Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7

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Alec Ross on the Impact of the Social Media 14:39


Secretary Clinton and the Information War - Philip Seib, Huffington Post: "In testimony to Congress last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged the existence of an ongoing 'information war' that the United States is losing. In addition to saying that 'Al Jazeera is winning,' Clinton pointed to the major investments in international broadcasting being made by China and Russia. ... Clinton's remarks were particularly welcome as a note of realism from a State Department that often is primarily interested in self-congratulation rather than adapting to the verities of power politics in a media-centric world. Information dissemination is a matter of national

security, and it is time the U.S. government treated it as such. Congress should heed Secretary Clinton's warning and not relegate U.S. public diplomacy to a nickel-and-dime sideshow. In budgeters' worldview, public diplomacy might not be as sexy as weapons systems, but it is absolutely essential if the information war and the larger battle for influence are to be won." Image from

Are We Losing the Propaganda War? Sometimes Less Is More - Howard Getson, "Hillary Clinton was recently on C-Span warning that 'we are in an information war; and we are losing that war.' Jokes aside, statecraft dictates that we spread U.S. propaganda. Reality is that other governments do it; and to compete effectively ... we need to do it better. One area we've arguably done 'it' well is in promoting our economic agenda. However, I'd ask what the intent has been and who the propaganda is designed to influence?"

Hillary Clinton Admits US Is Losing Media War - Wasim Ali, "On of the Tool which United States Governments has used in recent decades to gets its objectives and change the minds of American people is Media Propaganda specially Television Media. TV Channels Like Fox News, CNN, BBC are used to spread baseless Propaganda and lies by US Governments but in recent years Many rivals of US Mainstream Media has came into existence which has successfully Counter these TV Channels.

TV Channels like Russia Today RT, Press TV, Al Jazeera, CCTV are getting popular rapidly. Audience of these TV Channels is growing everyday which is a big threat for Mainsteam US Media." Image from article

RFE/RL website blocked in Kazakhstan blocked for 12 days. Testing shutdown capabilities? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

RFE's post-Cold-War activities in Hungary, Poland, and Czech Republic - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Poland's consul general in Chicago: "I think that Poles should build a monument to [VOA's Willis] Conover" - - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.

Conover image from

Foreign Aid isn't Foreign - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Laurie Garrett writes in CSM about how foreign aid is central to American values (and I would say, PD as well)."

Which is the real axis or Evil Empire? United States, the true axis of evil, or rule United States, the true axis of evil, or rule - [Google translation from the Spanish]:

"[T]he 'public diplomacy' propagates over the world the American wayof life 'through the entertainment industry in general and Especially Hollywood.'" Image from article

Lessons from the ice princess‎ - Sophie Hong, npTribune: "In Singapore as a US public diplomacy envoy, the two-time Olympic medallist visited NP [Ngee Ann Polytechnic] on Jan 13 to share her experiences at a talk organised by the Student Development & Alumni Relations Office."

'The State of Israel is the Best Product to Market' - Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva [includes video]: "Israel's Minister of Public Diplomacy, Yuli Edelstein, recorded a special message for Yisrael Sheli’s Online Ambassadors. In the video, the Minister gave a few tips about how to best represent Israel. 'I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for being Israel’s best goodwill ambassadors,' said Edelstein, who listed three rules that are important to remember when advocating for Israel, be it online or face to face. 'I think it’s very important for us to remember when we talk to people that in many cases we run too fast,' he said.

'We presume that people know everything and are trying to explain to them today’s situation. Let’s talk about history, about our rights to this land. Let’s not be afraid of repeating ourselves on these subjects, because many people are absolutely ignorant and don’t know. Let’s start with the basics.' The second rule, according to Edelstein, is 'not to presume that everyone hates us and everyone is against us. People who are ready to listen and ready to talk to us are not the ones who hate us.' ... Finally, Edelstein told the ambassadors to remember the product. 'We have the best product to market, the state of Israel: a democracy, a pluralistic state, a very diverse society, a society that is always open to newcomers.'" Image from

Gov 2.0: Time to connect - "BV Rao, Editor, Governance Now, said, 'Integrating the government with social media can have many benefits for the common citizen. It sends a positive message that the government/ department is trying to be open, is eliminating the distance between the government and the governed.' ... Governance Now, in collaboration with the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Microsoft, is organising the forum on March 11 in New Delhi to discuss ways in which the government can interact with the public in the Internet age."

Oklahoma college students get internships abroad - Darla Slipke, "University of Oklahoma junior Holly Berrigan wanted to practice her Italian and learn more about other cultures, so she took a job working as an intern for local government offices in Arezzo, Italy. ... She loved the experience so much, she applied for another internship abroad this semester. Berrigan is now working as a public diplomacy intern at the American Embassy in Rome. ... The number of students who participated in

internships abroad or work abroad programs increased 37 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to the Institute of International Education. About 18,715 students received academic credit at U.S. colleges and universities for internships or work abroad experience in 2008-09, the report shows. ... Berrigan, who is in her third year of a five-year accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree program at OU, hopes to become a Foreign Service Officer." Image from

David Morey: Democrats Must LEAD Inside The Missing Center - ‎press release, "David Morey is the award-winning author of The Underdog Advantage.

He led the CFR Task Force on Public Diplomacy, served on the Defense Science Board's Strategic Communications Committee and is an expert in global business and foreign policy. He advised the 2008 Obama campaign on strategy." Morey image from article


Why Egypt has to be the U.S. priority in the Middle East - Robert Kagan and Michele Dunne, Washington Post: Whether the Arab Spring succeeds or fails is ultimately up to the peoples of the region. But that is no excuse for the United States and other democratic nations not to help in every way we can.

China's leadership cowers - Editorial, Washington Post: The Obama administration has raised human rights concerns with the Chinese government but often in a muted way. U.S. officials should do better.

Evidence and limits of the “demonstration effect” in the Middle East - William A. Rugh, Whirled View: One of the many factors that may have contributed to the start of the revolution in Tunisia in the first place, as Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch has argued, was the fact that Wikileaks released a classified telegram sent to Washington by the American ambassador in Tunis that described Ben Ali as a corrupt despot. This made the Tunisian dissidents realize, first that they were

not alone in criticizing Ben Ali, second that the world was ridiculing Tunisia which was humiliating to them, and third that the US might not try to prop him up if they went out against him. That encouraged them to take strong action to try to overthrow him. Rugh image from

Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South) – 052310UTC Mar 11 - Blog: Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

Confucius Controversy‎ - Ulara Nakagawa, The Diplomat: "The unexpectedly rapid expansion of China’s Confucius Institutes since their inception in 2004 has prompted many to consider them a soft power success story. But such a quick rise is bound to lead to a certain amount of scrutiny which, combined with the general apprehension surrounding China’s increasing economic and political clout, has brought about a something of a backlash. Indeed, the institutes are—despite being defined by China as strictly tools for promoting ‘Chinese language and culture in foreign countries’—referred to by some as vehicles for spreading Chinese propaganda worldwide. ... [A]fter speaking to a range of people I’ve seen little to support the notion of Confucius Institutes as ominous propaganda. On the contrary, those involved who I’ve spoken with seem genuinely interested in promoting cultural understanding and better communication."

Rattling the Cage: Tips for information warriors - Larry Derfner, Jerusalem Post: Israel has never been in such peril as it is today. Anti-Semitism has risen to historic levels. Israel’s enemies are arming themselves with weapons that

endanger not only its existence, but its very existence. And now, added to these grave existential threats comes the upheaval we’ve seen spreading throughout the Middle East. In these days of uncertainty, a volunteer army of steady, sure, confident voices in Israel’s defense is more critical than ever. Image from

Propaganda report: "The one thing you can say about propaganda is that the truth is the only thing that’s not seen” -- Associate professor condemns propaganda - Johanna Johansson,”Propaganda is pursuing a thesis which doesn’t necessar[il]y have to be true”, said Michael Schulz, associate professor in peace and development research at Gothenburg’s University. He has experienced a lot of messages of propaganda. ”Goebbels, the German propagandaminister during the second world war, said: ‘The most important thing is not the truth, it is to get out a message’”.

High Fascism - Rhonda Garelick, New York Times: There is a curious relationship between French fashion and fascism. During the Occupation, the Nazis and their French allies recognized the power and national prestige of the French fashion industry and sought to harness it. When the collaborationist Vichy government took over direction of the French lifestyle magazine Paris Soir, it announced in its pages a “summer of couture ... and shopping.” The Nazis were so enamored with fashion’s place in French culture that in their plans for postwar Europe, they stipulated that, unlike other industries, the fashion sector would remain in France. Although we insist on the racial diversity of fashion’s current standards of beauty, the fascists’ body ideal has persisted and expanded far beyond Europe. The hallmarks of the Nazi aesthetic — blue eyes, blond hair, athletic fitness and sharp-angled features — are the very elements that define what we call the all-American look, still visible in the mythic advertising landscapes of designers like (the decidedly non-Aryan) Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Via MA

Olympic Symbols Originated from Hitler’s Nazi Propaganda - LeakSource: The most beloved emblems of the modern Olympics have a decidedly dark past. The torch relay that culminates in the ceremonial lighting of the flame at Olympic stadium was ordered by Adolf Hitler, who tried to turn the 1936 Berlin Games into a celebration of the Third Reich.

And it was Hitler’s Nazi propaganda machine that popularized the five interlocking rings as the symbol of the Games. Image from article

Propaganda Poster: Fear and Hatred of Godless Sodomites - Austin Cline, Guide

National Archives image from article

Modern propaganda art - Rob's World: "Remember how much I love old propaganda posters? Well it seems that an artist in Portland, Oregon, Joe Seppi loves them too! I was perusing the inter webs (as I do) and came upon The Victory Garden of Tomorrow A very good artist who creates remenistic victory garden posters with modern themes." Image from article


"[P]ublic diplomacy is something you can never turn off."

--Blogger extraordinaire Paul Rockower

“Every woman in Paris is a living propaganda poster."

--One French fashion journalist writing in the early 1940s; Image from


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