Sunday, March 20, 2011

March 20

"‘[P]ublic diplomacy’, an American state department coinage which we promptly borrowed, to euphemistically to refer to the art of somehow or the other making the image appear vastly superior to the original."

--M K Bhadrakumar, Indian Punchline: Reflections on foreign affairs; image from


Iranian Satire Stars Ring In Persian New Year On Radio Farda - "As Nowruz celebrations begin in Iran tonight, RFE’s Radio Farda will ring in the Persian New Year with the 200th episode of its popular satire show 'Pas Farda'

and live-streamed concerts by famous Iranian artists banned from performing inside the country." Image from article, with caption Pas Farda host Farshid Manafi

Protecting Growth: The Development of Corporate Social Responsibility in Vietnam - CPD Blog, University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy: "Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City, where I am joined by four fellow MPD [Masters in Public Diplomacy] students, each conducting research on key areas of potential impact that public diplomacy can have in Vietnam. While on the ground I have been meeting with various private and public sector officials to analyze the extent to which corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a priority for companies operating in Vietnam.

Based upon the information gathered thus far, the answer appears to be yes, but with many shades of gray. ... After the United States reestablished its diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1995, a surge in soft resources helped usher positive social change. Within ten years, the poverty rate had improved drastically from approximately 70 percent to approximately 12 percent. The US State Department has continued to advance educational exchange opportunities such as the Fulbright and Huber[t] Humphrey Fellowship programs." Image from article

Corporate Diplomacy: A Better Path to Peace - Naomi Leight, CPD Blog, University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy: "For advocates of public diplomacy between Israelis and Palestinians, corporate diplomacy could be a key factor in restarting the peace process."

How Do I Become a Diplomat? - Earn While Earn: "Foreign Service Officers, especially those in the Political and Public Diplomacy tracks,

may promote U.S. interests, values, businesses, and agendas; cultivate foreign contacts; and serve as advisors." Image from

Non-States Actors and Public Diplomacy - Mario, Public and Cultural Diplomacy C: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University


This Year’s Jazz Messengers on the Rhythm Road: Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Dept. announce their 10-band diplomatic corps - Jason Rabin, "Jazz wins hearts and minds. It’s a rhythmic diplomat, reflective and conversant by its nature. That’s the idea behind the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad, a project produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center and sponsored by grants from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, now embarking on its seventh series of journeys.

Rhythm Road is inspired by the Jazz Ambassador program, founded in 1955 by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. of Harlem, which sent Dizzy Gillespie and his 18-piece band to southern Europe, the Middle East and south Asia, and devised similar missions for Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck. Today’s jazz ambassadors sent on 4-to-6-week tours of regions around the globe that wouldn’t otherwise get much exposure to this element of American culture, perform, teach workshops, give demonstrations and jam with the locals. This year’s crop—10 bands chosen from a pool of 110 applicants—ranges from traditional quartets to performers of jazz-influenced Americana." Image from article

BASA call for entries‎ - Marketing Web: "Entries opened for the 14th Annual Business Day BASA (Business and Arts South Africa) Awards on 14 March 2011. Supported by Anglo American, this year sees are two exciting new categories that substantially broaden the reach of South Africa's most prestigious business and arts award event. ... The second addition - Diplomacy in the Arts - will pay tribute

to a Foreign Mission which contributes to the development and preservation of the arts in South Africa, as well as the continued prioritisation of cultural diplomacy between South Africa and the international community. This Award is made at the discretion of the BASA Chairman and the judging panel." See also. Image from

Monster Mash: Assessing the 'Spider-Man' fallout; World Trade Center families upset over sculpture - - Cultural diplomacy: Officials in Austria and Mexico are close to a deal that would send Moctezuma’s Crown home on loan.

Presidents Medvedev and Napolitano tackled Russia-Italy cooperation - [Subscription; scroll down link for item] "Talks between Dmitry Medvedev and President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano were held in Rome. The Presidents gave special attention to cooperation in the humanitarian sector and to cultural cooperation between Russia and Italy, particularly the upcoming Year of Russian Culture and Language in Italy and Year of Italian Culture and Language in Russia."

Canadians help launch Israel art web portal - ‎Jenny Hazan, Canadian Jewish News: "Three young Canadian Jewish women have helped to launch a new web portal – – an English-language site showcasing Israeli arts. Quite possibly the first site of its kind, it encompasses all the arts of an entire country, including film, music, literature and visual art. – 'omanoot' means 'art' in Hebrew – aims to paint a picture of Israel that fewer people see and give them a different sort of opportunity to connect to the country. 'Everybody knows about Israeli technology and startups, but the same creative energy is pouring into the arts,' says founder Edoe Cohen, 32. 'We want to bring that energy to the world. Why do people fall in love with Israel? It’s not the politics. It’s the culture and the vibrancy, and the creative energy of our society.' Cohen, who moved to Israel from the United States when he was 15 years old, arrived at the idea for when he was a student of political science and modern Jewish studies at Columbia University in New York.

It was just after the second intifadah, and sentiment on campus was vehemently anti-Israeli. 'I realized very quickly that the way to make people feel connected to Israel was not through ‘talking heads,’ but through cultural diplomacy,' says Cohen, who was instrumental in bringing Israeli bands and other artists to campus." Image from article, with caption: From left, Alix Billinikoff, Edoe Cohen, Orli Kessel and Romy Poletti.

When Andre met Manolo - Emily Cronin, "Last night two of fashion's greats, Andre Leon Talley and Manolo Blahnik, sat down to talk at Spice Market in London's W Hotel thanks to cultural diplomacy body Liberatum. 'That is what style is—it’s a question of one's attitude. It's a reflection of one's own expression of themselves, the way you present yourself to the world,' proclaimed Andre Leon Talley during last night's conversation with Manolo Blahnik.

Blahnik, wearing fuchsia suede slippers, and Talley, in a Stephen Jones hat worn by Karlie Kloss at the recent Galliano show, held forth on a feast of film references and anecdotes from their decades in style. Sentences like, 'Once, I was with Grace Jones in Monaco...' and 'The best feet Manolo has ever seen belong to Raquel Welch,' flew. Image from article

To Know Us is to Hate Us? - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner: "One of our [American] top priorities, as a nation, should be exercising more understanding and respect for the cultures and traditions so

different than our own. ... Emina Vukic ... is interested in nation branding, primarily of the post conflict countries through cultural diplomacy efforts." Vukic image from article


Letting others lead in Libya - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: Americans and the rest of the world have gotten used to seeing the United States take the lead role when the United Nations or NATO calls for foreign military intervention, but this time we are not fully in charge.

The arrangement, if successful, could lead to a new model in which the United States doesn't have to command every campaign and lead every charge. Image from article: A Libyan rebel grimaces on the front line near Sultan, south of Benghazi.

The U.N.'s High Stakes Gamble in Libya - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: Has anyone really seriously thought through the role the U.S. or international community might be expected to play should Qaddafi fall? Or what steps will follow should the No Fly Zone and indirect intervention not succeed in driving Qaddafi from power? No, there's no time for that... there never is.

On Libya, how have global players done? - Justin Paulette, USA Today: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked a question Thursday which should have been obviously satirical, but now seems to be the exasperating reality of Obama's new world order: "So if Russia doesn't care and China doesn't care

and we care but won't do anything about it, who's it up to, the French?" Image from

An allied intervention in Libya - David Ignatius, Washington Post: This Libya war may be messy and confusing, and it certainly won’t be what Pentagon planners would do if they could dictate matters. But that’s the point: America won’t be the writing this script on its own. And that’s a good thing.

The conversation: The case for and against U.S. intervention in Libya - Alexandra Le Tellier,

U.S. ambassador to Mexico resigns after WikiLeaks revelations - Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post: The U.S. ambassador to Mexico has resigned after the publication of U.S. diplomatic cables that criticized that government’s anti-drug fight, infuriating the Mexican president. Carlos Pascual appears to be the first senior U.S. diplomat to lose his job because of the WikiLeaks revelations. He had been stationed in Mexico for 19 months.

Taliban Propaganda Watch (Rc South) – 191725utc Mar 11 - Blog

The Internet: For Better or for Worse - Steve Coll, New York Review of Books: If the Internet has indeed changed the structure of the public space in which rights of free speech and assembly are contested, then international policy and domestic regulation alike should be adjusted to defend and advance those freedoms by taking account of the enabling effects of technology.

If not, then it might be better to concentrate more on sustaining and propagating the values of free societies, rather than focusing so pointedly on the communication systems that spread them. Image from article, with caption: Wael Ghonim (center), the Egyptian Google executive who started the Facebook group ‘We Are All Khaled Said,’ at a protest in Tahrir Square, Cairo, February 8, 2011

Culinary Diplomacy in Jerusalem - Jaxiecracks, The Cultural Diplomacy of Food: From Discovering Secular Jerusalem, writer Daphne Merkin sees some culinary diplomacy potential in the Mahane Yehuda open-air market:

Did Britain try to assassinate Lenin? - Mike Thomson, BBC: Lenin survived an assassination attempt in 1918 although he was badly wounded Nearly a century ago, Britain was accused of masterminding a failed plot to kill Lenin

and overthrow his fledgling Bolshevik regime. The British government dismissed the story as mere Soviet propaganda - but new evidence suggests it might be true. Image from article


"It from Bit."

--The title of a paper, by the physicist John Archibald Wheeler, that sees information as the substance from which everything else in the universe derives.

"The question at home and abroad, then, is whether the decentralized, redundant, distributed shape of the Internet will tip that balance further in favor of centralized powers by yielding to the Cycle—the consolidating patterns of monopoly and state control that shaped radio and television—or whether the Internet will remain a radically open system, biased toward users over authorities."

--Steve Coll, The Internet: For Better or for Worse, New York Review of Books

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