Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 29-30

"So grateful I found the Master of Public Diplomacy program, and for all the brilliant friends I met along the way. Now, just the minor task of finding a job. Broke 80 applications today, and hoping to start hearing back from them soon."

--Ren's Micro Diplomacy; image from


Exposing Government Prop[a] [on the Syrian situation]; via


Al-Qa'ida and Its Affiliates Remarks Daniel Benjamin Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism New America Foundation Conference Washington, DC - U.S. Department Of State: "To counter AQ propaganda, we have helped stand up within the State Department, an interagency body called the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communication (CSCC), under the Bureau of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, to push back against AQ’s online and media activities. One emphasis of the CSCC’s work has been re-orienting the Digital Outreach Team to place greater emphasis on challenging the purveyors of extremist messages online, in Arabic and Urdu. This has included producing some original video content that some of you may be familiar with."
Vietnam Legacy Shapes Today's Military Leaders - Donna Miles, Department of Defense: "Petraeus has studied the Vietnam experience thoroughly, even writing his doctoral dissertation at Princeton University on 'The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam.' That dissertation, published in 1987, recognized the lasting impact the Vietnam experience would have. 'The legacy of Vietnam is unlikely to soon recede as an important influence on America’s senior military,' Petraeus wrote. 'The frustrations of Vietnam are too deeply etched in the minds of those who now lead the services and the combatant commanders. Vietnam cost the military dearly,' he continued. 'It left America’s military leaders confounded, dismayed and discouraged. Even worse, it devastated the armed forces, robbing them of dignity, money and qualified people for a decade.' This experience, Petraeus wrote, left many military leaders overly cautious. Specifically, he said, many felt 'they should advise against involvement in counterinsurgencies unless specific, perhaps unlikely circumstances' ensure domestic public support, the promise of a quick campaign and the freedom to use whatever force is needed to achieve rapid victory. Later in his career, as he oversaw the revision of the military’s counterinsurgency field manual, Petraeus applied some of the lessons learned through the Vietnam experience. That manual has become the guide for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It emphasizes that military power alone can’t succeed against an insurgency, and the importance of public diplomacy as part of a 'comprehensive strategy employing all instruments of national power.'”

29 April, 2011, Fri, SoS Clinton and Staff Schedules - A History of American Diplomacy: "US FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS JUDITH MCHALE 12:00 p.m. Under Secretary McHale attends a lunch in honor of Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer hosted by the Atlantic Council, at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC.

(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST) 2:00 p.m. Under Secretary McHale meets with Botswanan Ambassador Tebelelo Seretse, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 6:00 p.m. Under Secretary McHale attends a reception in celebration of the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales to Miss Catherine Middleton, at the British ambassador’s residence. (MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)" Image from

US Embassy Gets New PR Chief‎ - Greg Hazley, O'Dwyer's PR News - [Entry from Google search; access to full article through subscription:] "[C]risis communications specialist Eileen O'Connor is slated to take over as director of communications and public diplomacy for the US Embassy in Kabul."

POMED Notes: “What is Democracy Assistance? What does it really accomplish? How does it further US national interests?” - Alec, The POMED Wire, Project on Middle East Democracy: "On Thursday, top representatives of U.S. non-governmental democracy assistance associations held a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled, 'What is Democracy Assistance?

What does it really accomplish? How does it further US national interests?' The panel discussion featured: Lorne Craner, President, International Republican Institute; Ken Wollack, President, National Democratic Institute; Paula Schriefer, Director of Advocacy, Freedom House; May T. Kosba, Atlas Corps Fellow and Egyptian activist; David J. Kramer, Executive Director, Freedom House, moderated the event. ... All ... [the] organization presidents ... added the caveat that well-placed material assistance can be an efficient public diplomacy tool. They cited the example of an American printing press imported to Uzbekistan that is still valued there decades later and cost a fraction of the price as sending dozens of consultants over the same time period." Image from

Indonesia Chapter: Annual Report of U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom - lizryder, "U.S. assistance to Indonesia has supported programs in conflict resolution, multi-religious dialogue and tolerance, pluralism, public diplomacy, and education that are in line with recommendations made by USCIRF in previous years. Such programs included opportunities for Indonesian and American experts to collaborate and build curriculum to promote interfaith dialogue, religious pluralism, and legal reform."

The brief life of, overtaken by the State Department's "social media projects" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Public Diplomacy Shifts to Social Media - Magda, AU Social Media Class: "Recently, I found this interesting article that, a major global public diplomacy website is shutting down. States Department that organized the portal decided that the portal is not as effective anymore. It decided to switch its efforts and information to social media. From now to distribute the information they will use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Is that a good decision? In my opinion some organization are blinded by today’s technological progress and development. Social media interaction can be very effective. However, not until it is used appropriate way. The State Department cannot forget that the aspects of social media is not anymore for sending information but also to engage the public and create relationship with the target audience. Without this concept in mind it is sure that its attempt could be a big failure." Image from

Report Review: "Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century" Foreign Policy at Brookings By Kristin M. Lord (November 2008) - Leyla, Public and Cultural Diplomacy C: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University

The Vancouver Olympics Cables: Day 14 From Feb. 25, 2010, as published April 28, 2011 by WikiLeaks - "UNCLAS VANCOUVER 000106 ... SUBJECT: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Situation Report #15 ... "PUBLIC AFFAIRS/PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ¶13.

Public Affairs-The brief detention of a US athlete was reported by numerous news sources on February 25,th spurring several calls to the Consulate from other media organizations. Post has declined comment, citing privacy laws." Image from

British Consul Oliver Franklin Hosts 4/29 Royal Wedding at Rittenhouse Hotel - Bobbi Booker,, Philadelphia: "Franklin [Philadelphia's Honorary British Consul, Oliver St. Clair Franklin, O.B.E., appointed to the title in 1999 by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, works with the British Embassy and Consulates on trade, investment, consular issues and public diplomacy. 'Public diplomacy is going out, waving the flag and telling people how appriciative [sic] the Royal Family is for their support of Will and Kate and for their support of the United Kingdom in general,' explained Franklin."

In Defence of the British Monarchy - "[Re] the importance of the monarchy in helping Britain advance its public diplomacy interests [:] 'Public diplomacy' refers to the way nations attempt to favorably influence global public opinion by courting media and other opinion-makers in other countries. The end game of public diplomacy is to boost a country's image and help it advance its political, diplomatic, cultural and economic interests. Countries spend millions on public diplomacy, and I suspect a lot of it is of marginal benefit. The British monarchy,

in my opinion, plays an important role in keeping the country on the global map despite Britain's huge decline in stature and influence over the past century. World leaders and their spouses love getting their photos taken with the more popular members of the British royal family, and Britain's global public image -- for better and often for worse -- is deeply influenced by the monarchy. I have no doubt that when anyone with a British accent walks into a corporate boardroom in another country that person arrives with an indelible brand. Canada? People in other countries may or may not have obscure images of snow, hockey, bears, Mounties, aboriginal people and maple syrup, but it's a lot more fuzzy." Image from

Aussies, NZers flee London for wedding - Sky News Australia: "Not every London-based Aussie and New Zealander has entered royal wedding party mode - many have used the festivities

as a chance to escape the stifling heat and crowds. ... New Zealand's High Commission public diplomacy manager Madeleine Haden said she would pop out of the office for the festivities but almost everyone else was heading out of town." Image from article

For royal wedding coverage, BBC has less "fairytale narrative" and "cheesy-looking" graphics than US networks - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting

Iran, Cuba firm to deepen ties - "Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast held separate talks with Cuban foreign minister’s deputies Ana Teresita Gonzalez Fraga and Marcos Rodriguez Costa on Wednesday morning in which the sides expressed their willingness to strengthen ties. In talks with Teresita Gonzalez Fraga,

Mehmanparast said Tehran and Havana share common views and concerns on various international issues and this 'can lay the groundwork for strengthening bilateral relations' especially in economic areas. ... She also called for expansion of relations between Tehran and Havana in all arenas particularly in public diplomacy and media cooperation." Image from article

Egyptian delegation heads to Ethiopia for consultation - "A popular Egyptian public diplomacy delegation will arrive in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday to pave the road for a better relationship between the two countries, as part of the efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Nile water dispute and other issues related to it." See also.

No UN panel in Afghanistan and Iraq where over a million had died (Cont. from yesterday) - Rohan Gunaratna - Shakuntala Perera, Gunaratna: "The Sri Lankan government should create within its ministry of external affairs a post of Additional Secretary for Public Diplomacy and appoint Ravinatha Ariyasinghe, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to EU, to head it.

In addition to media, counter terrorism, this new division should include two new capabilities – diaspora affairs and NGOS division especially to keep advocacy NGOS such as human rights organizations briefed. While harnessing its best minds, the Sri Lankan foreign office cannot fight this battle without bringing in a new set of highly skilled men and women to the frontline. They should not be relatives or friends or party activists but some of the best minds of Sri Lanka."

Yin or Yang? China and the Muslim world - Idriss J. Aberkane, "[I]n complement to earlier scholarly approaches studying Uyghurs under the angle of either separatism or latent colonialism (Kurlantzick 2004, Gladney 2004, Dreyer 2005 and Van Wie Davis 2008) this article’s vision is that of seeing China and its Muslim population a single entity which has not yet achieved awareness of its fundamental historical, cultural and sociological unity. We argue such awareness is essential to a grand Peace doctrine in both foreign and public diplomacy (ie propaganda) that would in turn be most profitable to China."

Is “Public Diplomacy” really Diplomacy or a Form of Marketing to an International Audience? - Juan E. “Jed” Dayang, Jr., Reflective Diplomat: "Public diplomacy is not a sales pitch aimed at a profit. To be effective, PD must be engaged in a dialogue with the foreign publics. It is not a one way or top down communication activity but a two-way communication which gives importance to listening as much as in conveying its message and influencing public opinion. Cultural understanding is key to communication because information is filtered through the cultural senses of the listener.

PD is also not propaganda which has a negative connotation of being manipulative, deceitful and uses elements of coercion by more powerful states. ... [P]ublic diplomacy can have various applications. For some countries, the distinction of PD and public affairs is blurred. For instance, for the Philippines and India, which have large diaspora communities overseas, its public diplomacy effort is not only aimed to influence foreign audiences but also to influence the public opinion of its citizens overseas." Image from

Dearborn Arab Journalism Conference features local leaders and journalists from across country - Arab Journalism: "Chicago/Detroit – Journalists from across the country will join more than 300 attendees and 120 students at a weekend-long conference to address challenges facing the nation’s American Arab and Muslim community in the decade since the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. ... A panel will also discuss the growing challenges facing American Arabs in journalism reviewing the assaults on Octavia Nasr and Helen Thomas, while another will explore U.S. Policy in the Middle Eat [sic] with the State Department’s Near Affairs Director of Public Diplomacy Phil Frayne and journalists George Hishmeh and Ali Younes."

Obama's CEO Challenge - News Release, "The job of America's President is in every dimension more complex and challenging than the job of CEO. Borrowing the leadership lessons of history's best and insurgent CEOs will help President Obama lead our nation. And playing more offense, utilizing a Prune and Grow approach and building a strategic blueprint can help America lead greatly into the 21st Century. David Morey is an award-winning author of The Underdog Advantage and Vice Chairman of Core Strategy Group. An expert in global business, he led the CFR Task Force on Public Diplomacy and advised the 2008 Obama campaign on strategy."

Tips For Information: CliffsTestPrep Foreign Service Officer Exam: Preparation for the Written Exam and the Oral Assessment - [Contents:] "Part I: Written Exam: The Job Knowledge Test * Descriptions

of the five general career track knowledge areas–management, consular, economic, political, and public diplomacy."


Freedom now rings from one mountaintop radio station in western Libya: Radio Free Nalut's change from propaganda tool for Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi to rebel rallying cry highlights a new push to spread the revolution Libya's Qaddafi-controlled west - Rebel-run “Radio Free Nalut” new mission? To spread anti-Qaddafi sentiment everywhere along the 90-mile-long Nafusah mountain, where rebels are making gains against loyalist soldiers after more than two months of fighting.

Image, with caption: After years of having to broadcast propaganda for Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, presenters at Radio Free Nalut are now free to broadcast pro-revolutionary messages.

NATO dismisses Taliban offensive as propaganda - Slobodan Lekic, NATO says Taliban’s announcement of their spring military offensive in Afghanistan is a sign of the insurgents’ desperation over recent setbacks. A NATO official in Brussels also said Taliban will try to gain a propaganda victory through coordinated attacks and that the U.S.-led coalition already has tightened security.

Obama’s Russian lessons: How the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan - Artemy Kalinovsky, Washington Post: When this administration or another one decides to withdraw, it will not be because the war is too costly

but because it no longer makes sense. At that point, perhaps, the president will say, as Gorbachev did to his colleagues: “We are not going to save the regime. We’ve already transformed it.” Image from article, with caption: Soviet army soldiers wave as their last detachment leaves Afghanistan for then-Soviet Uzbekistan on Feb. 15, 1989.

Will the Afghan army ever stand up and fight? - Michael F. Walker, Washington Post: Violent tribal feuding and internecine warfare will remain part of life in large swaths of the country; it is hard to imagine that Afghanistan will ever be fully pacified. Ancient rivalries and alliances are the core of the country’s tribal power structure, and the violent struggle to protect one’s power base is a perpetual endeavor for tribal leaders. Unless the ANA (Afghan National Army) begins controlling territory on its own accord, compiling a winning record without direct ISAF (the U.S.-led International Assistance Security Force) military assistance, it is very possible that it will degrade and fragment after the departure of ISAF combat forces, much as the DRA disintegrated after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

Propaganda Campaign Against Libya Denounced - Bongiwe Dlamini, The crisis in Libya needs to be seen in a proper perspective stripped off the doctored and manipulated photos and videos emanating from the West. All the bullets fired by Gaddafi are evil and “killing his people,” while the bullets fired by the rebels are for “Liberation.” Nothing is said about western aerial bombardments targeting civilian population centers in Libya.

The western media turned a blind eye when in the early days of the uprising; the rebels prowled the streets of Benghazi slaughtering dark skinned Libyans claiming they were mercenaries. When western politicians close ranks behind an unjust military action for oil, journalists must have the intellectual independence to supply the critical counterweight on their own; otherwise everyone will continue to cry over spilt innocent blood. Image from

Balloons vs. Buffoon: Aerial Propaganda Hits Kim Jong Il - Adam Rawnsley, Wired: The United States may be hooked on “internet freedom” as its method of choice for undermining dictatorships. But activists in South Korea are using a hybrid of old-school and new technologies to get the word out in North Korea against Kim Jong Il and his pals: balloons packed with paper and digital propaganda. They’re easy to produce and distribute — but potentially dangerous. South Korean activists floated another cluster of balloons packed with pro-democracy and anti-regime news into North Korea today, defying the Hermit Kingdom’s threats to shell them into oblivion for the aerial info-war tactic. Voice of America’s ace Asia correspondent Steve Herman tweets that this latest balloon salvo also carries some nastygrams making fun of Kim Jong Il and his family. ... North Korea’s been pretty aggro as it undergoes a leadership transition, shelling a South Korean island near the two countries’ disputed border and showing off a new nuclear weapons facility. Provoking the North with a balloon bombardment during this sensitive time might provide some inspiration to North Koreans — but it might also provoke another showdown with an increasingly itch-trigger-fingered North.

China’s New Age Propaganda Machinery –- Analysis - SAAG, In communist regimes “culture” was a very important and effective weapon to indoctrinate and control the masses, and it remains so in China. More recently, the entire gamut of China’s “culture”

politics have adopted a more sophisticated approach of building relations not only with countries and governments, but with institutions including educational institutions, think tanks, media houses, political parties and individuals. China’s media and culture departments are working together with the International Liaison Department, now International Department of the party. When China uses “Culture” as a whole for political and strategic ends, there is a problem. It is un-fortunate, however, that China makes everything political. That is the tragedy. This is “soft power” warfare. The new propaganda initiative appears to be trying to replace Mao Zedong’s people’s revolution in neighbouring countries with a tactic of “peaceful psychological evolution”. This development requires a continuous evaluation. Image from

The second deputy speaker of the National Assembly reported: Venezuelan ruling party conducts workshop to confront fourth generation warfare; The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will prepare its 24 state political teams -  The Communication, Propaganda and Agitation Committee of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will conduct on Friday and Saturday a workshop to establish a common communicational strategy intended to "counter the fourth generation warfare." Blanca Eekhout, a PSUV leader and second deputy speaker of the National Assembly, said that members of state political teams will participate in the workshop as part of the PSUV's Third Strategic Line on Policy Actions under which the political party is expected to become a powerful means of propaganda and agitation. "We need communication, agitation and propaganda to stop the war that the private media have launched against us," Eekhout said at a press conference.

Online commentator receives harsh sentence in Vietnam - Vietnamese authorities should release democracy activist and online commentator Vi Duc Hoi, who was given a five-year prison term Tuesday for critical essays posted on the Internet, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Hoi, a former high-ranking Communist party member turned pro-democracy activist, was originally sentenced to eight years in prison and five years of house arrest in January on charges of disseminating "propaganda against the state" for commentaries he posted on the Internet, according to international news reports. An appeals court in Lang Son province reduced the terms to five years in prison and three years house arrest. Vi Duc Hoi image from

Young 'guerillas' in cyberspace - Kenfrey Kiberenge, (Kenya), Experts are raising the alarm over an increasing misuse of social media by young people to fan hate speech ahead of the General Election. The country’s young generation has of late lost the enviable tag of "least tribal grouping" with advent of the social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. Innumerable youth have been reduced to posting ‘status’ and ‘tweets’ with tribal intonations, as well as spreading propaganda against politicians and tribes they dislike.

Azerbaijan detains woman engaged in illegal propaganda of 'Jehovah's Witnesses' sect -

Music and the Cold War - Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books, posted at: "The claim that the prestige of American modernism is basically due to the programs of the CIA and the American government is simply a warmed-up version of a French theory of some years ago that the success of American Abstract Expressionism was due to a conspiracy of art dealers, aided by official American propaganda. This was inspired by indignant patriotic panic at the replacement of Paris by New York for a few years as the major center of artistic innovation and interest."


"As someone who spent the last decade and a half either inside the think tank world or in government, consuming it’s [sic] products, I have the greatest admiration for what you have achieved here in such a short period of time at the New America Foundation."

--Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State


Mark Frauenfelder, Donald "China is raping this country" Trump's line of hideously ugly clothes are made in China, Boing Boing

1 comment:

cleananglingpledge said...

So, I don't actually suppose it will have effect.