Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12

"Dismissing the entities of USIB [US International Broadcasting] as 'propaganda organs' is, well, a bit propagandistic."

--Kim Andrew Elliott; Goebbels image from


Libya and U.S. Diplomacy - "The last thing the US needs right now is another energy price scare with people wildly speculating oil will hit $250 per barrel if popular unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia. What if unrest is sparked in Saudi Arabia because of Western intervention in Libya? The quicker the colonel and his sons leave Libya without direct NATO intervention,

the quicker energy prices will stabilize and growth can be back on track as the IMF had been predicting for 2011. Public diplomacy is indeed a great way to help achieve the goal, with all kinds of frantic behind the scenes diplomatic activity to bring this crisis to a close. ... The pretext of 'humanitarian' aid to Libyans that Obama is requesting - politically astute piece of public diplomacy - may be the opening for an eventual NATO intervention that will have high risks amid the Libyan civil war." Image from

Soft Power in the Middle East: Reforming American Foreign Policy - Byron, "It’s easy to read the revolutions across the Middle East now as a vindication of Joseph Nye Jr.’s philosophy of foreign policy. American soft power has triumphed in the Arabs’ and Iranians’ demands for democracy, human rights, and socioeconomic justice. Yet simultaneously, American hard power has been shaken by the Middle Eastern people’s absolute rejection of Western-supported authoritarianism. But what kind of changes will American foreign policy require to genuinely respond to the transformations taking place in the Middle East? The solution seems, in Nye’s terms, for the U.S. to apply smart power,

using it’s [sic] military and economic strength to stabilize the new democracies, while simultaneously forming alliances based on a common set of democratic values. ... American success in the region can no longer rely on military supremacy deployed by the U.S. government, but must now draw on civil society. With the loss of legitimacy we suffered as a result of the Bush doctrine, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the scandals of Guantanamo Bay and Abhu-Gharib, and the endemic human rights violations of Israel’s government, and American support for authoritarian regimes in the Arab world, 'our public diplomacy must acknowledge a world that is far more skeptical of government messages than we have assumed' (Nye, 2004:143)." Image from

Are US public diplomacy and international broadcasting the "smoking gun that exposes American collusion in the ouster of Mubarak"? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting. Below image from

Honick: Shaky Public Diplomacy on Mideast - Joe Honick, O'Dwyer's Blog: Covering PR, public affairs, marketing and the world of communications: "As the public and media embrace Middle East uprisings with scant info on the rebels, it is hard to believe anyone in the world is really listening. ... (sub req'd)."

Hillary Clinton's "information war" statement at Senate hearing generates more comments - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Information War 2011 - Nany Snow, Newswire – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: “While I am impressed with Al Youm as a promising direction for Alhurra, I’m still not convinced that the U.S. media networks, private or public, can adequately compete with the English-language global networks. We could compete, but we can’t now because the U.S. Government-sponsored media are still seen as U.S. propaganda outlets that represent official U.S. national interests. ... [Comment by] Gary Marco: It seems that there is way too much tip-toeing around the disaster that has become US public diplomacy/international broadcasting.”

Under Secretary McHale and Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams To Host Reception Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps on March 15 - Notice to the Press Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman, U.S. Department of State: "In attendance will be returned Peace Corps volunteers,

Ambassadors from the 139 countries that have hosted Peace Corps volunteers, Members of Congress, members of the diplomatic community, and Shriver and Kennedy family members. ... More than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries." Image from

Symphony Band tour of China in May latest chapter in U-M's global education legacy - "In the proud tradition of the Peace Corps and groundbreaking cultural exchange programs around the world, the University of Michigan embarks on a bold initiative to China with the hope of reigniting an international discussion about the pressing need for people-to-people diplomacy. ... During her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in early March, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for doubling or tripling of funding for student exchange programs. Her comments were in response to Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), who cla[i]med international exchange programs are critical components of U.S. public diplomacy. Fifty years ago during the depths of the Cold War, the U-M Symphony Band

became the second symphony after the Leonard Bernstein-led New York Philharmonic to tour the Soviet Union. That tour during strained relations between the super powers was a 'people-to-people mission' sponsored by the U.S. State Department. A U-M alumni and member of the 1961 tour of the Soviet Union, Jack Kripl reflected: 'I was led to believe that the Russians were cold-hearted… standing firm behind the Iron Curtain. I found out firsthand that quite the opposite was true.'” Image from

Wikileaks: Viewing cable 09BUENOSAIRES1147, ARGENTINA: AMBASSADOR ENCOUNTERS PROTESTERS IN - "O 211434Z OCT 09 FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: AMBASSADOR ENCOUNTERS PROTESTERS IN MENDOZA; PUBLIC AND (EVENTUALLY) GOVERNMENT SUPPORT ... ¶1. (SBU) Summary: During her first trip outside of Buenos Aires, Ambassador Martinez was forced to change the location of a speech at the National University of Cuyo [in Mendoza] due to disorderly protests by far-left groups on October 15. Public reaction has been mostly sympathetic to the Ambassador and critical of the protesters, and the Ambassador's subsequent statements were well-received. ... [T]he Mendoza protest of the Ambassador's speech ... we believe ... [was] a fairly isolated incident, and we do not intend to let it deter us from keeping up our public diplomacy outreach efforts."

Russian-American Cultural Cooperation - posted at "Bilateral cultural cooperation between Russia and the United States has always been particularly active. The establishment of a special Working Group on Educational and Cultural Exchanges within the U.S. – Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission became a major landmark on this path. During the first meeting of the Working Group co-chairmen – Special Representative of the Russian President Mikhail Y. Shvydkoy and Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale on September 29, 2009 in Washington, D.C.,

an agreement was reached on the establishment of four specialized sub-groups on education, on culture, on sport and youth exchanges as well as on mass media and book printing. The lasted working meeting between Mikhail Y. Shvydkoy and Judith McHale took place on October 22-23, 2010 in Washington, D.C. Exchanges between museums are expanding. One of the most successful joint projects was the exhibition of unique old Russian icon paintings from the collection of Andrey Rublev Museum, held at the Museum of Russian icons (Clinton, Massachusetts). An affiliate of the Russian Museum will open in New York in 2012." [Entry, from the Russian Embassy in the U.S. website, evidently dates from 2010.] Image from article

Think tank "Center for Security Policy (CSP) - [Google translation]: "Public Diplomacy (public diplomacy), one of the vital programs and strategic security policy center that serious consideration is America Department of State. تمرکز اصلی در این برنامه، بر روی ضد تبلیغات (چCounter propoganda) علیه کشورها و ایدئولوژی های متعارض با منافع آمریکا (ایران و اسلام جهادی) و کسب اعتباری جهانی برای ایالات متحده از طریق تبلیغات و نرم افزارهای نرم می باشد. The main focus of this program on anti advertising (Thu Counter propoganda) against countries with conflicting ideologies and interests of America (Iran and the Islamic Jihad) and get international credit for the United States through advertising and software is software."

'Radical remarks no authority': Political adviser - "The Chinese government considers the radical remarks made by netizens to be prods toward the adoption of wise foreign policies, says a top political adviser. 'When learning about people's opinions, we should take a comprehensive view. The radical comments made by some netizens are just part of the whole,' Zhao Qizheng, spokesman for the Fourth Session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said . ... The voices of the roughly 450 million Internet users in China have taken on an important role in crafting foreign policies and similar matters. A report issued by the State Council Information Office last year showed that there were more than 1 million online forums and about 220 million bloggers in China by June 2010, while Chinese computer users posted more than 3 million comments a day in cyber space. ... Meanwhile, ultra-nationalist views have broken out from time to time. The target of many of them has been Japan, which has disputes with China over both territory and historical interpretations. 'Such remarks should be taken into account by the government,' said Zhao,

head of the foreign affairs committee of the CPPCC National Committee. 'But the administration should be mature, capable and experienced, and not be easily influenced by radical comments.' ... Han Fangming, deputy director of the foreign affairs committee of the CPPCC National Committee ... said ... 'Sometimes such remarks become an excuse for countries to spread the notion that there is a 'China threat'.' ... As a remedy, the scholar suggested that more Chinese take advantage of exchange programs to go abroad, learn about foreign countries and gain nuance for their opinions." Image from article, with caption: During an interview with China Daily in Beijing on March 5, Zhao Qizheng, spokesman for CPPCC National Committee, displays a chart illustrating public diplomacy.

No-fly zone over Libya: Cherry-picking IBSA - M K Bhadrakumar, "Certainly, the ‘low-profile’ stance Krishna [external affairs minister S M Krishna] adopted at the IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) foreign-minister level meet in Delhi on Tuesday still remains incomprehensible. ... [W]e three democratic countries from the developing world drawn from 3 continents and presently represented in the United Nations Security Council have taken a principled decision to oppose a ‘no-fly’ zone over Libya. Yet, somehow it was left to Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, foreign minister of Brazil, to annotate the IBSA’s stance. Indian spokesmen were nowhere to be seen. No dashing ‘public diplomacy’, either. Consequently, a virtual media blackout ensued. Of course, Patriota is an accomplished diplomat and can speak authoritatively on conflict situations and collective security. ... Patriota ably explained the IBSA decision, saying 'while this formulation doesn’t go into detail, it is an ‘important measure’ of what the non-western world is thinking.”

On Twitter: "Meeting of Azerbaijani students with our Ambassadors in Europe on ASAIF Forum in Strasbourg. Speeches and discussions. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone .ikalin1 God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change,the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference about 6 hours ago via web Retweeted by elnuraslanov and 1 other \.' Youth and public diplomacy' discussion on ASAIF Forum. Very interesting discussions and proposals! about 4 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® .Tebrikler!"

The Bibi-beats and Israel's mean deportations - "This week on The Tribal Update, the weekly television on Internet news satire show produced by Latma, the Hebrew-language media satire website I lead,

we feature an interview with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which he is asked about his tendency to change political views with the weather. ... In other Latma news, I was asked to give testimony before the Knesset's Public Diplomacy, Aliyah and Absorption Committee on Monday about Latma's view of Israel's public diplomacy (hasbara)." Image from

Blog by Stuart Palmer -- Important Info re: Israel Apartheid Week - "International Citizens Action Network ICAN For volunteer Public Diplomacy ... . Friends, It seems quite natural that this week I should be focusing on IAW, Israel Apartheid Week,

with the number of activities going on in the campuses around the world." Image from

Transforming role of a Diplomat - Leyla, Public and Cultural Diplomacy C: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University: Guerilla Diplomat: "This is an interesting idea of a need for a changing nature of the conventional diplomat into a more, in my understanding: 'people’s diplomat', which Daryl Copeland termed as the 'Guerilla Diplomat'. Copeland is the major supporter of Public and Cultural Diplomacy, who argues that the sole use of military force in conflict zones will not solve the problem, but instead worsen the conditions and endure the issue even further. Thereby, he argues for a more pacifist nature of problem solving-through negotiation, persuasion and communication."

NU Edutainment Films Presents ~ Perception Management - "The phrase 'perception management' has often functioned as a 'euphemism' for 'an aspect of information warfare.' A scholar in the field notes a distinction between 'perception management' and public diplomacy, which 'does not, as a rule, involve falsehood and deception, whereas these are important ingredients of perception management; the purpose is to get the other side to believe what one wishes it to believe, whatever the truth may be.'"

Urdu enters the digital age - U[niversity] of B[uffalo] Reporter: "[C]omputer scientists at UB and at Janya Inc. have developed the first software system that will allow for computational processing of documents in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language and one of the world’s five most-spoken languages. ... The work was discussed in a presentation Srihari

gave last month at 'Blogs & Bullets: Social Media and the Struggle for Political Change,' a conference jointly hosted at Stanford University by the U.S. Institute of Peace and the George Washington University School of Public Diplomacy. It also was published in ACM Transactions on Asian Language Information Processing in December." Rohini Srihari image from article

1st Post: London, UK - Sharlina, Mabsuta Bideshi, Happy Foreigner? Bangladeshi-American. Feminist. Fashionista. Celtics fan. Wanderer: "Wooo what a rush - we're going to London, UK!

So excited beyond words for the ability to work in London for my first tour, doing work in my cone (Public Diplomacy) and fulfilling my consular requirement all in 1! We're leaving in June, which I'm glad about since I wanted to leave DC sooner rather than later." Image from article


Hearing highlights need for Foreign Service training, lack of congressional interest - Joe Davidson, Washington Post [March 8]: At a time when some North African and Middle East states are in chaos and America is posting large numbers of civilians in war zones, the United States is sending Foreign Service officers abroad poorly equipped to deal with the critical situations they face. That's the takeaway of a report by the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Stimson Center, which was discussed at a congressional hearing Tuesday. "There is little question that under-investment in diplomacy over the last decade or so has left our Foreign Service overstretched and under prepared," the report says. Yet, despite the gravity of the situation, the hearing had a distinct lack of urgency. The poor attendance by senators was indicative of scant attention too often provided issues involving federal employees - except, of course, when they can be convenient whipping boys. Via MP.

Gen. Wesley Clark says Libya doesn't meet the test for U.S. military action - Wesley K. Clark, Washington Post: We have no clear basis for action. Whatever resources we dedicate for a no-fly zone would probably be too little, too late. We would once again be committing our military to force regime change in a Muslim land,

even though we can't quite bring ourselves to say it. So let's recognize that the basic requirements for successful intervention simply don't exist, at least not yet: We don't have a clearly stated objective, legal authority, committed international support or adequate on-the-scene military capabilities, and Libya's politics hardly foreshadow a clear outcome. Image from

The Power Problem: Rami G. Khouri on what the U.S. should do about Libya - Power & Policy: International intervention short of direct military attacks or enforced no-fly zones is now appropriate in Libya, on the assumption that the majority of citizens have declared their desire to end the Gaddafi regime and establish a truly inclusive, representative and democratic system of governance.

Building a culture of tolerance in the Mideast - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Obama has been criticized for not being more interventionist in his response to the uprisings in Egypt and Libya. Mostly, that criticism is bunk; Obama has been right

to keep this a narrative written by Arabs, without American meddling. But on the subject of creating new and tolerant democracies, Obama should find his voice. Isn't it time for a new Cairo speech that aligns America with this process of change? Image from

The backlash against democracy - Carl Gershman, Washington Post: In the short term we can expect a new backlash against popular pressures for democratic change. Responding to this backlash - with a much more focused effort to defend human rights and aid the work of democracy activists, for example - should be high on the agenda of the United States and other democracies. Special attention should also be given to supporting Internet freedom, including helping groups gain secure and free access to the Internet, protect themselves against malware attacks, network with counterparts in other countries, and connect with donors and technology specialists who can address their specific needs.

In Mr. Biden's Moscow visit, a welcome mention of rights - Editorial, Washington Post: It was appropriate that Mr. Biden devoted part of his principal speech in Moscow to some of the issues that the "reset" overlooked. Saying Russia's "business and legal climate . . . presents a fundamental obstacle,"

he brought up two major cases in which business figures who ran afoul of Mr. Putin or corrupt officials around him were persecuted. While the improvement of U.S.-Russian relations has yielded some gains, further progress is unlikely without movement on the "fundamental obstacle" that Mr. Biden described. Image from

Turkey's bad example on democracy and authoritarianism - Editorial, Washington Post: Claiming that his government has nothing to do with the recent prosecutions of nine writers and journalists, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan nevertheless hotly criticized U.S. Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone Jr. when he questioned arrests of journalists last month, calling him - incorrectly - a "rookie" ambassador who knew nothing about Turkey. Properly, the State Department backed Mr. Ricciardone and said again last week that the Obama administration has "concerns about trends in Turkey."

Libya: The propaganda war - There is a cacophony of competing narratives coming out of Libya. From propaganda on the country's state-run broadcaster, to propaganda on rebel-controlled radio, to international reporting with a clear agenda, it is enough to make your head spin.

Gaddafi fires up propaganda machine - Antoine Lambroschini, Times of Malta: The government's propaganda machine has been using state television and texting through mobile phone networks to spread its triumphalist declarations.

Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South) – 120645UTC Mar 11 - Blog: Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

American Anti-Japanese propaganda film – “My Japan” (1945) -

Propaganda or Preservation? - Garrett Harris, [Video: Furtwangler on 4.19.1942 Full edition]: In 1945 then chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Wilhelm Furtwangler fled to Switzerland. Furtwangler never joined the Nazi Party. He fled because he had played at Hitler’s birthday and also conducted music for a Nazi rally and he feared the Allies would retaliate. When the Nazis came to power, Furtwangler was already an established, superstar, conductor. He had several opportunities to leave Germany. Other established conductors did leave but Furtwangler stayed. At the conclusion of his denazification trial, Furtwangler

explains why he stayed. "The concern that my art was misused for propaganda had to yield to the greater concern that German music be preserved, that music be given to the German people by its own musicians." Furtwangler image from


“a loose sally of the mind; an irregular indigested piece.”

--Dr. Johnson’s dictionary definition of essay


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Frankly speaking, I really hate politics. For me politicians only rule because of the money they could get whenever they are at the position. That's why many politicians died and being killed because of their opponent. Being at the politics is really a serious matter.

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This is too much about politics. Wherever I go, I can’t get rid of the issues regarding about the politics. I am always wondering how this problems will end after all. Even if you put the most intelligent man as a leader many will still be against him. When can we actually aim the peace and unity in the world if there is always be misunderstanding between the people and country?