Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16

"We do not ride upon the railroad; it rides upon us."

--Henry David Thoreau; cited at; image from


[Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] Tara Sonenshine's Speech at the 2012 J-Conference in Des Moines. Via PD_Dan on Twitter


Effective Public Diplomacy Needs Social Media: Public diplomacy needs social media, but social media shouldn't replace face-to-face contacts, says Tara Sonenshine, under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the U.S. Department of State - Jane Morse, Embassy of the United States, Brussels, Belgium: To be truly effective in the modern world, public diplomacy needs social media, says Tara Sonenshine, under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the U.S. Department of State. 'If we don’t join that vibrant arena, we will become irrelevant,' Sonenshine said October 15 in prepared remarks to the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington. 'More importantly, we will lose the chance to help more citizens become empowered and to support their most positive, productive — and, yes, peaceful — aspirations.' 'By harnessing social media,' she said, 'we can deepen the impact and quality of our public diplomacy everywhere. But we can also reach the people who need it most. I am talking about those who are hampered by geographic challenges or political constraints.' 'There are just too many people out there yearning for interaction,' Sonenshine said. 'But there is no way we can have direct contact with even a small fraction of them. Virtual technology gives us the capability to significantly scale up our engagement opportunities.' Sonenshine was one of the featured speakers at the Institute’s conference titled 'Exchange 2.0: The Science of Impact, the Imperative of Implementation.' The event brought together policymakers, researchers, educators and program implementers for 'Exchange 2.0' — that is, technology-enabled programs embedded in curricula for use in international educational exchanges. But Sonenshine, who years ago worked in 'old school' journalism, made it clear that social media and new communications technology will not replace traditional, face-to-face interaction.

'No matter how evolved our technology becomes, there is no substitute for a visiting student to sit across the dinner table with a family abroad. There is no substitute for the give-and-take of real encounters between people,' she said." Image from

Pak-US relations should be based on mutual respect: Kaira -- The Information Minister says Pakistan wants cordial terms with United States based on mutual respect and trust - radio.gov.pk: "US Director for Afghanistan-Pakistan public diplomacy Eileen M O'Conner called on Information Minister in Islamabad on Tuesday. They discussed matters of mutual interest‚ particularly cooperation in the field of media. Information Minister said Pakistan wants cordial terms with US based on mutual respect and mutual trust. He said Pakistan is a functioning democracy.

He said there is independent media and vibrant civil society in Pakistan. He said we condemn the blasphemous film. He said international community should criminalize such acts which destroy the peace of world. He said misuse of freedom of expression must be avoided. The Minister said Pakistan has rendered innumerable sacrifices in war against terror and those must be duly recognized." Image from article

New Wine in Old Bottles: Relationships in Public Diplomacy - Mary Jeffers, takefiveblog.org: "As a State Department Fellow at GWU’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (IPDGC), I’ve observed that a frequently missing piece of the academic puzzle is concrete discussion and analysis of what public diplomats actually do in the field. And considering that U.S. public diplomacy remains significantly field-driven, this feels like a major gap. Thus a blog series is born. As noted last week, the series showcases current field reporting highlights in U.S. public diplomacy work – through the lens of key PD principles and themes. Today’s theme is Building Relationships. Last week’s was Opinion Leaders. Future topics will include: Messaging Creatively; Crisis Zones; Arts as Communication; and more."

I Love the Smell Of Dip Notes In the Morning - skepticalbureaucrat.blogspot.com: "Since the September 11 attack in Benghazi, I have come to realize that nearly all of the voting, tax-paying, American public gets its information about embassies and diplomacy from ... oh, I don't know, really bad action movies, maybe.

Public diplomacy ought to start at home. Have there been any realistic depictions of diplomatic missions in American popular media? I can't recall any." For more on the Benghazi tragedy, see below "Related Items." See also John Brown, "Ambassador Stevens as a Public Diplomacy Envoy - Updated", Notes and Essays. Image from

U.S. Relocates Diplomat in Video Controversy From Cairo - Jay Solomon, and Adam Entous, Wall Street Journal: "The State Department has withdrawn from its embassy in Cairo the U.S. official who ignited a firestorm of controversy with his early, unauthorized condemnation of a U.S.-made video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad. The Sept. 11 public statement issued by the State Department official, Larry Schwartz, along with Twitter messages that he oversaw, fueled Republican attacks on President Barack Obama's handling of events in the Middle East. Senior State Department officials said Monday that Mr. Schwartz has been moved to Washington after serving as a special adviser to Ambassador Ann Patterson, the U.S. envoy to Egypt. These officials said Mr. Schwartz had been on temporary assignment in Cairo and has been given a new 'permanent position' in Washington, without identifying it. The officials had no immediate comment on whether there was a connection between the reassignment and the controversy over the video and the Cairo embassy's public statements. Working in Egypt on Sept. 11, Mr. Schwartz issued a statement saying that the U.S. embassy 'condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals

to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.' ... The protests over the video took on further importance when they were followed, later the same day in Benghazi, Libya, by an attack on the U.S. consulate that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. ... While some officials criticized the way Mr. Schwartz worded the condemnation of the film, other administration officials praised him for trying to defuse gathering protests in Cairo. Mr. Schwartz also oversaw the embassy's Twitter feed, which defended the embassy statement later that day. Mr. Schwartz is a career public diplomacy official who has served in Pakistan, India, Israel and South Africa. His handling of the crisis in Egypt drew praise as well as criticism from individuals inside the Obama administration. Some said Mr. Schwartz was among the first in the U.S. government to understand how the U.S.-made online clip would likely fuel unrest in the Mideast." Image from article, with caption: Protesters in Cairo climbing the walls of the U.S. Embassy on Sept. 11.

La Diplomatie Culturelle Française - evanmcarlson, thelastingimpact.wordpress.com: "So this Friday and Saturday saw Washington DC’s brightest young things congregate at the French Embassy for 'French Underground,' a two night soiree highlighting contemporary French culture. Being the man of the world that I am and seeing how it so nicely dovetailed into my own research currently at American University, I attended on Saturday evening see cultural diplomacy in action. Suffice it to say, this was not your parents’ stuffy cultural diplomacy with classical musicians, passed hors doeuvres and deep conversations about the meaning behind Descartes’ substance dualism. This was a party. There were rocking bands, bouncing DJ’s, packed dance floors, modern art installations that allowed patrons to participate, local food trucks specializing in French cuisine, and much more. ... In a lecture at American University today, Dr. Maia Cross suggested that the best public diplomacy is a conversation where ideas are shared multidirectionally, not just broadcasted unidirectionally. Indeed, she echoes the sentiments of many of the scholars of Public Diplomacy today. At the center of this idea is a concept that still really isn’t being explored head on: that the best public diplomacy doesn’t highlight the best, most relatable aspects of a state’s culture, but rather that the best public diplomacy highlights the fact that in spite of different cultures, people are really not all that different from one another and from this perspective, I found French Underground to be a truly inspired piece of public and cultural diplomacy."

Astana - Rome: vectors of partnership - goodman40.typepad.com: "In Italy, the XIV Congress of the World Association of the Russian language Press was held, attended by RK media. Here is the interview with

Kazakhstan Ambassador to Italy Andrian Elemesov. ... What do you think of public diplomacy? - I am for public diplomacy. The more citizens from different countries communicate, the better economic and political relations between the states. Public diplomacy has a number of advantages over state diplomacy. It is the sincerest form of cooperation, and it binds people. It also bears fruit: people learn about wealth, culture and traditions of other countries, especially now, when Kazakhstan starts investing overseas, including Italy." Elemesov image from entry

E-Diplomacy - Prof. Tunnard's Social Network Analysis and Social Media Classes: "Would public diplomacy geared by e-diplomacy improve diplomatic preparedness? Or social network would be just another Trojan horse?"

Risk Assessment in Encounters between Culture and Security - Robert Albro, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Traditionally, cultural diplomacy aspires to a mixed bag of countering stereotypes, building relationships, improving dialogue, telling stories, creating spaces of commonality, or raising controversial issues, often across fraught geopolitical boundaries. The recent run of 'Black Watch' at the Shakespeare Theater Co. in Washington D.C., which follows the fortunes of a Scottish regiment in Iraq, is a good example of theater crossing boundaries to address controversy generated by security decision-making. Yet ours is a moment characterized by multilateral and political formulations of cultural property, whereby culture is conceived as a rivalrous, exclusive source of identity, existentially threatened, and with sharply defined boundaries to be defended and safeguarded.

And 'cultural security,' with its associated language of strategic value and threat assessments, appears to promote the manufacture of an increasing 'climate of risk' vis-à-vis culture that seeks to solidify boundaries instead of enabling cross-over. In other words, aren’t cultural diplomacy and cultural security largely at odds?" Image from


Angry Lawmakers Care About the Foreign Service. Seriously. When It’s Convenient! - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: The State Department’s funding request for 2013 was $51.6 billion, $300 million less than 2012.  State and USAID with operations in over 270 posts around the world account for just 1 percent of the federal budget.  The Pentagon’s 2012 budget is $614 billion. Take a guess which one will be the easiest target for cuts in Congress. So – who can blame Ambassador Ambassador Ed Peck for saying that Americans really don’t care very much unless there’s a catastrophe overseas. We can’t even generate an angry mob of lawmakers to take a look at anything seriously, unless, of course, it’s Benghazi where they pretend at seriousness of purpose in finding the truth. Our darling parodist from the Foggiest Bottom has a couple excellent tweets on this:

Benghazi as a political football: Republican criticism of the White House over the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi smacks of politics - Editorial, latimes.com: It was probably too much to expect that Republicans would ignore the political possibilities in the deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya and the Obama administration's evolving explanations of what exactly occurred. But, predictable or not, their indictment is so overbroad as to be self-defeating.

The New Egypt - Roger Cohen, New York Times: The West — after Algeria and Gaza and decades of the hypocrisy that condoned the likes of Assad — must back Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Obama and Romney’s empty talk on Syria - Roger Cohen, Washington Post: In the frantic search for bipartisan agreement in Washington, here is something of a breakthrough. Although they will not admit it, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree on what to do about the Syrian civil war: Let the killing continue. So far, it’s working. There is no substitute for American leadership. If weapons are to be provided, then America ought to organize their distribution. If a no-fly zone is needed, only America can do it. If someone has to create an anti-Assad coalition in the region, then America, not Turkey — the former colonial power, after all — is the one to do it.

The Price of a 50-Year Myth - Michael Dobbs, New York Times: Kennedy was certainly bracing for an “eyeball to eyeball” moment during the Cuban missile crisis, but it never happened. There is now plenty of evidence that Kennedy — like Khrushchev — was a lot less steely-eyed than depicted in the initial accounts of the crisis, which were virtually dictated by the White House.

The White House tapes demonstrate that Kennedy was a good deal more nuanced, and skeptical, about the value of “red lines” than his political acolytes were. But his aides came to believe their own propaganda. They thought that strategies like “controlled escalation” would work equally well against the North Vietnamese. President Bush made a similarly fateful error, in a 2002 speech in Cincinnati, when he depicted Kennedy as the father of his pre-emptive war doctrine. In fact, Kennedy went out of his way to avoid such a war. Far from “ignoring” Khrushchev’s public offer of a Turkey-Cuba missile trade, Kennedy described it as a “pretty good proposition,” and sent his brother to seal the deal with the Soviet ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin. Image from

From Pravda to NTV: The Anatomy of Kremlin Propaganda Institute of Modern Russia, October 10 - Estonian World View: The Kremlin is persisting in its attempts to discredit the opposition in the eyes of Russia’s citizens by accusing it of working for “foreign sponsors” and preparing to seize power by force. According to IMR Advisor Vladimir Kara-Murza, however, the regime’s propaganda attack could backfire against those who initiated it. Six months after the airing of the pseudo-documentary The Anatomy of Protest, which asserted that Muscovites participated in opposition rallies for money and “cookies,” the NTV channel has come up with another “news sensation.” The second episode in the propaganda series turned out to be more daring than the first: The Anatomy of Protest II accuses Russia’s opposition leaders of planning a forceful seizure of power, terrorist attacks and sabotage, as well as “high treason.” The message is not original: Russia’s opposition, the film asserts, is in the pay of its foreign puppeteers. This time, playing the role of “patron” is not the United States, as is traditional, but the Republic of Georgia.

Hunt for notorious Ugandan warlord Kony loses momentum - Ioannis Gatsiounis, The Washington Times: Where is Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony? Just a few months ago, the viral Internet video “Kony 2012” led the world to believe it would soon have the answer to that question. Amassing nearly 100 million views within a week of its release in March, the video called for the warlord’s capture by year’s end. Millions of dollars in donations poured in. The U.S. government bolstered its strategic coordination with regional governments that would provide ground troops. But whatever momentum the 30-minute documentary conjured has largely evaporated. Kony, whose Lord's Resistance Army has survived on a steady regime of rape, murder, pillage and abduction across East and Central Africa, remains a fugitive

Commentary: Japan's propaganda war on Diaoyu Islands doomed to fail - Wu Liming, Xinhua: Whatever tricks Japan may play, to lobby Western politicians, to distribute pamphlets or to spend huge money on propaganda, they can not change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China.

Image from, with caption: Topless model pose for China's Diaoyu Islands in Real Estate Show.

J’khand jails dens of Maoist propaganda: Cops - deccanchronicle.com: The Jharkhand police top brass has alerted Central agencies of jails in the state becoming dens for Maoist propaganda.

The Jharkhand police brass has driven the Union home ministry’s attention to security of jails in the state, indicating that some of them have turned into centres of Naxal propaganda. A large number of Maoists have either been jailed and killed by security forces during anti-Naxal operations in the Maoist-infested states in the last one year. Image from

War of words that helped defeat enemy - dunstabletoday.co.uk: In the Second World War, young Heather Woods stayed tight-lipped about her family’s role in top-secret propaganda, dropped from the skies to demoralise German troops. But decades later, the 78-year-old Kensworth grandmother was happy to tell millions of TV viewers about how the Luton News worked to help win the war. Heather’s father John Gibbs was a director of Home Counties Newspapers, the Luton News publishers at that time. A programme in a BBC Two series, How We Won The War, explained how propaganda material was printed in German at the Luton News print works.

That included Nachrichten Für Die Truppe (News For The Troops), a “black propaganda” newspaper, which aimed to hit morale among the enemy. Heather said upwards of 800,000 of the propaganda newspapers were published per day, rising to about a million for D-Day. And said: “We do know that the Germans were surrendering with them in their hands.” She has donated documentation and propaganda newspapers to Wardown Park Museum, in Luton. Woods image from article


--Via ES on Facebook

Via JH on Facebook

No comments: