Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 1-3

--Image from

Video: Simon Anholt on EU propaganda


The Audacity of Obama's Big Book Promo‎ - Helle Dale, "After President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009, U.S. embassies around the world apparently felt that foreigners still did not know enough about him, despite the unprecedented blaze of global publicity surrounding his election. As has been remarked, U.S. public diplomacy in the age of Obama often amounts to the same thing as publicity for the President himself, with American institutions serving as megaphones for his political message. Embassies in countries from France to Indonesia decided that the American taxpayer would like to give away copies of Obama’s two books—Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope—for the enlightenment of the locals. In Paris, they were still dishing out copies of the 16-year-old Dreams from My Father as recently as March of this year. The State Department’s generosity with public funds to promote Obama’s literary efforts—at a time when it has been closing American libraries overseas to cut costs—was revealed last week by The Washington Times, which reported that State had bought more than $70,000 worth of the two books

for Christmas 'gratuities' and stocking of 'key libraries' abroad. A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, according to the Times. ... Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group, very reasonably said that if the federal government is looking to cut costs, eliminating purchases of Obama’s books would be a good place to start. 'It’s inappropriate for U.S. taxpayer dollars to be spent on this,” she said. 'This sounds like propaganda.' Inappropriate? Yes. Propaganda? Not really. Propaganda would involve advancing U.S. views and policies. This is personal promotion for Obama and his writings." Image from article

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Announces New Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: "Today [November 2], the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced the creation of the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship, a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will allow U.S. citizens to contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad by serving in professional placements within foreign government ministries or institutions while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project. The fellowship will help advance public policy research agendas, fosters mutual understanding and builds lasting ties between the U.S. and partner countries. The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship provides a distinctive opportunity for U.S. citizens to work side-by-side with the citizens of other countries to tackle the toughest public policy problems of the day. This new exchange is the vanguard of international public diplomacy, as it leverages the excellence of the Fulbright program to achieve global development objectives."

U.S. Department of State Announces Public Diplomacy Envoy Cal Ripken, Jr. and Former Baltimore Oriole Brady Anderson to Travel to Japan November 8-16 - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: "The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Ripken Baseball Inc. announced today that Baseball Hall-of-Famer and Public Diplomacy Envoy Cal Ripken, Jr. and Major League Baseball standout Brady Anderson, a former center fielder with the Baltimore Orioles, will travel to Japan November 8-16, 2011 as sports diplomats. This visit is part of a larger people-to-people diplomacy

effort that began in August when 16 Japanese youth baseball and softball players traveled to the United States for a three-week exchange. During their visit they met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ripken, and their American counterparts. ... Sports diplomacy builds on Secretary Clinton’s vision of 'smart power' diplomacy. It embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools, including sports, to bring people together for greater understanding." See also; image from, with caption: Hillary Clinton and Cal Ripken talk baseball.

The First Principles of Ronald Reagan's Foreign Policy ‎- Robert Kaufman, "Few Presidents have surpassed the achievements of Ronald Reagan, the greatest American President since World War II, with FDR his only peer in the 20th century. The remarkable success of Reagan’s foreign policy accounts significantly for his lofty ranking, in particular the indispensable role he played in defeating the Soviet Union, an evil, totalitarian empire existentially threatening freedom for more than four decades. ... President Reagan’s National Security Decision Directive 75, signed in the summer of 1983, made changing the Soviet regime, which it identified as the root cause of the Soviet Union’s insatiable ambitions, the object of American grand strategy. President Reagan sought to achieve this goal by applying unrelenting and comprehensive political, economic, ideological, and military pressure. Ronald Reagan also employed public diplomacy as a vital dimension of his grand strategy."

The Voice of Make-Nice-to Dictators VOA’s Persian Service is Going Off the Deep-End – Again - Kenneth R Timmerman, "[T]he Voice of America’s Persian News Network (PNN),

the much troubled broadcasting service you would think would be bringing the 'voice' of America to Iran ... has been roiled by a seemingly incoherent set of personnel changes ever since Ramin Asgard, a former State Department diplomat, took over the reins earlier this year after a long search for a new director. ... [T]he rot at VOA goes well beyond a squabble among exiles, however important that may be: it touches core issues of American policy toward Iran, and how we view our public diplomacy. In one recent staff meeting, Mr. Asgard instructed his work force to keep all anti-regime criticism off the air, because he wanted VOA 'to serve as a bridge between the United States and the Iranian governments,' according to two sources familiar with the meeting. ... The Voice of America’s Persian service should be telling Iranians the stories about their own lives they cannot get from their own media because of censorship. It should not be in the business of giving airtime to apologists for the Tehran regime or making excuses for regime terror plots. PNN’s new director, Ramin Asgar, seems to think that the true vocation of the Voice of America is to become the Voice of Tehran." Image from

Information minister suggests VOA train Pakistan journalists. DW training course at Radio Pakistan concludes - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International  Broadcasting

Broadcasting Board of Governors releases the "framework" of its new strategic plan - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Bill Gates And The Chinese Government Want To Take On World Hunger - Neal Ungerleider, "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is teaming up with Beijing to fund a series of revolutionary agricultural and biotech initiatives. China might be using Gates to further its economic imperialism. But maybe that's not such a bad thing. ... Teaming up with the Gates Foundation isn't just a charitable move on the part of the Chinese government. The partnership is a perfect example of soft power--the spreading of influence through propaganda, public works, and cultural prestige.

By helping farmers and ranchers in the world's poorest regions raise healthier livestock and bring more goods to market, China is simultaneously helping the poor and bettering the economic status of the Peoples' Republic. As China becomes an increasingly assertive world power, aggressive public diplomacy will become more and more commonplace on their part. The Gates Foundation partnership is a genius move that benefits both parties. China is guaranteeing themselves more influence and goodwill over the third world's farmers, while the Gates Foundation helps fight global hunger--everyone wins." Gates image from

Low carbon mission helps build bridges‎ - Zhang Yunbi, Chen Jia, China Daily: "Austria started earlier than China in research and development of low carbon technologies such as sewage treatment and bio-gas, and Austria's nationwide orientation on energy saving intended for domestic public may also inspire Chinese policymakers. ... Youths from both countries can promote energy saving on social networks to boost communication in an increasingly globalized world . ... China-Austria public diplomacy is now showing 'green' signs in diversified cooperation and exchanges of talent, experts said. ... Meanwhile, both China and Austria are diversifying links to connect Austrian people to China's culture, including the Chinese language."

Why Taiwan Needs APEC‎ - John F. Copper, The Diplomat: "On November 12 and 13, the leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries will meet for their annual summit, which this year takes place in Honolulu. ... This year’s

meeting ... gives Taiwan a valuable opportunity to interact with APEC members and engage in a little public diplomacy. With some voices in the United States suggesting U.S. support for the island should be reconsidered, the value for Taiwan in making full use of the APEC forum is clearer than ever." Uncaptioned image from article

Dancing Into The Trap - Raymond Deane, Pulse: "Recently the popular Israeli internet news service Ynet published an article by Itamar Eichner called Foreign Ministry beats Israel boycotts (7 October 2011). The article tells us that ‘Pro-Palestinian groups calling for a cultural boycott against Israel have experienced several failures recently thanks to the Foreign Ministry’s work.’ Note that this ‘work’ is deemed important enough to be undertaken not by the Ministries of Culture or Public Diplomacy, as one might expect, but by the Foreign Ministry itself. This accords with what Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, a former Foreign Ministry deputy director general, said in 2005: ‘We see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, and…do not differentiate between propaganda and culture.’ (Ha’aretz, 21 September 2005)."

Al Jazeera at Fifteen Years - Philip Seib, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Al Jazeera’s creation was a public diplomacy effort by Qatar’s rulers to increase international recognition of the country’s aspirations in the Arab world and beyond. With great wealth but limited 'hard power,' Qatar

envisioned the Al Jazeera enterprise as a soft power equalizer, enhancing the nation’s clout without resorting to the traditional process of building up military strength and then acting in menacing ways." Image from

Upcoming APDS Event: Guest Lecturer William Kiehl “The Last Three Feet: Utilizing New Approaches and New Media in Public Diplomacy Worldwide” - "Bill Kiehl is founding President & CEO of PD Worldwide, consultants in international public affairs, higher education management, and cross-cultural communication. Dr. Kiehl is the Editor of the journal American Diplomacy, published by the American Diplomacy Foundation in cooperation with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He served as Executive Director of the Public Diplomacy Council from February 2004 through April 2007. Dr. Kiehl has taught public diplomacy at the Foreign Service Institute and has lectured at a number of colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad."

John Lenczowski to Serve on CUSIB Advisory Board – CUSIB - BBGWatcher, "The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) announced that John Lenczowski, president of the Institute of World Politics, an independent graduate school of national security and international affairs in Washington, D.C., has joined the CUSIB Advisory Board. CUSIB will benefit from Dr. Lenczowski’s public diplomacy expertise and his advice on international broadcasting issues. As President Reagan’s Soviet affairs adviser, John Lenczowski was instrumental in increasing funding for Voice of America and Radio Free Europe broadcasts to Poland during Solidarity’s struggle for democracy. He is author of 'Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy' (Lexington Books, 2011).

The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) describes itself as a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to strengthen free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries with restricted and developing media environments. Its website states that CUSIB supports journalism in defense of media freedom and human rights and works closely with the executive branch, Congress, and media to promote effective multi-channel delivery of news and information to overcome press censorship." Lenczowski image from article

ABSTRACT – Indonesia’s Public Diplomacy towards Denmark Regarding the Danish Cartoons of The Prophet Muhammad in Jylland Posten Daily (2005- 2006) - "November 2, 2011 - Dyah Ayu Diva Agupi. Indonesia’s Public Diplomacy towards Denmark Regarding the Danish Cartoons of The Prophet Muhammad in Jylland Posten Daily (2005- 2006). Department of International Relations, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Padjadjaran, 2011."

US Department of State Student Internship Program - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Job Type: INTERNSHIP – Unpaid Schedule Type: Internship Practice Areas: International Law/Human Rights Job Description The Department seeks full and part-time Undergraduates, 1Ls, 2Ls, and other Graduate Students for a large number of unpaid and a limited number of paid (GS-4-7, must have financial need) part-time Spring (Jan/Feb to Apr) and Fall (Sept/Oct to Dec) and 10-week, full-time Summer (May/July to Sept) Internships. Placements are in a wide variety of bureaus in DC and other cities (50%) and in embassies and consulates abroad (50%). Bureaus of interest to law students (though may apply to any position): Consular Affairs, Educational and Cultural Affairs, East Asian and Pacific Affairs (as well as bureaus for other geographic locations); Legal Advisor; Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Inspector General (2Ls encouraged); and U.S. Mission to the UN. See website for detailed job descriptions and qualifications. A DC Activities Coordinator organizes activities such as brown bag lunches with senior officials, tours, and social activities; interns abroad participate in embassy and consular functions.

The Department is official international relations arm of the President, with responsibility for formulating, implementing and supporting U.S. foreign policy, and assisting U.S. citizens abroad. Members of the Department’s Foreign Service and Civil Service are engaged in issues such as conflict resolution, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights and democracy, environmental issues, world trade, public diplomacy, and the promotion of the interests of Americans and their businesses abroad. Image from


The Taliban is Winning the Propaganda War: The U.S. is struggling to maintain popular support for the 10-year war in Afghanistan - Yochi J. Dreazen, Yochi J. Dreazen - The U.S. military is bolstering the defenses around Kabul in response to a string of high-profile attacks inside the Afghan capital, but the moves may come too late to prevent a further deterioration in public support for the Obama administration's handling of the unpopular war.

The White House is in effect fighting two separate battles inside Afghanistan: one against the Taliban and its allies, which have mounted an array of bloody attacks recently inside Kabul, and one against the public perception at home that the U.S. is losing in Afghanistan and that the war is no longer worth the human and financial costs. Image from article, with caption: Saturday's suicide bombing was the latest in a string of militant strikes inside Kabul in recent weeks

Middle East Propaganda 101 - Glenn Greenwald - When it comes to American propaganda about the Middle East, this New York Times article — detailing U.S. plans to bolster its influence in the region after it “withdraws” from Iraq — is a masterpiece. Here’s the crux of the new American strategy and its ostensible rationale: "With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. While the United States has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new 'security architecture' for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense."

Propaganda in a Time of War - C. J. Chivers, New York Times: "For much of this year, a public win for the anti-Qaddafi forces was in one-upping the regime propaganda with propaganda of their own, each false assertion standing to be reproduced in a he-said-she-said wrap-up that fed the daily cycles of news. Again and again the anti-Qaddafi forces made claims that later proved not just wrong, but baldly untrue.

America's Opportunity in Libya: With little outlay, we can help the country heal and avoid the 'oil curse' - Paul Wolfowitz, Wall Street Journal: There is much that we could have done to end the bloody fighting in Libya more quickly. Today there is much that we can do, without a costly military commitment, to help Libyans build a better future. This is leadership the U.S. can afford.

In the end, we will pay a higher price if we do nothing. Wolfowitz image from

Iran’s waning influence on Iraq
- Ray Takeyh, Washington Post: Whether the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq is wise is an issue worthy of debate. But the imperative at hand is to ensure Iraq’s continued stability and prevent Iranian mischief in light of America’s departure. The key to this lies as much in diplomacy as in military deployments.

TV and gadgets are making Americans obese and obtuse - Jeffrey Sachs, Many neuroscientists believe that the mental-health effects of television viewing might run even deeper than addiction, consumerism, loss of social trust, and political propaganda. Perhaps television is rewiring heavy viewers' brains and impairing their cognitive capacities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned that television viewing by young children is dangerous for their brain development, and it called on parents to keep children under age two away from the TV and similar media. Image from article


John Matel said...


I have been doing lots of good public diplomacy things in Brazil and writing about them.

Please take a look and let me know if it is any use to you.

John Matel

Tours and Travels said...

I have been doing lots of good public diplomacy things in Brazil and writing about them.

Tours and Travels