Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 29-30

"So grateful I found the Master of Public Diplomacy program, and for all the brilliant friends I met along the way. Now, just the minor task of finding a job. Broke 80 applications today, and hoping to start hearing back from them soon."

--Ren's Micro Diplomacy; image from


Exposing Government Prop[a] [on the Syrian situation]; via


Al-Qa'ida and Its Affiliates Remarks Daniel Benjamin Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism New America Foundation Conference Washington, DC - U.S. Department Of State: "To counter AQ propaganda, we have helped stand up within the State Department, an interagency body called the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communication (CSCC), under the Bureau of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, to push back against AQ’s online and media activities. One emphasis of the CSCC’s work has been re-orienting the Digital Outreach Team to place greater emphasis on challenging the purveyors of extremist messages online, in Arabic and Urdu. This has included producing some original video content that some of you may be familiar with."
Vietnam Legacy Shapes Today's Military Leaders - Donna Miles, Department of Defense: "Petraeus has studied the Vietnam experience thoroughly, even writing his doctoral dissertation at Princeton University on 'The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam.' That dissertation, published in 1987, recognized the lasting impact the Vietnam experience would have. 'The legacy of Vietnam is unlikely to soon recede as an important influence on America’s senior military,' Petraeus wrote. 'The frustrations of Vietnam are too deeply etched in the minds of those who now lead the services and the combatant commanders. Vietnam cost the military dearly,' he continued. 'It left America’s military leaders confounded, dismayed and discouraged. Even worse, it devastated the armed forces, robbing them of dignity, money and qualified people for a decade.' This experience, Petraeus wrote, left many military leaders overly cautious. Specifically, he said, many felt 'they should advise against involvement in counterinsurgencies unless specific, perhaps unlikely circumstances' ensure domestic public support, the promise of a quick campaign and the freedom to use whatever force is needed to achieve rapid victory. Later in his career, as he oversaw the revision of the military’s counterinsurgency field manual, Petraeus applied some of the lessons learned through the Vietnam experience. That manual has become the guide for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It emphasizes that military power alone can’t succeed against an insurgency, and the importance of public diplomacy as part of a 'comprehensive strategy employing all instruments of national power.'”

29 April, 2011, Fri, SoS Clinton and Staff Schedules - A History of American Diplomacy: "US FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS JUDITH MCHALE 12:00 p.m. Under Secretary McHale attends a lunch in honor of Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer hosted by the Atlantic Council, at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC.

(MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST) 2:00 p.m. Under Secretary McHale meets with Botswanan Ambassador Tebelelo Seretse, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 6:00 p.m. Under Secretary McHale attends a reception in celebration of the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales to Miss Catherine Middleton, at the British ambassador’s residence. (MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)" Image from

US Embassy Gets New PR Chief‎ - Greg Hazley, O'Dwyer's PR News - [Entry from Google search; access to full article through subscription:] "[C]risis communications specialist Eileen O'Connor is slated to take over as director of communications and public diplomacy for the US Embassy in Kabul."

POMED Notes: “What is Democracy Assistance? What does it really accomplish? How does it further US national interests?” - Alec, The POMED Wire, Project on Middle East Democracy: "On Thursday, top representatives of U.S. non-governmental democracy assistance associations held a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled, 'What is Democracy Assistance?

What does it really accomplish? How does it further US national interests?' The panel discussion featured: Lorne Craner, President, International Republican Institute; Ken Wollack, President, National Democratic Institute; Paula Schriefer, Director of Advocacy, Freedom House; May T. Kosba, Atlas Corps Fellow and Egyptian activist; David J. Kramer, Executive Director, Freedom House, moderated the event. ... All ... [the] organization presidents ... added the caveat that well-placed material assistance can be an efficient public diplomacy tool. They cited the example of an American printing press imported to Uzbekistan that is still valued there decades later and cost a fraction of the price as sending dozens of consultants over the same time period." Image from

Indonesia Chapter: Annual Report of U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom - lizryder, "U.S. assistance to Indonesia has supported programs in conflict resolution, multi-religious dialogue and tolerance, pluralism, public diplomacy, and education that are in line with recommendations made by USCIRF in previous years. Such programs included opportunities for Indonesian and American experts to collaborate and build curriculum to promote interfaith dialogue, religious pluralism, and legal reform."

The brief life of, overtaken by the State Department's "social media projects" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Public Diplomacy Shifts to Social Media - Magda, AU Social Media Class: "Recently, I found this interesting article that, a major global public diplomacy website is shutting down. States Department that organized the portal decided that the portal is not as effective anymore. It decided to switch its efforts and information to social media. From now to distribute the information they will use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Is that a good decision? In my opinion some organization are blinded by today’s technological progress and development. Social media interaction can be very effective. However, not until it is used appropriate way. The State Department cannot forget that the aspects of social media is not anymore for sending information but also to engage the public and create relationship with the target audience. Without this concept in mind it is sure that its attempt could be a big failure." Image from

Report Review: "Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century" Foreign Policy at Brookings By Kristin M. Lord (November 2008) - Leyla, Public and Cultural Diplomacy C: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University

The Vancouver Olympics Cables: Day 14 From Feb. 25, 2010, as published April 28, 2011 by WikiLeaks - "UNCLAS VANCOUVER 000106 ... SUBJECT: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Situation Report #15 ... "PUBLIC AFFAIRS/PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ¶13.

Public Affairs-The brief detention of a US athlete was reported by numerous news sources on February 25,th spurring several calls to the Consulate from other media organizations. Post has declined comment, citing privacy laws." Image from

British Consul Oliver Franklin Hosts 4/29 Royal Wedding at Rittenhouse Hotel - Bobbi Booker,, Philadelphia: "Franklin [Philadelphia's Honorary British Consul, Oliver St. Clair Franklin, O.B.E., appointed to the title in 1999 by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, works with the British Embassy and Consulates on trade, investment, consular issues and public diplomacy. 'Public diplomacy is going out, waving the flag and telling people how appriciative [sic] the Royal Family is for their support of Will and Kate and for their support of the United Kingdom in general,' explained Franklin."

In Defence of the British Monarchy - "[Re] the importance of the monarchy in helping Britain advance its public diplomacy interests [:] 'Public diplomacy' refers to the way nations attempt to favorably influence global public opinion by courting media and other opinion-makers in other countries. The end game of public diplomacy is to boost a country's image and help it advance its political, diplomatic, cultural and economic interests. Countries spend millions on public diplomacy, and I suspect a lot of it is of marginal benefit. The British monarchy,

in my opinion, plays an important role in keeping the country on the global map despite Britain's huge decline in stature and influence over the past century. World leaders and their spouses love getting their photos taken with the more popular members of the British royal family, and Britain's global public image -- for better and often for worse -- is deeply influenced by the monarchy. I have no doubt that when anyone with a British accent walks into a corporate boardroom in another country that person arrives with an indelible brand. Canada? People in other countries may or may not have obscure images of snow, hockey, bears, Mounties, aboriginal people and maple syrup, but it's a lot more fuzzy." Image from

Aussies, NZers flee London for wedding - Sky News Australia: "Not every London-based Aussie and New Zealander has entered royal wedding party mode - many have used the festivities

as a chance to escape the stifling heat and crowds. ... New Zealand's High Commission public diplomacy manager Madeleine Haden said she would pop out of the office for the festivities but almost everyone else was heading out of town." Image from article

For royal wedding coverage, BBC has less "fairytale narrative" and "cheesy-looking" graphics than US networks - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting

Iran, Cuba firm to deepen ties - "Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast held separate talks with Cuban foreign minister’s deputies Ana Teresita Gonzalez Fraga and Marcos Rodriguez Costa on Wednesday morning in which the sides expressed their willingness to strengthen ties. In talks with Teresita Gonzalez Fraga,

Mehmanparast said Tehran and Havana share common views and concerns on various international issues and this 'can lay the groundwork for strengthening bilateral relations' especially in economic areas. ... She also called for expansion of relations between Tehran and Havana in all arenas particularly in public diplomacy and media cooperation." Image from article

Egyptian delegation heads to Ethiopia for consultation - "A popular Egyptian public diplomacy delegation will arrive in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday to pave the road for a better relationship between the two countries, as part of the efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Nile water dispute and other issues related to it." See also.

No UN panel in Afghanistan and Iraq where over a million had died (Cont. from yesterday) - Rohan Gunaratna - Shakuntala Perera, Gunaratna: "The Sri Lankan government should create within its ministry of external affairs a post of Additional Secretary for Public Diplomacy and appoint Ravinatha Ariyasinghe, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to EU, to head it.

In addition to media, counter terrorism, this new division should include two new capabilities – diaspora affairs and NGOS division especially to keep advocacy NGOS such as human rights organizations briefed. While harnessing its best minds, the Sri Lankan foreign office cannot fight this battle without bringing in a new set of highly skilled men and women to the frontline. They should not be relatives or friends or party activists but some of the best minds of Sri Lanka."

Yin or Yang? China and the Muslim world - Idriss J. Aberkane, "[I]n complement to earlier scholarly approaches studying Uyghurs under the angle of either separatism or latent colonialism (Kurlantzick 2004, Gladney 2004, Dreyer 2005 and Van Wie Davis 2008) this article’s vision is that of seeing China and its Muslim population a single entity which has not yet achieved awareness of its fundamental historical, cultural and sociological unity. We argue such awareness is essential to a grand Peace doctrine in both foreign and public diplomacy (ie propaganda) that would in turn be most profitable to China."

Is “Public Diplomacy” really Diplomacy or a Form of Marketing to an International Audience? - Juan E. “Jed” Dayang, Jr., Reflective Diplomat: "Public diplomacy is not a sales pitch aimed at a profit. To be effective, PD must be engaged in a dialogue with the foreign publics. It is not a one way or top down communication activity but a two-way communication which gives importance to listening as much as in conveying its message and influencing public opinion. Cultural understanding is key to communication because information is filtered through the cultural senses of the listener.

PD is also not propaganda which has a negative connotation of being manipulative, deceitful and uses elements of coercion by more powerful states. ... [P]ublic diplomacy can have various applications. For some countries, the distinction of PD and public affairs is blurred. For instance, for the Philippines and India, which have large diaspora communities overseas, its public diplomacy effort is not only aimed to influence foreign audiences but also to influence the public opinion of its citizens overseas." Image from

Dearborn Arab Journalism Conference features local leaders and journalists from across country - Arab Journalism: "Chicago/Detroit – Journalists from across the country will join more than 300 attendees and 120 students at a weekend-long conference to address challenges facing the nation’s American Arab and Muslim community in the decade since the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. ... A panel will also discuss the growing challenges facing American Arabs in journalism reviewing the assaults on Octavia Nasr and Helen Thomas, while another will explore U.S. Policy in the Middle Eat [sic] with the State Department’s Near Affairs Director of Public Diplomacy Phil Frayne and journalists George Hishmeh and Ali Younes."

Obama's CEO Challenge - News Release, "The job of America's President is in every dimension more complex and challenging than the job of CEO. Borrowing the leadership lessons of history's best and insurgent CEOs will help President Obama lead our nation. And playing more offense, utilizing a Prune and Grow approach and building a strategic blueprint can help America lead greatly into the 21st Century. David Morey is an award-winning author of The Underdog Advantage and Vice Chairman of Core Strategy Group. An expert in global business, he led the CFR Task Force on Public Diplomacy and advised the 2008 Obama campaign on strategy."

Tips For Information: CliffsTestPrep Foreign Service Officer Exam: Preparation for the Written Exam and the Oral Assessment - [Contents:] "Part I: Written Exam: The Job Knowledge Test * Descriptions

of the five general career track knowledge areas–management, consular, economic, political, and public diplomacy."


Freedom now rings from one mountaintop radio station in western Libya: Radio Free Nalut's change from propaganda tool for Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi to rebel rallying cry highlights a new push to spread the revolution Libya's Qaddafi-controlled west - Rebel-run “Radio Free Nalut” new mission? To spread anti-Qaddafi sentiment everywhere along the 90-mile-long Nafusah mountain, where rebels are making gains against loyalist soldiers after more than two months of fighting.

Image, with caption: After years of having to broadcast propaganda for Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, presenters at Radio Free Nalut are now free to broadcast pro-revolutionary messages.

NATO dismisses Taliban offensive as propaganda - Slobodan Lekic, NATO says Taliban’s announcement of their spring military offensive in Afghanistan is a sign of the insurgents’ desperation over recent setbacks. A NATO official in Brussels also said Taliban will try to gain a propaganda victory through coordinated attacks and that the U.S.-led coalition already has tightened security.

Obama’s Russian lessons: How the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan - Artemy Kalinovsky, Washington Post: When this administration or another one decides to withdraw, it will not be because the war is too costly

but because it no longer makes sense. At that point, perhaps, the president will say, as Gorbachev did to his colleagues: “We are not going to save the regime. We’ve already transformed it.” Image from article, with caption: Soviet army soldiers wave as their last detachment leaves Afghanistan for then-Soviet Uzbekistan on Feb. 15, 1989.

Will the Afghan army ever stand up and fight? - Michael F. Walker, Washington Post: Violent tribal feuding and internecine warfare will remain part of life in large swaths of the country; it is hard to imagine that Afghanistan will ever be fully pacified. Ancient rivalries and alliances are the core of the country’s tribal power structure, and the violent struggle to protect one’s power base is a perpetual endeavor for tribal leaders. Unless the ANA (Afghan National Army) begins controlling territory on its own accord, compiling a winning record without direct ISAF (the U.S.-led International Assistance Security Force) military assistance, it is very possible that it will degrade and fragment after the departure of ISAF combat forces, much as the DRA disintegrated after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

Propaganda Campaign Against Libya Denounced - Bongiwe Dlamini, The crisis in Libya needs to be seen in a proper perspective stripped off the doctored and manipulated photos and videos emanating from the West. All the bullets fired by Gaddafi are evil and “killing his people,” while the bullets fired by the rebels are for “Liberation.” Nothing is said about western aerial bombardments targeting civilian population centers in Libya.

The western media turned a blind eye when in the early days of the uprising; the rebels prowled the streets of Benghazi slaughtering dark skinned Libyans claiming they were mercenaries. When western politicians close ranks behind an unjust military action for oil, journalists must have the intellectual independence to supply the critical counterweight on their own; otherwise everyone will continue to cry over spilt innocent blood. Image from

Balloons vs. Buffoon: Aerial Propaganda Hits Kim Jong Il - Adam Rawnsley, Wired: The United States may be hooked on “internet freedom” as its method of choice for undermining dictatorships. But activists in South Korea are using a hybrid of old-school and new technologies to get the word out in North Korea against Kim Jong Il and his pals: balloons packed with paper and digital propaganda. They’re easy to produce and distribute — but potentially dangerous. South Korean activists floated another cluster of balloons packed with pro-democracy and anti-regime news into North Korea today, defying the Hermit Kingdom’s threats to shell them into oblivion for the aerial info-war tactic. Voice of America’s ace Asia correspondent Steve Herman tweets that this latest balloon salvo also carries some nastygrams making fun of Kim Jong Il and his family. ... North Korea’s been pretty aggro as it undergoes a leadership transition, shelling a South Korean island near the two countries’ disputed border and showing off a new nuclear weapons facility. Provoking the North with a balloon bombardment during this sensitive time might provide some inspiration to North Koreans — but it might also provoke another showdown with an increasingly itch-trigger-fingered North.

China’s New Age Propaganda Machinery –- Analysis - SAAG, In communist regimes “culture” was a very important and effective weapon to indoctrinate and control the masses, and it remains so in China. More recently, the entire gamut of China’s “culture”

politics have adopted a more sophisticated approach of building relations not only with countries and governments, but with institutions including educational institutions, think tanks, media houses, political parties and individuals. China’s media and culture departments are working together with the International Liaison Department, now International Department of the party. When China uses “Culture” as a whole for political and strategic ends, there is a problem. It is un-fortunate, however, that China makes everything political. That is the tragedy. This is “soft power” warfare. The new propaganda initiative appears to be trying to replace Mao Zedong’s people’s revolution in neighbouring countries with a tactic of “peaceful psychological evolution”. This development requires a continuous evaluation. Image from

The second deputy speaker of the National Assembly reported: Venezuelan ruling party conducts workshop to confront fourth generation warfare; The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will prepare its 24 state political teams -  The Communication, Propaganda and Agitation Committee of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will conduct on Friday and Saturday a workshop to establish a common communicational strategy intended to "counter the fourth generation warfare." Blanca Eekhout, a PSUV leader and second deputy speaker of the National Assembly, said that members of state political teams will participate in the workshop as part of the PSUV's Third Strategic Line on Policy Actions under which the political party is expected to become a powerful means of propaganda and agitation. "We need communication, agitation and propaganda to stop the war that the private media have launched against us," Eekhout said at a press conference.

Online commentator receives harsh sentence in Vietnam - Vietnamese authorities should release democracy activist and online commentator Vi Duc Hoi, who was given a five-year prison term Tuesday for critical essays posted on the Internet, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Hoi, a former high-ranking Communist party member turned pro-democracy activist, was originally sentenced to eight years in prison and five years of house arrest in January on charges of disseminating "propaganda against the state" for commentaries he posted on the Internet, according to international news reports. An appeals court in Lang Son province reduced the terms to five years in prison and three years house arrest. Vi Duc Hoi image from

Young 'guerillas' in cyberspace - Kenfrey Kiberenge, (Kenya), Experts are raising the alarm over an increasing misuse of social media by young people to fan hate speech ahead of the General Election. The country’s young generation has of late lost the enviable tag of "least tribal grouping" with advent of the social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. Innumerable youth have been reduced to posting ‘status’ and ‘tweets’ with tribal intonations, as well as spreading propaganda against politicians and tribes they dislike.

Azerbaijan detains woman engaged in illegal propaganda of 'Jehovah's Witnesses' sect -

Music and the Cold War - Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books, posted at: "The claim that the prestige of American modernism is basically due to the programs of the CIA and the American government is simply a warmed-up version of a French theory of some years ago that the success of American Abstract Expressionism was due to a conspiracy of art dealers, aided by official American propaganda. This was inspired by indignant patriotic panic at the replacement of Paris by New York for a few years as the major center of artistic innovation and interest."


"As someone who spent the last decade and a half either inside the think tank world or in government, consuming it’s [sic] products, I have the greatest admiration for what you have achieved here in such a short period of time at the New America Foundation."

--Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State


Mark Frauenfelder, Donald "China is raping this country" Trump's line of hideously ugly clothes are made in China, Boing Boing

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28

"We tended to do it privately."

--Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, noting that her former colleague Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "was never in the room with the president and me"; see also, and also John Brown, "10 Percent Intellectual: The Mind of Condoleezza Rice," PR Watch (2008); image from


The Exchange 2.0 Summit - Remarks Judith A. McHale Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs U.S. Institute of Peace Washington, DC April 27, 2011: "[F]ace-to-face interactions are the bread and butter of our public diplomacy exchanges. But connective technologies allow us to butter our bread on both sides. Exchange 2.0 is not a replacement for the tried and true methods of international exchange. There is no virtual equivalent for the face-to-face impact of interactions between Americans and people of other cultures. Exchange 2.0 is a complement rather than a competitor – one we cannot afford to ignore. ... First, connective technologies allow us to scale up and adapt our exchanges to reach a wider, more diverse audience. ... Second, social media provide a platform to sustain our meaningful engagement with alumni once they have completed an international exchange program. ... Third,

social media allow us to engage with youth where they live – whether online or on their mobile phone. ... And finally, social media allow us to keep up with the speed at which our world happens. ... Added to these assets is a bonus advantage: Exchanges using social media technology cost relatively little to implement but can return large benefits."  Image from

A K Antony gains sainthood - M K Bhadrakumar, Rediff: "Whether the sudden exit of US Ambassador Timothy Roemer from his assignment in Delhi and the government’’s decision to reject the two American bids for the MMRCA [Multi-role combat aircraft] tender are related developments is a moot point. ... MMRCA is a bloody serious affair for the Indians and the IAF and Delhi cannot go emotional about it when arriving at a decision. But then, it is a characteristic feature of US (and Israeli) public diplomacy to keep puffing up hot air balloons and foisting then above the playground and make the spectators feel they are the real thing. Whereas, any close observer of the Indian policies - unless one were hopelessly marooned at the extreme wing of the ideological left or the ideologically vacuous Indian right - would have estimated all along that at the end of the day, Delhi would have no option but to assess the operational and strategic needs of its air force with clinical detachment."

4/27/2011: USCIRF: Easter Detentions Show Need for Religious Freedom Priority in U.S.-China Relations - "The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urges the State Department during this week’s Human Rights dialogue and the upcoming Strategic and Economic dialogue with China to raise religious freedom issues prominently and demonstrate it is a critical U.S. interest. ... In its Annual Report, USCIRF recommends that in the planning and structure of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the U.S. government should [inter alia] ... ensure that

religious freedom priorities raised in the Strategic Dialogue are implemented through appropriate U.S. government foreign assistance programs on such issues as legal reform, civil society capacity-building, public diplomacy, and cultural and religious preservation and exchanges." Image from

Latvia - Foreign Ministry to host NATO Summit simulation game Afghanistan 2014: NATO's further role in stabilisation of region - "The NATO Summit Simulation game, is being organised for the third time by the Foreign Ministry in association with the Transatlantic Organisation of Latvia (LATO), and also with assistance from the Ministry of Defence, NATO's Public Diplomacy Department, and Konrad Adenauer Foundation. This year, the game is also supported by the People’s Party group of the European Parliament."

Report: PA Unity Deal is Cosmetic, Bogus - Gil Ronen, Arutz Sheva: "Reports of a unity agreement between the twin terror movements occupying parts of the Land of Israel are deceptive, according to a report Thursday in Maariv. The newspaper's Arab affairs expert, Amit Cohen, wrote that the disagreements that have been dividing Fatah and Hamas have not been resolved and that 'unity' between the two is unlikely to hold up for very long.

The announcement about a unity deal is a cosmetic public diplomacy move, he estimated, designed to make the threat of a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinian Authority in September more credible."  Image from

Help us help you: It’s time for a hasbara rethink, says the director of British Muslims for Israel
- Hasan Afzal, Jerusalem Post: "In Europe, hasbara is nothing more than a theory that friends of Israel allude to at interfaith events, and the occasional objection to a boycott motion through the student union. Yet among the countless threats with which the Jewish state must deal, it is indisputable that one of them is perpetual delegitimization, to the point where the state’s very existence is now up for debate. ... No rational observer doubts that Israel has an excellent army, but now the Jewish state must beef up its public diplomacy to defend its image. Israel must hold those to account who, in the Western media, academia and political sphere, attempt to rationalize the terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas by calling them 'strikes' – painting them as somehow morally acceptable. We must challenge those who consistently demonize Israel, and expose their visceral hatred and double standards."

Reflections of Domestic Issues: Islam in France - nlemar, "France’s reality is that they are strongly pro-French and want to preserve their historical culture, contrary to the anti-Islamic image they project. France has long been a society of that values liberty and democracy. While it is unfortunate that they are perceived by many as anti-Islamic in the short term, in the long term, the French culture will be preserved with very little influence.

French culture is one that is rich in history and while it is understandable that the French would like to preserve it for as long as possible, they must realize that there will be a point when they have to be open to allowing it to be mixed in with other cultures, especially if they value the idea of a strong and united European Union. It must almost learn to better handle its domestic affairs so that their objectives are not misinterpreted by millions across the globe as one that is inspired by hate. It should take a lesson from its EU neighbor Denmark that if it is going to stir controversy domestically regarding a faith that has a base of over one and a half billion, a little Public Diplomacy is going to go a long way." Image from article

China-Indonesia ties: More than just money - Jakarta Post: "These are two selling points that Indonesia is pushing and experiences which it wants to share with other developing countries. But on our relationship with China, however, the emphasis is not on the merits of democratization but on the benefits of economic cooperation. Since the signing of a strategic partnership with China, trade between the two nations has jumped from US$12.5 billion in 2005 to $42.8 billion in 2010. By 2015, this figure is expected to reach $80 billion. ... China is keenly sensitive to some of the lingering and latent sensibilities and insecurities

of Indonesians. Through its public diplomacy efforts, it is careful to appear not too aggressive, playing on the fact that both Indonesia and China are facing enormous challenges in their attempt to create 'well-off' societies through reform and development."  Image from

Counterfeit Drugs: Africa's Silent Public Health Crisis - Modern Ghana: At the country level, Nigeria has been a pioneer in Africa in fighting counterfeits. According to a 2006 study, Nigeria was able to cut the proportion of fake drugs in the Nigerian market, from 48% in 2004 to 16.7%, at least over the period under observation. Mr. Linus Awute, Permanent Secretary of Nigeria's Ministry of Health, ... attributed this success to Nigeria's multi-faceted anti-counterfeit strategy which includes stronger regulation as well as better enforcement of existing laws. Most importantly though is the support that the entire Nigerian government has provided, in terms of resources and public diplomacy, to demonstrate the seriousness with which the country views this problem. ... Source:"

No UN panel in Iraq where over a million had died: Prof. Rohan Gunaratna - Shakutala Perera, [interview with Gunaratna]: "Q: The UN claims the panel of experts set up to advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka has found ‘credible reports of war crimes’ committed by both the Government and Tamil rebels. How valid are these assertions in your opinion? [A:] The Sri Lankan government should respond, not react, to the panel report. ... The UN panel report is largely based on reporting by human rights, media, and international organizations heavily lobbied by the LTTE

as well as front, cover and sympathetic organizations of the LTTE. ... While the Sri Lankan government lacking in public diplomacy failed to reflect the ground reality of the fight in the terminal phase (October 2008-May 2009), LTTE’s aggressive and selective reporting influenced human rights, media and international organizations."  Image: LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) Gold Token

Forum on Public and Citizen Diplomacy  -" 6 to 7 June 2011 Canberra, ACT, Australia  Website: Contact name: Gale Wilkinson The Forum will focus on public diplomacy (activities aimed at influencing the views of foreign publics) and citizen diplomacy (people-to- people contact and exchange) as key tools in building international understanding. Organized by: Australian Institute of International Affairs Deadline for abstracts/proposals: Not available."

UCR Cancels Sabbatical, Franklin Fellowship Blocked - Chris Levister, "April 7, 2011 State Department letter to Chancellor Timothy White: 'Dr. Rodgers will make a valuable contribution to the United States through his work in public diplomacy,' wrote Joanne M. Martin, Franklin Fellows Program. 'We are grateful to the University and the School of Business Administration for your commitment to public service, which makes his participation possible,' said Martin. ... April 25, 2011 Rodgers receives forwarded copy of Stewart letter to State Department cancelling sabbatical. 'I regret to inform you that the University of California Riverside must withdraw permission for Professor Rodgers to take sabbatical leave during the 11-12 academic year. He will therefore not be able to participate in the Franklin Fellowship during the next year.' ... The Franklin Fellows Program named in honor of Benjamin Franklin was established in 2006 by the United States Department of State to bring in professionals from universities, the private sector and non-profit organizations to work on global issues of vital importance to the U.S. A fellowship enables academic institutions such as UCR to foster a culture of public service by their professionals."

Indian diplomat turned artist presents his work on planetary consciousness - "Marking his debut in painting, Abhay Kumar, an Indian diplomat turned poet and artist, exhibited his collection in national capital New Delhi recently to mark the establishment of Indo-Russian diplomatic ties. ... Kumar

joined the Indian Foreign Service in 2003 and studied the Russian language, history and literature at the Centre of International Education, Moscow State University. ... He is presently posted at Public Diplomacy (PD) division of the Ministry of External Affairs, India in New Delhi."  Kumar image from

Honorary degree recipients, speaker announced for USCB commencement ceremony: The University of South Carolina Beaufort announced thursday, April 7 the names of the men and women to be honored at their graduation ceremony - "Paula and William Bethea will receive honorary degrees from the school for their work in local non-profit organizations, while author and former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the first Bush administration, Karen Hughes, will deliver the keynote address."


Obama’s Pentagon and C.I.A. Picks Show Shift in How U.S. Fights - Mark Mazzetti And Eric Schmitt, New York Times: President Obama’s decision to send an intelligence chief to the Pentagon and a four-star general to the Central Intelligence Agency is the latest evidence of a significant shift over the past decade in how the United States fights its battles — the blurring of lines between soldiers and spies in secret American missions abroad. The American spy and military agencies

operate in such secrecy now that it is often hard to come by specific information about the American role in major missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Libya and Yemen. A succession of wars has strained the ranks of both the Pentagon and the C.I.A., and the United States has come to believe that many of its current enemies are best fought with timely intelligence rather than overwhelming military firepower. Image from

Ten reasons why the U.S. war in Libya is a CIA operation - The U.S.-led attack on Libya is an American operation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), planned and initiated long before any “protests” started in Libya this February. Under the guise of “protecting innocent civilians,” the U.S. military, Africom, NATO, and the United Nations are now bombing Libya, raining destruction upon the Libyan economic and military infrastructure and killing untold numbers of innocent Africans. Here are just 10 of the many obvious reasons why this so-called “spontaneous” protest was from beginning to end another CIA operation.Just as with the U.S. debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Times leads a coordinated campaign of propaganda, rumor-mongering, and the demonization of Muammar Gadhafi. Some articles appear to be written in advance and closely follow the prescription of the Washington consulting firm Wirthlin Group, which determined that “the message most likely to motivate public support for war on Iraq was the perception of Saddam Hussein as an evil madman who even committed atrocities against his own people and had to be stopped.” The major media's appetite for this “killing-his-own-people” line is textbook CIA propaganda and belies the fact that they are at this very hour operating from a swank hotel that is under Gadhafi's total control in Tripoli.

Honoring Those Who Said No - Jameel Jaffer and Larry Siems, New York Times (subscription): To address the damage from the Bush administration’s interrogation and detention policies,

the Obama administration should recognize the public servants who rejected torture. Image from 

Iran under virus attack (or the West under Propaganda Propagation): Iran military official who threatened Stuxnet retaliation announces second virus attack - Kevin Fogarty, Iran has intercepted and stopped a second large-scale cyber attack by intercepting a virus no one has ever heard of and of which Iran has offered no evidence. The attack comes from a virus called "Stars," according to Gholamreza Jalali, an Iranian military official who leads the civil defense organization Passive Defense, which is responsible for defending against sabotage. Jalali is the same official who called a week ago for legal reprisals against Siemens, the United States and Israel for the Stuxnet attack.

A mysterious photo - This mysterious propaganda photo [below] was taken in the Ukraine during the early period of Soviet control, probably around 1925. The photo was collected in WWII by the Farm Security Administration and was found at the Library of Congress. The photo raises questions. Would journalists really set type on the back of a truck in the middle of a wheat field? Was it staged, or faked, or part of a serious effort to get journalists close to the people? Do the shadows in the truck line up with the shadows on the field? Were two photos cut in together? We do know a few things about the photo. The banner at the side of the truck reads: “Mobile news room of the … newspaper Kolhoznik …at the harvest in the cooperative Leninist Village of (unknown).” The banner behind the typesetters reads: “Let us secure the financial basis, For socialist way of life…”

The title of the newspaper means “Agricultural cooperative member,” according to Ivanka Knezevic of the University of Toronto. The Kolkhozi were peasants’ cooperatives, as distinct from state-owned agricultural enterprises (sovkhozi). The photograph seems to be from about the 1920s, she said. The journalists are dressed in the usual urban-working-class clothing (most were recruited from the working class). They would start looking better dressed in the 1930s, after the NEP. This is not the kind of Soviet propaganda photo usually seen the west, which is another reason that it’s interesting. For example, the Newseum’s display of Russian communist photos emphasizes the constant erasure of politically inconvenient figures from the pages of history. Those erasures were only a small reflection of the horror of the Soviet rule, and an inspiration for the protagonist in George Orwell’s 1984, who was employed by the Ministry of Truth to revise history. On the other hand, this particular photo asks us to use a different frame of reference. It reflects the strange optimism of the early communist state, and it’s valuable because it gives an idea why many Americans like John Reed (author), Dalton Trumbo (screen writer), Walter Duranty (journalist), and Paul Robeson (actor) were initially attracted to the communist cause. It’s worth remembering what George F. Kennan said about these idealists. Speaking of John Reed, Kennan said that his “blazing honesty and a purity of idealism .. did unintended credit to the American society that produced him, the merits of which he himself understood so poorly.”

Propaganda Posters for the Office - Artist Steve Thomas has made a series of propaganda posters for office use,

covering such Glorious Management-disapproved activities as water cooler gossip and social media during company time. Strip the propaganda trappings and a lot of these are good advice. Image from article


Superman renounces his US citizenship - Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27

"There’s too much going on in the poor guy’s head."

--Washington Post pundit Dana Milbank on President Obama; image from, showing his from of respect to the President of the United States,


Washington scholars debate the Arab Spring - Danielle Feinstein, Bikya Masr: "In recent months the Obama administration and foreign policy makers have been confronted with determining new policies concerning the Arab Spring. Additionally, the academic community has been increasingly active in considering the burgeoning political landscapes in the Arab World. In Washington, think tanks, NGOs, and government branches have sponsored vigorous debates and dialogues on new regional questions and uncertainties in scholarship and foreign policy. Some major themes have materialized in recent discussions. One major recurring point is that prevalent taboos regarding the Arab World have finally been broken, particularly 'Arab exceptionalism,' the idea that Arab nations are resistant to

democratization and modernization. ... Another myth has been confronted: idea that Muslim nations desire the Iranian model. ... After the long-awaited Arab Spring, many thinkers have embraced the protests’ successes and noted the satisfying irony of the sudden turn of events. ... Other scholars were not convinced that the worst was over for the struggle for democracy in the region. ... Notably, the topic of the Arab Springs has begged the question of what the American response should be. ... With many challenges ahead, U.S. public diplomacy will have much to consider in formulating new approaches to revolutionary states in the Arab World." Image from

Egypt Poll Showing Strong Opposition to US Policy Stems from Confused Response to Arab Uprising - David Dayen, Firedoglake: "[A] Pew poll on Egyptian attitudes ... concerns their antipathy toward the United States[.] [']39% have a negative view of the American involvement in the upheaval, the survey showed, compared with 22% who have positive views. Only 15% of those polled want Egypt to have a closer relationship with the United States in the future, while 43% want a more distant relationship, and 40% would like it to remain about where it has been.['] ... While the White House wrestled over which dictator to condemn and which to offer tacit support, which anti-government rebels to provide with military support and which to ignore, it shows their preoccupation with political consensus over the correct policy. And this pragmatism, while perhaps noble in other contexts, is extremely hurtful when the issue on order is human rights, repression, literally the life and death of a people. The President talks about universal principles but doesn’t apply them. ... [C]onfusion, and hesitancy, and tilt toward the established order rather than embracing the new moment in the Arab world, is at the heart of those poll numbers . ... America’s actions in that part of the world do not live up to their public statements by any measure. A lot falls to US public diplomacy to make this right. But all the public diplomacy in the world cannot make up for tangible actions, or lack thereof, that is poisoning what could be a dramatic reset of relations with the Arab world, one which would promote national security, global economic opportunity and democracy at the same time."

The Chinese Are Coming!‎ - Douglas H. Paal, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:  "China is about to put into operation its first aircraft carrier, rumored to be called Shi Lang, after a seventeenth century admiral who conquered Taiwan. Previously known as the Varyag when it was under construction for the Soviet and later the Ukrainian navies, China acquired the uncompleted carrier in 1998 at auction for $20 million. ... Washington

and the Pacific Command need to deploy a strategy of regional reassurance as the Chinese carrier itself deploys. One element of this strategy would be to use hearings and public forums to make clear that China’s carrier is vulnerable to counter measures that the United States and its allies already possess. A second element will be public diplomacy that includes regular and high-profile deployments and exercises by American forces in the region." Image from

Continued US/China Human Rights Clashes "There’s little if any reason to believe that the government of China is likely to change domestic policy based on the desires the United States, or vice versa. Is this an avenue where there’s much innate worth in public diplomacy then? Is the mere voicing of 'concern' by one government or another enough to impact some eventual change? As in other authoritarian states, China’s difficulties with human rights are marked here and there with minor successes and noteworthy gestures, painting a portrait of a government growing gradually more tolerant and even handed. However much stories of prisoner releases are comforting, and however excellent it is for the people freed, there will always be other dissidents to imprison and or dispose of, and ultimately the goal must be to change the culture of government intolerance and the institutions which allow these abuses to continue."

U.S. Congresswoman Hirono Testifies in Support of East-West Center - "I recently testified before a House Appropriations Subcommittee in support of providing federal funding for the East-West Center in the Fiscal Year 2012.

The East-West Center is pure public diplomacy in action and I wanted to make sure my colleagues appreciated the value of the Center as much as I do. ... Congress established the East-West Center more than a half century ago. You can be sure that as a Member of Congress, I will continue to support this important institution for public diplomacy. Mahalo, Mazie K. Hirono Member of Congress Hawaii 2nd District." Hirono image from article

Under Secretary McHale to Deliver Remarks at Exchanges 2.0 Summit - Notice to the Press Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC April 26, 2011: "Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale will deliver keynote remarks highlighting the U.S. Department of State’s use of connection technologies to enhance the impact of people-to-people exchanges, at the Exchange 2.0 Summit on April 27, at 9:30 a.m. at the U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. Subtitled Connected Youth: The Future of Peacebuilding and Problem Solving, this event is co-sponsored by U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), Soliya, Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. This event will be open for press coverage. Journalists also may tune in for the livestream here and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #Exchange20."

State Department Abandons Cold War Mindset! - Monica, "I was greatly relieved to learn the U.S. Department of State is recalibrating its public diplomacy efforts toward social media and finally abandoning its Cold War mindset. As part of these efforts,, an ambitious public diplomacy portal launched during the Bush years, has been shut down. didn’t even make sense when it was launched on Jan. 15, 2008. It belonged in the enduringly stable propaganda environment of the Cold War

when the United States needed to shine a bright light of free-flowing information into tyrannical and closed societies. The United States’ main adversary, al-Qaeda, has been thriving in the Information Age’s environment of free and open global information flows (e.g., satellite television, Internet, and mobile) outside of state control for more than a decade. Simply put, you would use a state communications channel to offset propaganda from a state communications channel, networks to fight networks, and free-flowing ideas to counter balance free-flowing ideas. Thankfully, the role of social media in empowering Revolution 2.0 'validated' State’s shift in strategy, following a major review that took place from September to January of this year. ... With State tumbling at on April 4, just a few weeks after Tumblr was added to, it’s clear this new entrepreneurial attitude is getting things done as well. It will be fascinating to watch how these efforts progress!" Image from

"A new generation of managers" at Radio/TV Martí - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

American Citizens: More Effective than Diplomats in Engaging Foreign Publics? - morganroach, U.S. Diplomacy: The World Affairs Blog Network: "Simply giving foreign audiences an opportunity to engage with Americans—be it to vent frustrations on U.S. policy or to converse at a personal level—is a crucial element in public diplomacy. Foreign publics can more readily relate to other private citizens—grantees traveling in an unofficial capacity—than to diplomats.

This provides foreign audiences with a broader and more complete understanding of the United States and its people." Image from

'Raymond' gets lost in translation‎ - Patrick Goldstein, Myrtle Beach Sun News: "TV comedies have the advantage of being remade in a native language. Film comedies feature dubbed dialogue, and some of a comic's unique personality may be lost in translation. On the other hand, American comedies reveal far more about our national character than our action films, which are so generic they could be made anywhere. They have no American point of origin, the way films like 'The Godfather' or 'Easy Rider' did. 'When I was a kid, growing up in Holland, Hollywood movies served as a huge beacon of public diplomacy - you saw American life through its movies,' says Lynton [Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Michael Lynton]. 'But in our efforts to make franchises that play everywhere around the globe, we've lost what made our films distinctive. It's only through our sitcoms and TV dramas that you still see a reflection of American values and lifestyle.' You get the feeling that in their quest for global domination, American action films have left us behind. They're aimed at people in Madrid and Mumbai, not Des Moines and Detroit."

Taking A Page Fom Japan's Cultural Diplomacy Playbook. Or Should We?  - Denise, Occasionally Clever: A semi-regular blog on public diplomacy: "The travails of the Japanese has never been easy or pretty. Public Diplomacy is a relatively new concept for Japan, one which the have managed arguably dexterously, incorporating listening, exchange and dialogue as intrinsic to presenting Japan's world image and perception of itself. Japanese Foundation's moves have been smart, not arrogant. Unlike China, its PD efforts have not been merely concerned

with propagandizing the world and its own public, a bending of the global mind to the will of government. ... [T]hey recognized as Tadashi Ogawa argues in Origin and Development of Japan's Public Diplomacy that [']cultural exchange should be a two-way track carried out in a non-hierarchical manner,' which would introduce the cultural richness of ASEAN countries not just to neighboring countries but to the world. ... There is much to learn from Japan's approach to public diplomacy particularly as evidenced by the Cultural Diplomacy and use of two-way communication model. ... [But] [h]as Japan done too great a job at Public Diplomacy, a consideration which may be coming back to bit at the time of their greatest need? Could they be a victim of their own image of self-sufficiency and superior capability." Image from

Don Pablo Quijote returns to LA Mancha - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "At INDIA Future of Change, we help to project an India that is a global partner and leader in global affairs; what is still required is for India, and China, to use public diplomacy to explain to a weary West in economic recession that their respective rises are part of a non-zero sum game of global prosperity, and that the rising tides raise all boats. But that is a longer blog for another day."

The business of diplomacy -  Sanjaya Baru, Business Standard: "The world of the Indian diplomat has changed. An important chronicler of this change has been former diplomat Kishan Singh Rana (IFS, 1960), ambassador and high commissioner to many countries and author of many books including Managing Corporate Culture (2000), Bilateral Diplomacy (2002) and The 21st Century Ambassador (2004). Rana

has teamed up with Bipul Chatterjee to produce this book under review [Economic Diplomacy: India's Experience, CUTS International, Jaipur, 2011] — a compilation of essays by Indian practitioners of 21st century diplomacy. ... Businessman Som Mittal’s forward-looking essay on the industry-government partnership offers policy makers and diplomats a useful guide on how to improve on existing experience. Mittal emphasises the value of public diplomacy, with the involvement of business in it, for the pursuit of the larger goals of both economic and political diplomacy." Rana image from

Russia plans to create a Russian-Montenegrin Center in Bar‎ - Business News: Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, paid a working visit to Montenegro on April 19. ... Within the framework of the visit, a Memorandum on Cooperation between the Federal Archives Agency and the State Archives of Montenegro was signed, along with an Agreement on Cooperation between St. Petersburg State University and the University of Montenegro and an Agreement of Intention between the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Bar Municipality on the Creation of a Russian-Montenegrin Center of Culture, Science, Education and Sport in the City of Bar."

The New Public Diplomacy - maddieleamon: "Interesting article by Andrew Carr on a paper recently released by Fergus Hanson discussing the social media sphere.

Carr summarises Hanson’s argument into three key, but not especially ground breaking, points. Carr also hints at the progression of technology being the result of a change in society rather than society changing due to ever evolving technology." Image from

Too Many Words - Global Extrovert: "I had the chance to visit with a bright group of students at a Johns Hopkins University graduate course on International Public Diplomacy this week. Giving guest lectures at classes like this is a chance to learn as much as teach – and this week was no exception. I was asked by the professor (a pioneer in her own right) to talk with the class about trends in public diplomacy and global issues including women’s and children’s health. So I decided to show the class a short video that falls under the classic 'public service announcement/PSA' label that the United Nations Foundation had produced a few months back for a micro-campaign related to health. What the class’ critique reminded me was one of the great truths of public messaging: simple doesn’t mean dumbed-down. Simple just means clear."

Ex-Dept. of State spokesman to teach at Penn State - AP: "A former U.S. State Department spokesman who quit after criticizing the military's treatment of an Army private accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks has accepted a position at Penn State's law school. P.J. Crowley's one-year appointment as the Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership begins Aug. 1. It's a joint post with Dickinson College and the U.S. Army War College. The law school said Tuesday that Crowley's teaching and research will focus on national security, public diplomacy and the media's effect on policy and politics. Crowley quit as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief spokesman after calling the military's handling of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning at a brig 'ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.'" Image from

Burson-Marsteller Named US Large Agency Of The Year - Paul Holmes, "[The PR] firm’s senior counseling ranks [have been strengthened] with big names such as former deputy secretary of state [sic] for public diplomacy Karen Hughes."


Obama sees U.S. as sage, not a bully - Lewis M. Simons, USA Today: Many Americans still see the world as their ancestors did, when the U.S. could bend other nations to its will with military muscle rather than brainpower. Obama, with his exceptional

(though certainly not exceptionalist) worldview, realizes that all people must be permitted their innate sense of self-respect. In the same regard, if a people desire freedom, or democracy, or any other form of governance for that matter, they must struggle for it and win it themselves. No foreign army can hand it to them and expect it to survive the test of time. Image from

Obama, lost in thought - Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Nearly everybody puzzles over Obama’s ad hoc responses to Egypt, Libya and now Syria, grasping for a still-elusive Obama Doctrine.

Why Afghanistan could upend Obama’s reelection strategy - Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post: It is time for the president to declare victory and get out of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda has been reduced to remnants. We can’t and shouldn’t afford the human, moral or fiscal costs of continued occupation in Afghanistan, and the people who live there will have to decide what kind of nation they build, if any. We can support smart diplomacy to bring a political resolution to this civil war.

Obama faces critical decision on Afghan troop withdrawal: President Obama's pledge to start pulling troops from Afghanistan in July was imprudent. It will be downright dangerous if the conditions on the ground he pays attention to are political ones at home - John Bolton,

The Syria Lobby: Why Washington keeps giving a pass to the Assad regime - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Jihadists use mobiles as propaganda tools: Islamic militants have developed sophisticated ways of spreading propaganda via mobile, a study suggests -

Image from article, with caption: Photoshopped images are widely used in Jihadist data shared online

Armenia must change methods of fighting against Turkish propaganda: expert says - A prominent Armenian expert in Turkish studies urged the authorities today to revise the methods of struggling

against Turkey’s anti-Armenian propaganda. Ruben Melkonian, deputy dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies of Yerevan State University, said when speaking at a news conference, "I think the way we fight against Turkey’s anti-Armenian propaganda is outdated. Turkey’s flexible policy is creating a new situation and we must give an appropriate response." Melkonian image from article

What Is Totalitarian Art? Cultural Kitsch From Stalin to Saddam [review of What Is Totalitarian Art? Cultural kitsch from Stalin to Saddam by Igor Golomstock] - Kanan Makiya, Foreign Affairs: The crucial element in the creation of totalitarian culture was the involvement of the state, not indirectly, through the financing of culture, but directly, by imposing a "dictatorship of taste,"

as the Russian futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky enthusiastically called it. Image from article: F.S. Shurpin, The Morning of Our Fatherland (1948)

First Look: Red Skull Covers Draw on Nazi Propaganda - Angela Watercutter, Red Skull won’t hit stores until July, but Marvel Comics is already teasing David Aja’s stark, Nazi-themed covers for the limited series. The five issues of Red Skull,

whose covers are previewed in the gallery above, will chronicle the rise of Nazi supersoldier Johann Schmidt before his clash with Captain America. The story, written by X-Men: Magneto Testament scribe Greg Pak, follows Schmidt from starving orphan to soldier trained on a Hitler-designed regimen. “Due to the nature of the story, I wanted to portray the historical aspects on the covers,” Aja said in a press release. “In doing so, I approached the covers as if they were real posters, newspapers and Nazi propaganda from that time, kind of in a documentary style.” Image from article


Cold War Propaganda Films Capitalism vs Communism 2 DVD Set

13 Films About The Global Struggle Between Capitalism & Communism! 4 Cold War Era Hours Packed Into 2 All Regions DVDs!



The National Association of Broadcasters sponsored this salute to the power of television and its service to the people in waging and reporting the cold war.


John Wayne, Edward R. Murrow, Lowell Thomas, Frank McGee, Helen Hayes & more explain the battle of ideas between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in this U.S. Army Pictorical Center production. A one-of-a-kind film of the sort not to be seen recreated in our day.

COMMUNISM (1952, 10:18)

Another one of the raving agit-prop pieces Coronet Instructional Films was famous for, this one crystalizing in time the emotions and attitudes of cold-warring America at one its coldest moments.

DESPOTISM (1946, 11:00)

Extraordinary film that seeks to explain how societies can be placed upon a graduated scale between democracy and despotism.

DON'T BE A SUCKER (1947, 17:21)

An extraordinary film produced by the U.S. War Department on the eve of the Cold War urging Americans not to give into the kind of fanaticism and hate-mongering at home that the country fought to defeat abroad during the Second World War.

ON GUARD! THE STORY OF "SAGE" (1956, 12:15)

Color film by IBM's Military Products Division documenting SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment), an early version of the distant early warning system utilizing primitive computers whose appearance to modern eyes make viewing this film a real treat.


Ever wonder just what America meant when it said it was sending "advisors" to foreign lands? In many cases, it means just what this film undertakes to show - how psychological operations can used to help a government win the hearts and minds of its people. You can guess where the U. S. Army Materiel Command places "Hostland"!


A time capsule containing what the National Education Association sought to teach the children of America about their responsibilities as good and free citizens of a democratic republic.


The U.S. Navy sponsored & produced this remarkable survey of the military and political history of the Chinese Communist revolution from 1921 to 1964. The "yellow peril" is here given bombastic propaganda treatment at a time when the U.S. was most immediately concerned with the prosecution of the war raging in China's neighboring country, Vietnam. The film goes some length in establishing a strong link between the two countries, which was accurate at the time though, as history has seen, only to a degree, and a rapidly eroding one at that.


A classic dual production of the Intelligence and Security Division of Walter Reed Army Medical Center intended to brief their employees on how to identify, respond to and report attempts by foreign governments to compromise the national security of the United States by penetrating the security of their medical center and how to safeguard such breaches in security from occurring.


A National Education Program production illustrating how the communist way of life runs contrary to American values and the institutions that embody them.


Here NEP teams up with Harding College again, this time enlisting the College's President, Dr. George Benson, to scare the bageezus out of tv viewers about the international communist menace (Part One unavailable).


What the U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration wanted the people of the United States to know about what biological and toxilogical attacks could occur, how they might be delivered & and what individuals should do in case of such attacks.