Monday, October 10, 2011

October 9-10

"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;

via PR; image from,"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

of the Colombian and Panamanian free trade agreements to launch a robust public-diplomacy and trade promotion campaign in Latin America that contrasts the benefits of democracy, free trade, and economic opportunity with the ills caused by the authoritarian model of Venezuela and Cuba.'" Romney image from

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 — or — 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

to countries with restricted and developing media environments. CUSIB supports journalism in defense of media freedom and human rights and intends to work closely with the executive branch, Congress, and media to promote effective multi-channel delivery of news and information to overcome press censorship." Image from article

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.

Image from article

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

and southeastern Mediterranean countries, has been and is still playing an unprecedented role in the sphere of public diplomacy. By the same token, European countries have so far been lackadaisical." Image from article

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

and security officers have been questioned and criticized even by the group's sympathizers. Terrorist leader Karayılan wrote a lengthy letter of eight or 10 pages to Ahmet Altan, the editor-in-chief of the Taraf newspaper, who, in return, allocated two full pages of the Saturday edition of the paper to this terrorist propaganda." Krayilan image from

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 - "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.

The report included satellite imagery that the Project said pointed to 'systematic killings and mass burials in this conflict-torn region of Sudan.' To: Ambassador Andrew Natsios, Distinguished Professor of Public Diplomacy, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington D.C." Natsios image from

Yelena Osipova on facebook: "something's telling me SIS [American University School of International Studies] is going to kick ass

with its Public Diplomacy PhDs in the VERY near future :))." Osipova image from facebook


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 []. 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

such business. 'American Jazz, Hollywood movies, American slang, American machines and patents are the only thing that every community in the world, from Zanzibar to Hamburg, recognizes in common.' - Henry Luce, 1941[.] But perhaps that newness has indeed worn off as John points out in his article, and there are far more actors plying and playing out their cultural diplomacy and softpower. That was then, perhaps this is now: 'When I first went to China in 1996, I'd say 'I'm from Korea,' and I would get a disinterested response. Now, I go to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore and people look at my name and say, 'You're Korean! We love your soap operas, your films.' - Min Jung Kim, 2008." Image of cool Americans from "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,

through which support for the nation would follow, Ma announced that the government would plant eight more cultural centers around the world, in addition to the currently existing three located in New York, Paris, and Tokyo. Taiwan's cultural diplomacy shall be greatly enhanced, he said. Collaborating with private organizations, the government will also establish 14 'Taiwan Colleges' (台灣書院) abroad to promote Taiwan's unique achievements of fusing the traditional with the modern and raise international awareness of Taiwan's potential, Ma said." Ma Ying-jeou image from

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

(ICCR), so refreshingly headed by Karan Singh, has, in recent years, shared the best of India with the world. And yet, for India's best and truest minds, to share its genius with the world, a new and redemptive approach is needed. One that distinguishes our civilisation from our nation, and our nation from our State. For that, the ICCR and our National Akademis may need to reflect on how processes can be fostered by which India can move ahead on the wheels of her independent genius." Image from

How a Turkish soap opera could change the Middle East - "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.

They drink, party and have premarital sex. Locally, the show received a lukewarm reception, but it became wildly popular in the Arab world — and it’s raising Turkey’s profile in the Middle East. ... Cultural exports such as Noor will only increase Turkey’s clout on the world stage, says Daryl Copeland, a former Canadian diplomat and international relations expert. More than entertainment, he adds, they are a source of 'soft power' that will help Turkey spread its influence. 'They might be brought over to your side by virtue of the appeal of your cultural products,' he said." Image from article, with caption: A scene from Noor, a Turkish soap opera that's a hit in the Arab world. Via

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

difficult relationship, a better relationship, but getting there has proved extremely difficult. ... AR: I recently viewed some fascinating footage from 1980, you were speaking in fluent Persian to Khamenei. Can you talk to us about the significance of cultural diplomacy and how understanding some of the smaller things across cultural divides is really important in improving diplomatic relations between two countries? AJL: It's interesting that you pointed to that. That happened I think in April of 1980 and I had pretty much suppressed it. It was an incident and I hadn't thought much about it until back, I think it was November of 2009 that that resurfaced and it resurfaced of all places on Khamenei's website and there we thirty years younger in that exchange. The intention, and I'm sure you saw this, not to berate him or sermonize him or tell him what a terrible thing had been done but to make a very simple point that what had been done was in contradiction to every value of his own culture and his own civilization and from everything I could see, I think he understood that perfectly well." Image from article

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 - "Some use the term 'living legend' loosely. But that title was actually bestowed upon musician and educator Charles Webb by the Indiana Historical Society.

The retired Dean of the Indiana University School of Music will be guest pianist during Saturday night's performance by the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. ... The recipient of the 'Sagamore Of The Wabash' award was also appointed a cultural diplomacy adviser to former Secretary of State Colin Powell." Webb image from


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.

Its vicious dictator and his family are gone, as is the rule by a sectarian minority that required perpetual repression. The quasi-civil war that raged five years ago is dormant, and Iraq’s multiple sects manage their differences through democratic votes and sometimes excruciating but workable negotiations. Though spectacular attacks still win headlines, fewer people have died violently this year in Iraq than in Mexico — or Syria. Just as significantly, Iraq remains an ally of the United States, an enemy of al-Qaeda and a force for relative good in the Middle East. It is buying $12 billion in U.S. weapons and has requested that an American training force remain in the country next year. It recently helped get two U.S. citizens out of prison in Iran. All of this happened because the United States invaded the country. Image from

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.

Iranian officials have long warned against the efforts made by the West to spark or promote Islamophobia in the world. Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyed Mohammad Hosseini in a meeting with Muslim envoys in Tehran in August blasted the efforts made by the West to spark Islamophobia in the world, and called on Muslims to unite and take proper cultural steps to thwart the plot. Image from article

Art Review: A mother lode of subversive feminine energy - Daniel Kany, 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"

in 1754 during the French and Indian War. When Franklin formed a private militia of 10,000 men to defend Pennsylvania, the British Colonial governor Thomas Penn was mortified, and labeled Franklin "a dangerous man." Clearly, Penn's concerns about the subversive Franklin were justified. While tyrants have long celebrated themselves through works of art, they have also feared the subversive power of art. Hitler seized art he saw as "degenerate." Stalin also seized art, and jailed artists for making abstract paintings. Image from

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.

Yet when they landed the following day, Khrushchev had been "toppled by a cabal led by Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksei Kosygin," said "Epic Rivalry: The Inside Story of the Soviet and American Space Race." Khrushchev was a "machine repairman in coal mines," according to the website, when said he "joined the Bolsheviks in 1918." Over the years he increased his power in the Communist Party. In 1953, after Josef Stalin died, Khrushchev became first secretary. His "dramatic, oftentimes boorish, gestures and harebrained schemes (were) designed to attain maximum propaganda effect." Image from article


--культ личности; via FW on Facebook


"Soviet Car Ads, 1960s / 1970s" - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing.

Image from article


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)

is a short-term, flexible program for postdoctoral scholars and professionals to conduct targeted, policy-relevant research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

**Eligibility: Postdoctoral scholars and professionals with advanced degrees are eligible. Applicants must be US citizens.

** Information and application:

**Deadline: 5 p.m. EST on February 1, 2012 **Contact: By email at 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.

Julia Hon
Program Associate
Education Programs Division
2121 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20037

Visit the website

Image from

No comments: