Monday, August 29, 2011

August 28-29

"The role that monumental propaganda in different cultures ha[s] played ... [is] well known."

--Historian of architecture Dr. Olga Zinovieva; top image from; below image from, with caption: The 'Younger Memnon' statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum thought to have inspired the [Ozymandias] poem

VIDEO [Re on how, after the USG-funded American Center in Belgrade was closed in the mid-1990s, Slobodan Milosevic made it financially possible for it to remain open -- see, for an English-language rendering of this event]  Braun: Američki centar i Milošević: "Profesor Univerziteta Džoržtaun Džon Braun proveo je više od 20 godina u američkoj diplomatskoj službi, a od 1995-98 bio je zadužen za odnose s javnošću u američkoj ambasadi u Beogradu.


Nightmare scenario - Huma Yusuf, "For many months, I have used this space to argue that Pakistan is toeing the dangerously fine line between engagement and containment. In case of the former, the international community, led by the US, will continue to invest in the promise of the Pakistani state and its people. This means ongoing economic assistance, diplomatic support, capacity building, and patience with the Pakistani establishment as it sorts through internal challenges. ... Until June this year, I was based in the American capital on a research fellowship. During my time there, I engaged in many discussions with US government officials and policy analysts about the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship and its importance to both countries. The conversations were primarily — if not exclusively — upbeat: there was interest in improved people-to-people contacts, better US public diplomacy efforts to calm tensions, thoughtful initiatives to help Pakistan become economically and politically stable. Even discussions about terrorism, intolerance and corruption eventually strayed to positive topics. ... [T]he Centre for Preventive Action (CPA) at the Council of Foreign Relations has published a report detailing potential US responses to a Pakistani terrorist attack on US territory. The report, authored by Stephen Tankel, emphasises the need for the bilateral relationship to survive such an incident, and consequently for the US response to be restrained. But the subtext is equally clear: this will be increasingly difficult to do depending on the scale, audacity and human toll of the attack."

Jay-Z's Hegemony in the Age of Kanye - Marc Lynch, "Watch the Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West may not prove to be the enduring hip hop classic that many people expected when news of the project leaked. But the album itself is hardly the point. Watch the Throne represents a fascinating gambit in the consolidation and extension of Jay-Z's hegemony over the hip hop world, and in Kanye's rehabilitation of his image following a catastrophic collapse in his global standing. How they did it offers important lessons for how the United States can handle its own changing position within a turbulent world. ... How Kanye brought himself back to the top has some intriguing lessons for public diplomacy.

He didn't rely on one big speech to apologize, try to respond to every critic, or retreat into a shell. As someone who thinks that internet has a transformative impact on world politics, I find it fitting that Kanye's return from his lowest days relied on innovative internet activism (paging Alec Ross). I'm referring partly to Kanye's hallucinogenic Twitter feed and online video interviews, but mainly to the GOOD Friday series of free music releases.It should be no surprise that he turned to the internet to seize control of his own image. The hip hop industry has been transformed by the internet, obviously." Image from article, with quotation: "I seen people abuse power, use power, misuse and then lose power/Power to the people at last, it’s a new hour/Now we all ain’t gon’ be American Idols/But you can least grab a camera, shoot a viral/Huh? Take the power in your own hands." --- Kanye West, evaluating (presumably) the Egyptian revolution in the Power remix

US Government in Virtual Worlds: Brief Overview and Implications - eiliftrondsen, Nordic Virtual Worlds Network: "I have long known that the US government, and particularly Department of Defense, but also many other departments, has been very active around VWs (and spending lots of money), as well doing interesting and advanced things around video games and mobile devices. Much of this has been in connection with learning and training, and this makes sense given DoD being the world’s largest training operation. ... • Virtual Worlds in Government: State, Local and Federal.

This was a panel discussion, led by Keysha Gamor of National Defense University, which took place at the latest FCVW conference. Projects discussed in this session included Virtual Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Edge project of US Army Simulation; Training Technology Center, and Kairo2Kansas (a public diplomacy initiative of the US State Department)." Image from

Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau: Who is Lewis Lukens? - "Lewis Lukens, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, has served as the U.S. ambassador to Senegal and to Guinea-Bissau since July 11, 2011. ... He was U.S. Consul General in Vancouver, Canada, from 2005-2008. In this capacity, he oversaw the work of eight government agencies and managed a range of trade, border, national security, and public diplomacy issues."

WikiLeaks: US Embassy in Sofia Backed Pro-GMO Lobby - Bulgaria's legislation on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has been carefully followed by the US Embassy in Sofia - "The information comes from several US diplomatic cables, (one by current US Ambassador in Sofia, James Warlick), which were released by WikiLeaks and their Bulgarian partner, the site for investigative journalism ... 'Embassy Sofia has a well-defined biotechnology strategy supported by the US biotech industry and important local stakeholders', Ambassador Nancy McEldowney writes in January 2009. According to McEldowney's report, 'the goal of the Embassy's public diplomacy initiative is to spur debate and discussion about biotechnology, create positive public opinion, and to provide broader availability of scientific information about agricultural biotechnology to both the media and consumers...Gaining key opinion leaders' support will help increase the public's awareness and trust in foods derived from GMO products. The proposed program has been discussed with and

received the backing of local counterparts who have created an informal consortium to steer the program's activities and content. This Consortium includes: the National Agricultural Academy, National Biosafety Commission, agricultural and food research universities and institutes, the local Association of Agricultural Producers, and specialized media.'" Image from article, with caption: A child holds a sign during a demonstration against genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Sofia, Bulgaria, in February 2010.

wikileaks Guyana – US trying to out perform Cuba’s “Miracle Mission” eye surgery program - El Che, "Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin 06GEORGETOWN706 2006-07-18 12:16 2011-08-26 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Georgetown ... Post notes that Cuba has received substantial public attention in Guyana for its 'Miracle Mission' eye surgery program (Refs). While Mercy Hospital’s progra[m] is laudable on its own merits, Post is hopeful that highlighting the hospital’s efforts through the Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund will also temper the Cubans’  public diplomacy efforts while at the sa[m]e time developing Guyana’s ongoing capacity to povide quality eye care for its citizens in country."

Sowing Seeds of Terror and Suspicion in Czechoslovakia - Cold War Radios: "The Second Crusade for Freedom campaign was a very creative campaign used to rally Americans to support Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia. The stated goal of the Crusade campaign was 25,000,000 'enrollees' and $3,500,000 in contributions. Those Americans who 'enrolled' received in return a lapel button with the Freedom Bell symbol with the words Crusade for Freedom and a sticker, 'signifying their part in this critical battle against Communism,' that could be displayed at home or on automobile windows. The use of the word 'freedom' was widespread in the campaign, as we have read about the Freedom Train, Freedom Motorcade, Marathon for Freedom, Winds of Freedom, and Freedom Belles.

Then actor Ronald Reagan narrated both the 1950 movie The Big Truth and the August 27, 1951, released shorter version that was used for television advertising, in which he said this about RFE, [']This station daily pierces the iron curtain with the truth, answering the lies of the Kremlin and bringing a message of hope to millions trapped behind the iron curtain. Grateful letters from listeners smuggled past the secret police express thanks to Radio Free Europe for identifying Communist quislings and informers by name.['] The 1951 national campaign started on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 1951, with a nationwide 15 minute radio program 'Bells of Freedom' that was carried by the Columbia Broadcasting System CBS) network and featured 'Five Champions of Freedom': General Dwight D. Eisenhower who was in Paris, Crusade National Chairman Lucius D. Clay, 1951 Crusade Chairman Harold E. Stassen, U.S. Ambassador Walter S. Gifford in London, and Mayor Ernst Reuter in Berlin."  Image from article

Goodwill Ambassadors - "China's dramatic economic growth has stunned the world. US Vice President Joe Biden must be left speechless comparing today's China to the one he encountered on his first visit as a young senator in 1979. Yet on one measure China is doing about as dismally as today's American and Euro-zone economies: soft power and cultural diplomacy. China will eventually get its act together here but in the meanwhile, there is a simple solution to help win hearts and minds overseas: China's students. The United States takes a whopping 43% of the world cultural market, while China so far takes a miniscule 4%. And as powerful as China is economically, China's cultural influence index ranks only 7th among 131 countries worldwide, behind the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, and Spain. This lack of success goes right to bottom line of the world's perception of China.

A recent BBC/Globescan poll of 28 nations showed that only in Africa and Pakistan is China viewed positively while in Asia, North America, Europe and Latin America, public opinion is either neutral, poor or negative. China has wasted a great deal of money trying to boost its image with poorly conceived and executed marketing efforts, the latest of which was the ineffective Times Square campaign launched to coincide with President Hu's state visit to the US earlier this year. The campaign featured dozens of successful Chinese, icons in this country. Only one little problem here though: except for a few, the icons were meaningless unknowns to Americans. Eventually China will master the art of soft power too." Image from article

Israeli diplomats train on 'Twitter PR' - "Staff members in Israeli missions worldwide are learning how to bolster their messages on the internet and social networks in preparation for September's UN vote on the Palestinian statehood bid.  As part of efforts to form a "moral majority" among major powers, some 60 staff members of embassies in Europe and representatives of Jewish organizations are taking part in a seminar in Brussels which trains them on the combination between public diplomacy and online media."

Martonyi says new Hungarian foreign policy strategy on way - "The Foreign Ministry will finish drafting Hungary’s

foreign policy strategy within the next 1-2 months, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi told a meeting in Budapest of Hungarian diplomats stationed abroad. The ministry is also drafting comprehensive legislation aimed at enhancing cooperation in the areas of foreign affairs, economic and cultural diplomacy, he said on Monday." Image from

2011年8月28日 星期日 "The speed of the era of fast forwarding the correct information is important" - [Google translation:] "Anna Prinz German culture, communications director at the German Embassy in Japan stationed gwigukhae a new job recently took on work. Germany is currently pursuing him, and sought to leave the future of public diplomacy to the basic principles and looked for direction. → German government in promoting long-term goal of public diplomacy.' The speed of the era of fast forwarding the correct information is important.'"

Jatiwangi Art Factory - "Jatiwangi Art Factory (JAF) is a nonprofit organization focuses on That Discourses of local rural life through public diplomacy, arts and cultural activities Such as festivals, performances, visual art, music, video, ceramics, Exhibitions, artist in residencies, monthly discussions, radio broadcasts and education."

Baddock finds success on and off the court - "As the volleyball team ends its preseason and the players get ready for the regular season, [Carnegie Mellon] senior Emily Baddock spoke with The Tartan [student newspaper] about her academic life and her team’s upcoming season. Baddock, an international relations and politics major and French and francophone studies minor, will be starting the Heinz College’s accelerated master’s program this fall, where her focus will be public policy and management. After completing her master’s degree, Baddock is considering law school as the next step toward her goal of working in Washington, D.C.

for the U.S. Department of State or a nonprofit focused on international development. Last spring, Baddock had the opportunity to study at Georgetown University as part of the Washington Semester Program. In this program, Baddock was able to study international affairs and public diplomacy. "

In Reponse to Tony Delinsky, or Another Sip of Garmsir Kool-Aid - Dan Smock,
Mention of public diplomacy.

PD lesson numero uno - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "'You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.' - John Viscount Morley"

Preparing for KSA - Springsteen Safari: Living Life Abroad: "On January 3rd 2011 took a stab at the Foreign Service Oral Assessment but sadly was not able to make it through on that go around. It was only my first though so here's hoping next year goes better. Then quickly following that I sent in all my grad school applications and headed out to the Republic of Georgia to teach as part of a program Teach and Learn with Georgia. I spent 5 months with a fantastic Georgian family and some great co-teachers. I have some more fabulous memories from Georgia too now, including that of their hospitality, their music, their dancing, their wine, and their food. The language is great too though it'd require some more time to accomplish [sic]. During my time in Georgia I discovered I'd gotten into all the grad schools I'd applied to, and that all 3 had a scholarship for me. Yay!

However the scholarship which was truly tempting was the one that offered the chance to go teach and live seriously [sic] in the Middle East for a bit too. On the one hand I have enjoyed the area of U of Denver for some time now and wished to go there so the MA in Global Finance Trade and Economic Integration seemed great. Yet I am also seriously interested in Public Diplomacy as all who've seen me trying to become an FSO can attest. In that vein I wished more to try for the University of Syracus's [sic] dual MA/MS in Public Relations and International Relations." Image from


The NYT Applauds Obama Doctrine, Regurgitates Propaganda - John Glaser, Whatever legitimacy the United States government has, it is derived by the consent of the American people. That is American Government 101 that we all learn in elementary school. That legitimacy simply does not carry over to the Libyan people. They certainly didn’t vote for King Obama.They didn’t get a say in whether they’d be better off or not with the rebels instead of Gadhafi.

Is Libya policy cornerstone of an Obama Doctrine? - Michael O'Hanlon, USAt Today: Obama's foreign policy efforts don't fit neatly into a precise doctrine, such as George Kennan's containment, John Kennedy's "bear any burden," Richard Nixon's "China card," Ronald Reagan's "morning in America" or George W. Bush's pre-emption paradigms. But it is perhaps as

concise as can be for this president at the moment. In the months ahead, however, Obama will have to find a more coherent way to explain his foreign policy vision — and more generally, his presidency — to the American people as he asks them for another term. Here, the health of the economy will be infinitely more important than Libya, however the latter turns out.  Image from

Taliban Propaganda Watch – 281350utc Aug 11 -

All Together Now - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: As for America, we’ve thrived in recent decades with a credit-consumption-led economy, whereby we maintained a middle class by using more steroids (easy credit, subprime mortgages and construction work) and less muscle-building (education, skill-building and innovation). When the world is experiencing so many wrenching changes at once — with already high unemployment and weak economies — the need for America, the most important pillar of all, to be rock solid is greater than ever.

Leaving Regrets to Others, Cheney Speaks [review of In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir By Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney] - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times: The former vice president tries to focus blame on the State Department for the lack of postwar planning in Iraq, even though it has been widely

reported that its Future of Iraq blueprints were sidelined by the Pentagon, and he insists that he thought the insurgents were “in the last throes” in 2005, even though there had been myriad warnings from both military and civilian sources that things were spiraling out of control. Image from article, with caption: Dick Cheney, right, with President Gerald R. Ford and Donald H. Rumsfeld in the Oval Office at the White House in April 1975.

Here Comes Condibook Number Three - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog

Image from article. 


"I’m sure that pictures of empty offices on Fridays and most afternoons, of endless meetings with no agendas, and of the crowd around the Embassy pool on warm Kabul Fridays would have been riveting to any American reader seeking to understand what they as a taxpayer are actually paying for in Afghanistan."

--Dan Smock,

“The process inside the [Pentagon] is quite chaotic because there are so many potential outcomes and nobody really knows what level to budget for.”

--Loren Thompson, who directs the pro-business think tank Lexington Institute

"Thomas Bertonneau, with whom I shared an office at U.C.L.A. back in 1986, rightly questions the research paper in an Internet era. These days, the research that students execute does not instill the knowledge and inquisitiveness such assignments presume. When students take on research tasks, here is what they don’t do:

• Visit the library and browse the stacks.

• Find an archive and examine primary documents.

• Read widely in the subject before identifying a subtopic.

Instead, they:

• Type a term into Google.

• Consult Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.

• Download six Web pages, and cut and paste passages.

• Summarize the citations and sprinkle commentary of their own.

• Print it up and hand it in.

If the goal is to rehearse prevailing opinion about an issue or event, the Google way has its advantages. If all a teacher wants is information, and the desired skill is information retrieval (plus some evaluation by the student), the Web works best."

--Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University.

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