Sunday, October 30, 2011
"I doubt those who believe, and believe those who doubt."
--A valued PDPBR subscriber, responding to a similar thought by French writer André Gide; image from
Clinton seeks to bypass dictators and despots through technology - Jamie Crawford, cnn.com: "Gone are the days
The Tale of Two Web Initiatives - iran180.org:
In interviews with BBC Persian and VOA Persian, Secretary Clinton announces plans for US "virtual Tehran embassy" - Kim Andrew Elliott Reporting on International Broadcasting. See also.
The State of U.S.-Pakistan Relations [event announcement at the United States Institute of Peace] - usip.org: "In September, Admiral Mike Mullen surprised observers of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship when he called the Haqqani Network a 'veritable arm' of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency. Subsequent weeks have seen heightened tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan, followed by fresh efforts at intense public diplomacy to repair the damage. While both sides continue to underscore the central importance of the bilateral relationship for regional stability, their strategies with regard to the end game in Afghanistan remain unclear and uncoordinated. As the future of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship navigates shaky ground, Pakistan’s domestic instabilities pose a further challenge.
from; other image from
Public Diplomacy: Suggested US-Israel conference - John Brown, Notes and Essays: "As the growing tension between the U.S. and Israel never ceases to end, despite hopeful intervals on the healing of the relationship, may I suggest that a think-tank with a public-diplomacy focus organize a symposium on the slightly provocative (perhaps politically incorrect, but I hope that would create an "honest" intellectual buzz) topic: "What's Israel Done for (to?) the United States?" (Of course, there could be also be a session on "What's the United States Done for (to?) Israel.") The discussion on this topic would, assuredly, bring the attention of the media -- and, perhaps, the public -- in both countries, leading, let us hope, to a more honest, constructive relation between the two countries."
Foreign students say visa program abused - Pamela Constable, Washington Post: "For years, it as been touted as a form of vacation diplomacy: a U.S. government program that selects college students from across the globe to come work at beach resorts, amusement parks and other seasonal jobs. In the process, the visitors are expected to imbibe American culture, practice English and take home fond memories. But this August, a group of students complained that their work conditions were closer to a sweatshop than a summer break, sparking demands for government intervention and a firestorm of bad publicity that federal officials are now trying to tamp down. More than 300 young foreigners, packing candy in a warehouse in Pennsylvania, staged a high-profile walkout and protest against their employers and the State Department, which oversees the program.
RFE/RL reporter in Turkmenistan released from prison - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
RFE/RL president Steven Korn on "the ability to let people make up their own mind based on accurate information - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
The MEK's Propaganda Machine - Paul R. Pillar, nationalinterest.org: "[A]nything bad you ever heard about the MEK [the Iranian cult/terrorist group Mujahedeen-e-Khalqis] a product of propaganda from the Iranian regime [according to a National Interest piece]. Evidently this means that anyone, either inside or outside of Iran, who has ever been critical of the group must have been brainwashed by the propaganda. If that were true, those responsible for U.S. public diplomacy have a lot of valuable lessons to learn from the Iranians; their propagandists must be doing something right."
China's CCTV, in international expansion mode, will find that ¥45 billion can't buy credibility - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
India Blog Series: Public Diplomacy: An Education - Aparajitha Vadlamannati, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "This year, nearly 100,000
ASEAN, preventive diplomacy and bilateral conflict - P.L.E. Priatna, Jakarta Post: "It will build momentum, in turn, for ASEAN’s stakeholders to formulate a new and stronger and more workable framework for regional preventive diplomacy. Entering the ASEAN Community 2015, in terms of public diplomacy, it is a big challenge to gain public justification, even in just simplifying the split between 'bilateral and regional issues'."
Guest Post: Bread Before Ballots – The Need for Food Diplomacy - Emily Chin, Ren's Micro Diplomacy: “With unrest, hunger and desperation spurring continued unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, now is the prime time for U.S. public diplomacy in the form of
http://tinyurl.com/65nr4we” Image from article
Tweets are new weapon in war against Taliban - Pakistan Observer: US forces in Afghanistan say they’ve developed a new tactic in their war with the Taliban, using Twitter’s 140-character messages as information weapons. “The Taliban were just constantly putting out false information and propaganda,” Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings said. “Some of it was so wrong we finally had to start engaging, and backing up our information with the facts.”
Taliban Propaganda Watch: Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight - MILNEWS.Ca.Blog: 25 NATO invaders killed in martyr attack in Kabul city.
Out of Iraq: The U.S. withdrawal will only strengthen Iran's already strong ties with the Shiite government - Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan, latimes.com: The American withdrawal, which comes after the administration's failure to secure a new agreement that would have allowed troops to remain in Iraq, won't be good for ordinary Iraqis or for the region. But it will unquestionably benefit Iran. Far from assuaging Iraqi leaderMuqtada Sadr's anti-Americanism, the announcement of U.S. retreat has apparently fueled it and driven him (or his Iranian backers) to seek an even greater success through continued attacks on the U.S. Embassy and its personnel.
U.S. tracks 'millions' of dollars stolen by Iraqi officials - Eamon Javers, CNBC.com, USA Today: Out of the billions of dollars in cash that the U.S. shipped to Iraq during the war, "hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars . . . was stolen by senior Iraqi officials for their own personal gain," the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction tells CNBC.
17 detained after attack on US embassy in Sarajevo - Monsters and Critics.com: Serbian police raided homes in the largely Muslim Sandzak region on Saturday, detaining 17 people following the attack on the US embassy in Sarajevo in neighbouring Bosnia, Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said. 'This morning at 5 am an operation against the extremist Islamic Wahhabi movement was launched on the territory of Novi Pazar, Sjenica and Tutin,' Dacic said. Propaganda material relating to the movement, which is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia, had been seized, he said.
Islamophobia used as war propaganda, says UK peace activist - “One of the reasons why Islamophobia has become so virulent in the last 10 years in British society and elsewhere is that is used as a way to try to justify the wars the West is fighting against Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, in Africa and south-east Asia,” said
Iran Blasts Saudi Arabia Over US Cooperation – Jim Kouri, eurasiareview.com: This week top officials in Saudi Arabia made harsh statements against Iran following the exposure of its plot to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Washington. The declarations further reinforced the anti-Saudi sentiment expressed of late by the Iranian press, according to an intelligence report from Israel’s the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Radical Islamists in the Middle East and northern Africa blasted the Saudi Kingdom’s choice to side with the United States in what they termed “baseless allegations against Iran” They accused the Saudi Royal Family of reacting to the developments in Bahrain and Yemen — where radical Islamists see a chance for government takeovers — and Saudi anger with Iran for morally supporting the people of Bahrain. “Its regional status compromised by the popular uprisings in the region, Saudi Arabia is forced to cooperate with the United States in its psychological and propaganda war against Iran,” claim Iranian officials in their state-run news service. Islamist propaganda is telling the Arab and Muslin world that there is an internal and external crisis facing the Saudi authorities. The propaganda alleges that there were attempts made by the United States to generate a crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but it won’t work because the Saudi Kingdom is currently unable to become involved in a propaganda war or military confrontation with Iran.
Ungrateful India - Mohammad Jamil, Pakistan Observer: Indian military’s chopper that violated Pakistan’s airspace was allowed to return to Kargil within hours after the crew explained that it was due to the bad weather that they entered Pakistani airspace. Instead of appreciating and expressing gratitude, India chose to unleash propaganda against Pakistan stating that “Indian security has been breached in the sensitive Siachen Glacier-Aksai Chin-Ladakh-Kargil sector as Pakistan Army downloaded the GPS coordinates of all helipads from the army helicopter that strayed across the Line of Control (LoC) into Skardu region."
The narratives of hegemony — Salman Tarik Kureshi, dailytimes.com.pk: "In common journalese, the word ‘hegemony’ is usually applied to international affairs. We speak of India’s ‘hegemonistic designs’ in the South Asian region. Or we refer to the US as the ‘international hegemon’ who wishes to control all energy resources, or is waging a war against Muslims, or is conspiring to break up Pakistan, or whatever. But the sense in which I wish to use it in today’s piece is in
China limits television programs that are "overly entertaining," e.g. "record the dark and gloomy side of society" - Kim Andrew Elliott Reporting on International Broadcasting
“Azerbaijan may use its status for propaganda only” - aysor.am: “It is obvious that Azerbaijan can use the fact of becoming a non permanent member of EU for propaganda only,” the RPA member Karine Achemyan said today to aysor.am. According to the deputy the thing is that the 3 OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and they have announced for many times that the NKR issue cannot be moved to any other platform.
US Propaganda Poster A little bit of WoWp artwork - forum.worldoftanks.eu: "[W]rote a little poem in the WoWp forums, and it got good reviews. Then someone asked if I could make it into a poster, and I quickly whipped up this":
Marina Naprushkina in dialogue with Eugen Radescu - artline.ro: “The Office for Anti-Propaganda” was founded in 2007 in Frankfurt. The “Office” produces an archive of videos, texts and picture material on the subject of political propaganda. The focus is on Belarus because but its political model can be transferred to some other East European and Latin American countries from which Belarus gets political support. Belarus is also an outstanding example of how to establish a modern dictatorship and how the western democracies handle this “problem." “The Office for Anti-Propaganda” is the result of long-standing work in gathering and archiving the original propaganda material and the works of the artists. It is shown in the form of an installation with an archive, which every viewer can use: select and watch the videos, read correspondence between the office and German authorities, or page through the original Belorussian “patriotic” ideological literature. Marina Naprushkina, born 1981 in Minsk, Belarus. Her works is a range of media including painting, video and installation to develop critical examinations of power and the structure of the State, often using material acquired from contemporary Belarus. A rich source is the propagandistic material delivered by governmental institutions.
Anglo-Saxon Propaganda in the Bayeux Tapestry (Studies in French Civilization) Overview - medievalartbookinsale.blogspot.com: This study details the secret, subversive and sustaining Anglo-Saxon messages encoded in a work of art that purportedly celebrates the Norman French conquest of England.
National debt nears size of U.S. economy - Richard Wolf, USA TODAY: The ever-escalating national debt will hit
MORE AMERICANA (COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING)
--From The New York Times