Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31

"Don't think. If you must think, don't speak. If you must speak, don't write anything down. And if you write something down, don't sign it. And if you do all that, don't be surprised."

--An official who grew up behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War recalling a communist-era joke as he discussed the consequences of the WikiLeaks saga; image from



Obama's Missed Opportunity in Egypt‎

Day 817- Did Carter Do Anything Right?

Tough times for diplomacy in post-WikiLeaks world

Alhurra finally receiving some press mentions relating to Egypt and neighboring crises

Publicity Alhurra could probably do without: Rep. Moran on race and the 2010 election

In rare display of USIB synergy, RFE/RL mentions Alhurra and VOA reports on Egypt

Jaipur Literary Festival: The Jaipur Literary Festival stands as the world's largest literary festival, and also its grandest

Obama administration aligns itself with protests in Egypt with call for 'orderly transition'

Egypt's uprising should be encouraged

A proud moment in Egypt's history: The revolt is the Middle East's version of Berlin in 1989. President Obama and the U.S. should show their support for the protesters

Our view on Egypt: Moment of truth for U.S. policies

The Two Likeliest Political Outcomes for Mubarak: Egyptian society needs time to prepare for free elections and to remediate years of government oppression

The Internet and the Bill of Rights

How to filter State Department propaganda


Obama's Missed Opportunity in Egypt‎ - Philip Seib, Huffington Post: "Not much was needed; just some phrasing such as, 'President Mubarak has served his country well, and ensuring peaceful transition to new leadership would continue that service.'

If President Obama had said something like that, Hosni Mubarak would have been furious and probably ignored the advice, but Egyptians and others throughout the Arab world and beyond would have seen that for once the United States was not defending a dictator, but rather was standing on the side of democracy. Instead, Obama was overly cautious, and the moment was lost. There are times when caution should be set aside, and this was one of them. The essence of public diplomacy is communicating directly with people in other countries. Through Al Jazeera and other news organizations, words from the White House reach not only those in the streets of Egypt, but millions of others throughout the region whose mistrust of America is profound. When Obama gave his heralded speech in Cairo in 2009, its impact was short-lived because of too little follow-up. Now, by facilitating historic change in Egypt, Obama could put some substance behind his words. ... [[T]he era of relying on bought-and-paid-for dictators is passing. It would be nice, for a change, to see the United States ride the crest of a wave rather than splash forlornly in its wake." See also. Image from

Day 817- Did Carter Do Anything Right? - "It’s probably not fair to blame Jimmy Carter for the current unrest in Egypt, but it may not be right to praise him for the peace accords that were not to be. Bush’s declarations of war lasted longer than most of the peace accords other presidents have tried in past administrations. There are basically three options. You can ignore everything the rest of the world does. You can wait until your interests are at stake and let the bombs fly. Or you can do what we always do, try to influence the winners and losers with public diplomacy and private dealmaking. Everybody is an armchair diplomat. If you think your personal vision of the world is going to fly, it would make an entertaining disaster for the rest of the world. In situations like Egypt, we learn that whatever we do, we will end up watching and waiting and hoping. You can’t control everything but you have to try to control something."

Tough times for diplomacy in post-WikiLeaks world - Paul Taylor, Reuters: "If ministers and diplomats have learned a single lesson from the WikiLeaks saga, it is this: write nothing down. ... One European minister said the greatest

blow may have been to Washington's reputation for competence in keeping secrets. The orgy of indiscretions could undermine U.S. leadership at a time when economic shifts were already tilting the balance of global power toward China, he observed. 'This has deeply shaken every U.S. foreign service officer and every ambassador,' said a former U.S. diplomat who is now a consultant on public diplomacy." Image from

Alhurra finally receiving some press mentions relating to Egypt and neighboring crises - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Publicity Alhurra could probably do without: Rep. Moran on race and the 2010 election
- Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.

Image from

In rare display of USIB synergy, RFE/RL mentions Alhurra and VOA reports on Egypt - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Jaipur Literary Festival: The Jaipur Literary Festival stands as the world's largest literary festival, and also its grandest - [Paul Rockower], "With a multitude of panels, performances and workshops, the Jaipur Literary Festival offered a little bit for everyone—hence why the festival was noted

by the Los Angeles Times as the 'thinking-person’s carnival.' ... One of the beauties of the Jaipur Literary Festival is that it is ultimately a platform of public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy for India." See also. Image from article

JOTW 05-2011 - "Welcome to the JOTW network. ... This network is all about connecting communicators and sharing opportunities. And speaking of sharing, since the JOTW newsletter was started almost ten years ago, more than 30,000 job opportunities have been listed and shared with members of this network. ... 67.) Communication and Public Diplomacy Specialist - AIPMNH Program, Coffey International Development, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia."


Obama administration aligns itself with protests in Egypt with call for 'orderly transition' - Karen DeYoung, Washington Post

Egypt's uprising should be encouraged - Anne Applebaum, Washington Post: We should speak directly to the Egyptian public, not only to its leaders. We should congratulate

Egyptians for having the courage to take to the streets. We should smile and embrace instability. And we should rejoice - because change, in repressive societies, is good. Image from

A proud moment in Egypt's history: The revolt is the Middle East's version of Berlin in 1989. President Obama and the U.S. should show their support for the protesters - Scott MacLeod,

Image from article

Our view on Egypt: Moment of truth for U.S. policies - USA Today: The rosy way to look on the daily images of Egypt in flames is to recognize that the match was struck not by Islamist radicals but by young people using social media to demand democracy. But those who start a fire do not control its course, and this particular conflagration seems destined to singe, if not incinerate, assumptions that have guided U.S. policies in the Middle East for decades. There seems little doubt that an era is ending — if at uncertain speed — and the United States will have to adapt. It is not a comforting prospect.

The Two Likeliest Political Outcomes for Mubarak: Egyptian society needs time to prepare for free elections and to remediate years of government oppression - Stephen J. Hadley, Wall Street Journal: Some critics argue that no U.S. administration went far enough in pressing President Mubarak—including the administrations in which I served. As important as the "freedom agenda" was to President Bush, there were other issues—terrorism, proliferation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to name a few—that required us to deal with the Egyptian government. Perhaps as important, the Egyptians are a proud people. No nation wants to be seen to be giving in to public pressure from another state—even a close ally.

The Internet and the Bill of Rights - Francine Hardaway, Huffington Post: "Whom do we think we are here in America? If I were a young Egyptian, I'd be furious at us. We export all our propaganda, our consumerism, our culture, and our heightened expectations for democracy in the rest of the world. But when they act on our words and take to the streets to emulate us, we slink away and hide behind the facade of the White House, hoping things will resolve without us, so the fallen dictator, replaced president, exiled buffoon, can make it out of the country safely and we won't get blamed if it doesn't happen (see Iran)."

How to filter State Department propaganda - Bob Morris, "It’s quite clear, isn’t it, that the real agenda is more about supporting the status quo, as corrupt and depraved as it might be, because plenty of elites are making lots of money that way and Mubarek may be a thug but he’s our thug.

We certainly can’t favor revolution especially if it’s violent, can we? Oh wait, the US was born in a violent revolution, wasn’t it? Oopsie." Image from

Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South) – 310200UTC Jan 11 - Blog

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 30

"A cheap public diplomacy idea: Tear gas canisters sold to dictators should say 'Made in the USA, Just Like the Freedom of Expression.'"

--Twitterer KABOBfesT;


(a) Headlines/Major Items

A Brand New Arab World

Egypt on Al Jazeera: Part II

US doubted dissident, leaks show

Omar Suleiman is Egyptian New Vice-President

EU diplomacy on Egypt: Business as usual

The (Very) Strange Case of Raymond Davis

Comments on Afghan and Hungarian media from not-very-public US public diplomacy

Lessons for America from Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Conundrum Of Global Power Construct

Diagramming Public Diplomacy

VOA jazz history in the news

CBAAC hosts Ambassador Adefuye, signs MoU

Imagining great Irish culture

BBC World Service makes deep cuts

Lucha Libre Diplomacy

Events featuring daughter of Malcolm X ... [and] first African American to play in the NBA scheduled at Vanderbilt University during Black History Month

Obama's handling Egypt pretty well

Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera banned in Egypt: Some government supporters say the network's round-the-clock coverage of the protests is inspiring further unrest. Its journalists will provide updates on Twitter

Egypt: The Twitter-less revolution

New IFJ Report Outlines Restrictions on Journalists in China

'Internet freedom doesn't guarantee real freedom'‎

Iran seems to be fortifying its firewall

WikiLeaks unplugged: The era of WikiLeaks appears over, the group is in disarray even as the U.S. takes measures to prevent future leaks and news organizations move to cut out the middleman

President Obama and that 'exceptional' thing

Getting at the truth of Tillman’s life, death

Turkish action film set to worsen ties with Israel

From North Korea, the art of survival


A Brand New Arab World - AbdAllah Black, "The fact is, Egyptians are no longer looking to the outside; no longer asking for the international help which they have always been calling for. It is all now in the hands of the people. President Obama, sadly, has already lost his credibility on the Egyptian street after the famous — now infamous — Cairo Speech where almost all promises turned out to be public diplomacy.

The question of what is on the horizon, although hard to answer, can only be answered through listening to the slogans heard all over Egypt. After 30 years of oppression, Egyptians are no longer demonstrating only in the hundreds or write their anti-regime slogans in tiny handwriting; now Egyptians are in hundreds of thousands all over the country tearing down the photos of president Mubarak that have been hanging there forever, telling him personally to step down." Image from article

Egypt on Al Jazeera: Part II - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "There have been many developments in the situation in Egypt since my last post, but I don't think that there is anything essentially new to add to those previous observations. ... On the subject of that U.S.-made tear gas... There have been many more reports and images of those coming out. These canisters have not only wounded (and in some cases killed) protesters, but have, obviously, done irreparable damage to the U.S. image in the Arab world. (Not that it's news. But being all over TV and given the circumstances, it makes matters for American public diplomacy much, much worse.)"

US doubted dissident, leaks show - Heather Haddon, New York Post: "Despite strong US ties with Mubarak, there's evidence US officials quietly supported the same activists seeking to remove him, the cable shows. In 2008, the State Department co-sponsored a youth activist conference that helped organizations use social media to spread opposition across the globe -- and helped one of April 6's leaders to attend without the knowledge of Egypt's secret police. The April 6 leader was among delegates from around the world at the Alliance of Youth Movements gathering at Columbia Law School in 2008.

At the three-day confab, participants swapped best practices for taking their activism 'to the streets' and guidance on 'planning events, marches and protests.' There was also a panel devoted to 'Egypt's pro-democracy youth movements' and how to advance them with social media. At the time, top department officials said they backed opposition protests even in countries allied with the United States, such as Turkey and Egypt. 'We are very supportive of pro-democracy groups around the world. And sometimes, that puts us at odds with certain governments,' said James K. Glassman, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs in the Bush administration. Somehow, the April 6 leader's cover was blown when he returned to Cairo, and police confiscated his notes from the conference at the airport. Nonetheless, American diplomats contacted the activist regularly in 2008 and 2009 for information about human-rights abuses. He's out of diplomats' reach now, say news reports: The unnamed protest organizer was picked up last week by Egyptian secret police." Image from

egypt democratic transformation strategy – wikileaks - "C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 CAIRO 003001 ... 5. (SBU) FY 2008: USD 11-13 million: The above programs will continue and new programs will be added to include the following: (a) MEPI-funded conference on the role of Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, in democratic politics: Meridian House to organize a conference for American academics and policy makers (b) Expanding training of domestic and international election monitors. This could include work with the Ibn Khaldun Center and others. (c) Training civil society and think tanks in public opinion polling. (d) Strengthening advocacy skills of civil society and promoting exchanges, especially those focused on coalition building, youth and women, including small grants to be administered by the implementing NGO. (e) Supporting programs aimed at advocacy for women,s rights and expanding the capacity of individuals and groups seeking to safeguard women,s rights and increase their political participation. This would also include a focus on trafficking in person. (f) Providing onshore and offshore support and training for indigenous human rights efforts, including those focused on minorities, religious freedom, freedom speech, and youth. (g) Providing training for independent media, internet-centered media, and increased public diplomacy. 6. (SBU) FY 2009: USD 25 million: Expanding the above programs and adding new programs to adapt to the new political environment, including efforts to prepare for the 2010 parliamentary elections and the 2011 presidential election."

Omar Suleiman is Egyptian New Vice-President - "Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has not been Vice President since he took office in 1981 appointed him head of intelligence Omar Suleiman and confidant to the post on Saturday,

the official news agency said. Vice-President reported that Mubarak occupied before he was nominated for the presidency after the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat. ... He was the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service (EGIS) in 1993, the role in which he played a prominent role in public diplomacy, including in relations with Israel, Egypt, and with major donors to help the United States." Suleiman image from article

EU diplomacy on Egypt: Business as usual - Kosmopolit: "As the story in Egypt unfolds it is interesting (and depressing as usual) to watch EU diplomacy in practice. Especially with all the talk about the 'one voice in the world' and the reforms of the Lisbon Treaty (EEAS etc.). Well, 'quiet diplomacy' in action, I suppose! ... So, what happened in the EU institutions so far? ...[W]e could witness a few basic public diplomacy mistakes: ... The most crucial EU problem has been the lack of any video footage. This is a basic PR mistake. Public diplomacy only exists if the public knows about your diplomacy. Especially in the case of the 'televised' protests in Egypt it would have been a good opportunity to get [High Rep Catherine] Ashton on TV! ... So, business as usual. No 'common' foreign policy of the EU."

The (Very) Strange Case of Raymond Davis - All Things Pakistan: "Raymond Davis, a staff member of the US Consulate in Lahore shot two Pakistani men dead on Thursday in a crowded part of Lahore (Mozang Chowk), according to him in self-defense. A US Consulate vehicle that rushed in to ‘rescue’ Mr. David then ran over a third person, who also died. A murder case was then registered against Raymond Davis,

who was handed into police custody. ... This is about US-Pakistan relations: there is just about nothing that the US can say or do which Pakistanis are likely to believe, and there is just about nothing that Pakistan can say or do which Americans are likely to trust. Which is why getting stuck in the intricacies of the Vienna Convention of 1963 is the exact wrong place to get stuck. This is a time for public diplomacy: certainly from the US and maybe even from Pakistan. It is not in America’s interest to be seen to be standing in the way of justice and due process. And it is not in Pakistan’s interest to be seen to conducting a flawed process of justice." Davis image from article

Comments on Afghan and Hungarian media from not-very-public US public diplomacy - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Lessons for America from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) - Chandra Tamirisa, "I am condemning both ideologies, bin Laden’s and America’s economic and military hegemonic thinking since 1993. As to being all of us children of the same God, it is indisputable, no matter what your faith. Bush genuinely wanted to liberate (not evangelize) and saw that as the solution to America’s security and he is correct. Their liberation elsewhere is in their hands but it is in our interest to ensure that we do not become an obstacle to that desire, which we have been in some measure until 2000. Their elites who are Cold War hangovers must connect with their streets or be replaced by their people. We must help where we can to push that process along but not obstruct. And the best public diplomacy is to be true to who we are as a people and as a government."

Conundrum Of Global Power Construct -

"Former Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Charlotte Beers told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2003 of the frighteningly wide 'gap between how America sees itself and how the rest of the world sees America'. Regarding the Muslim world Charlotte Beers told FRC that 'millions of ordinary people have gravely distorted but carefully cultivated images of us so negative, so weird, so hostile that I can assure you a young generation of terrorists are being created'. This failure of the American public diplomacy in trying 'to do a better job of telling our story' in the words of President Bush could be due to stylistic difference( American penchant for speaking straight as opposed to Muslim perception of direct talks as being confrontational and threatening to its collective social fabric) as to no less Muslim world’s valid perception of mono-centric policy of favoring Israel to the total disregard of the injustice meted out daily to the Arabs , in particular to the Palestinians (American Public Diplomacy in the Arab World- June 2003-R.S.Zaharna American University)." Image from

Grants open for Australia-Korea awareness
- The Korea Herald: "Funding priority will be given to projects which have an identified Korean partner and seek to strengthen Australia’s bilateral relationship with Korea in one or more of the following categories: Year of Friendship 2011; Collaboration on Green Technologies, Environment and Climate Change Issues; Public Diplomacy; Media and Advocacy; Youth and Capacity Building for the Future."

Text plans and work experience, professional and scientific Salehi - [Google translation "from the Persian"]: به گزارش خبرنگار" پارلمانی خبرگزاری فارس، متن برنامهها و سوابق كاری، حرفهای و علمی علیاكبر صالحی سرپرست وزارت امور خارجه كه امروز به مجلس ارائه شد به شرح ذیل است: Fars News Parliamentary report, text and background work programs, professional and academic Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the State House today is presented as follows: ... * State macro strategies الف) امنیت و صلح برای همه A) the security and peace for all ب) دستیابی به رفاه و پیشرفت B) to achieve prosperity and progress
ج) حفظ كرامت انسانها C) preserve human dignity د) مشاركتگرایی و عدم تمكین به ظلم و تبعیض D) lack of devotion to Msharktgrayy oppression and discrimination
ه) سرمایهگذاری در منابع انسانی E) investment in human resources و) ارتقاء خدمات كنسولی And) promote Consular Services * برای تحقق اهداف كلان فوق، وزارت امور خارجه نیازمند بازتعریف و بازسازی رویكردها و ابزار تحقق اهداف نظام در عرصه سیاست خارجی با تاكید بر حفظ مبانی و اصول میباشد. * To achieve the above macro targets, the State Department requires redefinition and reconstruction approaches and tools in the field of system goals of foreign policy with emphasis on foundations and principles are maintained. در این راستا افزون بر استفاده از سازوكارهای شناخته شده و رسمی، برآنیم تا برای پیشبرد اهداف خود، بهرهمندی از امكانات و زمینههای جدید مانند سازمانهای مردم نهاد NGO را در دستور كار قرار داده و همچنین برای تنویر افكار عمومی ملتها در رهیافتی نوین مباحث مربوط به دیپلماسی عمومی Public Diplomacy را مورد توجه ویژه قرار دهیم. In this regard, addition of known and formal mechanisms, Drives up to advance their goals, benefit from new facilities and areas such as governmental organizations, the NGO placed on the agenda for the illumination of public opinion as well as nations in discussions of new approach Public diplomacy Public Diplomacy to put special attention."

Countries sell themselves - "Any national promotion is supposed to reflect the country’s culture, taste and special characters in a condensed form. ... Experience China[:] The promotional video Experience China is an effort to exert 'soft power' through culture and lifestyle. Xinhua News Agency called it a 'public diplomacy campaign'. Massive images flashed on six screens on two sides of a building framed in China’s traditional red color."

Diagramming Public Diplomacy - Ryan J. Suto: "Academically, public diplomacy must be a broad concept. There are many strategies, concepts, terms, and tactics that fit within the field. And just like any other academic field, there are aspects subject to concentration and specialization. That said, I still think the field would benefit from a consensus on a definition. The problem is that everyone else thinks so, too. There are more ‘What is Public Diplomacy?’ writing out there than anyone should read (including this post). Ultimately, we must be aware of the blurry lines that bind fields together. So, I could simply offer up another definition of public diplomacy. I could write that public diplomacy is the image of a state or its people, as maintained by a government, organization, or people, and held by international publics. I could then go on for 500 words defending that definition.

Or, I could just present a diagram, which I think is much more accurate, simple, and enjoyable."

What is “Public Diplomacy”? - Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "From 'Searching for a Theory of Public Diplomacy' by Eytan Gilboa [:]A typical statement would describe public diplomacy as 'direct communication with foreign peoples, with the aim of affecting their thinking and, ultimately, that of their governments' (Malone 1985, 199). This definition does not say who controls this communication, probably due to the widely held notion in the 1980s that only governments use public diplomacy. The definition also suggests a two-step influence process: first, direct communication designed to create supportive public opinion in another state; and second, pressure by the informed public on its government to adopt friendly policies toward the country employing public diplomacy. Later definitions identified actors and content. Tuch (1990, 3) for example, defined public diplomacy as 'a government’s process of communication with foreign publics in an attempt to bring about understanding for its nation’s ideas and ideals, its institutions and culture, as well as its national goals and policies.' Frederick (1993, 229) added information about specific content: 'activities, directed abroad in the fields of information, education, and culture, whose objective is to influence a foreign government, by influencing its citizens.'”

Student Visas, Fake Universities and the National Image - Robin, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "January 30, 2011 I’m catching up on my marking backlog from my India trip so not much to say at the moment..but via the Indian Ministry of External Affairs twitter feed I’m interested to learn about the case of Tri Valley University in San Francisco – which has just been shut down on suspicion of money laundering. Most of the students are Indian and some of them have been electronically tagged – which is going down like a lead balloon in India with the foreign minister weighing in. This is a nice example of a story that is probably not getting any play in the US but has considerable visibility in India and is probably coming as a bit of a surprise to the State Department."

PD officer for a day - Kaitlinfso's Blog: "Right now my job is pretty cool, I am a Consular Officer doing visa interviews everyday, which can be funny. Actually this week I had to walk out on an interview to regain my composure because I actually laughed so hard, my face turned red, and I cried. ... Anyway, today I got to do something more in line with my future career in Public Diplomacy. A few days ago, a local political think tank invited me and a coworker to come give a presentation on the US electoral system as well as the 2008 Elections and Obama’s use of social media.

So basically we had about 2 days to prepare a 1 hour presentation in Spanish. Luckily the State Department already had a power point explaining the electoral college, so we just had to create one on President Obama and Social Media. I must say it was a great success! Most of the people in the room were local politicians/professors/union leaders and they asked many good questions that showed they were really listening and using our presentation to clear up doubts or questions they had on our political system. I was also really glad I got to throw out a plug for Women’s Studies. In the bio they read about me, I explained what the major was, because if it’s still sort of new in the US, its radical in Mexico where liberal arts are barely studied." Image from

Any Silver Lining in Sight?
- "Angus Mackay is a freelance writer in Los Angeles, where for many years he directed Britain’s public diplomacy outreach throughout the southwestern US. A graduate of Cambridge University, he was honored for this work by Her Majesty The Queen in 2007 (MBE.)"


VOA jazz history in the news - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

CBAAC hosts Ambassador Adefuye, signs MoU - "Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) last week hosted Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America Prof. Ade Adefuye, at its offices on Broad Street, Lagos. The meeting afforded HE, Prof Adefuye and Prof Tunde Babawale, Director General CBAAC to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU, covering broad areas of cross-border co-operation and inter-institutional working relationship hopes to explore the instruments of arts and culture for cultural diplomacy in the United States and the Americas to the benefit of Nigeria, Africa and the entire Black world."

Imagining great Irish culture - Paul Keating, Irish Central: "The political and economic news from Ireland continues to spin out of control seemingly in a more troubled downward spiral as the government collapses, and the citizenry hopes to change that direction with new elections. The doom and gloom cycle continues unabated, so it seems like the new ambitious Culture Ireland initiative christened Imagine Ireland couldn’t have come at a better time to America to counter some of that negativity, and also to spark renewed interest in Irish culture for its own sake. One of the chief architects of that campaign launched recently in New York at Lincoln Center was Eugene Downes, the CEO of Culture Ireland who is positively upbeat about the importance of Irish culture on the world stage and for the year 2011 across the length and breadth of the U.S. ... When Downes came onboard three and half years ago, it signaled a determined approach towards cultural Diplomacy given his own background in both the promotion of the arts and foreign service experience.

Building a small but highly effective staff of six people under his direction, he organized annual inroads into the wider cultural sphere represented at the APAP Conference for Arts presenters in the U.S. showcasing Irish artist talent in theater, dance, music, film and other disciplines incrementally but with credible results. Simultaneously there was serendipitous movement on the ground in New York and elsewhere, with New York’s Irish Arts Center proving to be a very viable and visible partner year-round, and also the emergence of actor Gabriel Byrne -- now Ireland’s cultural ambassador to the U.S. -- whose candid comments on the lack of initiative for the Irish arts both in Ireland and in the Irish American community lit a fire in evolving discussions on what should be done. To their credit the Irish government’s ambassadorial and consular offices help make the case to the Irish government and Brian Cowen’s regime for greater support and action to bolster the fledgling cultural efforts, which was also reinforced by the Irish American community and philanthropists like Chuck Feeney and Loretta Brennan Glucksman." Image from

BBC World Service makes deep cuts - The BBC has plans to close five of its 32 World Service language services including its English-language service in the Caribbean. Britain's public broadcaster announced the cuts, which could eliminate up to 650 jobs,

about a quarter of all jobs at the World Service, on Wednesday. ... 'It is awful for British foreign policy because they are weakening substantially one of the most important elements of international cultural diplomacy' — Former World Service director John Tusa." Image from article: BBC global news director Peter Horrocks describes cuts to the World Service at a press conference in London Wednesday.

Lucha Libre Diplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "As the occupants of my Indian household tune in to WWE, I dream of Mexico instituting a cultural diplomacy to send Lucha Libre touring. My two pesos: brand Mexican Lucha Libre as Mexican cultural diplomacy to the multitude of wrestling followers across the world over."

Events featuring daughter of Malcolm X ... [and] first African American to play in the NBA scheduled at Vanderbilt University during Black History Month - "Princine Lewis, Vanderbilt University News: Ambassador Atallah Shabazz, daughter of civil rights leader Malcolm X, will give a talk, 'Melting Pot: Cultural Diplomacy/Multi-National Patriotism,' at Vanderbilt University Thursday, Feb. 10 . ... A producer, writer and diplomat, Shabazz

is the eldest of six daughters born to Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X Shabazz. Appointed as ambassador-at-large by the prime minister of Belize, she is an adviser on international cultural affairs and project development." Shabazz image from article

Student Profile: Jiakai Jeremy Chua‎ - Gaby Roman, InsideVandy: Jiakai Jeremy Chua Sophomore - Class of 2013 A&S English/History, Communication Studies, Economics President - VIP Leadership Council ... 'I am excited about cultural diplomacy and communication. It fascinates me how people would

choose to interact with one another regardless of where they hail from, coaxing new frontiers in human communication. We often find common ground in the many rich and diverse heritages spread across the world, and it is really up to us to use those bridges to connect with others. Alcohol, for example, is one of those bridges.'" Chua‎ image from article

Paris, Italy - "It was one of those nights in Paris when a body was spoiled for choice. ... Ella Krasner and 'cultural diplomacy festival organization' Liberatum were busy honoring a decade of Another Magazine."


Obama's handling Egypt pretty well - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: It's crucial to understand that the United States is not the key driver of the Egyptian protest movement.

Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera banned in Egypt: Some government supporters say the network's round-the-clock coverage of the protests is inspiring further unrest. Its journalists will provide updates on Twitter - Associated Press,

Image from article: An Al-Jazeera employee at the pan-Arab television channel's bureau in Cairo

Egypt: The Twitter-less revolution - Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing: "[I]f protests on 25 January took place in the context of a veritable flood of information, yesterday's massive demonstrations happened in a literal vacuum. Suddenly dragged back to the land-line communications era, the protesters didn't know about Alexandria or Suez; they didn't even know what was happening across the river. It didn't matter. Protest organisers basically bypassed the idea of coordination altogether and just told people, Protest everywhere." (Index on Censorship, via @blakehounshell)

With internet and mobile shut down in Egypt, communication "reverts to a broadcast/receiver relationship" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

China: Bridging news on Egypt - Oiwan Lam, On 28 of January, when commenting on the political situation in Egypt, the spoke person from Chinese foreign ministry stated that the Chinese government will continue to support the Egyptian government in maintaining social stability and oppose any foreign intervention in Egypt. Since then, the term “Egypt” has been blocked from search in major social media websites, such as Sina and Sohu micro-blog hosting sites. Via PR.

New IFJ Report Outlines Restrictions on Journalists in China - Press Release, International Federation of Journalists, posted at A new International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) report has uncovered scores of restrictive orders issued by China’s authorities in 2010 that block information on public health, disasters, corruption and civil unrest. Voices of Courage: Press Freedom in China 2010, released today by IFJ Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong, outlines more than 80 restrictive orders issued last year by authorities in China. The orders are a mere sample of the vast array of controls on information that journalists and media workers are known to grapple with when reporting the news. “The IFJ

has uncovered a series of orders issued by China’s propaganda machine in 2010, a worrying indicator that China’s leaders are not fulfilling the promises they made to the international community ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to move towards a more open media environment,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said. Image from

China - Propaganda department in attack on “false news” - Chinese journalists are to undergo six-month training courses that will teach them how to “eradicate false news, improve the feeling of social responsibility and reinforce journalistic ethics.” “In short, to make journalists themselves actors in censorship,” Reporters Without Borders commented. The initiative comes from the Propaganda department, directly linked to the Communist Party, and follows its announcement of 10 directives relating to the press in 2011.

'Internet freedom doesn't guarantee real freedom'‎ - R Krishna, Daily News & Analysis: The internet is widely believed to foster democracy — the revolution in Tunisia where people drove out their authoritarian president, Ben Ali, was largely organised through online platforms. In 2009, the US State Department directed Twitter to postpone a scheduled maintenance (which would have resulted in an outage of the service) so that Iranians protesting against an unfair election could voice their dissent.

However, while the Tunisian uprising had the desired result, imagine if the president had remained in power. “He would have used all the information posted on social networking sites to crack down on everyone who opposed him. This happened in Iran in 2009,” says Evgeny Morozov, a visiting scholar at Stanford University and author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom. In an interview with DNA, Morozov talks about how the internet can be liberating, but at the same time can also disengage youth from politics. “We all know that there is plenty of highly entertaining content on the internet... This content is much more popular than the politicised reports about human rights abuses and the like. There is this tendency to glamourise all internet users in China, Russia and Iran as dissidents, which I think is unhelpful.” Image from

Iran seems to be fortifying its firewall - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

WikiLeaks unplugged: The era of WikiLeaks appears over, the group is in disarray even as the U.S. takes measures to prevent future leaks and news organizations move to cut out the middleman - The long-term problem every government faces in keeping secrets isn't WikiLeaks; it's the information technology that makes communication easier but makes leaking easier too.

President Obama and that 'exceptional' thing - Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: Is America exceptional or isn't she? Is there something about this country that makes us unique in the world? Of course there is. Through a presidential address Obama should take possession of the word and settle the question once and for all: What does American exceptionalism mean in today's world?

Getting at the truth of Tillman’s life, death - Tom Russo, It feels odd to try to write anything encapsulating “The Tillman Story’’ (2010), filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary about Pat Tillman, the former NFL player turned Iraq War casualty, and his family’s struggle to get straight answers about his death.

After all, if there’s one point that the Tillmans — and the movie — make most emphatically, it’s that all the propaganda-minded bureaucrats and media types who rushed to co-opt his memory didn’t know him at all. The film traces how government and military officials suppressed knowledge that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, bent on making him a national symbol regardless of his wishes. Image from article: "The Tillman Story"

Turkish action film set to worsen ties with Israel - Seda SezeR, Daren Butler, Reuters: A new Turkish film in which an action-man hero avenges the death of Turkish activists in Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship is likely to put new strain on already tense relations between Turkey and Israel. "Valley of the Wolves: Palestine," one of the most expensive Turkish films ever made, has drawn accusations at home of excessive violence and abroad of anti-Israeli propaganda, but it attracted big audiences at its opening this weekend. In the film Polat Alemdar, a secret agent more akin to Rambo than James Bond, emerges from a series of bloody clashes to track down and kill the Israeli commander who ordered the storming of an aid ship heading for Gaza.

From North Korea, the art of survival - Leah Sandals, With its reputation for Stalinist repression, North Korea's image in the West tends to be an ugly one. But a current Toronto exhibition is offering a rare look at this mysterious nation's more beautiful and artistic side. “North Korean Images at Utopia's Edge,” on display at the University of Toronto Art Centre, is the first exhibition of North Korean art in Canada. “Many people think there's no such thing as art in North Korea, there's only propaganda,”

says U of T assistant professor Janet Poole, who, with colleagues in the university's Centre for the Study of Korea, brought this exhibition, originally organized by New York's Korea Society, to Toronto.“This exhibition forces some kind of questioning of that, I think.” The prints in “Utopia's Edge” often reflect official North Korean values of industrial productivity, state benevolence, military pride, self-sufficiency and rural living. The mood is unrelentingly positive, such as children rejoicing over a parent's hard work on the railway. As a result, these images may seem exactly like propaganda to some viewers. Poole also points out that every nation has its own form of utopian art imagery. Image from article: Hwang Chol-Ho's Happiness, 1990

“Electrification and counter-revolution”: Public Diplomacy Implications - John Brown, Notes and Essays: Regarding the Middle East events and the role of the latest media in them, here's this early Soviet-era poster on “Electrification [the Internet?] and counter-revolution [The ME regimes?]” Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ...


"[W]e need to make sure that we don’t just raise a generation of Facebook activists who don’t dare challenge the authority in the real world thinking that their online contribution is enough."

--Evgeny Morozov

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29

"internet is TERRIBLY slow!"

--An Egyptian blogger; image from


As far as I can tell from Google Analytics [GA] and kind readers of this blog, the PDPBR is "firewalled" in mainland China. The PDPBR is, however, not "firewalled" (as far as can tell according to GA) in Iran.


(a) Headlines/Major Items

US-Egypt: Use Power Softly and Forget the Stick

Dominoes in Progress: Egypt and Yemen

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted...

Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting

IIP Bureau Announces Changes To Strengthen Its International Information Programs and Products

Commodore Franchetti Expresses Gratitude to State Department for Pacific Partnership 2010 Assistance

Bipartisan Policy Center Launches Strategic Public Diplomacy Project Led by Former Ambassador James Glassman and Secretary Dan Glickman: National Security Initiative Aims to Transform U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century

Egyptian students visit: Four days include discussions, films

A remarkable, brilliant exercise in public diplomacy‎

Exhibiting Palestine

[Israel Project] Internships January 31 - February 4

Egyptian Diplomat Shares “Message of Peace” Through Songs

Public Diplomacy and International Politics: The Symbolic Constructs of Summits and International Radio News

Egypt cuts off internet from rest of the world, and now reports of blocked international broadcasting

Egypt's Revolution: Mubarak now has few good options for retaining power

Washington and Mr. Mubarak

Egypt protests: America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising -- The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned

In the insultingly bad propaganda category...

Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change

In Egypt, should Internet access be an inalienable right?

Twitter co-founder: Freedom of expression is a human right

A new world disorder: Can Western liberal capitalism learn to coexist with other styles, like those of China, India and Brazil's swiftly developing economies? It can -- and it must

Propaganda Fail: China Pretends Top Gun Footage is Actual Military Excercise

(b) Summaries/other items

US-Egypt: Use Power Softly and Forget the Stick - Robert R. Gosende, James Ketterer, Global Engagement: "Today we need to urgently think through what political change in Egypt will mean for the U.S. To do so we will need to recognize Egypt’s centrality insofar as U.S. relations with the region are concerned. So much attention has been focused on Iraq over the past decade that it seems there is little else on the minds of U.S. policymakers. ... To think through the central challenge of the future of U.S./Egyptian relations, the President should convene a colloquium of experts who would gather immediately to advise him and Secretary Clinton on the road forward between Egypt and the U.S. and inferentially the region. ... [W]hat is needed now is for the U.S. to offer programs in real partnership and the promise of sustained value: educational and cultural exchanges that involve students, faculty, young political leaders, artists and others.

This is not just a nice thing to do, it is at the heart of how we can re-set a relationship between the American people and the Arab world. ... Ask most Egyptians who Mubarak’s chief sponsor is and they will say it is the US. Do you think, then, that they are brimming with good feelings toward the U.S. as they stand up against the batons and water guns of Mubarak’s security forces? But America’s universities, its culture and openness still garner great support in the Arab world. ... As the experts at State, the NSC and USAID gather to deliberate about next steps, the Department’s public diplomacy experts should have a seat at the table." Image from article: Protestors Gather in Tahrir Square, Cairo

Dominoes in Progress: Egypt and Yemen - "In the aftermath of the successful Tunisian protests, Egypt and Yemen have followed suit. Under thirty years of 'president' Mubarak, the Egyptian people faced a reduction in civil liberties and censorship; such as under the emergency laws. There was no freedom of assembly. ... If the U.S. wants to curb anti-Americanism, now is the time for us to step up and support the values which our nation is founded on.

President Obama made a reference to Tunisia and alluded to Egypt in his State of the Union speech, but more interaction and support of the Egyptian public could change minds about the U.S. throughout the Arab world; something that could be a big player. More public diplomacy is needed." Image from article

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted... - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "[S]ocial networking helped to gain global attention and mobilize an army of supporters - internationally - who have advanced the cause of the Egyptian people. Whether it all will have an actual impact, however, is still a matter of question. ... I cannot but think of Gilboa's 'Nonstate Transnational Model' for public diplomacy and his 'Telediplomacy' paradigm: after all, Al Jazeera, a non-state actor, has taken up a cause that the U.S. itself had been so avidly promoting (i.e. human rights and Internet freedom), to advocate on behalf of the Egyptian people through real time news coverage. And it certainly did reach the global public. ... Al Jazeera challenged - outright - the message put out by the U.S. government (I think, rightly so), indirectly calling for it to live up to its own standards and keep to its promises. ... The reaction from the administration was slow and insufficient, especially at first.

In a sense, it was even disastrous when Joe Biden announced that he did not consider Mubarak a 'dictator'. Although everything else he said was very much in line with the message the administration stuck to all along, that one statement and the seemingly proud claim that he knows the Egypt's President well, certainly undercut America's public diplomacy effort on the issue. ... [U]nder the circumstances and given the context, it seems like there has been permanent damage done to U.S. public diplomacy, especially in the Middle East. ... [I]n this information age (which America so enthusiastically promotes), there can be no separation of audiences (be it domestic, or foreign), and with trending stories spreading like wildfire through social networking sites, the current public diplomacy will not only fail to achieve its objective, but it might just as well backfire." Image from article

Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Al-Jazeera is having an incredible run as it bounces from Tunisia to Egypt, and through the Palestine Papers. Al-J is a pd force like no other media actor on the planet."

IIP Bureau Announces Changes To Strengthen Its International Information Programs and Products - Remarks, U.S. State Department: "The Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) today announced a series of changes to strengthen its ability to support American foreign policy goals and national security interests through information products and engagement activities. 'There has been a breathtaking revolution in the global communications environment, and we must keep pace with it,' explained IIP Coordinator Dawn McCall.

'These changes will enable the Bureau of International Information Programs to quickly and effectively reach out to people around the globe in support of American foreign policy priorities.' The Bureau of International Information Programs produces programs and products that inform and engage foreign audiences, including print publications, videos, web-based materials, and speaker programs. It employs 280 government personnel in Washington, D.C. and overseas.' ... McCall noted that the changes will be accomplished with IIP’s current budget and number of government employees. 'The Department of State’s 2010 Strategic Framework for Public Diplomacy established a clear mission, set of priorities, and guidelines for American public diplomacy,' said Judith A. McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. 'These changes to the Bureau of International Information Programs will significantly strengthen IIP’s ability to carry out this critical mission.'” McCall image from

Commodore Franchetti Expresses Gratitude to State Department for Pacific Partnership 2010 Assistance - "The Department of State is coming to realize the tremendous potential of the Pacific Partnership program, begun by the U.S. Navy following the devastating Asian tsunami of December 2004. On January 18, Commodore Lisa Franchetti, mission commander of Pacific Partnership 2010, arrived at the Department to brief Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell on the program and how valuable it is to State, and our partner and mission countries in the Pacific region. She also thanked Campbell for the Department’s support, both from U.S. Embassies and by the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau’s providing a dedicated Foreign Service Liaison Officer (FSLO) to the mission.

Commodore Franchetti also presented briefings to relevant officers in both State and USAID. Commodore Franchetti explained that Pacific Partnership is not just a U.S. Navy port visit, or even a medical mission. It is an annual mission involving hundreds of planners for up to a year, and emphasizes six areas of commitment: onboard surgeries (even-numbered years); medical and dental services; engineering/ renovation projects; training and biomedical equipment repair; veterinary training and services; and public diplomacy-community relations. ... -- U.S. Department of State." Uncaptioned mage from article

Bipartisan Policy Center Launches Strategic Public Diplomacy Project Led by Former Ambassador James Glassman and Secretary Dan Glickman: National Security Initiative Aims to Transform U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century - PRNewswire-USNewswire: "This week the Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) National Security Initiative launched a new project designed to re-conceptualize America's public diplomacy and outreach to audiences around the world. Co-chaired by Ambassador James Glassman and Secretary Dan Glickman,

the Strategic Public Diplomacy Project seeks to develop recommendations on ways to tightly integrate public diplomacy with foreign policy to advance U.S. strategic interests in a new media age. The BPC believes U.S. policymakers should treat public diplomacy as a vital part of our foreign policy toolbox, on par with traditional diplomacy and military power. ... The BPC believes a strong, strategic public diplomacy program can play a significant role in achieving U.S. foreign policy objectives. According to project co-chair Ambassador James Glassman, Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute and formerly Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, 'One important task of public diplomacy must be pushing back and undermining the ideology behind violent extremism, while explaining and advocating free alternatives and diverting young people from following a path that leads to violent extremism.' ... Over the course of the year, the project will: examine lessons learned from prior public diplomacy efforts; define the strategic uses and dimensions of public diplomacy; determine pressing short- and medium-term strategic challenges that public diplomacy can help address; and recommend specific proposals on how public diplomacy programming can be better targeted to audiences in particular countries, such as Pakistan, advance U.S. interests, and how best to engage the private sector for maximum impact around the world." Glassman image from; Glickman image from

World Economic Forum Unveils Tired “Solution” to Global Hunger: Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch - “'Today, USAID, Unilever and Monsanto unveiled their ‘Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture’ proposal at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 'There is nothing new in this so-called ‘vision’. It comes from the same interests that have set agricultural policy for decades, which has done nothing to demonstrate hunger alleviation around the globe. 'This announcement touting ‘public-private partnerships’ is about the bottom line of these companies that have a stranglehold on our government agencies, including USAID. It’s an exercise in public diplomacy, and reaffirmation of status quo—not a new vision for development.['] 'Public-private partnerships have yet to demonstrate their effectiveness for creating change on the ground. What’s needed is a comprehensive rethinking of our global food system, one that supports farmers, rural communities, and true food security—not global agribusiness.'”

Egyptian students visit: Four days include discussions, films - Diane Ramirez, The Rice Thresher: "A group of Egyptian students from the American University in Cairo's Center for American Studies and Research visited Rice last week with the goal of building social, cultural and political links between the United States and the Middle East. The Public Diplomacy and Global Policymaking program at the Baker Institute

arranged the visit in conjunction with 10 Rice students who visited Cairo last summer." See also. Image from

A remarkable, brilliant exercise in public diplomacy‎ - M. Radoshitzky, Jerusalem Post: Much has been written and said about the recent Al-Jazeera leaks. ... [T]hree points are worth considering. First, the Al-Jazeera leaks have been a remarkable and brilliant exercise in public diplomacy. For Israelis, no better testimony exists to the fact that the Palestinian negotiating team (which, unlike the Israeli counterpart, is comprised of the same core people since the Oslo days) is a serious partner with real and known red lines, creativity and flexibility and a great will to see this conflict solved. ... Second, there is a tremendous gap between what goes on in the negotiating room, what has been said and discussed in these rooms for years and decades and what we are told by our leaders goes on in there. ... Third, the concept of a 'package deal' is one of the keys to solving the conflict."

Exhibiting Palestine - Paul Rockower, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The Jerusalem Fund is a non-profit organization located in Washington, D.C. that conducts Palestinian educational, cultural and public diplomacy. ... Founded in 1977, the Jerusalem Fund conducts its various forms of Palestinian public diplomacy through its three respective programs: The Palestine Center, The Gallery, and The Humanitarian Link. ... Public and cultural diplomacy is successful as a form of iconoclasm that demolishes previously held images and forces audiences to re-imagine prior notions. In this regard, the Jerusalem Fund carries out meaningful Palestinian public diplomacy by using cultural diplomacy to break down American stereotypes towards Palestinians and the Middle East. I only wish such dialogue was conducted with Israelis, and vice-versa, but that remains for a different discussion."

Internships January 31 - February 4 - Monday Memo: "The Israel Project's (TIP) Media fellows Program is looking for students to participate in their summer fellowship. The program is open to undergraduate, graduate students and recent graduates who want to enter professions in journalism, foreign policy or Israel advocacy.

Fellows will attend a series of educational workshops with leading journalists, pollsters, activists, public and media relations specialists and public diplomacy professionals. Fellows will also have the opportunity to work one-on-one with TIPS's professional staff of former journalists and communications specialists." Image from

Egyptian Diplomat Shares “Message of Peace” Through Songs - Leroy M. Sonpon, III, Liberian Daily Observer: "'To the dream of being at peace with yourself and in harmony with others, to love and be loved, and to be happy without hurting others, that is the central theme in peaceful and positive human relations. But it is never easy, as it partially lies in all of what is said, but more in what is unsaid[.]' The foregoing is part of one of the lyrics in Dr. Mohammed Kazem's songs,

presented before an impressive and crowded audience last Tuesday, January 26, in the Cecil Dennis' Auditorium, at the Foreign Ministry. The celebrated song writer, songster and musician, who is also an Egyptian Diplomat, drew inspiration and strength from the human experience, fostering synergy between diplomacy and music, in the framework of a public diplomacy initiative 'In Search of Understanding,' to stress what is shared and common among the peoples of the world. ... Musician Mohammed Kazem is a diplomat and counselor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo, Egypt. He holds a PhD in international relations and public diplomacy." Kazem image from

Public Diplomacy and International Politics: The Symbolic Constructs of Summits and International Radio News - "This book examines international radio news coverage of the four superpower summit meetings between Soviets and Americans from 1987 to 1990.

It concentrates on the symbolic constructs used by radio services to report about the summits, including their treatments of the two superpowers, their leaders, and their perspectives as recorded in interviews, press conferences and releases, joint communiques, and briefings. The study assesses the degree of success enjoyed by each of the superpowers in directing the nature of international news coverage, particularly the public relations battle between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan."

Public Relations Division 2010 Abstracts - "Factors Contributing to Anti-Americanism Among People Abroad: The Frontlines Perspective of U.S. Public Diplomats • Kathy Fitzpatrick, Quinnipiac University; alice kendrick, Southern Methodist University; Jami Fullerton, Oklahoma State University • This study examined the views of U.S. public diplomats

on factors that contribute to anti-American attitudes among people abroad. The purpose was to gain a better understanding of the most significant causes of anti-Americanism through the first-hand experiences of the men and women who have served on the front lines of U.S. public diplomacy and to consider the implications for U.S. public diplomacy going forward. A factor analysis revealed four underlying dimensions of anti-Americanism, which were labeled Information, Culture, Policy and Values. The public diplomats rated the Policy factor as the most significant, followed by the Information factor, the Culture factor and the Values factor." Image from

International Exchange Student Coordinator (Chattanooga) - "Contribute to greater international understanding by offering exchange students the chance to realize their dream of attending an American high school for an academic year. Exchange students learn through experience about living in America while their host families and schools benefit by learning first hand about the customs and perspectives of the student in their care. Join the staff of The Laurasian Institution (TLI) in creating the very best exchange environment for both students and families. Take pride in working with colleagues who share your commitment to quality exchange. Benefit from the flexibility of setting your own schedules and time commitments. Selection of quality host schools and host families is key to achieving the program's educational, cross-cultural, and public diplomacy goals, including helping the exchange student achieve familiarity with life in the U.S. and better understand American culture."

Maintaining Relations: Making Or Breaking of a Relation Depends on YOU -

"Examples show that people who are alone can be happy and are left alone in most of the dealings in daily life. This concept brings in the concept of public diplomacy, where relations are maintained between states. But maintaining a healthy relationship is not that easy." Image from

Weiji Hou global diplomatic decryption times - "[I]f future foreign politicians, diplomats, journalists, civil society members and U.S. diplomats spoke during a period of time the name will be on the WikiLeaks network, then no one is willing to say anything in the U.S. diplomatic words? If the loss of such informal diplomatic channels, American foreign in the end how to do it? Also asked, after WikiLeaks foreign countries in the world at the end do? ... More important, these 25 million documents in the original, inevitably reveal the final, that is, completely destroyed the

system of annual U.S. foreign countries, where the establishment of diplomats, experts, journalists, circles NGO of people rely on – the so-called 'last three feet' diplomatic circles. Hou decryption weiji circle was to remedy the trust, you can only do this kind of 'public diplomacy' more transparent. However, this can take the time to do in the West, but in non-Western societies, is quite far to achieve: freedom of expression is the basis for a more transparent environment for foreign affairs." Image from


Summaries/all items

Egypt cuts off internet from rest of the world, and now reports of blocked international broadcasting - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Egypt's Revolution: Mubarak now has few good options for retaining power - Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is right to call for the government to restrain the police and stop blocking the Internet, but it doesn't help when Vice President Joe Biden denies the obvious fact that Mr. Mubarak is a "dictator."

The post-Mubarak era is coming one way or another, and the U.S. can't be seen as the authoritarian's last friend. Image from

Washington and Mr. Mubarak - Editorial, New York Times: The administration struggled to get its public message right this week.

Egypt protests: America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising -- The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned -

The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But the leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East. Image from

In the insultingly bad propaganda category... - Lenin's Tomb: This in the Daily Telegraph, more for the spin than the unremarkable 'disclosure’: Here is the secret document sent from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington disclosing the extent of American support for the protesters behind the Egypt uprising.."As you'll discover upon looking at the document, the 'extent of American support' for these protesters is nil. The document is a State Department memo describing, in terms dripping with condescension and contempt,

the claims of a coopted member of a pro-US 'April 6' group who is obviously on the outside of the opposition mainstream and who they regard as a bit of a Walter Mitty. The US supplied Mubarak and his security forces with at least $1.5bn last year. Egypt is the second largest recipient of US overseas aid, not only in the region but in the world. This is mostly military aid, used primarily for internal security. The weapons being used against protesters, which have killed dozens – an estimated 95 people - so far, are produced in and supplied by the United States. Image from article

Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change – Scott Shane, New York Times: Repressive regimes around the world may have fallen behind their opponents in recent years in exploiting new technologies — not unexpected when aging autocrats face younger, more tech-savvy opponents. But in Minsk and Moscow, Tehran and Beijing, governments have begun to climb the steep learning curve and turn the new Internet tools to their own, antidemocratic purposes. The countertrend has sparked a debate over whether the conventional wisdom that the Internet and social networking inherently tip the balance of power in favor of democracy is mistaken. A new book, “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom,” by a young Belarus-born American scholar, Evgeny Morozov,

has made the case most provocatively, describing instance after instance of strongmen finding ways to use new media to their advantage. Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International, said the popular networking services, like most technologies, are politically neutral. “There’s nothing deterministic about these tools — Gutenberg’s press, or fax machines or Facebook,” Ms. Brown said. “They can be used to promote human rights or to undermine human rights.” This is the point of Mr. Morozov, 26, a visiting scholar at Stanford. In “The Net Delusion,” he presents an answer to the “cyberutopians” who assume that the Internet inevitably fuels democracy. He coined the term “spinternet” to capture the spin applied to the Web by governments that are beginning to master it. See also John Brown, "What's important, what's happening, and what's public diplomacy," Huffington Post (July 26, 2010). Morozov image from

In Egypt, should Internet access be an inalienable right? - Monica Hesse, Washington Post: The most recent events in Egypt caused some to ponder a question that, on its face, sounds ludicrous: Has society reached the point at which Internet access is a basic human right? Is this public outcry just 21st-century indignation - one born of a world where "social networking" is nearly always something that happens in front of a screen? Only in a land of First World concerns could the lack of Internet access be considered a violation of basic rights. They have no bread? Let them eat Google. Via WC.

Twitter co-founder: Freedom of expression is a human right - Twitter's Biz Stone argued that freedom of expression is a human right in a post on the company's blog Friday, coinciding with Egypt's blackout of the Internet and cellphone service. "Our goal is to instantly connect people everywhere to what is most meaningful to them.

For this to happen, freedom of expression is essential," the company co-founder said in the post, titled The Tweets Must Flow. Image from

A new world disorder: Can Western liberal capitalism learn to coexist with other styles, like those of China, India and Brazil's swiftly developing economies? It can -- and it must - Timothy Garton Ash, Western capitalism survives, but limping, wounded and carrying a heavy load of debt, inequality, demography, neglected infrastructure, social discontent and unrealistic expectations. Meanwhile, other variants of capitalism — Chinese, Indian, Russian, Brazilian — are surging ahead, exploiting the advantages of backwardness, and their economic dynamism is rapidly being translated into political power. The result? Not a unipolar world, converging on a single model of liberal democratic capitalism, but a no-polar world, diverging toward many different national versions of often illiberal capitalism. Not a new world order but a new world disorder — fractured, overheated, pregnant with future conflicts. We in the West must put our own houses in order. Physician, heal thyself. The most important steps we can take for our influence abroad are those we take at home.

Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South) – 290120UTC Jan 11 - Blog

Propaganda Fail: China Pretends Top Gun Footage is Actual Military Excercise - Footage that Chinese state TV officials may have tried to pass off as the results of a recent military exercise

is probably stolen from of one of the dog fight scenes in Top Gun. Image from article

Art Of Soviet Propaganda - Cited in John Brown, Notes and Essays: Contains fascinating samples of Soviet propaganda posters.

Image from original cited article

Roman exhibition is taster of Carlisle's new gallery‎ - Pam McClounie, News & Star: A taster of the new gallery can be experienced from today with the touring exhibition The Eagles Have Landed. The exhibition looks at the Roman occupation of Northern England. It has been created by the team of archaeological experts at Tullie House with help from Hadrian’s Wall Heritage.

It explores themes such as Propaganda and Spin, and Shock and Awe, telling stories of the Roman advancement and occupation. Image from


"As so often in history, hubris was followed by nemesis."

--Timothy Garton Ash, regarding how the West squandered its late 20th century victory.

"In one of the novels by the late Egyptian novelist and Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, a pharaoh is told by his lovely mistress Rabudis of rumors of pending rebellion, of popular disaffection. 'And they say the priests are a powerful group with control over the hearts and the minds of the people.' But he smiles and answers. 'But I am the stronger.' 'What of the anger of the people my lord,' she asks?

'It will calm down when they see me on my chariot.'"

--Fouad Ajami, "Rebellion in the Land of the Pharaohs: A man who places himself at the helm for three decades inevitably becomes the target of all the realm's discontents," Wall Street Journal; image from

"Some futurists have recently begun to suggest that the Internet and its assorted devices are not merely tools for human use, but rather the future of human evolution. They are the caches we use - via Facebook photos, blog entries, saved Google chats - to store memories and information - they are the appendages that humans will use to expand our brains. If you subscribe to this rather extreme philosophy, then denial of Internet is not only denial of communication but a denial of modern selfhood."

--Monica Hesse, "In Egypt, should Internet access be an inalienable right?," Washington Post


--From Creepy Children's Playgrounds (in Russia)