Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25

"Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering."

--Saint Augustine; image from


Everyone Still Loves Hillary Clinton - Katie J.M. Baker,"Hillary's received accolades from both Republicans and Democrats for her foreign policy work over the last four years.

Over the past few weeks, besides dealing with the Libya attack aftermath, Hillary 'met with foreign leaders in eight countries, delivered 30 speeches, held 28 bilateral meetings and attended two dozen more events at the United Nations.' She told the WSJ that she considers her job 'public diplomacy' and herself a representative of the 'American brand.'" Clinton image from article

Where Was Hillary Clinton's State Dept. on the Eve of Benghazi? - Moshe Phillips, American Thinker: "The question of what Hillary Clinton's State Department was busy with during the days and weeks before the September 11, 2012 terrorist strike in Benghazi, Libya needs to be asked insistently and often. What was happening at Foggy Bottom as Islamic terrorists planned the murder of United States Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and other Americans? We now have part of the answer. At least some of the State Department's attention (and funds) were being spent on organizing international music tours. Clinton's staff was literally involved with fiddles (and guitars and drums) while Islamic terrorists where plotting to attack and burn the American consulate in Benghazi. Two separate musical concert series were being planned by State at the exact same time when American diplomatic personnel in the Middle East were issuing requests for security to be upgraded at consulates and embassies in Islamic countries.

There is now no doubt that their demands were dismissed far too quickly. The State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has a program, called American Music Abroad, that is tasked with sending American musicians to perform overseas. This year's tour began its concerts in the Philippines on September 11, 2012. For weeks before the attacks, some at State were working on this program. How much time was spent on security analysis for the Philippines tour is unknown.  Parts of the Philippines continue to be unsafe for Americans due to the stubborn insurgency there of al-Qaeda linked group Abu Sayyaf. The other program the State Department was busy with before the 9/11/2012 Benghazi attack is called OneBeat (SM), started on September 10 in New York.  It brings foreign music acts to the United States to tour. OneBeat (SM) is also a project of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 2012, State was scheduled to bring 32 rock musicians from 21 foreign nations to our shores. One participant in this year's program is from Egypt. How much time is spent screening these foreigners for any ties to terrorist groups is also not known. In an era of high unemployment and record-setting debt, how much money did Mrs. Clinton's team spend on these music tours? More importantly, why is State involved in such programs to begin with? What cost/benefit analysis was conducted on these concerts and by whom? The first mission of the State Department must be to provide protection for Americans abroad. In that Foggy Bottom failed. How many other silly and unproductive efforts was State involved with when the murderers of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens were preparing their attack? Moshe Phillips is the president of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI). The chapter's blog can be found at, and Moshe tweets at"

The buck stops here - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Apparently, I am, in part, the cause for the security failures in Benghazi. Yes, it is true. That [above] article has to be one of the most inane and nonsensical pieces of garbage I have seen in a long while." [Note: Paul Rockower is Communications Director, American Voices]

The Fading of America's Voice - Bruce Chapman -  "A Russian government crackdown on outside democratic influences and the announcement of layoffs at the American-financed Radio Liberty in Moscow bracket the crumbling of American public diplomacy. This breakdown has been going on for some years and has greatly accelerated in recent years. John Lenczowski, founder of the Institute of World Politics graduate school in WashingtonDC, provides the background in Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy(Lexington Books, 2011). Essentially, the United States is slowly retreating from the war of ideas in the world, the peaceful, but vitally important battlefield where accurate news and truthful commentary are made available to audiences that otherwise would not have access to them.

Prime Minister Putin's dislike for such outlets is well known and, given his penchant for news manipulation, well-understood. Now what we seem to be experiencing is the collapse of will on the American side. This gives painful new meaning to the term 'reset'."  Image from

SNEAK PREVIEW: An Interview with Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Tara Sonenshine - PD Mag Editors, "PD Magazine: You’ve gone through so many different fields and we’re curious, which field or career do you feel taught you the most that you’ve pulled into this new position? TS: My new position is an amalgamation of many career paths and choices. The experience in broadcast journalism was a critical life skill in terms of communications and listening. The experience running a small Internet company was perfect training for the uphill climb of working on entrepreneurial ventures. My work in conflict resolution, and conflict prevention and conflict management is a key building block of public diplomacy. And my time with NGOs and civil society organizations gave me an appreciation for the hard work of building open, transparent and democratic societies and creating public diplomacy in ways that are respectful to other cultures and open to the multiplicity of voices and the diversity of views. So, each career choice has been a building block."

9th Slovak Strategic Forum – 9th to 10th November 2012, Piešťany - "Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs, in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, NATO Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic and company Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, organizes the ninth Slovak Strategic Forum, which is entitled 'Energy security, aspects and trends'. Forum will be held 9th and 10th November 2012 in Piešťany."

New Georgian government of the coalition "Georgian Dream" - "[The] establishment of the new government was preceded by a presentation of the agenda of the current Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. ... According to the program presented, Georgia remains allied with the U.S., but it will establish a new format of relations with neighbors in the region, including with Russia. Dialogue with Moscow will be based on the use of international mechanisms which will help in the gradual overcoming of the present crisis. 'Georgia should get the function of Caucasian interests combined with balanced regional politics.

It is important to deepen political and economic relations with neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey,' Ivanishvili said. Touching upon the settlement of the conflict, he called it an essential component of the foreign relations of the government. In his vision, the strengthening of democratic institutions and the involvement of civil society, including public diplomacy, will contribute to the success of the process of conflict resolution." Uncaptioned Image from article

Measuring Soft Power - Calvin Hayes, Applied Public Diplomacy Group 3 Blog: "Leveraging soft power assets is extremely essential for diplomats, elected officials, foreign ministries and any entity in the business of public diplomacy."

Communications Intern - "The British Embassy in Washington, the United Kingdom’s largest diplomatic mission, is offering two internships for the spring of 2013 to work within the Communications Team. The Communications Team is responsible for handling public diplomacy on a range of issues (e.g., media relations, foreign policy, and promotion of UK priorities)."


Syria’s war spills into Lebanon - Editorial Board, Washington Post: In Lebanon as well as Syria, the Obama administration is pursuing the shortsighted policy of seeking to restrain anti-Assad forces. That strategy has had no effect in either country other than to empower U.S. enemies and jihadist groups, whose foreign sponsors are showering them with weapons and cash.

"Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through Jan. 27 - Wall Street Journal: Techniques of picture editing on a computer are more sophisticated

in the age of Photoshop, but the results are not. Image from


In 2009, Yale banned students from making a T-shirt with an F. Scott Fitzgerald quotation — “I think of all Harvard men as sissies,” from his 1920 novel “This Side of Paradise” — to mock Harvard at their annual football game.

The T-shirt was blocked after some gay and lesbian students argued that “sissies” amounted to a homophobic slur. “What purports to be humor by targeting a group through slurs is not acceptable,” said Mary Miller, a professor of art history and the dean of Yale College.

--Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, writing in The New York Times; image from



--Via G B-L on Facebook

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