Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17

"[P]ropaganda has no place in Department of Defense public affairs programs."

--U.S. Department of Defense, Principles of Information; cited at; image from 


CFP: Use of Social Media in Public Diplomacy: "The editors invite proposals for for a special issue of the Global Media Journal-American Edition to be published Fall 2012 on the theme 'Use of Social Media in Public Diplomacy: Getting Connected and Getting the Message Out.'

This special issue devoted to the use and impact of social media on U.S. public diplomacy in the 21st century. The editors encourage submissions that touch on U.S. public diplomacy, comparative public diplomacy, or public diplomacy of other countries intended for the U.S. public. This special issue of Global Media Journal will have a graduate research section. Proposals should be received by May 1, 2012. Please direct all inquires and submissions to Dr. R.S. Zaharna, American University,, and Graduate student submissions and queries should be directed to Ambassador William A. Rugh, Tufts University," Image from


The Nazis Strike was the second film of Frank Capra’s Why We Fight propaganda film series. It introduces Germany as a nation whose aggressive ambitions began in 1863 with Otto von Bismarck and with the Nazis as their latest incarnation.


Obama’s speech to [Australia's] Parliament: experts respond - "Dr Timothy Lynch, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne [:] The speech and doctrine was far less grounded in a liberal illusion of Obama as a cosmopolitan-in-chief. His public diplomacy on this trip was meant less to reassure and more to make plain America’s intent to augment its hard military power in Australia’s backyard.

His believe in the efficacy of hard power is one of the most underappreciated aspect of his presidency. He has feigned a reluctance to use hard power belied by his actual preferences. He killed Osama bin Laden, invaded Libya (with UN approval) leading to regime change (without UN approval), he has put troops into Uganda, he has killed more terrorists with Drones in his almost three years in office than the ‘war monger’ Bush did in his entire eight. His visit to Australia has an avowed military emphasis – visiting the war memorial and announcing Darwin’s complicity in America’s revised military project in the Asia Pacific." Image from article, with caption: President Barack Obama meets Julia Gillard’s queenmakers: independent MPs Rob Oakeshott, left, and Tony Windsor.

Benetton ‘Kissing’ Ad: Obama, Pope among Smooching World Leaders - Peggy Truong, "A new Benetton ad featuring President Barack Obama, the Pope and other world leaders 'kissing' has been taking over Twitter feeds, blogs and other social networks. ... Naturally, Twitter

has been bursting at the seams with responses to the new ad, along with the hashtags #kissing, #unhate and #benetton. "Benetton RULES, FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Not about the image but about the impact, great jobs, and yes I will start buying shirts again (-:" wrote one user on Twitter. 'Public diplomacy in the private sector: #Unhate campaign by Benetton,' wrote another." Image from article

World Leader Porn* - Heresy Corner: "The new posters, which also feature Barack Obama smooching with Hugo Chavez and Benjamin Netanyahu getting up close and personal with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, are fairly blatant rip-offs of the famous East German mural which depicted a full-on snog between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and the GDR's Erik Honneker.

You've probably seen it. ... The language of public diplomacy, and especially its expression in press reports, is often couched in intimate, pseudo-sexual language: of allies 'getting into bed together', for example. There may be echoes here of an earlier period in which international relationships often actually were sexual in nature, alliances typically being cemented by marriages between members of respective royal families. ... PS: Luckywood below draws attention to the 'suppressed homoerotic charge' of this picture of the Bush/Blair bromance.

Who could possibly resist?" Images from article. See also John Brown, "Public Diplomacy Goes 'Pubic', "(2007) CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy

Clinton in show of support for flood-hit Thailand - "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew in to Thailand on Wednesday to offer assistance in fighting massive floods, hoping to avoid a further crisis in a United States (US) ally torn by political infighting. Mrs Clinton headed straight to evening talks with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is facing intense pressure after only three months in office as she confronts the kingdom's worst flooding in decades which has killed at least 562 people. Officials said that Mrs Clinton would unveil 'significant' US help to Thailand and then on Thursday visit a shelter for Thais displaced by the flooding, part of her trademark emphasis on public diplomacy."

Hillary Clinton to students: "Get out" (and study abroad) - Jill Dougherty, CNN: "With the number of international students enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States at a record high this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging more American students to follow those students' lead and pack their backpacks for study in other countries. Only 1% of American students enrolled in college study overseas. In a new YouTube video, Clinton is urging more to think about going international. 'To remain the leader in this ever-changing world, we have to push ourselves not just to think globally, but to get out there and study globally as well,' Clinton says in the video.

Almost 723,000 international students are enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States, a 32% increase since the 2000 school year, according to a report by the Institute of International Education. The Commerce Department says those students contribute nearly $20 billion to the U.S. economy, placing higher education among the country's top service-sector exports. ... Where do they study? The top pick is the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign comes next, followed by New York University. While the number of U.S. students enrolled abroad has more than doubled over the past decade, just 1% of American students enrolled in higher education at home make the choice to study abroad. Just 4% of Americans aged 18 to 24 even have a passport, according to the State Department. ... 'That 1% is not enough,' Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Exchanges Meghann Curtis tells CNN. ... Secretary Clinton's message was released for International Education Week." Image from

Chicago hip-hop group detained in Pakistan - Karin Brulliard, Washington Post: "An American hip-hop ensemble touring here as part of a U.S. embassy cultural diplomacy program got an additional publicity bounce on Wednesday — but not the kind likely to win Pakistani hearts and minds. The FEW Collective, a Chicago-based group that just began two weeks’ worth of gigs in major cities finished a show at a university when it was briefly detained by the Pakistani military. The accusation: One member took photos of 'sensitive installations' in the city of Rawalpindi, a garrison city home to the powerful army’s headquarters.

The episode underscored the challenge for the U.S. diplomatic efforts to win love in Pakistan, a major aid recipient where the military and an intensely anti-American public view U.S. programs with skepticism. Television cameras turned up, and networks later showed trucks surrounding three sport-utility vehicles. Pakistani news Web sites promptly reported that security forces had rounded up unidentified Americans acting suspiciously, a loaded charge in a country where many believe American spies are legion." Via manIC. Image from article, with caption: Members of FEW Collective, a hip-hop troupe from Chicago, perform during a concert organized by the U.S. embassy in Islamabad.

1.2 million dollar grant for linguistics - Katelynn McCollough, Iowa State Daily: "The Applied Linguistic Program within the English department has received a $1.2 million grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State. The grant, the largest received in the English department's history, will be used to develop and revise materials used to train English language professionals and learners in foreign countries. Twenty-six foreign professionals will take an online course followed by a face-to-face workshop here in Ames this coming summer. These professionals, coming from 13 countries including Afghanistan, Egypt, China, Togo and Brazil, will review the materials. ... According to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website, the

U.S. Department of State 'offers a range of resources and materials that support high-quality English language instruction worldwide. These resources are aimed at supporting teachers of English outside of the U.S.' The materials that will be the end product of this grant will go toward what is known as public diplomacy, or the encouragement of educating and influencing foreign publics. However, all materials must meet the terms set in the U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act, or as it is more commonly known, the Smith-Mundt Act, signed into law by President Truman in 1948." Image from

Elon celebrates International Education Week with focus on India - Kassondra Cloos, The Pendulum: "This week marks International Education Week, an initiative started by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education to promote international awareness. While there is no national theme, Elon University is currently celebrating by hosting almost two dozen events relating to India. 'It's a public diplomacy initiative,' said Bill Burress, international programs adviser at the Isabella Cannon International Centre. 'It's sort of a soft power initiative building the United States' reputation around the world and also helping U.S. citizens engage with other cultures and other nations around the world. It's kind of the idea that by interacting with one another and by people seeing the real kindness and generosity of people in the U.S. and people from other places then we're more likely to live in a peaceful world.' The Isabella Cannon International Centre started planning this week's events more than a year ago and has been working with numerous groups and individuals across campus, including Periclean Scholars and Indian faculty, staff and students."

Agenda Transcript for the May 2011 Public Meeting of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy – U.S. Department of State. Via LB

Jerry Sandusky's Immaculate Deception... Sex, Lies and Locker Room Horseplay - Eric Ehrmann, Huffington Post: "There's also a bigger cultural problem running in the background of the Sandusky affair [a Penn State football coach's child molestation; the coach is author of 'Touched' (2001)].

Nations who are now Washington's top strategic, economic and energy security allies operate legal systems that view the kind of charges brought by the Pennsylvania state legal system against the former coach with ambiguity. Faith based law, tribal traditions, the secondary status of women and tolerance for human trafficking and corruption explained away as social inclusion contradict some of the principles and values of Arab Spring and other public diplomacy products Washington brands and markets to sell American-style democracy to the world." Image from

Examining U.S. Military Public Affairs and Strategic Communication: Information or Influence? - Mark Van Dyke's PR News Blog: "Through my work this week at the U.S. Army War College, Center for Strategic Leadership, I engaged in an interesting exchange of ideas about U.S. military public affairs and strategic communication roles – or how to integrate public affairs, information operations, public diplomacy, and even psychological operations (recently renamed military information support operations) in strategic communication. This dialogue is not unlike the discussion among communication professionals in the private sector who are trying to figure out the best ways to harmonize public relations, marketing, advertising and other organizational functions in the form of integrated or strategic communication processes. ... According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

Principles of Information the U.S. military public affairs function (PA) is responsible for making 'available timely and accurate information so that the public[s], Congress and the news media may assess and understand the facts about national security and defense strategy.' The DoD is also responsible for making available a free flow of information, 'without censorship and propaganda, to the men and women of the Armed Forces and their dependents.' The principles explain, 'The sole purpose of such [information] activity is to expedite the flow of information to the public: propaganda has no place in Department of Defense public affairs programs.' This policy, which guides the flow of public information intended for U.S. domestic audiences (including Congress and the news media), should not be confused with the doctrine and principles that guide U.S. strategic communication (SC) efforts intended for audiences abroad. Joint Publication 3-0 Joint Operations (11 August 2011) defines strategic communication as focused 'processes and efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable to advance USG interests, policies, and objectives' (p. I-7). Also, the strategic communication process 'occurs through the use of coordinated information, themes, plans, programs, and actions synchronized with other elements of power' (p. I-7). Furthermore, according to Joint Publication 3-0, 'The term strategic communication, an aspect of strategic guidance, applies to USG-level department and agency activities. CCDRs [combatant commanders] are the primary interface for implementing SC in the context of their theater strategies during specific joint operations. The US military plays an instrumental role in SC, primarily through IO [information operations], PA [public affairs], and DPSD [defense support to public diplomacy]' (III-15). Of note, unlike DoD public information activities that simply educate and inform, joint strategic communication efforts are designed to affect joint military operations by 'gaining or maintaining the support of the relevant population' (III-15). The public affairs responsibilities in the context of joint operations extend beyond domestic public information and command information activities to include 'community engagement activities directed toward both the external and internal publics with interest in DoD' (p. III-17). The PA function is also assigned responsibility for 'countering adversary misinformation and disinformation” (p. III-17).'" Image from

Korean envoy to rev up public diplomacy in U.S. - "The South Korean ambassador to the U.S., Han Duck-soo, plans to visit four U.S. states later this month as part of efforts to reach out to ordinary people under an annual 'Ambassadors’ Dialogue on Korea' program, the Korea Economic Institute said Wednesday. Han will be accompanied by former U.S. ambassador to Seoul Kathleen Stephens and Jack Pritchard, president of the KEI, on the five-day tour of Missouri, Utah, Nevada and Arizona to start on Nov. 29, according to the organization."

South Korea - Palestine and Israel Recognize Contribution of Ambassador Ma Young-sam - "Ambassador for Public Diplomacy Ma Young-sam has been awarded by both Palestine and Israel in recognition of his contributions. ... The award was conferred in recognition of the Ambassador’s role in the formal establishment of general delegation between the ROK government and the Palestinian National Authority in 2005; contribution in promoting

cooperation between the two sides in 2005-2006 as the ROK’s first Representative to Palestine; and leadership in the formation of the Korea-Arab Society in 2006. ... Ambassador Ma had also received a medal from Israel in November 2010 in appreciation for his contribution to boosting cultural exchanges between the two countries." Ma image from

'Israeli water firms important tool for diplomacy' ‎- Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post: "The entrepreneurship and problem-solving expertise evident in so much of Israeli water technology can serve as a critical tool for diplomacy, Jewish-American philanthropist and businessman Ronald Lauder said in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. 'Israel is known throughout the world as a place with great technology, but when we go to another country solving their water problems, it’s the best public diplomacy,' Lauder told a group of journalists at the WATEC water technologies exhibition."

How the Egyptian Revolution Emphasized the Sovereignty of the People - Abeer Bassiouny Arafa Ali Radwan, American Diplomacy: "[T]he Egyptian revolution has shifted public diplomacy from the state’s domain to private sector and non-institutional domains. For example, the mission to Uganda of the Egyptian Public Diplomacy delegation — formed from a totally non official group — has succeeded in convincing Uganda

to postpone the entering into force of the 'new' Nile treaty between the Nile’s source countries that had been signed without the consent of Egypt and Sudan one year ago." Image from

Things fall apart - "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been particularly public about 'unfriending' Bashar al-Assad, and has openly called for al-Assad to go (Syria crisis: Erdogan steps up Turkey pressure on Assad). While up until recently Erdogan and al-Assad presented themselves as friends as a matter of public diplomacy, the two preside over drastically different systems.

Erdogan can afford to dump Syria: Erdogan himself is quite popular, the Turkish economy is growing, Turkey does not have to engage in widespread oppression of its own people to maintain order, and the political system is more or less representative. Historical momentum is on the side of Turkey, even as historical momentum is turning against the kind of regime that al-Assad represents. The Syrian regime, both under Bashar al-Assad and his father, is what might be called 'Stalinism Lite.'” Image from article

VOL. VII NO. 23, November 04-November 17, 2011 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media:
"A Bit of Sunshine for US Public Diplomacy Tara D. Sonenshine, former Executive Vice President at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), was nominated to be the next Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs by President Barack Obama. The announcement was welcomed by a majority of experts and practitioners in the field who value her previous experience.

Withdrawal Generates Uncertainty in Iraq The Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr comments on President Obama's plans to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, while analysts speculate about the country's future, keeping an eye on Saudi Arabia and Iran. Meanwhile, Iraqi translators waiting for their visa to the US are growing increasingly concerned.

Israel’s Diplomatic Impasse Israel’s decision to withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank as a response to UNESCO’s recognition of Palestinian statehood could have dire repercussions on security in the region and future diplomatic negotiations.

Islamists Gain Political Leverage In the post-Arab Spring Middle East, Islamists are making headways politically in the electoral processes of Tunisia and Egypt. While analysts have expressed their concerns regarding the implications for the development of democratic measures, others argue that these fears are unfounded.

Palestinian Leaders at a Crossroad As the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations hits a proverbial wall, analysts discuss the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and PA President Mahmoud Abbas' standing.

Latest IAEA Report Stirs Controversy International tension over the Iranian nuclear program is growing, leading to heightened tensions between Israel and Iran.

Al-Assad Dismisses Peace Plan The ongoing violence and protests in Syria have generated criticism by the United States. Yet, Syrian president Bashar Al Assad refuses to step down despite mounting pressure and has so far refused to consider any transition." Image from

Russian Analyst: Armenia Will Withdraw Its Forces From The Seven Occupied Regions - "Interview with Professor Alexey Malashenko, member of the Scientific Council of Carnegie Moscow Center, famous political analyst ... [Q:] - Is it possible to solve the [Nagorno Karabakh] conflict through the public diplomacy? [A:] I don’t know what is the public diplomacy because the diplomacy can not be the people’s or anti-people. Currently the negotiations replaced the war. Everyone knows that the conflict is outside the framework of the sides.

For example, there is a reaction by Turkey. It is not clear what it will do. It can be seen in the developments in the Middle East. Besides Russia, West and US have their changing interests in Azerbaijan and Armenia. The best case is that there is no country, which supports the war between the sides from outside. For example, there are some forces desiring for war in the Palestinian conflict. But despite the military rhetoric and military parades on both sides, there are no forces desiring for war here. I don’t know a president, who makes unilateral concessions or moves seen like unilateral concession." Uncaptioned image from article

Kosovo - MFA starts publishing an informative newsletter - "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo has launched the first issue of its newsletter, 'Kosovo's New Diplomat'. The bi-monthly newsletter is conceived as another channel of regular communication between MFA and foreign citizens who contact Embassies and Consulates of the Republic of Kosovo, as well as guests of the Ministry. ... This project sought to assist the Foreign Ministry, civil society and other initiatives in improving European dialogue about Kosovo and using public diplomacy to improve the international situation of the state and society of Kosovo."

Nuanced protrait of India that was and is - Soma Basu, The Hindu: "Even before stealing a first look at this third in a series of coffee-table books conceived by the Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs, it is not difficult to hazard a guess about its content. When you know it’s a kind of ‘sarkari’ production meant for promoting India the world over, the rhetoricism doesn’t appear over-bearing — that global companies are learning lessons from India on simplicity and affordability and that ‘Indian solutions’ are becoming ‘Solutions from India’ for transforming lives in other parts of the world.

Quite interestingly, grass root India’s needs and indigenous solutions merge in a pleasing symphony with ideas originating in sophisticated state-of-the-art laboratories and research institutions in this evocative and glossy 160-page publication. By providing a fascinating peep into the robust innovation model across India's social and economic spectrum, the compendium effectively sidelines the image of India as nothing more than a 'Land of the Mystique.' It also takes a look at innovative applications of relatively minor applications of science and technology at the local level. ... As every other coffee book, The India Ideais studded with impressive photographs and the 120-odd frames in it brilliantly capture India’s march ahead and turn the pages into a colourful tableau. This book is a recommended acquisition, with a lasting value, for your library." Image from article, with caption: OEB: Book Review: The India Idea. (Heralding the Era of Path-breaking Innovvation) by Sharma and Arya.

A Thousand and One Nights: Night 182 - The Vizir*Mobility Diplomacy Enterprise with Colin Hicks: "I left the Québec Government Office on the 1st October 2010 after 18 years service. That length of time in one place is enough. I have been an independent worker before and this is my third time. ... One of the issues encountered during my last two years at Québec House was the growing difficulty facing artists who wished to work internationally. I observed the development of a perfect storm around this issue due to the confluence of five separate constraining components: ■visas and border controls ■double taxation and exchange rates ■the public diplomacy policies of unenlightened governments■the impact of carbon footprint ■sometimes severe reductions in public subsidy for the arts[.] So I decided early on to hang most of my ideas and enquiries off this issue. I find that few people are concentrating on this in any practical sort of way."

Babalú Exclusive: Carbon Copy Communism - Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Babalú: "Exiles are a fantastic asset abroad: they can help change the perception of the homeland that is no longer a totalitarian dictatorship. They can influence their community to embrace the changes. This will translate into political pressure to open relations between their adopted home and the old country. The most progressive exiles will become public diplomacy ambassadors.

This sounds like Cuba, doesn’t it? But I am talking about Communist Poland in the 1970s and 1980s. ... Cuba and its exiles should prepare for the future. If the Castros or their successors opt for a 'transformation' the outcome in Cuba will at best be similar to post-Communist Poland. If the regime remains intransigent Cuba will hover between China and North Korea. Some of the Cuban exiles will continue to prop the regime with their money, connections, and public diplomacy. Either way, the result will be a victory for the bad guys." Image from

Swapping Soft Power for Hard Power: Public Opinion and Public Diplomacy Surrounding the China-Costa Rica Diplomatic and Trade Bilateral Relationship - Candace Ren, Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "From a public diplomacy perspective, the China-Costa Rica case points to the importance of both consistent, long-term outreach and PD/PA partnerships to keep the public informed and engaged. This strategy strengthened support for the new diplomatic relationship, which has paid off in many ways."

The United States of Awesome Possibilities – Brand USA, Inc - Efe Sevin, "Brand USA, Inc (formerly the Corporation for Travel Promotion) is a public private partnership to attract more international visitors. They launched their website – along with presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – last week.

There are a couple of shocking (well not so shocking if you are involved in the field) figures and noteworthy points. ... Here is Brand USA, Inc’s website: Here is their website for visitors: ... articles ... mentioned ... Sevin, E. (2010). From visitors to cultural ambassadors: Public diplomacy and scholar exchange programs. Business Research Yearbook 2010 (pp. 578-585)."  Image from article

Secretary General releases report on Women, Peace and Security - "NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen released his first annual report detailing NATO’s work to support the implementation of Resolution 1325 on Thursday 17 November 2011. The report reflects the commitment by NATO Allies and partners to make the principles of UNSCR 1325 an integral part of their everyday business, including their political, civilian and military structures, and their operations and missions.

It focuses on the six-track approach implemented after Allied leaders agreed at the 2010 Lisbon Summit to underscore NATO’s work on Resolution 1325. The report details the progress made in each of the six areas: operations; mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in policies; programmes and documentation; cooperating with other international organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil society; education and training; public diplomacy; and national initiatives." Uncaptioned image from article

[IWS] USCCC - [China] 2011 Report To Congress [16 November 2011] - " [full-text, 414 pages] Press Release 16 November 2011 ... CONTENTS ... Chapter 4: China’s Public Diplomacy Initiatives Regarding Foreign and National Security Policy"


The State Department -- a great place to work? - Jill Dougherty, CNN: Travel to exotic locations? Learn a new language? Help change the world? The State Department has all that, and more, according to Washingtonian Magazine's new list of the "50 Great Places to Work for 2011." The State Department made the list based on a survey of Federal News Radio listeners and in consultation with the non-partisan, non-profit Partnership for Public Service.

Hillary Clinton's State Department has 44,362 employees and they can take advantage of perks including a student-loan repayment program, a transit subsidy, and a wide array of courses through the Foreign Service Institute, Washingtonian Magazine says. Image from

Gary Locke really does like to do his own plumbing — honest - Joni Balter, Seattle Times: One has to wonder if Chinese political leaders and their news organizations have access to Google. A quick run through the mighty search engine could counter some presumptuous storytelling taking place these days. Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke, the new U.S. ambassador to China, seems to be unnerving Chinese officials and propaganda authorities with his aw-shucks-I'll-fix-it-myself way of doing things. The Chinese cannot fathom a guy like Locke, who as governor really did climb a 60-foot scaffold in the state Capitol to change the light bulbs. The Guangming Daily, a Communist Party newspaper, said the appointment of Locke "reveals the despicable intention of the United States to use a Chinese to control the Chinese and incite political chaos in China." The Chinese may not realize it yet, but Locke is most comfortable puttering around the house wearing jeans and a tool belt.

GOP’s loose lips sinking their covert options - David Ignatius, Washington Post: As America chooses its tools along the continuum of power, it will undoubtedly continue (and perhaps augment) its covert activities against Iran. But they lose their impact and rationale if they become a topic for facile domestic political debate.

Iranian FM: Amano's Report on Iran Impairs Agency's Credibility - Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi lashed out at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano for his biased report on Iran's peaceful nuclear program, and said the report impaired the UN watchdog's credibility.

Speaking in an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel, Salehi dismissed the accusations that Iran is building a nuclear bomb as Western propaganda, and accused Tehran's enemies of waging a secret war against it. Uncaptioned image from article

American Islamists and Iranian Propaganda - Iran's Press TV's message today is that America is a terrorist state, and that its actions – from the allegations in the Saudi assassination plot to the saber-rattling over Iran's nuclear program – are either manipulated by Israel or direct favors to the Jewish state. By making frequent appearances critical of the United States, American Islamists reinforce a propaganda machine sowing hatred and distrust.

Baha’i Citizen Anvar Moslemi Began Serving Prison Sentence - Iran Press Watch: Anvar Moslemi has begun serving his one year prison sentence in Sari Prison. He had been detained and interrogated twice before.

According to the Human Rights House of Iran, he had been sentenced to one year in prison for anti-regime propaganda. Possession of books and CDs related to the Baha’i faith had been stated as the evidence for anti-regime propaganda. Uncaptioned image from article

Restored Citadel of Herat poignant reminder of past Afghan glory: More than 300 craftsmen labored years shoring up the fortress in western Afghanistan, which opened last month as a museum and cultural center. At the opening, there was hopeful talk of a tourist draw: Laura King, Los Angeles Times: With the citadel's commanding hilltop position, "it was always a project that quite literally stared us in the face," said Ajmal Maiwandi, director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which carried out the restoration with about $2.4 million in funding from the United States and Germany.

One of the dignitaries at the inauguration was Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador. He recalled visiting Herat as a young traveler more than three decades ago and marveling at the sight of the half-destroyed citadel. Image from article, with caption: More than 300 craftsmen spent nearly three years shoring up this 15th century fortress at Herat in western Afghanistan

Pakistani ambassador warns against U.S. aid cutoff - By Ashish Kumar Sen, The Washington Times: Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States on Wednesday warned against cutting off U.S. aid to his country, after a Republican presidential candidate called for an end to foreign assistance to the South Asian country where intelligence officials

are suspected of supporting terrorists. “By shutting down [U.S. aid to Pakistan], you are sending a message to people that you dont care,” Ambassador Husain Haqqani said. Haqqani image from article

Reclusive North Korea opens its door a crack for tourists - Keith B. Richburg, Washington Post: The vast majority of North Koreans are cut off from e-mail, the Internet, cellphones and almost every other form of contact with the outside world. Most days, there are just two government-run television channels — not on all day — with a third on weekends showing old Chinese movies.

Opening this isolated country to tourists means risking the government’s near-total control over every aspect of what average citizens here can see, read, watch or hear. But a limited opening is now part of the government’s plan. Image from article

Diyarbakir Mayor Faces 28 Years in Jail - Osman Baydemir, the Metropolitan Mayor of Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey, is facing prison terms of up to 28 years in a trial opened against him recently.

Baydemir is being tried under allegations of “committing a crime on behalf of an illegal organization without being a member of that organization” and of “making propaganda for an illegal organization.” Baydemir image from article

Putin slams candidates over populist propaganda - Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has slammed several Duma candidates over populist propaganda based on burning social issues. He stated this when meeting pensioners and veterans in the Kremlin together with President Medvedev.

The PM urged voters to distinguish between action takers and promise givers and reminded that the latter pledged England or France-like living standards in the 1990s but what Russians got was economic and political collapse, and the rise in crime. Image: New Presidential Candidate; via Bombat Kengurev/MT on facebook

On Cold Wars & colder shoulders – Scott Stinson, When Joseph Stalin realized he was losing the battle in the Bolshevism vs. Capitalism debate that flourished in the years following the Second World War, he turned to the propaganda vehicle that had served his enemies during the conflict: the film industry. Except there was a niggling problem to consider, which is that the Soviet Union didn't have one; it was one of the country's many casualties of war. As a new CBC documentary miniseries explains in its premiere, Stalin proceeded to strike a mighty blow not just for communism, but for irony, when he raised money for the Soviet film industry by charging admission to screenings of popular U.S. films. Love, Hate & Propaganda: The Cold War would be worth it just for the scenes of Gone with the Wind dubbed into Russian, but the way the series presents these little nuggets of history make it compelling. The propaganda war that waged between West and East

for 50 years was interesting in the big picture and more intriguing still in the little details, from Joseph's Night at the Movies to the story of Gail Halverson, a U.S. airman who dropped packets of chocolate affixed to little parachutes on the outskirts of Berlin when he landed in the German capital as part of the Berlin Airlift. Halverson, who was soon nicknamed the Candy Bomber, became a U.S. propaganda hero, a symbol of the success the U.S. and U.K. were having at overcoming Stalin's rail and road blockade of West Berlin. See also. Image from, which notes: "Over on the Western side of things, we’re told about the Greta Garbo movie Ninotchka (1939) – about a prickly Russian woman going to Paris and falling for a man who represents Western decadence – having already established the use of Hollywood movies as propaganda."

Nazi Propaganda Films: Part Two - Of all of the propaganda films produced during the Nazi Party’s reign over Germany, the film The Eternal Jew, directed by Fritz Hippler can be found to be the most notorious. It is for this reason that it remains a significant aspect of history, having impacted on the minds of many throughout the Second World War. As Joseph Goebbels once remarked, “even the most obnoxious attitude can be communicated through an outstanding work of art.”

Theresienstadt: Although only fifteen minutes of the original film has survived, the film documents of Theresienstadt have had a significant impact on the knowledge available regarding the anti-semitic propaganda films produced by the Nazi Party. It provides an insight into the hypocrisy of the SS at that time, willing to use the people of the camp to make it appear what they were doing was normal, when in actual fact they were attempting to annihilate the Jewish people. The film does not show the truth, but all of the lies that laid within Theresienstadt. Image from article, with caption: Inmates at Theresienstadt ghetto

Napoleon and Propaganda by Davis Sharp Class 6A - The definition of propaganda “the spreading of ideas, information or rumors for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, cause , or a person ” is from Webster’s dictionary. Propaganda has been used throughout the ages in all sorts of ways to influence people. Many artists used propaganda in the 1800’s to promote leaders, generals, kings, and emperors. An example of propaganda is seen in Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques – Louis David, painted in 1800.

This painting promotes Napoleon as a brave leader. In this picture Napoleon is on a fiery, rearing and white horse with the billowing stormy clouds behind him. This is propaganda because it was an extremely beautiful day and Napoleon was led up on a mule, so the painter is trying to convey that Napoleon is strong and brave, and not worried about the weather. Another example is shown by his soldiers behind him toiling up the Alps, and he is pointing upward toward the summit. His troops behind him was propaganda because he was really with his troops with someone ahead of him leading him on his mule.The purpose of this use of propaganda was to convey to the people of France to think he was leading and not going on without them. In the bottom of the painting are the names Bonaparte, Charlemagne, and Hannibal. Hannibal ,who also crossed the Alps,and Charlemagne who were great leaders; however, he was trying to say that Napoleon was just as talented. In this picture David attempted to show Napoleon as a strong and powerful general. Image from article

Propaganda Ministers: A Painting of Rupert Murdoch Next to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels

Social Media Propaganda - Natalie, This artist’s work combines two of my favorite things, design and social media.

Aaron Wood creates World War style propaganda posters for social media wars. Pretty clever and convincing.


"Just 4% of Americans aged 18 to 24 even have a passport, according to the State Department."

--Jill Dougherty, CNN

"Only 1%  of the federal budget went towards international affairs in 2010. Of that, only 0.018% was dedicated to the State Department Exchanges Budget."

--Rebecca Bell, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)


Salaries for college football coaches back on rise - Erik Brady, Jodi Upton and Steve Berkowitz, USA Today: An analysis by USA TODAY found that in 2006 the average pay for major-college coaches was $950,000.

Cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service still owes retired postmaster - Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times: In a year when the U.S. Postal Service lost more than $5 billion, former Postmaster General John E. Potter still received more than a quarter-million dollars thanks to a hefty deferred-compensation package, a “lifetime achievement award” and a severance deal, records show. What’s more, the cash-strapped Postal Service still owes more than $800,000 to Mr. Potter - the result of years of incentive awards that were deferred to avoid running afoul of federal compensation caps.


U.S. drinking up, but tastes, norms vary from state to state - Will Morton, USA Today: Consumption of alcohol hit a 25-year high in 2010, when 67% of Americans reported drinking alcoholic beverages, according to a Gallup poll.


--No! Stay Home, We'll fill out the ballot ourselves!; via YO on facebook


U.S. Politician Mistaken for Ukrainian Bum - Moscow Times: A politician's fall from grace can be hard, but perhaps no one has fallen harder than former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Cary Dolego, who was recently found homeless and disheveled in a train station in Ukraine, Komsomolskaya Pravda Ukraine reported Tuesday. Volunteer workers in the town of Chernovtsy, near the Romanian border, made the shocking discovery when they approached a group of homeless people in the station, and an "exceptionally unkempt" man responded in fluent English and presented an American passport.

Dolego, 53, then opened his suitcase to reveal a notebook computer and a clean suit, volunteer Anastasia Beridze said. Dolego told aid workers a harrowing story of love and delusion that began with an Internet friendship with a woman named Yulia, who invited him to Ukraine in May to share his "innovative research" on aviation and shipping safety. But Yulia did not show up at an arranged meeting in Chernovtsy, and after Dolego's debit card was blocked, he found himself broke and alone in a freezing train station. A former official with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Dolego ran as a write-in candidate for the Green Party in gubernatorial elections in 2010. He and two other write-in candidates received about 0.1 percent of the vote, which was won easily by Republican Jan Brewer. On his Facebook page, Dolego describes himself as a "single man, 6'1" and 200lbs" [sic]. "I enjoy staying healthy, enlarging my circle of friends, and increasing my knowledge and appreciation for other people's perspectives in life," he writes. Dolego is currently recovering from his ordeal at a local hospital in Chernovtsy, where doctors say he has told them about an invention that helps airplanes avoid dangerous pockets of air. Dolego image from


"As a boy, I was undoubtedly typical in imagining the defeat of Hitler as essentially an American triumph in Europe -- until, that is, I walked into the Fine Arts and saw Russian director Mikhail Kalatozov’s The Cranes Are Flying.

Part of a post-Stalinist cinematic breakout moment, its heroine and hero, Veronica and Boris, are young, in love, filmed at arty angles, and in the movie’s early scenes might as well be frolicking on the banks of the Seine. But that mood only lasts until the Nazis invade. Boris volunteers for the army and, finding himself and his unit in a swamp surrounded by Germans, dies heroically but miserably in the mud. The news of his death never reaches the waiting Veronica in Moscow, who goes into shock on finding her apartment destroyed and her parents dead from a German air raid, is raped (so the film implies) in that state during another air raid by Boris’s cousin, a pianist and draft evader, and grimly marries him… and that’s hardly halfway into the film.

There is also the child Veronica saves from being run over just as she’s about to commit suicide, who also turns out to be named Boris. Yes, call it an absurd war melodrama, but it was also passionately filled to the brim with mud, fire, overcrowded living quarters, rooms full of wounded soldiers, slackers, and high-livers in a panorama of wartime Russia.

Grim, shocking, and above all youthful, it was the Russian film that not only took Europe by storm and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1958, but took me by storm as well. The Russians -- the Reds, the Commies -- were then our mortal enemies. So imagine my surprise on discovering, up close and personal, that they had fought a monumental, terrible war against the Nazis, and that they couldn’t have been more human -- or winning.

A year or two later, I would watch

Ballad of a Soldier, another Russian war film, this time about a kid hardly older than I was then who gets a six-day pass from the front for wiping out a couple of German tanks (in a paroxysm of fear). In an odyssey through a devastated landscape -- city buildings blasted, trains blown up, bridges down, amputees visible -- he makes his way home just in time to greet his mother, kiss her goodbye, and head back to the front (where, you’ve learned as the film begins, he dies). You simply could not see such films and hate the Russians.

Then, on the theme of teenagers at war, there was The Bridge, a fierce 1959 antiwar film directed by Bernhard Wicki that genuinely shocked me, perhaps as much because I found myself identifying with those German boy soldiers as by the brutality of the fighting into which they were plunged. In the last days of World War II, a group of small-town, high-spirited high school classmates, no older than I was then, are ushered hurriedly into the army, given the briefest training, and (while Nazi officials flee) rushed to a bridge of absolutely no significance to stop advancing American tanks.

They are patriotic and absurdly eager to defend their town and country. All but one of them die for nothing, as does an American trying to convince them to stop fighting. (“We don’t fight kids!” he yells before one of them shoots him.) The film ends on these words, which then chilled me to the bone: “This happened on April 27, 1945. It was so unimportant that it was not mentioned in any war communiqué.”

To see that war through German eyes, even briefly, was to enter forbidden territory. Nonetheless, those boys were, to me, as unnervingly human as the French pilot in Serge Bourguignon’s 1962 film

Sundays and Cybele, suffering from what we would now call post-traumatic stress disorder after killing a child in the French version of the Vietnam War. Back in Paris, he strikes up an “innocent” relationship with a 12-year-old girl (which, I can now see, had surprisingly sexual overtones), is mistaken for someone out to kill her, and shot dead by the police, the sight of which passes his trauma on to her." Top image from; middle image from; below image from