Monday, October 10, 2011
"More important than the observable nature of external reality, when it comes to the determination of Washington's view of the world, it is the subjective state of readiness on the part of Washington officialdom to recognize this or that feature of it."
--George F. Kennan, Memoirs, 1925-1950; cited in Stephen Glain, State vs. Defense (2011), p. 36; Kennan image from; see also "On George Kennan"
Century of the Self, on PR man and nephew of Sigmund Freud Edward Bernays;
Big Tobacco whines: Gettin’ harder to kill you!," which notes: "Big Tobacco hired Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, to make smoking acceptable among the largest segment of the American population, women. Cigarettes were rebrand as 'Torches of Freedom,' a campaign launched by a sneaking a pair of women smoking Lucky Strikes into the Easter Parade march down Fifth Avenue, with the press tipped in advance. Feminists quickly lit up, and other women followed."
Mitt Romney's Latin America policy includes a 'Reagan Economic Zone': After Rick Perry caused a stir suggesting the US may need to send troops to quell violence in Mexico, now come some thoughts from Mitt Romney, including the idea to create a "Reagan Economic Zone" in Latin America - James Bosworth, Christian Science Monitor: "Romney proposes the following actions for US-Latin American relations [among them]: During the first 100 days in office, Romney promises to launch a public relations effort called the Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America (CEOLA). This will 'Capitalize on the benefits arising from the ratification
Newly-formed Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting vows to defend media freedom journalism - BGG Watcher, BBG Watc: "BBG Watch has learned that individuals associated with U.S. human rights, labor, and media freedom organizations have formed the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) with the aim of working with the Administration, Congress and media to promote free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries in which journalists are threatened or lack sufficient resources. Many of CUSIB members have been active in defending Voice of America radio and TV broadcasts to China, which the Broadcasting Board of Governors tried to eliminate until it met with strong bipartisan opposition in Congress. The CUSIB website — http://cusib.org/cusib or http://cusib.org — describes the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to strengthen free flow of uncensored news from the United States
This proposed VOA "hard news" to Pakistan could hardly be called news - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Forbes, 2 Oct 2011, Richard Miniter: "About Pakistan, 'there is a lot that a creative Administration could do. ... Direct the Voice of America to focus on corruption in Pakistan. Hard news reporting of payoffs to politicians and generals in Islamabad would electrify the opposition in Pakistan. America’s government-funded news service could also interview responsible opposition leaders, who would call for an end to military rule and the return of civil rights for women and minorities. This means working with Pakistan’s secular Left and its reformist lawyers. Again, the Obama Administration should feel at home championing the same message as the president outlined in his famous Cairo speech. -- [Elliott comment:] No doubt, VOA is already doing such 'hard news reporting.' But if the news agenda is at the direction of the president, it isn't much of a news service. And the audience will certainly notice that something is askew. The Broadcasting Board of Governors was created to prevent such kibitzing."
Report: Egyptian military attacks Alhurra office on Cairo, keeping "Alyoum" off the air - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.
VOL. VII NO. 20, September 23-October 06, 2011 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media:
"Pakistan-US Relations Strained by Media Tensions between Pakistan and the US are prompting the Pakistani media to rouse anti-American sentiment as the US military explores cross-border raids from neighboring Afghanistan to combat insurgents.
CIA Offends Arab-Americans The CIA has apologized following an uproar when it removed recruiting ads from The Arab American News. The removal came in response to a story published accusing the agency of spying on Muslim Americans.
Park51 Quietly Opens One year after the inaptly named 'Ground Zero mosque' debate, the Park51 community center is now open to the public, but still generating controversy.
Saudis Deal with Bad Press A TV ad by a Canadian advocacy group discouraging people from buying oil in the Middle East due to poor human rights records, provoked the ire of Saudi Arabia. In response, a cohort of Saudi lawyers has threatened to take legal action, requiring the commercial to be banned.
The Beginnings of Libya's Free Press As Mishan Al-Juburi's Damascus-based Arrai remains Col. Qaddafi's last connection to the media, journalists are setting up shop and establishing newspapers and TV stations. Small World News co-founder Brian Conley and his team trained citizen journalists, while Al-Hurra is opening a bureau in Libya. Meanwhile, the NTC has its own plans to develop its own TV network and newspaper.
Saudi Women Enjoy Fruits of Arab Spring Beginning in 2015, women in Saudi Arabia will have the right to vote and to hold office in the Kingdom’s Shura Council, according to a long-awaited decree by King Abdullah. This latest move is a hallmark in Saudi Arabia, following a series of reforms to encourage greater gender equality in the Kingdom.
Social Media: A Question of Ethics While commentators continue to debate the role of social media in political movements, governments are looking for a way to benefit from the networks. Twitter and Facebook have become the new political platforms for candidates, cutting costs and maximizing outreach. While commentators continue to debate the role of social media in political movements, governments are looking for a way to benefit from the networks. Twitter and Facebook have become the new political platforms for candidates, cutting costs and maximizing outreach." Image from
Balkans between two worlds: Turkey and Europe - Mesut İdriz, Sunday's Zaman: "The major distinction between the steadily rising superpower of Turkey and the established superpowers of Europe is that Turkey, like [as?] in southern
A bloodthirsty terrorist who expects to be treated like a saint - Bülent Keneş, Today's Zaman: "As one of the PKK's bloodthirsty leaders, hiding in the Kandil Mountains, and as the head of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), which is an illegal state structure paralleling the Turkish state, with its own administrative, judicial and tax mechanisms, Murat Karayılan has apparently decided to launch a public diplomacy campaign, because the PKK's latest attacks on civilians
La nueva estrategia militar: el Soft Power - (a) político: el blog oficial de Hugo Guerra: Cites from article, "Restructured, Larger Civilian Force Needed for Crises" By Patrick Cronin and Kristin Lord (Published: 12 April 2010): "We need to create civilian-led equivalents of military combatant commands that can unify our diplomatic, development, public engagement and defense efforts. The military has taken on new development and public diplomacy missions because it has the ability to integrate these tools, the operational capacity to use them and a broad regional focus – but it is neither enthusiastic nor best-positioned to carry out these tasks."
Congressional Record Latest Daily Digest for Friday, October 7, 2011 - "Committee on Foreign Relations: October 12, business meeting to consider the nominations of ... Anne Terman Wedner, of Illinois, to be a Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy."
Sudan: Harvard Team Refutes Critique of Report on Mass Killings - factdrop.blogspot.com: "Following is the text of an October 6 letter to Dr. Andrew Natsios from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Natsios, who served as U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan from October 2006 to December 2007 and previously headed the U.S. Agency for International Development, criticized a July 14 report by the Satellite Sentinel Project about mass graves in the Southern Kordofan region of Sudan.
Yelena Osipova on facebook: "something's telling me SIS [American University School of International Studies] is going to kick ass
Kind of Blue - Paul Rockower, Levantine [entry dated September 8; item previously overlooked by your PDPBR compiler]: "I am posting a comment from John Brown: Paul, Thank you for your piece [http://levantine18.blogspot.com/2011/09/consider-me-miles-davis.html]. Allow me to speculate: American 'coolness' is a late 20th/early 21st century version of Old World European 'culture' (with a capital 'K') when the continent's political, economic, and military power began to decline. As for those who maintain that the 'cool' American popular culture will continue to dominate in our new century, please consider my 'Is the U.S. High Noon Over? Reflections on the Declining Global Influence of American Popular Culture' which I wrote some years ago. Best, John. ... John's piece on the decline of American popular culture ... deserves a read. I was thinking about all this at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery yesterday when I saw two quotes that made me think about
Poll: Americans are still cool" posted By Suzanne Merkelson, Foreign Policy (September 6, 2011)
Ma pledges to enhance cultural, educational focus - Grace Soong, China Post: "President Ma Ying-jeou announced goals to expand the National Palace Museum and to exempt junior high students from high school entrance exams within the coming ten years, yesterday. As part of his 'Golden Decade' vision, Ma pledged to promote and enhance Taiwan's cultural and educational focus by completing the southern branch of the National Palace Museum by 2014, and promoting expansion plans for the Taipei branch. ... So that Taiwan would gain more international acknowledgement,
Hard sell soft power - Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Hindustan Times: "India counts because it is a strong nation, a smart country, a growing economy. And India appeals because it is a vibrant democracy. But if India impacts it is because India has men and women who have something of her classical greatness in them. 'Cultural diplomacy' is an unlovely term. It introduces into what is open and sublime, a twist of something hidden and motivated. The best credit to the culture that is shared comes when the sharing is egoless and logo-less. And when it is given as an offering, not as a sale. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations
How a Turkish soap opera could change the Middle East - thestar.com: "With her long hair flowing in the wind, a brunette beauty stares deeply into her blond lover’s ice-blue eyes. They lock lips in a passionate, lingering kiss. It’s a saccharine scene straight out of The Young and the Restless — except it’s actually from Gümüs (Noor in Arabic), a Turkish television melodrama. The show, which originally aired in Turkey from 2005 to 2007, follows heroine Noor, a sultry, independent woman, and her romance with the hunky Mohannad. The characters are Muslim, but hardly observant.
Hostage In Iran: A Conversation With John Limbert - Neon Tommy: "Arezou Rezvani: Ambassador Limbert, thanks so much for joining us on the program. Ambassador John Limbert: Oh, thank you Arezou, my pleasure. ... BG: Ambassador, you spent 14 months as a hostage in Iran Ever since you've devoted much of your career to helping improve U.S.-Iranian relations. Have the Americans exhausted all options for improving all options or do you think there are initiatives that can still be considered. AJL: It's been 30 years now…31 years actually that we've had diplomatic relations with iIran we haven't found ourselves able to talk to each other, not that we should be necessarily talking to each other as friends but to even talk to each other as two states normally do. This is going to take time, this is going to be hard. People on both sides say that they would like to see a
Wanted in Rome - Communities USA: "A number of interesting events are taking place during the autumn at Rome’s American universities. ... [A]t the American University of Rome . ... On 12 October Italy’s former ambassador to Ghana, Luca Fratini, gives a lecture entitled 'Italian cultural diplomacy.'"
Webb Honored - wcsi.whiterivernews.com: "Some use the term 'living legend' loosely. But that title was actually bestowed upon musician and educator Charles Webb by the Indiana Historical Society.
Iranian culture minister says "journalists have been punished" for alleged cooperation with foreign media - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
"More democracies participate in network interventions than authoritarian regimes" but latter do so "with greater frequency" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Is Iraq the model for the Mideast after all? - Jackson Diehl, Washington Post: Iraq looks a lot like what Syria, and much of the rest of the Arab Middle East, might hope to be.
Coming Soon: The Drone Arms Race - Scott Shane, New York Times: If China, for instance, sends killer drones into Kazakhstan to hunt minority Uighur Muslims it accuses of plotting terrorism, what will the United States say? What if India uses remotely controlled craft to hit terrorism suspects in Kashmir, or Russia sends drones after militants in the Caucasus? American officials who protest will likely find their own example thrown back at them.
Croatian Muslims Fighting West's Islamophobia Propaganda - Fars News Agency: A senior religious authority in Croatia said Muslims in the country and in other parts of Europe are striving hard to campaign against the West's Islamophobia propaganda. Deputy Grand Mufti of Croatia (highest religious authority of Muslims in Croatia) made the remarks in a meeting with the visiting Head of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, Ayatollah Taskhiri. "At present we are witnessing Islamophobia and anti-Islamic views which have always existed in the West, and we are striving to challenge this viewpoint and display the real face of Islam to the westerners, instead," he continued.
Art Review: A mother lode of subversive feminine energy - Daniel Kany, pressherald.com: Two of the most important works of art in American history were propaganda images by Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere. Revere's famous engraving of the Boston Massacre had no equal in fanning the flames of outrage throughout the colonies. Franklin printed his image of a severed snake (the inspiration for the Gadsden flag) with the words "JOIN, or DIE"
Space History: Soviet premier pushes propaganda - Michael Shinabery, Alamogordo Daily News: The first rocket to boost more than one man into space was yet another victory against the United States for Premier Nikita Khrushchev. For seven years he'd gloated over the Soviet Union's triumphs, the latest when Voskhod I cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov, Konstantin Feokistov, and Boris Yegorov launched on Oct. 12, 1964.
культ личности; via FW on Facebook
BACK IN THE USSR
"Soviet Car Ads, 1960s / 1970s" - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing.
GRANTS (via LB)
Subject: IREX Grants
2012-13 Short Term Travel Grants (STG) Program for Eastern Europe and Eurasia
IREX is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the
2012-2013 Short Term Travel Grants Program.
This research support program offers US scholars and professionals the opportunity to conduct policy-relevant research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Researchers are also able to increase their understanding of current regional issues, develop and sustain international networks, and directly contribute to the formation of US public policy by conducting research on topics vital to the academic and policy-making communities.
The fellowship provides logistical support, international airfare, a living/housing stipend, visa support, emergency evacuation insurance, and, in many countries, field office support.
The Short-Term Travel Grants Program (STG)
**Eligibility: Postdoctoral scholars and professionals with advanced degrees are eligible. Applicants must be US citizens.
** Information and application: http://www.irex.org/project/short-term-travel-grants-stg
**Deadline: 5 p.m. EST on February 1, 2012 **Contact: By email at email@example.com or by telephone at 202-628-8188
Countries Eligible for Research: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan IARO and STG are funded by the US Department of State Title VIII Program.
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