Wednesday, March 16, 2011
"Snake Dies of Silicone Poisoning After Biting Model's Fake Breast."
--Steven Hoffer, AOL News [video on incident removed]; via; image from
Remarks at the Reception Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps - Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State Judith A. McHale Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Ben Franklin Room Washington, DC March 15, 2011, U.S. Department of State: McHale: "In the era of internet connections and mobile communications, citizen diplomacy has taken on a new level of significance. America’s best ambassadors no longer wear three-piece suits, and I often say that even if every member of our missions overseas did nothing but public diplomacy all day, it would not be nearly enough. We need an avalanche of unique American voices speaking about their beliefs and representing our country abroad. Our Peace Corps volunteers are those fulltime citizen diplomats. Even dressed in sandals or covered in mud,
they have shown the best of America day in and day out to the people of almost 140 nations. Instead of Blackberries, they carry seeds and schoolbooks and soccer balls. They live and work outside embassy compounds and alongside the people they serve. As Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, I focus on strengthening the indispensible people-to-people connections that the Peace Corps helped pioneer, the simple conversations that grow into friendships and become lifelong bonds, bonds that cross continents and cultures to help us discover how much more unites us than divides us, bonds that allow us to explore differences openly and learn something new about ourselves and about each other. Image from, with caption: Annual "Mud Day" Celebration Lets Kids Get Dirty. See also John Brown, "The World Should be Teaching Us, Mr. Kristof," Huffington Post.
From the Proscenium to Behind the Curtains - Kristin Rubisch, Occasionally Clever: A semi-regular blog on public diplomacy: "In Peter Kovach's 'Out from Under the Proscenium: A Paradigm for U.S. Cultural Diplomacy,' we see an interesting discussion on how we present cultural diplomacy iniatives in other countries. I think it is fascinating how Kovach assumes that all countries watch and absorb cultural displays in the same manner - that placing a group of jazz musicians on various stages throughout the world is a subliminal, unconscious move which expresses our extreme superiority over another country. Well, needless to say, not everyone within one culture watches and absorbs artifacts (like performances) the same way - let alone outside of the host culture."
Something Different: IO and Terrorists - Lawrence Dietz, PSYOP Regimental Blog: "C. IO Related Capabilities 1. Public Affairs = Public Relations; a conduit to the media and creator of print, and broadcast media. 2. Civil Military Operations – military forces employing civilian skills to improve the life and infrastructure of a local population. 3. Defense Support to Public Diplomacy – Department of Defense support to the Department of State’s Public Diplomacy Operations. ... C. IO Related Capabilities
1. Public Affairs = Public Relations; Terrorists are exceptional PR professionals. They understand the value of publicity, especially the emotional appeal of images. They are able to appeal to ‘friendly’ media to a very great extent. 2. Civil Military Operations – Hezbollah and the Taliban have been quite successful at using social welfare as a means to ingratiate themselves with local populations. 3. Defense Support to Public Diplomacy – Governments tend to hide their association with terrorist organizations." Image from
Fabric of Life – A Program About Lifestyle and the Lifecycle - Currents, Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce: "The Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C. arranges seminars, exhibits and concerts with a certain theme. The theme for 2011 is 'Fabric of Life'. The idea is to highlight everyday quality of life issues: How to solve the puzzle of modern life through the use of new services and products. ... The Swedish Embassy’s program activities in House of Sweden [in Washington] are the most extensive promotion and public diplomacy projects ever conducted at a Swedish mission abroad.
Over 250 000 people have visited the House of Sweden since the opening ceremony in the fall of 2006." Image from article, with caption Jonas Hafström, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States and Carl Jan Granqvist, restaurateur, Swedish Food Ambassador and founder of Grythyttan – Swedens’s first food university, at the program launch at House of Sweden, February 24.
Just the facts - Editorial, Jerusalem Post: "Deploying 'shock effect' as public diplomacy is a tactic regularly used by our enemies – whether in Lebanon or in Gaza or elsewhere – to galvanize world opinion against Israel. ... Resorting to the distribution of ... photos ['of the hideous murder of five members of the Fogel family, including Hadas, a three-month-old infant'] in an attempt to wrench hearts is to risk stooping to the level of our enemies, who cynically and shamelessly desecrate the honor of their dead to disparage Israel and will, therefore, always 'outdo' us. It also gives the wrong impression that, due to a lack of alternatives, Israel must resort to emotional appeals for support and understanding. Instead, Israel’s public diplomacy hierarchy’s efforts should focus on making sure that those who want to know the truth have straightforward access to it, pressing media outlets to report our reality fairly and holding to account those that do not. People who don’t care about the truth won’t be convinced by the most graphic pictures."
Knesset hearings on J Street up ante in debate about ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace’ lobby - Ron Kampeas, jta.org: "Groups on the Jewish left expressed outrage last week after the Knesset subcommittee on public diplomacy voted to convene hearings on J Street, the Washington-based lobby that calls itself 'pro-Israel, pro-peace.' The hearing is set to take place next week, and J Street
director Jeremy Ben-Ami and Davidi Gilo, an American Israeli who is a major funder of the group, have agreed to testify. 'We believe such a Knesset discussion is unprecedented in the history of Israel,' J Street said in a statement. 'It appears to be one more regrettable step by a small but growing group of anti-democratic forces in Israeli politics to limit debate and to intimidate those with whom they disagree.'” Image from
Why did Israel release bloody images of the family slain in Itamar? - Haaretz.com: Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs defends releasing the graphic images of the stabbed bodies of the family that was murdered in Itamar - Nir Hasson, haaretz.com
March 16: Itamar fallout - [Letters to the Editor], Jerusalem Post: "Sir, – The horrific slaughter of the Fogel family defies belief. However, the orgiastic reaction from many quarters, including our minister for public diplomacy and diaspora affairs and those of us whose mission is to disseminate hasbara material is disgusting ('Israel moves to release graphic photos of slaying victims after family gives its consent,' March 14). We have placed ourselves in the same category of those who seek our destruction.
What have we become? Nadia Bitterman Tel Aviv." Image from
Reaction: Words Lead to Murder - Yochanan Visser, Arutz Sheva: "I am not only talking here about the incitement in Palestinian society, but also about the national and international demonization campaign against Jews like me who are living in Judea, Samaria or in East Jerusalem. 'Settlers' are generally being treated only in one way; we are less than human beings. Our villages [are] branded 'illegal' and in the end we ourselves have become 'illegal beings'. Last year during the launch of our public diplomacy project Missing Peace in Amsterdam, a Ha’aretz journalist asked how an information desk run by a director living in the West Bank could be reliable. Get it? By living in the West Bank one is automatically an unreliable outcast."
West Bank In Crisis - Ls Carbonell, Lez Get Real: "The Netanyahu government uses a form of propaganda called hasbara – public diplomacy.
It is a means of disseminating information that serves to present Israel in the best possible light while painting all Palestinians in the worst. One of its victims is the venerable British Broadcasting Company’s news service." Image from article, with caption: Occupied Territories: A-Golan Heights B-West Bank C-Gaza
Youth forum debates action plan to promote Azerbaijan - News.Az: "The Azerbaijani Students and Alumni International Forum (ASAIF) was held in Strasbourg, France, on 11-12 March. The forum, which brought together young Azerbaijanis studying in 25 countries, was designed to develop and create new opportunities for talented young people of Azerbaijan. The two-day event discussed the development of an action plan to present and promote Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani values among the international community. ... A head of department at the Presidential Administration, Elnur Aslanov, gave a report at a panel on 'Youth and public diplomacy."
The Campaign for Syracuse University goes on the road to Washington, D.C. - suindcgiving.syr.edu: "With nearly $840 million raised and less than two years left to achieve a $1 billion campaign goal, the five-year Campaign for Syracuse University has launched its third regional campaign, reaching out to SU alumni, parents, and friends in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area. ... 'Since the opening of the Paul Greenberg House in 1990, SU in D.C. is thriving,' says Brian Sischo, SU’s vice president for development.
'Admissions continue to grow and dozens of students have participated in SU in D.C. academic programs, including the Maxwell-Washington International Relations program and the Public Diplomacy Program." Image from
Greg Garland to speak about the positive legacy of U.S./African policy - naplesnews.com: "Greg Garland, the functional director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, African Policy, will speak from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the North Naples United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road N.The presentation is open to the public. Garland
is a career U.S. Foreign Service officer and has served in Mexico, Poland, Guinea, Mozambique and Angola. In addition, he has spoken and written widely on U.S.-African relations, history, public diplomacy, Florida, Mexico and the role of churches and philanthropies in international affairs." Garland image from
Public Diplomacy Training - naac-hf.org: "On Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 fourth course on Public Diplomacy with Blerim Reka will be held with Hope Fellows of Diplomacy & Democracy group."
Scholarships In Haiti: The program for the 2011-2012 Fulbright U.S.: online-degree-reviews.org: "The Office of Public Diplomacy of the American Embassy is pleased to announce its annual competition open for the academic year 2010-2011 Fulbright program. This international educational exchange program was established by the U.S. government with the aim of promoting mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and people of other nations. Applicants must meet all criteria for a selection committee for the comparison with other candidates will be interviewed."
Arabs Love the Pax Americana: Fearing a U.S. retreat, the Saudis move into Bahrain - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: The only people who suffer from an "Iraq syndrome" are American liberals and the Western European chattering classes.
The pro-Western Gulf or North African allied states have nothing to gain in seeing American influence or military power devalued in their region—either by others, or as is the current fad in Washington, through American self-abnegation. Image from
It's Not Too Late to Save Libya: Defense Secretary Robert Gates has acted as if imposing a no-fly zone would be a military operation on the order of D-Day. - Max Boot, Wall Street Journal: In reality, it wouldn't be hard to ground Gadhafi's decrepit air force,
High stakes over Bahrain - David Ignatius, Washington Post: The Obama administration and its support for democratic change in the Middle East has been on a collision course with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other traditional monarchies of the Persian Gulf. The trick is finding a formula for transition that doesn’t destabilize the Gulf and the global economy.
A regional strategy for democracy in the Middle East - Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington Post: We are at a key juncture. As in Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the dysfunction of the Middle East today generates the most threatening challenges to the international community. The largely peaceful, youth-oriented, democratic revolutions across the region present an opportunity to catalyze a fundamental transformation.
Partnering with other responsible actors, we should take reasonable steps to facilitate and consolidate this shift in the Middle East. The writer, a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration. Image from
How to Protect Foreign Aid? Improve It - Tina Rosenberg, New York Times: Experimentation in foreign aid is valuable — and rare. Public bureaucracies are not naturally innovative, and the tendency to stick with the pretty-good is especially strong when people see programs as under siege, a feeling that is fairly constant in the foreign aid business.
Because there is such a small political constituency for foreign aid and it is so vulnerable to cuts, many people who work in it feel the best course is not to raise questions about its effectiveness — even if they share those questions themselves. Image from
World Day Against Cyber-Censorship - scoop.co.nz: Reporters Without Borders is releasing a 100-page report on the state of online freedom of expression in the 10 countries it has identified as "Enemies of the Internet" and the 16 countries it is keeping "under surveillance" because of their questionable Internet policies. Repressive regimes resort to all sorts of measures to control content, ranging from censorship, jailing cyber-dissidents and circulating massive amounts of propaganda online.The Internet continues above all to be a tool, one that can be used for good ends and bad. It creates an area of freedom in the most closed countries. Its potential as a tool for circulating news and information angers dictators and renders traditional censorship methods ineffective. The Internet is used not only by dissidents but also by governments, which employ it to circulate their propaganda and to reinforce surveillance and control of the population. The Internet strategies pursued nowadays by authoritarian regimes consist not so much of outright blocking as online manipulation and propaganda.
Julian Assange tells students that the web is the greatest spying machine ever: The WikiLeaks founder says he also believes the internet is not a technology that favours freedom of speech - Patrick Kingsley, Guardian: Assange acknowledged that the web could allow greater government transparency and better co-operation between activists, but said it gave authorities their best ever opportunity to monitor and catch dissidents. Via EO on facebook.
UN's Latest Anti-Israel Propaganda Piece: Schnabel's 'Miral' - David Lev, israelnationalnews.com: Not content to restrict its anti-Israel activities to the political arena, the United Nations has now taken upon itself to spread anti-Israel propaganda via popular culture, the American Jewish Committee said in a letter Swiss Ambassador Joseph Deiss, President of the UN General Assembly.
On Monday, a film called Miral, about the experiences of an Arab girl in the wake of Israel's War of Independence, made its U.S. premiere at the headquarters of the world organization, On hand to fete the film's producer, Julian Schnabel, were a panoply of American film stars, including Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Josh Brolin and Steve Buscemi – all long known for their left wing views and political activities. In his letter to Deiss, AJC Executive Director David Harris called the film a propaganda piece that “will only serve to reinforce the already widespread view that Israel simply cannot expect fair treatment in the UN." Image from, with caption: Miral stars Freida Pinto as a Palestinian orphan caught up in the Arab-Israeli conflict
Israeli Apartheid Propaganda - Patrick Ross, propagandistmag.com: Speaking at an Israeli Apartheid Week event in Toronto, Rabble.ca co-founder Judy Rebick has managed to let the cat out of the bag in the most spectacular fashion:
she admits that Israeli Apartheid Week is nothing more than an anti-Israel propaganda campaign. Image from article
North Korea’s Digital Underground - Robert S. Boynton, Atlantic: To smuggle facts into or out of North Korea is to risk imprisonment and even execution.
Yet today, aided by a half-dozen stealthy media organizations outside the country, citizen-journalists are using technologies new and old to break the regime’s iron grip on information. Image from article
Combat Motivation During the First World War - Craig Stewart-Hunter, Student Pulse: This paper considers the combat motivations of British men during the First World War; why did men fight, and once in the trenches, continue to figh? The paper focuses on British forces, due to the amount of available material regarding Britain and their continued recruitment and combat activity during the conflict, as well as briefly examining how propaganda might have influenced the minds of the male population into fighting in this conflict.
Image from, with caption: The Statue of Liberty still stands tall on a small island in the Kitakami River. Little else does. The mock statue was once a premier tourist attraction here in the port city of Ishinomaki, northeast Japan
--From: Survivors Art The Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima