Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17

"[T]ell the truth and lose your head or write propaganda and lose your soul?"

--A question raised by Jesuit Father Bill Cain’s play, “Equivocation,” which is coming to the Arena Stage in Washington, DC; image from


Top 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Marines in Okinawa Are Essential - Bruce Klinger, Heritage Foundation, "There is ... a need for both the United States and Japan to increase public diplomacy efforts. Neither Washington nor Tokyo has explained the geostrategic necessities of a U.S. forward-deployed military presence in Asia effectively.

Nor have officials articulated the significant role of the U.S. Marines in a broad spectrum of alliance missions—an issue that is complicated by political sensitivities and U.S. officials’ excessive fear of revealing military contingency plans." Image from

David Ensor sworn in as new VOA director, but won't "join" VOA until 1 August - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.

Ensor image from

VOA domestically disseminated via website founded by Tucker -- son of former VOA director Dick -- Carlson - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Under new Russian media law, foreign TV and radio channels must register as legal entity in Russia - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "VOA, RFE/RL, and BBC already have virtually no access to Russian domestic FM and television channels. The new provisions probably pertain to international commercial channels such as Disney and Discovery."

VOL. VII NO. 12, June 03-June 16, 2011 - Layalina Productions

Remodeling of Arab Media Shows Promise The Arab world is experiencing greater press freedoms and outreach in the post-Arab Spring environment, illustrated through the growth of satellite channels and other media outlets.

MENA Transitions at an Impasse Political upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia are evident as elections are set to take place, however, Syria and Libya continue to be ruled under oppressive regimes. Image from

Revising Strategies in US Public Diplomacy US President Barack Obama has named businessman Sim Farar as a member of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. In other news, the Broadcasting Board of Governors is looking to increase the quality of international broadcasting, while being scrutinized for its recent internal actions.

Arabic Language Content Makes Headway Online By increasing the presence of Arab citizens, businesses and governments online, experts are hoping to see exponential growth in Arabic language content online.

Cell Phone Company Claims Arab Spring The international communications giant Vodafone faces criticism in Egypt due to a promotional video claiming that the company inspired the January revolution.

Internet Outage in Syria While violence in Syria exacerbates during protests and demonstrations, a majority of Syrians encountered an abrupt suspension of Internet access. As a result, in an effort to protect the rights of Syrians, UN representatives continue to assert the right to unfettered Internet access.

Revamping Arab Stereotypes in Cinema
  A recently launched online exhibit by the Arab American National Museum examines Arab stereotypes in the film industry. However, the Arab Spring may potentially rectify such stereotypes according to media industry players.

DoS Backs Up Communication Initiatives The US State Department is supporting uprisings in the Middle East by financing the development of wireless technologies and the training of young Arab leaders for the future.

Is Israel Central to US Foreign Policy?  As the 2012 US presidential election draws nearer, American politicians are finding foreign policy toward Israel as one of the most critical topics for debate."

Pakistani delegation visits SHAPE, NATO headquarters‎ - Associated Press of Pakistan: "A 10-member delegation of spokespersons, public relations and communication experts led by Secretary information and Broadcasting, Taimur Azmat Osman, visited Supreme Headquarter Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)

and NATO Headquarter. The delegation was on a three-day visit to Brussels from June 14-16 at the invitation from Public Diplomacy Division of NATO, said a press release issued here Friday." Image from

IHH: Mavi Marmara Will Not Sail With Gaza Flotilla - Journal of Turkish Weekly: "The Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, which was raided by Israeli troops en route to Gaza in May 2010, will not join a flotilla to the coastal strip in the coming weeks organizers said Friday, amid conflicting reports as to what prevented its launch. 'After the damage caused to the Mavi Marmara [during the raid], we are not in a position to go to sea,' said Bulent Yildirim, the president of the Islamic charity IHH which owns the ship and is spearheading the mission. ... But IHH

stressed in a statement Friday that it would participate in the flotilla by other means, saying that 'so-called 'established channels' for delivering aid to Gaza, referred to by global leaders seeking to stop our mission, do not allow for the needs of the people of Gaza to be met due to Israel’s many restrictions, nor do they permit freedom for Palestinians.' 'Representatives of IHH and Turkish activists will sail with other flotilla ships,' the group said. In its statement, IHH said pulling the Mavi Marmara from the flotilla, in which around 10 ships are currently preparing to sail from European and US ports, could strengthen the public diplomacy case. 'The misinformation put forward by the Israeli government and its supporters that the flotilla is a 'Turkish' and 'Islamist' effort will be completely exposed.'" Image from

Marginalia: Marginalia - Mona Anis, Ahram Online: "It is impossible to have a political conversation these days -- and politics is all Egyptians ever talk about -- without the word Turkey cropping up within minutes. Turkey is the topic of interest: meetings are being held to discuss it, and writers, journalists, bloggers and even tweeters write incessantly about the lessons the Turkish model holds for Egypt at this crucial juncture while the country readies for a democratic transformation following the great uprising of 25 January. Many of these speakers and writers, including the present one, have had the

opportunity to visit Turkey over the last couple of months at the invitation of one or other Turkish institution, many of which are currently conducting a highly successful public diplomacy campaign. ... [W]e should not forget that Turkey at the height of Ottoman power was an empire with vast territories, while Egypt's attempts to free itself from the Ottoman yoke ended with falling under British occupation in 1882." Image from

Yet another Indian techie donates $1.5 million to Canadian varsity‎ - "Hyderabad-born Indian-Canadian techie Sreedhar Natarajan has announced to donate $1.5 million to the Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy at Carleton University based in Ottawa. He has become the second Indian techie within two weeks to make a huge donation to a Canadian university. Just last week, another Indian techie, Vasudev Chanchalani, had donated $1 million to Canada's University of Waterloo to launch the Chanchlani India Policy Centre exclusively devoted to 'the Canada-India corridor' [.] Carleton is the only university in the world to have a full-fledged India-centric Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy. Set up last year with Indian assistance, the Centre of Excellence aims to raise awareness about bilateral studies and public diplomacy, and develop initiatives to build a better understanding of both countries."

Norwegian diplomacy will hurt your ears - Richard Gowan, "The versatility of modern diplomats never ceases to amaze…Following a reported global rise in interest in black metal, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry has begun providing diplomats on foreign service missions with an introduction to the genre – specifically ‘True Norwegian Black Metal’ to give it its official term. Louder Than War reports that Kjersti Sommerset, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Centre Of Excellence,

told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv: ‘We now have 106 foreign service missions and they get many enquiries from people who want information about Norwegian black metal as a phenomenon. In the training program, we have a large cultural programme in order to give the trainees a good understanding of Norwegian culture and the cultural industry. Black metal is clearly a part of this ‘global awakening’. I am not sure if the gentleman pictured above, from a series of pictures of Norwegian black metal artistes, has considered a career in diplomacy. But if the screaming and Satanism wears thin, his Mum will be glad to know he’s got a Plan B.” Via DF on Facebook.


Does Foreign Policy Matter? - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Americans care about foreign policy and see through foreign posturing. What they need now from Obama is a better sense of how their economy can thrive in this changed world.

Garry Kasparov has a suggestion - Fred Hiatt, Washington Post: The United States has at its disposal a practical tool that could help undermine Putin’s hold on power — specifically, a bill sponsored by Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin

that would ban visas for and freeze assets of Russian officials implicated in rank abuses of justice or abrogations of freedom inside Russia. Image from

End the Love Affairs with Pakistan - David Ignatius, Washington Post: The two countries have been bitterly disappointed in the relationship — with each seemingly incapable of understanding what upsets the other — but they have overriding common interests, too.

Latin America: Iran's Springboard to America's Backyard - Iran is exploiting its growing ties and common interests with Latin American countries to deploy there its familiar pieces from the Middle Eastern and African chessboards. Those "pieces" include subversive and propaganda activity, terror and smuggling, and the development of long-range military capabilities. In this context, there have been reports that Iran is seeking to establish a missile base in Venezuela, at the doorstep of the "great Satan."

Symposium: Sex, Drugs and Psychological Warfare - Frank Kitman, a blogger and independent researcher who specializes in how America’s enemies have used drugs as a weapon against us: Drugs were used by communists as a lubricant for their propaganda efforts, as well as for a key reinforcement

for “revolutionary behavior” and other activities helpful to China and the Soviet Union. Image from article

Naked Nazis, a best selling book - What did Germans read during the Nazi era? In search of the answer, author Christian Adam surveyed a total of 350 bestsellers from the 12 years of the Third Reich's existence -- making striking discoveries in the process. In addition to well-known propaganda books like Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and Alfred Rosenberg's "The Myth of the Twentieth

Century," there were schmaltzy regional novels, science fiction, mysteries, love stories, joke books and cross-media marketed accompaniments to radio programs and films. Some of the books printed seem surprising today. Perhaps the oddest of them all was Hans Surén's "Mensch und Sonne," or "Humans and Sun," a collection of nude photographs that includes lyrical praise of the male member, instructions for yoga-like exercises and even naked skiing. Image from article


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