Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12

“I have the habit of seeing two opposing sides of a question, both of them wrong, and then overstating myself, so that I appear to be inconsistent.”

--George Kennan; Kennan image from


1950s Tulsa in Cold War propaganda film, "The 15 minute film was part of the Cities in America series, produced by the United States Information Service, the Cold War-era organization that used a variety of media to promote a positive image for America overseas."


Obama’s Iran Failure: Israel turns up the heat - Lee Smith, "After more than half a year of relative quiet as the Arab Spring rolled through the Middle East, the Israeli government has helped shift the regional conversation back to Iran. It’s hardly surprising that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are reportedly in favor of a strike since their historical legacies might rest on how the Iranian issue is resolved. However, the fact that Israel’s president Shimon Peres now calls military action 'more and more likely'

suggests that, regardless of the eventual decision, Israel has embarked on a public diplomacy campaign intended to seize international attention. Jerusalem has been aided in this by the release of the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report, which not only details the military intent of Tehran’s nuclear program, but also exposes the U.S. intelligence community’s 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) as a politicized effort to downplay the threat." Image from

Influential Caribbean Women Pt. 4 - "Ambassador Betty E. Boyer-King, St. Vincent born was nominated on October 22, 2009, by President Obama to serve as the Representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.

She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and attested by the President on February 12, 2010. ... Before assuming her duties in Geneva, she also served on the boards of Refugees International, The United Nations Association of the United States, Phoenix House, and on the Advisory Board of the Annenberg School of Public Diplomacy." Boyer-King image from article

Great Programs for Students of All Levels!!! Take a Look! - "FOR JUNIORS: PICKERING UNDERGRADUATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS FELLOWSHIP Who Can Apply: US Citizens – Juniors – GPA of 3.2 or higher required – All majors – Students with financial need, women, and members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, are encouraged to apply. Description: The Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship program was created by the US State Department to attract outstanding students from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who are interested in pursuing careers as Foreign Service officers.

Foreign Service officers staff U.S. embassies, consulates, and missions worldwide and also serve in Washington, D.C. Their responsibilities include policy analysis, formulation, and execution; management of resources; the provision of services to Americans in need; implementation of U.S. immigration and nationality law; trade promotion and business facilitation; public diplomacy; and representation of U.S. interests. The Pickering Fellowship program seeks to recruit talented juniors majoring in fields relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service officer. Application Deadline: February 3, 2012." Image from

Bill Buell: 1925-2011 - News and Calendar, St. George's School: "Mr. Buell entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1951 and served for four years at the American Embassy in Warsaw as chief of the economic and political sections.

He was a political officer in Taipei, an economic officer in Hamburg, an embassy liaison officer and a political counselor in Brussels, deputy chief of mission in Togo, and supervisory consul general in Paris. In 1965, following a year at the Naval War College in Newport, Mr. Buell was made director of the Polish Language Service of the Voice of America. He subsequently took charge of Polish affairs in the U.S. Department of State and then became director of the Office of Northern European Affairs." Via LB. Buell image from article


Crossing continents ‎- Alexandra Coghlan, New Statesman: "Building bridges; crossing boundaries: such ideals have become the persistent refrain of contemporary cultural diplomacy, losing applied meaning with every repetition."

Art as ambassador - "The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) launching a program dubbed DiplomART: Cultural Diplomacy through Philippine Visual Arts.

Under the MoU, MBFI will be lending pieces from its art collection -- winning entries to the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) competition -- to Philippine embassies and diplomatic residences in other countries. The program will prioritize Beijing, China, a potentially huge market, and eventually cover the rest of the world."  Image from

Call for cultural diversity - Suzy Bell, Tonight: "Cultural activists, cultural workers, researchers and policymakers from Mali and Algeria to Singapore, and Limpopo to Cape Town, gathered in Joburg recently for the much-anticipated Diversity Conference. Their mission was to chart the way forward for the activation of the Unesco Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Department of Arts and Culture, Arterial Network and the founding members of the U40 Africa Network held a dynamic two-day event aimed primarily at creating a South African civil society working group to bring civil society and the government together in realising the aims of the convention.

Delegate Mike van Graan, a key speaker at the convention and executive director of the African Arts Institute and secretary general of the Arterial Network, gave a strong, broad global south perspective critique of the convention and gave recommendations on how the convention could work for civil society. ... [van Graan:] 'Even when artists are invited and their expenses are to be fully covered, government officials refuse visas for fear of economic refugees, for people from the south must inevitably be seeking to live in their land of milk and honey! With the battle for a legal instrument in the form of the convention to use in trade negotiations having been won, many countries in the north appear to have moved on, preferring – in a post-9/11 world – less to emphasise cultural diversity, and more to promote intercultural dialogue and cultural diplomacy, so that, again, it would appear to be the economic and security needs of the north that determine the cultural agenda.' The biggest threats then to cultural diversity and the convention emanate from the north, explained Van Graan. 'It is economic recession on the one hand and security interests on the other that have led to greater nationalism, less respect for cultural diversity and more homogeneity.'" Image from article, with caption: Mixed Bag: Celebrating cultural diversity fosters a healthy plurality of voices.

Made in Chelsea: Camels, Lions and a Stuffed Monkey ‎- Daisy Buchanan, Sabotage Times: "We’re back in Morocco (bloody hell producers, motion sickness much? And can I claim my airmiles when I renew my TV license?) and in a scene that makes Sex and the City Two look like an exercise in subtlety and cultural diplomacy, everyone is wearing massive printed cotton trousers and riding camels. Jamie Biscuits, clearly missing sexy Geographer Louise, asks Binkie what the capital of Africa is. 'Um, South Africa?'”


Chinese, but Not Their Leaders, Flock to U.S. Envoy - Sharon LaFraniere, New York Times: Just a few months ago, some Chinese media outlets were offering Mr. Locke as a role model for China’s stuffy political leaders — an American bigwig who flew economy class and shunned having a retinue of underlings, like those who attend to the needs of politicians here. Those days are over.

Propaganda authorities, apparently worried that Mr. Locke makes Chinese leaders look out of touch, have imposed restrictions on media coverage of Mr. Locke, the former two-term governor of Washington State and commerce secretary, and the first Chinese-American ambassador here.  Locke image from

Party loyalty drives China's Xinhua news agency at 80 - Pascale Trouillaud, AFP: China's top propaganda official on Monday urged the state-run Xinhua news agency to better serve the Communist Party and become a "world-class" multimedia organisation as it turned 80. In a speech at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing to mark the anniversary, Li Changchun -- number five in the party hierarchy -- urged Xinhua to play a stronger role in publicising government decisions. The government wants to use Xinhua to project its voice globally as part of a major "soft power" push, and the news agency is due to expand its bureaus around the world from the current 162 to about 200 by 2020.

The agency currently employs 11,000 people, including 5,000 journalists, and produces news in eight languages including Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Japanese. In July 2010, Xinhua set up CNC World, a 24-hour television news station modelled on the American CNN and Britain's BBC, which aims to cover the news in about 100 countries. Via. Image from

“Even Propagandists Get Sick of Propaganda Sometimes” - The China Hotline: "Occasionally one of my students will ask why Chinese movies don’t seem to have any appeal to foreigners. I think generally they already know the answer when they ask that question, which leaves their real motive for asking up to interpretation. Chinese audiences barely seem to like Chinese movies, given their preference for American films and the lackluster (at best) response to recent Chinese releases. ... The government has restricted the range of acceptable films down to such a small selection that it’s impossible for Chinese studios to do anything other than recycle the same movies over and over again. Watching Chinese tv is absolutely painful, with costume dramas and indistinguishable soap operas so wooden and unoriginal that after watching one you really have seen them all. When I asked a class of thirty students how many had liked “The Founding of a Party,” one student enthusiastically said “yeah!” while the other 29 gave various forms of disapproval. Based on how hard the movie flopped, I wouldn’t be surprised if that mirrored the general public reaction."

Workshops to aid cross-cultural communication - Kurt Madar, Farmington's Community Relations Commission will help local businesses learn how to effectively communicate across cultures. On Tuesday, local businesses are invited to send their employees for a cross-cultural communication workshop at

San Juan College, free of charge. The two-hour workshop, administered by a certified trainer from Sodexo, a management services company, will teach participants to communicate in culturally diverse groups and avoid communication breakdowns. Image from

“The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World” - Michael Getler, Washington Post: This month marks the publication of a new book, “The Unquiet American,” a remembrance of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke. He was a one-of-a-kind diplomat whose almost 50-year career spanned modern U.S. history and wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan, and who died suddenly nearly one year ago while at work on his last assignment as President Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Social networking sites need filtration‎ - Javed Aziz Khan, The News International: With amplified number of users of social media in Pakistan and many other countries, its use for negative purposes, particularly against Islam, has also increased.

It shows the poor level of mindset as well as maturity of the members of the social networks. Some users with either fake or their own names are not only using offensive language against Islam, the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and Quran but one of them has even claimed to be the prophet. Many anti-Muslim users have got themselves registered with fake Muslim names and IDs on the Facebook and other social networks to launch propaganda against Islam and its followers. Some serious complaints were recently received by the law-enforcement agencies regarding the use of Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google + and other social networks for propaganda against Islam and the Holy Prophet. Image from

Anti-Israel campaign reaching Canadians: professor - Janice Arnold, The Canadian Jewish news: When her mother’s hairdresser in Winnipeg started talking about the way the Palestinians are being treated, historian Catherine Chatterley realized that propaganda against Israel is having an impact on the “average non-Jewish Canadian.” Neither Chatterley nor her mother is Jewish, but the former is the founding director since last year of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA) at the University of Manitoba. The “insidious” campaign accusing Israel of being an apartheid or racist, even Nazi, state is succeeding among ordinary people with no personal stake in the Arab-Israeli conflict and who are not haters, she indicated.

Iran sees 15 percent rise in foreign tourist attraction - The number of foreign tourists visiting Iran rose by 15 percent in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (began March 21, 2011)

compared to the same period last year, the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization director announced. Over 1.8 million tourists traveled to Iran in the seven-month period despite all the propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran worldwide, Rouhollah Ahmadzadeh Kermani told the IRNA news agency. Uncaptioned image from article

Ethiopian extremist group has plans for Sharia takeover - Ethiopia has seen its fair share of radicalism. But recently, radical Islamic propaganda was found encouraging people to support Sharia law alone. In a recent press conference, the Ethiopian government expressed its concern over the growing violence against moderate Muslims and Christians by radical Wahhabi Muslims, reports Voice of the Martyrs, Canada.

Somalia: Somalia’s Al Shabaab steps up war propaganda - Somalia’s Al Shabaab fighters have been shooting in the air and enacting battle scenes, which it uses for propaganda purposes, including falsified claims of capture of the Kenyan troops, a military spokesman warned Thursday.

Kenyan Defence Forces Spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said the troops were unlikely to be demoralized by the war propaganda coming from the Al Shabaab, which has claimed the capture of the Kenyan soldiers and military equipment. Image from

“My first love was a drill”: building the socialist state - David Vaughan, After the communist coup, Czechoslovak Radio was at the political vanguard and transformed into a tool of propaganda.

One of the first big changes at Radio Prague was that the familiar call signal from Dvořák’s New World Symphony was replaced by a stirring socialist anthem – “Ku předu levá”. The words are simple: “Left foot forwards, left foot forwards, and never a backwards step.” All broadcasts acquired a political hue. Image from article

Five Facts about Noel Coward - Jon Roe, At the outbreak of the Second World War, Coward decided to serve his country by running the British Propaganda Office in Paris.

He then moved on to the British Secret Service. British-born actor Cary Grant served as his handler in the United States where Coward worked to convince top American opinion makers of the need for the U.S. to join the war. (It was hoped that their influence would, in turn, persuade the U.S. government to pitch in.) Coward image from article

Film review - In Which We Serve (1942) - Starring: Noël Coward, Bernard Miles, John Mills, Celia Johnson, Michael Wilding, Leslie Dwyer, James Donald, Joyce Carey, Kay Walsh, Kathleen Harrison, Daniel Massey, Juliet Mills Directed by: Noel Coward, David Lean Review: Film review – In Which We Serve (1942) – This is a classic war film, so much so that it is now a piece of history itself. It Tells the true story of Lord Mountbatten's ship HMS Kelly as told to Noel Coward by Mountbatten.

The film begins with the sinking of HMS Torrin and from there tells the story of all the crew through a series of beautiful vignets. So many classic performances and scenes its impossible to describe them all. Perhaps the one that moves the most is the speech given by Celia Johnson before the ship goes to war. In Which We Serve is a classic piece of war propaganda, the British government provided all sorts of help in its production in order to show the best aspects of the British character. To his credit Noel Coward seized the day and made a great film despite the need to feed the propaganda machine. Image from article

Nazi Propaganda Films: Part 1 - From the instigation of Adolf Hitler as chancellor of Germany in 1933 and up until his death in 1945, the production and distribution of propaganda films promoting the work and views of the Nazi party, became a vital aspect of his aim to rebuild Germany within the eyes of the world. The primary aim of these films was to control

the people, influencing them to believe that what was occurring in the world at that time was beneficial to Germany and to her prosperity. However, a large portion of these films were also used as a means of inciting racism and anger against a race or country, in an effort to remove any sympathy towards them and to hide the processes of sterilization and genocide from the eyes of the world, and the people of Germany themselves. Image from article

Propaganda - "Not real propaganda, of course. You can do what I did, and make a zombie propaganda poster, then make copies and hand it out to people. It would be really funny and some people might thing you're making some deep satire of our society (instead of, you know...just having fun).

Of course, you could actually be deep, but either way, give this a try. Aside from zombie propaganda posters, you could probably also make... Robot posters (join the robot army or join the human resistance army against the robots) pirate posters (join the pirates) Robot-Pirate posters (fight the robot-pirate menace or join them) etc." Image from entry

Robot Propaganda Art -

"I am made of robots." Image from entry

Propaganda Poster Intro - Mike Lambo, "In this assignment I will be creating a 20th century style propaganda poster for an aspect of web 2.0 social media AKA Twitter or Facebook. I will be conducting visual research on previous examples of propaganda posters from the 20th century and making a decisive design based on the research I

conduct. During my research the main things I will be focused on are the use of a slogan/slogans, typography style and layout , use of images and also the colour styles. My poster will be designed using Adobe Illustrator CS5 at A1 Size to ensure a high quality finish when printed." Image from entry


"Cute Soviet space program statuettes, 1961." From Boing Boing

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