Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 10

The PDPBR is updated, time permitting, throughout the day.

Via FW on facebook


Public Schedule for October 10, 2012 - U.S. Department of State: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 11:00 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine delivers remarks to a group of visiting Girl Scouts in honor of the first-ever International Day of the Girl on October 11, at the Department of State. ... (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE) 2:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine co-chairs the Global Philanthropy Working Group with Special Representative Balderston, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 6:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine delivers remarks at The Marshall Legacy Institute Gala, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC. (MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)"

Remarks to Delegates of the FIFPro Congress, October 9 - Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State: "Through our sports diplomacy office, we continue to be actively engaged in sending our finest athletes around the world – from baseball players to ice skaters to hockey players to soccer stars. ... They tell people that within a sport, there should always be respect for the athlete—respect for their work conditions and living conditions and for their individual and universal rights.

They make it clear that we believe that labor rights are human rights – and that they apply equally to men and women. That is the power of sports diplomacy and, as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, I am deeply invested in using it to bring attention to our values and principles. Sports diplomacy can also happen on an individual, citizen-to-citizen basis." Image from

Public-Private Partnerships Promote Public Diplomacy - Tina Jeon, "The world of global public affairs is seeing an increasing shift toward reliance on support and investment from both the private and public sectors.

It’s clear that cautious businesses and budget conscious governments in the aftermath of the global economic recession are less likely to take on 100 percent of the risk in expanding markets. As a result, public-private partnerships are more important now than ever before. From China’s steady financial expansion from Western Europe throughout the South Pacific, to Mexico’s meteoric rise in trade with the United States, challenges to new market entry and expansion can be solved through public-private partnerships." Image from

Citizen Diplomacy May Save Us Yet - David Swanson, The International News Magazine: "For as long as there's been a United States of America, its private citizens have done some of its best diplomacy. ... One of my favorite cases, recounted in When the World Outlawed War, involved James Shotwell, who worked for the Carnegie Endowment for Peace (created by Andrew Carnegie to work exclusively on abolishing war, and currently working on everything but). In 1927, Shotwell drafted a public statement for the Foreign Minister of France proposing to the United States the creation of a treaty criminalizing war.  When few took notice, Shotwell's colleague Nicholas Murray Butler wrote a response to the Foreign Minister in the New York Times. These two ventriloquists' public diplomacy resulted in a treaty banning war to which the United States, France, and 79 other nations are party today. ... Our government doesn't talk to others, takes great pride in not talking to others, and assassinates rather than trying alleged criminals in court where they'd have to be spoken to. But we have a government of the people even when our government is of the oligarchs. Sending pizzas to Tahrir Square has done far more good than sending tear gas. We have the ability and the responsibility not to let a government that doesn't speak for us, speak for us."

U.S. Department of State Announces Bluegrass/Americana Group the Boston Boys to Tour Middle East with American Music Abroad - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, U.S Department of State: "The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with American Voices, announced that the Boston, Massachusetts-based Bluegrass/Americana group The Boston Boys will tour Morocco, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, and Saudi Arabia this fall as part of the American Music Abroad series. Tour activities will include public concerts, lectures, demonstrations, workshops, media outreach, and collaborations with local musicians.

The group will conduct a pre-tour outreach program with local students at the School Without Walls in Washington, D.C. on October 15. The American Music Abroad program sends American bands overseas to engage with audiences and communities, especially underserved youth. This season’s 12 participating American Music Abroad groups were selected from a pool of nearly 300 applicants to travel to more than 40 countries to promote cross-cultural understanding through music. The 2012-2013 season will feature a variety of American musical genres, including urban/hip-hop, bluegrass, country, Americana, classical/jazz, rock/blues, and Hawaiian slack key guitar/hula. For more information, please visit or contact: Anna Griffin, U.S. Department of State (202) 642 6445, and Paul Rockower, American Voices (301) 875 8319," Via PD_Dan on Twitter. Boston Boys image from

An Interview with Marcus Eley, Clarinetist and Musical Ambassador - "Marcus Eley, a clarinetist based in Los Angeles, California, renowned for his performances and lectures on the classical music of

African Americans, has represented the U.S. as a cultural ambassador on several state-sponsored tours in China and South Africa." Eley image from article

CUSIB Joins the Rally Cry for Radio Liberty Supporters - BBGWatcher, USG Broadcasts/BBG Watch: "The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) stands in solidarity with Radio Liberty supporters and listeners who demonstrated at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow Tuesday against the mass firing of Radio Liberty (Radio Svoboda) journalists, web editors, and other staffers. Russian and international media covered the protest."

‘Gangnam Style’ boosts South Korean brand - Simon Mundy, “'Gangnam Style' has become South Korea’s biggest musical export: It stands at No. 2 on both the U.S. and British charts, and its video has been watched on YouTube more than 406 million times. The phenomenon is particularly welcome for an outgoing government that has paid enormous attention to boosting South Korea’s standing in the eyes of the world.

Since assuming the presidency in 2008, Lee Myung-bak has stressed the importance of developing the country’s 'soft power' to a level befitting its economic heft. He created a permanent presidential council to 'establish a national brand,' has increased spending on foreign aid and hosted a series of high-profile events, including a Group of 20 summit in 2010. A viral pop hit was not part of the nation branding plan, but it is 'very useful, very important,' says Ma Young-sam, ambassador for public diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry." Via PR. Image from article, with caption: South Korean rapper PSY, who sings the popular "Gangnam Style" song, speaks to the media during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012.

Winners of INDIAFRICA Business Venture Emerge - "At the inaugural INDIAFRICA business venture competition organized by theideaworks in collaboration with the Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs Government of India, three innovative and enterprising young people emerged lucky winners. ... Joint Secretary Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Ms. Riva Ganguly Das described the initiative as a successful [.] 'Public-Private partnership bringing the youth of Africa and India closer in an innovative and enterprising relationship. ['] She disclosed that a total of 153 qualified entries from some best institutions from 20 countries with Nigeria accounting for the highest number of entries from Africa, were received."

The Incompleat Public Diplomacy Reader - James Thomas Snyder, "When it comes to public diplomacy I am aware of no condensed reading list outside those assigned to the few academic programs in this country that teach the discipline formally, and even then I don’t have access to those syllabi. In any event, I find most strictly academic reading lists to be limiting, not liberating, and when I was working in public diplomacy I found books and essays on advertising, photography, filmmaking and narrative journalism – not to say excellent specific representations of those things themselves – particularly important to illuminating and inspiring the work that I did.

That said, I’ll list here [in the blog] a thematic series of books that have helped me think through the problems of public diplomacy. do not claim that this list is definitive or exhaustive and I certainly encourage others to mount their own lists. I always felt I never found what I wanted to read relating to visual media, for example, so I’m still looking and may add to this list at a further date." Image from

China-Based Fundraiser Linked to Illegal Foreign Donations - Andrew Stiles, "A prominent Democratic donor with ties to the Red Chinese government may be implicated in the Obama campaign’s flouting of federal campaign finance law, according to a bombshell investigative report. The groundbreaking new study, authored by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), highlights the 'curious case' of, a website previously, and possibly still, owned by Obama campaign bundler and frequent White House visitor Robert W. Roche. ... He is a past chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai Board of Governors, and a member of the Board of the Public Diplomacy Collaborative Initiative at Harvard."


It’s Not Just About Us - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: How does the U.S. impact the Middle East, a region with so many cross-cutting conflicts and agendas? We start by making clear that the new Arab governments are free to choose any path they desire, but we will only support those who agree that the countries that thrive today: 1) educate their people up to the most modern standards; 2) empower their women; 3) embrace religious pluralism; 4) have multiple parties, regular elections and a free press; 5) maintain their treaty commitments; and 6) control their violent extremists with security forces governed by the rule of law.

A third option in Syria: Forget about overthrowing Assad. Both sides need to avoid a long civil war and agree to meaningful reforms - Robert A. Pastor, Some have urged the U.S. to increase military support for the opposition, but President Obama's caution is wise. If the U.S. goes down this road, it cannot afford to lose, but it is unlikely to "win" soon or inexpensively. Americans are weary of wars in the Middle East, and they learned in Iraq that winning can be elusive. In Syria, the winners might be jihadis, and one result could be a regional war by and against the Kurds.

This is the time for a new goal and strategy. The goal should not be to overthrow Assad, however desirable that might be to many. The goal should be to construct a path to a political system that provides voice and vote for all Syrians, and institutional checks and balances to protect all minorities and sects. Image from article, with caption: Syrian government airstrikes and shelling attacks on rebel-held areas killed at least 40 people, hours before peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was to brief the U.N. Security Council in New York on talks with President Bashar Assad and the opposition.

Libya Just Gets Uglier and Sleazier - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: The evidence that State knew of the security issues in Benghazi, and ignored them, continues to accumulate.

Beyond the Propaganda: The Real Reason Why the U.S. and Israel Do Not Want a Nuclear Iran - Brandon Turbeville, Considering the constant sabre-rattling of the United States, Israel, and a gaggle of European countries regarding the impending war of aggression against the nation of Iran which, in recent time has significantly reduced its isolation, the country would almost be foolhardy not to pursue a nuclear weapon. One thing that is for certain, however, is that the United States, Israel, and NATO have already played their hand.

If the constant political, financial, and military harassment efforts aimed at Iran by much of the Western world do not descend into a conflagration of global scale which itself ends in the use of nuclear weapons, then they will have certainly accomplished the task of providing the motivation for Iran to develop one. Image from entry

'Trickle-Down Government' and Internet Freedom: While tyrants make a run at global Internet censorship, the Obama administration stands by passively - Gordon Crovitz, Wall Street Journal: This administration is standing idly by as countries such as China, Russia and Iran work to get the United Nations to bless censorship on the Web. Authoritarian countries are trying to use a review of global networks by the International Telecommunications Union to undermine the open Internet. These tyrants want to cut their citizens off from the Web and to get the U.N.'s blessing for shutting down services like Facebook and Twitter.

U.S. Diplomats Grapple With Risks, Rewards Of Jobs Overseas - According to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the union representing members of the foreign service, roughly 13,000 individuals are involved in overseas diplomacy, at 260-plus U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. Since 1980, AFSA president Susan Johnson has served at a number of those missions, from Havana, Mauritius and Moscow to Romania, Iraq and Bosnia.

She says, that, for all the risk and danger that accompany the diplomatic life, there are plenty of rewards, too. "It's not a career where you're going to get rich," Johnson says. "But you may have a very rich life experience. And most people retire really proud to have served in the foreign service, and to have represented their country and lived history. Because that's a lot of times what you're doing. Other people are reading about it, but you're part of it, living it. Via MS on facebook. Image from article, with caption: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes remarks at the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) Plaque Ceremony in the Department of State’s C Street Lobby.

Romney: The View From England - Raymond Dzhong, Wall Street Journal: With Britain's next general election still three years off, the Conservatives gathered at their party conference in Birmingham this week have had to look across the Atlantic to get their election fix. Two panel discussions on the U.S. presidential race drew estimable crowds among the Tory faithful despite the packed conference agenda. Mitt Romney, the panelists agreed, was the more Anglophile of the two candidates. The ideological affinity between the Democratic Party and the Conservative Party—more centrist than the GOP though it may be—was nil, the panelists said.

Pakistan victim of propaganda: Lakomov - The Ambassador of Ukraine Volodumyr Lakomov has rejected the report of western media portraying wrong image of Pakistan. He said that Pakistan is peaceful and investment friendly country and Ukraine is eager to enhance bilateral trade ties with Pakistan.

War in Vietnam – the US Government Propaganda Film - Vincit Omnia Veritas, "[O]ur governments lie straight to our faces just the same today as they did back then (this is not limited strictly to the US), yet like back then, we again fail to see beyond the veil of the propaganda and accept what we’re told without much questioning.

At least certainly the majority of us do." Image from entry

WWII Propaganda: The Influence of Racism - Hannah Miles, Images created in times of war reveal the tensions and fears ignited by the conflicts between nations. Close analysis shows that the attached World War II propaganda poster is one such image.

This 1942 poster, titled This is the Enemy, circulated in the United States following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Its purpose was to embody the entire Japanese nation as a ruthless and animalistic enemy that needed to be defeated. This image represents a clash between two nations at war and illustrates the biased perceptions that developed as a result. By dehumanizing the Japanese and instilling fear in the minds of Americans, WWII propaganda posters prompted cultural and racial hatred that led to massive historical consequences for the Japanese. Forms of propaganda have permeated society for centuries and have evolved to become a common tool of warfare.

SIW 10th October - Shakespeare's Richard III : Royal Propaganda or Political Satire? - Renee Krosch, There can be no doubt that Shakespeare's Richard 111 pays lip-service to (and some may argue promote) the Tudor royal family's propaganda about Richard.

But it can be argued that is it pure political satire. Richard III image from article


"Don’t be fooled into thinking that the increased budget went to increased personnel and better security [at the State Department]. Most of the increased funding is dedicated to Special Agent pensions under Public Law 105-382, which establishes age 57 as the mandatory retirement age for Special Agents, and computes their annuity at 2.5% of high 3 average salary times number of years. This is far more generous, and far more expensive than pension benefits for other State employees. In the late 90s, both State and ICE scrambled to get their officers designated as

Special Agents, a designation previously limited to fewer agencies. While it was a prestige and morale issue for both agencies, it has had a major impact on budget expenditures. Those who complain that military pensions are too generous should note that DS uses the same formula as the military, but DS average salaries are much higher than military salaries. Once they retire with a really good pension, they can come right back as contractors, who don’t have any requirement to retire at age 57. That’s where the money goes." Image from

--"Bill," cited in the Peter Van Buren's blog, We Meant Well


--Via KK on Facebook


Naples, Italy, 1880 Photographer: Giorgio Sommer; via DP on Facebook

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