Thursday, October 13, 2011
"I can't stand people who switch on the record player as soon as you arrive for drinks. Either we listen to Mozart or Vivaldi, or we talk."
--J. G. Ballard, cited in The Times Literary Supplement (September 30, 2011), p. 6; image from
State-Sponsored Terrorism Threat - James Jay Carafano, Heritage.org: "On October 11 in New York, the Justice Department charged Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-born naturalized U.S. citizen, and Gholam Shakuri with an array of charges related to a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir, by bombing a public venue in Washington, D.C. ... While the foiling of this plot demonstrates that effective counterterrorism investigative and information-sharing
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The cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran - Rob Sobhani, CNN: "After consulting with its Persian Gulf allies, U.S. policy towards Iran should consist of five simultaneous pillars. First, President Obama should appoint an Iran Czar to coordinate the overall goals of his approach to Iran. Second, should the regime in Tehran wish to talk with the U.S., diplomacy should always be on the table as an option. Third, impose targeted economic sanctions such as freezing the enormous assets of the regime’s leaders hidden in Swiss, Canadian and Asian banks. Fourth, while Washington should keep a close eye on the progress of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, our public diplomacy should refocus on the violation of human rights in Iran. Finally, serious consideration should also be given to the wishes of the Iranian people."
Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Groundbreaking Economic and Public Diplomacy Recommendations for U.S. Policymakers to Enhance Relations with Egypt and Offer a Path Forward for Democracy - press release, MarketWatch: "General Jim Jones, Ambassador James Glassman, Secretary Dan Glickman Discuss Challenges and Solutions to the Crisis in Egypt The Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) National Security Project held a panel discussion today on the future of the country, its implications for the region and the challenges for U.S.-Egypt relations following last weekend's sectarian unrest in Egypt. The discussion followed the Project's release of two papers that offer concrete, constructive recommendations for U.S. policy going forward. Investing in the Revolution: Economics and Prospects for Democracy in Egypt, authored by BPC Senior Fellow and former National Security Advisor General (ret.) Jim Jones, assesses Egypt's economic crisis and its impact on democratic development in the post-revolution state. Strategic Public Diplomacy: The Case of Egypt, a case study of BPC's Strategic Public Diplomacy Initiative (SPDI), co-chaired by Ambassador James Glassman and former Secretary Dan Glickman, analyzes U.S. public diplomacy toward Egypt over the past 15 years and examines how such diplomacy can serve U.S strategic objectives today. ... Today's discussion also focused on the strategic importance of reaching out to Egyptian citizens through public diplomacy. 'Egypt is an important test case for examining the efficacy of U.S. public diplomacy,' said Glassman, who served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy for President George W. Bush. BPC's Strategic Public Diplomacy Initiative's case study of Egypt is part of a longer project that examines the effectiveness of United States' public diplomacy in achieving strategic foreign policy objectives. ... SPDI analysis asserts that the U.S. did support the development of democracy in Egypt, and that public diplomacy efforts in Egypt have gained traction since 2001. But it also found that U.S. public diplomacy efforts are not fully aligned with overall strategic objectives. According to SPDI co-chair Dan Glickman, former CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, 'U.S. public diplomacy has suffered from a lack of strategic direction. Even when U.S. foreign policy objectives are well defined, public diplomacy has struggled to adopt policies that support those goals.
Broadcasting Board of Governors to Meet on October 13 - bbg.gov: "At the October 13 meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the Board will focus on its plans to restructure international broadcasting. The Board will consider recommendations based on the year long strategic review as well as other Board operations including committee membership and the 2011 Board schedule.
Via; image from
Adapting to a Porous World - Benjamin Ho, the-diplomat.com: "According to Matthew Armstrong, executive director of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the changing information and human environment has shaped the way communities relate with each other. Older forms of thinking, which assume territorial boundaries and bureaucratic control as fundamental to political governance, are being replaced by alternative social and political configurations. As Armstrong put it: ‘Today’s world of communication has increasingly porous boundaries (resulting in) the formation of new forms of non-national diasporas.’"
Experts call for public diplomacy development in China - Mu Xuequan, Xinhua: "Experts from the United States and Britain discussed the development of public diplomacy in China at a seminar hosted in Beijing on Wednesday, stating that they hope China will invest more in developing public diplomacy. Public diplomacy, also known as second-track or 'people-to-people' diplomacy, is a relatively new discipline and profession, but it has become more valuable as countries become more interconnected, said Ernest Wilson, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the 'Public Diplomacy in The Age of Globalization' seminar. As China has developed rapidly in recent years, it needs make more efforts to build understanding and trust with people from other nations, Wilson said. However, China's public diplomacy has so far failed to catch up to that of Western countries, he said. ... Alistair M. Michie, secretary-general of the 48 Group Club 'The Icebreakers,' the most senior British economic and trade promotion organization to China, said he hopes China can learn from Britain's experience, as Britain has a long track record of success in public diplomacy. More people-to-people communication will boost respect
from, with caption: Zhao Qizheng (center), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Alistair M. Michie (left), honorary secretary of the 48 Group Club of Britain and Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, attend a forum on "Public Diplomacy in the Age of Globalization" in Beijing on Wednesday. See also.
US reporter: China needs more efforts to explain itself - People's Daily Online: "People's Daily Online conducted an interview with U.S. journalist Andre Vitchek, who recently wrote 'The West Perfecting Its Techniques to Hurt China', in which he criticized the role the Western press plays in bashing China. Below is the interview: PD Online: China has now put more emphasis on public diplomacy. For example, it has established foreign language television stations in the U.S. And China's national promotional film has been broadcasted in the U.S, etc. Would you say something about this? Vitchek: This is absolutely essential! It is the only way forward. China is the biggest country in the world, the second largest economy and enormous alternative system. It has to use all means to make people all over the world familiar with its thoughts, plans, and dreams! China has to promote its arts, its philosophy, show people its ancient cities, its countryside, through television and other media. It should make children all over the world fall in love with its fairytales, its wonderful dragons
Silence falls on Palestine's bid for full UN membership - Francis Matthew, gulfnews.com: "After the drama of Mahmoud Abbas' presentation of the Palestinian demand to join the United Nations as a full member, almost total silence has fallen. We assume that there is lots of lobbying going on behind closed doors, although we assume that the United States will veto the proposal. We also assume that the State Department is working hard to find an alternative to a flat ‘no', since that would be an embarrassing vote against their own president's clear statement that Palestinian statehood
Tehran, Moscow share similar views on Caspian Sea: official - Tehran Times: "Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast
Is Occupy Wall Street "the the world's first genuine social-media uprising"? And is RT the go-to channel for coverage? - Kim Andrew elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Business Beat: October 12, 2011 - kbia.org: "Silvia Kofler is head of press and public diplomacy at the delegation of the European Union to the United States.
Chasing after Indonesia - Rachelle Nessia, chellelandia.blogspot.com: "I ['Philipina journalist'] vigorously attacked the boutiques and department stores, buying up a wardrobe apropos for my IT in Indonesia: blazers and slacks for the courtesy calls to governors and Indonesia's Director General for Information and Public Diplomacy (I assume this is their version of the agency I work for); collared shirts for the tours and museum visits; a long flowy dress and a green pleated skirt for the dinners; and a couple of modest swimsuits for the romp in Bali that will culminate the 10-day trip."
The Deliberate Use of Art Diplomacy - Public Diplomacy: "Later this month our Symposium, Building Bridges: The Tools of Public Diplomacy, will feature a panel discussing art as a tool of public diplomacy. It must be noted, however, that such public diplomacy must be used carefully. The main goal of art as a tool of public diplomacy is to create a common experience among those of different cultures. Art diplomacy doesn’t often have the feel of an imposition of a policy, and often its lack of an explicit governmental message is its selling point. Such a tool can be used to express similar values
Libya: Has playboy Mutassim Gaddafi been captured by rebels? Confusion as revolutionary forces close in on Mutassim - Tom Leonard, Daily Mail: Confusion has been growing in Libya over reports that Colonel Gaddafi’s son Mutassim was captured trying to flee the ousted leader’s besieged home city of Sirte.
North Korean Junket – part 1: leftistforum.com: [Video] This documentary is a look at a North Korean propaganda march from 2004. The trip was organized by a group called the Korean Friendship Association. A group of westerners are taken on a tour of North Korea in exchange for participating in some propagandistic reunification marches.
Hard-Headed Idealist: The man who drafted the Bill of Rights later helped Thomas Jefferson conduct a back-channel propaganda war [Review of James Madison By Richard Brookhiser] - Aram Bakshian, Wall Street Journal: Madison helped Jefferson conduct a sometimes sordid, back-channel propaganda war against Washington's efforts to establish, with Hamilton's
Are Americans More Prone to A.D.H.D.? - New York Times: Whether you call it hypochondria or American exceptionalism, the numbers are plain: Americans lead the world in diagnoses of mental health problems. For some conditions, perhaps wealth explains the disparity: in developing nations, more people are focused on pressing needs like food and shelter, making depression a “luxury disorder” in wealthy nations like the United States.