situation that we confront today is different than the one we confronted two, three, four years ago." Image from

The Value And Consequences Of Leaks‎ - NPR: "COX [TONY COX, host]: Well, you know, Julie McCarthy, let me come to you because you're in Pakistan, and we know that you have already heard about the leak, although the specifics of it may not have reached you yet. Is there any way to determine whether or not the folks there where you are are in anticipation of what may be leaked that they haven't yet heard about? McCARTHY: Well, what they say to you is, look, The New York Times and Der Spiegel and The Guardian newspaper were given weeks to pore over these documents, thank you very much. We will do the same, and we'll get back to you on that. But there is, you know, when we talk about how the leak itself has become the nature of leaking has become the story over the substance of these, I think what you have to see in this relationship is that there's already a huge deficit of trust. And this furthers that deficit. It gives fodder to the critics of Pakistan that they haven't done enough, that they are consorting with the enemy, that they are not interested in being on the same page with the Americans. And it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the Americans who have been trying to change this public diplomacy, to make it one where we can be liked in a place where we are loathed. That cannot be underestimated here in Pakistan. The anti-American sentiment is enormous here."

US under secretary of state visits Colombia - Cameron Sumpter, Colombia Reports: "The U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale, began a four-day official visit to Colombia on Sunday, in what is the secretary's first visit to the Andean nation. McHale was in Cali Monday where she delivered a keynote address to the Association of Binational Centers of Latin America (ABLA) Conference. The under secretary will also speak to a regional conference of the Department of State's Cultural Affairs Officers, before meeting with recipients of the Martin Luther King (MLK) English Language Fellows Program. The MLK program was set up 'to expanding [sic] access for Afro-Colombian and indigenous minority youth to academic and economic opportunities ... and promote their economic and social empowerment,' according to the U.S. embassy. McHale will discuss the experiences of the MLK fellows before heading on to Bogota 'for meetings and activities related to public diplomacy programs that contribute to the U.S.-Colombia bilateral relationship.'"

US-Japan Relations for the 21st Century‎ - Kurt M. Campbell Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Statement before the House Armed Services Committee Washington, DC July 27, 2010, US Department of State – Campbell: "The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of our engagement in the Asia-Pacific. ... As our security and economic relationship has evolved, so has our cultural relationship matured and grown. We have a longstanding tradition of exchange and cooperation between our two countries, and between the people of our two nations. We have cooperation in the fields of education and science, and through traditional programs such as the Fulbright Exchange and the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program).

The global challenges we face today require a complex, multi-dimensional approach to public diplomacy. As President Obama said recently, '... cooperation must go beyond our governments. It must be rooted in our people - in the studies we share, the business that we do, the knowledge that we gain, and even in the sports that we play.' The Secretary echoed the President’s views when she said, 'What we call people-to-people diplomacy has taken on greater significance, as our world has grown more interdependent, and our challenges, more complex. Government alone cannot solve the problems that we face. We have to tap into the challenge of our people, their creativity and innovation, and their ability to forge lasting relationships that build trust and understanding.'” Image from

Dawn L. McCall appointed as Coordinator of IIP - Matt Armstrong, "Today, the State Department announced Dawn L. McCall

as the Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) within the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. This long-awaited appointment will provide critical leadership in one of the most essential communication and engagement elements in the US Government, even if it is under-appreciated, under-staffed, under-resourced, and overly-limited in its ability to execute." McCall image from article

Thing 13:CO.NX Webchats - Mariam al Maskary, IRC Muscat: "CO.NX (pronounced 'connects') is a public diplomacy outreach project that uses Web conferencing and social networking to engage international audiences in online discussions. CO.NX uses Adobe Connect software to support both text-only and video chats. The software can integrate slideshows, podcasts, music and more. CO.NX is also an Internet-based community used to connect people from all over the world using a Facebook fan page. The network was developed by the State Department's Bureau of International Programs (IIP)."

Jamming for Uncle Sam: Getting the Best From Cultural Diplomacy – Nicholas Cull, Huffington Post: "Recent years have seen a welcome resurgence in U.S. Cultural Diplomacy, which after honorable service in the Cold War, sailed into the doldrums in the mid-1990s. Today, the State Department is reaching out to foreign publics in partnership with major private sector partners including Jazz at the Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music as well as maintaining its own program of visits, exhibitions and tours.

… In a much circulated blog post last fall, Michael Kaiser - president of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC - proposed a cultural diplomacy strategy focused on master classes in project planning and eliciting sponsorship from philanthropists. Recent inbound international musicians have found themselves treated to special lectures at management school. There is a lot wrong with Michael Kaiser's approach, beyond the self-serving nature of the president of the Kennedy Center calling for U.S. cultural diplomacy to focus on work which his institution is uniquely well qualified to deliver. … Does the United States really consider 'top tips for getting corporate cash' to bankroll culture the best that the U.S. has to offer?" Image from

“Jamming for Uncle Sam: Getting the Best From Cultural Diplomacy” – Linda Constant, Balance of Culture: “[C]ultural diplomacy takes art to a level beyond most of our comfort zones. Too much of art simply 'preaches to the converted,' and the real waste of resources - corporate or private - thrives in this fact. Bluntly speaking, too many of our 'community' art endeavors are projects that contribute more to the organizer's social capital rather than to the community they claim to be addressing.”

Yemeni official meets US envoy‎ - Yemen News Agency: "Speaker of the Shoura Council Abdul-Aziz Abdul-Ghani met on Tuesday the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Yemen Stephen Stephen Seche.

At the meeting, the Yemeni official expressed appreciation for the role played by the ambassador to boost the Yemeni-American relations, noting the steadily growing of the cooperation relations between the two friendly countries to achieve common interests of their peoples. ... The Ambassador is a career foreign-service officer who has spent most of his nearly 30 years with the Department of State engaged in the practice of public diplomacy." Seche image from article

Let's act like an energy superpower‎ - Globe and Mail: "Americans are waging two costly, unpopular wars in part because of Middle East oil. Few appreciate that Canada is America’s main source of oil and gas, hydro and, with the resurrection of nuclear power, uranium. Canadian energy could eventually reduce American dependence on what is truly foreign oil by half. This geopolitical fact needs repeating. The Pentagon knows solar-powered tanks are still a dream, and wind no longer sails battleships. This is not just an Alberta fight. It has to be an all-Canadian effort. It’s yet another reminder of why we need to wage a public diplomacy campaign in all 50 states, as well as in Washington, around Canadian interests."

The gospel on celebrity and pop culture - Christie D'Zurilla, Los Angeles Times: "Sitting down with the Sunday Times of London in an interview to promote his new documentary 'South of the Border,' Hollywood's master of conspiracy theories lobbed another one out there about the depiction of the Holocaust -- though in a statement Monday he backtracked on what he'd said and apologized. After remarking in the interview that 'Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million],' Stone went into conspiracy mode with the assertion that "Jewish domination of the media"

in the U.S. was to blame for Holocaust deaths getting a bigger spotlight than the millions of deaths that occurred in Russia in World War II. The rest of the quote suggested that, in addition, U.S. foreign policy in general had been messed up by Jews both foreign and domestic ... Yuli Edelstein, Israel's minister of diaspora affairs and public diplomacy, told the [Jerusalem] Post that Stone's statements were racist and made him sick." Stone image from

Latvia - Member State ministers at general Affairs Council agree on establishment of European External Action Service‎ - ISRIA: "On 26 July at the General Affairs Council (GAC), the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States formally agreed on the proposal from the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton (High Representative) for a Council Decision establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS). ... The central administration of the EEAS shall be organised in directorates general comprising geographic desks covering all countries and regions of the world as well as multilateral and thematic desks in charge of human rights issues and the EU relations with international organisations. The central administration will also include departments in charge, for instance, of the EEAS staff and budgetary matters, legal matters, the EEAS relations with other EU institutions, and public diplomacy."

Is there an Australian culture in a Facebook world?‎ - Julianne Schultz, Sydney Morning Herald:

"In this new world, information is more readily available than ever before, and there is an expectation of openness, communication and access. Governments have responded by massively increasing their expenditure on international broadcasting, supplementing this with innovative online communication in a new age of public diplomacy, to communicate their values directly. Australia Network, combined with ABC online, is a beacon of Australian culture abroad - a showcase of the best of the country's creativity and values." Image from

ICJ, Kosovo and Taiwan's future - eTaiwan News: "The affirmation by the International Court of Justice on July 22 of the February 2008 unilateral declaration of independence by the Republic of Kosovo is a welcome affirmation of the democratic principle of people's self-determination, but by itself does not offer a clear path for international recognition of Taiwan's own status as a democratic independent state. ... The ICJ opinion on Kosovo also hints that a declaration or, more precisely, a formal affirmation by Taiwan of its independence would probably not 'violate international law' especially since Taiwan has actually never been part of the PRC State. ... Therefore, the ICJ advisory opinion indicates a formal affirmation of Taiwan's independence through an exercise of democratic self-determination may be a necessary, but by on means sufficient, condition for international acceptance of Taiwan's independence. Fulfilment of this later fundamental political condition will depend mostly on both the direction of the will of Taiwan's 23 million people and the effectiveness of 'public diplomacy' to build international understanding and support for the value of Taiwan's democratic independence to the world community."

Let the Games Begin – Two Years to Go to London 2012 Olympics‎ - Al-Bawaba: "The 27th July marks just two years to go to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which will see excited fans from around the world descend on the UK capital to participate in what will be the nation’s most prestigious sporting event to date. ... In Dubai, dedicated campaigns are already up-and-running to encourage closer ties between the UAE and Britain in the run-up to what will be one of the UK’s most inspirational and spectacular sporting occasions ever. 'VisitBritain

is working very closely with our public diplomacy partners the British Council and FCO in promoting the Olympics and we have been collaborating on milestone events. VisitBritain is also liaising with the National Olympic Committee in the UAE to discuss opportunities on how we can work together to promote the Olympics,' said Carol Maddison, VisitBritain’s Middle East Marketing Manager." Image from

SCENARIOS-Will Colombia-Venezuela crisis worsen?‎ - Daniel Wallis, Reuters: "Despite dire warnings by Chavez that a Colombian attack is imminent, most analysts think this is very unlikely. Neither Bogota nor Caracas has anything to gain from open warfare, and there would be heavy pressure regionally to stop the dispute reaching that stage. Venezuela's fears are largely based on the precedent of a Colombian bombing raid on a FARC rebel camp in Ecuador in 2008, but Chavez has made it clear that a similar attack on Venezuelan soil would result in war. Colombia has chosen to pursue public diplomacy, accusing Venezuela publicly of harboring rebels, rather than strike the camps directly, which is a sign it has no appetite for war."

A 14-point Italian document on establishment of peace in the South Caucasus - Lena Badeyan, Public Radio of Armenia: "Following the five-day Russian-Georgian war the leadership of the Italian Rondine University decided to come forth with an initiative to try to cooperate with the peoples of the North and South Caucasus.

Italians have prepared a 14-point document with proposals on establishment of peace in the South Caucasus. As regards the Karabakh conflict, Italians do not want the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group to broaden. The experts do not wish to come forth with proposals on the political field, instead they try to promote public diplomacy. ... 'People’s diplomacy will help overcome the atmosphere of mistrust and hostility between South Caucasus nations,' Stepan Grigoryan, the head of the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation told reporters today." Image from

Pursuing Human Rights through Public Diplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "The lastest edition of Public Diplomacy Magazine is out. Leah Rousseau and I were co-senior editors, along with EIC Tala Mohebi, and we worked long and hard on this bad boy. This 4th issue looks at nonstate actors and how they practice public diplomacy in their efforts to further human rights.

PD as HR force multiplier, hence the cover design. The new magazine has some wonderful contributions from the International Justice Mission and Invisible Children. I helped arrange a piece about the UNICEF Guatemala pd campaign I saw in Guate City. One of my favorite pieces is by Jim Ife of the Centre for Human Rights Education on making HR practical and not so highbrow. We have a great Endnote by Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines." Image from article

Pissing On Hitler - Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar: "What makes our historically recent episodes interesting is the role, beginning with the World War of 1939 - 1945, of state-managed mass communication. Our grasp of mass communication, and strategic influence -- I think they might call that 'public diplomacy' these days -- has greatly enhanced our ability to crank up and vilify enemies on a scale that would make ancient emperors drool with envy."


Pak rubbishes report against premiere spy agency - Kaswar Klasra, The Nation: The never-ending propaganda against Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency continues unabated as following footsteps of London School of Economics, another online publication ‘WikiLeaks’ claimed on Sunday that Pakistan was supporting Taliban.

Following publication of controversial secret documents, which claimed that Pakistan was supporting Taliban and that its spy agencies were organising terrorist network against the US soldiers. Pakistan, however, termed such reports baseless. Image from

Terrorism just propaganda to defame Muslims: Cuban envoy - Uzma Zafar, The Daily Mail: "Pakistan has been suffering from the war on terror. Muslims are not terrorists at all and associating beards and headscarves with terrorism is just a propaganda to defame the Muslims, especially Pakistan." These views were stated by Cuban Charges D'Affaires Juan Hidalgo Gato Pérez to Pakistan, while speaking to The Daily Mail, in an exclusive interview, here this Monday.

Al-Qaeda linked website '' shut down for posting terror propaganda – Sify

Leaflets launched at N.Korea - South Korean activists launched propaganda leaflets towards North Korea on Tuesday on the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, after ripping up its flag and calling for the death of leader Kim Jong Il.

Image from article: Around 150 people gathered at a park at Imjingak near the border to release ten giant balloons carrying some 100,000 leaflets, 300DVDs and 1,000 one-US-dollar notes