Monday, November 7, 2011
"To be an engineer, you have to be either brilliant or stubborn. If you’re neither, you’re going to change majors."
--Gabriel Jim, the recipient of a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan; image from
(a) The Office of War Information (1942-45) and Photography
(b) Charlie and his Orchestra: Nazi Propaganda Swing, 1940-45; image from video
(c) Intercepted Klingon Propaganda
(d) Femen Takes Topless Act To The Vatican: A protestor from the Ukrainian women's rights group Femen is arrested in the Vatican following a provocative protest against "papal patriarchal propaganda." Image from
Leveraging hip hop in US foreign policy: Diplomats and officials use the music of the oppressed to connect with disaffected Muslim youth - Hishaam Aidi, english.aljazeera.net: "The State Department began using hiphop as a tool in the mid-2000s, when, in the wake of Abu Ghraib and the resurgence of the Taliban, Karen Hughes, then undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, launched an initiative called Rhythm Road. The programme was modelled on the jazz diplomacy initiative of the Cold War era, except that in the 'War on Terror', hip hop would play the central role of countering 'poor perceptions' of the US. In 2005, the State Department began sending 'hip hop envoys' - rappers, dancers, DJs - to perform and speak in different parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The tours have since covered the broad arc of the Muslim world, with performances taking place in Senegal and Ivory Coast, across North Africa, the Levant and Middle East, and extending to Mongolia, Pakistan and Indonesia. ... US diplomacy's embrace of hip hop as a foreign policy tool has sparked a heated debate, among artists and aficionados worldwide, over the purpose of
Photo Contest, Exhibit to Showcase Overseas Duty - Terri Moon Cronk, American Forces Press Service: "A contest of photographs depicting the daily life of military deployments and overseas assignments, as captured through the camera lenses of military members, veterans and diplomats, will kick off on Veterans Day. The contest to select the 1,000 winning photos for an exhibit, Serving Abroad … Through Their Eyes, will launch Nov. 11, and continue through Presidents Day, Feb. 20, Defense Department officials said. Winning entries will be showcased at the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum, U.S. embassies around the world, the Pentagon and other prominent, international venues in 2012, officials said. ... The contest and exhibit are part of the State Department's upcoming
PD Notes and other stuff - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Iron Man Diplomacy: Cal Ripken is now a cultural ambassador, and is on his way to the Land o' Rising Sun. My friend Mike said he should be sent to the Dodgers; he is safer in Baghdad than Chavez Ravine. -Mexican Taxicab Confessions: Mexico has a great tourism branding campaign: Mexico Taxi Project. I like it because it is subtle, comes across as semi-authentic and deals with the security issue in a creative fashion. If only Mexico did public and cultural diplomacy as well as it did tourism pr. The smart thing about the campaign is that it delivers a message in a voice that is American, and comes across as a little more credible because the voice is recognizable to the target audience. Meanwhile, the voyeuristic side of eavesdropping adds a little additional credibility. Britain had a similar voyeuresque tactic for some of their public diplomacy campaigns towards the US during WWII. -Hiplomacy: Al-Jazeera has a great op-ed on hip hop as American cultural diplomacy. Some myopic dolt got on his square soapbox at National Review to criticize the smArt Power initiative and hip hop as cultural diplomacy. Blah blah...hip hop is too ghetto represent American culture, blah blah...graffiti sends the wrong message...blah blah. Funny that he holds up jazz diplomacy as an example of good cultural diplomacy, when that had its own critiques way back when, who said it was too associated with reefer, the inner city and other degradations of modern society. Would you prefer we send Pat Boone and Billy Ray Cyrus abroad as cultural ambassadors? -Finally, I noted that the new Undersec for PD Tara Sonenshine comes from USIP.
President Obama Nominates Freddy Balsera To Serve On United States Advisory Commission On Public Diplomacy - talberttalkstravel.com: "President Barack Obama has nominated Freddy Balsera to serve on the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Balsera is the Founder and Managing Partner of Balsera Communications, a public relations firm in Coral Gables, Florida with a public policy focus that specializes in developing and executing national communications strategies for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, non-profit groups and major public interest organizations. The bi-partisan United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy was created by Congress in 1948 and is charged with appraising U.S. Government activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics. It consists of seven members appointed by the President and it reports to him and the Secretary of State. Last year, Freddy Balsera was profiled by Politics Magazine as one of the ten most influential Democrats in Florida. He was also listed by PODER magazine as one of the 'Top 20 under 40.' Congratulations Freddy!"
GAG ME: Danger room on Darpa Begs Hackers: Secure Our Networks, End ‘Season of Darkness’ - Selil: Professors Sam and Sydney Liles: "Cyber warfare, privacy, computer security, computer forensics, technology, software engineering, running, life in general, and more: Going after 'hackers' ooohhhh ahhhhhh to fix your network security issues is kind of like going after the local belligerent with a hammer to fix your glass blowing business. Cause, like they all know how to break the stuff they’ll be the expert at fixing it. ... Hey I work for y’all in DoD and you couldn’t care less (shhh down in front). To fix information assurance and security you gotta do a few things or it will always be broken. [inter alia] ... 3. Freak out. You can’t secure everything but you can encrypt the hell out of it. Get some encryption right here and look for temporal based security. Classify your data but don’t be classification crazy.
Article describes Radio Azadi's SMS news service in Afghanistan, but not its RFE/RL parentage - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
To Strike Iran or Not, With the US or Not - Pierre Klochendler, Inter Press Service: "Preceding the UN atomic watchdog's report on Iran's nuclear quest, a flurry of reports about Israel increasingly tilting towards preventive military action against Iran highlights U.S. military support of Israel, but tests its influence over its ally. On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to report that Iran has carried out experiments for developing nuclear weapons including explosions and computer simulations of explosions.
Either public diplomacy or policy,
Hajj Messages, Imam Khomeini's Innovation - Fars News Agency: "Here is Ayatollah Taskhiri's interview with Khamenei.ir, the website of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. [Q] Every year the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution issues a message to the great hajj congregation during the hajj season, which contains important points for Muslims of the world. In your opinion, what is the philosophy behind these messages? ... [A:] I have extracted the themes of the messages issued by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution over the past few years and I can share the result with you if you like. ... [Q:] Currently, public diplomacy is being discussed in the world.
Australian government scraps Australia Network tender process and extends ABC's contract for 6 months - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Tender process a mess: foreign policy analyst - ABC Online: "TONY EASTLEY: One foreign policy expert says the entire Australia Network tender process is a mess and needs to be sorted out quickly before it damages the broadcaster's reputation. Alex Oliver is a research fellow at the Lowy Institute. She's been closely following the Australia Network tender process closely since the ABC commissioned her to study the role that international broadcasting plays in diplomacy. Alex Oliver told Meredith Griffiths she became concerned about the transparency of the tender process when the Government moved it from the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Communications Department. ALEX OLIVER: My first reaction was 'This belongs with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the Minister for Foreign Affairs'. My second reaction was, you know, 'Why? This doesn't seem to be a transparent or appropriate process to be following in this case'. It was quite clear how it had been set up. The tender, you know, was open; the tenders were received, the tender was closed; the, you know, the review board made its recommendations. And that should have been the end of the matter. And this does not seem to be a transparent process and does raise real questions in my mind about whether this has been handled properly. And it's certainly not helpful to the future of Australia's international broadcasting. It's not helpful to the ABC, which has to plan its operations. And it's not helpful for Sky and it's not helpful for Australia's public diplomacy. This is an important aspect of Australia's public diplomacy. It's in fact the biggest amount of money Australia spends on any one aspect of its public diplomacy. It forms the entire budget, basically. And we need to get going on this and not keep making six month delay decisions. It needs to be decided swiftly and transparently." See also.
BBC World Service "is an interesting, and sometimes strange, listen" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.
BBC Worldwide channels expand presence in Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Analysts analyze Al Jazeera as it marks its 15th anniversary - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
Q and A With Navdeep Suri, Indian Public Diplomat - Roselina Press, aiia.asn.au: "Navdeep Suri has served in the Indian Foreign service for nearly 30 years. In that time, he has worked in a variety of different capacities in India’s diplomatic missions in Egypt, Syria, the United States, Tanzania, the UK and South Africa. In his current role, Suri is the Joint Secretary & Head of the Public Diplomacy Division of India’s Ministry of External Affairs. Established in 2006, the Public Diplomacy Division seeks to promote greater understanding of India’s national interests and foreign policy concerns, both within India and overseas. We spoke to Suri about his division’s outreach activities, as well as his thoughts on citizen diplomacy. What role does public diplomacy play in India’s foreign relations? Well, the Public Diplomacy division of our Ministry of External Affairs is only 5 years old, even though we have been practising public diplomacy for a lot longer than that. I think the creation of a separate division was a signal of the importance that we now attach to the role of public diplomacy in India’s foreign policy. I expect this role to grow significantly in the coming years. Indian public diplomacy not only engages with a global audience, but with its own citizenry as well. Are both equally important? While our public diplomacy has traditionally focused on the global audience, we have started to pay increasing attention to the domestic audience within India. This is because we see that a whole host of foreign policy issues – World Trade Organisation (WTO), Climate Change, Nuclear Energy, Terrorism and even relations with our neighbours – are now closely intertwined with domestic political agendas.
Diplomat delights with poetry of promise - timesofindia.indiatimes.com: "'Candling the Light', an anthology of verses by young poet, diplomat and artist Abhay K., shows the pressures of diplomacy - which does not give the bureaucrat enough time to explore the details of a narrative, but filter its essence through the verse. The volume paints a picture of the poet's life in words - as a boy from Bihar's Nalanda district to Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the shining folds of the Indian Foreign Service. ... Abhay, in his
The Limits of German Power - Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff and Hanns W. Maull, IP-Gobal: Publichsed by the German Council on Foreign relations: "When Germany acted in the shadows, it did not necessarily have to explain itself. But the European crisis is now making totally new demands on Germany’s 'public diplomacy.' Leadership must be communicated.
The Last Three Feet… - Do You See What IC?: "This past Thursday our class was able to attend a wonderful panel lecture called 'The Last Three Feet: New Media, New Approaches and New Challenges for American Public Diplomacy', hosted by George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, the Public Diplomacy Council, and the Walter Roberts Endowment. The general focus was on how diplomats are reinventing their approaches in an effort to keep up with an ever-changing global environment. The particular focus is on the media and new technologies that are shifting the practice of public diplomacy. It seems that many of the themes of public diplomacy are the same, they are just experiencing shifts in the way the themes are utilized."
Google Diplomacy - Ginnie M. Seger, International Communication Forum: "This Thursday the class attended 'The Last Three Feet: New Media, New Approaches and New Challenges for American Public Diplomacy' which was hosted by George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, the Public Diplomacy Council, and the Walter Roberts Endowment. Ambassadors and Foreign Service Officer's [sic] discussed the changing nature of diplomacy, and best practices. They spoke of the challenges in diplomacy, in a changing media scape, a lot of the issues they discussed I could see echoed by Google strategy. The increased power of non-state actors such as Google are apparent--do you think it is possible that one day Google leadership will be invited to Supra-national meetings, like the U.N.? Should there be a governing mechanism to control these entities?"
Public Diplomacy is still a Face to Face Act - Peace of Mind: "There were a lot of interesting topics covered at the Public Diplomacy Council panel on Thursday, but one of the key takeaways I found was the continuing importance of human interactions and exchanges between cultures in light of advancements in communications technologies. With all of the new technologies available across the world that people use to connect, such as the internet and social media sites, public diplomacy is still reliant on human interactions, and the programs that involved exchanges were always the most successful. It seemed to me like ‘The Last Three Feet’ was always accomplished by face to face contact."
When the Distance Is Greater than Three Feet - Tory, IC therefore IM: "I ... had the pleasure of attending the 'The Last Three Feet' conference at the Elliott School last Thursday. It was very exciting to attend an event that focused exclusively on my small field of study- public diplomacy! Plus it will henceforth be known as the day that I was in the same room as the very intelligent and talented Michelle Kwan. Who knew she got her MA at Fletcher and serves as an honorary public diplomacy ambassador? I’m still kicking myself for not getting a photo with her! ... [W]hile I see how important it has been in facilitating revolution in the Middle East this spring, I have to say that I roll my eyes a bit when people rhapsodize about the wonders of social media. We cannot rely on Twitter alone to create democracy, and we cannot let a US embassy’s Facebook page be its only way of communicating with foreign nationals. I think these platforms are tools of public diplomacy, and not solutions to our problems. We cannot abandon our old but widely-available tools of TV and radio, and FSOs need to ensure that they are regularly leaving their fortress embassies to go interact with the people. I understand that this work can be dangerous, but I think it’s worth the risk."
More on Hegemony - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "I promise, PROMISE, this will be my last post on Nye's The Future of Power for a while. Why the obsession?
U.S. pullout leaves Iraqi interpreters out on limb: Iraqis who risked their lives to work for the U.S. military no longer have the protection of living on base. They want to move to the U.S., but red tape is holding up visas - Tariq, latimes.com
State-Owned Chinese Broadcaster to Open U.S. Studio (Report) - Lucas Shaw, reuters.com: CCTV, which produces news shows widely viewed as government propaganda, expects to begin broadcasting from a D.C. studio by the middle of 2012 and produce up to six hours of original programming a day.
from, under the headline: "China’s CCTV building’s new skin is on."
Tibet `cultural genocide' hit - thestandard.com.hk: The Dalai Lama said Tibetans face "cultural genocide" under hard-line mainland rule that he blames for a recent wave of self-immolations in the southwest. "Chinese communist propaganda creates a very rosy picture," the Dalai Lama said in Tokyo. "But actually people, including many Chinese from mainland China who visit Tibet, all have the impression things are terrible. Some kind of policy, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place," the 76-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader said.
Dissecting the Iran ‘Terror Plot’ - Gareth Porter, globalresearch.ca: As Israel again ratchets up its threats to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, anti-Iran propaganda, which could rally the American people behind another Middle East war, becomes critical.
Iranian cleric dismisses "empty" Israel threats - Ramin Mostafavi, Reuters: A senior Iranian cleric Sunday dismissed talk of a military strike by Israel as empty propaganda, taunting the Jewish state for screaming "like a cornered cat" rather than roaring like a lion. "The recent threats of the Zionist regime against Iran are more for internal consumption for themselves and their masters who are struggling with the Wall Street movement," said Ayatollah Mahmoud Alavi, referring to anti-capitalism protests that began in New York and have spread around the world. "There is a difference between the roar of a lion and the scream of a cat that has been trapped in a corner," he said. "And this threat of the Zionist regime and its master America is like the scream of a cornered cat."
Who is Teaching America’s Best and Brightest? - Arash Irandoost, rightsidenews.com: The Islamic Republic of Iran, designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, has found yet another ally in its propaganda war.
Russell Tribunal a vehicle for anti-Israel propaganda - Charisse Zeifert, SAJBD: The proceedings of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RtoP) have conclusively confirmed predictions that it would be no more than an unbalanced vehicle for anti-Israel propaganda thinly disguised as a quasi-judicial investigation say the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and SA Zionist Federation (SAZF). The RtoP, as anticipated, served up one-sided political rhetoric in place of meaningful debate, and sweeping condemnation instead of constructive solutions. SAJBD National Chairman Mary Kluk dismissed the Tribunal as an expensive exercise in futility.
Malfunction with the propaganda servers of Israel - The Angry Arab News Service: Look at this. Increasingly, the government of the Israeli usurping entity is merging as the dumbest and most clumsy of the various tyrannical government of the region. Notice that Israeli propaganda newspapers are willing to report uncritingly the most obvious lies. Here is one: "The Israeli government denied on Sunday that a cyber-attack was the reason several websites went down, including those of the IDF, Mossad, Shin Bet security service and government ministries. IDF spokesman said there was most likely a malfunction with the servers." And notice that Western media are almost always silent when it comes to embarrassment to the Israeli government.
November 7th, 2011 – Ben Ali’s Political Propaganda Conspicuously Absent - tunisia-live.net: Just one year ago, November 7th was celebrated all across Tunisia with music festivities, television shows and decorations everywhere.
How not to win a propaganda war - Balkan outlooks: "Serb nationalists have published a video that an Albanian newspaper found quite useful. It shows NATO soldiers removing a barricade with primitive means while elsewhere Serbs are using better material to strengthen their barricade. In the mean time some Serbs youth are standing around teasing the soldiers with the words "Arbeit" (German for work). These youth stroke me as totally stupid. They should try to convince NATO of their point of view, not turn it into an enemy. Obviously they don't understand the power of NATO and how nasty it can be. It raised for me the question whether there were any Serb adults in the area. And if they were - why they didn't interfere. One should give those youth banners and slogans that serve their cause but one should withhold them from this kind of self-destructive actions."
MFN decision becomes controversial - pakobserver.net: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is on a propaganda offensive to sell the idea of giving Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Saturday, she claimed that the Pakistan Army too was on board over the dialogue process with India and that the move would lead to huge economic benefits to the country.
Response To Anti-Soviet Propaganda Of The West - englishrussia.com: Back in 50s, a lot of western caricaturists revealed the Soviet reality and communism in their works.
Pro-American propaganda in the Panhandle [See above video] - Steve Myers, connectamarillo.com: During the early 1940s, Uncle Sam started using photographs as a unique way to not only document life in America. They were also bolstering up the effort in the war effort, all thanks to a little known group called the Department of War Information. Almost 70 years ago, the Office of War Information (OWI) was founded to consolidate the U.S. Office of Facts and Figures with its main function to approve the design and content of government posters.
Nazi Jazz Propaganda - Jazz in Athens: When it comes to World War II propaganda, everybody probably has heard of “Tokyo Rose.” But do you know about Charlie and His Orchestra? This was a German jazz band put together by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Charlie and His Orchestra recorded jazz standards, but changed the lyrics to anti-British, anti-American, anti-Communist or antisemitic messages. The songs were broadcast via medium-wave and short-wave radio to Great Britain and North America. It was all about taunting and demoralizing the Allies… and trash-talking Winston Churchill and F.D.R. by name. Charlie and His Orchestra recorded versions of many popular songs – from “St. Louis Blues” to “Stardust.” And they swung. These performances always began with the original lyrics intact. But midway through, singer Karl Schwedler (a.k.a. “Charlie”) would deliver anti-British, anti-American, anti-Communist or antisemitic messages straight from the Ministry of Propaganda.
Rare Chinese Art Discovered at University of Michigan Storage - au.ibtimes.com15 poster-sized, propaganda materials from 4 decades ago resurfaced at the University's storeroom-a find so rare that even in China, this kind of thing would still be a big deal.
Not Just for Kids: 'Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick': A middle-class teen becomes enmeshed with a Lithuanian assassin in Joe Schreiber's laugh-out-loud, young-adult debut - Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times: When Perry Stormaire learned his family would be hosting a Lithuanian exchange student during his senior year of high school, he immediately imagined "some chic Mediterranean lioness with half-lidded eyes, fully upholstered lips, curves like a European sports car, and legs of a swimsuit model who would tutor me with her feminine wiles." The reality of
Book review: 'Rome' by Robert Hughes: The art critic brings his usual attention to detail to a personal history of the Eternal City, told largely through its art - Suzanne Muchnic, Los Angeles Times: Early on, Hughes introduces the first Roman emperor not as a man but as "Augustus of Prima Porta," a marble sculpture, circa AD 15, that exemplifies artistic propaganda. The work may not be a masterpiece, but it conveys an important message. Portrayed as a military hero who projects "calm, self-sufficient power," in Hughes' words, and accompanied by a tiny figure of the love god Eros, Augustus was meant to be seen as a living god descended from Venus.
Statues of athletes surround the Stadio dei Marmi in the Foro Italico, a sports center built at Mussolini's behest.
Alchemy tshirt Propaganda UL13 - BlogLines: This Alchemy UL13 tshirt features an image of a hand grenade with a skull face which looks as though it has been stencilsprayed onto the tee and the paint has run down the shirt. Also has
Night Of The Dawn Of The Day Of The Land Of The Diary Of The Survival Of The Return Of The Condi Veep Rumors - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photoblog. Image from