Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30

"Oratory is persuasion, not the declaiming of essays."

--Woodrow Wilson; cited in John Milton Cooper, Jr., Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (2009), p. 29; image from; on Wilson's Committee on Public Information, the USG's first "propaganda" agency, see


Information Entitlement Doctrine of Barack Obama - "Obama's negotiators were whipping up international support for new sanctions against North Korea at the same time the Central Intelligence Agency was reporting its judgment that those sanctions would probably induce the Pyongyang regime to test another nuke:

presidential diplomacy on the public stage to construct a concert of nations imposing sanctions on a rogue state, while that president's own, presumably trusted, analysts were back stage advising in a written document that success of the public diplomacy could backfire at 180 degrees to intended effect." Image from

Public Diplomacy in the Greater Middle East‎ - Donatella Scatamacchia, "In the specific context of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, NATO’s new Strategic Concept should focus on the role that the Alliance plays in the Greater Middle East. A multilateral policy approach and a revitalized public diplomacy campaign are required in order to overcome current obstacles to cooperation in this region."

Another 500,000 Flee Indus Breaches Taliban threaten Aid Workers;Global Warming Implicated - Informed Comment, "Mark Metcalfe says: ... Regarding US and NATO aid – as well as the important public diplomacy angle – NATO logistics are working day and night to try and reopen/open up new routes into Afghanistan to supply the troops there.

Expect a lot of road-building equipment and bridges to be sent to Pakistan." Image from

Iran debates talks with Uncle Sam‎ - Kaveh L Afrasiabi, Asia Times Online: "Setting the stage for Ahmadinejad's New York visit in September to attend a United Nations General Assembly meeting, Iran's foreign policymakers are keen to cultivate elements of public diplomacy that would benefit Iran. At such a testy time, Iran must play its cards to perfection to avoid courting disaster."

Forum to boost China-Japan ties‎ - Li Xiaokun, Xinhua: "Recalling efforts to establish a communication channel between Beijing and Tokyo six years ago to revive relations damaged after a former Japanese prime minister visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, Japan's chief Cabinet secretary on Sunday assured Chinese elites he would help ensure successful cooperation between Japan and China. 'Such cooperation should help China realize its grand target, a real green economy that makes sure of development of both the economy and environment,' Yoshito Sengoku told Chinese and Japanese representatives attending a reception for a major forum on China-Japan relations.

Sengoku, one of the founders of the Beijing-Tokyo forum, said he joined the founding team in 2005 when 'a mechanism of sincere talks' with Beijing was needed to revive relations. ... Now the forum is a major platform for public diplomacy between the two nations. It will see nearly 200 leaders from the political, business, academic and media fields take part in a two-day discussion starting Monday in Tokyo. More than 800 students and journalists have applied for a seat to listen to the panel discussions." Image from

"Welcome to Hizbolandia" - Lena, Global Chaos: "I wanted to introduce what a Spanish newspaper called 'Hizbolandia': Hizballah's brand new open-air museum (dubbed a "theme park" by those who are familiar with the concept) in Southern Lebanon, bringing to life and perpetuating (at least, for the time being) the history of the "Resistance Movement". ... [C]an Hizballah be said to have a public diplomacy strategy? An attempt, perhaps? Not that there is no audience to reach out to: be it the Lebanese Diaspora, the greater Arab and Muslim public, or the international community, in general (they might be hoping to find sympathizers here and there).

Certainly, they have (as in the past) various means of putting out their message, most prominent of which is Al Manar TV. The latter not only streams its programming live online, but also provides English, Spanish, and French versions of its official website. However, with the construction of the Mleeta Museum, the organization seems to have come up with another great way of 'telling its story' to the world: the 'park' clearly aims to attract foreign attention and interest, as well as act as a major domestic PR and/or indoctrination tool." Image from article

Aug. 29 community briefs‎ - The Times of Trenton: "The Polish Arts Club of Trenton and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland are co-hosting a program of selected portions of the Laurence Rees British Broadcasting Corp. documentary, 'World War II Behind Closed Doors,' at 1 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Conference Center at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. ... Key segments will be explained by Marek Konarzewski, minister-counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington and head of the Public Diplomacy and Education Section."

Information Operations: "learning from Madison Avenue" - James Frayne, The Campaign War Room: "I have always been slightly frustrated with parts of the public diplomacy world - particularly in the military - because of their scepticism about political and corporate communications.

In my experience they tend to assume that the rules of communications go out of the window in a conflict and constantly over-emphasise the complexity of communicating in harsh environments." Image from

Morning Session on Public Diplomacy: Seminar on Philippine Advancement through Security and Promotion of Information - Bernice Achacoso, The Catalyst: "The expansion of democracy in the modern times has shaped a new environment in the international system where in government can win hearts and minds of the people. Primarily this is how public diplomacy moves by striving to influence foreign nationals and the community with values, policies and actions of their very own government to be supported.

In this light, public diplomacy can be identified as the attempt of a nation to influence public or elites of the next leaders or other nations for the intention of using foreign policy for its objective. ... One strength of public diplomacy is that it makes use of soft power instead of hard power and has brought reliance of citizens on their local press and governments for information on foreign events, which amplified possible targets for diplomatic messages. ... The class was required to be present during the morning session of the SEM-CDA class s last august 28 which was about public diplomacy. Domingo Enerio, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Tourism did a phenomenal job as our speaker since he was very articulate and he had to fill in for the other speakers who were absent that day." Image: the author of this blog

Monday, August 30, 2010 Forum on PUBLIC DIPLOMACY - "Last August 28, 2010 was supposed to be my second time to attend the forum organized by the SEM-CDA but unfortunately due to my tummy I wasn’t able to attend. But I ask my classmate to help so that I will know what the forum is all about. The forum was about Public diplomacy. 'PUBLIC DIPLOMACY refers to government-sponsored programs intended to inform or influence public opinion in other countries; its chief instruments are publications, motion pictures, cultural exchanges, radio and television.' (U.S. Department of State, Dictionary of International Relations Terms, 1987, p. 85[.]"

OUT IN THE OPEN: PUBLIC DIPLOMACY (AM SESSION) - yara destura, "The topic was about Public Diplomacy.

The session lasted for I think about 45 minutes only and that gave a long time for the open forum. ... The best quote that I will always remember from this forum was: You are the BEST and NUMBER ONE Ambassador of your country." Image: the author of this blog

A Diplomat’s Progress – Book Review Essay [Henry Precht, A Diplomat’s Progress: Ten Tales of Diplomatic Adventure in and around the Middle East, Williams & Co: Savannah, Georgia 2005] - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "When I worked in the Cultural Section at the US Embassy in Moscow years ago, a colleague observed that life in that puzzle palace on Ulitsa Tschaikovskova and in the capital city of America’s then number one enemy was challenging, difficult but never boring.

Henry Precht’s Ten Tales of Diplomatic Adventure in and around the Middle East suggest that his lengthy Foreign Service career brought him to a similar conclusion about his own diplomatic life." Image from article

My book on Nation Branding! - Efe, Reaching the Public - Personal Reflections on Public Diplomacy and Place/Nation Branding: "Finally, my book

on nation branding is published and is for sale. The book is practically based on my thesis research. Controlling the Message: A Strategic Approach to Nation Branding (ISBN: 3838389409) or Controlling the Message ,for short, is an attempt to describe the actual role of communication strategies, tools, and techniques in nation branding processes. ... Chapter 4 ... introduces a more practical side of nation branding. Political communication in nation branding is examined in three different parts. Firstly, rhetorical aspects, in other words how messages are formulated, are discussed. This discussion is followed by how messages are coded (i.e. coded through a public diplomacy project, coded through lobbying). Last part looks at the communication platforms (media) that are used to transmit the messages to target audiences." Image from

The Hidden Geopolitics of Cyberspace - USC Arts and Events Calendar: Annenberg Research Seminar: Conversations in Public Diplomacy: "The Annenberg Research Seminar series, the Center on Public Diplomacy and the Master’s in Public Diplomacy program host a conversation with Dr. Ronald Deibert. Deibert is an associate professor of political science and director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. ... Diebert will discuss his current project, which monitors, analyzes and investigates the impact of power in cyberspace

as it relates to public diplomacy. This event, the last in a series of Canadian-U.S. Fulbright Chair in Public Diplomacy talks, is a presentation of the Annenberg Research Seminar series." Image from

POSCO Visiting Fellowship Program, USA - "Nature of the Fellowship POSCO visiting fellows are in residence at the East-West Center for one to two months and undertake research and writing on an agreed topic. Fellows are provided with a stipend and round trip economy airfare between their home base and Honolulu. They are required to give one seminar, prepare a high quality paper to be submitted for publication, and join in East-West Center activities. The Fellow may also be asked to participate in local outreach and public diplomacy activities. Proposals for cost-shared fellowships are welcomed."

Friendly Introduction - elliequent: "Erin [no last name provided], in addition to being an accomplished and much-lauded composer, is also a PhD candidate studying international public diplomacy. And you think YOU'RE busy."

Public Affairs Specialist - Yemen Jobs: "Required Qualifications ... Knowledge: Thorough knowledge of host country’s political, media, economic, social and educational structure, institutions, political parties, and key figures in influential institutions; of public diplomacy programs; public relation techniques; and US public relations concerns as expressed in the Mission Program Plan goals and objectives.

Skills and Abilities: Ability to develop and maintain contacts at various levels in cultural, government, media and educational circles; excellent writing skills; proven communication and interpersonal skills; as incumbent is expected to use an extensive range of contacts with high level influential leaders in skillfully addressing public diplomacy issues; excellent management skills to prioritize and organize a complex work schedule to stay on top of ongoing programs while planning upcoming programs; developed training and supervisory skills; and ability in report drafting." Image from


Getting a handle on Strategic Communication - Jack Holt, "I believe ... we have the wrong mental model for strategic communication. In some circles the model is depicted as an orchestra. In an orchestra everyone has their instrument and their piece of the music but they must play in tune and time with every other person. While this model has it's [sic]

truths, I believe it is inaccurate for communication. To communicate means to 'share' or 'to make common.' Communication is about action, moving something from one place to another. Communication is about doing things; human beings doing. This orchestra model leaves out the audience. They have either to like the music or not but are not considered part of the outcome. ... Strategic Communication is about engaging and being engaged by all the stakeholders and helping them understand events as they occur in the accomplishment of the goal." Image from

The Obama Birth Controversy - Todd Leventhal, Interestingly, determined that Obama was originally both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies from 1961 to 1963 (because his father was from Kenya, which gained its independence from the British Empire in 1963), then both a U.S. and Kenyan citizen from 1963 to 1982, and solely a U.S. citizen after that.

Taliban Propaganda – Why Has it Been So Effective? - While many people realize that what is said and written in Taliban propaganda is just that, propaganda, still has an effect on them. This is because they hear the same message over and over again. Even if it sounds obviously false, there comes a time when the audience starts to believe what they hear is true.

Mining for baseball diamonds - William Wan, Washington Post: An estimated 300 million Chinese now play basketball - roughly the size of the entire U.S. population. This country is the NBA's largest foreign merchandise market. And when the league launched a separate entity called "NBA China" two years ago, Goldman Sachs estimated its value at $2.3 billion. That success has left other sports salivating. The National Football League has flown in players (and attractive cheerleaders) to make its case. Professional golf is also making a push. Even World Wrestling Entertainment is trying to sell its spandex-clad, muscle-bound act here. Far behind the NBA, but somewhere at the head of this second wave, is Major League Baseball. Its officials have adopted a guerrilla-warfare-type strategy - identifying areas where baseball can gain ground at minimal cost and settling in for the long haul.

Via MP. Image: under the title, The Chinese Know Baseball Needs More Cheerleaders

The (propaganda) empire strikes in China - Kent Ewing, Asia Times: China's leaders are enlisting 50 Chinese celebrities in an unprecedented international advertising campaign to improve the country's global image. The charm offensive is set to begin this September, ahead of celebrations for 61st birthday of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on October 1. In the end, the greatest self-defeating irony of China's global media blitz is the shackles that its leaders place on national media and the great firewall of censorship they have attempted to erect in cyberspace. China's state propaganda machine may be reaching out to the world, but an army of censors at home is busy blocking the world from reaching China.

Propaganda's big guns - John Garnaut, Sydney Morning Herald: The man who established the Global Times as a powerful nationalistic platform, Wang Chen, is now in charge of China's internet as well as "foreign" propaganda.

Warped, Twisted "Hall of Mirrors" vs. Actual Truth - During World War Two, propaganda posters became something of an art form and some examples are very well known even today.

It’s been claimed that truth is often the first casualty of war, and it is very interesting to see how the events of the time were depicted in posters and leaflets from both sides of the conflict. Image from article


Longest pizza record attempt in Poland - BBC NEWS: Residents of the Polish city of Krakow have attempted to break the world record for the longest pizza in the world. The current record for the largest pizza is 407m (445 yds), but the Poles are trying to break it with one reaching more than 1,000m (1093 yds).

It has not yet been officially announced whether the record has been broken. Via LB. Image from article

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 22-29

“the military mind, if there is such a thing.”

--General James Logan Jones, Jr., the US national security advisor; image from


1) North Korean People's Army Funky Get Down Juche Party; via

2) Putin and the Lada. Yellow - Global Chaos


Under Secretary of State Judith A. McHale Travel to Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC August 23, 2010 – U.S. Department of State: "Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale will travel to Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile August 24 - September 2. This is Under Secretary McHale’s first visit to Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile as Under Secretary." Below image from

Council of the Americas combines gov’t, business and political opinions Conference sends coded messages - Michael Soltys, "Fireworks from the annual Council of the Americas conference were not limited to the hot issue of Papel Prensa and the confrontation between the eternally fiery Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández and Fiat chief executive Cristiano Rattazzi — sparks were left smouldering between the lines by other speakers, including Supreme Chief Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti and even the main guest speaker Judith McHale, Washington’s Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. ... In a generally upbeat account of 'deep and broad' relations, McHale was at pains to spell out the US stance on press freedom. Talking of the cultural vibrancy and the futuristic technology here in a relationship anchored by 'over 500 US companies active in Argentina, employing about 155,000 Argentines,' she spoke at length on the problems of income inequality and poverty with a special mention of TOMS Shoes (for children in need), an example of corporate social responsibility and a stress on quality education (including English) as the answer. After praising 'the courage of journalists such as Jacobo Timerman and Robert Cox, who stood up at great personal peril and spoke out for human rights,' McHale said pointedly: 'I believe passionately in the critical role media must play in a 21st century economy. In our two countries, there is recognition that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights that are essential to democracy ... None of us has all the answers ... The United States will continue to uphold freedom of expression and media freedom as fundamental human rights, and that freedom comes with the responsibility of maintaining media standards and ethics.'" Text of McHale speech at. Image from

Congress must override Obama on global AIDS fight - McClatchy-Tribune News Service: "The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday, Aug. 26: Obama also wants to decrease America's commitment to a global fund run by Western industrialized nations to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in Africa and other developing nations. He would lower the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria by $50 million. Congress, upon its return to work in September, should rebuff the president and make good on U.S. commitments to both funds. Some lawmakers seem willing to stand up, so we hope they succeed. ... The pushback is important for several reasons. ... [including] ... the public diplomacy aspect. U.S. humanitarian investment sends a message to other parts of the world, particularly places where people are poor and suffering. Instead of seeing the world's only superpower as only an oppressor, Americans are there with a helping hand."

Entanglements: Hillary Clinton's Naïve, Muddled Approach to Development - David Rieff, New Republic: "A ... [grave] mystification is Secretary Clinton’s claim that investments in global health are an important tool of public diplomacy. 'For millions of people worldwide,' she said, 'the prevention, treatment or care that the United States makes possible is their main experience of us as a country and a people. ... Giving people a chance at a long and healthy life or helping protect their children from disease conveys as much about our values as any state visit or strategic dialogue ever could.' Image with caption: with following caption: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #56 in a story that finds him in what is undoubtedly a loveless marriage with comics’ greatest harridan, Lucy Lane. What’s more, he and the shrew are even raising a son, the imaginatively named Jimmy Olsen Jr–or as I like to call him, “The Deuce”–who finds himself mired in his own impassioned entanglements with a super-powered lass. But whereas Pops was able to find happiness with Supergirl in our previous story, James the Lesser has a whole new set of problems…

Where to begin? Leaving aside the astonishingly tone-deaf contrast between foreign aid and a state visit—as if any ordinary citizen, whether in the U.S. or anywhere else, gives a toss about state visits—if the secretary really is suggesting that that recipients of foreign aid in very poor countries are so childlike that they view these contributions as dispositive about the nature of America’s values and intentions, then however unintentionally, she is speaking of these adults as if they were children. ... But perhaps this hyper-conceited, hyper-complacent conviction of America’s good intention is so internalized in U.S. policymakers—even in one as intelligent as Secretary Clinton—that they are incapable of thinking clearly about how U.S. foreign aid, whether for emergency relief, health, or long-term development, is received by its beneficiaries. The administration’s wishful thinking about how its efforts to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan and, latterly, in Pakistan where a relatively large deployment of U.S. military helicopters to deliver substantial amounts of American relief assistance to people in the flood zones, has been painful to watch." Image, with caption, from: What’s more, he and the shrew are even raising a son, the imaginatively named Jimmy Olsen Jr–or as I like to call him, “The Deuce”–who finds himself mired in his own impassioned entanglements with a super-powered lass. But whereas Pops was able to find happiness with Supergirl in our previous story, James the Lesser has a whole new set of problems…

US clutches at flood relief opportunities - M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times: "The needs of Pakistan are of stupendous proportions. Even cold statistics bring this out. One fifth of the landmass of Pakistan is inundated and the lives of 20 million people have been affected. Nothing further needs to be said about the enormity of the human sorrow. The fact that the United Nations launched an initial appeal for US$460 million for the immediate relief underscores the magnitude of the crisis - although, according to the Pakistani foreign minister, that amount 'will only cater to about 6 to 8 million people for 90 days only'. Yet, Pakistan's crisis presents itself as a theater of public diplomacy for the United States to burnish its image among Pakistani people, of whom 59% regarded America as an enemy country, according to a July 29 Pew Global Attitudes Project poll. ... The Obama administration's best hope is that Pakistan will reciprocate the robust US support - financially, materially and politically - by helping out on the Afghan front. Quite obviously, US officials are bending over backward to create goodwill with Pakistan."

The Indus Floods and “disaster diplomacy” - Himal Southasian Indus Flood Relief Fund Collection Drive, McArthur Foundation: "It would seem that the ability of governments to move quickly in the face of disasters is limited by policy precedent and public opinion, but sections of the same public move just as quickly to get around constraints placed by government policy. These channels and initiatives contribute to changing the environment in which diplomatic relations work and in the long run to mitigating the constraints that limit government action. 'Disaster diplomacy' is then, public diplomacy in the best sense: outreach by the public in the larger public interest."

10 Questions with ‘The Closing of the Muslim Mind’ author Robert R. Reilly - The Daily Caller: "7) What can the U.S. do, if anything, to help spurt reform in the Muslim world? ... We should be forthright in our message that using force to impose religion, any religion, is unacceptable to our Founding principles and to the basic human right of freedom of conscience. We should say that we respect Islam as a source of moral and spiritual order in the lives of millions of people but that to the extent Islam cannot itself respect peoples’ freedom of conscience, it is not acceptable to us. Image from

Good Grief: Ground Zero Imam’s Wife Now Being Sent on U.S. Taxpayer Funded Trip to Middle East to Trash America… - "Yes, fresh from denouncing America on national television as a place rife with 'hate of Muslims,' a place so Islamophobic that 'it’s beyond Islamophobia,' Daisy Khan, co-planner of the Ground Zero mosque project, will soon be hopping a plane at taxpayer expense, courtesy of the State Department, to jet from New York to the United Arab Emirates and deliver to the Emiratis her views about Muslim life in America. This is what the State Department calls 'public diplomacy' — a program that enlists about 1,200 Americans each year to fly with plenty of leg room to foreign lands and tell folks over there what it’s like to live in America. You might think a lot of these junkets would by now be redundant, in a world so interconnected that the Fort Hood shooter took cues from an imam in Yemen. But then, the web just doesn’t have the zing of international business class and $496 per diems. For Daisy Khan’s circle, State’s public diplomacy program is a boom industry. Khan’s husband and 'bridge-building' partner, the man behind the Ground Zero mosque, Imam Feisal Adbul Rauf, is already on a more extensive State Department tour. After stops in Bahrain, where he has just been, and Qatar, where he will be this week, Rauf will meet up with Khan in the UAE, from Aug. 29-Sept.2. His trip will cost U.S. taxpayers $16,000. Hers will cost $12,000."

US wars: People vs Generals‎ - Marwan Bishara, "Barack Obama's promise to open a new page with the Muslim world on the basis of mutual respect and interests - supplemented and enforced by the use of soft rather than hard power - now rings hollow. This is most evident in the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq and the corresponding surge in Afghanistan - an exercise in redeploying military forces, not extracting them. As the gap between words and deeds; declarations and policies; public diplomacy and military strategy deepens, so the political and strategic crisis facing the Obama administration continues to deepen."

Mideast peace is not in sight - Aref Assaf, "The US has interests throughout the Islamic world. While U.S.-Israeli relations are not the sole point of friction between the Islamic world and the United States, they are certainly one major point of friction, particularly on the level of public diplomacy. Indeed, though most Muslim governments may not regard Israel as critical to their national interests, their publics do regard it that way for ideological and religious reasons. ... Peace talks give the United States the appearance of seeking to settle the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The comings and goings of American diplomats, treating Palestinians as equals in negotiations and as being equally important to the United States, and the occasional photo op."

if some agreement is actually reached, all give the United States and pro-American Muslim governments a tool — even if it is not a very effective one — for managing Muslim public opinion. Peace talks also give the United States the ability, on occasion, to criticize Israel publicly, without changing the basic framework of the U.S.-Israeli relationship. Most important, they cost the United States nothing." Image: "Not By Sight! A Guide to Ministering to Believers Living with Chronic Illness and Pain. $6.50 or Less Includes Shipping"

USA Pavilion at World Expo Lets Down USA - Abe Sauer, "The World Expo is China is now half over. However, the reviews are already in on the United States' presence at the event. In a word: Overbranded. ... The USA pavilion is a 6,000 square foot 'grey steel structure' boasting the theme ' Rise to the Challenge.'

The challenge? Putting a corporate logo on every possible element. Even the pavilion's 'no smoking' signs carry a Pfizer sponsorship. ... Bob Jacobson says: You offer a nice synthesis of prevailing opinion, but you are wrong about the organizers being legally handicapped with regard to funding. THERE IS NO LAW PROHIBITING FEDERAL FUNDING OF US PAVILIONS AT WORLD EXPOS. And the 'organizers' were actually pirates. That was a Big Lie promulgated by the Bush Administration and maintained by the Obama Administration to cover for a deliberate policy to privatize the US Pavilion and American public diplomacy in general. The Congress could have appropriated the necessary $30 million or so (what a good pavilion should cost) at any time. But it was never asked by either Administration. It's so much easier to horse trade political and financial favors when the public isn't involved. " Image of "student ambassadors" from article

Obama’s Missing Trade Stimulus - Jason Reese, "China is making inroads into South America via trade. Russia is reasserting hegemony over Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, the administration has shown its contempt for trade and public diplomacy by appointing a political hack to run the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in Geneva. Public diplomacy is difficult because it never quite ends. It’s an obstacle that is overcome face-to-face, one person at a time. While using new media is a great mechanism for reaching larger audiences, tools such as Facebook can work when there is some underlying sense of trust. Vague messages and statements on behalf of the U.S. government do not work in an environment of mistrust and serve to only frustrate people further. Our government can definitely do more to effectively communicate and explain American policies. This happens through international visits and face-to-face encounters. "

Is This Thing On? - Laura McGinnis, manIC:

"It's no secret that international broadcasters like the BBC and VOA are operating in an increasingly competitive environment. And the Economist notes wryly that the situation is an unavoidable consequence of succeeding in another goal--namely the spread of free expression around the world. But as more voices join the fray, the need for good reporting becomes increasingly important, even as the job becomes exponentially harder. If only there were a correlation between need and funding for international broadcasters. But funding's not the only possible response, of course. Restructuring, outsourcing to/collaborating with local news sources, developing more reciprocal programs and targeting specific audiences have all been proposed as potential solutions to the challenges PD broadcasters face abroad." Image from

Two International Broadcasting Consolidation Proposals (One Eclipsing The Other)
- Kim Andrew Elliott, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Because enough members consider NPR and PBS to be left-wing, I don’t think Congress would approve a merger of these two organizations with VOA and RFE. On the other hand, an exchange of content between USIB [US international broadcasting] and U.S. private broadcast news organizations might be possible and beneficial."

Pedro Roig resigns as director of Radio/TV Martí - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

"More than a million people" used Radio Farda's proxy server in July (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Russia Today (RT) increases its often-controversial coverage of the United States - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

BBC, VOA, RFA broadcasts to China in the news - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Karen Hughes: I don't remember any of my work with Imam - Greg Sargent, Washington Post: "As you may have heard, former Bush senior adviser Karen Hughes came out against Cordoba House over the weekend. Hughes called on Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to move the project in order to 'provide a path toward the peaceful relationships that he and his fellow Muslims strive to achieve.' What was mystifying about her opposition, as TPM noted,

was that she did not mention that Rauf had a long-term relationship with the Bush administration. Nor did she mention that as the Bush State Department's chief of outreach to Muslims she participated with him in multiple bridge-building efforts to the Muslim world. Here's her explanation: Hughes claimed in a statement to me that she doesn't remember any of the work she did with him." Hughes "image" from

Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, NATO Strategic Concept Expert Group - NATO Review: Albright mentions public diplomacy in a video.

VOL. VI NO. 17, August 13-August 26, 2010 – The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media:
"A Divisive Dialogue over the Cordoba House The Islamic community center planned near Ground Zero continues to create a divide among both American and Muslim communities, while conservative parties are using the debate for political advantage.
Al-Arabiya Director Rejects Ground Zero Mosque Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, General Manager of Al-Arabiya, stated his opposition to the misnomer “Ground Zero Mosque,” as he believes that it only contributes to promote a negative image of Muslims.
An Abu Ghraib Deja-Vu for Israeli Soldier on Facebook
Israeli and Palestinian officials expressed their outrage after Eden Abergil, a former Israeli soldier, posted pictures of herself with blindfolded Palestinian prisoners on Facebook, reminiscent of the American soldier Lynndie England, who posed with blindfolded Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
Public Diplomacy Begins with Charity
The Obama Administration recently added an aid package for flood-struck Pakistan, as part of the US efforts to win the hearts and minds of its people.
Drawdown from Iraq Affecting US Image
As the last US combat troops pull out of Iraq and cross into Kuwait, Iraqis and its regional partners perceive the move as a unilateral decision by Washington, affecting America’s image and standing in the region.
Sectarian Series Pulled from the Airwaves
Lebanese television channels Al-Manar and NBN recently pulled a religious series from their Ramadan programs. The series, which tells the story of Jesus through an Islamic lens, has fueled tensions between religious and political groups in Lebanon. America’s Struggle with Islam
The fiery debate about the Muslim community chinese near Ground Zero coincides with new poll numbers indicating that an increasing number of Americans believe that President Obama is Muslim. While some commentators defend their position on the issues, others question whether 'Islamophobia' may be what is fueling these responses.
Al-Jazeera Collects Awards
For the third consecutive year, the Qatar-based channel Al-Jazeera English was nominated for an Emmy award in the 'News and Current Affairs' categories for its reporting on the Israeli onslaught on Gaza in 2009."

What is Public Diplomacy in the XXI century? - Alexey Gromyko, Russkiy Mir Foundation: "Public diplomacy is quite a complex phenomenon. There are cultural, sport, political, corporate, religious and diplomatic PD. On the one hand it is easy to overestimate the meaning of PD to a point when it is so broad that gets meaningless. On the other, it seems equally wrong to try to fit it in the Procrustean bed of a too narrow interpretation.

PD can be both inward and outward looking depending on which audience the state wants to inform and to influence – domestic or foreign. ... Unlike traditional diplomacy PD is not about state-to-state communication but about state-to-society or society-to-state interaction. This kind of communication is a two way street. It implies not so much projection of what you think but rather a quest for a proper place for your ideas in the world." Image from

Editor's Memo: Acerbic attacks prolong Zim's bad boy image - Constantine Chimakure, Zimbabwe Independent: "The art of diplomacy is the defining element of a state, but what we have seen this week with Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi is the destruction of the state as his actions have cast Zimbabwe as a rogue member of the international community. On Tuesday Mumbengegwi, taking a leaf from President Robert Mugabe, lashed out at Western diplomats telling them that the country was not a 'candidate for humanitarian assistance' as it had the capacity to look after itself. 'Just remove the sanctions,' the minister said. Mumbengegwi would do well to trace the origins and history of diplomacy from ancient Egypt and Greece to modern diplomacy which emerged during the Renaissance. Any observer would realise that diplomacy, or at least public diplomacy, is all about building relationships, not destroying them."

High Ranking Personnel on U.S. Advisory Commission Meet on Public Diplomacy - Topic of meeting: "Measurement of U.S. Government Public Diplomacy Efforts."

China's first public diplomacy research center established in Beijing‎ - People's Daily Online:

"Beijing Foreign Studies University recently announced that it has established a Public Diplomacy Research Center during a press conference in Beijing on Aug. 26. This is China's first institution to specialize in public diplomacy research and its establishment will promote China's public diplomacy research to provide intellectual support for the practice of the government's public diplomacy and a platform for the public to participate in public diplomacy." See also. Image from article: The press conference venue. (People's Daily Online/Yan Meng). PDPBR compiler note: According to a reliable source in Asia who is kind enough to look at the harmless "Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review," meant above all to be humorous, it's "filtered out" in mainland China by its authorities even though the Party (see above) now seems enthused by Public Diplomacy -- as it interprets it. FYI, "Axis of Evil" Iran, as best as I can discern from Google Analytics, which supposedly keeps track of how many people bother to look at this silly blog, has not "nixed" the PDPBR.

Should Public Diplomacy Be About Values? - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "It’s only recently that I’ve noticed how often the idea of ‘values’ crops up in conjunction with public diplomacy. I’ve seen this as something that is advocated (public diplomacy should be about communicating a country’s values) and something that is practiced, for instance speeches that emphasize the common values between two countries. I wonder to what extent this emphasis on values is really thought through and the extent to which it is a habit."

Event: Information Operations, the New Frontier in Full-Spectrum Warfare – Matt Armstrong, "Information Operations: The New Frontier in Full-Spectrum Warfare is a continuing education course taught by Chris Paul through the Organizational Effectiveness Institute. It will be held September 20-21 in Washington, DC. ... [among subjects covered by the course are] Efforts related to IO, such as public affairs, strategic communication, and public diplomacy."


How Arabs view the anti-mosque movement - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: “I have no doubt that al-Qaeda and like-minded extremists will eventually use the anti-mosque movement in their propaganda, since it so perfectly fits their narrative of a West at war with Islam --- the very narrative which both the Bush administration and the Obama administration worked so hard to combat over the last few years. ... Where the anti-mosque movement and escalating anti-Islam rhetoric is really resonating is with the Arab mainstream --- that vast middle ground which had hoped that the election of Barack Obama would mark a real change from the Bush administration but have grown increasingly disappointed.”

CENTCOM's Digital Diplomacy – Philip Seib, Huffington Post

North Korea's idea of social networking: 10,413 followers, following zero - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Those North Korean social networking accounts are not actually from North Korea - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Propaganda film portrays Moscow, not Minsk - Lukashenko - Andy Potts, themoscownews: Russia’s alleged information war against Belarus is a personal affair – and attempts to portray president Alexander Lukashenko as a backwards-looking tinpot dictator merely reflect on Russia’s leadership. So says Lukashenko himself, commenting on recent films shown by NTV painting him as an autocratic Godfather figure as the two halves of the so-called Union State struggle to find any harmony. The films suggest that Lukashenko has mental health issues and rules over a corrupt state where political opponents mysteriously disappear.
But the Belarusian leader dismisses the charges and accuses the Kremlin of portraying itself on screen. Image from article


Discomfort food - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "After a frustrating morning that saw my external hard drive get reformated against my will, and all on it erased, I decided to opt for some good ol' American comfort food, and headed to Burger King to have it my way. BK has some strange adds on the metro here [Taipai], and I wish I could understand them. It appears that they have 2 gay dudes holding a whopper,

followed by a somewhat disheveled girl holding a ketchup-tipped french fries like a cigarette, and finally a guy holding with a burger in one hand and the contents of his office in his arms, along with a bandaid on his nose and a sign that reads in English 'You're Fired.' I think it is somewhat akin to their hysterical campaign in the Middle East. The other strange thing about BK is that all their identity-based adverts on the wall of their restaurants (if you can call them such) proclaim ideas about your identity because you went for bacon or triple cheese was all in English. Not a bit of Chinese for decoration. Strange. Anywho, I can't say that the whopper was much comfort food, as I am now feeling gross and lethargic. I can't imagine how people eat that stuff every day, or how much I loved it as a teenager. Once every few months is more than enough for me." Image from


Crusade for Freedom, Denver, Colorado, September 4, 1950 - Dwight D. Eisenhower (via)

"Americans are dying in Korea tonight. They are dying for ideals they have been taught to cherish more than life itself; but it will be written and said tonight in Warsaw - in Prague - in Moscow, that they died for American imperialism.

Unfortunately, millions of people will believe this devilish libel against American soldiers, who have taken up arms in defense of liberty - a second time in a tormented decade. Those millions will hear no other version but a hissing, hating tirade against America. We think it incredible that such poison be swallowed! But those people, behind and beyond the Iron curtain, have seen so much political wickedness and cold blooded betrayal - such Godless depravity in government - that they find it harder to believe in our peaceful intent and decent motives than in the calculated and clever lies that Communism is spreading every hour, every day, through every broadcast and newspaper that it controls.

This slander against our purposes and our men in Korea is merely one example of the campaign of hatred that is being waged against America and freedom around the globe. We face not only ruthless men, but also lies and misconceptions intended to rob us of our resolution and faith within, and of our friends throughout the world. Communists teach that America is a vicious enemy of humanity. They have embarked upon an aggressive campaign to destroy free government - as in the young republic of Korea - because regimentation cannot face the peaceful competition of free enterprise. The Communist leaders believe that, unless they destroy our system, their own subjects, gradually gaining an understanding of the blessings and opportunities of liberty, will repudiate Communism and tear its dictators from their positions of power. They know that free labor and management consistently out-produce Communism in the material things that humans need and want, and hold our a superior appeal to man’s spiritual aspirations. They know that, for the mass of humanity, America has come to symbolize freedom, opportunity, human happiness. They have a mortal fear that this knowledge will penetrate eventually to their own people and others in the world.

Communistic aggression, inspired by fear, carries with it the venom of those who feel themselves to be inferior; this accounts for the depth of their hatred, and the intensity of their thirst for power!

To destroy human liberty and to control the world, the Communists use every conceivable weapon - subversion, bribery, corruption, military attack! Of all these, none is more insidious than propaganda.

Spurred by this threat to our very existence, I speak tonight - as another private citizen, not as an officer of the Army - about the Crusade of freedom. This crusade is a campaign sponsored by private American citizens to fight the big lie with the big truth. It is a program that has been hailed by President Truman and others as an essential step in getting the case for freedom heard by the world’s multitudes. Powerful Communist radio stations incessantly tell the world that we Americans are physically soft and morally corrupt; that we are disunited and confused; that we are selfish and cowardly; that we have nothing to offer the world but imperialism and exploitation.

To combat these broadcasts the government has established a radio program called the 'Voice of America' which has brilliantly served the cause of freedom, but the Communist stations overpower it and outflank it with a daily coverage that neglects no wave length of dialect, no prejudice or local aspiration. Weaving a fantastic pattern of lies and twisted fact, they confound the listener into believing that we are war-mongers - that America invaded North Korea - that a Russian invented the airplane - that the Soviets, unaided, won World War II - and that the secret police and slave camps of Communism offer humanity brighter hope for the future than do self government and free enterprise.

We need powerful radio stations abroad, operated without government restrictions, to tell in vivid and convincing form about the decency and essential fairness of democracy. These stations must tell of our aspirations for peace, our hatred of war, our support of the United Nations, and our constant readiness to cooperate with all who have these same desires. Only then can we counteract the Communist deceits that are being spread with every weather, crop and news report.

One such private station, Radio Free Europe, is now in operation in western Germany. It daily brings a message of hope and encouragement to a small part of the masses of Europe.

The Crusade for Freedom will provide for the expansion of Radio Free Europe into a network of stations. They will be given the simplest, clearest charter in the world: 'Tell the Truth.' For it is certain that all the specious promises of Communism to the needy, the unhappy, the frustrated, the down-trodden, cannot stand against the proven record of democracy and its day-by-day progress in the betterment of all mankind. The tones of the Freedom Bell, symbol of the Crusade, will echo through vast areas now under blackout.

In this Battle for Truth, you and I have a definite part to play. During the Crusade, each of us will have the opportunity to sign the Freedom Scroll. It bears a declaration of our faith in freedom, and of our belief in the dignity of the individual, who derives the right of freedom from God. Each of us, by signing the Scroll, pledges to resist aggression and tyranny wherever they appear on Earth. Its words express what is in all our hearts. Your signature on it will be a blow for liberty.

My friend General Lucius Clay - one of our great Americans - is directing the Crusade for Freedom. Your contribution, great or small, will help him provide the means of bringing the truth to a region vital to our welfare.

Even we, ourselves, sometimes overlook or forget factors of the utmost importance in the global situation, and which have direct bearing on our own security and prosperity.

Most of us have been enjoying a long weekend, terminating in this day dedicated to free American labor. How depressing it is to realize that on this Labor Day, 1950, one third of the human race works in virtual bondage. In the totalitarian countries, the individual has no right that the state is bound to respect. His occupation is selected by his masters; his livelihood is fixed, by decree, at the minimum which will give him strength to work another day; his pleasures and his thoughts are restricted to those of glorifying the bonds that hold him in servitude.

Because representative labor leaders of America know the record of Communism in beating down labor, they have long been in the forefront of those fighting the spread of this vicious doctrine. But Communism goes further than the exploitation of labor. Unless the individual accepts the governmental mastery of his life and soul, he can be convicted without trial; he can be executed without right of appeal; he can be banished to live out his life in a slave camp.

The people behind the Iron curtain have no concept of a free press, or free discussion; or of our right to a church of our own choosing, or any church at all. Their schools and periodicals are little more than propaganda mills. The people know nothing except that which their government says they should know, and, the effort to learn more is punished promptly and without mercy.

This is what the Soviet planners contemplate for all the world, including America.

We must meet this threat with courage and firmness. Unless we look, with clear and understanding eyes, at the World situation of today, and unless we meet, with dynamic purpose the issues confronting us, then we will lose the American birthright. The system of government established by our forefathers will disappear; the sacrifices of American patriots will have been in vain. The world will go back to the days of master and slaves - of darkness, ignorance and savagery. The American record, from Washington to the day of disaster, would be only a blank page in history. We - American citizens - can assure that this will never happen to us if the fervor of our devotion to freedom and country is equal to the seriousness of the threat. Amid these dangers, personal participation by each in public deliberation and activity is necessary to our safety. Each must make it his responsibility to see that we remain strong - morally, intellectually, materially. Our material strength must comprise a healthy, devoted and prosperous population, high productivity, financial stability, and such military power as can meet aggression on respectable terms.

Young and old - business, labor, professional men - 150 million of us - must rally as one man

behind our country and freedom! America is exactly as strong as the initiative, courage, understanding and loyalty of the individual citizen!

The die has been cast in Asia but we are in no limited conflict, Free Europe, struggling for moral and economic recovery, is still a tempting target for predatory military force. We must give real support to all aspects of the military aid program and re-examine, at once, our troop strengths in critical areas.

All this means that we must tighten our belts, both nationally and individually. We must insist upon facing up to the task of paying for the accomplishment of these vital measures, else the Soviets will take heart from their success in bringing us further inflation and closer to economic ruin.

We must have efficiency and economy in all governmental expenditures, and we must concentrate all our resources to assure victory in this bitter, and probably prolonged struggle! Until it is won we must practice Spartan frugality in all nonessential matters, so that we may make the greatest possible contribution to the defense of our way of life. All lesser considerations must wait; we cannot tolerate politics as usual any more than we can tolerate business as usual. We must get tough - tough with ourselves.

Success in such national crises always requires some temporary and partial surrender of individual freedom. But the surrender must be our specific decision, and it must be only partial and only temporary! And it must be insured that when the crisis has passed, each of us will then possess every right, every privilege, every responsibility and every authority that now resides in an American citizen. It would do no good to defend our liberties against Communistic aggression and lose them to our own greed, blindness or shiftless reliance on bureaucracy and the federal Treasury.

In the dangers and trials ahead, our ultimate security lies in the dynamic purpose, the simple courage and unshakable unity of the United States and the free world, a unity that depends upon common understanding of and common veneration of freedom. But these can live only where there is access to the truth. Thus truth becomes our most formidable weapon, a weapon that each of us can help forge through the Crusade for Freedom.

And let us never forget that for those who have lost freedom there is no price or cost or sacrifice that can even faintly reflect its value. But it is still the core of America’s boundless heritage. It will remain so for as long as we, plain American citizens, are ever ready to guard it with vigilance and defend it with fortitude and faith!

Thank you very much.
Image from

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21



Asia Society: Pakistani Flood Response Event: Richard Holbrooke Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan His Excellency Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan; Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development; Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy New York City August 19, 2010 – U.S. Department of State: “Under Secretary McHale: ... Information is absolutely critical, and one of the things that we have learned from these tragedies and from these events is the importance of providing people with the information that they need. So we will be working with the government of Pakistan to provide people throughout the country with the information they need to find the resources that they are going to need to help them rebuild their country. And we look forward to working with all of you to provide that critical information on the ground to people so they know where to go to get the assistance that they need most immediately. ...I also want to quickly say that we at the State Department have put up on our web site,, a list of all the organizations which will be accepting donations, and we will be pushing people to that web site to get them the information." See also

The Daunting Prospects for Mideast Talks - Robert Danin, "The challenge of making progress in negotiations for the United States will require not only devoting considerable effort, but reaching out through tireless public diplomacy and making the case to the peoples of the Middle East. Peace

will require real leadership in the negotiations. But it will only be truly possible if Middle Easterners are convinced that peace is attainable and will deliver the security and justice they have long sought." Image from

Dostar Rural Orphanage Project, Summer Youth Leadership School 2010, & Becca’s Birthday (Part I) – Becca's Blog - Peace Corps In Kazakhstan: "This year our camp was funded by PEPFAR (the U.S. President's Fund for AIDS Relief) through Peace Corps (thank you!). Our camp was extraordinary throughout, and it opened in a particularly extraordinary way. We had the honor of hosting U.S. Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith, who was specially appointed to this pilot position by Secretary Hillary Clinton. The embassy contacted me about helping to arrange her public diplomacy trip to engage with youth in the Muslim regions of South Kazakhstan, and as luck would have it she was able to open our camp with an inspirational speech and an illuminating focus group/Q&A with our kids. SR Pandith talked about Muslim identity, technology and information sharing, intercultural experience, and the importance and potential of youth leadership worldwide. It was a great pleasure to meet her and the trip's support staff from the State Department and the Embassy in Astana."

The American Documentary Showcase: Documentary Diplomacy Across the Globe - Business Wire: "Award-winning contemporary American documentary films and filmmakers are giving audiences around the world new insights into life and culture in the United States.

A touring program of about 60 independently produced documentaries is traveling to almost 25 countries worldwide, where U.S. filmmakers and film experts will introduce the films and conduct seminars and workshops on filmmaking and emergent media at U.S. embassies, international film festivals, universities and other venues. Curated and administered by the University Film and Video Association, the American Documentary Showcase is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs." Via; image from

Radio/TV Martí: "One cannot say it is a total failure" – Kim Andrrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

The Narrative Battle & Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century - John Marke, Prologue: "Warfare in the 21st century is about the battle for the mind – it is about ideas and perceptions. Understanding how people make sense of what’s happening around them, i.e., socially constructed reality is a key element of this dynamic. ... I choose to look at Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield as the context for exploring the importance of the narrative in war because it is timely but has also passed into history, as contrasted to Iraq or Afghanistan which are battles still in play as of this writing."

Introduction to Digital and its impact on diplomacy, foreign policy (2) - Mention of public diplomacy

This Time Last Year... - Bowe9778, A Scrapbook Redefined: "I worked this past summer next to a castle... technically it's a water tower, but it's cute anyway.

I did anything from accounting to 'public diplomacy' I loved it!" Image from


Should USA Keep Bases in Colombia? - Mark Falcoff, Family Security Matters: The big news from Latin America last week was the finding of Colombia’s constitutional court that the granting of base rights to the United States military in that country was in violation of the constitution. Rather, the court found, the deal between Washington and Bogota “requires the State to take on new obligations as well as an extension of previous ones” and that it should be executed in the form of an international treaty subject to congressional approval. Though the court probably did not have Hugo Chávez in mind, the decision is a large propaganda victory for the Venezuelan strongman. For some years now he has been hysterically claiming that U.S. troops in Colombia—whose numbers he habitually inflates by several orders of magnitude—are stationed in the neighboring republic with a view to eventually invading and deposing his government.

How Stephen Colbert's Poking Fun at Iranian Culture Helps America Lube the Wheels of War: Laughter at Iran's expense is not quite as harmless as it seems. Cultural judgment helps dehumanize a country, making it easier for a society to go war - Ali Gharib, AlterNet: The fact that Americans feel free to laugh about Iran in a climate where a former CIA chief tells CNN he thinks attacking Iran “may not be the worst of all possible outcomes” speaks to the likelihood that Americans administer their empire from their unconscious minds. Humor, of course,

is a gentle way to convince people – propaganda for the unwitting part of the brain. Image from

US teen visits North Korea to talk peace - Myanmar News.Net: An American teenager who wants to plant a “children’s peace forest” in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, has returned from a mission to North Korea where he met with officials and was told the ongoing hostilities between the countries prohibited the plan. Thirteen-year-old Jonathan Lee of Ridgeland, Mississippi, wants to have a park established midway between the two countries where children of the North and South could play together and mingle at a casual level, in order to build understanding and remove the notion of "the other" or "the enemy". Many political analysts in South Korea and the United States have dismissed the boy’s trip as falling victim to the North Korean propaganda machine. Such a peace park is, in their opinion, beyond the realms of possibility.

Films, media being used subtly to further propaganda - Many Contemporary communication scholars believe that media has been used and still continues to be used as one of the most potent tool to form opinions, whether at home in a smaller sphere of audience or the entire world with international audience. Much of it is true and verified by innumerable researches. This very aspect of media, therefore, has been capitalized by some of the notable institutions, the Central Intelligence Agency of America, being among the prime most agencies. It all started with the development of new media – television and cinema.