Monday, March 5, 2012
"For a creative writer, possession of the 'truth' is less important than emotional sincerity."
--George Orwell; image from
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY RESOURCES
Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #60 by Bruce Gregory
(a) EU's 'Racist' Propaganda Video - islamversuseurope.blogspot.com
(b) Undated: 'Freedom and You' (aka 'Red Nightmare')- the60sat50.blogspot.com: "Made by Warner Brothers studio for the U.S. Department of Defense, 'Freedom and You' was an hourlong propaganda film intended for viewing by military personnel. It was later shortened, retitled as 'Red Nightmare' and shown on American television and in U.S. schools. It tells the story of a disinterested citizen who wakes up to a Communist-controlled society. Because of Warner Brothers' involvement, it had many more familiar faces than a typical propaganda movie -- Jack Webb (of TV's 'Dragnet') was the narrator, and Jack Kelly (from TV's 'Maverick') played the title character."
(c) Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel; via
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN THE NEWS
U.S. Aid to Pakistan – Time for a (new) strategy - Alicia Mollaun, pakistannewsonline.blogspot.com: "The Centre for Global Development’s (CGD) June 2011 report Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Fixing the U.S. Approach to Development in Pakistan reopens the debate on aid effectiveness in Pakistan. The report very convincingly sets out the problems with the United States’ current aid policy in Pakistan. It then equally as convincingly argues that the United States should not wash its hands of Pakistan yet, but should alter its aid policy and give Pakistan another chance. ... The CGD report lists five priorities for the U.S. Government: clarify the mission; name a leader of the U.S. aid program in Islamabad and Washington; tell people what the U.S. is doing; staff the USAID mission for success; and more effectively measure Pakistan’s overall development program. These five steps are all important for a successful development program. It is worrying that these steps
USC hosts 42 ambassadors for State Dept - Rachel Bracker, dailytrojan.com: "Ambassadors to the United States representing more than 40 countries came to campus Friday to learn about innovation as part of a three-day tour of Los Angeles sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The senior diplomats heard about such topics as branding, changes in social media and the availability of capital in Los Angeles over breakfast in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center ballroom. The stop at USC was one of three that day. Kamyl Bazbaz, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of State, said the program breeds collaboration.
Will America's voice become a whisper? [subscription] - Guy W. Farmer, Nevada Appeal: If the Obama Administration gets its way ... America’s Voice will be reduced to a whisper. Alan L. Heil, Jr., a former colleague who retired as VOA’s deputy director, expressed his concerns last month. 'Under the Obama Administration’s proposed FY 13 budget, the potential damage to . . . the Voice of America would be unprecedented,' he wrote on a broadcasting blog. 'Such hemorrhaging must be halted if the free flow of information from America to the world is to be secured . . .' for the Voice’s 140 million weekly listeners in 43 languages around the globe. The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which supervises our government’s international broadcasting – including VOA, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, the Middle East Network, and Radio/TV Marti to Cuba – wants to downsize the Voice into a smaller, news-based operation and contract-out other programming responsibilities. Heil argues that this transformation would undercut VOA’s 'respected brand name' and further, that proposed reductions to VOA English broadcasts 'would deprive (the Voice) of a valued role in our own language.' 'The Voice’s future . . . is dim indeed unless Congress halts the carnage,' he concluded. I couldn’t agree more because radio broadcasting is, or should be, an integral part of our nation’s public diplomacy (overseas cultural and information programming) strategy to tell America’s story to the world, which was the motto of my alma mater, the now-defunct U.S. Information Agency (USIA). Unfortunately, thanks to ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), USIA was merged into the sprawling State Department in 1999, and coordinated public diplomacy programming disappeared from view in Washington, D.C. As part of that ill-considered merger the government’s radio stations were turned over to the quasi-independent BBG, which plays pop music while downplaying, or even ignoring, the VOA Charter’s directive to 'present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively.' Personally, I don’t think taxpayers should subsidize an official radio station that doesn’t accomplish U.S. foreign policy objectives. If that happens, just turn the whole thing over to PBS or Sirius satellite radio." Via LB
How the BBG will increase its audience by 50 million by 2016 - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "BB[G] Strategy blog, 28 Feb 2012, Paul Marszalek: 'The BBG 2012-2016 Strategic Plan set an aspirational goal of increasing the weekly global audience size by 50 million. An increase of that size, a little more than 5% each year, would be no small feat in flush economic times. An atmosphere of budget cuts and austerity will make it that much harder. Regardless, it still can be done. ... Distribution: ... Overall, the data trends are clear: Consumers are moving away from shortwave and even medium wave (AM) to FM, Television, Satellite Television, and Mobile. ... The Types of Content and Target Audiences: ... Better options for crowded markets include
WE_NATO - we-magazine.net: "Today we launched a new website for NATO in Brussels. It’s called WE_NATO – a wordpress blog on which NATO plans to have an eye level conversation with netizens out there in the web on various topics. It’s a new approach for NATO in the up-run to the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012 with formats such as livestreams, videointerviews and liveblogging. We will invite various people from the Internet world to contribute and participate. [Included in the entry] is a short interview we produced for the launch – besides the offical NATO statement from Dr. Stefanie Babst, Head of Public Diplomacy to give you some insights what the major challenges are and what to expect."
China's public diplomacy at crossroads - china.org.cn: "It has been at least five years since Zhao Qizheng introduced public diplomacy to China at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top political advisory body in China. However, this form of unofficial, cross-cultural communication faces a rather uncertain future with Zhao's retirement this year as CPPCC spokesman. Zhao has guaranteed that he will continue to spread his theory among his PH.D students at Renmin University, where he is dean of the university's school of journalism. However, Zhao's CPPCC colleagues inside the foreign relations sector care more about the sustainable social impact of public diplomacy beyond the ivory tower. To that end, they introduced a series of proposals at yesterday's group discussion, which was attended by CPPCC National Committee Chairman Jia Qinglin. Proposals included the establishment of a public diplomacy association inside CPPCC, the setting up of relevant training for CPPCC members and the government's formal endorsement of the magazine Public Diplomacy Quarterly.
Chinese culture centres spark propaganda fears - Alexander Kuenzle and Ting Song, swissinfo.ch: "Confucius Institutes are springing up all over the place, bringing Chinese language and culture to foreign audiences. One has recently opened in Geneva, attached to the university there, offering courses in Mandarin. A second is scheduled to open in Zurich in autumn, and a third in Basel in 2013. But some of the media are questioning their independence. Confucius Institutes are more or less the equivalent of the Alliance Française, Goethe Institutes, the British Council, the Società Dante Alighieri and the Institutos Cervantes, which different European countries have had in Swiss cities for many years to promote their language and culture. It is scarcely surprising that a country like China, an emerging economic and political power, is also looking for more cultural influence to enhance its reputation - part of the 'soft power initiative' launched by Chinese Prime Minister Hu Jintao in 2005. The cultural institutions of most countries are autonomous, unconnected with any local educational facility. But China’s Confucius Institutes are different, leading to criticism from some teachers, education authorities and parts of the media. ...
Former drug mule to share experience tomorrow - theborneopost.com: "A sharing of experience by a former drug mule is among the highlight of a three-day Outreach and Public Diplomacy Programme organised by Foreign Affairs Ministry and the state government starting tomorrow March 6. Other events include sharing of knowledge and ideas on addressing drug mule issues from the perspective of the relevant authorities including increasing awareness and prevention by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), youth and women."
Meet your presidential candidate: Amr Moussa, the vacillator - Heba Afify, Egypt News: "Kicking off a career of political and public diplomacy [:] Moussa started his career in the Foreign Affairs Ministry in 1958. He advanced quickly and represented Egypt in a number of countries, ending up as the permanent representative of Egypt to the United Nations in 1990.
The Perfect Watch for the Oral Assessment - Candace Ren in FSOT - Ren's Micro Diplomacy~ a public diplomacy and soft power blog: "Just bought the exact watch I was hoping to find. The Timex Marathon has a stopwatch feature as well as a timer with an unobtrusive end-time beep.
A Vegan from the Midwest? - Heather Freitag, Wandering Mind and Body: "About Heather Freitag [:] Originally from Minnesota. Working toward my master's in global communication with a focus on international
Iran war draws close with little informed debate - Editorial, USA Today: Concerns about a nuclear Iran are also valid. But given the stakes, Obama is right, as he said Sunday, to speak softly and carry a big stick, and the president is right not to limit his options by drawing the hard lines Netanyahu is expected to seek today. Whether Obama is right to dismiss containment as an alternative is another question, one in need of informed discussion.
Why Israel Has Doubts About Obama: Even Democrats have publicly questioned U.S. statements and policies toward America's most important Mideast ally - Dan Senor, Wall Street Journal: Election-year politics may bring some short-term improvements in the U.S. relationship with Israel. But there's concern that a re-elected President Obama, with no more votes or donors to court, would be even more aggressive in his one-sided approach toward Israel. If Mr. Obama wants
Move over, Egypt, Iraq and Syria: Iran, Israel and Turkey are now driving change in the Middle East - Aaron David Miller, latimes.com: It's the new world of the non-Arabs — Iran, Israel and Turkey — that will now increasingly shape that stage for both good and ill. No matter how long it lasts, the eclipse of the Arabs will carry important consequences for the Middle East and the United States' interests there. The eclipse of the Arabs carries few positive consequences for the United States. Egypt will become a much less reliable partner as both its public and elites hammer America for its policies on Israel; Iraq will probably remain violent and unstable, certainly not a reliable buffer against Iranian ambitions; and Syria, an adversary that the U.S. at least knew, is evolving into a terra incognita, a potentially fractured polity in which regional powers and sectarian conflict will produce even greater instability. And in the interim, Iran's efforts to acquire a capacity to produce a nuclear weapon, and Israel's efforts to stop it, may drive the region closer to war.
Assad's hidden strength in Syria: Key factions see their fates as intrinsically linked to his regime's survival - Aram Nerguizian,latimes.com: Internal or external efforts to truly isolate, weaken or replace the regime are likely to fail unless real-world steps are taken to address the legitimate fears of key groups that still support Assad.
Western Lies, Bloodlust, and Hypocrisy: The Syrian Endgame - Daniel McAdams, lewrockwell.com: The mainstream Western media relies for virtually all of its information regarding events in Syria on US and UK government funded "NGOs" such as the extremely suspicious Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. These organizations are advocacy/propaganda outlets with shadowy connections to Western governments and their self-described agenda is to bring down the Syrian government. A normal person with normal intelligence would automatically view any information disseminated by such a group as suspicious -- particularly as none of them are actually based in Syria.
Iranian rights lawyer jailed for 18 years for spreading anti-govt propaganda - newstrackindia.com: A Tehran court has reportedly sentenced a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer to 18 years in prison for spreading anti-government propaganda, endangering national security and accepting an illegal German human rights prize in 2009. Abdolfattah Soltani was also banned from practising his profession for 20 years and will be sent to a remote prison where it will be difficult for his family to visit him, his daughter Maede Soltani claimed.
In Photographs: Inside an unseen Iran! - rediff.com: Call it propaganda or counter-propaganda, or may be even stringent media restrictions, but perceptions of Islamic Republic of Iran in the eyes of the world have been anything but accurate. Often described by the West as a barbaric nation with an unjustified urge to expand its influence beyond its frontiers, the fact that Iran continues to be an absolutely 'normal' society, has been heavily, and often deliberately, missed. Like many other countries in every nook and corner of the world, even the 21st century Iran is trying to blend tradition with modernity in its own way to find and shape its future.
Israeli Propaganda Machine Nets Australian Companies - workersbushtelegraph.com.au: In January 2010 a Mossad assassination squad murdered Hamas’ Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. The killers carried identities and passports belonging to innocent others, five of whom were Australian. Israel sanctioned these identity thefts and the criminal use of forged passports so it’s no big deal for them to co-opt 508 Australian companies without their permission and list them in the Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) CleanTech sector web site.
The Execution Factor: It was designed as propaganda to deter would-be criminals. Instead interviews on death row have become China's new TV hit - Hazel Knowles, dailymail.co.uk: The glamorous Ms. Ding conducts face-to-face interviews with the prisoners, who have often committed especially gruesome crimes. Her subjects sit in handcuffs and leg chains, guarded by warders. She warms up with anodyne questions about favourite films or music, but then hectors the prisoners about the violent details of their crimes and eventually wrings apologies out of them. She promises to relay final messages to family members, who are usually not allowed to visit them on death row. The cameras keep rolling as the condemned say a farewell message and are led away to be killed by firing squad or lethal injection. It was designed as propaganda to deter would-be criminals.
No Lei Feng Spirit for China's 2012 Economic Policy - Tom Orlik, Wall Street Journal: Lei Feng, a propaganda figure from Mao-era China who is enjoying an official resurgence, is meant to embody China's can-do public spirit. But based on the evidence from the National People's Congress, China's budget mavens have yet to take up his example. A propaganda campaign to reinvigorate the Lei Feng spirit is underway. The official media is bombarding the public with stories of the exemplary life of a soldier who became an icon of hard work and altruism before an untimely death under a falling telegraph pole.
NK’s Propaganda Machine Goes Into Overdrive - The food-and-weapons-freeze arrangement the U.S. and North Korea announced last week unsurprisingly drew criticism from the more hawkish corners of Washington. But over the weekend, it became clear that the arrangement also upset the hawks in Pyongyang. It also became clear over the weekend why North Korea didn’t accede to U.S. entreaties to mend relations with South Korea. The North instead staged a massive rally against South Korea and issued more than two dozen statements over the weekend criticizing the South’s government, in what appeared to be the biggest-scale propaganda effort in years. The North had two main messages. The first was that it really
N. Korea Issues Mortal Threats Against South Days after signing nuclear compromise deal Kim shows no signs of softening - Jack Phillips and Cindy Drukier, Epoch Times: Just days after agreeing to a moratorium on its nuclear program, North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, is threatening to conduct “its own-style sacred war” against South Korea.
Restaurant Pyongyang: Food, Drink and Propaganda in Phnom Penh - thethreewisemonkeys.com.
Russians will be taught to love Russia - Natalya Kovalenko, Voice of Russia: A draft law “On patriotic education” has been worked out in Russia as part of the government’s program of patriotic propaganda for 2010 - 2015. This draft law was prepared by experts from as many as 10 organizations -- the Ministry of Sports, the Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Culture, The Russian Military Center, The Ministry of Home Affairs, the Justice Ministry, the Ministry of Finances, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Education. Several days ago, the project was okayed by the Public Council of the Russian Federal Security Service. Some experts believe that everything which surrounds Russians from the early age should teach patriotism -- toys, books, TV programs and so on.
A Propaganda Windfall for the Imperial State - Edward Herman, truth-out.org: Steven Pinker’s new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, is a propaganda windfall for the leaders and supporters of the U.S. imperial state, currently engaged in multiple wars, with over 800 military bases across the globe, asserting and using the right to kill untried “terrorists” any place on earth and still operating a torture gulag abroad and a record-breaking and abusive prison system at home.
The Aircraft as a Fascist Propaganda Artifact - Fabio Segre, sanguine-penguin.blogspot.com: The totalitarian European states in the 30s tried to establish a link between nationalist popular feelings and identity, by employing modern techniques of visual expression and advance technology through the state propaganda.
A Portrait of the Artist: Pro-Soap Propaganda - blog.kanelstrand.com: "By now, most of you know about my passion for handmade soap. That is why, when I learned about Brittany's charcoal soap I couldn't resist and asked her to participate in A Portrait of the Artist project.
ONE MORE QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"[P]eople in the United States, though apparently still obsessed with the Civil War, remain uncertain about how to remember this troubling event collectively; as triumph or tragedy, as rebirth or mass murder, or as something else again. Or maybe it's just that Americans are notoriously suspicious of foreign languages, and just what kind of fancy word is sesquicentennial anyway?"
--Ari Kelamn, "An impertinent discourse," The Times Literary Supplement (February 24, 2012), p. 7
Via LO by email