Wednesday, March 2, 2011
"Keeping a stiff upper lip as part of the old culture is just that. Old and sooo 19th century."
--Domani Spero, DiploPundit, "Foreign Service 'Cushy' Lives: 10 Ways to Help Debunk the Myth in Congress and Elsewhere"; via; image from
Obama Surrenders on Settlements - Ian Williams, Foreign Policy in Focus: "The more the United States is isolated in its unqualified defense of Israel, the less amenable governments in the region will be to cooperation with Washington, except when it clearly meets their own interests.
The future of U.S. military bases in the region – in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait – will for instance become more tenuous. On a wider level, Obama has lost much of the ground for public diplomacy he had seized when he replaced George W. Bush." Image from
Bottom line on N. Africa: U.S. needs foreign policy - Jeremy Levitt,
orlandosentinel.com: "[T]he U.S. intelligence community appears to have been caught off guard by the tide of events in North Africa. ... Bad forecasting is also a result of weak intelligence collection and analysis in Africa, a public diplomacy apparatus wholly disconnected from civil society in the Muslim world in Africa and a new schizophrenic foreign policy that continues to nurture relationships of convenience with autocratic leaders in North Africa, only to dispose of them when confronted with internal turmoil."
The Twilight of Tyranny? - John Feffer, Huffington Post: "One conventional explanation for why democracy will eventually win out is that, whatever its virtues or flaws, it's the political system perfectly matched to the technology of our times. ... Both the Bush and Obama administrations have supported the use of these technologies as public diplomacy tools for promoting democracy. ... But this contention that technology is the mother of revolution -- and the United States the midwife of this revolution
-- doesn't fully explain why we're experiencing the twilight of tyranny. ... [E]vents taking place in the Middle East aren't happening because of U.S. policy but despite it." Image from
Lessons Learned From the 140-Character Rebellion - Mark Pfeifle, Huffington Post: "The Internet and social networking sites are forcing us to re-think our entire approach to foreign policy, putting unprecedented new emphasis on public diplomacy. Despite the obvious budgetary constraints and American voters' traditional resistance to 'foreign aid,' this is a time to prioritize our assistance to the areas that need it most and to continue to incorporate Internet efforts through the Voice of America. The U.S. government must finally fix its strategic communication systems with experienced and knowledgeable communications heads, with staffs to support them and funding to accomplish our goals."
Arab World's Leaders Are Facebook Fans, Too - David E. Miller, The Media Line: "Facebook has been hailed as a tool of revolution that has spread across the Middle East. ... But when they are not banning the world’s favorite social network, the region’s rulers are learning to use it, too. 'Facebook can be a great public diplomacy tool. It becomes a way to communicate with the masses and gain popular support. This was demonstrated most sharply by [U.S. President Barack] Obama during his election campaign,' Andre Oboler, an Australian expert on social media, told The Media Line. ... The catch is that Facebook i[s] a Janus-like device,
a conduit for polishing the leader’s image and letting the public praise him or her, but also a place for people to direct their grievances and stage personal attacks." Image from
Social Media & Public Diplomacy, facebook or Chatham House Rule? [Videos] - Vasileios Gkinopoulos, vasgk.com: "[A] recent Facebook DC Live Event: Social Media and the World Stage ... was hosted by Facebook Washington DC. In this Video Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Senior Innovation Adviser Alec Ross and Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer talk about how people around the world have been empowered by social media. ... Dr Anne Marie Slaughter, Director of Policy Planning, US Department of State ... discusses the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review at the Chatham House and talks about the role of Social Media in Public Diplomacy."
Using Information to Beat Gadhafi [audio] - thetakeaway.org: "The United States is considering a range of options to deal with Libya, including military action and sanctions. However, there's another possibility for Libya: an information campaign and the
Pentagon has reportedly explored at the option of jamming Libya's communications so that Gadhafi has a harder time talking to his forces. Matt Armstrong, lecturer on public diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and publisher of the blog MountainRunner.us, takes a closer look at how an information campaign might work in Libya." Image from
1 Mar, 2011, Tues, SoS Clinton and Staff Schedule - Rush Limbaugh Report: "US FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS JUDITH MCHALE 4:15 p.m. Under Secretary McHale meets with Senator Barbara Mikulski, at the Hart Senate Office Building. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 6:30 p.m. Under Secretary McHale attends the opening performance of 'maximum: INDIA,' at the Kennedy Center. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)"
"Our nation is not doing all it can to prepare for the increasingly prominent role China will play in our economic and foreign policy" - Global Strategies: Thoughts on Oregon solutions to global problems:
"Senator Richard Lugar and staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have released a report to the full committee titled 'Another U.S. Deficit – China and America – Public Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet. ... The report does not list or propose other US remedies. Most notably, the report does not mention this blog’s Go Global High School Study Abroad Program proposal, which could, without additional funding, pay for sending many more Oregon (US) students to China." Image from
Difference Between Public Diplomacy or Political Officer?? - Lackawanna Answers to all your questions about joining the State Department
Alhurra's news in the news (and tweets) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "I trust Alhurra is not directly encouraging Yemenis to protest, although Alhurra's news coverage might lead some Yemenis to decide to protest."
Crossing Thin Lines - Patricia H. Kushlis, Whirled View: "The controversial Rolling Stone anti-Pentagon expose making the rounds of the blogosphere and main stream media this past week is about the apparent misuse of an army unit under General Caldwell in Afghanistan whose members, a whistleblower claims,
were told to use information operations tools to attempt to influence visiting Congressional representatives. The goal: to gain support for increased funds for training Afghan troops. ... [T]he issue that the critics and Rolling Stone commenters miss is that the question being raised is not just whether the Command in Afghanistan had crossed the Smith-Mundt ['Smith-Mundt was aimed at the State Department’s information activities directed towards foreigners abroad. The law’s goal was to prevent 'propaganda' from the Executive Branch directed at foreigners from reaching the American public in the traditional sense'] barrier e.g. between psy ops, info ops or public diplomacy and public affairs, but worse, whether the unit in question was being used to help lobby Congress for additional funds for a particular program – in this case, to increase the training pf Afghan troops. This adds a whole new and even more dangerous dimension to the fifty year old Smith-Mundt fire wall." Image from
Army Propaganda Unit Ordered To Illegally Target US Senators With Psy-Ops Propaganda - Mike Masnick, neworldscam.com: "The army does have a public affairs team, who is supposed to help on domestic issues, but their focus is more of a PR type role, rather than overt propaganda and misdirection.
However, it appears that some of the top Army brass in Afghanistan made it clear that the psy-ops team was to focus almost exclusively on visiting Americans, rather than influencing locals. The goal was to convince US politicians to keep sending more money and more men." Image from article
Information Operations doesn’t do IO - MisoMan, smallwarsjournal.com: "Information Operations ... [include] Civil Military Operations (CMO), Defense Support to Public Diplomacy (DSPD), and Public Affairs (PA). ... Defense Support to Public Diplomacy are those activities and measures taken by the Department of Defense components to support and facilitate
public diplomacy efforts of the United States Government. JP 3-13 states much of the operational level IO activity conducted in any theater will be directly linked to Public Diplomacy objectives. ... The headquarters of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A) would be definitively interested in guaranteeing that their objectives were nested with Public Diplomacy goals." Image from
Transatlantic Misperceptions: Part I - Mai’a K. Davis Cross, Newswire – CPD Blog, University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy: "By all major measures of power, Europe qualifies as the second superpower, after the US. The challenge is how to maximize its image vis-à-vis the United States and to begin to overcome serious misperceptions and a lack of understanding."
Israel - Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press, 1 Mar 2011 - isria.com: "Ma'ariv notes that anti-Israeli groups around the world will hold 'Israel Apartheid Week'
on college campuses around the world this week. The author cites it as an example and contends that the division of responsibility for dealing with overseas public diplomacy between the Foreign Ministry and the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry 'leads to budgetary waste and a gnawing lack of effectiveness and does not allow a maximum number of goals to be met.'" Image from
Magpie brings terrible news - M K Bhadrakumar, Indian Punchline: Reflections on foreign affairs: "Indian Express ... [has a] piece appears on today’s paper as its lead story - 'Out of Libya: India crawls, the rest are safe at home'. China seems to have evacuated 32000 citizens already from Libya, while our figures are 3000. Pathetic. All we seem to be doing is 'twittering' or sending Burkha Dutt back and forth to Sharm-el-Sheikh resort to report back excitedly that everything is honky-dory on Egypt-Libya broder, God is in the heavens and all is well with the world. No problem with our ‘public diplomacy’, which is a rare organ in full gear, I suppose."
International community breaching territorial integrity of Azerbaijan - expert - Leyla Tagiyeva, news.az: "News.Az interviews Ayla Gurel, Senior Research Consultant, PRIO Cyprus Centre. ... What kind of role can the public diplomacy play between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the
settlement of the Karabakh conflict? To put it very generally, public diplomacy could create new channels of constructive dialogue between the two sides. Improvement in communication could then help to reduce prejudices, ease tensions, and increase mutual understanding of each other’s perceptions and concerns." Gurel image from article
The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) organized an event on 1st March 2011 in Brussels to Commemorate the Khojaly Tragedy - Europe Turkman Friendships:
"Specifically, the European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) seeks [inter alia]: ... Continued negotiation about the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh, together with public diplomacy." Image from
This Is Just the Start - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: Americans have never fully appreciated what a radical thing we did — in the eyes of the rest of the world — in electing an African-American with the middle name Hussein as president. I’m convinced that listening to Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech — not the words, but the man — were more than a few young Arabs who were saying to themselves: “Hmmm, let’s see. He’s young. I’m young. He’s dark-skinned. I’m dark-skinned. His middle name is Hussein. My name is Hussein. His grandfather is a Muslim. My grandfather is a Muslim. He is president of the United States. And I’m an unemployed young Arab with no vote and no voice in my future.” I’d put that in my mix of forces fueling these revolts.
Obama’s Gadhafi waffle - Editorial, Washington Times: Libya is engaged in a civil war. New protests have broken out in Oman, Bahrain and Yemen. The uprising in Tunisia, the pioneer state of the so-called “Arab Spring,” is entering a second phase.
As usual, the amateurish Obama administration has no idea what to do about any of this. Image from article
U.S. Central Command ‘friending’ the enemy in psychological war: Software helps crack terror cells - Shaun Waterman, Washington Times: The U.S. Central Command is stepping up psychological warfare operations using software that allows it to target social media websites used by terrorists. The Tampa, Fla.-based military command that runs the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan recently bought a special computer program that troops use to create multiple fake identities on the Internet. The military uses the fictitious identities to infiltrate groups and in some cases spread disinformation among extremist organizations such as al Qaeda and the Taliban with the goal of disrupting their operations, according to documents and U.S. officials.
Animated Olympics Propaganda Starring Scary Mascots Is The Best Kind Of All - Weed Against Speed, sportressofblogitude.com: Troubling stuff.
And here we thought life-sized re-creations of Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, respectively, were sufficient enough examples of nightmare fuel, we now have animated versions of the somewhat off-putting characters. Image from
Is Al Jazeera propaganda? - Alex Gallafent, Public Radio International: Al Jazeera Arabic seems authoritative and credible. But Mokhtar Elareshi, a Libyan doctoral student currently based in Britain, said it's not as simple as that. "Many, many people in Libya believe that Al Jazeera is just propaganda," he said. As soon as Al Jazeera shifted to Bahrain it nearly turned into a propagandist for the regime.
China and Austria exchange culture and lifestyle television series - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Chinese Space Propaganda Art! - lavietidhar, The World SF Blog: Image from article
Propaganda from Nazi and Communist Berlin - propaganda-history.blogspot.com:
Among the images: Detail from a mural in East Berlin showing happy young women members of the Free German Youth, the official youth movement of the GDR.