Monday, August 8, 2011

August 3-8

"Notice how the most successful social media accounts are not very sociable? In our business of international communication, the BBC Global News Twitter account is followed by 893,889, but follows only 16. Radio Sweden has 3,977 followers, but follow[s] only one. The biggest Twitterer of all is Lady Gaga, who is followed by 12,304,654. Her account says she follows 142,278. No she doesn't."

--US International Broadcasting guru Kim Andrew Elliott; Lady Gaga image from


LSD Propaganda film from 1960′s funny [film contains a depiction of a voracious hotdog as seen, by a drugged-out young person, on the attack]


White House Set to Release National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism - Matthew Levitt, Security Debrief [August 3] - "Tomorrow, after months of drafting, heated interagency discussion, and many rounds of redrafting, the White House is reportedly set to release its long-expected national strategy on countering violent extremism (CVE). The report, titled the National Strategy on Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism, is intended to complement the National Strategy for Counterterrorism released in June. The new report’s title offers a glimpse into the strategy’s likely focus on countering violent extremism on the domestic front by working with state and local governments, nongovernmental and community organizations, and a wide spectrum of private American citizens. Such efforts should hone in on three key areas of concern: countering extremist ideologies, enhancing social cohesion, and building resiliency within American communities. ... The Washington Institute has published two major studies on countering violent extremism

at home and abroad. The first, Rewriting the Narrative: An Integrated Strategy for Counterradicalization, was the product of a large, bipartisan Presidential Study Group and was published in March 2009. The second, Fighting the Ideological Battle: The Missing Link in U.S. Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism, was the product of a small study group including the author and Institute adjunct scholar J. Scott Carpenter, along with former deputy national security advisor Juan Zarate and Steven Simon, then with the Council on Foreign Relations and now senior director for the Middle East at the National Security Council. Several of the latter study’s recommendations offer sound barometers by which to judge the national CVE strategy slated for release tomorrow. Below is a summary of the most relevant recommendations (the full recommendations can be downloaded for free from the above link) . ... [including:] •Ensure that Islamism — a radical political ideology separate from Islam as a religion — is recognized internally within the U.S. government as the key ideological driver of the violent extremist threat posed by al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups. Meanwhile, U.S. public diplomacy efforts should sharpen the distinction between the Muslim faith and the violent political ideology of Islamism. ... •Recognize that the potential for controversial U.S. government action to radicalize populations at home or abroad is a legitimate concern, but proactively prepare public diplomacy plans to mitigate possible fallout. Predator missile attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, for example, have become increasingly precise in their targeting and effective in disrupting al-Qaeda activities even as they have raised concerns about creating more terrorists than they have killed. Proactively developing public diplomacy campaigns to mitigate potential fallout from the kind of 'hard counterterrorism' actions that are sometimes necessary is critical." Image from

Washington’s Silk Road Pipe Dream - Peter Chamberlin,  "American 'public diplomacy' is a criminal policy, intended to produce criminal results. American diplomats directly lobby foreign populations, by going around the governments of those nations is political subversion of the worst kind. The use of American national technical means to enable Washington political animals to secretly create subversives and manufacture radicalized youth in targeted countries, is a quiet act of war, which no nation has yet called us to account for. Neither have we been called to account for our military actions, such as the bombing of TV transmitter towers in Libya, where our 'public diplomacy' of end-running around the Libyan government, by beaming satellite transmissions directly to the Libyan people is not enough–our leaders must also cut-off that legitimate government’s ability to communicate with its own people.

American State Dept. destabilization of the troubled dictatorships of Central Asia, even while American and NATO forces are penetrating those same states, through cooperative anti-terror and anti-narcotics initiatives, reflects a particularly devious arrogance which systematically both attacks and defends a targeted country simultaneously, always careful to keep the level of destabilization one step lower than its power to maintain control. Successful conflict management means that those whom you can’t control, you can predict. The river of cash which makes all of these things possible serves to restrain potential negative reactions by those dictators. Whether these capabilities will withstand the testing that will surely come from Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov, or Turkmenistan’s Berdimuhamedov remains to be seen." Uncaptioned image from article

Iran and Public Diplomacy... - Mahtab Farid, U.S. Public Diplomacy in Iran and Afghanistan... "Public Diplomacy in Iran will be a new topic on this blog. I will write posts on how U.S. can conduct public diplomacy in the undemocratic nation of Iran and Afghanistan a country transitioning to democracy.

Reaching out to the ordinary citizens is the best way to build relationships and to protect our national security interests." Image from article, with caption: Group of young Iranians gathered in a park with water guns to show their opposition to the government by splashing water at each other.

Smith-Mundt: the debate that keeps going… and going… - Jackie Kochell, Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy: "This July, the Public Diplomacy Advisory Committee met in a public meeting on the Hill to discuss the implications of the Smith-Mundt Act in a global digital culture. Formally known as the United States Informational and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, or Public Law 80-402, the law created the framework in which public diplomacy efforts could be carried out by the U.S. government. Smith-Mundt created, and legitimized funding for, cultural exchanges such as the Fulbright program and international news services such as VOA. Although Smith-Mundt provided a basis for PD efforts, a small clause within the law has created an ongoing debate on Smith-Mundt’s relevance. Part of the law prohibits funding for the domestic dissemination of materials meant for abroad audience. In 1948, the distinction between domestic and international audiences was more pronounced, but in a global information age, audiences aren’t limited to geographical boundaries. Smith-Mundt’s original purpose was to discourage government propaganda and to prevent competition between government and private media in the U.S. As previously stated, it also ensured funding for PD initiatives, but through the domestic dissemination ban, made sure the U.S. publics weren’t paying tax dollars for information from government media that could be attained from private media outlets. ... Re-examining Smith-Mundt in a digital age is needed. Old laws concerning communication need to be examined as new technological advancements emerge."

Locke sworn in as new ambassador to China - Tan Yingzi and Qin Jize, China Daily: "Gary Locke was sworn in as the first Chinese-American to serve as US ambassador to China on Monday, pledging to strengthen bilateral ties and raise issues of concern when disagreements arise. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who officiated at Locke's swearing-in at the State Department, said the former commerce secretary was the right person to manage the 'extraordinarily important' relationship between the two countries. ... Locke's grandfather went to the US more than a century ago to work as a servant for a family in Washington state in exchange for English lessons. His father was also born in China, and moved to the US as a teenager. ... Niu Jun, a professor of international politics at Peking University, said

Locke's new post shows the inclusiveness of US society, and Washington will take full advantage of Locke's Chinese background to develop its public diplomacy in China." Image from

Lawmakers Scramble to Keep Voice of America On Air in China - Judson Berger, "Congressional lawmakers are scrambling to prevent America's international media arm from going off-air in China, arguing that a plan to shift much of its reporting to the Internet won't do much good in a country notorious for its web censors. The group at the heart of the dispute is Voice of America -- part of the network of U.S. government-backed broadcasters that together reach more than 100 countries -- the American institution that has beamed news around the world since the '40s. Reflecting a broader shift from radio to digital media, a plan unveiled earlier this year called for overhauling Voice of America's China services to bring most of its media off air and online. The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, argues that it only makes sense to go digital in a country with the largest Internet-using population in the world. Board officials claim the existing shortwave radio broadcasts don't have the audience they used to and that the Chinese government is jamming them anyway. In changing platforms, the board projects it will save $8 million and eliminate about 45 positions. But critics of the move, including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., say the United States is setting itself up to cede vital territory in the battle of information abroad. 'We've used Voice of America to pump in Democratic messages for years,' Rohrabacher spokeswoman Tara Setmayer said. 'Now it's another area where it looks like we're succumbing to the wants of the communist Chinese.' A House panel moved last month to try and save those radio and TV broadcasts.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted unanimously for a bill containing a provision that would allocate nearly $14 million exclusively for Voice of America's Mandarin and Cantonese radio and satellite TV stations. ... In a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee in May, Rohrabacher and several House colleagues urged the panel to follow suit as it crafts the funding bill. They argued that the radio and satellite broadcasts remain 'one of the best ways to communicate directly' with the Chinese people. 'We believe the administration's proposal will hinder indigenous democracy movements in China and damage the long-term security of our own country,' they wrote. 'Sacrificing U.S. broadcasting abilities while China's authoritarian regime expands its broadcasting and public diplomacy efforts in the United States is the wrong answer. ... Ted Lipien, a former VOA executive who now runs Free Media Online, complained in an op-ed earlier this year that aside from the threat of censorship, two-thirds of China's population does not even have Internet access. He accused the BBG of turning its back on human rights activists who rely on radio for information." Image from article, with caption: People wave flags of China's Communist Party at a celebration of the Communist Party's 90th anniversary in Chongqing municipality July 1.

Global Public Opinion: Declining U.S., Rising China - Janos Bako, "According to a recent global survey, opinion of the United States continues to be generally favorable in most regions of the world, but it appears that America may be on its way to lose its status as the dominant global superpower.

The American image now faces several new and worrisome challenges: doubts about its superpower status, a decline in favorability among some of the closest allies, and giving more and more consideration to the People’s Republic of China as superpower. ... The United States should strengthen its public diplomacy, reverse the current trends, and send a firm message of strong American leadership again. Without this, neither U.S. allies nor American citizens may see 'the city on the hill' as the Founding Fathers imagined the United States 235 years ago." Image from article

Heritage Foundation and Fox News are apparently not the US international broadcasting efficiency experts - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting [Elliott comments on two above articles]

A somewhat clumsy but interesting discussion about Alhurra - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "By my reckoning, there are at least three three possibilities for an Alhurra format: 1) Stay as a mostly news channel. Alhurra has enjoyed some success with its present format, achieving an audience that is a respectable fraction of that of Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, and larger than that BBC Arabic and all the other Arabic news channels from non-Arab countries. 2) Become an 'Americana' channel. ... Indeed, an Americana channel could use centrally produced video and be versioned by USIB into several languages. The problem is that, from the many surveys that I am familiar with, audiences in most countries do not 'have a tremendous interest in the United States.' In fact, their interest in the United States is much less than we American would like to think that it is.

An Americana channel would therefore have a niche audience, but perhaps large enough to be worthwhile. 3) Tie up with a US commercial channel. Alhurra could perhaps reduce expenses by tying in with a general-purpose US international commercial channel, such as Hallmark or Bravo, or with a sports network. At various times during the broadcast day would be Alhurra's own flagship news programs." See also John Brown, "How to Fix Al-Hurra" (2005). Image (based on a 2008 survey) from

"Ask Alan," in Persian, via the State Department's USAdarFarsi social media accounts - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Amendment to create VOA Sindhi service approved by House Foreign Affairs Committee (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

US-funded Shamla Voice is probably competing well with US-funded Radio Azadi and US-funded Radio Ashna [in Afghanistan] - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

"Texting Is the Most Important Information Service in the World." "Mobile Subscriptions Outnumber Toilets" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: Is SMS

a useful medium for international broadcasting and public diplomacy? SMS usually involve a cost, so it must be considered whether it's cheaper the send the content by a real mass, e.g. radio, or television advertisements. If the cost accrues to the recipients, the recipients will be annoyed, and their opinion of the originating country probably adversely affected. Free but unsolicited messages to the recipients, cluttering inboxes, can also provoke displeasure. Sometime a mobile service provider will take on a news service as an added value for customers, involving no cost to the news provider or to the recipients. Such news must be considered by the customers to be relevant, reliable, and credible. Public diplomacy messages would probably not be considered an added value. Another impediment to using SMS for international broadcasting and public diplomacy is that it usually involves a prominent gatekeeper, i.e. a business agreement with the mobile provider. This is probably why most international broadcasters opt for mobile versions of their websites, such as Deutsche Welle and VOA. This, however, requires less-prevalent mobile devices with internet access. News via SMS from international broadcasters is less common, but includes this from BBC World Service for Bangladesh (announced 2007) and from Al Jazeera to unspecified service areas (announced 2006). I don't know if either of these is still available. ... [A]nother way to send news via less-than-smart 'feature' mobile phones is via audio -- sort of like a one-way telephone call. AudioNow is a significant player in this business. Its revenue comes from advertisements placed in the broadcaster's audio stream. Finally, with the advent of smartphones, 'feature phones will disappear from the global marketplace.' SMS might, too, because smartphones will offer more choice in content and more media, e.g. video. Twitter via smartphones could replace the function of the old SMS, except, perhaps, for personal messages." Image from

The "conservative Republican" who works for China Radio International (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

National Muslim Coalition Reaffirms Commitment to Kashmiri Self-Determination, Supports Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai's Right to Competent Legal Defense - American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections, "The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT***), a national coalition of major Muslim organizations, today issued a statement to express its commitment to the people of Kashmir and their peaceful struggle for self-determination and to reaffirm Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai's constitutional rights and the presumption of innocence afforded to every person in the United States. Having carried out a heroic struggle under most difficult circumstances,

Dr. Fai has become the globally-recognized face of Kashmiri public diplomacy. AMT said in a statement: 'Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, a respected community activist and leader, has a right to the presumption of innocence and the right to a competent legal defense, the cost of which will require community support. Equally important for us is to ensure that the cause of Kashmir finds a peaceful expression in the United States. All the constitutional protections afforded any American citizen must remain available to Kashmiri-Americans and to all those who support the Kashmiri right to self-determination.'" Image from. See also.

Oman hosts American Ballet Theatre - "Oman is to host the internationally-acclaimed American Ballet Troupe, one of its kind and for the first time in the national history. The troupe will travel to the Sultanate in October for as many as three stunning performances by its much sought-after artistes on the sidelines of the grand opening of the Royal Opera House, according to the spokesperson of the troupe. 'We, the American Ballet Theatre will be in Oman in October 2011 and give three performances of Don Quixote at the new Royal Opera House Muscat on October 26 and 28. We will have many of our principal dancers travelling with us among ABT’s 80 dancers coming to Oman,' Kelly Ryan, Director of Press and Public Relations, American Ballet Theatre told the Observer on phone from its New York office. ... ABT’s engagement at the newly-constructed Royal Opera House

will represent the venue’s first performances by an American arts organisation. The Royal Opera House is Oman’s iconic multidisciplinary arts and culture venue with a highly anticipated inaugural season that will engage audiences globally in the groundbreaking public diplomacy strategy and cultural development path." Uncaptioned image from article

Land for War: If the U.N. recognizes a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, it would betray its own 'land for peace' formula - Efraim Karsh and Asaf Romirowsky, Wall Street Journal: "As September approaches, many are waiting with bated breath to learn if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will deliver on his threat to unilaterally declare an independent Palestinian state and seek recognition of it through the U.N. But in putting the Palestinian demand for statehood to a vote, Abbas will end up subverting the international organization's longstanding solution to the Arab Israeli-conflict—U.N. Security Council Resolution 242—with unpredictable results. Passed in the wake of the 1967 Six Day War, resolution 242 established the principle of 'land for peace' as the cornerstone of future peace agreements between Israel and the Arabs, to be reached in negotiations between the two sides. Israel was asked to withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict"—the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. ... It was not until 1988, more than two decades after the resolution's passage, that the Palestine National Congress grudgingly accepted resolution 242. While this marked a major shift in PLO public diplomacy, [PLO chairman] Arafat remained committed to the PLO's phased strategy of June 1974, which stipulated that any territory gained through diplomacy would merely be a springboard for the 'complete liberation of Palestine.' Shortly after the PLO accepted 242, Arafat's second in command, Salah Khalaf (better known by his nom de guerre of Abu Iyad), declared that 'the establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of Palestine is but a step toward the whole of Palestine.'"

Former Israeli diplomat sees waning image: As Palestinian leaders plan a bid to win statehood recognition from the U.N., former Israeli envoy Gabriela Shalev frets that Israel has not succeeded in bringing its story to the rest of the globe - Edmund Sanders, [Q:] In recent weeks, some Palestinian leaders have appeared to be hesitant about going to the U.N. If you don't think they can lose, why is that? [A:] They are genuinely divided because they know what we know: They will not gain anything new except for a little public diplomacy.

They already have legitimacy all over the world. They are already recognized by many countries in South America and other places. So they don't really need this kind of declaration. But by doing so, they are risking antagonizing the U.S. and maybe others. I'm not sure that nowadays they want to embarrass the United States, because now it is also a matter of money. The Americans made it clear that it may affect their budget and the support they get. So I think there is some kind of disagreement." Image from article, with caption: Then Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Gabriela Shalev, participates in a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in New York City in 2009.

Managing Norway's reputation during a crisis - James Pamment, "A few months ago, the Norwegian Utenriksdepartementet were kind enough to send me a copy of their internal guide for planning communication at overseas posts. The Handbook in Strategic Communication and Reputation [Håndbok i strategisk kommunikasjon og omdømme] is a detailed 60 page document explaining everything from how to design communication activities to the principles of Norway's brand. Based around a Norgebild [Norwegian image/brand], the document seems to have taken its cue from the Swedish Institute's efforts to modernise its public diplomacy. ... [I]n light of the recent terrorist attacks, I was particularly interested in a section called Checklist for communication during crises of reputation."

“Make a friend of Poland and you have a friend for life” - Joanna Blazkowska, "Today’s Polish Nation Branding is based on aspects of tourism, investment, public diplomacy and the promotion of exports. Tourism, as a key way to promote a country, needs to be further developed in Poland. Currently it is only responsible for 6 percent of the GDP.

Therefore, Poles have to promote their country and invite people from over the world to see all of Poland’s undiscovered potential and, as such bring with them economic development." Image from article

Kenya - Ministry to enhance Public Diplomacy - "The ongoing conference for Kenya’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners has underscored the importance of public diplomacy. Contributing to a session on promoting Inter Agency Coordination and Articulation of Kenya’s Foreign Policy, which focused on among other things review of the Ministry’s working methods, many of the speakers pointed the need for constant and dissemination of correct information on the Government’s position on international issues to depict an accurate picture about the country. Many of them agreed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has done a lot to promote and protect the interests of the country, but the achievements had gone unnoticed. As a way forward, various tools of public diplomacy will be used to manage and disseminate information to highlight the successes of the Ministry and the country. Some of the activities that will be enhanced under renewed the public diplomacy programme include promoting Kenya as a reliable supplier of goods and services, a destination for tourism as well as a profitable venue for investment; effective liaison with the media including providing timely and accurate media responses and promoting a better understanding of the Ministry with other institutions and government policies."

‘Brand Burma’ a failure, experts say
- Democratic Voice of Burma: "The world is viewing Burma and its myriad domestic crises with increased despondency, according to a ranking of 200 countries based on international perceptions of their 'brand' as depicted by media. Since the East West Nation Brand Perception Index was first published in 2008, Burma has steadfastly remained in the bottom fifth, and in the second quarter

of this year dropped to 176, two places below that of North Korea. ... The concept of 'nation branding' is an official government policy of many developed countries, including the US, France and the UK – where the government has set up a Public Diplomacy Board tasked with improving the country’s image abroad – as well as China and South Korea. Colombia is also known to be embarking on various initiatives aimed at improving its international profile." Image from article

We must restore our diplomatic core - Allan Gotlieb and Colin Robertson, "For too long, our capacity to be a significant player on the international stage has failed to match our rhetoric. The Prime Minister’s declarations of intent have credibility, coming, as they do, from a government that has consistently supported the strengthening of our military capabilities. ... All the more welcoming, therefore, is Mr. Harper’s recent statement that 're-equipping the military is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making Canada a meaningful contributor in the world.' The implications of this for Canadian foreign policy are profound. Mr. Harper seems to foresee a highly active foreign policy, and a very independent one. ... 'To shoulder a bigger load' will necessitate a foreign service at the very top of its game. If the 1990s were a decade of darkness for the Canadian Forces, both the ’90s and the noughts were equally so for the foreign service. Process took priority over policy-making. Public diplomacy, an area Canada pioneered, virtually disappeared. Meantime, there’s been a revolution in the way information is acquired and transcribed. Far from the information revolution shrinking the role of the ambassador, it’s enhancing it. Out of the vortex of information and communication, the ambassador emerges as chief interpreter of data and events, chief analyst, chief intelligence officer, chief advocate and chief adviser, the central player in a field with an infinite number of actors, pursuing conflicting goals and agendas. In this age of the Internet and WikiLeaks, the role of diplomacy needs to be assessed and understood."

Why overseas postgrads should be encouraged to stay - Linda Kristjanson, "During this year's State of the Union address to the US Congress, US President Barack Obama highlighted the important contributions international education makes to his nation. He posed the question: why do we train international students in our education system to advanced degree level, and then send them home to compete against us? We should encourage them to stay in the US, he argued, to run research labs and build new businesses. His comments equally apply to Australia. ... There is no doubt that the public diplomacy and goodwill outcomes of international education are of enormous benefit to our nation. In the global race for research output and knowledge creation the population of Australian-trained PhD graduates help us to compete against much larger nations, such as the USA. It is these non-tangible benefits, in addition to the economic benefits, that Australia will lose to other countries unless the government takes fast action on the student visa program."

Here to stay - Mike Peters, China Daily: "Australia's well-traveled ambassador is retiring . ... While ambassador, [Geoff] Raby sometimes chastised his own country for not engaging enough with China.

He was often described in Australian media as 'outspoken'. He doesn't buy into that label, but says he thinks 'an important part of an ambassador's job is public diplomacy, and to have credibility, you have to, I think, have some of your own thoughts and not just be seen solely as a mouthpiece of the government'." Raby image from article

India starts 'tweeting' in China‎ - Ananth Krishnan, The Hindu: "The Indian Embassy in Beijing has taken to China’s widely popular version of Twitter in a new public diplomacy campaign aimed at directly reaching out to young, middle-class Chinese, in an attempt to present an often overlooked 'modern' image of India here in China. Microblogs, or 'Weibos', have grown rapidly over recent years to become the most popular platform for both debate and information-sharing in Chinese cyberspace.

A number of foreign embassies have, in recent months, taken to microblogs to directly reach out to the Chinese public and circumvent the State-controlled media in their public diplomacy efforts. ... The United States Embassy has the most popular Weibo account of any foreign mission, with more than 2,08,000 [sic] followers." Image from article

The Guardian - Tanvir Ahmad Khan, "The most perfect technique, said the great Pablo Casals, is that which is not noticed at all. This may well have been the desire of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar during her visit to India. After all, pearl necklaces, Cavalli sunglasses, Hermes Birkin bags and elegant costumes may simply be the norm in her social life; it is its loss that Pakistan’s own fashion journalism never turned the spotlight on it. ... For now, she will be well advised to shift her attention from her wardrobe to that of the foreign office that is otherwise called public diplomacy."

RT's best PD assets - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I heard a fascinating interview on CSPAN with RT program host Alyona Minkovki, who hosts the RT program The Alyona Show.

I think I have a PD crush. I had no idea international broadcasting could be so hot. And she is actually pretty savvy too. Kind of a PD-IB-RT Rachel Maddow. Will have to see if Deutsche Welle or France24 has anything comparable. Kudos to RT and Ms. Alyona, nice public diplomacy work." Alyona image from

Economy of Language vs. Turbo-Verbose -
"When we present public relations issue papers, public diplomacy and cultural training sessions, we speak of ‘Economy of Language’, the avoidance of verbose written and oral communication."

Students learn about Europe from EU politicians - Afshan Ahmed "[A]three-week EU summer school course at the Foundation Nationale des Sciences Politiques et l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris) was organised by Abu Dhabi Education Council in collaboration with Sciences Po. It was designed to broaden Emirati social science students' knowledge of other countries' policies, institutions and governance through first-hand experience. 'This aimed to help students to understand the current debates in the EU as well as develop relationships with Europe through them,' said Dr Katerina Nicolopoulou, senior specialist at Adec's global partnerships division. ... The Sciences Po

internship is an extension of links the Government is trying to establish with France in different sectors, including education. Dr Nicolopoulou said the germ of the internship programme was planted in 2010, at the Eurogolfe Public Diplomacy and Outreach Project (EPDOP). EPDOP was funded by Sciences Po and brought together economic and political decisionmakers and professionals from Europe and Abu Dhabi." Image from

Washington DC: Orientation - "My flight to DC was very easy and quick. I made it alive through airport security, which I was so grateful for. ... It was fun to hear random facts about people.

The alumni and the two leaders talked some about what sort of culture shock we will run into, and how people in Germany will want to talk about American politics and major world issues, since we are making ourselves heard throughout the world. ... At the meeting at the State Department, we had a foreign service agent in public diplomacy talk to us for a while and then a woman who lived in Germany for many years." Image from article

August 7, 2011 · 5:24 pm - "NOV 08 FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2636 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY C O N F I D E N T I A L BERLIN 001542 ... ¶1. (C) SUMMARY. Top German government officials emphasized to visiting USNATO Ambassador Kurt Volker November 10-11 that Germany remains strongly opposed to granting Ukraine and Georgia member action plan (MAP) status at the December 2-3 meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. ... PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ¶16. (U) Volker also participated in several public diplomacy events during his November 10-11 visit. On November 10, on the margins of the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), he did separate interviews with Germanys two main public broadcasters, ARD and ZDF, responding to questions on NATO enlargement and the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Also on November 10, he participated in an hour-long panel discussion hosted by Deutschland Radio Kultur on the future of U.S. foreign policy following the U.S. elections."

2011-08-06 In Light of WikiLeaks Documents, U.S. Diplomats May See Opportunity in Chávez’s Illness - Nikolas Kozloff, posted at "[I]f Chávez should falter it is easy to imagine a scenario in which much of his political project could unravel or be derailed by the right. Judging from U.S. State Department cables recently declassified by whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks, many American diplomats, including former ambassador in Caracas Charles Shapiro, would view this outcome as highly desirable. ... If [a] 2006 cable is any indication, there was no love lost between the U.S. embassy and Chávez. In a lengthy rant, one diplomat noted 'We have to maintain our careful restraint to the rhetorical provocations as well as a steady public diplomacy effort to offset Chávez' insidious effort to teach Venezuelans to hate us.'” Above image from

How To Fight Terrorism - Daniel L. Byman, Brookings [note: the article is dated August 6,2011, but deals with books dated 2004]: "Two extremely different works that have appeared ... move us toward specifics with regard to the broader battle of ideas and the struggle for the Muslim world. The first, a volume edited by Adam Garfinkle [Adam Garfinkle, ed., A Practical Guide to Winning the War on Terrorism (Stanford, CA: Hoover Press, 2004), 230 pp., $15] offers many insights into the public diplomacy challenges, as well as reviewing sources of terrorism, assessing key countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and describing emerging challenges for European and American Muslim communities. The second, a joint effort by Ray Takeyh and Nikolas K. Gvosdev entitled (a bit laboriously) The Receding Shadow of the Prophet: The Rise and Fall of Radical Political Islam, addresses how various Islamist movements have fared worldwide. ... From these two books, a complex picture emerges. First, efforts to 'win hearts and minds', or more prosaically, sell ourselves better in the Muslim world, face an exceptionally hard slog. Many of the problems are intractable, and in any event, massive changes in how public diplomacy is conducted are necessary if we are to have any success. Second, the long-term challenge (but not the immediate danger) of radical Islam may be overstated. ... With perhaps the exception of the constant calls for more human intelligence, calls to reinvigorate 'public diplomacy' are probably the most common recommendation for improving counter-terrorism. Both liberals and conservatives can champion the idea, as it promises to offer significant rewards with few sacrifices. Unfortunately, our enthusiasm for public diplomacy is not matched by our capacity. A task force led by Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian found that U.S. public diplomacy 'has become outmoded, lacking both strategic direction and resources.' A Practical Guide to Winning the War on Terrorism offers a range of useful thoughts on public diplomacy that, if heeded, can help provide such direction. The various authors who address how to change public diplomacy, fortunately, do not agree. As a result, we receive a rich variety of descriptions as to the proper tasks of public diplomacy, the appropriate means of pursuing it, and its probable limits. Taken together, the essays portray the complexity of the problems and the daunting barriers that need to be overcome. The public diplomacy problem is not new.

As Martin Kramer argues in his chapter, 'Every non-Muslim authority that has projected power into the Middle East has faced the problem of winning Muslim hearts and minds.' ... An even bigger problem of public diplomacy is the difficulty of harmonizing messages at home and abroad in order to properly display respect. As William Rugh contends, 'Washington officials speaking publicly are thinking about an American audience rather than a foreign one.' ... But the U.S. problem is deeper than public diplomacy. It is inextricably linked to U.S. policy as well. Most jihadists oppose what most Americans see as legitimate policies. The United States is a staunch supporter of Israel (Howard Dean was criticized by fellow Democrats for calling for the United States to be more evenhanded) and backs autocratic governments in the Middle East and elsewhere. All these stances are in the U.S. national interest; but pity the poor flak who tries to sell them in the Muslim world. As a result of these problems, public diplomacy as traditionally conceived may be doomed. ... The public diplomacy picture painted above is gloomy and seems in keeping with the general pessimism people have with regard to the struggle against terrorism. ... The lack of appeal of the jihadists' own program offers perhaps the greatest opportunity for the United States. Although opinion of the United States in the Muslim world is often dismal, this does not mean that those advocating violence are popular. Through effective public diplomacy, the United States can make these movements even less popular."  Image from

Cognitive War. Risk for Romania - Orthodox Sentinel Blog: "Communication is the most important element of competition and influence De ce? Why? globalizarea comunicarii. globalization of communication. Disparitia granitelor The disappearance of borders Emergentei spatiului democratic si a limitarii interventiilor structurilor statale Emerging democratic space and limitation of state intervention Fragmentarii sociale. Social fragmentation. Indivizii scapa tot mai mult determinarilor generice.

Individuals escape increasingly generic determinations. Slabirea culturii dominante, emergenta unor subculturi Weakening of the dominant culture, the emergence of subcultures Spatiul social tot mai aglomerat, orintare grea, tot mai multă redundantă Social space more crowded orintare heavy, more and more redundant Individul este obligat să caute informatii pentru a se orienta in spatiul social The individual is obliged to seek information to guide social space Multiplicarea diferitelor tipuri de oferte de la cele de consum, la alternative de viata Multiplication of different types of offers to the consumer, the alternative of life . ... National State vs. other states - the processes which today are called public diplomacy" Image from article

Top 10 Global Graduate Scholarships - "7. Fulbright Foreign Student Program This award is a mainstay of America’s public-diplomacy efforts. It brings citizens of other countries to the United States for Master’s degree or Ph.D. study at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions. More than 1,800 new Foreign Fulbright Fellows enter U.S. academic programs each year.

Foreign students apply for Fulbright Fellowships through the Fulbright Commission/Foundation or U.S. Embassy in their home countries. The Institute of International Education (IIE) arranges academic placement for most Fulbright nominees and supervises participants during their stay in the United States." Image from article

First week as an intern - Nicklas in Tanzania: "Public Diplomacy and Culture trainee is the official title. Indtil videre betyder det 'lav alt der bare smager af kommunikation og få et overblik over kulturprogrammet'. So far, it means 'make everything just tastes of communication and an overview of the cultural program'.

Det kunne måske lyde lidt som en ærgerlig tjans, men indtil videre er det ret fedt. It might sound like an annoying gig, but so far it's pretty cool. ... In the picture you can also see ... the embassy." Image from article

6 Niche Graduate Programs That Meet Market Demand - Ritika Puri, SF Gate: "A graduate degree can cost upwards of $100,000 or more, especially when you factor in living expenses, technology, textbooks and accrued interest from debt. In light of these costs, there's one big question: Is it worth it? ... Programs in Specialized Communications The University of Southern California (USC) features a number of master's programs through its Annenberg School of Communications. These programs feature diverse tracts, ranging from specialties in broadcast journalism to specialties in online communities and new media. Currently, programs are available in communication management, global communication, journalism, public diplomacy and strategic public relations. In the fields of public relations, marketing and online media, and strong communication skills are invaluable."

#PD Jobs 8/6 - Ren's Micro Diplomacy

At a Hacker Conference, Plenty of Friendly Feds - Somini Sengupta, New York Times: "Defcon, a convention of computer hackers here, was crawling with federal agents on Friday. They smiled, shook hands, handed out their business cards, spoke on a panel called 'Meet the Federal Agent 2.0' and were really, really nice. Naturally, the Feds have been hanging out at hacker

gatherings for years for the purposes of snooping. 'Cloak and dagger,' as one federal agent put it. This time they came with another purpose: to schmooze, impress and, perhaps ultimately, lure. ... For the Feds, it seemed less an aggressive recruiting drive than a public diplomacy mission. They spoke about their computer science degrees. They took pains to describe themselves as lovable geeks under their crew cuts. Ryan Pittman, an ex-cop who now works cyber cases in the U.S. Army’s criminal investigations division, said the convention was an opportunity to whittle away the Feds’ image as 'jackbooted thugs.'” Image from


Can America still lead? - E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: The world is looking to the United States to help power a recovery and provide leadership at a time when we are suffocatingly inward-looking.

White House To Monitor Social Networks For “Extremist Propaganda”… - [August 4]: A White House terrorism strategy released today says Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks aid in “advancing violent extremist narratives” and should be monitored by the government.

The 12-page strategy, which outlines ways to respond to violent extremism, promises that: “We will continue to closely monitor the important role the Internet and social-networking sites play in advancing violent extremist narratives.” President Obama said in a statement accompanying the report that the federal government will start “helping communities to better understand and protect themselves against violent extremist propaganda, especially online.” Image from

Propaganda jargon for Israel in the NYT - As'ad, The Angry Arab News Service: Look at this propaganda piece by Ethan Bronner: "All modern democracies seek to balance collective will and individualism, the force of markets and the power of the state. And every government is accused by its opponents of having abandoned core national values. But in Israel the debate seems more freighted. This is a small and intensely personal state born only decades ago in conflict. More than most countries, Israel seeks a lyrical narrative about itself stemming from notions of history, divinity and collective redemption." Where do I begin? He says Israel is an "intensely personal" state. What on earth does that mean? What does it mean, really? Is the US intensely impersonal by comparison? Can you imagine such language passing the pen or key of the editor if written on any other state? And what does it mean that Israel seeks "a lyrical narrative about itself"??? Is that a poetic reference to its war crimes and assassination ploys?

Syrian Propaganda Pays Homage to Nurse Nayirah Story - CNN is reporting that “a Syrian human rights group” is claiming that Syrian government forces cut power to a hospital in Hama resulting in 8 babies dying in their incubators. In the article they clarify their legal position on the story thus absolving them of any accountability for presenting pure lies as “news”: “CNN cannot independently verify the account.” But still, this is their headline – Rights group: 8 babies die after power cut to Syrian hospital. The “human rights group” that CNN is basing their entire story on is almost certainly the London based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. They are a shadowy institution with calling card ads on their website, probably just another globalist backed NGO helping to push propaganda in an effort to destabilize

Syria like others have done in Libya and elsewhere across the Middle East and Africa recently. The funny thing about this latest attempt at obvious propaganda is that it is strikingly similar to another attempt from back in 1990. That effort was later proved to be completely false. That was the Nurse Nayirah story about how the Iraqis were running around in Kuwait tossing babies from their incubators and leaving them to die on the cold hard floor of the hospital. Nurse Sariah image from

Canada joins propaganda war aimed at Gadhafi forces -  Canada has joined an air war of a different kind in the skies over Libya, one where persuasion and sometimes insults are the weapons. Canadian CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes recently started broadcasting propaganda messages aimed at forces loyal to Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

It's a psychological warfare operation, or PSYOPS, initially started by the Americans but now overseen by NATO -- the kind of mission western militaries are reluctant to talk about openly. Image from article, with caption: Libyans react near the coffin of Libyan rebels' slain military chief Abdel-Fattah Younis in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Friday, July 29, 2011

Seeking leverage, Libya foes in propaganda war - William Maclean, Mired in a slow-moving ground war, Libya's warring parties are turning to propaganda to try to splinter each other's support base and gain leverage in talks on a political settlement. uammar Gaddafi is playing on fears among Libyans that Western-backed rebels will tip the country deeper into chaos. The opposition's message is that only an end to Gaddafi's 41-year-old rule can bring peace, stability and justice.

'Do You Want Total War?' German Politician in Trouble for Using Phrase - A veteran German politician has got himself into hot water by repeating a phrase attributed to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels -- "Do you want total war?" Heiner Geissler, 81, the mediator in a bitter dispute over the reconstruction of the main railway station for the city of Stuttgart, uttered the words last Friday during an arbitration meeting between supporters and opponents of the project. He said he was trying to emphasize the need for a settlement. But media commentators have heaped criticism on him for using a phrase that sums up the fanaticism of Nazi Germany. The controversy shows how sensitive references to the war remain in German politics.

War Posters: War Propaganda Posters from Around the World - During war, countries fighting for survival are often at the height of innovation, applying their knowledge in a variety of different ways. Biologists, physicists, and chemists are all

rushing to create new products for use at home and abroad. Many people often overlook the artists and designers who are also set in motion, creating propoganda and war posters to distribute to the masses. War propaganda posters are designed to incite patriotism, a sense of pride and a conviction to winning the war at home. Image from article

Consider ending this funding - U.S. officials know much of the reconstruction cash sent to Afghanistan has been siphoned off by unscrupulous private and public officials there. But no one can estimate, even within a billion dollars, how much waste and corruption has occurred. The special inspector general for our government's reconstruction program in Afghanistan admits part of the problem is U.S. agencies not coordinating work to monitor where the money goes. But an even greater concern is Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government. The regime is actively blocking some efforts to account for the about $70 billion in reconstruction funding. A new report from the inspector general cites lengthy delays in cooperation by the Afghan government to monitor large amounts of cash moving through the airport in Kabul.

And, the report notes, Karzai has banned U.S. advisers from working at Afghanistan's central bank, where they would have a bird's eye seat to check flows of large amounts of money. Many Afghan officials are corrupt. That much is known. But Karzai's regime seems determined to protect them, rather than to ensure U.S. money is spent appropriately for the Afghan people. Image from


The Honorable Mention goes to:

The United Kingdom

followed closely by...

The United States of America

and then...


but Third Place must go to...


it was very very close but the runner up prize was awarded to....


but the winner of the husband/partner of the year is:

Ireland. Ya gotta love the Irish. The Irish are true romantics. Look, he's even holding her hand...


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