Wednesday, August 31, 2011
"They want to send me abroad, as a Consul or a Minister. I said I didn't want any of the pie. God knows I am mean enough and lazy enough, now without being a foreign consul."
--Mark Twain, Letter to Jane Clemens, 2/6/1868; image from
UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE EVENT
Media in Conflict: The Evaluation Imperative. Webcast: This event will be webcast live beginning at 9:00am EDT on September 9, 2011 at www.usip.org/webcast. Keynote address by Amb. David Ensor, Director of Voice of America and former Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan
Congress Must Set High Bar for White House Strategic Communications Plan - Helle Dale, heritage.org: "The U.S. government is struggling to coordinate the volumes of information from the many agencies and departments that make up slices of the public diplomacy and strategic communications pie. Congress needs to use its oversight to evaluate the variety of agencies, set specific goals, and ensure that the vital work of public diplomacy moves forward. The key groups involved in strategic communications are primarily the State Department, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), but the intelligence agencies and others are included. Last year, to address this challenge, the Administration established the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) within the State Department’s Bureau of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. This has been capably led by Richard LeBaron, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in London.
It functions as an interagency war room that attempts to coordinate messaging through participating departments, provide guidance to embassies, and put out brush fires as they arise. This kind of coordination has been sorely missing for most of a decade, and at the very least the CSCC was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the CSCC has been hindered by a lack of muscle. To increase the effectiveness of the CSCC, the Obama White House is producing an executive order to boost the Center’s work and has proposed giving it a budget of its own in the fiscal year 2012 State Department budget—to the tune of $6.2 million. Before the government sets out to spend more money, however, and before any potential reorganization takes place, Congress needs to ask how the CSCC is contributing to combating terrorism and its root cause, the radicalization of Muslim youth. Congress should also explore the CSCC’s relationship with the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) under the Director of National Intelligence. The two centers have a common purpose but only a tangential relationship. As the CSCC completes its first year, Congress also needs to explore what it has delivered and what future deliverables are going to be. Most importantly, CSCC needs to move beyond process to measurable outcomes that allow Congress to hold the Administration accountable." Image from
When a Good Thing Goes Bad: The J-1 Visa - Patricia L. Sharpe, Whirled View: "Some of Hershey’s overworked and underpaid workers have turned out to be eager young foreign students fed unsuspectingly into the American underworld of semi-enslaved, sub-contracted workers who keep the cost of living for cheapskate Americans unrealistically low. Unlike the tens of thousands of workers who find themselves trapped in an all too common bait and switch situation, however, these students weren’t afraid to go public. They got in touch with unions and non-profits. They took to the streets in protest. And their families back home, not abject have-nots, but people with accomplishments and aspirations in countries where America wants to look good, joined the protest. ... What an embarrassment! The students were supposed to experience the joys of American culture and perfect their English while they, like so many young Americans, held a summer job that would help defray their college expenses. How American can you get? So they’d been issued a variant of the classic J-1 educational visa. In fact, working a speed-up job on the night shift for peanuts (not even the joys of almonds)
they did experience American culture, but not the kind that features summer music festivals and tete-â-tetes at Starbucks. ... And so, in the Hershey case, the J-1 visa process was co-opted for private profit, but the State Department was largely oblivious. Or was it? I don’t know. I only know that the Hershey situation, once it developed, was managed badly." Image from
A Banda-Larga Public Diplomacy Success - John Matel, World-Wide-Matel: "Our Information Section did something really great ith social media. I find it almost unbelievable. It came, as many things do, at the intersection of preparation and changing conditions, with a little bit of luck. Let me explain. We launched our 9/11 commemoration campaign a couple days ago. Our theme is 'superacão' or resilience and overcoming difficulties. My colleagues prepared a poster show. We did some media interviews & generally reached out to Brazilian media and people. There is no shortage of attention to 9/11 in Brazil. We don’t have to create a demand. But we do prefer that the narrative be one of superacão and resilience rather than destruction. We want to remember and honor the victims, but emphasize the resilience of America. ... Our theme of superacão was popular with our audiences. They were invited to write their own feelings about 9/11 and/or their own stories of superacão. And they did. Our Facebook page has almost 10,000 new members and we have gained another 38,000+ on our Orkut platform. Orkut is popular with non-elite audiences in Brazil. A video of Ambassador Thomas Shannon talking about 9/11 has garnered 9,260 views as of this morning, but I figure more than 8000 by the time you read this. Today we were getting almost 1000 new comments every hour. I say comments, not visitors and not 'hits'. A commenter has to take the time to write something. ... We will follow up with social media and with boots on the ground. I remain a little skeptical of social media
that doesn’t yield physically tangible results. One of our initial ideas is to take representative groups from various cities and invite them to programs or representational events when we visit their home towns. This will create a good media opportunity both in MSM and new media, especially in those places were we rarely tread. It makes it more concrete and exciting for the participants and fits in well with our plant to reach out to the 'other Brazil', i.e. those places not Rio, São Paulo or Brasilia. ... Up top I mentioned the intersection of preparation, good luck and changing conditions. Preparation is what my colleagues did and have been doing. They built a social media system ready to be used. It needed an opportunity. They also prepared for what they knew would be a big anniversary. But this program would have gone nowhere had not Brazil expanded its internet network, so that people could respond. I don’t think this success could have happened last year or even six months ago. One of the Portuguese terms I learned was 'banda larga'. It means broadband. Many Brazilians were learning the term and its meaning the same time I was. Now they have the capacity to log in and they are doing it." Image from
Teaching 9/11 | Why? How? - Holly Epstein Ojalvo, New York Times: [Comment by David Potter:] "After 9/11, the White House and US Department of Education asked our educational network, iEARN to lead a consortium of organizations to assist US educators and students in linking with peers in countries with significant Muslim populations. This effort, called Friendship Through Education, was complemented by three new US Department of State supported exchange programs for high school youth: Youth Exchange and Study (YES), National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), and Global Connections and Exchange, which Undersecretary of State Judith McHale called a 'landmark public diplomacy initiative.' Inevitably, every exchange student engages in 9/11 discussions. Through these programs, discussions take place in an environment of trust and respect, both formally in the classroom, and, more often, informally around a host family kitchen table or over a cafeteria lunch. YES students in US schools for a year are tremendous resources, as are the US students traveling for a year to Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan to learn Arabic. Unfortunately, only a few thousand exchange students travel abroad each year, so most US students do not have a student from a predominantly Muslim country sitting next to them in their classroom. To address this, the Departments of State and Education are supporting a new 'Exchange 2.0' effort, which features organizations such as Soliya and Global Nomads, Twitter groups such as #kinderchat, and thousands of US schools such as Passaic Valley High School and Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. The partners are developing virtual connections that are scalable, cost-efficient, and inclusive of traditionally underserved participants. Through these connections US students and teachers are engaged daily in direct dialogue and meaningful projects with peers of all faiths worldwide. Working with the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, for example, iEARN has created a program for classes visiting the Center to turn the tragedy of that day into an effort build understanding through online project collaboration."
Iran Foreign Ministry modifies structure - presstv.com: Iran's Foreign Ministry has made a number of changes to its structure in order to further enhance the ministry's efficiency vis-à-vis regional and international developments. Speaking at a valediction and introduction ceremony of several Foreign Ministry officials, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that public diplomacy
has been a top priority for the Islamic Republic of Iran, and that the creation of Public and Media Diplomacy Center in the ministry aims to accomplish such an objective." Image from article, with caption: A view of Iran's Foreign Ministry
Not even the best PD - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Not even the best PD can't fix Israel's image without a change in policies."
Arab MK Aghast: IDF Trains Yesha Settlers for September - Gil Ronen, israelnationalnews.com: "The IDF has begun training Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria in advance of an expected Arab onslaught in September, ultra-leftist paper Haaretz reported Tuesday. Arabs are expected to try and march en masse on Jewish communities, hoping to overwhelm the Jews and provoke them into shooting at the Arabs. Video of Jewish settlers shooting into an Arab crowd
can then be used for propaganda purposes to portray Israel in a demonic light, in the classic cat-and-mouse-and-videocam manipulative tactic used by Arabs against Israel to great effect for many years. The mass marches are to be part of a Palestinian Authority public diplomacy campaign that will accompany a PA appeal to the United Nations for recognition as an independent state." Image from article, with caption: Arab mob
Chinese disarmament association pledges more efforts for international arms control - news.xinhuanet.com: "The China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA) pledged on Tuesday to make greater efforts toward arms control and world peace. ... Founded on August 21, 2001, the nonprofit CACDA received the Special Consultative Status from the UN Economic and Social Council in 2005. It aims to facilitate better communication between the government and the civil society and between the business community and the Chinese public. The association also engages in international exchanges and public diplomacy by promoting mutual understanding between China and other countries."
Radio Prague to suffer no budget cuts in 2012 - radio.cz: "Seventy five years ago today, at 10 AM on August 31, 1936, the foreign service of Czechoslovak Radio went on air for the first time ever. Today, Radio Prague is an independent broadcaster although it is still funded entirely by the Czech Foreign Ministry. Following severe budget cuts in recent years, some good news came on Wednesday from the Foreign Ministry which promises no further cuts for 2012. Radio Prague spoke to
the head of the ministry’s public diplomacy department, Jan Bondy. ... [Bondy:]'As I said earlier today at a press conference about Radio Prague and its anniversary, we are satisfied with the work of Radio Prague. We would like to use the international service as a tool in promoting all the various activities of Czech embassies abroad, so maybe this is an opportunity for the future.'” Bondy image from article
Kyrgyz President Hosts American Councils' CEO to Discuss Innovation in Educational Reform and Development in Kyrgyzstan - sfgate.com: "Dr. Dan E. Davidson, CEO of American Councils, recently returned from a trip to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, where he and American Councils' country director, Cale Wagner, met with President Roza Otunbayeva
Blogroll - Centrul de Studii Politice si Diplomatie/ Center for Political Science and Diplomacy [Romania]: "The Center for Diagnosis and Treatment LARA LIFE-MED The Center for Diagnosis and Treatment LARA LIFE-MED is the official partner for public diplomacy for 2011 at Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation [in Romania]."
2011年8月31日 星期三 Wikis, cyber attacks, insider exposes take headwind - 46u.blogspot.com: "(Washington, San Francisco, AP · AFP · Reuters) recently uncovered a professional Web site WikiLeaks additional public diplomacy specialist with the criticism that you've exposed
the identity of anonymous sources, get to live a life of cyber-attacks as being driven predicament. WikiLeaks (AP) recently released a professional diplomatic 120,005 thousand.Wikis, cyber attacks, insider exposes take headwind." Image from
Don't shoot the messenger, league members told - Mail and Guardian on line: "Clayson Monyela ... [is] the deputy director-general for public diplomacy in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, [South Africa]."
Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association … - John F. Infanger, airportbusiness.com: "Dow, speaking at the annual International Aviation Forecast Summit hosted by The Boyd Group in Albuquerque Tuesday, adds that something ... the good folks in D.C. don’t seem to understand is that 'it’s also public diplomacy' when people visit the U.S. They tend to leave with a better impression of Americans, he points out, which has to be a positive in today’s volatile world. The reasons for the drop in foreign visitors, says Dow, are easy to identify: 1) this nation’s Visa policies; 2) the arduous exercise of getting through U.S. Customs; and 3) Washington fails to fund promotion of tourism to the U.S. to other countries. 'We’re sitting on the sidelines,' he says, while other countries spend billions to attract tourists. ... There may be hope, he says. Last year, Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act which is intended to fund promoting the U.S. globally as a tourist destination. A dedicated $14 charge on Visas will see $10 of that money go into the fund. An independent board will oversee how the money is spent. His concern is that other lobbying groups may ultimately influence Congress to redirect that money to other interests."
Meridian gastrodiplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I was over yesterday at the exquisite Meridian International Center to talk PD shop with its director Ambassador Stuart Holliday. As I noted my gastrodiplomacy work, Ambassador Holliday mentioned an interesting gastrodiplomacy program that Meridian conducted. Meridian hosted chefs connected to a few various embassies in DC to come cook their local fare in programs open to the community. The chefs highlighted the national produce and ingredients and how it connects to the country, as well as how the cuisine connects to the culture.
The program went on for almost two years. He mentioned how the Chinese Embassy brought over five chefs to cook different regional cuisines. ... Maybe I can make Meridian the host of the first DC Gastrodiplomacy Conference...." Image from
Company News: Thomas W. Brown hired by Blue Water Capital Management - syracuse.com: "Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications welcomes five new faculty members this fall:[among them Guy Golan] ... Golan teaches courses in public relations and public diplomacy. His research focuses on public diplomacy and media effects, as well as political and international communications. Golan earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from New York University. Before entering academia, he worked as a political communication professional."
Dendreon Appoints John E. Osborn EVP & General Counsel - Earlier in his career, Mr. Osborn served with the U.S. Department of State during the George H.W. Bush administration, clerked for Judge Albert V. Bryan of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced corporate law with Hale and Dorr (now Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr).
He recently completed a term as a member of the bipartisan United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy." Osborn image from
The New Diplomacy: Devising a Relational Model of Public Diplomacy Anne E. Buckle - bakercenter.utk.edu: "Anne Buckle, a Baker Scholar, recent UT grad, and Harvard graduate student, recently defended her Honor’s Thesis. Her committee consisted of: Dr. Sébastien Dubreil, Research Advisor; Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, Defense Committee; and Dr. Christopher Craig, College Scholars Director.
The thesis is now available online via the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2484&context=utk_chanhonoproj Anne is pursuing a Master’s in Education at Harvard, where she will be studying how to advocate for the arts in the political sphere, and also how to use the arts in programs designed to help foster intercultural relationships in attempts to reduce global conflict." Buckle image from article
Last First Day - Linsey, ramblesandruminations.com: "Today my last year of graduate school begins. ... People always ask me what courses I'm taking and since my schedule is usually determined by when I have childcare as opposed to personal interest, I can rarely remember the actual names and subject matter of my classes. But, not this year. This year, with the kids in school, I had a lot of freedom, well, more anyway, to pick and choose. And here is the result: Public Diplomacy -- if you know me well, you know that I can certainly benefit from any practical skills imparted in this course. The focus of the class is diplomatic relationships between countries and organizations, but I suspect it is really just about getting along in the sandbox, just on a much grander scale."
U.S. State Department Promoting an Anti-Israel Propaganda Agenda - themoralliberal.com: The U.S. State Department is promoting an anti-Israel propaganda campaign. The extent of the campaign and the misinformation raises serious concern. The most recent misinformation surfaced last week when the U.S. issued a “warning” to all U.S. citizens the day of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage” event on August 24 in Jerusalem.
Americans aid Gaddafi in rebel fight - Al Jazeera uncovers evidence that influential Americans tried to help the now deposed Libyan leader cling to power - Jamal Elshayyal, english.aljazeera.net: Found were what appeared to be the minutes of a meeting between senior Libyan officials – Abubakr Alzleitny and Mohammed Ahmed Ismail – and David Welch, the former assistant secretary of state who served under George W. Bush and the man who brokered the deal which restored diplomatic relations between the US and Libya in 2008. The documents record that, on August 2, 2011, David Welch met with Gaddafi's officials at the Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo, just a few blocks from the US embassy there. During that meeting Welch advised Gaddafi's team on how to win the propaganda war – suggesting several "confidence building measures", the documents said. The documents appear to indicate that an influential US political personality was advising Gaddafi on how to beat the US and NATO.
NATO Propaganda Leaflets Found in Tripoli - Marc Herman, theatlantic.com: The existence of the fliers,
urging soldiers to give up, suggest greater Western involvement in the Libyan conflict. Image from article
NATO's Genocidal Rape of Libya - Stephen Lendman, indybay.org: A committed team of independent journalists, researchers and cameramen produced the Global Research.ca video accessed below through the following link: http://omasiali.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/nato-commits-genocide-in-libya/ It's a snapshot of what Libyans endure daily under NATO terror bombings and rebel gang killings to destroy them, their futures and truth. International law prohibits naked aggression and propaganda promoting it. Article 21(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) says: "Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law." Propaganda and incitement to commit genocide is worst of all.
NATO's rhetoric on Libya ‘most cynical propaganda’ – Rogozin - Russia Today: The criticism of NATO voiced at an international conference in the Czech Republic is a sign of the growing discontent with the Alliance's policy both in Europe and in the US, stated Russia's NATO Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin. “Western intellectuals are strongly disappointed with the Alliance’s actions in Libya, as well as the policies of some specific member states,” Rogozin stated, adding that the rhetoric of some NATO representatives concerning Libya is “absolutely outrageous, going beyond the most cynical propaganda.”
Patrick Cockburn: Hatred of Gaddafi brought Libyans together. What can unify them now? -independent.co.uk: One danger is that war propaganda, skilled on the rebel side, may have poisoned relations between Libyans to the point that it will be difficult for the victors to eschew vengeance.
For instance, the story of officially encouraged mass rape as a weapon of war was propagated by the rebel side and credulously taken up by the international media. Image from article
2 + 2 = North Korea is the best: In the Hermit Kingdom, even mathematics textbooks aren't free of politicized content - Emily Lodish, globalpost.com
Tight Budget? Look to the ‘Cloud’ - Vivek Kundra, New York Times: The “cloud computing” revolution is the shift from hardware and software that individuals, businesses and governments buy and then maintain themselves, to low-cost, maintenance-free services that are based on the Internet and run by private companies. Some agencies, like the General Services Administration, have embraced cloud computing; the agency has cut the I.T. costs on things as simple as its e-mail system by over 50 percent. But other agencies have balked. The State Department, for instance, has raised concerns about whether the cloud approach introduces security risks, since data is stored off site by private contractors.
The real reason Hollywood makes pro-military movies - Rebecca Causey, dailycaller.com: It’s not as if theaters are full of pro-military propaganda. Audiences have plenty of chances to wallow in the smell of napalm in the morning. The same year “Top Gun” was released, Oliver Stone released his excellent but critical Vietnam War opus “Platoon.” “Full Metal Jacket” and “Good Morning Vietnam” soon followed. High-ammo ’80s hits like the “Rambo” franchise and “Commando” do not exactly portray the U.S. military positively, for all their high body counts. Then, as now, for every pro-military “Battle Los Angeles,” there is a negative “Green Zone” or “In the Valley of Elah.” Despite a steady stream of movies calling into question America’s policies and methods, the masses stubbornly refuse to pay for the privilege of sitting through a two-hour anti-war screed. It seems there’s just no market for movies lecturing us on the bad behavior of U.S. troops and the wrongheadedness of U.S. policies.
Outside the lines: 9/11 coloring book causes controversy - John Vandiver, Stars and Stripes: Is it an attention-grabbing publicity stunt, or an effort to educate kids about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the decade of fighting that followed? The publisher of a new children’s coloring book, called “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom,” says it is the latter.
Really Big Coloring Books Inc. publisher Wayne Bell says the book is intended to be educational. The book, available only online, has stirred controversy since its release, being labeled everything from “disaster porn” to propaganda. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has said it promotes anti-Muslim stereotypes. Image from article
Manufacturing Opinion, Today's Mainstream Media - Timothy V. Gatto, CounterCurrents.org: The media in this country refuses to report the truth about what is really happening in the world and America's role in the international community.
Strangers and Demons in WW2 Japanese Race Propaganda - faustusnotes.wordpress.com: The Japanese propaganda of the war liked to present them as purer than Americans,
driven by greater ideals and united by stronger bonds, and also depicted the Japanese as liberators casting colonialism out of the Pacific. Image from article
Nazi Secretary Breaks Her Silence on Hitler's Propaganda Chief - kgoam810.com: She kept a promise of silence and secrecy for 66 years. A promise made to one of the vilest leaders of Nazi Germany. Now, Brunhilde Pomsel, 100 years old, is talking about her time as secretary to Joseph Goebbels, propaganda chief for Adolph Hitler, a man who railed against Jews and once wrote, “Adolf Hitler, I love you because you are both great and simple at the same time. What one calls a genius.” All these years later, his secretary calls him something else. “I will never forgive Goebbels for what he brought into this world,” Pomsel tells Bild, Germany’s most widely-read paper. “And the fact that he could murder his innocent children in this way.”
Monday, August 29, 2011
"The role that monumental propaganda in different cultures ha[s] played ... [is] well known."
--Historian of architecture Dr. Olga Zinovieva; top image from; below image from, with caption: The 'Younger Memnon' statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum thought to have inspired the [Ozymandias] poem
VIDEO [Re on how, after the USG-funded American Center in Belgrade was closed in the mid-1990s, Slobodan Milosevic made it financially possible for it to remain open -- see, for an English-language rendering of this event] Braun: Američki centar i Milošević: "Profesor Univerziteta Džoržtaun Džon Braun proveo je više od 20 godina u američkoj diplomatskoj službi, a od 1995-98 bio je zadužen za odnose s javnošću u američkoj ambasadi u Beogradu.
Nightmare scenario - Huma Yusuf, dawn.com: "For many months, I have used this space to argue that Pakistan is toeing the dangerously fine line between engagement and containment. In case of the former, the international community, led by the US, will continue to invest in the promise of the Pakistani state and its people. This means ongoing economic assistance, diplomatic support, capacity building, and patience with the Pakistani establishment as it sorts through internal challenges. ... Until June this year, I was based in the American capital on a research fellowship. During my time there, I engaged in many discussions with US government officials and policy analysts about the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship and its importance to both countries. The conversations were primarily — if not exclusively — upbeat: there was interest in improved people-to-people contacts, better US public diplomacy efforts to calm tensions, thoughtful initiatives to help Pakistan become economically and politically stable. Even discussions about terrorism, intolerance and corruption eventually strayed to positive topics. ... [T]he Centre for Preventive Action (CPA) at the Council of Foreign Relations has published a report detailing potential US responses to a Pakistani terrorist attack on US territory. The report, authored by Stephen Tankel, emphasises the need for the bilateral relationship to survive such an incident, and consequently for the US response to be restrained. But the subtext is equally clear: this will be increasingly difficult to do depending on the scale, audacity and human toll of the attack."
Jay-Z's Hegemony in the Age of Kanye - Marc Lynch, foreignpolicy.com: "Watch the Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West may not prove to be the enduring hip hop classic that many people expected when news of the project leaked. But the album itself is hardly the point. Watch the Throne represents a fascinating gambit in the consolidation and extension of Jay-Z's hegemony over the hip hop world, and in Kanye's rehabilitation of his image following a catastrophic collapse in his global standing. How they did it offers important lessons for how the United States can handle its own changing position within a turbulent world. ... How Kanye brought himself back to the top has some intriguing lessons for public diplomacy.
He didn't rely on one big speech to apologize, try to respond to every critic, or retreat into a shell. As someone who thinks that internet has a transformative impact on world politics, I find it fitting that Kanye's return from his lowest days relied on innovative internet activism (paging Alec Ross). I'm referring partly to Kanye's hallucinogenic Twitter feed and online video interviews, but mainly to the GOOD Friday series of free music releases.It should be no surprise that he turned to the internet to seize control of his own image. The hip hop industry has been transformed by the internet, obviously." Image from article, with quotation: "I seen people abuse power, use power, misuse and then lose power/Power to the people at last, it’s a new hour/Now we all ain’t gon’ be American Idols/But you can least grab a camera, shoot a viral/Huh? Take the power in your own hands." --- Kanye West, evaluating (presumably) the Egyptian revolution in the Power remix
US Government in Virtual Worlds: Brief Overview and Implications - eiliftrondsen, Nordic Virtual Worlds Network: "I have long known that the US government, and particularly Department of Defense, but also many other departments, has been very active around VWs (and spending lots of money), as well doing interesting and advanced things around video games and mobile devices. Much of this has been in connection with learning and training, and this makes sense given DoD being the world’s largest training operation. ... • Virtual Worlds in Government: State, Local and Federal.
This was a panel discussion, led by Keysha Gamor of National Defense University, which took place at the latest FCVW conference. Projects discussed in this session included Virtual Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Edge project of US Army Simulation; Training Technology Center, and Kairo2Kansas (a public diplomacy initiative of the US State Department)." Image from
Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau: Who is Lewis Lukens? - "Lewis Lukens, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, has served as the U.S. ambassador to Senegal and to Guinea-Bissau since July 11, 2011. ... He was U.S. Consul General in Vancouver, Canada, from 2005-2008. In this capacity, he oversaw the work of eight government agencies and managed a range of trade, border, national security, and public diplomacy issues."
WikiLeaks: US Embassy in Sofia Backed Pro-GMO Lobby - Bulgaria's legislation on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has been carefully followed by the US Embassy in Sofia - novinite.com: "The information comes from several US diplomatic cables, (one by current US Ambassador in Sofia, James Warlick), which were released by WikiLeaks and their Bulgarian partner, the site for investigative journalism Bivol.bg. ... 'Embassy Sofia has a well-defined biotechnology strategy supported by the US biotech industry and important local stakeholders', Ambassador Nancy McEldowney writes in January 2009. According to McEldowney's report, 'the goal of the Embassy's public diplomacy initiative is to spur debate and discussion about biotechnology, create positive public opinion, and to provide broader availability of scientific information about agricultural biotechnology to both the media and consumers...Gaining key opinion leaders' support will help increase the public's awareness and trust in foods derived from GMO products. The proposed program has been discussed with and
received the backing of local counterparts who have created an informal consortium to steer the program's activities and content. This Consortium includes: the National Agricultural Academy, National Biosafety Commission, agricultural and food research universities and institutes, the local Association of Agricultural Producers, and specialized media.'" Image from article, with caption: A child holds a sign during a demonstration against genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Sofia, Bulgaria, in February 2010.
wikileaks Guyana – US trying to out perform Cuba’s “Miracle Mission” eye surgery program - El Che, propagandapress.wordpress.com: "Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin 06GEORGETOWN706 2006-07-18 12:16 2011-08-26 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Georgetown ... Post notes that Cuba has received substantial public attention in Guyana for its 'Miracle Mission' eye surgery program (Refs). While Mercy Hospital’s progra[m] is laudable on its own merits, Post is hopeful that highlighting the hospital’s efforts through the Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund will also temper the Cubans’ public diplomacy efforts while at the sa[m]e time developing Guyana’s ongoing capacity to povide quality eye care for its citizens in country."
Sowing Seeds of Terror and Suspicion in Czechoslovakia - Cold War Radios: "The Second Crusade for Freedom campaign was a very creative campaign used to rally Americans to support Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia. The stated goal of the Crusade campaign was 25,000,000 'enrollees' and $3,500,000 in contributions. Those Americans who 'enrolled' received in return a lapel button with the Freedom Bell symbol with the words Crusade for Freedom and a sticker, 'signifying their part in this critical battle against Communism,' that could be displayed at home or on automobile windows. The use of the word 'freedom' was widespread in the campaign, as we have read about the Freedom Train, Freedom Motorcade, Marathon for Freedom, Winds of Freedom, and Freedom Belles.
Then actor Ronald Reagan narrated both the 1950 movie The Big Truth and the August 27, 1951, released shorter version that was used for television advertising, in which he said this about RFE, [']This station daily pierces the iron curtain with the truth, answering the lies of the Kremlin and bringing a message of hope to millions trapped behind the iron curtain. Grateful letters from listeners smuggled past the secret police express thanks to Radio Free Europe for identifying Communist quislings and informers by name.['] The 1951 national campaign started on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 1951, with a nationwide 15 minute radio program 'Bells of Freedom' that was carried by the Columbia Broadcasting System CBS) network and featured 'Five Champions of Freedom': General Dwight D. Eisenhower who was in Paris, Crusade National Chairman Lucius D. Clay, 1951 Crusade Chairman Harold E. Stassen, U.S. Ambassador Walter S. Gifford in London, and Mayor Ernst Reuter in Berlin." Image from article
Goodwill Ambassadors - china.org.cn: "China's dramatic economic growth has stunned the world. US Vice President Joe Biden must be left speechless comparing today's China to the one he encountered on his first visit as a young senator in 1979. Yet on one measure China is doing about as dismally as today's American and Euro-zone economies: soft power and cultural diplomacy. China will eventually get its act together here but in the meanwhile, there is a simple solution to help win hearts and minds overseas: China's students. The United States takes a whopping 43% of the world cultural market, while China so far takes a miniscule 4%. And as powerful as China is economically, China's cultural influence index ranks only 7th among 131 countries worldwide, behind the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, and Spain. This lack of success goes right to bottom line of the world's perception of China.
A recent BBC/Globescan poll of 28 nations showed that only in Africa and Pakistan is China viewed positively while in Asia, North America, Europe and Latin America, public opinion is either neutral, poor or negative. China has wasted a great deal of money trying to boost its image with poorly conceived and executed marketing efforts, the latest of which was the ineffective Times Square campaign launched to coincide with President Hu's state visit to the US earlier this year. The campaign featured dozens of successful Chinese, icons in this country. Only one little problem here though: except for a few, the icons were meaningless unknowns to Americans. Eventually China will master the art of soft power too." Image from article
Israeli diplomats train on 'Twitter PR' - ynetnews.com: "Staff members in Israeli missions worldwide are learning how to bolster their messages on the internet and social networks in preparation for September's UN vote on the Palestinian statehood bid. As part of efforts to form a "moral majority" among major powers, some 60 staff members of embassies in Europe and representatives of Jewish organizations are taking part in a seminar in Brussels which trains them on the combination between public diplomacy and online media."
Martonyi says new Hungarian foreign policy strategy on way - politics.hu: "The Foreign Ministry will finish drafting Hungary’s
foreign policy strategy within the next 1-2 months, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi told a meeting in Budapest of Hungarian diplomats stationed abroad. The ministry is also drafting comprehensive legislation aimed at enhancing cooperation in the areas of foreign affairs, economic and cultural diplomacy, he said on Monday." Image from
2011年8月28日 星期日 "The speed of the era of fast forwarding the correct information is important" - 75v.blogspot.com: [Google translation:] "Anna Prinz German culture, communications director at the German Embassy in Japan stationed gwigukhae a new job recently took on work. Germany is currently pursuing him, and sought to leave the future of public diplomacy to the basic principles and looked for direction. → German government in promoting long-term goal of public diplomacy.' The speed of the era of fast forwarding the correct information is important.'"
Jatiwangi Art Factory - blogger.com: "Jatiwangi Art Factory (JAF) is a nonprofit organization focuses on That Discourses of local rural life through public diplomacy, arts and cultural activities Such as festivals, performances, visual art, music, video, ceramics, Exhibitions, artist in residencies, monthly discussions, radio broadcasts and education."
Baddock finds success on and off the court - thetartan.org: "As the volleyball team ends its preseason and the players get ready for the regular season, [Carnegie Mellon] senior Emily Baddock spoke with The Tartan [student newspaper] about her academic life and her team’s upcoming season. Baddock, an international relations and politics major and French and francophone studies minor, will be starting the Heinz College’s accelerated master’s program this fall, where her focus will be public policy and management. After completing her master’s degree, Baddock is considering law school as the next step toward her goal of working in Washington, D.C.
for the U.S. Department of State or a nonprofit focused on international development. Last spring, Baddock had the opportunity to study at Georgetown University as part of the Washington Semester Program. In this program, Baddock was able to study international affairs and public diplomacy. "
In Reponse to Tony Delinsky, or Another Sip of Garmsir Kool-Aid - Dan Smock, registan.net:
Mention of public diplomacy.
PD lesson numero uno - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "'You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.' - John Viscount Morley"
Preparing for KSA - Springsteen Safari: Living Life Abroad: "On January 3rd 2011 took a stab at the Foreign Service Oral Assessment but sadly was not able to make it through on that go around. It was only my first though so here's hoping next year goes better. Then quickly following that I sent in all my grad school applications and headed out to the Republic of Georgia to teach as part of a program Teach and Learn with Georgia. I spent 5 months with a fantastic Georgian family and some great co-teachers. I have some more fabulous memories from Georgia too now, including that of their hospitality, their music, their dancing, their wine, and their food. The language is great too though it'd require some more time to accomplish [sic]. During my time in Georgia I discovered I'd gotten into all the grad schools I'd applied to, and that all 3 had a scholarship for me. Yay!
The NYT Applauds Obama Doctrine, Regurgitates Propaganda - John Glaser, antiwar.com: Whatever legitimacy the United States government has, it is derived by the consent of the American people. That is American Government 101 that we all learn in elementary school. That legitimacy simply does not carry over to the Libyan people. They certainly didn’t vote for King Obama.They didn’t get a say in whether they’d be better off or not with the rebels instead of Gadhafi.
Is Libya policy cornerstone of an Obama Doctrine? - Michael O'Hanlon, USAt Today: Obama's foreign policy efforts don't fit neatly into a precise doctrine, such as George Kennan's containment, John Kennedy's "bear any burden," Richard Nixon's "China card," Ronald Reagan's "morning in America" or George W. Bush's pre-emption paradigms. But it is perhaps as
concise as can be for this president at the moment. In the months ahead, however, Obama will have to find a more coherent way to explain his foreign policy vision — and more generally, his presidency — to the American people as he asks them for another term. Here, the health of the economy will be infinitely more important than Libya, however the latter turns out. Image from
Taliban Propaganda Watch – 281350utc Aug 11 - milnewsca.wordpress.com
All Together Now - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: As for America, we’ve thrived in recent decades with a credit-consumption-led economy, whereby we maintained a middle class by using more steroids (easy credit, subprime mortgages and construction work) and less muscle-building (education, skill-building and innovation). When the world is experiencing so many wrenching changes at once — with already high unemployment and weak economies — the need for America, the most important pillar of all, to be rock solid is greater than ever.
Leaving Regrets to Others, Cheney Speaks [review of In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir By Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney] - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times: The former vice president tries to focus blame on the State Department for the lack of postwar planning in Iraq, even though it has been widely
reported that its Future of Iraq blueprints were sidelined by the Pentagon, and he insists that he thought the insurgents were “in the last throes” in 2005, even though there had been myriad warnings from both military and civilian sources that things were spiraling out of control. Image from article, with caption: Dick Cheney, right, with President Gerald R. Ford and Donald H. Rumsfeld in the Oval Office at the White House in April 1975.
Here Comes Condibook Number Three - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog
MORE QUOTATIONS FOR THE DAY
"I’m sure that pictures of empty offices on Fridays and most afternoons, of endless meetings with no agendas, and of the crowd around the Embassy pool on warm Kabul Fridays would have been riveting to any American reader seeking to understand what they as a taxpayer are actually paying for in Afghanistan."
--Dan Smock, registan.net
“The process inside the [Pentagon] is quite chaotic because there are so many potential outcomes and nobody really knows what level to budget for.”
--Loren Thompson, who directs the pro-business think tank Lexington Institute
"Thomas Bertonneau, with whom I shared an office at U.C.L.A. back in 1986, rightly questions the research paper in an Internet era. These days, the research that students execute does not instill the knowledge and inquisitiveness such assignments presume. When students take on research tasks, here is what they don’t do:
• Visit the library and browse the stacks.
• Find an archive and examine primary documents.
• Read widely in the subject before identifying a subtopic.
• Type a term into Google.
• Consult Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.
• Download six Web pages, and cut and paste passages.
• Summarize the citations and sprinkle commentary of their own.
• Print it up and hand it in.
If the goal is to rehearse prevailing opinion about an issue or event, the Google way has its advantages. If all a teacher wants is information, and the desired skill is information retrieval (plus some evaluation by the student), the Web works best."
--Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
"The United States and public diplomacy: New directions in cultural and international history, Kenneth A. Osgood and Brian C. Etheridge, (eds.)" -- review by John Brown, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (2011) 7, 223-226.
Starting a fresh dialogue with USA - Inayatullah, The Nation: "Yet, another high-level delegations from the USA: A number of influential American Senators were in Islamabad earlier this week talking to our topmost functionaries - President, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Senate - one led by Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. The discussions revolved around the war on terror, the regional situation and Pak-US relations. ... What is urgently needed is the start of a high-level dialogue - strategic or otherwise -between the two countries to redefine the nature and aims of the relationship. ... The dialogue
should be preceded by an all parties’ heads meeting and extended sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate. Pakistan’s brief should fully reflect the thinking and feeling of the political leaders. No time may be lost soon after, to chalk out a public diplomacy programme to launch a campaign to influence policymakers, Congressmen, media, intellectuals, think tanks and the civil society in USA by sending well informed, capable and well placed Pakistanis over to Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles." Image from
Klout and the evolution of digital diplomacy - Brian D. Fung, Washington Post: "With a rash of pressing issues on the domestic front, President Obama has mostly left the unenviable task of repairing America’s image to State Department diplomats. Since 2009, much of that work has been done through social media channels as part of the Obama administration’s drive toward digital diplomacy. ... Digital diplomats broadcast messages and multimedia, attract commenters to specially designed forums in foreign languages and monitor trending topics in an attempt to take the world’s pulse. But whether conducted online or off, public diplomacy has always been an inexact science. How do diplomats know whether their efforts are paying off? While we’re still a ways from being able to identify a direct relationship between specific public diplomacy campaigns and changes in foreign opinion, social analytics applications like Klout may soon become a vital tool for digital diplomats. Klout,
which Time magazine included in a list of the year’s 50 best Web sites on August 16, gives its users a score based on how influential they are across a range of social networks. Contributing to the social savviness readout is a wealth of information about users’ most engaged followers and the topics they respond to best. It’s not hard to see how diplomats can turn this data to their advantage. ... Social analytics services don’t solve everything. They tell us little about how digital diplomacy advances U.S. foreign policy goals, for example. But they do provide an innovative medium-term solution to the traditional challenge associated with public diplomacy: defining and measuring success." Image from
Winning Hearts and Minds? The US Public Diplomacy, Cold War and the Arab Spring - Tatevik Mnatsakanyan, thinkir.co.uk: "We witness nothing as sensitive and long-sighted today towards the Arab world. As the budget for public diplomacy in the US has dramatically dwindled in the post-Cold War period, efforts have become less specialised in organisation and in techniques; often simply replicating the American commercial models of advertising.** Thus, there has been certain reversal back to the early Cold war clumsy public diplomacy efforts, forgoing all the later sophistication they had managed to achieve. Also, there is less acceptance that policies must not just be made to be seen as favourable to other peoples." Image from
A Security, Tourism and Trade Package for U.S. Allies - Stephen Heifetz and Marc Frey: "The 10th anniversary of 9/11 will bring many retrospectives. But DHS should not lose sight of current programs and policies and the current political context. That means focusing on security measures that simultaneously bolster the economy. DHS has plenty of opportunities to do both. Here is a 'security, tourism and trade' package that can be offered to U.S. allies to: (1) strengthen mutual security efforts; (2) bolster the economy by increasing tourism and trade; and (3) grow alliances with new and old global partners. The package would contain three program elements ...– Global Entry, Visa Waiver, and C-TPAT.
In each case, partner countries would implement security measures that enable DHS to focus resources on high-risk travelers and cargo rather than wasting resources on 'trusted travelers and cargo.' In exchange, the foreign trusted travelers and cargo would get faster and easier entry into the United States, thereby boosting tourism and trade and furthering alliances. ... [T]here are many countries to which we could offer a similar package to advance our security, increase our economic competitiveness, and promote public diplomacy all at once. Such a 'triple play' is rare; DHS should not miss this opportunity." Image from [of course, FBI not DHS].
A Counterterrorism Strategy for the "Next Wave" - The Heritage Foundation Counterterrorism Task Force: "The iron triangle of state-sponsored terrorism—Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah—is potentially as significant a threat to U.S. interests as a reconstituted al-Qaeda. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. Breaking the triangle apart can only be accomplished by bringing freedom to the people under the tyranny of the leadership in Tehran—change that has to come from within the country. The U.S. can contribute to this end by [inter alia]: ... Targeting public diplomacy to expose the [Iranian] regime’s human rights abuses. Such a campaign should document the abuses and aid victims, step up broadcasting and support for independent Iranian broadcasters outside the country to expose corruption of officials and the regime’s lavish aid to terrorists, and educate Iranians about genuine representative democracy."
America’s Sweatshop Diplomacy - Jennifer Gordon, New York Times: "According to the State Department, the J-1 visa Summer Work Study program, which allows foreign students to work in the United States for a few months, is meant to promote 'lasting and meaningful relationships' between the students and Americans. Try telling that to the more than 300 J-1 holders who went on strike at a Hershey’s distribution plant
in Pennsylvania last week, with the support of the National Guestworker Alliance. These engineering majors and future lawyers from places like Turkey, Moldova and China came hoping to travel and speak English, but spent the summer packing and lifting heavy pallets of Kit-Kats, often on overnight shifts and for meager pay. ... At a minimum, the government should preclude the use of the J-1 program as a way to obtain workers at below-market rates. If the program continues, it should be reformed to explicitly incorporate worker protections, including the right to organize, and should be supervised by the Department of Labor." Image from; see also.
Out in the World: Uganda bill gone for the moment - Heather Cassell, ebar.com: "For the first time the U.S. State Department has placed three international fellows in an LGBT organization as a part of a newly launched professional development program. The three fellows: Luis Melgarejo from Bolivia, Tovian Estella Nelson from Liberia, and Sam Muhumuza from Uganda, came to the U.S. to learn about LGBT rights as a part of the Community Solutions Program. They started their work at the Family Equality Council August 19. ... Muhumuza, 31, a straight ally, was inspired to learn more about LGBT individuals because of Uganda's anti-gay bill. The bill was recently squashed by the country's . ... The fellows are part of 66 groups of young leaders from 21 countries brought to the states by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The professional development program is administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board. Its purpose is to 'support and encourage grassroots initiatives around the world' spearheaded by young professionals, according to Carla Coolman, a State Department spokeswoman. The professionals will work in fields focused
The Goal of the Process is the Process - World-Wide-Matel: "I watched 'Remember the Titans' today. The story is a common one, retold since the time of Homer or Gilgamesh. Different people, maybe even enemies, come together to achieve a common goal and in the process of working toward the goal they become a team. They learn to respect each other by working together. Winning the championship is not the story; becoming a team is the real theme and long-lasting mutual respect is the long-term outcome. A successful public diplomacy program is ... that ... [w]e don’t win friends in the long run by always being right or by convincing people of the righteousness of our cause; we win friends by working together on a common cause. And the process of doing the task is often more useful than the final outcome."
Algeria: U.S Ambassador Henry S. Ensher - "President Obama nominated Mr. Henry S. Ensher, a Senior Foreign Service Officer, as the U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria in March 2011. Mr. Ensher was confirmed by the Senate in May and arrived
at U.S. Embassy Algiers in mid-July 2011. ... Mr. Ensher has been a Foreign Service Officer for 27 years and has served overseas in Mexico, Muscat, Tunis, Damascus, Jeddah, Algiers, and Tel Aviv. That service has included tours as political and economic section chief, as well as responsibility for commercial and public diplomacy programs." Ensher image from article
A motorbike accident in Kabul - Ellice Moll, abc.net.au: "Afghans rioted near the US Embassy in Kabul after a NATO military vehicle moving in a convoy crashed into a civilian car killing four people. Although the International Security Assistance Force promised an investigation, rumours later emerged that the team involved in the incident were immediately flown out of the country. This is not an isolated incident. A similar crash led to large-scale riots in Kabul in May 2006 leaving at least 14 civilians dead. Mr Daniel Riggio, public diplomacy and information officer for Afghanistan, offered some hope at a NATO-Afghan student forum in Istanbul last year. 'There is a tactical directive to minimise the risk of civilian causalities and there is also a driving directive because security parameters should not allow you, pardon my French, to drive like a jerk,' he said."
Quote of the Day - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence, August 26, 2011: "I’m reading Leo Bogart’s, Premises for Propaganda: The United States Information Agency’s Operating Assumptions in the Cold War (New York: Free Press, 1976), this is based on a report that he compiled for the agency in 1953-54. From page 55 an anonymous USIA official commenting on the targets for public diplomacy: ‘Any given area, country, or city can be divided into 5 percent operators, 10 percent stooges,
and 85 % slobs’[.]" Image from
Three’s a Crowd: Dyads, Triads and Networks, Part 2 - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "PD is difficult because it’s not simply about the relationship between two countries; the content and prospects for PD activities are often about third countries." For part 1, see.
"America lacks a central voice in terms of both reporting itself to the world and the world to its diverse citizens" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Market Watch, 22 Aug 2011, Kim Hjelmgaard: 'Writing in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Emily Bell of Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism said that the BBC is 'omnipresent in the U.K. — an all-encompassing news website, eight national TV channels and ten national radio channels, dozens more local and international channels, [plus] outlets on each platform dedicated to breaking news.' ... [A]mid the litany of established and proliferating news operations tethered to public mandates as well as purse strings — PBS and NPR in the U.S.; China’s Xinhua News and CCTV; Russia’s RT; France 24; Canada’s CBC; NRK in Norway; Australia’s ABC — the BBC stands out, even in these heady days of social media, for its ability to reach 'over the course of the week,' as BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said recently, 'every single person in the country.' ... Bell, a former journalist for the Guardian, said in her article that 'America lacks a central voice
in terms of both reporting itself to the world and the world to its diverse citizens,' and that as a now U.S.-based news consumer she often feels like she has 'no such go-to broadcast news source when big stories break.' ... Time Warner Inc.’s CNN may share some of the same global, stentorian authority of the BBC, the National Public Radio complex may vaguely hew toward a similar political DNA at times, but the former is beholden to stock markets and the latter is in receipt of a paltry $1.43 per person in annual federal funding compared to over $80 per person in the U.K, according to data compiled by the Free Press media-advocacy group.' [Elliott comment:] -- I think this analysis sells short the news efforts of ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN. The United States does, nevertheless, need more world news. The trio of CNN International, BBC World News, and Al Jazeera English on more cable systems would help. So would more cooperation between US domestic and international broadcasting. See also the referenced article in Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2011, Emily Bell." Image from
BBG's net circumvention efforts descend from previous decades' shortwave anti-jamming efforts - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
"Where is the Middle East equivalent to Radio Free Europe?" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "The Commentator, 23 Aug 2011, Robert Halfon MP: 'The last [UK] government, some of our universities and businesses, lost their moral compass when it came to dealing with the Libyan regime. Whilst senior new Labour Government figures hob-nobbed with Gadaffi and his family, our academic institutions accepted millions in blood money, whilst companies rushed to Libya to sign commercial deals. ... Liberty is a human right. Sometimes it requires military intervention, other times it requires hearts and minds. Rather than appeasement, our foreign policy should be directed at supporting resistance groups to dictators, funding radio, TV stations, and the internet, in the same way the CIA did in the Cold War to undermine Communism. Where is the Middle East equivalent to Radio Free Europe?' [Elliott comment:] If one is thinking of the latter, post-1956 Radio Free Europe, it concentrated on providing the credible news that was lacking in the state controlled media of its target countries. In that case, there are several Middle East equivalents of RFE, including Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Alhurra, BBC Arabic, and France 24 Arabic. But Mr. Halfon writes about 'supporting resistance groups.' That's less of a journalistic and more of an activist enterprise. US and UK funding for such media outlets should be done quietly and at arm's length, with the resistance group handling the actual content and operations. And it should be realized that most of the target audience will tune instead to the station that provides real news."
BBC and VOA are "trusted sources of information" among Hazara community in Afghanistan - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting
RFE/RL exclusive: VOA interview with senior US diplomat Marc Grossman - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "'Marc Grossman, the U.S. senior representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, recently sat down at the State Department in Washington with Voice of America's Lina Rozbih to discuss a wide range of regional issues, from the future of Al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network to India-Pakistan relations and the recent instability in Afghanistan as the United States begins to draw down its troops.'
Followed by transcript of the interview. [Elliott comment:] -- I was not able to find this interview, at least by way of a search, at the VOA website. This is at least the second major VOA interview made available at the RFE/RL website. This inter-entity USIB synergy is an encouraging development." Image from
Holy See and the Roadmap For Iraq Public Diplomacy - quemeperdonen.com: "Jueves, agosto 25, 2011 ... S E C R E T DOHA 001093 E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/11 TAGS: PREL PTER AF PA QA ¶1. (S) AMBASSADOR PRESENTED REF A DEMARCHE TO FOREIGN MINISTER HAMAD BIN JASIM AL THANI (HBJ) ON APRIL 7. SHORTLY AFTER AMBASSADOR BEGAN TALKING POINTS, HBJ INTERRUPTED AND SAID 'WE DONT WANT A TRIAL HERE OF BIN LADEN. THERE WILL BE NO TRIAL HERE OR ANYWHERE ELSE, UNLESS ALL COUNTRIES ARE IN AGREEMENT, INCLUDING THE U.S." HE ADDED THAT WERE THE TALIBAN TO APPROACH THE GOQ WITH SUCH A PROPOSAL, THE GOQ WOULD AGREE TO STUDY IT BUT PROMISE NOTHING.'"
US Sought “Talking Points” to Combat Impact of French Documentary on Monsanto - Kevin Gosztola, dissenter.firedoglake.com: "There are multiple indications in the large cache of US State Embassy cables WikiLeaks has been releasing (extended summary here) that the US State Department is willing to do just about anything to ensure the multinational agricultural biotech corporation, Monsanto, has its interests protected in countries around the world. Cables show the State Department has been very active in defending Monsanto in France during the past decade. In one particular case, a French documentary, 'The World According to Monsanto,'
was released. A diplomat with the US embassy in Madrid immediately felt the need for 'talking points' so it knew what to say in response to the content in the film. ... The [US Embassy Madrid] 'Country Team' is particularly disturbed by all the names dropped in the film of people who may have been working on behalf of Monsanto while in government, like John Ashcroft, Tommy Thompson, Ann Veneman, Donald Rumsfeld and Clarence Thomas. The 'Team' expresses interest in responding to the film but is aware that if they respond to the film with criticism they will only draw attention to the documentary. Still, they think 'there is a role for public diplomacy, mainly focusing on the rigor of the US regulatory system and the positive role ag biotech can play in meeting world food needs, particularly in the developing world.' The idea that Monsanto’s biotech, particularlty it’s [sic] genetically-modified seeds would be needed to 'feed the developing world' is propaganda from Monsanto’s public relations department." Image from; see also.
wikileaks Guyana – report on cuban, chinese & other foreign medical assistance - El Che, propagandapress.wordpress.com: "07GEORGETOWN511 2007-05-22 17:40 2011-08-26 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Georgetown ... Â¶1. Embassy Georgetown is committed to working with the Department, the Pentagon, and Southcom to carry through successfully the President’s mandate that the USNS Comfort’s visit will aid “people who might not otherwise get the basic health care they need to realize a better tomorrow.” The Guyanese public (and government) will measure the USNS Comfort’s success against a standard for foreign medical assistance that has been set by the Cuban and Chinese medical brigades permanently stationed in Guyana as well as by numerous visiting U.S. and Canadian NGOs, universities, and church groups. As the Embassy, Southcom, Pentagon, and State Department work together to create the Public Diplomacy plan for the Comfort’s visit to Guyana, we must take into consideration the current level of foreign medical assistance in Guyana."
Key stands by 'socialist streak' comments - "[A]leaked US Embassy cable reveals the United States planned to pressure the Government to send extra troops to Afghanistan. A Wellington cable from March 2009 reveals the Americans were unsure whether the Government, by being publicly non-committal on the matter, actually intended to commit extra forces or potentially withdraw the existing deployment.
The Embassy's advice was that if the US wanted to encourage a New Zealand deployment then they would have to find public diplomacy opportunities to explain choices in Afghanistan to New Zealand media." Image from
Our diplomatic network in disrepair - Andrew Shearer, lowyinterpreter.org: "In our report released today, Alex Oliver and I argue that, despite some positive developments since the Institute's Diplomatic Deficit report in 2009, Australia's diplomatic network remains severely overstretched,
jammed between rising demands and two decades of cuts. Australia benefits greatly from being one of the most globalised countries on the planet, but it also exposes us to risks. ... Our poorly-resourced and uncoordinated public diplomacy needs a major overhaul to enable Australia to reach and influence important new international audiences, with a focus on e-diplomacy and taking a far less risk-averse approach to media and public communications." Image from article; see also.
Fallout over Canada's decision to skip Expo 2012: Slight to S. Korea termed “a costly lapse” - Peter O'Neil, Edmonton Journal: "The Harper government, which has announced that it can’t attend Expo 2012 in South Korea due to budgetary concerns, was accused Wednesday of not paying sufficient heed to Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner. ...Daryl Copeland, a former Canadian diplomat and author of the book Guerrilla Diplomacy on the failures of modern diplomacy, was blunt in a brief e-mail.
Preemption, Not Retaliation! - Yoram Ettinger, familysecuritymatters.org: "Any response to terrorism which is short of devastating the ideological, political, financial, logistic and operational terrorist infrastructures, reassures terrorists that they are immune to annihilation. ... The addiction to defense, and to limited response, has been embraced by Israel since signing the 1993 Oslo Accord, in order to resuscitate the 'peace' process, which has triggered dramatically more hate-education, terrorism and non-compliance than the pre-Oslo reality. 250 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorism in the 15 years prior to Oslo, but over 2,000 have been murdered in the 18 years since Oslo. Limited response has also been implemented, in order to soothe international public opinion - which is never satisfied with Israeli concessions - thus recklessly subordinating national security to public diplomacy considerations. Sometimes it yields false sense of security and enhances short-term tactical popularity. However, limited response always undermines
An equal and opposite reaction - Eric Walberg, Ahram Online: "The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, just finished his term in Madrid, and in an op-ed in Haaretz' s Hebrew edition he summarised what he termed as a very dismal stay, charging that he was the victim of local and ancient anti- Semitism, comparing the situation to the Inquisition of five centuries ago. In 'Why the Spanish hate us', Schutz states that the people of Spain are anti-Israeli because subconsciously they are anti-Semitic and still approve of the Inquisition.
He ignores the fact that Jews fought side by side with their Muslim allies while the Christian invaders flooded into Spain, and suffered along with them when the Inquisition got into high gear. Claiming that Spaniards who criticise Israel are racist and motivated by 500- year-old Christian fanaticism rather than by Israeli criminal policies is just a feeble attempt at hasbara (public diplomacy) by desperate Israeli diplomats who have long ago lost the moral battle in Europe." Uncaptioned image from article
Egypt party head to visit Iran - The Egyptian Gazette: "Chairman of the liberal Al-Wafd Party Al-Sayyed Al-Badawi said that he received an official invitation to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to meet with a host of Iranian officials, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself. Expecting to visit Iran in the first half of September, Al-Badawi said Hosni Mubarak’s former regime was responsible for the deterioration of relations between Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Al-Badawi championed a public diplomacy bid by leading a committee of activists in visits to countries like Ethiopia and Iran after the Egyptian revolution."
Jordan profile - bbc.co.uk: "Around 1.7 million Jordanians had internet access by June 2010 (InternetWorldStats). In early 2010, a court ruling subjecting the internet to the existing Press and Publications Law prompted protests from journalists. Jordan's Queen Rania has used YouTube as a vehicle for public diplomacy since 2007.
Post-Gadhafi Libyan peace - Zhao Kejin, chinadaily.com.cn: "Especially, in the matter of the Libyan people's interests, China will actively participate in post-war reconstruction, and provide humanitarian aid to Libya. It will also carry out public diplomacy and enhance China's national image in Libya, all of which are conducive to deepening friendship between the peoples of China and Libya and which are of great significance and far-reaching impact in promoting bilateral ties. The author is deputy director of Centre for US-China Relations, Tsinghua University."
The Little Emirate That Could: Qatar versus Qaddafi - Lee Smith, Weekly Standard: "With Muammar Qaddafi perhaps on his last legs, Libyan rebel leaders are looking for $5 billion to rebuild a country wracked by nearly half a year of civil war. It’s hardly surprising that the first international aid conference is scheduled for Qatar, since no Arab leader has provided more assistance to the rebels than that country’s 59-year-old emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. As one of the first countries to recognize the National Transitional Council, Qatar supplied the rebels with arms, uniforms, and $400 million in aid, while also helping the rebels sell their oil. Not least, Qatar provided invaluable moral support with its exhaustive coverage of the rebels on the Al Jazeera TV network, the emir’s powerful public diplomacy wing." Below image from
Qatar's muscles - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Interesting article about tiny Qatar flexing some muscles with Libya by training the Libyan rebels. A bit different than their usual niche of conflict resolution, but perhaps this is part of a conflict resolution+ pd strategy."
[ed] Korea-China relations - koreatimes.co.kr: "China's blind embracement of the North is a reaction to the strong Seoul-Washington alliance. Seoul needs to pursue an equidistance policy with the United States, China and Russia. China also has big stakes in influencing the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Beijing could either be a spoiler or a helper on the fate of the divided Koreas. The two countries also need to strengthen public diplomacy. Anti-China and anti-Korea sentiments still linger. South Koreans need to treat Chinese well in Korea. Maltreatment of Chinese workers and students here has often been the source of their less-friendly sentiments on South Korea. The two countries have yet to learn that they can become true friends without alienating each other's friends."
Team Anna’s saffron slip - asianage.com: "It is time to disentangle the various strands that go to make up the Anna Hazare phenomenon. The Maharashtrian peasant leader is riding on the crest of a wave of frustrations and aspirations driving the middle class and other sections, and his main theme of busting corruption has struck a chord with vast sections of the population. Second, there are no two views on the maladroit moves of the government and the Congress Party in coping with Mr Hazare’s second fast. Third, the Anna
team, drunk on its own success, has taken up unreasonable positions and is indulging in a new form of arrogance. Indeed, the surprise is that the form of public diplomacy the team has adopted has left the government far behind in the information war." Image from
Biryani Diplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Having traveled to Pakistan, and ha[ving] written about the cosmopolitan side of Pakistan, I can appreciate the Pakistani desire to offer a more nuanced picture of the country. Unfortunately, the nation brand is currently pretty toxic and no repackaging is going to fix it. Rather than trying to start with a major rebranding, starting small and focusing on issues like culinary diplomacy is much smarter. Gastrodiplomacy and the promotion of Pakistani food would be a positive first step to showcasing another side of Pakistan. The richness of Pakistani cuisine would be a positive introduction to the culture of Pakistan to many places that currently have negative perceptions."
Month two – public diplomacy - Arthur Snell, fco.gov.uk: "[W]hilst official diplomacy – relations between governments and international organisations – is seen as the mainstay of a diplomat’s work, public diplomacy is equally important. Public diplomacy is probably an unnecessarily complex term for something very simple: meeting and communicating with the public, whether as businesspeople, students or civil society. Here in Trinidad and Tobago, where the public have a whole range
of personal and cultural connections to the UK, there appears to be genuine public interest in the UK and what it can continue to offer to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, whether in terms of supporting specific projects or in broader cultural, business and educational links." Uncaptioned image from article
Kagame's Diplomacy is Broken: How to Reinvent it - Theogene Rudasingwa for Salem-News.com: "[N]ations (especially big powers) use hard power (gunboats) or soft power (money, culture, public diplomacy, etc.) to get what they want."
Hiplomacy! - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "American Voices, the nonprofit that I wrote about in my piece on country music diplomacy conducted a "Hiplomacy" tour through India. American rappers, beatboxers and breakdancers got down with their Indian counterparts in Calcutta."
Students Pursue Diplomacy, Research in Suriname - College News: "The South American country of Suriname has less than 500,000 citizens, but nonetheless, it’s 'a cultural mecca of Creole, Javanese, Maroons, Amerindians, Chinese and Hindustani people,' said Katie Kirsch, ’12. 'Religious freedom and tolerance are evident everywhere, from the synagogue that shares the parking lot with a mosque to the elaborately inked buses or ‘waggies’ that depict celebrities of all cultures.'
Kirsch, along with 2011 graduates Courtney Meyer and Claire Kaisler, was one of the first three undergraduate interns selected to work for the U.S. embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname’s capital. During their ten-week internships, Meyer, Kaisler and Kirsch worked with the embassy’s political-economic, consular and public diplomacy departments, researching and writing reports, attending conferences, evaluating visa applications, and assisting with events related to the embassy’s priorities of democracy, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Along with their many embassy activities, the interns also studied Dutch, an important administrative language within the former Dutch colony. 'Dutch is a tricky language,' Kirsch said. 'Though the roots are often similar to English and there are many similar words, there are also many that were surprisingly incomprehensible at first glance.'" Image from article, with caption: Kirsch and Kaisler in traditional Surinamese skirts.
Review: Political Public Relations By Strömbäck & Kiousis - Doktor Spinn, doktorspinn.com: Public Diplomacy is an entirely new field to me. To be honest I had a hard time getting through Molleda’s chapter [in the book under review],
since diplomacy is such a difficult topic for me to get my head around. Reading up on Anti-Americanism was interesting, but also cynical. Dealings with such tendencies must start with listening rather than managing and even placing relatively mild critique on the same scale as antiglobalism and anticapitalism and deep hatred isn’t going to help US international relations; the US need to respond to critique with transparency and global collaboration instead of compr[e] hensive labeling of opposite interests." Image from article
Obama’s Non-Doctrine Doctrine - Clay Risen, New York Times: With the stock market gyrating, the Atlantic churning and D.S.K. walking free, it was easy to miss what some are calling a turning point in American foreign policy: the fall of Libya’s Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Thing is, no one can agree on what exactly that turning point represents.
McManus: Will there be a Libya bounce for Obama? It's possible that the president will get a boost in the polls if Moammar Kadafi is captured, but it's not likely to help him much in 2012 - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: Perhaps most important, the Libya campaign now looks like a success for one of the Obama administration's biggest foreign policy ideas: that an important goal of U.S. diplomacy, especially in a time of economic austerity, is to persuade others to help bear the burden of quelling the world's dangers. This is as close to an Obama doctrine as exists.
Libya inspires the Arabs - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: The effects of external stimuli, whether inspiration from a successful revolution
An imperfect triumph in Libya - Robert Kagan, Washington Post: The Libyan intervention will join the Kosovo campaign under the historical heading “Winning Ugly.”
The Nexus and the Olive Tree: The White House needs to tune out the dramatic events of Syria and Libya and focus on America's strategic goals in the region - Michael Doran, Foreign Policy: The world was treated to images of cheering Libyans retaking their capital on Aug. 21;
Libya's problems are far from over: The fall of Moammar Kadafi, who has long dominated life in Libya, will create a dicey security situation. NATO and the U.N. will have to send economic aid and, most likely, peacekeeping troops - Max Boot, Los Angeles Times: If NATO refuses to send a peacekeeping force (as looks likely at the moment), and if the U.N. doesn't step up, there is a real risk of Libya becoming a failed state.
Western Media in Libya: Journalists or the Propaganda Arm of the Insurgency? - Benjamin R. Barber, Huffington Post: There is no better proof for the gullibility (or worse) of Western media than how easily they have been manipulated by rebel spokesmen for the Libyan insurgency. From Sunday through Monday evening for more than 24 hours, broadcast and cable media outlets reported the rebels had captured Saif Gaddafi and his brother Mohammad. Why did they believe and publicize these unconfirmed reports? Because the rebels told them so. No photos, no audio, no proof. We even heard that Saif's capture was confirmed by International Criminal Court prosecutors who apparently believed what they were told too. Let's hope they have higher standards when they put the Gaddafis on trial or the tyrant may be acquitted! As we all know now, it was just propaganda. The rebels were apparently making it up as they went along.
Qaddafi Turns to Syria Media to Broadcast Propaganda After Losing Tripoli - bloomberg.com: Muammar Qaddafi,
in hiding and with Libyan state television knocked off the air by rebel forces, has turned to Syria to broadcast his propaganda. Qaddafi has spoken in two audio messages since losing control of the capital, Tripoli, this week, both aired by a privately owned network called Al Oruba TV. It is linked to Arrai TV, a Syrian-based television station owned by former Iraqi lawmaker Mishan Jabouri. Image from; on Rice-Gaddafi, see.
Rebel propaganda helped takeover of Gadhafi site - Maggie Michael, Associated Press: Between Libyan rebels' false announcement about the arrest of Moammar Gadhafi's most powerful son and his surreal reappearance in front of a Tripoli hotel, some 30 officers guarding Gadhafi's compound laid down their arms, according to the rebels. Although it cost the rebels credibility on the international stage, the misleading news was used by the opposition as a way to ease Gadhafi loyalists' grip on power. It appears to have been a success.
Israel wages war on Iranian scientists - Mahan Abedin, Asian Times: As the trial of Majid Jamali Fashi, the confessed murderer of Iranian physicist Massoud Ali Mohammadi, gets underway in Tehran, more light has been shed on the secret but intense Israeli war against Iranian scientists. Amid the confusion, rampant speculation and propaganda, two issues are clear. Foremost, the four-year Israeli assassination campaign exposes the weaknesses in Iranian protective security measures. Second, if the campaign continues apace, Iran will come under increasing pressure to strike back.
10 Things You Should Know About the State Department and USAID - Thomas R. Nides, Huffington Post: Among them: 9. We help Americans see the world. In 2010, we issued 14 million passports for Americans to travel abroad. We facilitate the lawful travel of students, tourists and business people, including issuing more than 700,000 visas for foreign students to study in the U.S. last year. And, if a storm could disrupt your vacation plans or if you could get sick from drinking the water, we alert you through our travel warnings. 10. We are the face of America overseas. Our diplomats, development experts, and the programs they implement are the source of American leadership around the world. They are the embodiments of our American values abroad. They are a force for good in the world.
25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war - David Sirota, Washington Post: In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of “X-Men: First Class,” backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. Then, in recent days, word leaked that the White House has been working with Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow on an election-year film chronicling the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. A country questioning its overall military posture, and a military establishment engaging in a counter-campaign for hearts and minds — if this feels like deja vu, that’s because it’s taking place on the 25th anniversary of the release of
Cables Reveal Propaganda, Disinformation Efforts by US: One cable explains US policy as "making the stories and bringing them to journalists - and not the other way around" - John Glaser, antiwar.com: State Department diplomatic cables released this week by WikiLeaks reveal propaganda efforts aimed at countering negative public perceptions about American wars and the torture regime in Guantánamo Bay detention center.
Soviet USSR Propaganda Posters, 1980s - aqua-velvet.com: Among them:
Martin Luther King -- Hero of all-American Communism! - John Brown, Notes and Essays: The below socialist/Stalinist-realism statue, composed by an art-worker who did busts of Mao ZeDong, is about to be a long-delayed and permanent fixture on the Washington D.C. Mall as a memorial in honor of Dr. King. Simply put, it is an offense to a religious man who was a humanist and moralist rather than an ideologue (but also a savvy politician); indeed, it could have been designed by J. Edgard Hoover, whose FBI thought Martin was a committed Commie
all along. Image from
Added image from Wikipedia, with caption:
The 'Younger Memnon' statue of Ramesses II in the British Museum thought to have inspired the poem [Ozymanidas]
Soviet Slander: Propaganda Posters from the Soviet Union - hercircleezine.com: Judy A Saslow Gallery (300 W Superior Street, Suite 103) is presenting “Soviet Slander: Propaganda Posters from the Soviet Union” an exhibition of 22 rare and historic framed propaganda posters that poignantly showcase each artists’ hatred and scorn of Americans and Jews, opening Friday, Sept. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. and running through Saturday, Oct. 29. The works were acquired by Saslow directly on a trip to Moscow in 1984. Saslow was initially shocked by how starkly disturbing these works depicted their messages of intolerance, but also was intrigued by their artistry and historic significance.
“Direct, efficient, and often brutal, propaganda art wields great power and influence,” said Saslow. “Over the past two decades, we have witnessed sweeping changes in politics around the globe. Yesterday’s Soviet Prop Art is appreciated now as both historical documentation and disconcerting works of art.” via MCB. Image from article
PG Wodehouse worried how much Nazis would pay for propaganda, MI5 files show: PG Wodehouse, the author of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, worried about how much the Nazis would pay him for his notorious wartime radio broadcasts from Germany, newly-released MI5 files disclose - Andy Bloxham, telegraph.co.uk: Wodehouse and his wife were living in their villa in Le Touquet in northern France when the Second World War broke out. They remained there during the German invasion
and were arrested in July 1940 before being interned at Tost in Germany. On June 21 1941, the author was playing cricket when the detention camp's guards suddenly told him to pack a bag and taken by overnight train to Berlin, where he made the controversial broadcasts and enjoyed relative freedom. The author moved to the US after the war and was knighted just a few weeks before his death in 1975 at the age of 93. Wodehouse image from article
The man who needed a fig leaf: In his autobiography Gunter Grass tries to explain - to himself and others- how he was drawn to Nazi propaganda as an adolescent and did not question it until after the war; in a special interview on the occasion of the book's publication in Hebrew, he rejects vehemently the claim that he mainly portrays the Germans as victims - Tom Segev, haaretz.com: Grass is a world-renowned brand name. He has a battery of assistants and is apparently a very busy person. His personal assistant told me that Grass was tired of talking about his SS past. He understands, of course, that on the occasion of the book's appearance in Hebrew, certain questions will be unavoidable, he is curious to know how the book will be received in Israel - but he hopes with all his heart that the interview will not be only about his service in the Waffen SS.
Aug. 25, 1944 | Paris Is Liberated After 4-Year Nazi Occupation - New York Times: In 2008, the Paris Historical Library opened “The Parisians Under the Occupation,” an exhibition of Nazi propaganda photos taken between 1942 and 1945. Many of the images show Parisians smiling and having a good time, implying that life was enjoyable under Nazi occupation. In reality, during that era, thousands of French people, most of whom were Jewish, were being persecuted and deported to Nazi death camps. The exhibit sparked controversy, with some in the city calling for it to be shut down. Exhibit organizers admitted that they should have presented the photos with captions that explained the historical context. They also added a warning, alerting visitors
Hurricane Irene, as seen from space, Aug. 26, 2011 - Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing