Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 22-27

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"The United States and public diplomacy: New directions in cultural and international history, Kenneth A. Osgood and Brian C. Etheridge, (eds.)" -- review by John Brown, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (2011) 7, 223-226.


Starting a fresh dialogue with USA - Inayatullah, The Nation: "Yet, another high-level delegations from the USA: A number of influential American Senators were in Islamabad earlier this week talking to our topmost functionaries - President, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Senate - one led by Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. The discussions revolved around the war on terror, the regional situation and Pak-US relations. ... What is urgently needed is the start of a high-level dialogue - strategic or otherwise -between the two countries to redefine the nature and aims of the relationship. ... The dialogue

should be preceded by an all parties’ heads meeting and extended sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate. Pakistan’s brief should fully reflect the thinking and feeling of the political leaders. No time may be lost soon after, to chalk out a public diplomacy programme to launch a campaign to influence policymakers, Congressmen, media, intellectuals, think tanks and the civil society in USA by sending well informed, capable and well placed Pakistanis over to Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles." Image from

Klout and the evolution of digital diplomacy - Brian D. Fung, Washington Post: "With a rash of pressing issues on the domestic front, President Obama has mostly left the unenviable task of repairing America’s image to State Department diplomats. Since 2009, much of that work has been done through social media channels as part of the Obama administration’s drive toward digital diplomacy. ... Digital diplomats broadcast messages and multimedia, attract commenters to specially designed forums in foreign languages and monitor trending topics in an attempt to take the world’s pulse. But whether conducted online or off, public diplomacy has always been an inexact science. How do diplomats know whether their efforts are paying off? While we’re still a ways from being able to identify a direct relationship between specific public diplomacy campaigns and changes in foreign opinion, social analytics applications like Klout may soon become a vital tool for digital diplomats. Klout,

which Time magazine included in a list of the year’s 50 best Web sites on August 16, gives its users a score based on how influential they are across a range of social networks. Contributing to the social savviness readout is a wealth of information about users’ most engaged followers and the topics they respond to best. It’s not hard to see how diplomats can turn this data to their advantage. ... Social analytics services don’t solve everything. They tell us little about how digital diplomacy advances U.S. foreign policy goals, for example. But they do provide an innovative medium-term solution to the traditional challenge associated with public diplomacy: defining and measuring success." Image from

Winning Hearts and Minds? The US Public Diplomacy, Cold War and the Arab Spring - Tatevik Mnatsakanyan, "We witness nothing as sensitive and long-sighted today towards the Arab world. As the budget for public diplomacy in the US has dramatically dwindled in the post-Cold War period, efforts have become less specialised in organisation and in techniques; often simply replicating the American commercial models of advertising.** Thus, there has been certain reversal back to the early Cold war clumsy public diplomacy efforts, forgoing all the later sophistication they had managed to achieve. Also, there is less acceptance that policies must not just be made to be seen as favourable to other peoples." Image from

A Security, Tourism and Trade Package for U.S. Allies - Stephen Heifetz and Marc Frey: "The 10th anniversary of 9/11 will bring many retrospectives. But DHS should not lose sight of current programs and policies and the current political context. That means focusing on security measures that simultaneously bolster the economy. DHS has plenty of opportunities to do both. Here is a 'security, tourism and trade' package that can be offered to U.S. allies to: (1) strengthen mutual security efforts; (2) bolster the economy by increasing tourism and trade; and (3) grow alliances with new and old global partners. The package would contain three program elements ...– Global Entry, Visa Waiver, and C-TPAT.

In each case, partner countries would implement security measures that enable DHS to focus resources on high-risk travelers and cargo rather than wasting resources on 'trusted travelers and cargo.' In exchange, the foreign trusted travelers and cargo would get faster and easier entry into the United States, thereby boosting tourism and trade and furthering alliances. ... [T]here are many countries to which we could offer a similar package to advance our security, increase our economic competitiveness, and promote public diplomacy all at once. Such a 'triple play' is rare; DHS should not miss this opportunity." Image from [of course, FBI not DHS].

A Counterterrorism Strategy for the "Next Wave" - The Heritage Foundation Counterterrorism Task Force: "The iron triangle of state-sponsored terrorism—Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah—is potentially as significant a threat to U.S. interests as a reconstituted al-Qaeda. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. Breaking the triangle apart can only be accomplished by bringing freedom to the people under the tyranny of the leadership in Tehran—change that has to come from within the country. The U.S. can contribute to this end by [inter alia]: ... Targeting public diplomacy to expose the [Iranian] regime’s human rights abuses. Such a campaign should document the abuses and aid victims, step up broadcasting and support for independent Iranian broadcasters outside the country to expose corruption of officials and the regime’s lavish aid to terrorists, and educate Iranians about genuine representative democracy."

America’s Sweatshop Diplomacy - Jennifer Gordon, New York Times: "According to the State Department, the J-1 visa Summer Work Study program, which allows foreign students to work in the United States for a few months, is meant to promote 'lasting and meaningful relationships' between the students and Americans. Try telling that to the more than 300 J-1 holders who went on strike at a Hershey’s distribution plant

in Pennsylvania last week, with the support of the National Guestworker Alliance. These engineering majors and future lawyers from places like Turkey, Moldova and China came hoping to travel and speak English, but spent the summer packing and lifting heavy pallets of Kit-Kats, often on overnight shifts and for meager pay. ... At a minimum, the government should preclude the use of the J-1 program as a way to obtain workers at below-market rates. If the program continues, it should be reformed to explicitly incorporate worker protections, including the right to organize, and should be supervised by the Department of Labor."  Image from; see also.

Out in the World: Uganda bill gone for the moment - Heather Cassell, "For the first time the U.S. State Department has placed three international fellows in an LGBT organization as a part of a newly launched professional development program. The three fellows: Luis Melgarejo from Bolivia, Tovian Estella Nelson from Liberia, and Sam Muhumuza from Uganda, came to the U.S. to learn about LGBT rights as a part of the Community Solutions Program. They started their work at the Family Equality Council August 19. ... Muhumuza, 31, a straight ally, was inspired to learn more about LGBT individuals because of Uganda's anti-gay bill. The bill was recently squashed by the country's . ... The fellows are part of 66 groups of young leaders from 21 countries brought to the states by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The professional development program is administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board. Its purpose is to 'support and encourage grassroots initiatives around the world' spearheaded by young professionals, according to Carla Coolman, a State Department spokeswoman. The professionals will work in fields focused

on transparency and accountability, tolerance and conflict resolution, environmental issues, and women's issues in nonprofit organizations and government agencies for the next four to six months, according to Coolman. After the program ends, the fellows will return to their home countries to complete their collaborative community development projects. 'It is the U.S. State Department's hope that the exposure to the U.S., to Americans, and to American society gained over such a lengthy period of time will yield considerable public diplomacy impact as well as show support for grassroots initiatives around the world,' Coolman wrote in an email." Image from article, with caption: Sam Muhumuza from Uganda has begun a fellowship in the U.S.

The Goal of the Process is the Process - World-Wide-Matel: "I watched 'Remember the Titans' today. The story is a common one, retold since the time of Homer or Gilgamesh. Different people, maybe even enemies, come together to achieve a common goal and in the process of working toward the goal they become a team. They learn to respect each other by working together. Winning the championship is not the story; becoming a team is the real theme and long-lasting mutual respect is the long-term outcome. A successful public diplomacy program is ... that ... [w]e don’t win friends in the long run by always being right or by convincing people of the righteousness of our cause; we win friends by working together on a common cause. And the process of doing the task is often more useful than the final outcome."

Algeria: U.S Ambassador Henry S. Ensher - "President Obama nominated Mr. Henry S. Ensher, a Senior Foreign Service Officer, as the U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria in March 2011. Mr. Ensher was confirmed by the Senate in May and arrived

at U.S. Embassy Algiers in mid-July 2011. ... Mr. Ensher has been a Foreign Service Officer for 27 years and has served overseas in Mexico, Muscat, Tunis, Damascus, Jeddah, Algiers, and Tel Aviv. That service has included tours as political and economic section chief, as well as responsibility for commercial and public diplomacy programs." Ensher image from article

A motorbike accident in Kabul - Ellice Moll, "Afghans rioted near the US Embassy in Kabul after a NATO military vehicle moving in a convoy crashed into a civilian car killing four people. Although the International Security Assistance Force promised an investigation, rumours later emerged that the team involved in the incident were immediately flown out of the country. This is not an isolated incident. A similar crash led to large-scale riots in Kabul in May 2006 leaving at least 14 civilians dead. Mr Daniel Riggio, public diplomacy and information officer for Afghanistan, offered some hope at a NATO-Afghan student forum in Istanbul last year. 'There is a tactical directive to minimise the risk of civilian causalities and there is also a driving directive because security parameters should not allow you, pardon my French, to drive like a jerk,' he said."

Quote of the Day - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence, August 26, 2011: "I’m reading Leo Bogart’s, Premises for Propaganda: The United States Information Agency’s Operating Assumptions in the Cold War (New York: Free Press, 1976), this is based on a report that he compiled for the agency in 1953-54. From page 55 an anonymous USIA official commenting on the targets for public diplomacy: ‘Any given area, country, or city can be divided into 5 percent operators, 10 percent stooges,

and 85 % slobs’[.]" Image from

Three’s a Crowd: Dyads, Triads and Networks, Part 2 - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "PD is difficult because it’s not simply about the relationship between two countries; the content and prospects for PD activities are often about third countries." For part 1, see.

"America lacks a central voice in terms of both reporting itself to the world and the world to its diverse citizens" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Market Watch, 22 Aug 2011, Kim Hjelmgaard: 'Writing in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Emily Bell of Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism said that the BBC is 'omnipresent in the U.K. — an all-encompassing news website, eight national TV channels and ten national radio channels, dozens more local and international channels, [plus] outlets on each platform dedicated to breaking news.' ... [A]mid the litany of established and proliferating news operations tethered to public mandates as well as purse strings — PBS and NPR in the U.S.; China’s Xinhua News and CCTV; Russia’s RT; France 24; Canada’s CBC; NRK in Norway; Australia’s ABC — the BBC stands out, even in these heady days of social media, for its ability to reach 'over the course of the week,' as BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said recently, 'every single person in the country.' ... Bell, a former journalist for the Guardian, said in her article that 'America lacks a central voice

in terms of both reporting itself to the world and the world to its diverse citizens,' and that as a now U.S.-based news consumer she often feels like she has 'no such go-to broadcast news source when big stories break.' ... Time Warner Inc.’s CNN may share some of the same global, stentorian authority of the BBC, the National Public Radio complex may vaguely hew toward a similar political DNA at times, but the former is beholden to stock markets and the latter is in receipt of a paltry $1.43 per person in annual federal funding compared to over $80 per person in the U.K, according to data compiled by the Free Press media-advocacy group.' [Elliott comment:] -- I think this analysis sells short the news efforts of ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN. The United States does, nevertheless, need more world news. The trio of CNN International, BBC World News, and Al Jazeera English on more cable systems would help. So would more cooperation between US domestic and international broadcasting. See also the referenced article in Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2011, Emily Bell." Image from

BBG's net circumvention efforts descend from previous decades' shortwave anti-jamming efforts - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

"Where is the Middle East equivalent to Radio Free Europe?" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "The Commentator, 23 Aug 2011, Robert Halfon MP: 'The last [UK] government, some of our universities and businesses, lost their moral compass when it came to dealing with the Libyan regime. Whilst senior new Labour Government figures hob-nobbed with Gadaffi and his family, our academic institutions accepted millions in blood money, whilst companies rushed to Libya to sign commercial deals. ... Liberty is a human right. Sometimes it requires military intervention, other times it requires hearts and minds. Rather than appeasement, our foreign policy should be directed at supporting resistance groups to dictators, funding radio, TV stations, and the internet, in the same way the CIA did in the Cold War to undermine Communism. Where is the Middle East equivalent to Radio Free Europe?' [Elliott comment:]  If one is thinking of the latter, post-1956 Radio Free Europe, it concentrated on providing the credible news that was lacking in the state controlled media of its target countries. In that case, there are several Middle East equivalents of RFE, including Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Alhurra, BBC Arabic, and France 24 Arabic. But Mr. Halfon writes about 'supporting resistance groups.' That's less of a journalistic and more of an activist enterprise. US and UK funding for such media outlets should be done quietly and at arm's length, with the resistance group handling the actual content and operations. And it should be realized that most of the target audience will tune instead to the station that provides real news."

BBC and VOA are "trusted sources of information" among Hazara community in Afghanistan - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

RFE/RL exclusive: VOA interview with senior US diplomat Marc Grossman - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting:  "'Marc Grossman, the U.S. senior representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, recently sat down at the State Department in Washington with Voice of America's Lina Rozbih to discuss a wide range of regional issues, from the future of Al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network to India-Pakistan relations and the recent instability in Afghanistan as the United States begins to draw down its troops.'

Followed by transcript of the interview. [Elliott comment:] -- I was not able to find this interview, at least by way of a search, at the VOA website. This is at least the second major VOA interview made available at the RFE/RL website. This inter-entity USIB synergy is an encouraging development." Image from


US Sought “Talking Points” to Combat Impact of French Documentary on Monsanto - Kevin Gosztola, "There are multiple indications in the large cache of US State Embassy cables WikiLeaks has been releasing (extended summary here) that the US State Department is willing to do just about anything to ensure the multinational agricultural biotech corporation, Monsanto, has its interests protected in countries around the world. Cables show the State Department has been very active in defending Monsanto in France during the past decade. In one particular case, a French documentary, 'The World According to Monsanto,'

was released. A diplomat with the US embassy in Madrid immediately felt the need for 'talking points' so it knew what to say in response to the content in the film. ... The [US Embassy Madrid] 'Country Team' is particularly disturbed by all the names dropped in the film of people who may have been working on behalf of Monsanto while in government, like John Ashcroft, Tommy Thompson, Ann Veneman, Donald Rumsfeld and Clarence Thomas. The 'Team' expresses interest in responding to the film but is aware that if they respond to the film with criticism they will only draw attention to the documentary. Still, they think 'there is a role for public diplomacy, mainly focusing on the rigor of the US regulatory system and the positive role ag biotech can play in meeting world food needs, particularly in the developing world.' The idea that Monsanto’s biotech, particularlty it’s [sic] genetically-modified seeds would be needed to 'feed the developing world' is propaganda from Monsanto’s public relations department." Image from; see also.

wikileaks Guyana – report on cuban, chinese & other foreign medical assistance - El Che, "07GEORGETOWN511 2007-05-22 17:40 2011-08-26 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Georgetown ... ¶1. Embassy Georgetown is committed to working with the Department, the Pentagon, and Southcom to carry through successfully the President’s mandate that the USNS Comfort’s visit will aid “people who might not otherwise get the basic health care they need to realize a better tomorrow.” The Guyanese public (and government) will measure the USNS Comfort’s success against a standard for foreign medical assistance that has been set by the Cuban and Chinese medical brigades permanently stationed in Guyana as well as by numerous visiting U.S. and Canadian NGOs, universities, and church groups. As the Embassy, Southcom, Pentagon, and State Department work together to create the Public Diplomacy plan for the Comfort’s visit to Guyana, we must take into consideration the current level of foreign medical assistance in Guyana."

Key stands by 'socialist streak' comments - "[A]leaked US Embassy cable reveals the United States planned to pressure the Government to send extra troops to Afghanistan. A Wellington cable from March 2009 reveals the Americans were unsure whether the Government, by being publicly non-committal on the matter, actually intended to commit extra forces or potentially withdraw the existing deployment.

The Embassy's advice was that if the US wanted to encourage a New Zealand deployment then they would have to find public diplomacy opportunities to explain choices in Afghanistan to New Zealand media." Image from

Our diplomatic network in disrepair - Andrew Shearer, "In our report released today, Alex Oliver and I argue that, despite some positive developments since the Institute's Diplomatic Deficit report in 2009, Australia's diplomatic network remains severely overstretched,

jammed between rising demands and two decades of cuts. Australia benefits greatly from being one of the most globalised countries on the planet, but it also exposes us to risks. ... Our poorly-resourced and uncoordinated public diplomacy needs a major overhaul to enable Australia to reach and influence important new international audiences, with a focus on e-diplomacy and taking a far less risk-averse approach to media and public communications." Image from article; see also.

Fallout over Canada's decision to skip Expo 2012: ‎Slight to S. Korea termed “a costly lapse” - Peter O'Neil, Edmonton Journal: "The Harper government, which has announced that it can’t attend Expo 2012 in South Korea due to budgetary concerns, was accused Wednesday of not paying sufficient heed to Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner. ...Daryl Copeland, a former Canadian diplomat and author of the book Guerrilla Diplomacy on the failures of modern diplomacy, was blunt in a brief e-mail.

'The government does not trust the Foreign Service, does not understand public diplomacy, and is only belatedly awakening to the re-emergence of the Asia-Pacific as the centre of the global political economy,' said Copeland, now a fellow at both the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy. 'A very costly lapse on all counts.'” Image from article, with caption: People walk past a Canadian flag displayed in the courtyard of the Canadian pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai on July 1, 2010.

Preemption, Not Retaliation! - Yoram Ettinger, "Any response to terrorism which is short of devastating the ideological, political, financial, logistic and operational terrorist infrastructures, reassures terrorists that they are immune to annihilation. ... The addiction to defense, and to limited response, has been embraced by Israel since signing the 1993 Oslo Accord, in order to resuscitate the 'peace' process, which has triggered dramatically more hate-education, terrorism and non-compliance than the pre-Oslo reality. 250 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorism in the 15 years prior to Oslo, but over 2,000 have been murdered in the 18 years since Oslo. Limited response has also been implemented, in order to soothe international public opinion - which is never satisfied with Israeli concessions - thus recklessly subordinating national security to public diplomacy considerations. Sometimes it yields false sense of security and enhances short-term tactical popularity. However, limited response always undermines

long-term strategic interests and international respect towards Israel, generating more pressure on Israel, radicalizing Palestinian terrorism and distancing the area from peace. ... Will Israel’s response to the current wave of Palestinian terrorism perpetuate the terrorist-preferred war of attrition? Or, will it be a milestone on the road to reclaiming the pre-Oslo Israeli posture as the role-model of deterrence, defiance of odds, determination and gumption in the battle against terrorism, which paved the road to the 1948 Declaration of Independence, the 1967 Six Day War, the 1970 deterrence of the Syrian invasion of Jordan, the 1976 Entebbe Jonathan Operation and the 1981 bombing of Saddam’s nuclear reactor? ... Family Security Matters Contributor Yoram Ettinger was formerly Israel’s Consul General in Houston, Texas." Image from article, with caption: Wreckage in Gaza after Israel responded to last week’s terror attacks.

An equal and opposite reaction‎ - Eric Walberg, Ahram Online: "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. In 'Why the Spanish hate us', Schutz states that the people of Spain are anti-Israeli because subconsciously they are anti-Semitic and still approve of the Inquisition.

He ignores the fact that Jews fought side by side with their Muslim allies while the Christian invaders flooded into Spain, and suffered along with them when the Inquisition got into high gear. Claiming that Spaniards who criticise Israel are racist and motivated by 500- year-old Christian fanaticism rather than by Israeli 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." Uncaptioned image from article

Egypt party head to visit Iran  - The Egyptian Gazette: "Chairman of the liberal Al-Wafd Party Al-Sayyed Al-Badawi said that he received an official invitation to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to meet with a host of Iranian officials, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself. Expecting to visit Iran in the first half of September, Al-Badawi said Hosni Mubarak’s former regime was responsible for the deterioration of relations between Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Al-Badawi championed a public diplomacy bid by leading a committee of activists in visits to countries like Ethiopia and Iran after the Egyptian revolution."

Jordan profile - "Around 1.7 million Jordanians had internet access by June 2010 (InternetWorldStats). In early 2010, a court ruling subjecting the internet to the existing Press and Publications Law prompted protests from journalists. Jordan's Queen Rania has used YouTube as a vehicle for public diplomacy since 2007.

She is also active on Twitter." Image from

Post-Gadhafi Libyan peace - Zhao Kejin, "Especially, in the matter of the Libyan people's interests, China will actively participate in post-war reconstruction, and provide humanitarian aid to Libya. It will also carry out public diplomacy and enhance China's national image in Libya, all of which are conducive to deepening friendship between the peoples of China and Libya and which are of great significance and far-reaching impact in promoting bilateral ties. The author is deputy director of Centre for US-China Relations, Tsinghua University."

The Little Emirate That Could: Qatar versus Qaddafi - Lee Smith, Weekly Standard: "With Muammar Qaddafi perhaps on his last legs, Libyan rebel leaders are looking for $5 billion to rebuild a country wracked by nearly half a year of civil war. It’s hardly surprising that the first international aid conference is scheduled for Qatar, since no Arab leader has provided more assistance to the rebels than that country’s 59-year-old emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.  As one of the first countries to recognize the National Transitional Council, Qatar supplied the rebels with arms, uniforms, and $400 million in aid, while also helping the rebels sell their oil. Not least, Qatar provided invaluable moral support with its exhaustive coverage of the rebels on the Al Jazeera TV network, the emir’s powerful public diplomacy wing." Below image from

Qatar's muscles - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Interesting article about tiny Qatar flexing some muscles with Libya by training the Libyan rebels. A bit different than their usual niche of conflict resolution, but perhaps this is part of a conflict resolution+ pd strategy."

[ed] Korea-China relations - "China's blind embracement of the North is a reaction to the strong Seoul-Washington alliance. Seoul needs to pursue an equidistance policy with the United States, China and Russia. China also has big stakes in influencing the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Beijing could either be a spoiler or a helper on the fate of the divided Koreas. The two countries also need to strengthen public diplomacy. Anti-China and anti-Korea sentiments still linger. South Koreans need to treat Chinese well in Korea. Maltreatment of Chinese workers and students here has often been the source of their less-friendly sentiments on South Korea. The two countries have yet to learn that they can become true friends without alienating each other's friends."

Team Anna’s saffron slip - "It is time to disentangle the various strands that go to make up the Anna Hazare phenomenon. The Maharashtrian peasant leader is riding on the crest of a wave of frustrations and aspirations driving the middle class and other sections, and his main theme of busting corruption has struck a chord with vast sections of the population. Second, there are no two views on the maladroit moves of the government and the Congress Party in coping with Mr Hazare’s second fast. Third, the Anna

team, drunk on its own success, has taken up unreasonable positions and is indulging in a new form of arrogance. Indeed, the surprise is that the form of public diplomacy the team has adopted has left the government far behind in the information war." Image from

Biryani Diplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Having traveled to Pakistan, and ha[ving] written about the cosmopolitan side of Pakistan, I can appreciate the Pakistani desire to offer a more nuanced picture of the country. Unfortunately, the nation brand is currently pretty toxic and no repackaging is going to fix it. Rather than trying to start with a major rebranding, starting small and focusing on issues like culinary diplomacy is much smarter. Gastrodiplomacy and the promotion of Pakistani food would be a positive first step to showcasing another side of Pakistan. The richness of Pakistani cuisine would be a positive introduction to the culture of Pakistan to many places that currently have negative perceptions."

Month two – public diplomacy - Arthur Snell, "[W]hilst official diplomacy – relations between governments and international organisations – is seen as the mainstay of a diplomat’s work, public diplomacy is equally important. Public diplomacy is probably an unnecessarily complex term for something very simple: meeting and communicating with the public, whether as businesspeople, students or civil society. Here in Trinidad and Tobago, where the public have a whole range

of personal and cultural connections to the UK, there appears to be genuine public interest in the UK and what it can continue to offer to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, whether in terms of supporting specific projects or in broader cultural, business and educational links." Uncaptioned image from article

Kagame's Diplomacy is Broken: How to Reinvent it - Theogene Rudasingwa for "[N]ations (especially big powers) use hard power (gunboats) or soft power (money, culture, public diplomacy, etc.) to get what they want."

Hiplomacy! - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "American Voices, the nonprofit that I wrote about in my piece on country music diplomacy conducted a "Hiplomacy" tour through India. American rappers, beatboxers and breakdancers got down with their Indian counterparts in Calcutta."

Students Pursue Diplomacy, Research in Suriname - College News: "The South American country of Suriname has less than 500,000 citizens, but nonetheless, it’s 'a cultural mecca of Creole, Javanese, Maroons, Amerindians, Chinese and Hindustani people,' said Katie Kirsch, ’12. 'Religious freedom and tolerance are evident everywhere, from the synagogue that shares the parking lot with a mosque to the elaborately inked buses or ‘waggies’ that depict celebrities of all cultures.'

Kirsch, along with 2011 graduates Courtney Meyer and Claire Kaisler, was one of the first three undergraduate interns selected to work for the U.S. embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname’s capital. During their ten-week internships, Meyer, Kaisler and Kirsch worked with the embassy’s political-economic, consular and public diplomacy departments, researching and writing reports, attending conferences, evaluating visa applications, and assisting with events related to the embassy’s priorities of democracy, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Along with their many embassy activities, the interns also studied Dutch, an important administrative language within the former Dutch colony. 'Dutch is a tricky language,' Kirsch said. 'Though the roots are often similar to English and there are many similar words, there are also many that were surprisingly incomprehensible at first glance.'" Image from article, with caption: Kirsch and Kaisler in traditional Surinamese skirts.

Review: Political Public Relations By Strömbäck & Kiousis - Doktor Spinn, Public Diplomacy is an entirely new field to me. To be honest I had a hard time getting through Molleda’s chapter [in the book under review],

since diplomacy is such a difficult topic for me to get my head around. Reading up on Anti-Americanism was interesting, but also cynical. Dealings with such tendencies must start with listening rather than managing and even placing relatively mild critique on the same scale as antiglobalism and anticapitalism and deep hatred isn’t going to help US international relations; the US need to respond to critique with transparency and global collaboration instead of compr[e] hensive labeling of opposite interests." Image from article


Obama’s Non-Doctrine Doctrine - Clay Risen, New York Times: With the stock market gyrating, the Atlantic churning and D.S.K. walking free, it was easy to miss what some are calling a turning point in American foreign policy: the fall of Libya’s Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Thing is, no one can agree on what exactly that turning point represents.

McManus: Will there be a Libya bounce for Obama? It's possible that the president will get a boost in the polls if Moammar Kadafi is captured, but it's not likely to help him much in 2012 - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: Perhaps most important, the Libya campaign now looks like a success for one of the Obama administration's biggest foreign policy ideas: that an important goal of U.S. diplomacy, especially in a time of economic austerity, is to persuade others to help bear the burden of quelling the world's dangers. This is as close to an Obama doctrine as exists.

Libya inspires the Arabs - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: The effects of external stimuli, whether inspiration from a successful revolution

or discouragement from failed uprisings or signals from outside actors such as the United States, are always filtered through those local situations. But they do matter. Uncaptioned image from article

An imperfect triumph in Libya - Robert Kagan, Washington Post: The Libyan intervention will join the Kosovo campaign under the historical heading “Winning Ugly.”

The Nexus and the Olive Tree: The White House needs to tune out the dramatic events of Syria and Libya and focus on America's strategic goals in the region - Michael Doran, Foreign Policy: The world was treated to images of cheering Libyans retaking their capital on Aug. 21;

the United States will surely be called upon to play a role in the messy political transition that will follow. Image from article

Libya's problems are far from over: The fall of Moammar Kadafi, who has long dominated life in Libya, will create a dicey security situation. NATO and the U.N. will have to send economic aid and, most likely, peacekeeping troops - Max Boot, Los Angeles Times: If NATO refuses to send a peacekeeping force (as looks likely at the moment), and if the U.N. doesn't step up, there is a real risk of Libya becoming a failed state.

Western Media in Libya: Journalists or the Propaganda Arm of the Insurgency? - Benjamin R. Barber, Huffington Post: There is no better proof for the gullibility (or worse) of Western media than how easily they have been manipulated by rebel spokesmen for the Libyan insurgency. From Sunday through Monday evening for more than 24 hours, broadcast and cable media outlets reported the rebels had captured Saif Gaddafi and his brother Mohammad. Why did they believe and publicize these unconfirmed reports? Because the rebels told them so. No photos, no audio, no proof. We even heard that Saif's capture was confirmed by International Criminal Court prosecutors who apparently believed what they were told too. Let's hope they have higher standards when they put the Gaddafis on trial or the tyrant may be acquitted! As we all know now, it was just propaganda. The rebels were apparently making it up as they went along.

Qaddafi Turns to Syria Media to Broadcast Propaganda After Losing Tripoli - Muammar Qaddafi,

in hiding and with Libyan state television knocked off the air by rebel forces, has turned to Syria to broadcast his propaganda. Qaddafi has spoken in two audio messages since losing control of the capital, Tripoli, this week, both aired by a privately owned network called Al Oruba TV. It is linked to Arrai TV, a Syrian-based television station owned by former Iraqi lawmaker Mishan Jabouri.  Image from; on Rice-Gaddafi, see.

Rebel propaganda helped takeover of Gadhafi site - Maggie Michael, Associated Press: Between Libyan rebels' false announcement about the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi's most powerful son and his surreal reappearance in front of a Tripoli hotel, some 30 officers guarding Gadhafi's compound laid down their arms, according to the rebels. Although it cost the rebels credibility on the international stage, the misleading news was used by the opposition as a way to ease Gadhafi loyalists' grip on power. It appears to have been a success.

Israel wages war on Iranian scientists - Mahan Abedin, Asian Times: As the trial of Majid Jamali Fashi, the confessed murderer of Iranian physicist Massoud Ali Mohammadi, gets underway in Tehran, more light has been shed on the secret but intense Israeli war against Iranian scientists. Amid the confusion, rampant speculation and propaganda, two issues are clear. Foremost, the four-year Israeli assassination campaign exposes the weaknesses in Iranian protective security measures. Second, if the campaign continues apace, Iran will come under increasing pressure to strike back.

10 Things You Should Know About the State Department and USAID - Thomas R. Nides, Huffington Post: Among them: 9. We help Americans see the world. In 2010, we issued 14 million passports for Americans to travel abroad. We facilitate the lawful travel of students, tourists and business people, including issuing more than 700,000 visas for foreign students to study in the U.S. last year. And, if a storm could disrupt your vacation plans or if you could get sick from drinking the water, we alert you through our travel warnings. 10. We are the face of America overseas. Our diplomats, development experts, and the programs they implement are the source of American leadership around the world. They are the embodiments of our American values abroad. They are a force for good in the world.

25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war - David Sirota, Washington Post: In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of “X-Men: First Class,” backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. Then, in recent days, word leaked that the White House has been working with Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow on an election-year film chronicling the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.  A country questioning its overall military posture, and a military establishment engaging in a counter-campaign for hearts and minds — if this feels like deja vu, that’s because it’s taking place on the 25th anniversary of the release of

“Top Gun.”  That Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, made in collaboration with the Pentagon, came out in the mid-1980s, when polls showed many Americans expressing doubts about the post-Vietnam military and about the constant saber rattling from the White House. But the movie’s celebration of sweat-shined martial machismo generated $344 million at the box office and proved to be a major force in resuscitating the military’s image. Image from article

Cables Reveal Propaganda, Disinformation Efforts by US: One cable explains US policy as "making the stories and bringing them to journalists - and not the other way around" - John Glaser, State Department diplomatic cables released this week by WikiLeaks reveal propaganda efforts aimed at countering negative public perceptions about American wars and the torture regime in Guantánamo Bay detention center.

Soviet USSR Propaganda Posters, 1980s - Among them:

Martin Luther King -- Hero of all-American Communism!  - John Brown, Notes and Essays: The below socialist/Stalinist-realism statue, composed by an art-worker who did busts of Mao ZeDong, is about to be a long-delayed and permanent fixture on the Washington D.C. Mall as a memorial in honor of Dr. King.  Simply put, it is an offense to a religious man who was a humanist and moralist rather than an ideologue (but also a savvy politician); indeed, it could have been designed by J. Edgard Hoover, whose FBI thought Martin was a committed Commie

all along. Image from

Added image from Wikipedia, with caption:

The 'Younger Memnon' statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum thought to have inspired the poem [Ozymanidas]

Soviet Slander: Propaganda Posters from the Soviet Union - Judy A Saslow Gallery (300 W Superior Street, Suite 103) is presenting “Soviet Slander: Propaganda Posters from the Soviet Union” an exhibition of 22 rare and historic framed propaganda posters that poignantly showcase each artists’ hatred and scorn of Americans and Jews, opening Friday, Sept. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. and running through Saturday, Oct. 29. The works were acquired by Saslow directly on a trip to Moscow in 1984. Saslow was initially shocked by how starkly disturbing these works depicted their messages of intolerance, but also was intrigued by their artistry and historic significance.

“Direct, efficient, and often brutal, propaganda art wields great power and influence,” said Saslow. “Over the past two decades, we have witnessed sweeping changes in politics around the globe. Yesterday’s Soviet Prop Art is appreciated now as both historical documentation and disconcerting works of art.” via MCB. Image from article

PG Wodehouse worried how much Nazis would pay for propaganda, MI5 files show: PG Wodehouse, the author of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, worried about how much the Nazis would pay him for his notorious wartime radio broadcasts from Germany, newly-released MI5 files disclose - Andy Bloxham, Wodehouse and his wife were living in their villa in Le Touquet in northern France when the Second World War broke out. They remained there during the German invasion

and were arrested in July 1940 before being interned at Tost in Germany. On June 21 1941, the author was playing cricket when the detention camp's guards suddenly told him to pack a bag and taken by overnight train to Berlin, where he made the controversial broadcasts and enjoyed relative freedom. The author moved to the US after the war and was knighted just a few weeks before his death in 1975 at the age of 93. Wodehouse image from article

The man who needed a fig leaf: In his autobiography Gunter Grass tries to explain - to himself and others- how he was drawn to Nazi propaganda as an adolescent and did not question it until after the war; in a special interview on the occasion of the book's publication in Hebrew, he rejects vehemently the claim that he mainly portrays the Germans as victims - Tom Segev, Grass is a world-renowned brand name. He has a battery of assistants and is apparently a very busy person. His personal assistant told me that Grass was tired of talking about his SS past. He understands, of course, that on the occasion of the book's appearance in Hebrew, certain questions will be unavoidable, he is curious to know how the book will be received in Israel - but he hopes with all his heart that the interview will not be only about his service in the Waffen SS.

Aug. 25, 1944 | Paris Is Liberated After 4-Year Nazi Occupation - New York Times: In 2008, the Paris Historical Library opened “The Parisians Under the Occupation,” an exhibition of Nazi propaganda photos taken between 1942 and 1945. Many of the images show Parisians smiling and having a good time, implying that life was enjoyable under Nazi occupation. In reality, during that era, thousands of French people, most of whom were Jewish, were being persecuted and deported to Nazi death camps. The exhibit sparked controversy, with some in the city calling for it to be shut down. Exhibit organizers admitted that they should have presented the photos with captions that explained the historical context. They also added a warning, alerting visitors

to the fact that the photos were taken by a photographer employed by the Nazi regime whose job was to create propaganda that portrayed Nazi rule in a positive light. The warning also stated that the images do not provide an accurate glimpse of Paris at the time. In June 2011, The New York Times reported on another Paris exhibition about life under the Nazis. Its subject? The “complicated, contradictory and painful choices made by French literary figures” who were writing during and after the Nazi occupation. In contrast to the 2008 exhibit, the artifacts presented in “Archives of Literary Life under the Occupation” were meticulously curated. One interviewee noted, “In France, anything to do with the war needs more context, explanation, in order to avoid controversy.” How do you think museums should approach the presentation of objectionable images, like Nazi propaganda? To what extent should they include historic background in such exhibits? To what extent should viewers be left to judge and interpret the objects, artwork and artifacts on their own? Image from article, with caption: Crowds of French patriots line the Champs-Élysées to view Allied tanks and half tracks pass through the Arc de Triomphe, shortly after Paris was liberated.. Image from article


Hurricane Irene, as seen from space, Aug. 26, 2011 - Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing

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