Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21

"And Herman Cain, while campaigning in Miami, was drinking coffee, and he asked the crowd, 'How do you say delicious in Cuban?' When he heard that, Rick Perry laughed and said, 'Everybody knows Cubans speak Mexican.'"

--Talk-show host Jay Leno, Bulletin News, LLC (November 21); image from


China's fury building over Obama's new Asia policy - "Chinese scholars and commentators lashed out with barely repressed anger at President Obama's trip to Asia, complaining that his efforts to shore up U.S. influence in Asia were by implication aimed at containing China. 'The United States has alienated 1 billion Chinese.

It's not smart public diplomacy,' Shen Dingli, a professor of American studies at Shanghai's Fudan University, said Monday. The English-language China Daily in its lead editorial on Monday accused the United States of 'scaremongering' over the perceived threat of China's rise and a signed Op-Ed article on Sunday declared, 'East Asia not U.S. playground.'" Image from

Why are we selling American liberty to China?‎ - Janine Turner, Washington Examiner: "America would never sell her soul to China. Our liberty could never be bought. Right? Wrong. America is mired with debt and steeped in political correctness. Both weaknesses are resulting in a dangerously naive embrace of the 'new China.' Chinese propaganda is as follows: China is emerging as a fledgling democracy and we need

to support them. ... America is allowing China to swallow us up, investing in our banks, buying our property and harvesting our resources. Even our universities are vulnerable as Chinese-government regulated 'Confucius Institutes' are being established to educate American youth about the virtues of China. Why? Money. Universities are being paid $270,000 to $4 million to allow these academies on their campuses run by Li Changchun, CCP Propaganda chief and the fifth most powerful man in China. The exchange of money allows only Chinese teachers, permitting no references to human rights violations. ... At what price will America sell her soul? ... Janine Turner, a longtime television and movie actress, is a talk radio host on KLIF Radio in Dallas." Turner image from article

Public Schedule, Washington, DC, November 21, 2011 – U.S. Department of State: "ASSISTANT SECRETARY ANN STOCK 1:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Stock meets with Ambassador-designate to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE). " Note from the State Department homepage:

"Ann Stock ... Assistant Secretary (R), assumed the authorities of the Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs on July 8, 2011, following the departure of Under Secretary Judith McHale." Stock image from

Unveiling of the President Ronald Reagan Statue in Warsaw - U.S. Embassy Warsaw (Albums): Comment on facebook by media commentator Ted Lipien: "U.S. Embassy in Warsaw is now doing very good public diplomacy work. Congratulations!"

Images from US Embassy site

Top BBG official predicts ‘old white men’ will lose jobs under merger plan - "BBG Watch has learned from reliable sources that a top Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) official has written an email to a BBG member in which he brags about getting rid of 'old white men'

in anticipation of the BBG plan to merge some of its broadcasting entities — Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Radio Free Asia (RFA), and Middle East Broadcasting Netwoks (MBN) into a single corporate structure. According to our sources, the email created a panic among BBG members who became afraid of a legal liability if the proposed merger goes forward and male employees who may lose their jobs decide to sue the BBG claiming race and gender discrimination. ... Ironically, all the architects of the current U.S. international broadcasting institutional setup and the members of Congress who supported it have been 'old white men.'” Image from article

Where India overlaps with China - “'Building Bridges', the theme of the recently concluded 17th SAARC summit in the Maldives . ... In the coming months, the regional organisation, with eight members and nine observers, is set to seriously undertake a comprehensive review of all matters relating to its engagement with observers. As China seeks to upgrade its engagement with South Asia, what will be worth watching is if it can play a role in bridging differences in the region. This will depend on how China’s public diplomacy tackles three critical challenges. The primary challenge will be to see the kind of normative choices it is likely to make in the region. As a rising power, the ideas, norms and values it will come to represent will be key to China’s self-image. ... The second key challenge will be for China to show a willingness to negotiate on a range of regional public goods. ... Perhaps the most critical of these challenges will be whether Chinese and Indian conceptions of peace are likely to coincide or not."

Foreign Policy : Opportunities And Challenges - Kesava, "In the age when governments ... ha[ve] acknowledged the role of Public-Diplomacy the quality of communication between the foreign policy establishment and Indian public has been poor to say the least. The missing public debate on foreign policy remains a continued issue with MEA [Ministry of External Affairs]. As India moves forward, it would be logical to involve the citizens in deciding what role India should play in world economy, but even with growing literacy rates."

Media Challenge to Australia Network tender process - Christian Kerr, "The Coalition continued to press for a parliamentary inquiry into the process that led to the abandonment, after two false starts, of the $223 million tender to operate the nation's most important public diplomacy service.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy two weeks ago scrapped the tender process, claiming it was compromised. ... Opposition communications spokesman in the Senate Simon Birmingham said yesterday it appeared the government had been in potential breach of its procurement guidelines when it cancelled the tender after a panel appointed to assess the bids is understood to have twice recommended Sky News over the ABC." Conroy image from

Saudi Arabia - His Highness the Undersecretary for Information and Technology Affairs commends the activities of the Saudi-German Forum - "His Highness Prince Mohammed bin Saud bin Khaled, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Information and Technology Affairs, who is also the General Supervisor of the Saudi Youth delegation participating in the activities of Saudi-German Forum, commended the activities of the Forum which is currently held in Germany. His Highness emphasized that such visits and events come as an embodiment of the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for the dialogue between followers of religions and cultures. His Highness added that these activities and events show also the active role being played by public diplomacy, which is parallel to the political role played between nations in general, and the growing bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Germany in particular."

Kosovo - Panelists at “Germia Hill” agree that the Balkans is in the heart of Europe - "On the second day of the international conference 'Germia Hill' held in Prishtina, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Petrit Selimi presented the goals and achievements of this conference. He said today's session underlined the role of Russia and Turkey in the Balkans regarding trends, problems and new challenges in dealing with European integration. Selimi emphasized that the conference was organized to open up a pan European debate in Kosovo, so that leaders from across Europe, intellectuals and opinion formers who are in the conference and NGO network and are present at European debates, come to Kosovo. ... He said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo has approved a strategy for recognition and lobbying and undertook this initiative for the purpose of conducting public diplomacy, which has not occurred in the last three years. 'Our goal is to bring people

to Prishtina who are not just from states that recognize us, but also those which don’t recognize us, noting the presence of Russian representatives in the closed session, and certainly the content of the conference will assist in the drafting of our internal lobbying policies for states that have not recognized us', said Selimi, adding that in addition, it demonstrated normality in Kosovo." Prishtina skyline image from

Foreign Affairs Select Committee hears from University of Oxford on UK-Turkey Relations and Turkey's Regional Role - [subscription]: From Google entry: "Viewed from the Turkish end, the coalition Government seem to have got things right and done pretty well at getting the public diplomacy right."

Cinema in Iran: Circulation, Censorship and Cultural Production [:] A Conference at ICI Berlin, Dec 16-17, "Iran is undergoing a period of socio-political transformation joined to a cultural space that despite binding censorship regulations, circumnavigates restrictive bans and, in the world of film, generates award winning, critically acclaimed masterpieces.

In the course of this two-day conference, participants will investigate cinema in Iran as part of Iran’s rich media and cultural ecology. The conference brings together international scholars on topics, which explore [inter alia]: ... The role of Iranian cinema as public diplomacy and public debate surrounding film in Iran." Image from

Road Show 2011 - Heather, Adventures Around the World: A foreign service officer's tales of life abroad - The Embassy's Road Show program in western Nepal may be remembered as the all-time professional highlight of my time in Nepal. We donated over 10,000 English language books and materials to schools and libraries in three towns. Over 20,000 students came to the book exhibition and several thousand participated in the various programs. During the opening ceremony, I gave a speech in Nepali (my first time).

I'm sure this was extremely amusing to the local Nepalis. We held movie and documentary screenings, gave presentations on Volunteerism in America, and offered advising sessions on studying in the USA. My favorite program was an American culture contest; students who correctly identified pictures of American presidents, cities, landmarks, and famous personalities won English pocket dictionaries. As much fun as the contests were, I think I most enjoyed the informal conversations I had with many of the students. I shared some music from my iPad (Zac Brown Band and Sugarland) and they shared some Nepali music on their cell phones. A couple teenagers brought me some Nepali snacks that I had never tried. It really was a public diplomacy grand slam." Image from article

Rebirth of Public Diplomacy after 9/11 - Jessica Andrews, International Exchanges: Students at American University blog about international communications: "We’ve spent a lot of time recently, especially after attending the conference at GW, discussing public diplomacy. We read in Hanson’s chapter about 'War and Peace in the Information Age' about how public diplomacy first became important during the Cold War. It was a war of ideas, battling the basic tenets of communism. Public diplomacy became an extremely important part of U.S. foreign policy for the first time. After the Cold War though, public diplomacy was somewhat abandoned. Cultural centers closed and the U.S. government seemed to think that since we were the 'super-power' of the world that either everyone liked us, or it just didn’t matter. 9/11 quickly proved that was disillusioned thinking. ... [T]he Office of Strategic Influence in the Pentagon ... had plans to plant news items in the media in foreign countries and even considered planting false news to put the US in a better light. ... The New York Times reported at the time that it was hard to get information about this fairly secretive office. The Times did report on what critics of the office said though. One of the main criticisms was that if news was planted for Reuters or a similar news agency, then news could make it’s [sic]

way back to the U.S. very easily. ... Many were not satisfied with the supposedly amped-up efforts and the Council on Foreign Relations put together a task force made up of former ambassadors, academics, global business leaders, representatives from global NGOs and representatives from international think tanks. ... For the most part, the extension of public diplomacy didn’t spread to the non-profit or private sectors, like [sic]

CFR’s task force recommended."  Above image from; below image from

Rhodes scholarship goes to 4 students - Ellie Wilkinson, The Daily Princetonian: "Four Princetonians were selected from a pool of 830 candidates to win this year’s Rhodes Scholarship [among them Astrid Stuth ’12] . ... After her freshman year at the University, Stuth co-founded and directed a 10-day conference that brought together Iraqi and U.S. students.

That conference, along with her previous study abroad experience in China, helped Astrid realize that she was 'really taken by the idea of exchange.' In her Rhodes application, she emphasized the idea of being a 'bridge' — and it is this idea that motivates her to pursue a career in public diplomacy, with a special emphasis on U.S.-China relations."  Cecil J. Rhodes image from

The Dutch Origins of the Iranian Nuclear Bomb - Yochanan Visser, "The writer is director of Missing Peace Information an Israeli public diplomacy organization operating in The Netherlands and Belgium."

Public Diplomacy Swag - Candance Ren, ‎Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "One thing Syracuse has over USC's Public Diplomacy program - PD swag!"

Image from entry


U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan - Qaiser Farooq Gondal, Washington Times: The drone technology is very useful in eliminating terrorists but it also kills innocent civilians and these civilian deaths are causing an increase in the hate for America broiling in the minds of ordinary Pakistani citizens.

If America wants to catch terrorists it should be more careful in its actions and should give a little heed to the ordinary innocent civilians living in tribal areas to avoid the anti-American sentiments rising as a result of drone attacks. Image from article

America's Lost Decade of Tourism: If we provide more travel visas, foreign visitors will come, spend billions of dollars and create hundreds of thousands of jobs - Roger Dow, Wall Street Journal: Over the past decade, the U.S. economy has missed an unprecedented global travel boom because of visa delays and other bureaucratic policies that discourage visitors to our shores. Our research shows that between 2000 and 2010 America's share as a destination of the long-haul travel market slipped to 12% from 17%. That adds up to a lost decade for American travel with 467,000 lost jobs, $606 billion in lost spending by visitors, and $37 billion in lost tax revenue. Congress holds the key to implementing critical reforms. Members of the House and Senate have introduced legislation to clear away some of the highest hurdles created by our visa system. The proposed reforms include setting a 12-day maximum processing standard, hiring more consular officers to serve in high-demand countries, using video-conferencing technology for visa interviews, and expediting the visa process for travelers willing to pay a premium.

Poland Unveils Statue of Ronald Reagan in Warsaw – Associated Press, Fox News. Former Polish president and anti-communist leader Lech Walesa unveiled a statue of Ronald Reagan on an elegant Warsaw street on Monday, honoring the late U.S. president for inspiring Poland's toppling of communism.

Though Reagan's legacy is mixed in the U.S., across much of central and eastern Europe he is considered the greatest American leader in recent history for challenging the Soviet Union. The moniker he gave it -- the "evil empire" -- resonated with Poles, who suffered greatly under Moscow-imposed rule. Via MC. Image from

How China Can Defeat America - Yan Xuetong, New York Times: According to the ancient Chinese philosopher Xunzi, there were three types of leadership: How, then, can China win people’s hearts across the world? According to ancient Chinese philosophers, it must start at home. Humane authority begins by creating a desirable model at home that inspires people abroad. To shape a friendly international environment for its rise, Beijing needs to develop more high-quality diplomatic and military relationships than Washington.

China’s quest to enhance its world leadership status and America’s effort to maintain its present position is a zero-sum game. It is the battle for people’s hearts and minds that will determine who eventually prevails. And, as China’s ancient philosophers predicted, the country that displays more humane authority will win. Image from

Indian Soft Power in Africa - It is the country of India that has the highest potential for soft power deployment in emerging markets, specifically in Africa.

'Creating a propaganda pretext for war' - Iran has condemned the international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for publishing the names of Iranian scientists in its recent report on Iran's nuclear energy program. Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, has rejected the report as unjustified and politically motivated. Soltanieh argues that the careless release of the names of these scientists has made them prime targets for assassination attempts by the US and Israel. Jeff Steinberg, writer and political analyst: We were looking at a fixed replay of the same creating of a propaganda pretext for war. We are in a period where war propaganda has replaced the truth and the

IAEA report itself is a good example of that. It's breaking new ground in terms of manipulation of the IAEA by certain leading member states that have had Iran in their crosshairs for some time. Image from

More Anti-Iran Propaganda By Joby Warrick & Co - The currently "most emailed story" at the Washington Post site is Iran may have sent Libya shells for chemical weapons. The whole piece is just constructed anti-Iran propaganda.

Turkey's Erdoğan calls for self-questioning, unity in Muslim world‎ - Today's Zaman: At a meeting of religious leaders from Muslim countries and communities in Africa hosted by Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the Muslim world to show solidarity against Islamophobia and ongoing

“black propaganda campaigns against Muslims” across the world as well as to engage in self-questioning rather than accusing others in the face of this campaign. Image from

The pros of propaganda: A historical look at cinema’s dealings with social uprising - Cinema is often believed to be mere entertainment – a simple distraction from the hard realities of everyday life. In its early history, however, film was often not developed for entertainment purposes, but rather as a revolutionary tool. Many would identify German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl and her collaboration with the Nazi Party as a prime example of propaganda filmmaking, but her style is rooted in earlier work from the Soviet Union. Following the new state’s formation in 1922, leaders saw a potential in film to gestate a revolutionary consciousness among its geographically-detached population. Lenin is said to have declared it the best means by which

to educate and mobilize the masses in the ways of Communism. The government produced a number of short propaganda films known as agitki – films intended to agitate – and brought them to the USSR’s numerous towns and villages, creating a veritable Communism Travelling Fair (bring the kids). The soviet grandfathers of cinema, at this time, made massive gains in filmmaking techniques, and many of the films of the era continue to be considered some of history’s greatest, such as Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera. Viewers today are arguably more cynical towards, and immune to, propagandist content than ever, but that doesn’t mean that the revolutionary sentiment found in propaganda is invalid. So, in light of the myriad of issues facing us recently, comrades, let us unite…and share some popcorn. Image from

Inspired Art Propaganda for the Occupy Movement - Among the images:


From facebook; see Philip Kennicott, "UC Davis pepper-spraying raises questions about role of police," Washington Post


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Italy's Silvio Berlusconi to release an album of love songs - Los Angeles Times

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