Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17

"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."

--Writer Gore Vidal; image from

"New EVIDENCE - Barack Obama Is NOT An American Citizen..!!!" - Americans.....Who Hate Obama


American University and the Public and Cultural Diplomacy Forum Presents: Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine on Collaboration and Public Diplomacy, Wednesday, October 17, 12:00-1:30pm; see also; twitterer Lena O's coverage of talk at.


For reasons unknown to me in recent weeks this modest blog is no longer cited on Google. If any PDPBR readers/subscribers could possibly enlighten me on how to contact Google about this situation, I would be grateful ( See also.


Social Media, Diplomacy, and the Responsibility to Protect - Sean Aday, "[S]ocial media can aid diplomats in their effort to connect with citizens in other countries. We saw this in the creative and aggressive way that Amb. Robert Ford and the U.S. Embassy staff in Syria used social media to document abuses by the Assad regime before Ford was forced to leave the country. We also saw it in the way that the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain used their Facebook wall to host and engage in spirited conversations with people from different sides of that conflict. This is an important way in which social media are helping to more fully integrate public diplomacy into traditional diplomacy."

Angry Congress? Who’s Fault is That? And Here DiploPundit Gets a Scolding … - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: "One of my blog pals scolded me on a serious error in my recent blog post (see Angry Lawmakers Care About the Foreign Service. Seriously. When It’s Convenient!). The lawmakers are political opportunists with more stripes than a zebra

but since she has an excellent point, I’ll let you listen to the scolding: ...A (ignores me totally): ['] When State does go to the Hill, compare the general quality of their testimony with that of their military counterparts. We know the quality of communication matters, even if both sides continue to disagree. (Call it public diplomacy with the Hill if you want.) On the quality of the testimony, the Libya hearings provides an immediate example. Two State people + two military. Both military were clear in content, substance, and delivery. On the State side, only Kennedy excelled in all areas ... ['] . Oh, hey, would it help if FSOs blog about their lives overseas beyond the perfect PD moments and not get eaten by State Department tigers? Or maybe some senior FSOs reassigned to Foggy Bottom can adopt a congressman or a senator? State can start with Larry Schwartz, the Public Affairs officer from the US Embassy Cairo who ignited a political firestorm for his condemnation (cleared with the embassy’s acting ambassador) of a YouTube video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad. Heard that he had just been 'relocated' to WashDC, perfect timing." Image from

U.S. Fires Its Own Broadcasters in Russia - Helle Dale, "The treatment inflicted on 41 Russian journalists in Moscow’s Radio Liberty office is nothing less than scandalous, and it threatens to silence American broadcasting into Russia for good. But what is even more scandalous is that it was not the Russian government that, without warning, shut those journalists out of their offices on September 20 and 21 with armed guards, marched them to a lawyer’s office, and demanded they sign away their jobs of many years. It was the government of the United States. This action against the journalists by the management of Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe (RL/RFE), a U.S.-funded international broadcaster, reflects terribly on the U.S. as a nation

that respects human rights and free expression. The Broadcasting Board of Governors should reverse the firings without delay and issue a strong reprimand to the leadership of RL/RFE. The decision is allegedly the result of a new media law that takes effect in Moscow on November 10 that ends Radio Liberty’s license to broadcast on AM radio. The law was issued by President Boris Yeltsin during a very different time in Russian–U.S. relations. Yet other broadcasters manage to find alternatives, broadcasting either from the Baltics or through contracts with domestic Russian stations. In addition, the firings came shortly after the selection of a new head of the Moscow office of Radio Liberty, Masha Gessen, a Russian-American author and gay rights activist. Gessen met with Russian President Vladimir Putin just days before the firings took place, giving at least an impression that the Russian president had exerted pressure on her." Image from

«Радио Свобода». Эпилог: «Мы посмотрим, что делать с названием» ['Radio Liberty.' Epilogue: 'We'll see what to do with the name'] - Natalia Rostova, Interview with Radio Svoboda [Liberty] vice-president Julia Ragon

Ragon image from article

Russia Resets Obama's 'Reset': Maybe this is why Putin wants the President re-elected - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: "Last week, the Russian government unilaterally pulled out of a two-decade old partnership with the U.S. to safeguard nuclear and chemical weapons. The so-called Nunn-Lugar program, named after its Senate authors, was a genuine post-Cold War success. It nudged Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to give up their atomic missiles and ensured that loose Soviet nukes didn't fall into terrorist hands. Well, so much for that. This slap in the face follows Moscow's decision last month to close the U.S. Agency for International Development mission to Russia. USAID helped feed Russia in the darkest days after the Soviet collapse. But its recent support for local vote monitors and other Russian NGOs—as part of a modest democracy-building effort—cramped Vladimir Putin's authoritarian style. Then this week the Washington Free Beacon reported that Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is shutting down its Russian broadcasts after six decades because of a new law restricting foreign-owned media."

Ted Lipien shared Radio Svoboda's photo - Ted Lipien, Facebook: "Radio Liberty posted this photo/drawing on its website [.] To many it looks like a scene at a law firm office in Moscow, where about 40 Radio Liberty journalists, the Internet team and other media professionals

were fired last month by the American managers of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty." Image from entry

Design firm unveils "the future of news" at VOA, with "a widget for everything" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.

Image from entry

Outdated view on diplomacy hinders Lithuanian-Polish relations - "There are two types of diplomacy: traditional and public. Traditional diplomacy uses the discourse of hard power (‘who’s stronger than who’), while public one emphasises soft and smart power: the influence in this second case is attained not by means of force (e.g. political, economic or energy sanctions) but by attractiveness. And attractiveness is here measured not by ruffle dresses and posh cufflinks but by the ability to persuade of the rightness of one’s point of view and ensure support through one’s reputation. These two perspectives effectively reinforce one another in the arsenal of the 21st-century states. But of course if the power of public diplomacy is not yet understood, there’s nothing to reinforce your perspective with. Only the good old methods of traditional diplomacy that stood the test of time are then available. ... What can public diplomacy offer? It is grounded in the belief that power is in the hands of people, even if via democratically elected representatives; that the truth is more colourful than it may seem from within a grey diplomatic suit. Therefore, sticking a head out to the street and improving publicity will not spoil a chat by the tea set. Publicity can be improved by better contact with academia, NGOs and journalists (not only by sending them freshly baked press releases or inviting to press conferences to be informed about yesterday’s headlines). Since they also represent the people: perhaps not officially, but not necessarily any less effectively for that reason. Another principle of public diplomacy is the understanding that force doesn’t lead anywhere, so it is better to try and build good reputation that will later help gain support. It involves willingness to discuss and to listen, to persuade others of the advantages of one’s point of view rather than imposing it on them.

At its heart is the understanding that what matters in the discussion is not coming out a winner, but finding a common denominator so that both parties would think they gain something, not only lose. In this way, the spirit of partnership is nourished, which results from the understanding that the opponent, whether strong or not, has a right to be treated equally and with dignity. This requires much more time and much greater aspiration than being an official institution entails – it is about creating direct, long-term relations with social groups, based on trust and respect. This is how mutual connection is born, how relations with the public, and not just other members of diplomatic corps, are built. However, traditional diplomacy should not be replaced with public diplomacy; the former still is and will remain necessary, perhaps increasingly so. But traditional diplomacy on its own is insufficient. Without a strong public diplomacy, the Lithuanian diplomatic corps looks similar to the old NOKIA 5110: reliable and long-lasting but unable to meet the needs of the present day and age. The most important of them is to ‘stay connected’ with the public of foreign countries for this is the best way to strengthen country’s reputation, which, in turn, is becoming the main diplomatic currency. We must start thinking in terms of public diplomacy, by no means reducing it to baking press releases now for the foreign public also. Fostering good relations requires time and honest talk; it involves being prepared to see and admit one’s mistakes. It entails avoiding at all costs the temptation to choose the easiest way, i.e. only to steadfastly put forward one’s own position as many times as possible, via as many channels as possible. ... Public diplomacy is a dialogue. It is not a long pitch-black tunnel where parties at either end shout out what is in their heart, stomping their feet for greater effect. And as long as dialogue and publicity are not integral parts of diplomatic policies, 21st-century diplomacy will be out of our reach." Image from article

Musings on Israel PR by Ronn Torossian - "Owning 5WPR, a public relations agency, some articles on Israel PR I found interesting in last few days: n Why is it that Jews can live in any area of Paris, Moscow or NYC, but not in any areas in the Middle East ? As this article says, the Israeli Diplomacy Ministry is starting a global PR campaign to boost the global image of the settlers – and its about time:,7340,L-4292169,00.html n Just heard about a great new website – – Give Israel Your Un-united support. It’s a new pro-Israeli public diplomacy group. n Study reveals diversity among Pro-Israel advocates: n Worth visiting the Israel Projects global language dictionary for anyone interested in Hasbara, and Pro-Israel Public Relations effort – well worth reading: 'Tell them [the Jewish People] three things in my name, and not two: they must get iron [i.e. weapons]; they must choose a king; and they must learn to laugh.'”

China values Pakistan’s contribution in war against terrorism - "Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Zhao Qizheng has said that China values Pakistan’s sacrifices in the War against Terrorism as well as the country’s contribution towards ensuring peace and stability in the region. ... Because of his vast experience, in media development, Zhao Qizheng is regarded as the father of public diplomacy in China."

London Olympics in Hindsight: Sports Diplomacy - Suglana Misra, "My school, the University of Southern California, has had several events evaluating the London Olympics in depth. Each one has added new perspectives on the London Olympics. The first one, 'Sports Diplomacy,' was hosted by the Center on Public Diplomacy and the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles, and included Dame Barbara Hay, the British Consul-General of Los Angeles, Barry Sanders, the Chairman of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, among other accoutrements, three USC athletes who competed, and my own

Professor and Director of the Center on Public Diplomacy. ... Hay felt that the Olympics worked well with the public diplomacy campaign around 'GREAT Britain,' as well as exemplifying the 'English can-do' attitude, and indeed 'inspired a generation.' ... She added that the fact that the royal family had been very involved with the Games as well was an important part of British public diplomacy." Image from article, with caption: Sports Diplomacy Round Table, Center on Public Diplomacy

Abstract of Recently Completed Doctoral Dissertation - "Transnational, Trans-Sectarian Engagement: A Revised Approach to U.S. Public Diplomacy toward Lebanon A Doctoral Dissertation

by Deborah Lee Trent The George Washington University Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Washington, D.C. 31 August 2012 Abstract[:] Broadly, public diplomacy is governmental engagement directly with global publics in pursuit of national interests. Public diplomacy engagement involves outreach, listening, informing, explaining, collaboration, and persuasion. Specific to this dissertation, the U.S. government pursues public diplomacy for the additional purpose of strengthening relationships with global publics. This dissertation employs organizational sensemaking theory and process (Weick, 1995; 2001) to explore the mutual interests that foster, and the divergent interests that impede, credible public diplomacy with the Lebanese and Lebanese American publics. The scholarly and practitioner literatures framing the dissertation are: networked cross-sector governance; collaborative citizen engagement, relational public diplomacy; and government-diaspora relations. The two central research questions of this dissertation are 1) How do U.S. public diplomacy personnel, relevant Congressional committee staff, Lebanese Americans in U.S. civil society, and Lebanese stakeholders make sense of the challenges of public diplomacy toward Lebanon? 2) How would these stakeholders like to change the way U.S. public diplomacy policy and programs are administered?" Image from


US Drone Strikes on Pakistan: Counting the Bodies (Ross) - Alice K. Ross, Alice K. Ross writes at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The US government must release its estimates of how many people are being killed in CIA drone strikes, to end an over-reliance on often scanty media reports, a new study on drone casualties says. The absence of "hard facts and information that should be provided by the US government" means that the public debate is dependent on estimates of casualties provided by organisations including the Bureau, academics at Columbia University Law School’s Human Rights Clinic said.

This risks masking the "true impact or humanitarian costs" of the campaign, they added. The study also found that the two US-based monitoring organisations, the Long War Journal and the New America Foundation – have been under-recording credible reports of drone civilian casualties in Pakistan by a huge margin. When all credible reports of casualties for the year 2011 were examined, only the Bureau was found to properly reflect the number of civilians reported killed. Image from article

What will replace the globalization model? - David M. Smick, Washington Post: The globalization model of the past 30 years is cracking up. And there appears to be no new model to replace it.

8 crazy things Americans believe about foreign policy - Uri Friedman, Foreign Policy:  -- 41 percent of Americans believe China is the world's leading economic power, according to a 2012 Pew poll (the correct answer is the United States, which 40 percent of respondents in the Pew poll selected) -- 73 percent of Americans could not identify communism as America's main concern during the Cold War, according to Newsweek, which administered an official citizenship test in 2011 (admittedly, it's not entirely clear what if any alternative answers -- the Soviet Union? Nuclear weapons? -- the magazine accepted) -- 9 percent of Americans frequently worry about becoming a victim of terrorism, according to a 2011 AP-GfK poll (Reason magazine has calculated that the chances of being killed by a terrorist are roughly one in 20 million, and that "in the last five years you were four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist") -- Nearly 25 percent of Americans don't know that the United States declared its independence from Great Britain, according to a 2011 Marist poll -- 71 percent of Americans believe Iran already has nuclear weapons, according to a2010 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll (Israel, the United States, and the International Atomic Energy Agency would beg to differ) -- The average American thinks that the United States spends 27 percent of

the federal budget on foreign aid, according to a 2010 World Public Opinion poll (the figure is more like 1 percent) -- 33 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11 as late as 2007, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll (it's worth noting that the number was down from 53 percent in 2003, and that more recent polls suggest the percentage has continued to decline since 2007)  -- 88 percent of young Americans couldn't find Afghanistan on a map, 75 percent couldn't locate Iran or Israel, and 63 percent couldn't identify Iraq, according to a 2006 Roper Public Affairs/National Geographic Society poll. Via HF on Facebook. Image from

Propaganda 101: Pentagon To Debut Most Expensive Weapons Program Ever In New Superman Film: DoD continues long relationship with Hollywood as new stealth jets will be seen on silver screen before they are seen in combat - Steve Watson, "The Pentagon has reportedly 'chosen' the Hollywood re-boot of Superman to introduce the world to the most expensive weapons program in human history, the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet plane. The new stealth jet will appear in Man of Steel, the latest regurgi… ahem excuse me, 're-imagined' Superman adaptation starring Russell Crowe and directed by Zach Snyder."

Jewish-run Eutelsat embargoed Iranian communications - The EU claims to be a supporter of democracy and freedom of speech yet 19 Iranian satellite TV channels have been abruptly closed off from European access. Press TV has interviewed Mike Harris, the Managing Director of AMT Capital Partners, from Arizona about the actions of Europe’s leaders to limit the freedom of Iran to reach an audience and limit the freedom of people in Europe to receive news from Iran. Harris: [T]here is great unrest in Europe right now because of the austerity measures. To shut down the right of dissent at this time is undemocratic, in fact it’s dictatorial and it shows the manipulation of the population by the elite wanting them to only have one official voice of propaganda - and that’s what the EU says it is. Suppression of contrary view points is truly undemocratic and I fear for the EU that it will march on a path toward even greater suppression and a greater dictatorship and I fear for the same thing for the US because the US is just as unhappy as the people in Europe are, we just haven’t had the economic consequences hit us as hard as they are hitting there yet.

Propaganda Alert: Iran Plotting to Spill Oil in Strait of Hormuz, Magazine Claims - Iran is secretly planning to spill oil into the Strait of Hormuz as revenge for Western sanctions, according to Der Spiegel. The German news weekly claims to have spoken to Western intelligence sources who say they have obtained Iran’s classified report on the operation, which has the potential to create an environmental disaster. Code-named “Murky Water,” the plan allegedly involves steering an Iranian supertanker, capable of carrying hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil, onto a rock.

Xinhua ‘Brainwashing’ Uyghurs - China’s state media has launched a Uyghur language news website which it says has become an “instant” hit, but an exile group feels it’s another Beijing propaganda machine aimed at “brainwashing” the ethnic minority

in the restrictive Xinjiang region who lack access to information from the outside world. Image from article


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