Friday, August 19, 2011

August 11-19

"What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player."

--Legendary basketball coach John Wooden; image from: "Georgetown basketball players brawl with Chinese team" (New York Post)


Biden in Beijing: of noodles and knuckles…and the Chinese media - Alexandra Stevenson, Financial Times: "US vice president Joe Biden isn’t have an easy time of it in China – not with the public diplomacy involved in this week’s visit to Beijing. First, his opening remarks at a key meeting with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, were interrupted by a kerfuffle involving Chinese officials and journalists covering the trip. Next, a meal at a small restaurant in one of Beijing’s alleyways was criticised by Chinese bloggers who detected a note of PR phoney in what was made to look like a casual event. Finally, a goodwill China-US basketball match ended in a brawl. All this on Thursday, day one of the four-day mission aimed at reinforcing relations at a time when Washington more than ever needs the financial support of its biggest creditor. According to Xinhua, the state news agency, Biden visited Yao Ji Stewed Liver

with some of his staff where he where he ordered noodles and pork buns, and left a 20 per cent tip, 'in line', as he said, 'with American custom.' Xinhua quoted one microblogger, Ningxiangdong saying: Mr Vice President, I know you didn’t come here for noodles, so never mind the tip. But don’t blow our 1.165 trillion U.S. dollars in Treasury assets. There are 1.3 billion Chinese keeping an eye on this. Biden – fortunately – was not present when Georgetown University’s Hoyas basketball team played Bayi’s Military Rockets in the Olympic basketball arena. But sports diplomacy didn’t seem to work either – the game came to a premature end after it turned into a full-blown fight with chairs, bottles and fists thrown about. ... All this criticism of Biden – clearly carried out with official blessing – is in stark contrast to a seeming spontaneous chorus of Chinese praise online for Gary Locke, the newly-appointed US ambassador to Beijing. ... [A]t least Biden seems to be doing better with the official substance of his visit. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao told Biden on Friday, 'You have clearly told the Chinese people that the United States is committed to preserving the integrity of its public debt, including its safety, liquidity and inflation-resistance, which will undoubtedly enhance investors’ confidence.'” See also: Biden’s basketball diplomacy in Beijing - Josh Rogin, The Cable. Image from

'We must boost market confidence' - ‎Li Xiaokun, Li Lianxing, China Daily: "China and the United States share a responsibility for boosting global market confidence, Vice-President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while meeting US Vice-President Joe Biden who

is on a trust-building visit. ... After holding talks with Xi, Biden and his entourage, including his granddaughter, went to lunch in a small restaurant named Yao's Chao Gan (stir-fried pork liver) between 1:30 pm and 2 pm. ... The bill came to 79 yuan ($12.4) and Biden paid it himself, Yao said. 'He gave me a 100-yuan note and left the change as a tip. They must have enjoyed the dishes as they ate everything,' he said. Upon his arrival in Beijing on Wednesday evening, Biden and his delegation watched a basketball game between the Georgetown Hoyas and the Shanxi Brave Dragons at the National Olympic Sports Center. Da Wei, an analyst from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), said such arrangements were part and parcel of public diplomacy. 'They're trying to show Chinese people a friendly image of high-level US officials,' Da said." Image from article, with caption: Vice-President Xi Jinping greets his US counterpart Joe Biden during a welcoming ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.

Locke to rebuild US reputation - Meng Jing and Li Aoxue, China Daily: "Rebuilding the financial reputation of the United States will be Gary Locke's top priority when he arrives in Beijing ... as the US ambassador to China, experts said. ... Zhang Zhixin, a US expert from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Locke will ... certainly engage in public diplomacy, promoting human rights and Western values."

Friends and family remember China Daily reporter - Tan Yingzi, China Daily: "More than 60 friends and colleagues from China and the United States attended a memorial service to pay tribute to China Daily veteran reporter Li Xing on Thursday morning. ... Minister Lu Youqing of the Chinese embassy in the US expressed his sorrow and said Li was a busy reporter traveling throughout the US, producing many wonderful stories.

'It is a great loss for China Daily and China's public diplomacy, as well as for our embassy,' he said. Andrea Corey, media relations officer at the Foreign Press Center under the US Department of State, sent a letter of condolence to Li's family." Image from article, with caption: Gao Anming, member of the editorial board of China Daily, speaks to pay tribute to Li Xing, China Daily veteran reporter, at Li's memorial service in Washington DC, on Thursday.

Western hands are tied on Syria, Western tongues shouldn't be - Hélène Michou, Deutsche Welle: "Events in Syria are taking a decisive turn,

mirrored by international Western and non-Western responses. ... It is to influential regional players such as Turkey and the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] which the international community should turn in the hope of ratcheting up the pressure on Assad's regime. US and EU sanctions are an effective tool of Western public diplomacy, but their impact in this context is questionable: travel bans and asset freezes do not impede transfers of sums through more informal channels such as the 'hawala' system (informal value transfer system using a network of Middle East-based money brokers - the ed.)."  Image from

Santorum Responds to White House Call for Syrian President Assad’s Resignation - "I’m glad to see Rick Santorum showing his expertise on foreign policy. Attention, Rick: More please? Thanks! Before you read the press release….Rick Santorum wrote the following in April of this year: To add to the policy and public diplomacy confusion as recently as May of 2010, the Obama Administration renewed sanctions put in place against Syria in 2004 as a result of my successful legislation which passed in 2003 called the 'Syria Accountability Act.' ... Okay…in that context, NOW read the press release from Rick Santorum today. Verona, PA – Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) made the following statement in response to President Obama’s call for Syrian President Assad to step down. 'Assad’s regime has the blood of freedom seeking Syrians on its hands. It is about time that the Obama Administration stepped to the plate and called for the long-awaited resignation of President Assad. Nearly a decade ago I worked to remove the Syrian threat from the doorstep of our ally Israel, and it is shocking that it has taken President Obama this long to realize that Syria is a threat to not just the region, but to its own people,' concluded Senator Santorum. Senator Santorum was the author of the bipartisan Syria Accountability Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. This critical piece of legislation to not just American security, but Israeli security, worked to end Syria’s presence in Lebanon and end the illegal shipment of military goods to anti-U.S. forces in Iraq."

Tensions between Washington and Cairo as well as Gaza over USAID‎ - Arab Monitor: [by subscription only]. According to Google, mention of public diplomacy.

Remarkable Current’s Hip Hop Ambassadors bring the beat to the Tunisian revolution
- "The US State Department called upon Remarkable Current’s Hip Hop Ambassadors in June to head to Tunisia, where they performed concerts, collaborated with Tunisian artists, and interacted with youth and music fans of all ages. This cultural exchange was funded by the U.S. Department of State and supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. During this 10-day trip, Remarkable Current’s Tunisian Revolution Tour visited the three major cities of Tunis, Sousse, and Sfax. Returned recently from abroad, Anas Canon, director and founder of Remarkable Current kindly accepted to share his experience on the Tunisian Revolution Tour. ... [Canon:] We have a program that we started a couple years ago as an extension of Remarkable Current

and the program is called ‘Hip Hop Ambassadors’. The function of the program is essentially to service foreign NGO’s, governments or embassies and provide them with a positive, urban, American artistic experience; typically revolving around music. The State Department already knew about us and when they found that we were in Algeria then they thought ‘Oh we can bring them over!’ ...[Q:] Did the US State Department charge you to address a specific message to the Tunisian youth? [Canon:] No, absolutely not. I wouldn’t go if that was the case. There is no script. There was nobody there watching us. We were the only Americans around. My very good friend Achref Aouadi was our public diplomacy officer with the US Embassy. He is a young Tunisian, 27, involved in a lot of different political movements there and connected in all kind of ways to people in the music business, entertainment, and film industry. He connected us with really talented people."  Image from

Security Assistance Act: Responsibly Tying Foreign Policy Budgets to Security - Helle Dale, "The Security Assistance Act of 2011 (Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012, H.R. 2583), which authorizes appropriations for the State Department for fiscal year (FY) 2012, represents a strong, back-to-basics answer to the Obama Administration’s overly ambitious attempts at redefining U.S. foreign relations. The bill’s aim is to tie American foreign affairs budgets to the country’s national security demands. ... The bill comes down far below the President’s funding request for FY 2012 in certain areas, though the overall numbers are more or less the same as the budget for FY 2011 of $48.3 billion. ... Public diplomacy in the form of educational and cultural exchange programs as well as U.S. international broadcasting would be at slightly lower levels than last year. Noteworthy was the incorporation of the Middle East Broadcasting Network, along with Radio Free Asia, which effectively takes it off the table for the reorganization planned by the Broadcasting Board of Governors."  See also.

State Dept Solicitation for Scholar Spies - "DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 7553] Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Study of the United States Institute on U.S. National Security Policymaking Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/E/USS-12-01. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.401 DATES: Key Dates: January to March, 2012. Application Deadline: October 11, 2011. Executive Summary: The Branch for the Study of the U.S., Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/A/E/USS), invites proposal submissions for the design and  implementation of the Study of

the United States Institute on U.S. National Security Policymaking. This institute will provide a multinational group of up to 18 experienced foreign university educators and other professionals with a deeper understanding of U.S. approaches to national security policymaking, past and present, in order to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the United States at universities and other institutions abroad. The institute should be an intensive, academically rigorous program for scholars and other professionals from outside the United States, and should have a central theme and a strong contemporary component." Image from

Religion a crucial tool in U.S. foreign policy - Douglas M. Johnston, Washington Post: "[An] idea that should also be considered is the appointment of authoritative religious figures as special representatives of the president, one each for Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity and a sixth for the outliers. Not only could these representatives perform an important liaison function with their religious communities, but their individual and collective presence could help inform our foreign policy and public diplomacy with a more nuanced understanding of their respective faith traditions. Further, by working together on selected joint projects as part of the president’s team, they could demonstrate for all to see, the benefits of working cooperatively across the religious divides."

NATO marks 50 years since the 1961 Berlin Crisis - "In 1948-1949, Allies were unprepared and had to resort to a challenging yet successful airbridge to break the Soviet blockade and re-supply West Berliners. In 1961, however, Allies were much better prepared to confront the Soviet ultimatum. Created in April 1959, a trilateral -- France, UK and US -- secret contingency planning staff codenamed LIVE OAK had worked on developing military measures to keep the road, rail and air corridors between the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin

open at all times. ... Both the LIVE OAK and NATO contingency plans were developed under strict political control and remained under the close supervision of the ambassadors exercising that control on behalf of Allied capitals. ... Contingency plans were complemented with political, economic, psychological and public diplomacy measures designed to convey Western resolve and deter hostile action." Image from

Hemingway Bar: Cuba's Clever Daiquiri Diplomacy‎ - Steve Clemons, The Atlantic: "A new bar is opening in DC, called 'Hemingway's Bar', in the invite only Cuban Interests Section. This is vastly better public diplomacy than the US-Cuba tit-for-tat shenanigans of the past. ... Later this year, acclaimed filmmaker Philip Kaufman will be releasing his new HBO film, 'Hemingway and Gellhorn'

starring Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen, Rodrigo Santoro, and Robert Duvall which gets into the deep corners of their powerful, stormy relationship -- much of which took place at the Finca Vigia in Havana. Gellhorn, a powerful writer and tempestuous personality, may have out-Hemingway'd Hemingway in some senses. I think the Kaufman movie will explore her bold, independent behavior and work as a war correspondent. Perhaps the US Interests Section in Havana should consider setting up a 'Gellhorn's Bar' as the tit for the Cuban Interest Section's tat on 'Hemingway's Bar'. That could be a cool rivalry -- and a pathway to more normal relations which are long overdue." See also. Image from article

Israel’s Midwest consulate plans St. Louis conference for young professionals - Abby Abrams, "The Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest will hold its second ever seminar for young adults, Sept. 10-11 in St. Louis. The conference is aimed at emerging Jewish leaders ages 25-40. About 70 people are expected to attend. 'The main goal of the diplomatic conference is to bring young professional leaders from throughout the Midwest together to learn from diplomats and experts, exchange ideas and increase their advocacy skills pertaining to Israel,' Stacy Rudd, Director of Academic Affairs for the Israeli Consulate, said. Many prominent diplomats will speak at the conference, including Noam Katz, Haim Koren and Yehuda Yaakov, according to Rudd. Sessions throughout the weekend will focus on topics such as an in-depth look at civil society in Israel, current developments in public diplomacy, the Arab Spring and the Islamic world, combating the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and how to serve as an effective advocate for Israel."

Are we in for early elections?‎ - Susan Hattis, Jerusalem Post: "The complicated situation that Israel faces internationally, with which the government is dealing primarily by means of a not-so-effective hasbara (public diplomacy) effort, and contingency plans to confront a possible outbreak of Palestinian violence in September, is also cause for great concern within wide sections of the population that believe Israel should initiate – not just react."

UN's legal immunity should be abolished - Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jewish Tribune: "Many Israeli politicians and the Israeli media give little attention to events in Europe. Yet analyzing them can contribute greatly to Israel’s public diplomacy.

Understanding how other countries as well as the UN function during emergencies helps to put frequently exaggerated external and internal condemnations of Israel’s performance into perspective, even if lesser criticism is in its place."  Image from

Islam and Europe: An Equal and Opposite Reaction - "Despite the Israel lobby’s energetic efforts to blacken Islam, the wave of revulsion against Israeli apartheid continues to grow throughout Europe, but especially in Spain. ... The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, just finished his term in Madrid, and in an op-ed in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition he summarised what he termed as a very dismal stay, charging that he was the victim of local and ancient anti-Semitism, comparing the situation to the Inquisition of five centuries ago. ... Claiming that Spaniards who criticise Israel are racist and motivated by 500-year-old Christian bigotry rather than by Israeli’s criminal policies is just a feeble attempt at hasbara (public diplomacy) by desperate Israeli diplomats who have long ago lost the moral battle in Europe."

Израильское лето - реальная угроза - Concerns Israel. A section deals with "Public Diplomacy."

Military Affairs - "Head of the Cultural and Public Relations Department in the armed forces, opines under the headline, 'Why soft power of Islamic Republic is important' – Head of the Cultural and Public Relations Department in the Armed Forces Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri says there is both hard power and soft power, and that the time has passed when rulers can rely solely on hard power military might. Unsuccessful US attempts in two wars – Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Israel’s (the Zionist regime) crushing defeat in its military confrontation with Hezbollah and Hamas, is our guideline. Today, the time for semi-hard power and even military coups has passed. All of these are being replaced by the soft war. As a result, strong countries are trying to use soft war to try to impose themselves on others. The tools and means of soft power are many: universities and information centers, mass media, public diplomacy, multi-pronged communication with people in rival countries, experts and managers as well as many others. Unfortunately, imperialist forces, headed by the US and 'global Zionism,' force the necessity of possessing all forms of power to maintain and broaden their control. This approach is clearly evident in the actions of 'Big Satan' (the US). In order to cope with the tremendous surges 'of world capital governments,' other countries must possess locally produced soft power. Iran’s soft

power comes in many forms, headed by Islam and values of the Islamic Revolution. By properly using this power and capital, our country can withstand the enemies’ attacks and this strength can unquestionably manage the world. There is no doubt that liberal democratic management is encountering significant difficulties and the time of American and imperialist rule has come to an end. The soft power of the US and Europe is waning, creating a historic opportunity for the Islamic world to abandon its passive position while introducing and exporting to the world the capabilities of pure Islam. Today’s world is experiencing cultural wars. The soft culture of the Americans and Zionists is battling against the culture of the monotheistic heavenly religions and precious Islam. The forces of evil have centralized their null means, topped by their deceptive media, while abusing sources they stole from others. They want to fight Allah. According to the Quran, they will suffer failure and will be destroyed. The more Islamic societies retain their Islamic principles and values, the faster the day of the enemies’ downfall approaches." Image from

Turkey bombs PKK bases, government promises strong action - Alakbar Raufoglu, Southeast European Times: "Turkey launched an air operation aimed at 60 targets belonging to the PKK in northern Iraq on August 17th-18th, for the first time since last summer. ... According to analysts and media reports,

the air operation signals a sharp shift from rhetoric to action, indicating further operations, including the use of ground forces, could be in store. However, to Nihat Ali Ozcan, author of the book 'Kurdistan Workers' Party: History, Ideology and Methods', Wednesday's events are not important 'because it is only public diplomacy'. 'There are strong signals [more operations will happen], but I'm not sure it could be manageable for the government,' Ozcan told SETimes." Image, with caption: Turkish troops patrol in the southeastern Hakkari province.

China: High Stakes on Both Sides of the Atlantic‎ - François Godement, Asia Sentinel: "China itself – after the disappointment in 2005 about Europe’s backtracking on the lifting of the arms embargo, imposed since the 1989 Tiananmen repression, after the 2008 Tibet spat that left scars on the state of European public opinion towards China – has scaled down its ambition towards some form of strategic partnership with Europe as a whole. China has therefore since kept a low profile in the EU. Summits don’t produce lengthy statements; there are fewer high-visibility second-track conferences in Brussels between China and Europe. China is nonetheless active in bilateral relations with member states, and this involves both commercial diplomacy, high-level visits and public diplomacy. The last increasingly revolve around the notion of 'helping friends,' whether these are nations on the periphery of Europe in need of investment or simply cash."

China's public diplomacy - " Public diplomacy – commonly defined as communication with foreign publics – has been recognized as an effective means of promoting a country's soft power. It is playing a more and more important role in overall diplomatic strategy. When Joseph Nye

coined the term soft power in 1990, he originally used a more limited definition, excluding investment, aid and formal diplomacy. Today, China has enunciated a broader idea of soft power including culture, diplomacy, participation in multinational organizations, businesses' actions abroad and the gravitational pull of a nation's economic strength. Public diplomacy is helping China build its ability to influence international relations. What should be included in China's public diplomacy? Can China's public diplomacy produce results? What kind of effect will it have on the average person? The answers to these questions have become increasingly important in today's public opinion-led world. To this end, invites scholars and experts from home and abroad to share their insights." Image from

Rising enmity haunts relations - Li Xiaokun, China Daily: "There has been a sharp drop in the number of people in China and Japan harboring feelings of friendship toward the other country following a year of often turbulent relations, according to a poll conducted simultaneously in both countries. The findings of the survey, sponsored by China Daily and the Japanese non-profit think tank Genron NPO, were released on Thursday and suggest that the number of Chinese people who like Japan dropped from 38.3 percent in 2010 to 28.6 percent this year. ... The survey is affiliated with the Beijing-Tokyo Forum, which will be held from August 20 to 22 in China's capital. The forum, co-sponsored by China Daily and Genron NPO, has been held alternately in Beijing and Tokyo since 2005. The annual gathering is one of the most significant platforms for public diplomacy between the two countries. It will see nearly 300 leaders from the political, business, academic and media fields, including a slew of former ministers from both sides, take part in discussions focusing on 'the Future of Asia and China-Japan Cooperation in Economic Reshaping'."

Why this love triangle works‎ - Geoffrey Garrett, The Australian: "The bottom line, so we are told, is that Australia finds itself at the pointy end of an unstable triangle with China and US, laying waste to the grand strategy of better relations with China layered on the bedrock of the US alliance that has served Australia so well in recent decades. Not so fast. All this agonising is bad public diplomacy. The more Australians worry out loud about the instability of the country's China-US balancing act,

the less stable it is likely to become. Australian hand-wringing is certainly raising eyebrows in high places. In Beijing, some worry that Australia thinks of China as a necessary evil: economically essential but politically unpalatable and geopolitically threatening. In Washington, there are worrying whispers that Australia may drift away from its US alliance the way New Zealand did in the 1980s." Image from

Sky News complaint over ABC 'lobbying'‎ - Daniel Flitton, The Age: "Australia Network is broadcast to 44 countries in Asia and the Pacific as a officially sponsored effort to promote Australian values, often referred to as public diplomacy." See also.

The Uses Of Public And Cultural Diplomacy – Analysis - Balaji Chandramohan, Eurasia Review: "With India’s ascendance in global affairs, its Foreign Policy establishment has to necessarily increase its international footprint. This can be done by fostering better trade and economic relations and at the political level through public and cultural diplomacy. ... [T]he old style of diplomacy is not sufficient and there is a need for 'Public Diplomacy' in order to enable the state to persuade key actors to back its decisions in the international arena. Moreover, Indian diplomacy has to exploit systems and active communication tools such as twitter, blogs, facebook, etc. that are symbols of an increasingly interconnected world. It is thus time that Indian diplomats took up Public Diplomacy and its tools to convey their message to a global audience."

MEA logs on to social media to connect to Gen X‎ - Times of India: In the past year, India's foreign office has uploaded close to 200 videos on India, its politics, history and culture, on the world's biggest social media platforms. Through Facebook, Twitter and the web, MEA, famous for its grumpy silences, appears to have harnessed the power of Web 2.0 to reach out to the world successfully. 'We plan to be in the global top 5 by the end of this year,' Navdeep Suri, additional secretary, said.

Western diplomats, accustomed to sighing over MEA's obsession with secrecy, now admit many countries could take a leaf out of India's public diplomacy division." Image from

Kenya - Curtain falls on the 2011 Ambassadors Conference - "The 16th Biennial Conference for Kenya’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners came to an end on Friday, 19th August with an official closing ceremony and farewell dinner hosted by Acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. George Saitoti. This year’s Session of the Biennial Conference was held under the theme: Projecting Kenya’s Foreign Policy under the New Constitutional Dispensation. ... On internal working methods, the Minister said the Ministry will embrace public diplomacy to raise the profile of the Ministry and Foreign Service to highlight the ministry’s efforts to promote Kenya’s interests."

Ruth First lecture: Hammerl remembered, Motlanthe warns against censorship - Issa Sikiti da Silva, "Analysts blame SA for not capitalising on its leadership on the African continent to hammer strong and much-needed African solutions for African problems. Eusebius McKaiser, 2011 Ruth First fellow, told the audience that SA's public diplomacy

was a complete failure, and that its foreign policy's blueprint took a huge blow during the Libyan crisis. Mckaiser slammed SA for not investing effectively in its foreign policy and in the African Union, which he described as an organisation lacking capacity - a weakness he said was hampering efforts to solve the continent's problems using African solutions." Image from

Why the US State Department doesn’t trust the MEK: in their own words - Ari Siletz, "Mojahedin publications tend to mirror concurrent Western public diplomacy…Through such efforts, the Mojahedin attempt to transform Western opprobrium For the government of Iran into expressions of support for themselves."

Collaboration: the Strategic Core of Public Diplomacy - RS Zaharna, battles2bridges: "To envision the type of public diplomacy needed to tackle wickedly complex problems will require expanding the vision of public diplomacy from viewing public diplomacy as a national tool to looking at its global purpose. ... In an interconnected environment, a nation cannot ensure its security in isolation from others. Instead of solely national issues and interests, collaboration

tends to speak in terms of global problems and global security. ... At present, collaboration as an area of study is still perhaps in its infancy in public diplomacy. 'Collaborative public diplomacy,' suggested by Ali Fisher, is relatively uncharted research territory. When research and knowledge about collaboration reaches the level of where negotiations is in traditional diplomacy, public diplomacy may be better able to tackle some of the wickedly complex problems that confronted global relations this week." Image from

Public Diplomacy and the new media landscape - Madhurjya Kotoky, "Public Diplomacy practitioners today deal with a dynamic media landscape. Enabled by technology, ways and means for media production and distribution has changed rapidly. Coupled with this is the decline in revenues, resources and credibility of traditional corporate media giants worldwide. Media today is localized, customized, fragmented, often real time in its distribution, while it is more inclusive, cross cultural and diverse in its production.

Besides, there is no longer an 'official credible source,' it can be simply anywhere! A new media project in this context is PolicyMic. Founded by Harvard and Stanford grads, Chris Altchek and Jake Horowitz, this website is an online platform for news and debate on policy for the younger generation by the younger generation. The portal claims that it stands for the spirit of debate to counter partisanship in traditional media and facilitate, 'real conversations about real issues.'" Horowitz image from article

Why National Identity and Public Diplomacy Should Be Part of Development Initiatives in Nascent Democracies - Jake Townsend, Huffington Post: "National identity, when most effective, is a simple and honest way of expressing those fundamental values that make a country and its citizens who and what they are. Public Diplomacy is a means by which a country can communicate its national identity with the global community outside of traditional diplomatic channels. These important components to governance are rarely discussed as part of the business of capacity building, humanitarian assistance, or nation building -- and it is in this process that these tools for governance are most needed."

1953: United Nations - As they saw it: "Public vs. Secret Diplomacy. Another interesting issue raised has concerned the comparative advantages or disadvantages of so-called public and secret diplomacy. A characteristic of the new diplomacy is that it has to operate in daylight to an extent unknown in the diplomacy of a traditional type.

By its very nature, the new diplomacy is such that the secrecy of the old diplomacy loses its place and justification. Those who oppose complete public diplomacy contend that although publicity is right and necessary in the new diplomacy, it may, at the same time, represent a danger. Open diplomacy may be turned into public statements made merely to satisfy segments of domestic public opinion or to gain some propaganda advantage. Then, too, a statement made in such open diplomacy may be extremely difficult to retract or to modify; for any modification of a national position once taken publicly might be labelled appeasement or defeat." Image from

A Way with Words: Books by USIA Authors - Public Diplomacy Alumni Association: "U.S. Information Agency, by virtue of its mission, employed many people who were comfortable with the written word, and who have since authored books on public diplomacy and other fields. PublicDiplomacy.Org is compiling a list of books by former USIA staff, and you will find this listing, sorted alphabetically by author, below. This list is definitely a work in progress, so feel free to let us know about more titles and authors we may have missed."

Former Northern Ireland Envoy Joining Atlantic Partnership Board: America’s former special envoy to Northern Ireland, the Honorable Paula J. Dobriansky, Ph.D., has been appointed to the Atlantic Partnership’s Board of Directors, Executive Director Alastair Totty announced today - "From 1997-2001, she [Dobriansky] served on the Presidentially-appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy."

Guest Post: The Backlash to NAFTA - Liz Lauzon, Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "About the author: Liz Lauzon recieved [sic] her BA in International Studies and Spanish at the University of Richmond. She received her Masters of Public Diplomacy from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She is interested in US public diplomacy in Latin America."

Could Solar Energy Help Mend Israel’s Relationship with the Palestinians - Abram Shanedling, "Abram Shanedling is the Regional Director in Washington, DC, for Hasbara Fellowships, a non-profit advocacy organization specializing in Middle East affairs and educational campaigns. Abram

has spent time in Israel, including at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, working at a public diplomacy agency researching the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as international terrorism. In addition, he is a staff member of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy." Shanedling image from

The Anti-Israel Distortions Industry‎ - Yochanan Visser, Arutz Sheva: "Yochanan Visser[:] The writer is director of Missing Peace Information an Israeli public diplomacy organization operating in The Netherlands and Belgium."

UBS appoints new regional head of philanthropy, values-based investing - "UBS has announced that David Hayward Evans is its new head of philanthropy and values-based investing Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore. ... He ... managed public-private partnerships for public diplomacy campaigns undertaken by the British government in China and India. Evans has a media background, particularly Asia, having led international development at the Paley Center for Media in New York, and was senior vice-president in China’s largest private media group."

Palisades Native Is a Foreign Service Officer - ‎Sue Pascoe, Palisadian-Post: "'When people hear I'm a diplomat, they think I'm in Paris having tea,' said Scott Robinson, who grew up in Santa Monica Canyon and has worked for the Foreign Service for eight years. 'But the majority of us are working in developing countries.' ... Officers come into the Foreign Service as either specialists or generalists. Robinson, a generalist, has worked in various arenas,

including economic (tracking development and writing reports about trends), management (actually running an embassy), political (tracking current events in a country), public diplomacy (exchange programs and working with the press) and consular (helping Americans with lost passports, arrests, injuries and even a death overseas)." Robinson image from article


Interview With The Dept. of State’s Darren Krape: Twitter, It Does Matter - “Social media is important and oftentimes like the frontlines,” so says Darren Krape, Senior New Media Specialist at the Department of State and personal blogger. In his interview with WashingtonExec, Krape provided some pretty amazing stories of how social media prevented a potential crisis in Madagascar, its critical role in the Arab Uprisings as well as its unique role in other developing countries. Like some, Krape admits, “I remember before I joined Twitter I looked at it, and like everyone else, I assumed that that’s where you go post what you had for breakfast.

I too had to be educated.” Besides providing some simple steps everyone can take to become involved with social media, Krape also described how the Department of State has evolved to produce a new way of connecting and outreach, as well as where he sees the future of technological innovation…in Kenya? Krape image from article

State Department Funds Anti-American Propaganda - Michael Rubin, Contentions, Commentary: Leave it to the State Department: While other U.S. departments and agencies waste tax payer money, no other department does it with quite the counter-productive flair of our friends in Foggy Bottom. First, there was the issue of U.S. money going to pay salaries to jailed Palestinian terrorists, including those who murdered Americans.

Now, it turns out that the State Department is paying money to the United Nations Development Program which is turning around and funding the Inter Press Service (IPS), a media outlet which seeks to be “a communication channel that privileges the voices and the concerns of the poorest and creates a climate of understanding, accountability and participation around development, promoting a new international information order between the South and the North.” In effect this means shilling for Venezuela, Zimbabwe, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Image from

Afghan War Propaganda - Lew Rockwell: The persistent use of “helicopter crash” caused by a Taliban RPG seems like a deliberate softening of the actual facts. To shade the meaning into the accident mode, rather than as an instance of deadly enemy action. The accurate report of “enemy kill” would otherwise start the reader/listener to contemplate the vulnerability of US air assets. The US media use of “crash” is probably straight from the Pentagon PR manual.

Flagrant Propaganda and Resource Wars (Libya, Iraq, Syria, etc.) - Quick notes on propaganda techniques: - Rebels are good. Our rebels that is, the others we call insurgents, or Al-Qaeda. - Oil is always a non-issue. Present, but ‘unimportant.’ - Deep motivations regarding hegemony are non-issues as well: dollar supremacy, dismemberment of African unification, emergence of AFRICOM (best to not mention these topics at all). - When the rebels take Tripoli, we will celebrate a moral success. Why? Well, it’s simply implied. - Pretend that the rebels act on their own accord, and are striving to achieve a higher national destiny.

-Deny that a rebel leader works for the CIA, that special op’s troops were on the ground beforehand for months, or that such covert operations have been staples of foreign policy for years. - Never judge the morality of power systems (in this case the West). - America is, has been (even in the year 1500), and always will be the greatest country in the world. Image from

How Pyongyang's propaganda backfired - ‎Andrei Lankov, Asia Times Online: In the late 1990s, unauthorized information about the outside world began to filter into North Korea - largely thanks to the spread of video tapes and later VCDs and DVDs as well as because of the effective collapse of immigration controls on the border with China. However, the first breaches in the information blockade were inflicted by North Korean authorities themselves. They wanted to show how popular their regime was in the South, but they ended up in unwittingly providing proof of South Korean economic success and political freedom. This is the reason why the present author is highly supportive of exchanges with the North, including exchanges that are seemingly conducted on conditions dictated by Pyongyang. Whether or not the officially approved, South Korean visitors follow the script dictated by North Korean propagandists, yet their interaction with the North Korean public is bound to produce consequences that are clearly not to the liking of the Pyongyang elite.

“Anti-Serbian propaganda underway in Montenegro” - Serbian Ambassador in Podgorica Zoran Lutovac has assessed that an inappropriate anti-Serbian campaign is led in Montenegro due to the election law.

Zemlya – Soviet Propaganda - Adam Call Roberts, Zemlya ought to be remembered along the lines of Triumph of the Will; remarkable for its technical achievements, but morally reprehensible for its complicity in genocide.

The story of Soviet oppression of Ukraine is among the worst ever told. In 1932 and 1933 alone, the Soviets would intentionally starve to death between 6 million and 7 million Ukranians in what became known as the “Holomodor.” Ukrainian nationalism helped provoke opposition to Soviet Russian rule. Propaganda campaigns in the 1920′s and 1930′s attempted to quell the population. Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s film Zemlya (Earth) was commissioned by the Soviet government in this context. Image from article

World War I Propaganda Poster In Yiddish - Civilian Military Intelligence Group:
The poster says: “Food will win the war!

You came here seeking freedom; now you must help to preserve it. Wheat is needed for the Allies. Waste nothing.”

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Calvin said...

wow, this is the first time i'm hearing about that Georgetown fight with those Chinese players. both teams should be ashamed of themselves