Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10

"[I]t seems to me that the rightful province of the moralist, whether he be playwright or novelist, begins where the law ends."

--Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803); cited in The Times Literary Supplement (July 29, 2011), p. 11; image from


Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and Japanese Youth Lead Initial International Sports Exchange with Japan - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: "On August 9, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., 16 Japanese youth baseball and softball players, and four coaches participating in the U.S. Department of State’s first international sports exchange with Japan. During the meeting, Secretary Clinton reiterated U.S. support for Japan as the country recovers and rebuilds following the March 2011 natural disasters. The Secretary also highlighted the role of sports to empower young people worldwide and how international sports exchange programs provide an opportunity for participating youth and the Americans they meet to share and learn how sports can play an important role in overcoming adversity. Secretary Clinton and Cal Ripken, Jr. discussed his upcoming trip to Japan as a Public Diplomacy Envoy and the strong relationship between the people of the United States and Japan. 'I am excited and honored to continue my work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for the State Department,' said Cal Ripken, Jr., who has served as a Public Diplomacy Envoy since 2007. 'I have very much enjoyed the people to people exchanges with China and Nicaragua and I am looking forward to my visit to Japan.' ... Sports diplomacy builds on Secretary Clinton’s vision of 'smart power' diplomacy. It embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools, including sports, to bring people together for greater understanding.

Sports Visitors are youth and coaches who travel to the United States for an exchange. Sports Visitor programs give young people an opportunity to discover how success in athletics can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom. Public diplomacy envoys travel overseas to conduct drills and team building activities, as well as engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, positive health practices and respect for diversity." See also. Image from, with caption: Secretary Clinton and MLB's Cal Ripken, Jr. With Sports United Youth Players Secretary Clinton and Sports Envoy Cal Ripken, Jr. sit centered with Japanese baseball and softball players who will participate in the first U.S.-Japan international sports exchange.

Photo: Secretary Clinton Meets With Jovenes en Accion (Youth in Action) Exchange Participants - Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State: "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Ann Stock, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Matthew Rooney, and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan, met today with 68 Jovenes en Accion

(Youth in Action) exchange participants to congratulate them on the successful completion of their program. Jovenes en Accion is an innovative five-week youth exchange program that develops leadership skills, fosters civic engagement, and supports Mexican public high school students in creating service projects to implement in their communities."

Public Schedule for August 10, 2011 - U.S. Department of State: "ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANN STOCK 11:45 a.m. Assistant Secretary Stock meets with Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 1:30 p.m. Assistant Secretary Stock speaks to the new Foreign Service Officers of the 162nd A-100 class, at the Foreign Service Institute. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)"

Taking Comedy Seriously in Public Diplomacy - Jian (Jay) Wang, PD News – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "In our paper, titled 'The Comic Imagination of China: The Beijing Olympics in American TV Comedy and Implications for Public Diplomacy,' to be published in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, we focus on the image of China in American pop culture as a case in point to discuss the role of humor and satire in the study and practice of public diplomacy."

More than 2,200 pages of documents obtained through FOIA: Government-funded propaganda operation in Miami exposed - Gloria La Riva, "More than 2,200 pages of contracts between Miami journalists and Radio and TV Martí—released thus far to Liberation newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petition—expose the fallacy of an independent press in Miami. ... The BBG and its Office of Cuba Broadcasting have operated Radio Martí since 1985 and TV Martí since 1990. They broadcast into Cuba with the intent to destabilize the government. They also broadcast directly into Miami. The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 regulating U.S. 'public diplomacy' abroad—Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio and TV Martí,

etc.—prohibits the U.S. government from funding activities to influence and propagandize domestic public opinion, see 22 U.S.C. § 1461. The U.S. government has funneled nearly half a billion dollars into the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami. With an annual budget nearing $35 million, the OCB and BBG put on their payroll domestic journalists to broadcast the same message inside and outside the United States on Cuba-related issues, effectively violating the law against domestic dissemination of U.S. propaganda." Image from

Ambassador of Italy to US [Giulio Terzi] US Shares Perspectives - Alessandra Gelmi, "[Q:]What would you say is the best-possible training for a prospective ambassador? [A:] A strong background in international law and knowledge of the history of international relations and economics is a pre-requisite for every diplomat who wants to understand and master the complexity of today’s world. My personal suggestion is to keep abreast with technological advancements.

The world of diplomacy has been changing so fast in the past 20 or so years because of technology. Public diplomacy is also an important part of an Ambassador’s job. It is the way we present our country to the public. It has been shaped around the advancement in communication technologies and has gained great momentum in the past few years thanks to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. The latest G8 Summit this past May in France is a clear example: Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and Eric Schmidt, executive director of Google, were seated at the same table as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, U.S. President Barack Obama, and the other world leaders. Prospective Ambassadors have to realize what is now cutting edge diplomacy might be obsolete 20 or so years from now." Image from article, with caption: Giulio Terzi, Ambassador of Italy, speaks during a media preview of the exhibition, "Venice: Canaletto [and His Rivals]."

Kashgar situation - Tanvir Ahmad Khan, "There are sporadic attempts by some pundits of our TV talk shows to belittle Chinese assistance to Pakistan over the decades. I am disappointed that foreign office’s think-tank, the institute of Strategic Studies that claims to have a so-called China centre has not reacted to some preposterous statements made by assorted media gurus. Public diplomacy in this context has been left largely to Mushahid Hussain’s low-budget but committed interest in strengthening bilateral ties in the Year of Friendship." On Hussain, see.

Emerging powers launch Syria peace bid - AFP, Khaleej Times Online: "'From the South African perspective, it’s to understand what is happening in Syria but also to communicate the same position that we communicated at the UN Security Council that the Syrian government needs to open up the political playing field,'

[South Africa's] chief director of public diplomacy Kgomotso Molobi told AFP."  Molobi image from

Ten Years Later - Public Diplomacy and the Arab World - CPD Conversations in Public Diplomacy - Events Detail, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:00PM - 1:30PM Venue: USC; Tutor Campus Center Forum (351/352) Since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, U.S. policymakers have grappled first with the question, 'Why do they hate us?' and then with broader issues of the tone and substance of American public diplomacy. The Arab world has presented particular challenges to the United States. This panel will examine U.S. public diplomacy during the past ten years and will consider ways in which it might be improved for the years ahead. Particular emphasis will be placed on changes in the region, such as the increasing use of new communication technologies and the political changes resulting from this year’s Arab revolutions. Please join CPD for a compelling conversation on this important milestone."


What Lies Ahead in Syria? - Anonymous, The Nation: The foreign plot/paid to protest narrative has not been as easy for Syrians to dismiss as it was when similarly invoked by dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. There are many reasons for this: a lack of independent journalists reporting on the situation while a sophisticated Syrian propaganda machine operates at full force; the relative sanity and charisma, compared to other authoritarian leaders, of Assad and

his Vogue-worthy wife; the disorganization of the demonstrators and opposition (and the possibility some of them are indeed armed). And then there is the argument that Western democracies lie and commit atrocities too without being stripped of their mandate to govern—"weapons of mass destruction" and the invasion of Iraq being the favored examples. Image of Asma al-Assad, wife of President of Syria, from

North Korea propaganda unit builds monuments abroad: Building North Korea-style monuments for cash-strapped countries has become a cash lifeline for Kim Jong Il's regime - Of all the North Korean work units toiling under Kim Jong Il’s regime, Mansudae should be among the least likely to ply its trade overseas. The estimated 4,000-person unit produces artwork, much of it deifying the Kim dynasty through paintings, statues and monuments. While such propaganda keeps North Koreans under the so-called Dear Leader’s spell, there is virtually no global market for images glorifying dictators with bouffants. But in recent years, a propaganda unit subsidiary — Mansudae Overseas Projects — has become one of Kim’s emerging foreign earners. Building North Korea-style monuments

for other cash-strapped countries has become a cash lifeline worth an estimated $160 million in the last decade. Their latest project has led the North Koreans to Cambodia, where developers and state tourism funds are rapidly commercializing the Angkor Wat temple ruins. Image from article, with caption: Children look at the "African Renaissance Monument" on April 1, 2010 in Dakar.

Russian Truth - Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, Pravda hasn't changed since the days of the Soviet Union. It purports to be, as its Russian name suggests, a news source of truth. In reality, it's still a mouth piece for government propaganda. Bishop Paul Peter Jesep of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is the designated United States spokesperson for His Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine.

SWLing Book Review–Roger Tidy’s Hitler’s Radio War - The SWLing Post: Hitler’s Radio War (Robert Hale, publisher, 2011) is a comprehensive history of the multi-language,

insidious Third Reich initiative to brainwash their perceived antagonists, both prior to and in the aftermath of each invasion. Via. Image from article

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