Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12

“Literature must in some sense be believable, whereas experiences of human beings in fact develop beyond all powers of conjecture. Thus Social Literature is conventional, while History exceeds all limitations of common sense.”

--Lucien Price, The Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead, Prologue; cited at; Whitehead image from


TEDxDanubia 2011 - Simonyi and Kounalakis - "How and Roll Saved the World"; via Markos Kounalakis; see also


Spook Week - J. N. Nielsen, Grand Strategy: The View from Oregon: "Not long ago in Dancing with Spooks I commented on the dialectic of public and private diplomacy, and wrote that, 'Public diplomacy often serves its most crucial function when it contradicts private diplomacy.' This observation could well be reformulated as a principle, to the effect that if one message is being broadcast by way of public diplomacy, then it is more likely than not that the opposite message is being transmitted by private diplomacy. At the moment, the headlines are all about the arrest of two Iranian men in the US whom US officials claim were involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US Adel al-Jubeir. According to US Attorney General Eric Holder, the alleged conspiracy was 'conceived, sponsored and directed from Iran.' While it is entirely possible that there is a tenuous thread of truth in these claims — it is being said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps was involved in the planning, and it is possible that rogue extremist elements within the IRGC did have a plot afoot; note that UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s office cited 'elements of the Iranian regime' but left it at that — it is unlikely

in the extreme that any such plan was conceived and directed at the highest levels of Iranian state power. ... The extremely public way in which the US administration is handling the public diplomacy of the alleged plot reveals how much hay can be made from a failed plot of this nature. Had the plot been successful, it might have been a game-changer for the Arabian Peninsula and its relations with the US. It is to be expected, then, that such an enterprise would be 'conceived, sponsored and directed' by those who would want to change the game in the Arabian Peninsula, and those who would want to see robust US-Saudi retaliation against Iran. Somewhat less public, but equally obvious, was an op-ed piece in the Financial Times, It is time to take on Pakistan’s radical jihadist spies by Mansoor Ijaz, an ethnic Pakistani with long standing ties to the US defense establishment. Interestingly, Mansoor Ijaz gives some of the backstory of Admiral Mike Mullen’s very public diplomacy that I mentioned in a note added to Dancing with Spooks, which suggests that Admiral Mullen’s public diplomacy was preceded by private diplomacy aimed at the military leadership of Pakistan, warning them away from unseating President Zardari in response to the national humiliation of the UBL kill or capture commado raid." Image from

Laura W. Bush Travelling Fellowship for Africans by fundsforngos Organisation USA - "U.S. Department of State is inviting applications from American college/university students for Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship. These fellowships are intended to assist students’ proposals about conducting brief work in a foreign country related to the mandate of UNESCO to build strong ties among nations. The work to be conducted in the foreign country may be related to education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and/or communication and information. ... The fellowship is intended for American college/university students

who express an interest in international collaboration but as of yet had not been afforded many opportunities to travel abroad. The length of time for the travel is expected to be between 4 and 6 weeks and should include interaction with individuals from other nations. During his/her travel, the recipient should be willing to participate in public diplomacy events arranged with the pertinent U.S. State Department Consulate, Mission, and/or Embassy. Following the travel, the recipient agrees to submit a report describing experiences and analyzing objectives achieved; share his/her experiences with others; and be available to make a presentation to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO." Laura Bush image from

Chinese Media Flip-Flops on US Ambassador Locke - Cha Si, The Epoch Times: "One day he is the 'role model,' the next day he is the 'colonialist.' Gary Locke, the U.S. Ambassador to China, may have not anticipated that he would get so many drastically changing appraisals by the Chinese media. ... Chinese media ... praised him immediately. The following from the state-run newspaper Guangming Daily on Aug. 16 is representative of heaps of local media reports. ... 'Some [media] commented that Locke is well-versed in public diplomacy—no speeches and no grandeur. [A] few words speak louder than thousands of words. He won our hearts even before he came over.

This is the best class on public diplomacy and the best publicity for the U.S. national image. … He made the public mad about him in the shortest time, just because he brought with him the unusual U.S. official culture, which is nothing but true common sense. ... But soon the wave of admiration for Ambassador Locke turned in the opposite direction. The Chinese media, especially the state media, has a mission to safeguard the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) interests. Comparing a positive U.S. role model with the official corruption in China is not acceptable. ... As time passes, the Chinese media may continue flip-flopping over Locke. But one thing will not change: China’s state-run media, being the mouthpiece of the CCP, will do whatever it needs to do to serve the Party’s interests, even if that means flip-flopping on its previous positions." Locke image from article

The India Is…Global Video Contest - Navdeep Suri, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: At our Public Diplomacy Division, we have started October with an important new initiative. After several months of preparation, our 'India Is.…' global video contest is operational. Let me first start with a disclaimer. It wasn't a “eureka” moment that produced the idea. It draws inspiration from the 'Democracy Is…' contest that was run by the U.S. State Department. In our case, we have opted to focus the contest on India by inviting participants to submit three minute videos on our website. By way of guidance, we have suggested three distinct themes: India Is... Colorful India Is... Creative, and India Is... Wherever you are[.] As a public diplomacy exercise, we hope that the 'India Is…' contest will encourage people to think of India in creative, interesting and hopefully positive ways. We are looking at it as a three year program where our funding can be supplemented by corporate resources as the campaign gathers steam."

JewishNet Gave Yandex A Cue About Jerusalem Location‎ - Roman (Rafael) Gold, OfficialWire: "JewishNet ( is a Jewish Social Platform of the new generation targeting to create integrated information space for Jewish users and organizations.

The mission of the project is implemented in the three directions: socialization, education and public diplomacy. JewishNet Alfa-version was launched on May 3rd 2011." Image from

The Annual Herzliya Conference Series - "The Herzliya Conference, the flagship event of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya, is a year-long work cycle . ... The integrative assessments and concrete recommendations deliberated at Herzliya have had a demonstrable impact on Israel’s national policy, often implemented. In many areas, the Institute for Policy and Strategy, through the Herzliya Conference, was the first to place items on the national agenda [including:] . ... [T]o set-out proactive communication strategies for Israel’s international public diplomacy."

Canadian Ambassador for Kosovo visits MFA - "The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Petrit Selimi, received in a meeting today the

Ambassador of Canada to Croatia, Edwin Lo[u]ghlin, who handed over the credential letters for accreditation as Canadian Non-Resident Ambassador to Kosovo. ... Deputy Minister Selimi also briefed Ambassador Loghlin on the accreditation process of the Kosovo Ambassador to Canada and on the course of the process of the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by UN member states and on the MFA public diplomacy projects." Loughlin (right) image from


America Remains the Most Admired Country Globally in the 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index(SM) - Press release, The United States continues to lead the world in global image, according to GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, and leading policy advisor Simon Anholt. Results from the 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index(SM) (NBI),

which measures the global image of 50 countries, shows the United States holding the top spot for the third year in a row as the nation with the best overall reputation. Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index(SM) Overall Brand Ranking image from

Texting as propaganda tool - Intelligence Online (subscription) [incomplete entry from Google:] "The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which is responsible for US government propaganda news broadcasters, including Voice of America and Al-Hurra, ... "

The Arab World's Unknown Son: 'If you want another Steve Jobs, stop the killing of Syrian children' - Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal: [Subcription only, thus incompleteness of entry:] The discovery that Steve Jobs's biological father was a Sunni Muslim immigrant from Syria who had made his way to America in the early 1950s has occasioned a flood of Arab commentary.

A world mired in tribal feuds and technological backwardness has been all-too-eager to lay claim to the magician of the Bay Area, the father of the personal computer, the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Image : Jobs and his dad from

Column: As Libya shows, U.S. can capably lead from behind - Lewis M. Simons, USA Today: When the history of the 2011 Arab Spring is written, the key lesson for Americans will be that there are times when we are better off hunkering down than marching at the tip of the spear. The chapter that will drive this lesson home will be on Libya.Had we been seen to be leading the charge, the Libyan revolution almost certainly would have blown up in our faces.

U.S. should call Iran's bluff: Whether or not Ahmadinejad is sincere in his proposal to cease production of highly enriched nuclear fuel and import it instead, it is clearly in our interests to accept - Op-Ed, Over the last few weeks, the Iranian president has stated on a number of occasions that his country will cease domestic efforts to manufacture fuel for one of its nuclear reactors if it is able to purchase the fuel from abroad. The United States should accept this proposal — publicly, immediately and unconditionally.

Iranian Terror Plot: Fake, Fake, Fake‎
- Justin Raimondo, "Fake, fake, fake – I’m talking about the latest anti-Iranian propaganda coming out of Washington, which claims the Iranian Revolutionary Guards

were involved in a 'plot' to take out the Saudi ambassador to the US and blow up both the Saudi and Israeli embassies." Image from

Iran under US propaganda attack  - The Voice of Russia: The US and Iran are in the middle of the worst scandal ever. On Tuesday Washington accused two Iranians, including one naturalized American, of plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia's envoy to Washington Adel al-Jubeir. And now let’s look at what we have: no murder attempt was carried out. Evidence of the plot and its masterminders are indirect: only the ethnic origin of the arrested and their alleged claims.

Iran Blasts US Terror Allegations as “Warmongering and Propaganda” - The U.S. Justice Department has filed charges against two Iranians accused of conspiring with elements of the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Deparment issued an international travel warning for U.S. citizens, saying the scheme could be a sign that Iran has adopted a “more agressive focus” on terrorist activity. The statement also warned of possible “anti-U.S. actions” following the foiled plot. Iran strongly denies

being involved in the assassination attempt. Iran's U.N. ambassador wrote a letter Tuesday to the secretary general that expressed “outrage” over the U.S. allegations, calling them politically-motivated “warmongering and propaganda.” (from VOA News). Image from

War propaganda over Syria - Phil Taylor, Straight Goods: We want to believe that the mainstream media gets it right, but they play a propaganda role often. The same unchecked reporting that happened in Libya is now occurring in Syria. A lurid story about the Syrian government beheading an opposition activist was paraded by newspapers and major human rights organizations, until the activist resurfaced — alive.

Turkish court jails seven PKK returnees‎ - Seven suspects who returned to Turkey from the Kandil Mountains and Makhmour refugee camp in northern Iraq, have been sentenced to up to 10 years in jail on charges of members of PKK. Seven suspects who were among the 34 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)

who returned to Turkey from the Kandil Mountains and Makhmour refugee camp in northern Iraq and surrendered to Turkish security forces in 2009, have been sentenced to up to 10 years in jail on charges of being a member of and disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization. Image from article

'Israel Experience' Combatting Anti-Israel Propaganda - Julie Stahl, Christian Broadcasting Network: One of Israel's main battlefields can be found on American university campuses, often where anti-Israel propaganda is prominent. To combat that trend, a program called the Israel Experience, sponsored by Eagles' Wings Ministry, aims to equip young people to engage in the ideological warfare they face on campuses

and elsewhere. The program's mission is to give tomorrow's leaders an educated heart toward Israel. Uncaptioned image from article

In 1949 who wanted a Palestinian state? Only Israel! - Allon Lee, Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council: It won't stop the revisionist propaganda underpinning the Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence campaign, but newspaper accounts from 1949 prove that the nascent State of Israel supported the establishment

of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza and opposed the land being absorbed by surrounding Arab countries. Image from article, with caption: May 14, 1948 - The State of Israel is declared

US reporter talks West's anti-China campaign - People's Daily Online: PD Online: How long does it take to gather the necessary materials for the article? Why did you write this article? What is the article trying to tell the readers? U.S. journalist Andre Vitchek, who recently wrote “The West Perfecting Its Techniques to Hurt China”: Writing such article is an ongoing process. And it is logically deducted from my experience; from working and living on all continents – North and South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa and Europe. The purpose of the article was to warn, to alert readers about the forces of Western propaganda, to show how it works and what are its goals.

Retweeting Democracy: The Role of Social Media | Global Research TV [Video]: Must. Be. AWESOME!!!

Give the next Russian ambassador a powerful tool to guard human rights -  David J. Kramer and Robert Kagan, Washington Post: Wednesday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Michael McFaul as the next U.S. ambassador to Russia highlights one of three steps that Congress should take this fall related to Russia and U.S.-Russian relations. The Senate should confirm McFaul, who has served as President Obama’s top adviser on Russia at the National Security Council. Second, both the House and Senate should waive the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which deals with emigration of Soviet Jews as it applies to Russia, and third, they should replace it with an up-to-date bill that would sanction Russian officials responsible for gross human rights abuses. These moves would strengthen McFaul’s hand as he heads to Moscow.

Europe’s day of reckoning on its financial crisis is at hand - Editorial, Washington Post: This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy finally responded with a joint “we get it.” Their countries “are determined to do everything necessary to ensure the recapitalisation of our banks,” they announced. An all-encompassing solution is on the way, they promise — by the end of the month. The rest of the world, the United States very much included, has little choice but to hope that Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy actually have a plan. Their late recognition that Europe’s banks may be woefully undercapitalized is not encouraging. But better late than never.

"Let's extensively raise goats in all families!" Propaganda to and within North Korea - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Image from article

Media A Note on The Propaganda Model: Chomsky-Herman vs Herman-Chomsky - Hicham Yezza,

In a new essay, Milan Rai examines the subtle but key differences between Noam Chomsky's understanding of the model and his co-author's. Image from article

History: British World War II Propaganda Posters - jonathan, Among the posters:


from: Original Superhero Costumes, 1960s/1970s, via Boing Boing : Wonder Woman


--"Callista Gingrich's hairdo at last night's [Republican presidential] debate," Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog

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