Monday, May 30, 2011
"An honorable nature, of any class, I always respect; but I won't pretend to a passion for the ignorant masses, for I have it not."
--Madame Grandoni, a character in Henry James's novel, The Princess Casamassima; James image from
Warsaw visit concludes Obama's four-nation European trip - Scott Wilson, Washington Post: "WARSAW — President Obama concluded his four-nation European trip Saturday after achieving much, if not all, of what he intended to. He did so by using, more than anything else, the original tool
of his public diplomacy — himself and his story. He had not made a multi-stop trip to Europe since his first year in office, and his goal, in large part, was to show Europeans that his outreach to Asia and other regions since taking office has not come at the expense of the country’s oldest alliance." Image from article
US Public Diplomacy Means Smiling Faces Hide Lying Lips - therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com: "The separatist movement in Balochistan province is fuelled by the country’s domestic policies and not India, a top US official said Thursday.
'I don’t think that the existence of a terrorist or a separatist movement in Balochistan is fuelled by Indian financing or anything like that,' US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said. ... Pakistan has repeatedly accused India of supporting the rebels in Balochistan in order to destabilize the country. India, however, has categorically denied the allegations." Blake image from article
Locke Breezes through Senate Hearing - english.cri.cn: "US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the nominee for United States ambassador to China, waltzed through his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday as he told the panelists that balancing the trade deficit and reaching out to the Chinese public will be his priorities. If confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Locke
will become the first Chinese-American to serve as ambassador to China, where his parents were born. The committee is expected to confirm Locke soon, but the date for a vote has not been decided. ... [A] priority for Locke is to be more engaged in public diplomacy and to reach out directly to the Chinese people. He hopes that he can continue the blog set up by the US embassy and make appearances on radio and TV shows in China." Locke image from article
Today in Congress - David Waldman, Congress Matters: "In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader: ... UNITED STATES ADVISORY COMMISSION ON PUBLIC DIPLOMACY #131 Sim Farar – to be a Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy #132 William J. Hybl – to be a Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy."
Mr. Ambassador, Meet President Zuckerberg: Facebook is sending diplomats to foreign countries. Now foreign countries should send diplomats to Facebook - Cyrus Farivar, Slate Magazine - "All the regions and countries that Facebook wants to target, ranging from Scandinavia to New Zealand, should each immediately reciprocate and begin planning to send their own chargé d'affaires to present their credentials to Mark Zuckerberg. Then they would devote their time to promoting their national interests to the company. An obvious application, for example, would be adapting Facebook's interface into more languages. While the company currently operates in a bunch of languages, ranging from Frisian to Thai, it is still sorely lacking in African languages. Senegal's envoys, for example, could lobby for more Wolof content, while their Haitian counterparts could argue for increased Kreyòl. 'In terms of public diplomacy, why not?' said Christopher Hughes, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, when I proposed the idea. (Hughes is not the Facebook co-founder of the same name.) 'In a way, most states are already putting parts of their diplomatic corps to use the Internet and to use technology to
promote their own message. […] In a way, this would make it easier for smaller states to do what bigger states are doing.' ... Over the last two years, with Hillary Clinton at the helm of the State Department, the U.S. has expanded its own '21st Century Statecraft,' with Obama's Persian-subtitled messages to the Iranian people and official State Department Twitter accounts in Portuguese, Arabic and other languages. Ambassador John Limbert, the former deputy assistant secretary of state for Iran (and a former U.S. Embassy hostage in Tehran) told me this week that adopting these tools should already be part of a nation's diplomatic toolkit. 'Presumably, if a country's diplomatic service is doing its job, it will have tech-savvy people in its midst who, unlike people of my generation, will understand this stuff much better,' he said.'" Image from article
A Skeptical Look at the Effectiveness of Jazz as a Tool of Public Diplomacy - Candace Ren Burnham: "Rather than continuing to develop and fund new [jazz] programs, the Department of State should re-evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs and then emphasize quality programming with measureable results.
By not having thorough and thoughtful program evaluations to back up its claims, the Department of State is overselling arts diplomacy, and risks losing credibility when those claims cannot be demonstrated." Image from
H.R. 1540—National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012: Dept of Navy to change name to "Dept of Navy and Marine Corps" - A Priest's Life: "Interagency coordination: The bill would require the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to jointly establish a standing advisory panel to advise, review, and make recommendations on ways to improve coordination among the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and USAID on matters relating to national security, including reviewing their respective roles and responsibilities in activities such as stability operations, foreign assistance, including security assistance, strategic communications, public diplomacy, and countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
The Revolving Door Continues... - William Kiehl, My PD Blog: "I was recently asked for my comments on the resignation of Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale.
While I am sure that Ms. McHale tried her best to rei[n]vigorate PD and took some steps in the right direction to attempt to reassert some 'command and control' of this function within the State Department, her tenure was only marginally successful. As long as political appointees continue to stay in office for an average of two years or less, our foreign policy and particularly our public diplomacy efforts will be less than successful. Each new appointee is determined to 'reinvent the wheel.' By the time they figure out what the problems are and have some sense of what to do they are out the revolving door back to where[...]ver they prefer to be and the next incumbent will start the process all over again. Multiply this by 1500 senior administration positions and another 1500 staff aides etc. and you have a pre[s]cription for inefficiency which plagues every administration. Isn't it time we cut back on the number of non-professionals in diplomacy just as we have in the military? In the 19th century, most officers--including generals--were appointees or simply bought their commissions and the nation paid a high price for such amatuerism. We professionalized the military officer corps in the early 20th century and it is now the most efficient force in the world. Will we ever professionalize the diplomatic service and the senior ranks of the bureaucracy? The president is entitled to have a cabinet that is loyal and politically committed but below the cabinet level and at the ambassadorial level abroad, most advanced countries rely on career professionals to perform these roles." McHale image from article
Reader Comment on: “Public Diplomacy in Uniform: The Role of the U.S. Department of Defense in Supporting Modern Day Public Diplomacy” – James Rockwell, American Diplomacy: “While the author supports PD being primarily/ultimately directed under the DOS, she defeats her own argument when acknowledging that DOD does step into some voids, which are unfilled/unwanted by DOS. And, of course DOD is ‘nice to have along’ for security in hostile conditions… but should not have any PD functionality? Duh? The writer fails to recognize that there are more, many more, contacts between an indigenous population and a uniform vice a non-uniformed PD specialist from the Department of State (DOS).”
Public Diplomacy Began in Germany – Yale Richmond, American Diplomacy: "The United States is currently debating whether Public Diplomacy – talking directly to the people of another country – should be conducted by the State Department, with its more qualified personnel, or by the Department of Defense, with its much greater financial resources. However, it is not well known that Public Diplomacy began in the late 1940s in occupied Germany under the Office of Military Government, US (OMGUS),
and long before the term Public Diplomacy was coined." Image from article, with caption: Offices of an OMGUS newspaper in occupied Germany
Book Reviews: Trials of Engagement: The Future of US Public Diplomacy, Ed. By Ali Fisher and Scott Lucas - Michael Schneider, American Diplomacy: "Trials of Engagement shows that the field has come into its own as an academic pursuit. With ample footnoting and bibliographic references, the book seeks to meld theory and concepts with analysis of the conduct of public diplomacy. The authors are fully aware of the ramifications of the digital revolution, and offer ideas for a new consensus about how public diplomacy might contribute to a better world. At the outset the authors point out one of the central concerns of the book: the movement away from audiences as passive objects experiencing Public Diplomacy to cooperation with active, autonomous participants capable of involvement in a complex global 'network society.' The public diplomacy of the 21st century will rest on a view of communities as 'participants' and potential collaborators, not targets for messages, objects of influence for U.S. policy."
Wikileaks on Jamaica! - Warren's Blog: "Courtesy of wikileaks C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KINGSTON 002346 ... E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/11/15 ... SUBJECT: JAMAICA - DEMOCRACY PROMOTION STRATEGIES FOR WHA FOCUS COUNTRIES ¶7. (C) Developments in more troubled neighboring countries rightly absorbing greater attention by senior Department and Washington officials, but USG actions and opinions carry great weight with the GOJ and the Jamaican public, even when they disagree with us. Properly conceived and executed, more frequent public engagement on Jamaican issues (such as those described in Sections A and B, above) by senior USG officials would go a long way here, as was demonstrated in the trafficking in persons (TIP) arena. Washington- and Embassy-based discussion of TIP initially met with considerable resistance from the GOJ,
which did not understand the problem, and which initially viewed our efforts as unfounded and unjustly punitive. By repeatedly engaging with officials, private sector contacts, and particularly the public diplomacy engagement via radio and television, however, G/TIP and Embassy efforts eventually resulted in a reluctant acknowledgment of the problem, public awareness of it, and a promising GOJ campaign to address TIP." Image from
This Memorial Day, remember the diplomats, too - Clayton McCleskey, Dallas Morning News, posted at War Zone Feds: "On Memorial Day, we rightly pause to remember those who serve our nation in military uniform. But we should also recognize the more than 12,000 members of the American diplomatic corps who serve in Washington and in 271 missions across the globe. 'They are the ones out there on the front lines trying to advocate and explain [American] policies, regardless of which administration they are serving,' said Karen Hughes, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy under President George W. Bush. She praised the Foreign Service as 'a very dedicated group of public servants' who 'work and make sacrifices around the world in some very difficult assignments.' ... 'Diplomacy used to be thought of as the quiet, behind-the-scenes, government-to-government communications,' Hughes
told me. It’s now so much more than that. 'In order for America to enact the kinds of policies we want to enact around the world,' Hughes explained, 'we have got to build a public case for those policies, for our values and for our interests.' Our diplomats are out in the trenches doing just that, often at great personal danger." Hughes image from
Broadcasting Board of Governors will hold its "first ever public meeting" on 3 June - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Parazit: the VOA program with a "US fan base" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
About Town: Life is Good; Yard Sales; and a Special Guest Speaker is Coming to Stoughton - "SHAI BAZAK, ISRAEL's CONSUL GENERAL TO NEW ENGLAND, IS COMING TO STOUGHTON! He'll be discussing 'The Middle East’s Shifting Sands and Israel as the Bedrock of Jewish Identity' on Sunday, June 5 at 9:45 a.m. at Ahavath Torah Congregation at 1179 Central Street. ). ... He has held many positions in the Israeli government and the private sector. Mr. Bazak was the CEO of a American private investment company interested in high-tech in Israel (Old City Group) and was also a professor of media at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (2008-2010). Mr. Bazak is a well known media analyst in Israel who has appeared on various public forums focusing on politics, public diplomacy and Israel-US relations."
Swedish Institute (SI) - culture360.org: "The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency that promotes interest and confidence in Sweden around the world. SI seeks to establish cooperation and lasting relations with other countries through strategic communication and exchange in the fields
of culture, education, science and business. SI also supports Swedish language instruction at foreign universities. SI works closely with Swedish embassies and consulates around the world. Cultural diplomacy is considered an highly effective component in the Swedish approach to public diplomacy." Image from
Repositioning Bangladesh using soft power - Ashfaqur Rahman, The Daily Star: "We know that soft power resources are usually outside the control of governments. They are in the hands of individuals and non-governmental organisations. Soft power,
therefore, works indirectly and can only shape the environment for policy. It can take years to produce desired results. But the government of Bangladesh through the conduct of cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy can enhance the image of the country and bring quick results. The Bangladesh Diaspora is an effective medium to showcase our soft power. The internet can also bring many of our ideas and ideology to the attention of foreigners. Setting up more libraries and information centeres both at home and abroad as well as translating more Bangla literature into English are the other ways to project Bangladesh's soft power. Our visual and performing arts, fashion, cuisine and folk tales are also elements of this power. In the long run it is our soft power or the attractiveness of Bangladesh through its ideas, ideologies and interests that can help us climb higher in rank among the comity of nations." Image from
Brits and friends: Does Kashmir really interest Europe? - Arjimand Hussain Talib, GreaterKashmir.com: "The Brits are back in the town. It is the first visit by the British High Commissioner in India to Srinagar this year. ... [S]uch visits are part of the normal public diplomacy initiatives influential countries take overseas. Both publicly and privately, members of these delegations make it amply clear that the basic aim of these missions is to learn about the current situation in Kashmir."
Sri Lanka's ties with emerging states must be properly “managed” - Sunimalee Dias, Sunday Times.lk: "Sri Lanka needs to better 'manage' its bilateral relations with India and China and engage ex-LTTE combatants to join the workforce, an international terrorism expert said on Monday. In respect of India and China, Sri Lanka will need to 'manage the relationship very carefully,' Prof. Rohan Gunaratne, a Sri Lankan scholar based in Singapore, told
the Business Times on the sidelines of his speech on 'Global Terrorism – The Threat and the Response' organized by the Shippers’ Academy – Colombo held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). ... Prof. Gunaratna remained highly critical of the foreign service in the country, noting it is essential to send the best minds and not retirees or children of ministers to overseas missions. He also asserted the need to establish a public diplomacy capability and to engage NGOs through an advocacy unit." Image from, with caption: Jacqueline Fernandez Accepting Miss Sri Lanka
Takshashila Shala - vote for my talk on Participatory Democracy! - Balaji, Musings: "I just got the talk-schedule for Sunday's Takshashila Shala from Nitin. There are 3 half hour talks up for grabs from participants. ... In the meanwhile, here's the list of talks . ... 14:00 - 14:30 - Navdeep Suri - Why public diplomacy matters."
A living legacy of Democracy: One year later! - uamuzik.blogspot.com: "A year ago today many lost a good friend, my friend, Iryna, lost a caring husband and companion and two young ladies lost a father. Before that tragic day arrived, my friend Ilko Kucheriv, was waging a battle of a lifetime, which unfortunately he lost. ... Friend of mine Mark Rachkevych, originally of Chicago, who now makes Kyiv his home, wrote in the Kyiv Post: 'I recall meeting Kucheriv at the Drum [ed. a Kyiv haunt of journalist and democratically minded Ukrainian youth, and expats.] when he returned from his six-month Reagan-Fascell fellowship in Washington, D.C. in 2006. Like many who come back from stints in the West, full of ambition and fresh ideas, Kucheriv proclaimed that he’d start to engage in public diplomacy, whose practice he said would make Democratic Initiatives the preeminent think-tank in Ukraine, on par with the Cato or Brookings Institute. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he’d been practicing public diplomacy ever since 1992, and successfully at that. That’s the kind of person he was. He was the big, serious teddy bear with a vision.'”
Public Diplomacy Jobs - Ren's Microdiplomacy
Desree Barlow Tells Pals;-I’m in love with a stranger - redpepper.co.ug: "She is back in town and we know the kind of spell she has over lads. We are talking about the ex Capital FM, UBC and WBS news anchor, the juicy Desree Barlow. Well, it looks like some dude has cast spell on her. Close pals tell us that she has been telling close pals how she is finally in love. A source was quoted; 'She says she is in love with a stranger and she talks about him all the time.' ...
It should be remembered though that Desree Barlow found herself in tight fix a few years back when her lover found her in bed with another man. A fight ensued and the case was reported at Kiira Road Police station. Desree had to be dragged pantless with her lover boy to the police to record a statement. While at Police, the sex siren in her words told whoever cared to listen that; 'I’m fed up with that man, if he thinks that causing a scene and tarnishing my name will make me love him, he is mistaken.' She later acquired a scholarship and left our city to pursue Public Diplomacy at the University of Leeds. She recently returned to town to run horny fellas ‘gaga’ again."
Iran Vows to Unplug Internet - Christopher Rhoads and Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal: Iran is taking steps toward an aggressive new form of censorship: a so-called national Internet that could, in effect, disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the rest of the world. The leadership in Iran sees the project as a way to end the fight for control of the Internet, according to observers of Iranian policy inside and outside the country. Iran, already among the most sophisticated nations in online censoring, also promotes its national Internet as a cost-saving measure for consumers and as a way to uphold Islamic moral codes. Image from article, with caption: An Iranian engineer who helped design and run the country's Internet filters says he subtly undermined some censorship until fleeing into exile
Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter and World War II in American Memory - Samuel Redman, blogs.berkeley.edu: The image of Rosie the Riveter
Nazi Propaganda Swing - Alan Bellows, posted at damninteresting.com: Despite the fact that swing and big band music were forbidden as “degenerate” in 1930s Nazi Germany, Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich’s propaganda minister, cobbled together a skilled group of jazz musicians to form a propaganda swing orchestra.
The result was a bizarre combination of cheery tunes and hateful rants which were broadcast on medium- and short-wave bands to Canada, the US and Britain. It must have been pretty demoralizing to be listening to the radio only to hear a lightly-accented German interject his anti-American sentiments in the middle of a nice swing tune, particularly when the outcome of the war was far from certain. Image from article
Soviet Propaganda Posters - dieselpunks.org: This poster urges the public to join OSOAVIAKHIM, Union of Societies of Assistance
to Defence and Aviation-Chemical Construction, which prepared Red Army reserves and used its members' fees to fund new aircraft squadrons and airship flotillas.
Foolish Propaganda Posters - Midolinho, foolishmind.com: