Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31

"turd sandwich"

--NBC White House reporter Savannah Guthrie, telling her viewers what sources had heard about how President Obama labeled the military action in Libya; image from


Public Diplomacy and Social Media in Latin America - Remarks, Judith A. McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State: McHale: "The Internet has made it possible to reach more people in more places. But it has also shifted power and influence to such an extent that it is necessary to engage with more people. This means we can no longer hope to control how and when and through what medium people form their impressions of us. More so now than ever, public diplomacy is a vital component of the foreign policy of the United States. Engaging and telling our story to people around the world both advances our national interests and enhances our national security. And if we are not the ones telling our story, you can be sure someone else will be. We cannot afford to play defense in an ever-changing landscape. ... Technology has not changed the aim of our public diplomacy efforts. We want to forge personal connections and strengthen the relationship between Americans and people around the world. That was true 50 years ago, and it will still be true 50 years from now. But technology has moved the work of public diplomacy into new arenas. Today we are connecting directly to new audiences. We are shifting the spirit of public diplomacy from one-way messaging to two-way engagement. ... [A] two-way flow of information encourages the kinds of partnerships that are critical to our relationships throughout Latin America and the Caribbean."

US public diplomacy online: from to to ejournalUSA - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "So the social media seem to be replacing a traditional website for US public diplomacy. Anyone can establish a Facebook to Twitter account.

On the other hand, it takes considerable skill to design and maintain a professional-looking website. I think every country should have a public diplomacy gateway to the world. A good example is Separately and complementarily, each country should have a news website -- independent, objective, balanced, and all those good journalistic principles -- available in more than one language."  Image from

CBS's Wragge Asks Rumsfeld if Obama Being 'Hypocritical' on Libya‎ - Kyle Drennen, Media Research Center: "WRAGGE: And let me ask you this, about the rebels that you just talked about, in regards to arming the rebels, and the President has said, quote, yesterday, 'I won't rule it in, but I'm not ruling it out.' Rebels right now are being beaten back by Qadhafi's forces, who are continuing to fight, even though we are, you know, engaged in these air strikes. Is that what needs to be done, do these rebels need to be armed and then do they, in turn, need to be trained?

RUMSFELD: Well, you know, if your on the outside you know there's a lot you don't know about what's actually taking place. In life, there's public diplomacy, private diplomacy, there's overt action and there's covert action, and those of us on the outside don't know what's taking place. I do know that the signal being sent that the United States of America is still unclear about whether or not Qadhafi will leave or stay is harmful." Image from article

Analysis: Uprisings in Syria‎ - Press Release, Business Intelligence Middle East: "While protests in Syria are increasing in size and scope, the Syrian regime does not appear to be taking chances by parsing out political reforms that could further embolden the opposition. nstead, the Syrian regime is more likely to resort to more forceful crackdowns, which is likely to highlight the growing contradictions in U.S. public diplomacy in the region. ... The U.S. administration has been very careful to distinguish between the humanitarian military intervention in Libya and the situation in Syria, arguing that the level of repression in Syria hasn’t escalated to a point that would require military intervention. The U.S. really has no strategic interest in getting involved in Syria in the first place. Syria would be a much more complicated military affair."

Dogs and Other Strangers: Santa Barbara Reporter Caught Between Mad Bomber, Right-Wing Propagandists, and Federal Prosecutors - "With enemies like Otto Reich, who needs friends? Just ask Ann Louise Bardach (a k a Annie), globe-trotting investigative reporter and peripatetic resident of Santa Barbara’s South Coast. Reich — former U.S ambassador to Venezuela who ran a covert propaganda operation at federal taxpayer expense on behalf of Latin American death squads in the 1980s — has challenged Bardach’s journalistic integrity. ... On the witness stand in an El Paso courtroom, Reich accused Bardach of being biased. To discredit Bardach, Posada’s attorneys called Reich to the witness stand, where he accused both Bardach and the New York of Times of journalistic bias against anti-Castro activists. When it comes to slanting and planting the news, Reich knows his business. During the 1980s, he ran the Office of Public Diplomacy, technically a branch of the State Department, but in practice, answering directly to the White House. President Ronald Reagan was running a covert war against the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua — funding it by selling missiles to the terrorist nation of Iran. Reich used federal funds to run a covert propaganda campaign on behalf of the Contras, then fighting the Sandinistas, targeting the American people. He’d concoct phony news stories about Soviet fighter jets being sent to Managua — or similarly tall tales about chemical weapons caches — and, hiding their true authorship, get them planted in mainstream news outlets."

Croatian ambassador to D.C. appointed NATO´s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy - Croatian Times: "Croatian ambassador to Washington D.C. Kolinda Grabar- Kitarovic has been named NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy.

Grabar-Kitarovic will assist NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in promoting the Alliance’s image to a variety of audiences, establishing networks of relations with political, diplomatic, administrative, academic and media circles and forming co-operative relations." Grabar-Kitarovic image from article

Maps released of Hizbullah's military sites, bunkers‎:  'Washington Post' publishes maps it says IDF provided showing 1,000 Hezbollah military sites in southern Lebanon, inside villages -  Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post: "Israel is revealing the information as part

of a public diplomacy campaign aimed at preparing the world for the widespread devastation that will likely occur in Lebanon if there should be a new Israeli war with Hezbollah, due to Hezbollah’s decision to station its assets inside populated villages." Image from article

Gov 2.0 has finally come to India - "You may have read about it in the newspaper, and you may have also seen it on TV, but did you know that the Public Diplomacy division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) posted real-time updates about the evacuation of Indians from Libya and tsunami-devastated Japan? While, on the one hand, tweets of despair from stranded Indian citizens flooded the network, joint secretary Navdeep Suri, and undersecretary Abhay Kumar – who together tweet for @IndianDiplomacy – were quick to react to posts that carried useful information about the ground situation. With over 6, 000 followers, the presence of Public Diplomacy on social media like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube even helped them bag an award for ‘being the first Central Ministry to propagate and use social media extensively’ at the Gov2. in Awards held on March 11."

Cricket Diplomacy and the Cricket World Cup - Paul Rockower, Newswire – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "In the subcontinent, there is really only one religion that unites India, Pakistan and Bangladesh: cricket. With India’s dethroning the three-time consecutive champs Australia, and with Pakistan’s victory over the West Indies, the stage is set for a raucous match between India and Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals. Cricket has a long history as a platform for diplomacy and public diplomacy between India and Pakistan."

Poland and PD cont - Magda, Key to the Future: "[[The] Polish government should finally realize how public diplomacy can be influential and consequently help in polish politics, economy, tourism, etc. Polish embassies all over the world should set up some goals in nation branding and start doing some progress because even though Poland

is seen as a country with high possibilities it will never achieve them without promoting the country abroad." Image from

Chinese language teachers struggle to fulfill dreams - [Google translation:] "'[A]conflict is the imbalance between TCFL [Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language] education and demand of foreign schools,' Ma [Ma Jianfei, deputy director of Hanban,the Chinese national office for TCFL and headquarters of the Confucius Institute] said. 'At first, the major of TCFL was set to teach foreigners who studied in China. As to teaching Chinese language abroad and carrying out cultural communication and public diplomacy based on Chinese language, we haven't done enough research. Therefore, the students of TCFL couldn't fully meet the demand of foreign countries.' However, solutions on how to ease the conflict are becoming urgent, given that the global cultural communication is becoming more and more frequent and in-depth."

Islam, Secularism and the Battle for Turkey’s Future Aug. 23, 2010 - "The Turkish Cooperation Development Agency (TIKA) is also key to these foreign policy efforts. The Turkish government created TIKA in the early 1990s to forge ties with former Soviet countries with which it enjoyed a shared Turkic heritage, though TIKA did not make much headway initially. The AKP [Justice and Development Party], however, reinvigorated the TIKA in recent years for use as a public diplomacy tool, transforming it into a highly active development agency. Davutoglu has even referred to TIKA as a second foreign ministry."

News globalized - jaime, Argumentation Journalism: [Google translation]: "En los últimos años los canales internaciones se han multiplicado. In recent years the international channels have multiplied. En Europa antes de 1990 solo existían cinco canales, y desde 2005-2010 hay 55 canales de noticieros 24 horas transmitiendo información. In Europe before 1990 there were only five channels, and from 2005-2010 there are 55 news channels 24 hours to transmit information. Estos noticieros se basan en tres sucesos como los (BREAKING NEWS), sucesos de última hora que deslumbran en el momento pero tienen una vida corta, (LIVE) que son emisiones programadas de acontecimientos, como ruedas de prensas, y (PUBLIC DIPLOMACY) es una parte que tienen estos noticieros para que sus gobernantes muestren la cara de sus países a lo internacional.

La gran mayoría de estos canales 24 horas como CNN y la BBC, son canales privados, con prestigio, que han dominado la imagen que tenemos hoy sobre el mundo, que cuentan con estos tres sucesos de los que hablamos anteriormente y tienen más influencia en la sociedad que un canal público. These newsletters are based on three events such as (BREAKING NEWS), last-minute events that dazzle at the moment but have a short life (LIVE) that are scheduled broadcasts of events like press conferences, and (PUBLIC DIPLOMACY) is one hand they have these news to their leaders show the faces of their countries to internacional. La vast majority of these channels 24 hours as CNN and the BBC, are private channels, with prestige, which have dominated the image we have today about the world that have these three events of which we spoke earlier and have more influence on society than a public channel. En Colombia tenemos el ejemplo de noticas uno, un noticiero que pertenece a un canal privado, que no tiene el mismo prestigio como el de noticias RCN y que tampoco cuenta con la plata que maneja este canal. In Colombia we have an example of News, a newsletter that belongs to a private channel, which does not have the same prestige as the RCN news, nor has the money who run this channel." Image from

Faith Diplomacy's Importance Is Growing - Philip Seib, Huffington Post: "Throughout the world, billions of people rely on their faith to lift them above lives of hardship or the banality of arid secularism. For them, belief trumps politics, and efforts to influence them must incorporate faith as part of any appeal. The University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy organized a March 25th conference on "Faith Diplomacy: Religion and Global Publics" to examine ways that religion should be incorporated into public diplomacy. The conference analyzed how an appreciation of faith can strengthen foreign policy, how particular religions affect the course of international affairs, and how the religious community can infuse the practice of public diplomacy with the intellectual energy born of its beliefs. ... The world is becoming more religious, and to pretend otherwise limits the effectiveness of foreign policy. In the Arab world, for instance, the new order spawned by this year's revolutions will embrace Islam more fervently than was fashionable among the ousted regimes. If the United States is unprepared to address this heightened significance of religion, it will be relegated to the status of outsider, with diminished influence in the region."

Measurement and Evaluation in Public Diplomacy - Robin, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "At the ISA Public Diplomacy Working Group meeting in Montreal one of the topics of discussion was the state of evaluation and measurement of PD efforts. Neither the academic community nor PD organizations are very happy with the state of evaluation. This is obviously an important issue because the ability to demonstrate impact is important for justifying PD budgets. ... Before the PD community rushes off to invent new measurement strategies it’s worth looking at how other people handle these challenges."

Recruiting the 21st Century Public Diplomat - Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "In terms of adopting new technologies and strategies for outreach, the US Department of State has demonstrated marked progress in preparing itself for the challenges and opportunities of the new millennium. However, if State is truly committed to 21st Century

Statecraft, it needs a new breed of Public Diplomacy Foreign Service Officer to revitalize its operations. Specifically, it needs people who are innovative, entrepreneurial, persuasive, media savvy, can communicate cross-culturally and who deeply understand PD (it’s potential and limitations). The current FSO [Foreign Service Officer] selection process isn’t able to assess these qualities in candidates, and otherwise qualified individuals often don’t make it through. ... By recruiting officers who need little PD training, State will not only save time and money spent in FSI [Foreign Service Institute] , and buy time to make necessary changes to the FSOT and FSI courses, but also rekindle US PD in the process." Image from

Reply to KAT at Group 3 -  Jacob Donich-Croll, Diplomatic Studs: A collection of unique perspectives on current public diplomacy issues: "Good post by KAT over at Grupo Numero 3 A Counterpoint:  I think those who advocate for 'transformational diplomacy\' are too bullish on the prospect of NGO’s improving nation brands. I cannot think of an instance in which a foreign NGO helped, willingly or inadvertently to boost another country’s brand. The closest example I can think of is Global Witness (I could be wrong on the name) a Canadian NGO, blew the whistle on conflict diamonds and helped create the Kimberly Process, which guards against conflict diamonds. They did not really improve the image of the countries were the diamonds were, but rather made the diamond industry look more responsible. NGO’s often seem more content with unearthing scandals and criticizing, and well they should be. However, what is best from a PD perspective is not necessarily morally right. Keeping abuses under the rug can improve a brand more than confessing past sins."

we give talks - Dancing Ink Productions: "•'Governance of Virtual Wolds,' (March 26, 2010) a conference co-hosted by Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and World2Worlds, Inc. Topic: Public Diplomacy and Virtual Worlds. Speakers: Rita J. King and Joshua Fouts. •Obama’s Internet Initiative & Social Reform in the U.S. & Japan (March 19, 2010) The Japan Society, New York City, NY. Joshua Fouts spoke about the use of ICTs for cultural relations and public diplomacy."


Western help may test Libyan rebels' credibility - William Maclean, More Western military help may strengthen Libyan rebels on the battlefield but at the price of a propaganda boost for Muammar Gaddafi, quick to portray his foes as lackeys of the West. Mindful of the importance of the information war in Libya's conflict, opposition leaders desperate for foreign weapons will have to take care not to create an image of subservience to Western powers in the event their request is met, analysts say.

Militarily vulnerable on the ground and dependent on Western-led patrols in the air, the rebels' main card is their status as the spearhead of an authentic, homegrown uprising against Gaddafi's long rule. "There is a very fine line for the rebels," said independent U.S. analyst Geoff Porter. "The more they seem to be the proxies of the U.S. and Europe trying to oust Gaddafi, the less organic and legitimate their movement becomes."  Image from

High-profile Libya defection could be mixed blessing - Anna Tomforde, The cloak-and-dagger defection of Musa Kusa, one of the most loyal lieutenants of Colonel Moamer Gaddafi for decades, has presented Britain with a dilemma. While welcoming the propaganda value of the high-profile defection, the British authorities are aware of Kusa's prominent, and sometimes shady, role in the Gaddafi regime and its tortuous relations with the West. Before becoming Libya's foreign minister in 2009, the US-educated, silver-haired politician had been the head of Libya's external intelligence service from 1994.

'Dafy's secret weapon - Andy Soltis, New York Post: Moammar Khadafy has unleashed his secret weapon, and it's a bombshell: his sultry, curvy, blond glamour-girl daughter, who the despot hopes will help his men rise up -- against the rebel troops, that is.

Aisha Khadafy, dubbed "the Claudia Schiffer of North Africa" by the Arab media, was enlisted as a cheerleader at propaganda rallies -- wearing a veil rather than her usual fashion-model attire, waving the Libyan flag and leading chants in support of her father. Moammar Khadafy hopes his daughter -- known for both her tailored outfits and outrageous remarks about international affairs -- will help recharge his weary soldiers and boost morale on the front lines. Image from article, with caption: Daddy's Darling: Moammar Khadafy's glamorous daughter, Aisha, marshals loyalists in Bab al-Azizia, Libya.

America: Beware Giving in to the False Concept of Islamophobia - Phyllis Chesler, We are drowning in anti-Israel propaganda, and still it never stops coming.

Simultaneously, the “Palestinian narrative” appears to us as if in a dream, over and over again, always slightly surreal and yet overly familiar. By now the “Palestinian narrative” is a brand and we have all been hypnotized. Image from article

South Korean activist floats leaflets toward North - A South Korean activist has floated propaganda balloons including footage of protests in the Middle East toward North Korea, despite Pyongyang's threat to retaliate. Park Sang-hak says the balloons were launched Thursday from a hill near the border. They also carried 1-dollar bills and 200,000 propaganda leaflets. The move came days after North Korea's military warned it would fire at South Korean border towns if Seoul doesn't stop the leaflets.

Zimbabwe mass grave becomes political propaganda - Gillian Gotora, Associated Press, Hundreds of skeletons found in a mine shaft have brought a macabre thrust to election campaigning in Zimbabwe — but the presence of some corpses still with skin, hair and body fluids has raised doubts over claims white colonial-era troops committed the massacres more than 30 years ago. Hundreds of skeletons found at one of the mine shafts have brought a macabre thrust to election campaigning in Zimbabwe, but the putrefying stench of some corpses still with skin, hair and dripping body fluids has raised doubts over claims white colonial era troops committed the massacres more than thirty years ago.

Image from article, with caption: In this March 18, 2011, photo, a body is brought to the surface at Monkey William Mine about 200 km from Harare.

Activities held to promote 13th National Assembly elections - The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has organised a number of activities to promote the 13th National Assembly (NA) and People’s Council elections for the 2011-2016 tenure which are slated for May this year. A contest to create propaganda posters was lauched on September 2010 and will close with an exhibition of the winning entries in May, 2011. A mobile national festival will take place in the northern mountainous provinces in the second quarter of 2011 to mark the People’s Council elections and celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Vietnamese NA general elections. The ministry will also publish documents on the elections including four poster samples, and CDs of propaganda posters, as well as slogans, a coat of arms and portrait of Uncle Ho.

Documentary ‘Oscar’s Cuba’ is more sensationalist than sensational - Kavitha Surana, Just over two weeks ago, Dr. Óscar Biscet, a Cuban political prisoner of conscience serving a 25-year sentence for expressing dissent through peaceful protests, was released from jail after serving 11 years. A 2011 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Biscet is the founder of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, one of the few dissenting organizations that exist within Cuba. On Friday, April 1, students can learn more about Biscet’s political reality at the University Council of the Cuban American National Foundation’ s screening of “Oscar’s Cuba,” a film about Biscet’s struggles and the plight of political prisoners in Cuba.

The story is undoubtedly compelling and deserves to be told. Yet for all its lofty intentions, the film at times feels uncomfortably like propaganda. There are creepy, blurred, zoom-in reels of Castro’s face accompanied by stereotypical lines like, “The man the Cuban government fears most!” Jordan Allott, the director of the film, clearly follows a black-and-white agenda from the outset, enhanced by the campy musical score and an all-knowing narrator voice. Allott image from article

Mural Artist Decries Removal of Work From Maine DOL -

Maine artist Judy Taylor of Tremont today released a statement on her Web site expressing dismay at the removal of her 36-foot mural from Maine's Department of Labor lobby. Taylor said it was "heartbreaking'' to learn that the controversy may have started with an anonymous letter to Gov. Paul LePage comparing the mural's images of Maine's labor history to propaganda in North Korea. Image from Taylor website

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