Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30

“To sleep with him — no danger.”

--Ekaterina Zatuliveter — a 26-year-old blonde accused of passing parliamentary secrets to Russian intelligence -- writing in her diary regarding her affair with Mike Hancock, a Liberal Democrat lawmaker serving on the sensitive Defense Committee; cited in Gregory Katz, "Femme fatale ruled not a spy; can stay in UK," Washington Times; Zatuliveter image from article


US Motives in Myanmar Are on China's Radar - Edward Wong, New York Times: "Thomas E. Donilon, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, wrote in an opinion article published on Sunday in The Financial Times that the United States intended to 'maintain and enhance a strong network of allies and partners' in the Asia-Pacific region. Some Asian countries, Vietnam especially, have expressed concern over China’s growing clout.

Myanmar has been more circumspect, even under the new government of President Thein Sein, who American officials say has signaled a tolerance for experimentation with political and economic reforms. But one action this year — the suspension by the Burmese government on Sept. 30 of a Chinese-financed, $3.6 billion dam project that had ignited popular protests — caught the attention of Chinese leaders. Some Chinese officials and scholars contend that the Obama administration played a role in persuading Mr. Thein Sein to block the dam or even in stoking the protests. The administration has not acknowledged any involvement. 'The incident sends a clear signal to China,' said Ms. Mu [Mu Gengyuan] [a] scholar at the Chinese Institute of International Studies, which is linked to the Foreign Ministry. 'With the U.S. strategy of refocusing on the region, it is already making inroads in Myanmar. It also acts as a reminder that the public diplomacy of China still leaves much to be desired.'” Image from

Serving our country through public diplomacy - Mahtab Farid, "I had the honor of receiving the State Department 'Expeditionary Service Award' from Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy on behalf of Secretary Hillary R. Clinton on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 in a beautiful ceremony at the State Department in Washington, DC. ... There is no greater honor than representing United States of America. I was fortunate to share the American values with Afghans and build a bridge

through personal and public diplomacy. I owe my service to many of our military colleagues who kept me safe and protected me like an ambassador. I also like to thank my family and amazing friends who supported me with their love during my service in Afghanistan. My service wouldn't have been possible without the friendship and support of our Afghan friends. There is no greater honor than serving our country through public diplomacy." Image from article, with caption: Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy with Mahtab Farid

Public Diplomacy…2.0 or 1.x? - William Nyikuli, "My questions of Public Diplomacy in this blog post are within the context of use of New Media communication platforms. One reason that I remain skeptical about use of Web 2.0 and new media by large organizations, is that I wonder how much actual interaction is going on versus how much of it is what I’ve seen referred to as a 'glorified news feed'. By that I mean, yes an organization has a facebook page, yes 'they’re on twitter' and yes, they have a blog. However, how much actual interaction is going on? ... To be fair, in some cases, like the State Department for example, they do have a blog and they actually allow commenting on it (I’m assuming comments are not censored other than for national security issues/secrets), though I don’t know if the comments are read–many high profile blogs are notorious for (ghost) authors that don’t read the feedback received."

For historians/academics interested in Public Diplomacy (a growing "intellectual" cottage industry): Mr. Clean - John Brown, Notes and Essays: "Place: US State Department Human Resources [:] Time: Early 2000's Persons Involved: No-Smiles Human Resources officer (NSHRO), sitting behind her desk in an office at Foggy Bottom; returning from overseas posting Public Diplomacy Foreign Service officer J. Brown (PDFSOJB) NSHRO: So you are looking for a job now that you're back from Russia. PDFSOJB: Yes, Madam.

(Moment of solemn silence. NSHRO prints out paper.) NSHRO (Looks at paper; then slowly raises eyes to PDFSOJB): You look pretty clean. PDFSOJB: Thank you, madam. NSHRO: In over twenty years [of service], all your postings abroad except one have been hardship posts. Not bad. PDSOJB: Yes, madam. Thank you. NSHRO: Only one and half years in Washington during that time -- not bad. PDSOJB: Thank you, madam. NSHRO: Yes, you look pretty clean. PDSOJB: Thank you, madam. But why pretty [emphasis] clean? NSHRO: But you are PD, aren't you?" Image from article

Walter Isaacson refused Voice of America request for interview about Steve Jobs biography, could have expected uncomfortable questions - BBGWatcher, BBG Watch: "Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs’ biography who is also the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal government agency, is more than happy to help his CNN friends get high paying federal jobs at the Voice of America (VOA), which is managed by the BBG, and at the BBG itself … But when it comes to giving the Voice of America an interview about his just published biography of Steve Jobs, it is no go. He flatly refused, VOA Insider reported to BBG Watch.

It seems Chairman I[...]sa[a]cson does not think much of the Voice of America, its public diplomacy mission of presenting important American cultural events to audiences abroad, and of VOA employees who work for American taxpayers under his supervision except when one of his former CNN associates needs a high-paying U.S. federal government job, a VOA employee who does not want to be identified told BBG Watch. The top posts at VOA are now occupied by individuals with professional links to Isaacson and CNN. They in turn are making plans to hire more former and current CNN employees, BBG Watch sources reported." Image from article

Back to the Middle East - Naveed Ahmad, "In terms of realpolitik and public diplomacy both, the Arab spring opens a new chapter for people-to-people contacts between the Pakistanis and the Middle Eastern and North African nations. Besides trade, Pakistan can assist such nations in building and strengthening election commissions, identity registrations, parliamentary and judicial services."

How Jews Try to Brainwash Gentiles on College Campuses - Bashie, "Hasbara refers to the propaganda efforts to sell Israel, justify its actions, and defend it in world opinion. Using contemporary euphemisms, it is public diplomacy for Israel, or using a pejorative interpretation, it is apologia. Israel portrays itself as fighting on two fronts: the Palestinians and world opinion. The latter is dealt with hasbara.

The premise of hasbara is that Israel's problems are a matter of better propaganda, and not one of an underlying unjust situation. ... The Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus, is now available online." Image from article

Israeli Hasbara (Public Diplomacy) Delegation in NYC [video] -

Image from entry

Tatjana Zhdanoka: Europe has big hope for Russia - "BNN published the first part of the interview Tatjana Zhdanoka on November 29 ( She spoke about how Russians are perceived in the eyes od Europe. The second part deals with her initiative – the 5th Europe-Russia forum held in Brussels. ... [Q:] Young people also participated in the forum.

What do you think young people can bring to the rather complicated relations between Russia and the EU? [A:] Young people discussed the form of public diplomacy. Strategic partnership can not be maintained only for mutual benefit. Sincere affection can be the only basis for reliable human union. And the younger generation of Russian politicians are called upon to renew those personal ties and affection, which provided the unity of the European and Russian elites a century ago." Zhdanoka image from article

Human Resource Development and the Str[e]ngth of Public Diplomacy - "Human Resource Development is a relevant theme to be explored in the field of public diplomacy. Although new technologies are being created rapidly, more attention and research should be dedicated to strengthening human capital."


Can we make a deal on VIP visits to Iraq? - Peter Van Buren, Any time Obama or another Washington VIP says anything about success, victory or accomplishment in Iraq, drink grain alcohol

until you fall asleep on the couch. Image from

Ghosts in El salvador - James Morrison, The Washington Times: The U.S. ambassador to El Salvador stirred up ghosts from her past when she wrote a newspaper article praising the president of the Central American nation for supporting the homosexual agenda. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte now finds herself again at the center of controversy, as Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, raises questions about old charges that Cuban intelligence agents tried to recruit her as a spy and criticizes her for embracing gay issues in El Salvador.

U.S. suspects NATO was lured into raid - NATO forces may have been lured into attacking friendly

Pakistani border posts in a calculated maneuver by the Taliban, according to preliminary U.S. military reports on the deadliest friendly-fire incident with Pakistan since the Afghanistan war began. Image from article, with caption: Protesters condemn the weekend NATO strikes on Pakistani border posts as they demonstrate in Lahore, Pakistan, on Monday, Nov. 28

Pakistan to Shut Down Foreign News Spreading “Anti-Pakistan Propaganda” - Sabrina Siddiqui, The All Pakistan Cable Operators Association announced Tuesday that it will shut down all foreign news channels airing “anti-Pakistan” content.

The declaration comes amidst rising tension between the United States and Pakistan over the NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border. "We want to send them a strong message to stop this. If they don’t stop this, then it is our right to stop them,” said Khalid Arain, president of the association, in a live news conference. BBC was specifically targeted during the conference for its documentary “Secret Pakistan” and will be shut down imminently. Such programming was deemed “anti-Pakistan propaganda” that furthers the notion of Pakistan as a corrupt entity and untrustworthy ally to the United States. Image from article, with caption: Protests continue over NATO strikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops

Islamabad's Language Police - Wall Street Journal: The Pakistani Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has banned a list of 1,600 "obscene" words, the majority in English, from being used in text-messages and has instructed wireless service providers in the country to block texts with these words

Russia Calls America’s Condemnation Of Anti-Gay Propaganda Law ‘Inappropriate’, Pushes Back Second Vote - Igor Volsky, A Russian diplomat condemned the United States State Department for speaking out against St. Petersburg’s pending anti-gay propaganda bill, saying that American interference is “inappropriate.” “We view with bewilderment the American side’s attempts to interfere, what’s more, publicly, in the lawmaking process,” foreign ministry representative for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, told the Interfax news agency. The bill — which would fine groups and individuals for “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgenderism among minors” — has passed the first of three readings, but has stalled as lawmakers work to agree on specific language. The second reading had been tentitivley set for November 30th, but has now been postponed “until after parliamentary polls on December 4.”

Propaganda Parade: The Raid on the British Embassy in Iran Raid Was Merely an Occupy Protest - John Hudson, In today's tour of the Middle East, Iran finds its own Occupy movement, Israel sends a message about dating to American expats and a mystery explosion remains.... mysterious.

Let's begin the Propaganda Parade. Uncaptioned image from article

Who is behind attempt to kill Israel through propaganda?
- Joanne Hill, Diaspora Jews must consider carefully their own role and responsibility in helping Israel survive demographically, according to Moshe Arens, Israel’s former foreign minister. Arens: “[You] have to be part of the effort…to defeat this very pernicious attempt to put an end to Israel, not by armies, not by terrorists, but by propaganda. It’s a battle that is being waged on many, many fronts and… you have to participate: of course, for Israel, but also for you in the Diaspora here in Toronto. Who is behind this attempt to attack Israel, to kill Israel, by propaganda? Many blatant antisemites; many antisemites that have come out of the woodwork who had run for cover after the Holocaust and realized it wasn’t politically correct to attack the Jewish state; many left-wing organizations; many hypocrites; many Holocaust deniers; and some self-hating Jews; and, surprise, surprise, even some self-hating Israelis. So it’s a big, big coalition with which we have to contend.”

Pinkwashing, 2008-2011: Obituary for a Hasbara Strategy - Benjamin Doherty, The basic idea of pinkwashing is to portray Israel as a country that espouses ostensibly Western liberal or progressive democratic values such as feminism, gay rights and multiculturalism. The hope is that this will induce target Western audiences to identify with Israel and thus discount concerns about Israel’s

human rights abuses against Palestinians. This “Brand Israel” campaign also seeks to portray Israel as an environmentalist and high-tech hub and has become a mainstay of hasbara or pro-Israel propaganda from official and unofficial bodies. The strategy is implicitly racist and Islamophobic because it often manifests in arguments that Israel is morally superior to Palestinians in particular, and Arabs and Muslims in general, who are portrayed as inherently lacking these “progressive” values. Image from article

Lies and Truth About Syria - Thierry Meyssan, For eight months, Western leaders and some public media have been agitating for a war in Syria. The extremely serious accusations leveled against Assad intimidate those who question the justification

for a new military intervention. But not everyone, because – on the initiative of Voltaire Network – some came to Syria to investigate for themselves and were able to measure the extent of NATO’s propaganda. Image from article, with caption: Created in Paris under French sponsorship, the Syrian National Council aims to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. It is chaired by Burhan Ghalioun, professor of sociology at Sorbonne University (he is seen here with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, 23 November 2011)

Propaganda as subtle as anything the Nazis and Soviets ever did - Russia sends warship to Syria in support of Assad (whose soldiers have killed 256 children)

Flight as Propaganda in Fascist Italy [...] - The Fascist Italian state in the 20’s and 30’s wanted to be seen as a modern, industrial power with prestige rivaling any other nation on Earth. One way in which Mussolini and his officers attempted to create that image is through the use of airplanes, a relatively new invention that was just beginning to see use in everyday life. By making and flying airplanes that set new standards for the industry, Italy could appear modern without having to spend too much money or occupy too much of their industry, and with the help of Italo Balbo, that is just what Mussolini did. Through large formation cruises across great distances, record-setting flights by prototype airplanes, and simply the swagger and personality of Balbo himself, Italy enhanced its image through propagandistic aviation.

Trajan's Propaganda and Urban Renewal - Trajan’s forum did not only represent a place to proclaim a military triumph, but stood as a cultural center of Rome. It embodied the laws, learning, and religious tradition as represented by the Basilica Ulpia, a library complex, and Trajan’s temple.

All of these ideals were masterfully represented in the craftsmanship of the forum. Thanks largely to the spoils of the Dacian wars, no expense was spared in creating a place that represented the power and majesty of Trajan’s principate.

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