“Things like cowboys and Indians that we think are corny, they think are totally chic.”
--Stephanie Solomon, the fashion director of Bloomingdale’s, regarding the French; image from
Just Leave the Libyan Civil War Alone - Daniel Larison, American Conservative: "For the sake of a triple-bank-shot effort at public diplomacy with other Arab publics, we’re contemplating sending weapons to rebels whose cause we don’t fully understand and some of whom are obviously hostile to the U.S.? Arming the mujahideen in Afghanistan was a questionable decision when it was made, but at least it had the merit of being part of a larger strategy of resisting Soviet power. Arming Libyan rebels against Gaddafi doesn’t have any similar strategic purpose. Supporting rebels against Gaddafi isn’t going to make other authoritarian rulers more reluctant to use force against opposition.
It’s going to give them an incentive to do as much damage as quickly as possible to the opposition before foreign support is forthcoming. If the U.S. arms the rebels in Libya, and Libya becomes the model of what other governments can expect from the U.S., the U.S. has committed itself not only to supporting rebels in this case but also to doing the same in each civil war that follows the same pattern." Image from
Some Uplifting International Poll Numbers - Polish Wolf, intelligentdiscontent.com: "[A] lot of progressives are disappointed with Obama’s performance, both domestically and in foreign affairs. I think, however, that the last few years have shown a real if not overly dramatic change. The internationally condemned war in Iraq is now less of a priority, the United States is far more cooperative in the United Nations, and, as recent events in Egypt have made clear, we have been more open to working to please the populations of foreign nations, rather than just their leaders. Public diplomacy, long neglected, can be immensely valuable."
If the Script Calls for Credible “Bad Guys,” Then Invent Some! - Peter Chamberlin, The People's Voice - "'Al-Qaeda' is not bin Laden’s creation; it is a collection of stories about actual terrorists and the attacks which they have actually carried-out (some of whom were agents of various intelligence agencies).
Even 'synthetic terror' (a phrase coined by Webster Tarpley) needs a few real terrorists, around which to build the myth. For the US to construct a believable concept of an international terror network, it needed news reports, which laid-out multiple radial trails, from a central source, with bin Laden at its center. In order to follow its standard M.O. for running a 'public diplomacy' type of psyop, like the pattern set supporting the Contra network by Ollie North and friends, popular news reporting had to have spectacular terrorist attacks to feed the propaganda machine." Image from
VOL. VII NO. 5, February 25-March 10, 2011 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media:
"Uprisings Set Stage for Media Evolution As more people are learning about the Arab uprisings from the Internet, commentators advise traditional media sources to remain out of state control, offer analysis, and cover a wide variety of topics to meet the public's needs.
Ushering in a New Arab Era As the overthrow of Mubarak and Ben Ali gives way to national tension about Egypt and Tunisia's political future, protests are gaining momentum in the MENA region. Inspired by unity against repressive governance, Arabs are expressing pride in their Arab identity, perhaps influencing Western perceptions of the region.
Clinton Slams US Media Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is frustrated by what she perceives to be the decline of US media’s global influence.
Outsourced: The Future Role of Al-Jazeera While Al-Jazeera’s role is increasingly being recognized as a leading media network influencing news reporting, critics abound questioning the channel’s portrayal of events and sometimes what is perceived as politicized coverage.
Obama’s Tepid Reaction Causes Speculation President Obama has been the target of harsh criticism from some media commentators who believe his hesitancy to voice the United States’ direct and universal support for revolutionaries/rebels calling for democratic change in their respective governments contradicts his earlier pronouncements in favor of grassroots democracy in the Middle East.
Al-Qaeda Benefits from Arab Spring? Al-Qaeda and other militant Islamist groups could be the biggest loser of the Arab revolution. Though Al-Qaeda leaders are publicly embracing the revolutions, they've essentially stood by and watched others achieve their goal of overthrowing secular regimes.
Which Came First? The Revolution or the Tweets? Are social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter responsible for playing a vital role in shaping the political landscape? It is a question that drives a powerful debate.
What’s Next for the Middle East? As popular revolutions calling for democratic change continue to shake the Arab world, journalists and onlookers alike wonder if the respective outcomes will encourage unprecedented stability or greater problems in these nations.
The 'Mad Dog' Illuminated The Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s nickname of the 'Mad Dog', initially supplied by former US President Ronald Reagan, seems especially apt in light of the recent turn of events in Libya.
Oil Vey! Financial Implications for the New Middle East With myriad changes taking place across the spectrum in the Middle East, one of the most pressing questions entails figuring out how to grapple with the possibility of a new financial landscape." Image from
Remarks to Senate Youth Program - Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs - U.S. Department of State: "The high percentage of young people in the Middle East is not an anomaly. Around the world, young people make up 60 percent of the world’s population. So, we should understand youth not just as leaders of tomorrow, but as leaders of today. With this in mind, Secretary Clinton has prioritized youth in our foreign policy and her trips abroad. She has asked the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Judith McHale, and me to chair a Youth Task Force, which is developing a comprehensive framework for how we engage and learn from young citizens around the world. We are exploring the many ways that the US government engages youth on our foreign policy priorities, and crafting a strategy to ensure that we are maximizing the potential of youth as leaders in their communities around the world." Image from
Foreign Policy Priorities for the Obama Administration - Sean Mac, globalnewsviews.gather.com: "So how should the U.S. deal with China? ... . The U.S. should ... bolster its cyber warfare and defense programs, an area which China appears to have taken the lead. The U.S. should also promote itself abroad by engaging in sustained public diplomacy programs and soft power approaches to humanitarian and political issues. This will promote democracy and America’s status in the world. Finally, all of this should be done while fostering an atmosphere of dialogue and friendship that allows the U.S. to pressure China diplomatically for democratic reform and political change."
Thursday, March 10, 2011 - Rush Limbaugh Report: "US FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS JUDITH MCHALE: Under Secretary McHale participates in the Broadcasting Board of Governor’s annual visit to Miami, Florida through March 11. While there, Under Secretary McHale participates in BBG monthly meeting."
Anti-censor funds pulled from State? - Tony Romm, Politico: "A congressional debate over how best to promote Internet freedom abroad is about to run into budget politics. A little-known provision in both Senate and House stopgap plans would strip the State Department of some of its funding for technology that breaks through Internet censors.
Top congressional appropriators tell POLITICO that State hasn’t spent the cash as fast as foreign dictators have shut off access to sites like Facebook, YouTube and Gmail. That’s why they’re now calling for the transfer of the money to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which has stewardship over Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. The provision is baked into Senate Democrats’ continuing resolution, which would fund the government until the end of September. It would transfer 'not less than' $15 million of State’s money to support censor-busting technology to the BBG." Image from
BBG proposal to eliminate VOA Mandarin shortwave sparks comments and theories - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Weigel, Politico Carry Water for Peter King - Steve M, No More Mister Nice Blog : "Hearing, May 10, 2007: 'Violent Islamist Extremism: Government Efforts to Defeat It.' Here's the first paragraph of the opening statement from the lead witness at that hearing, the State Department's Jeremy Curtin: Thank you for inviting me here today to discuss 'Violent Islamist Extremism: Government Efforts to Defeat It.'
That I am appearing before this committee underlines the fact that public diplomacy is an important component in ensuring the national security of the United States. The relationships we build through international exchanges and information programs conveying an accurate picture of U.S. policy, society and values, over time, make America more secure by countering misperceptions and increasing understanding between ourselves and others. Public diplomacy! Gosh, I can't imagine why liberals weren't howling in outrage!" Image from
Local resident receives national award - Argus Press: "Colleen Pero, co-chair of the Michigan Council on Citizen Diplomacy in Lansing, received the National Council for International Visitors’ Excellence in Programming Award in the Community Organization All Volunteer Organization category at the NCIV National Meeting’s Citizen Diplomacy luncheon Feb. 19. ... “'At MSU, we were not surprised to hear that Pero was being recognized. Her ability to put together valuable programs for international visitors has proven to be instrumental in international public diplomacy for Michigan,' MSU Director of Communications Stephanie Motschenbacher said. Motschenbacher also noted Pero is also the first recipient of Michigan State University’s Charles A. Gliozzo International Award for Public Diplomacy. NCIV’s mission is to promote excellence in citizen diplomacy — the concept that, in a vibrant democracy, the individual has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape U.S. foreign relations. Founded in 1961, NCIV is comprised of more than 90 community organizations throughout the country that serve participants in the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program and other exchanges, building person-to-person relationships 'one handshake at a time.' Each year more than 80,000 volunteers are involved in NCIV member activities. For additional information on NCIV, visit www.nciv.org."
Israeli Public Diplomacy’s Longstanding Blind Spot: Arab Publics - Neal Rosendorf, Newswire – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "[A]ll the regional public diplomacy in the world will be completely ineffective as long as Israel maintains its current Palestine policies, which polling data indicates is of first-magnitude importance to Arab publics. While achieving a just settlement with the Palestinians is not a panacea for Israel’s capacity to effectively engage
with the peoples of the Middle East, it is a sine qua non. As so many Israeli officials and analysts are enamored of the idea of soft power, they would do well to keep in mind the words of Joseph Nye: 'Actions speak louder than words, and public diplomacy that appears to be mere window dressing for the projection of hard power is unlikely to succeed.'” Rosendorf image from
Hamas Forces IDF to Close Crossing into Gaza - Gil Ronen, Arutz Sheva: "While Arab propaganda depicts Israel as laying a cruel siege to Gaza, Israeli public diplomacy - derided as 'a joke' by sympathetic critics - fails to stress that Hamas itself has, for years, systematically shelled, bombed and fired at the crossings into Gaza so as to prevent goods from entering. Some of these attacks have been lethal."
Reality off the record - Thomas Ruttig, taz.de: "Die Regierungen der Nato-Staaten, die die Soldaten für die Afghanistan-Schutztruppe Isaf stellen, bemühen sich zur Zeit, einen Narrativ des Erfolgs zu entwickeln: Nach einem viel beworbenen Strategiewechsel wüchsen afghanische Armee und Polizei. The governments of NATO countries
that provide the troops for the Afghanistan ISAF effort, is currently to develop a narrative of success: After a much advertised changes in strategy were growing Afghan army and police. Beide seien immer besser in der Lage, ihr Land selbst gegen die Aufständischen zu schützen. Both are better able to protect their country themselves against the insurgents. Den Taliban und al-Qaida versetze man mächtige Schläge. The Taliban and al-Qaida PUT two mighty blows. Diese mit Milliarden-Programmen für Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und 'public diplomacy' generierte Erzählung soll den Boden dafür bereiten, dass man sich aus Afghanistan zurückziehen und gleichzeitig behaupten kann, die schwierige Mission letztlich mit Erfolg beendet zu haben. These programs with billions for public relations and 'public diplomacy' generated narrative to pave the ground ensure that you can withdraw from Afghanistan, while claiming to have completed the difficult mission, ultimately with success." Image from
Expanse of soft power - Ikram Sehgal, The News International: “'Soft power' is the ability to make others do what you want, what they would otherwise not have done. Based on intangibles: i.e., less on what you own, and more on what you represent; others do what you want because of how they see you. ... Soft power is generated in international affairs partly by what the government does through its policies and public diplomacy. ... India lags far behind China in the projection of its soft power. In contrast, China’s Confucius Institute is a fascinating modern soft-power initiative that has made a significant impression around the world."
The gray wolf Davutoglu ylaktei for Kastelorizo - Sava Iacovidis, Tone and spirit .... Ζώ,γηράσκω και αεί διδασκόμενος διδάσκω ….. I'm alive, older and ever teach student ... .. ή ΕΛΛΑΣ ή ΤΕΦΡΑ … ELLAS, ash ... - [Google translation:] "GREECE This is not revisionist state. Ασκεί εξωτερική πολιτική στηριγμένη στο διεθνές δίκαιο. Does foreign policy grounded in international law. Αντίθετα, η Τουρκία είναι αδίστακτα αναθεωρητικό, επεκτατικό και κατακτητικό κράτος. Instead, Turkey is ruthlessly revisionist, expansionist conquest and rule. Την εξωτερική πολιτική της ασκεί με στρατιωτική ισχύ (hard power) αλλά περισσότερο με μαλακή δύναμη (soft power), επενδυμένη με ό,τι αποκαλείται στις διεθνείς σχέσεις ως Public Diplomacy (Δημόσια Διπλωματία, στηριγμένη σε δημόσιες σχέσεις, πολιτική, πολιτιστική, οικονομική, κτλ. προβολή της χώρας ως σταθεροποιητικού παράγοντα ειρήνης, συνεργασίας, κτλ.). On foreign policy with military force exercise (hard power), but more soft power (soft power),
covered with what is called in international relations as a Public Diplomacy (Public Diplomacy, grounded in public relations, political, cultural, economic, etc. . promote the country as a stabilizing factor for peace, cooperation, etc.). Η Ελλάδα είναι οικονομικά αδύναμη ενώ η Τουρκία ανήκει στην ομάδα των G20 πλουσιότερων και ανεπτυγμένων χωρών. Greece is economically weak and Turkey belongs to the G20 group of developed and richer countries. Η Ελλάδα κατάντησε το μαύρο πρόβατο και ο αποδιοπομπαίος τράγος της Ευρώπης και των διεθνών χρηματοπιστωτικών οργανισμών. Greece has ended the black sheep and the scapegoat of Europe and international financial institutions. Η Τουρκία είναι το χαϊδεμένο παιδί όλων εξαιτίας της στρατηγικής και ενεργειακής σημασίας της, έστω και αν δεν παράγει ούτε ένα βαρέλι πετρέλαιο. Turkey is the pampered child all because of its strategic importance and energy, even if they do not produce a single barrel of oil." Image from
Limiting Arms Sales - Lilianne Christina Steele, atlantic-community.org: "This article was submitted for the atlantic-community.org's competition: 'Empowering Women in International Relations.' It coincides with the 10th Anniversary of UN resolution 1325 calling for an increased influence of women in all aspects of peace and security. The contest is sponsored by the U.S. Mission to NATO and the NATO Public Diplomacy Division."
International Communication 2009 Abstracts - AEJMC: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication: "Evaluating Social Networking in Public Diplomacy • Hyunjin Seo, Syracuse University; Stuart Thorson, Syracuse University • While much of e-government has focused on governments connecting their citizens with services, recently ubiquitous digital networks together with social networking tools
have begun to transform the practice of public diplomacy by permitting governments to build and maintain direct relationships with citizens of other countries. In this paper, we describe several such initiatives undertaken by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Our particular focus is on efforts aimed at South Korea." Image from
2011 Dallas Smythe Lecture: Sue Curry Jansen - Title: Neoliberal Fixers and Diplomats without Portfolio: The Spectacular Rise of Global Public Relations - Simon Fraser University, School of Communications: "Abstract: Global public relations firms have played an important role in spreading free market values throughout the world; they have also served as 'fixers' when neoliberalism encounters crises or resistance. This lecture explores the rapid expansion of Western PR firms since the 1990s and examines their deep involvement in neoliberalism regimes of public persuasion at multiple levels as agents of corporations, governments, and supra governmental organizations. ... Sue Curry Jansen holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and is a Professor of Communication at Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on censorship and propaganda, public relations and public diplomacy, media and war, and history of the Progressive Era."
privet-poka Privet-bang - Another · side · of · the · earth: [Google translation] "I-header presentacija Mon Public Diplomacy sdany. Prepod podgotovlen ehat s nimi v Montreal. It rejected the podgotovlen ehat down in Montreal."
US funding to train 140,000 African health workers - Michelle Faul, Washington Post: The United States
will fund training for 140,000 African health care workers in an initiative to "transform and dramatically increase" medical education on the continent, the top U.S. AIDS official announced Tuesday. Image from
How America looks from Sudan - Mohammad Ali Salih, Washington Post: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton complained to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about proposed cuts in her budget, saying that more money was needed to improve the U.S. image overseas. But she didn't say at least two other things: "One, even when then-President George W. Bush declared a 'war of ideas' and increased the diplomatic budget, the United States wasn't able to improve its reputation, particularly in the Muslim world. Two, the damaged reputation doesn't stem from the highly regarded American principles of freedom and justice, of the kindness of the American people, or of advances in science and technology, but from aspects of foreign policy." Via DW
The Case for a No-Fly Zone - Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: Along with a no-fly zone,
another important step would be to use American military aircraft to jam Libyan state television and radio propaganda and Libyan military communications. Image from
Barack Obama's Libya straitjacket - Editorial, Washington Post: Mr. Gaddafi continues to massacre his people, while an American president who said that he must go fails to implement any strategy for making that happen.
Hillary Embargoes Obama: Hamstringing the opposition—and ourselves—in Libya - Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal: President Obama has said he wants Gadhafi to leave, yet his own diplomats negotiate and approve a U.N. arms embargo that reduces his options in achieving that goal. Why are we still paying Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice?
Mired in Guantanamo: President Obama has pledged to close the military prison, but two decisions this week move him further from that goal - Editorial, Los Angeles Times
S. Korean activists to fly anti-N. Korea leaflets Saturday - Yonhap News. Below image from
S Koreans decry anti-N Korea propaganda - Frank Smith, Press TV [video]: A group of South Korean activists chanted slogans denouncing an expanding campaign of anti-North Korean propaganda being launched from South Korea. They believe the leaflets criticizing Pyongyang's government only provoke North Korea, and could lead to further clashes.
Al Jazeera English in the USA: "legitimate news organization" or "terrorist entity"? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
The Americanization of the Rue St. Honoré - Guy Trebay: Certainly anyone sauntering down the Rue Ste.-Honoré lately would get the impression that locals have been dipping into their copies
of the reissued collegiate classic “Take Ivy” or dog-eared remainders of “The Official Preppy Handbook.” Increasingly among the voluminous Comme des Garçons sweaters and droopy Rick Owens trousers and Lanvin satins suggestive of cinq-à-sept assignations, you see an awful lot of people wearing Alden loafers, desert boots, letter sweaters and high-water pants. Image from article, with caption: Sporty and Chic: Along a stretch of the Rue St.-Honoré, American retailers include Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger
Chopstick Diplomacy in Chile - Paul Rockower, Levantine: China is getting into the gastrodiplomacy act. Check out this article on chopstick diplomacy in Chile.
My friend and former fellow fellow Taru told me a story about a bit of Chinese gastrodiplomacy in Finland. In a remote area, the village asked the Chinese Embassy for some real Chinese food. They obliged, and sent over a proper Chinese chef, pots and pans in tow. Now, somewhere in remote northern Finland, there is an outpost of proper Chinese cuisine run by this gastrodiplomacy envoy. Image from
Is China developing an internet kill switch? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting