Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 21


"[S]he excelled in chemistry."

--New York Times gossip Maureen Dowd citing one of the talents, noted by Natalie Khawam, displayed by Khawam's identical saturnine twin, General Gen. John Allen's e-mail pal-gal Jill Kelley; Kelley image from


Propaganda 2.0 Reporting #Gaza and #Israel Conflict - Monica Curca, peaceforsale; image from entry


PM #Netanyahu Holds Video Conference with #Israel's Public #Diplomacy Centers around the World #israelunderfire - YouTube

Israel hijacks Palestinian TV channel with propaganda depicting Hamas leaders as rats -


US expert; Dr. E. Williams Colglazier ‘Israel is model for the world' - "The No. 1 challenge, in both Israel and other countries, is to translate innovative success into development, according to Dr. E. Williams Colglazier, science and technology adviser to the US secretary of state. ... [Q:] What would you like to accomplish during your tenure as science and technology adviser? [A:] First, I want to ensure that our office continues to be a good steward of three outstanding fellowship programs that bring scientifically-trained people to work at State and USAID – the American Association for the Advancement of Science fellowship program, which is the largest and generally for younger scientists; the Jefferson Fellows program, which is for tenured faculty; and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which includes fellows from the private sector.

Former fellows have permeated the department and greatly added to its scientific expertise. I also want to serve as a strong proponent of global scientific engagement. Nearly every country, regardless of its politics, respects America’s scientific and technological enterprise; many want to engage with it for their own national interests, especially for stimulating innovation and economic growth. In addition to assisting the functional and regional bureaus at State and the science units in other U.S. agencies, our office is providing information about U.S. scientists who can serve in public diplomacy events overseas and promoting programs that facilitate bringing bright individuals to the U.S. for education and training in science, engineering and health fields. I also want to encourage other governments to seek independent, objective advice from their scientific communities." Colglazier image from article

BBG welcomes Syrian release of Alhurra cameraman Cüneyt Ünal, but reporter Bashar Fahmi still missing - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Who Rules the World? – Monocle’s Top Twenty (Overview) - "The past couple of days have seen a number of articles appearing in the British national newspapers basking in the glory that Britain is the 'most powerful' nation on the world. While some might feel that claim ended over 100 years ago, according to the latest Monocle 2012 survey, Britain is in fact the most powerful country in the world when it comes to ‘soft power’ and ‘public diplomacy’. ... 1. Great Britain:

As stated above, Britain leapfrogged America, thanks to global events such as the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee which reminded the world of Britain’s achievements and influence. Other achievements including sporting, music and film success ensured that 'the traditional view of the United Kingdom has become tired and clichéd. From sport to design, music to film the UK of the 21st century is rather different than its previous incarnations'. 2. United States of America:

Despite losing top spot the American brand is still one of the best out there with the immense reach and appeal of its cultural outputs ensuring that it remains a strong one. A forward looking nation with beautiful natural scenery and a tourist friendly-infrastructure, leading the world in investment in world food and health initiatives, American ‘soft power’ has been dented by its insular outlook during the recent Presidential election and damaging perceptions of its conduct abroad including overseas occupations and unmanned drone attacks." 3. Germany:

Up one place from fourth, Germany’s high position is no surprise. 2012 has seen it cement their reputation as the 'undisputed leading of a creaking European Union', while Germany have a sturdy brand power and on every front – economic, cultural, intellectual, sporting – the country stands strong, and its ‘public diplomacy’ budget is consistent with the biggest spenders. One of the best networked states in Europe ... . 20. Turkey:

Another new entry into the top twenty, Turkey has undertaken a concerted ‘public diplomacy’ and ‘soft power’ effort. Playing a major role in international platforms including the G-20, the Organisation of the Islamic Co-Operation and NATO, the country has been at the heart of decision-making processes regionally and internationally. Being an exotic blend of East and West it retains a unique culture, while its unique location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia has made Turkey a bridge between the two continents." Images from entry

@diplomacy - Behind Israel’s Defense Forces Social Media Offensive - Jacob Kornbluh, "(My Piece on the Social media angle of 'Pillar of Defense', as published in the Jewish Voice) -- 'We are operating on four fronts: the military front, the home front, the diplomatic front and the public diplomacy front,' Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told volunteers - who are working to assist in the national public diplomacy effort – in a google+ hangout video conference on Monday. 'What you are doing greatly strengthens us on the public diplomacy front. We must fight for the truth, for the facts, and your help is worth more than gold. The fact that you are focusing on refuting the industry of lies and that you are reaching so many sectors is a significant addition for the State of Israel,' the Prime Minister added, according to a press release. The IDF hasn’t left the digital media front for volunteers only, but has also itself engaged for the first time in Israel’s history - debating Hamas’ talking points and repudiating their lies and misinformation - by showing an extensive presence on Twitter and social media sites. The Israel Defense Forces' English Twitter account has been quite active over the past week, has doubled its followers to over 190,000 in the last count, and got through the message to millions across the world with thousands of re-tweets and replies. Tablet Magazine, BuzzFeed, and FastCompany have gained access to the IDF social media team, learning cues from its daily experience live blogging the war."

Israeli PR – Also in Arabic: Israel works to counteract Arab media hate with Arab-language PR network - Maayana Miskin, "Since the beginning of the Pillar of Defense counter-terror operation, the Ministry of Public Diplomacy has beenworking hard to get the facts out in face of Hamas’ false reports. The PR effort, which includes a media center, has been dubbed, 'Israel Under Fire.' The diplomacy efforts are focused not only on the Western world, but on Israel’s Arabic-speaking neighbors.

'We set up this special center to show the world the unbearable reality causing suffering to four million residents,' said Minister Yuli Edelstein. 'Of course it is important to turn also to the huge population of Arabic speakers, a population that has been fed a series of propaganda and lies by our enemies for years.' Many volunteers have been helping, Edelstein said. 'Together we will continue to get maximum exposure for the information, through posts on Facebook, Twitter, and video clips.' The initiative has been helped by those Israelis living under attack, many of whom have volunteered to share their experiences on social media." Image from article, with caption: Edelstein in media headquarters Public Diplomacy Ministry

Inside Israel’s Social Media Command - Ben Jacobs, "Israel’s social media war with Hamas has been well-documented over the past few days as the IDF launched military actions in Gaza designed to end Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israeli territory. But what has been far less covered is what actually happens and who does the fighting when Twitter is the new front line.

Allison Hoffman, from Tablet Magazine,does an excellent job capturing Israel’s new social media soldiers. In two years, the Israeli government has built up a full fledged social media operation of ten people headed by Sasha Dratwa, a 26-year-old born in Belgium. According to Hoffman, this initiative is a natural extension of past Israeli efforts at public relations:  ['] For Israel, taking the war to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest is a natural outgrowth of the Israeli government’s public diplomacy initiatives, from helping organize seminars to train Israelis to advocate on the country’s behalf over social media networks to underwriting a campaign to improve the image of settlers among bloggers.['] ... There are no good metrics yet to determine whether this type of social media outreach is successful but it’s clear that it will continue to grow as an effective propaganda tool." Image from entry

Digital Diplomacy Colors the AppStore RED – Sharon Singer, "On November 17th, I posted one of my most viewed posts 'Gaza Shells Israel on Twitter' where I tried to make the point that the lack of Israeli presence on Twitter is harming the country’s public diplomacy efforts in light of the latest round of hostilities between Gaza and Israel. I simply said: 'Israel is the startup nation and the hub of technological innovation – Don’t ask them for photos, don’t create hashtags that no one searches for. Develop a simple, visual, location-based app that would enable people to share real-time alarms/sirens, rocket shells and of course photos and tags that will help them share their experience with everyone in the world, and not just their own circles.' Surely enough, today, only two days later, an app named 'Tzeva Adom' (literal translation: Color Red, which is the name of the sirens sounded throughout the country when a rocket is fired in its direction) appeared in the AppStore!

Funnily enough, I learned about it from an article on Ynetnews, reporting that Knesset (Parliament) Member Gila Gamliel from the Likud party currently in power, called upon foreign ambassadors posted in Israel to download the app in order to 'get some understanding of what is going on in Southern-Israel'. Whether this was a direct result of my post, a spark of common sense or lessons well learned on the go, it is interesting to see the growing understanding of the importance of digital diplomacy and how to utilize it as part of the overall diplomatic effort." Image from article, with caption: The Tzeva Adom App as appears in the AppStore

Jerry Jones Awarded 2012 Murphy Award For Lifetime Achievement In Entrepreneurship - Dena Miller, "On Friday, November 9, the 11th Annual Leadership Luncheon benefiting the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship was held in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole.Cowboy’s football franchise owner Jerry Joneswas honored as this year’s Murphy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship.

He joins the impressive list of honorees that include Craig Hall, Mark Speese, Nolan Ryan, F Trammell Crow, H. Ross Perot, Ebby Halliday, Sam Wyly and Bill Winspear. This year’s ambassador was Karen Hughes, whose credits include being a past executive director of the Republican Party of Texas, former television news reporter for NBC DFW affiliate, serving as undersecretary of state for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, counselor to President George W.Bush and author of Ten Minutes from Normal, a memoir of her experiences working with the president. She shared some very humorous and serious stories with the captive audience.

Images: heading of blog; other image from blog, with caption: Bill Wallace, Karen Hughes and Dena Miller


Has the United States Lost Its Power to Peacefully Coerce Other Nations? - Edward Hadas, The United States is still emulated, but is also now increasingly distrusted.

Whether the reason is some nebulous domestic loss of spirit, foolish foreign policy, the financial crisis or something else, the country is probably held in lower esteem internationally than at any time since the isolationist and Depression-struck 1930s. Image from article, with caption: The U.S. is losing its grasp on soft power. Could China be its soft power successor?

The never-ending war in the Middle East - David Ignatius, New York Times: Acting as peacemaker in this conflict has been a thankless job for the United States. It begets enmity in Israel, which doesn’t want its closest ally to be “evenhanded” in this life-or-death conflict. And it begets cynicism and bitterness among Arabs, who have heard so many American promises, to so little effect, that many have concluded the process is a charade. But at the beginning of Barack Obama’s final term, he needs to take up this burden once more, as he did when he came into office.

United States can’t pivot away from Middle East - Robert Kagan, Washington Post: What has people concerned and despairing is not American decline but America’s declining interest — the sense that the Obama administration, and the American people, have about washed their hands of the Middle East. For decades the United States has been able to provide security and remain engaged in three major theaters at once: Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Today those theaters are more interconnected, economically and strategically, than ever.

Israel-Hamas fight highlights role for U.S. - Editorial Board, Washington Post: Mr. Obama’s Asia strategy, while attractive in theory, will not spare the United States from the real-world challenges of a changing Middle East. To preserve vital U.S. interests, Mr. Obama will have to stay focused on the region.

The Ugly Truth About The Benghazi Propaganda… - sundancecracker: Everyone now agrees that on Sept 14th the entire intelligence community gave the White House specifics about what was the impetus of the Benghazi attack, al-Qaeda.

Now everyone agrees that on Sept 16th the same White House sent UN Ambassador Susan Rice to talk to the American people specifically removing the Truth and instead blaming a U-Tube video. In essence, propaganda. Image from entry

Obama's Burma Road: The President hits the right freedom notes in Rangoon - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: Burma's leaders changed course for their own reasons—not least the desire to provide an economic and political alternative to China's overbearing influence. But the sanctions organized by the Bush Administration also deserve some credit. Mr. Obama can now reap the strategic benefits of Burma's opening, and his call for greater freedom left no doubt where America stands.

Iron Dome propaganda - As'ad, The Angry Arab News Service: "By the way, there is so much free propaganda about the Iron Dome in the Western media--not to mention the Israeli media. Just google the success rate of the system and you will find that the success rate is 80% or 70% or even 90%, depending on the liar in question. Barak, however, went further and declared the system to be 'almost perfect'. What does almost perfect mean? It is either perfect or it is either almost, it can't be both. Perfection does not take qualifications. This reminds me of a title of an old Arabic movie: 'A virgin, but...' That was the exact title starring Nelly. You fell for the lies by the US about the patriot system back in 1991--and now we know that they were lies, and you are falling for the lies again. Please enjoy the lies."

Israel's war propaganda shot down - Barrie, Israel is the Number One when it comes to the Lying War Propaganda Machine. The US is second.

Propaganda 2.0 – Social Media Channeling War - "Propaganda: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person.

Media Literacy is key to curbing the power of propaganda. A good vs. bad guy paradigm is propaganda. Conflict is terrible and nuanced…Showing how each side is believing and spreading propaganda. To help I created a Storify page which I am updated on the lasted and greatest propaganda found.  Please send your suggestions in the comment box. CLICK HERE for Storify page." Image from entry

Twitter the new Propaganda Machine? - Can the presence of government entities shape the views of citizens who follow them? Are we as citizens more trustworthy or feel more secure by seeing these bits of information from a governmental organization? With that said, to an outsider, is this some form propaganda? Is this being used not only to inform, but also as a way to scare or intimidate the enemy? Social media enables not only entrepreneurs, journalists, citizens, but government agencies the reach they need to not only inform their citizens through messages, but at the same influence others both inside and outside their borders.

US Republicans, China should beware toxic nature of propaganda - Greg Torode, Propaganda fortresses can indeed entrap those they were built to protect.

Image from article, with caption: A young couple share a romantic moment in front of an official 18th Party Congress propaganda poster in Shanghai.

South Korean man sentenced for retweeting North Korean propaganda posts - Associated Press, A South Korean man has received a suspended 10-month prison term for retweeting North Korean propaganda posts. The Suwon District Court cited the National Security Law in its ruling Wednesday against Park Jeong-geun. The law prohibits praising and glorifying North Korea. Park could have received seven years in prison.


Jack Taylor Scores 138 Points: Division III Grinnell Sophomore Breaks NCAA Record - Luke Meredith, Los Angeles Times. Image from

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