Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 6-8



Dec 05: Measuring the Public Diplomacy of the Future - The Heritage Foundation: "With budgetary constraints and the moral imperative to justify government expenditures to taxpayers, it has become ever more important to find ways to explain, measure – and by extension – justify the impact of our public diplomacy. Please join us for Under Secretary [of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] Sonenshine’s remarks on the centrality of public diplomacy to current U.S. foreign policy, why public diplomacy is important for our prosperity and national security, and some of the traditional and innovative approaches the Obama Administration is using to measure the impact of public diplomacy."


Dean Ernest J. Wilson III writes about the newest public diplomacy actor, Silicon Valley Oct 31, 2012 - USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The newest paper in the CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy series written by the Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Ernest J. Wilson III, studies the newest actor in the public diplomacy realm, Silicon Valley, as it becomes a significant player in U.S. foreign policy. In his paper 'Silicon Valley's Foreign Policy,' Wilson reminds scholars and practitioners of the importance of economic and digital diplomacy."


U.S. sets diplomacy to music in Russia - Kathy Lally, Washington Post: "Russia has been doing its best to suppress American influence here, but somehow it must have managed to overlook a woman in a bright red dress, with a commanding voice, operating on behalf of the U.S. State Department. The woman in the red dress — she even had a matching flower in her hair — was Maya Azucena, a singer from Brooklyn on a two-week trip with her band. The good news: It’s apparently still all right to encourage justice and love, freedom and self-expression in Russia, as long as you do it with a song in your heart.

Azucena performed in Moscow, the Siberian city of Irkutsk and the central Russia cities of Kursk and Orel, wrapping up in Voronezh on Tuesday. She sings rhythm and blues, with some soul, reggae and hip-hop mixed in — all quintessentially American and all with a deeply American message. 'My job is to help you recognize your own power to change your own community,'Azucena said after a performance at the residence of U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, where she had an audience of Russians — along with a smattering of embassy employees and expats — not just listening, but on their feet and moving to her music. ... Over the past year, the U.S. Embassy has brought zydeco to Nizhny Tagil, cowboy music to Archangel, gospel to Nizhny Novgorod, Native American/New Age to Yaroslavl, bluegrass to Perm, mariachi to Ussuriysk (that’s about 5,600 miles from Moscow) and jazz to points in between. ... Azucena who has traveled to Burma, Sri Lanka, China, Honduras and other countries on behalf of the United States, was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, using funds from the State Department’s public diplomacy program. 'This is American wealth,' McFaul said when he introduced the band. Later, he told its members that even skeptics about America said they were moved by the music. 'You are true cultural ambassadors,' he said." Azucena image from article, with caption: Maya Azucena sings at Spaso House, the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, Russia on Nov. 1, 2012. She is touring Russia on a State Department public diplomacy program.

Public Diplomacy Programs - A Federal Assistance Program - "[F]oreign policy goals and objectives [:] advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world. Grants for this Program [:] Track II People-to-People Activities in South and Central Asia[;]English language micro-scholarships for disadvantaged but outstanding undergraduate students in Asuncion and San Lorenzo, Paraguay [;] Building U.S.-India Connections through Dance [;]U.S. Embassy Mali Public Affairs Section Annual Program Statement[.] Statement Agency - U.S. Department of State [:] The Department of State strives to create a more secure, democratic and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community."

Public Schedule for November 8, 2012 - U.S. Department of State: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 11:00 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine attends the Partnership Meeting on Wildlife Trafficking, at the Department of State. (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE) Pre-set time for cameras: 10:00 a.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance Lobby. Final access for journalists and still photographers: 10:30 a.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance Lobby."

Pumpkin Diplomacy - Digger, Life after Jerusalem: The Musings of a Two-Spirit American Indian, Public Diplomacy-Coned Foreign Service Officer: "Who doesn't love Halloween, right? Basically, aside from of a few of a particular religious persuasion, the only people who don't like Halloween are the ones who have never experienced Halloween. Public Diplomacy can fix that! This week, the Embassy, together with the government of the city of Narva, hosted America Days in Estonia's third largest city.

As I think I have mentioned before, Narva is in northeast Estonia, right on the Russian border. You could probably throw a stone across the Narva River and hit the castle in Ivangorod that flies the Russian flag. ... America Days is something we have done in several other places across Estonia. We have had them in Tartu, last year in Parnu, and just a few weeks ago, in Tallinn at Tallinn University of Technology, where we opened a new American Space (a smaller version of an American Corner). And the mayor of Narva wanted us to do something similar there. This week was the culmination of that. We had three solid days of events that involved some thirty of us from the embassy, Americans and Estonians alike. We spoke to classes about American autumn traditions (including of course the elections!), held contests and treasure hunts, basketball games, and a jazz concert. We even had the Ambassador make his first trip outside of Tallinn for the occasion! And of course, we carved pumpkins." Image from entry

Source Africa trade fair opens 2013 - "South Africa has launched its biggest apparel and textile trade fair, which is set to debut 9 April next year at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The purpose of the event is to create a fair for African-based manufacturers exclusively, to stimulate business between African companies and countries, to introduce participating exhibitors to South African retail chains and to export African products to the US. ... The launch's keynote speaker, Cynthia Brown, Public Diplomacy Officer at the US Consulate General in Cape Town, was upbeat about expectations for the African market. 'Africa, as our business community is learning, now offers the highest rate of return on foreign investment of any developing region in the world. In fact, it's the only developing region where the growth rate is expected to rise this year,' she said."

THIS BEAUTIFUL WOMAN - sexgenderbody: "-Was RAPED along her best friend while her husband was tied up and forced to watch. -Was diagnosed with uterine CANCER -Had to get a DIVORCE because her husband was gay What did she do about it all? -Create a television show with her ex based on their divorce and friendship that still holds strong.

-Laughs just as hard today as she has in the past. -Fights for the rights of the gay and lesbian community -Works for the U.S. State department for the Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues. ... I roll deep with the Nanny named Fran." Image from entry

Public Diplomacy After the Election - Matthew Wallin, "Regardless of who wins the election today, America’s public diplomacy must remain a primary consideration in the course of foreign policy. Here are 5 priorities in PD for the next administration: Fortify [:] Relationships with our allies around the world must continue to be fortified. American efforts in combatting terrorism, challenging our enemies, and solving our mutual problems are best bolstered through cooperative relationships with other nations. The world is too interconnected for America to tackle problems on its own. Engaging our allies and working together provides our best chances for geopolitical success and breaking those regimes which wish to do harm. Leadership [:] For more than a decade, America’s public diplomacy apparatus witnessed a great deal of difficulty in maintaining strong and consistent leadership. Prior to Tara Sonenshine’s appointment this year, the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs position remained unfilled 30 percent of the time since its establishment in 1999. The next administration must support the importance of this position by continuing its current leadership or minimizing its vacancy. America’s message to the world is vital—strong, consistent leadership is vital to supporting that message. Follow Through [:] Words must be backed up with action in order to create trust relationships with foreign populations. The next administration must choose its words and commitments wisely, ensuring that promises made to often-skeptical foreign populations are kept, assuming they are achievable promises in the first place. Words that are not backed up by action and tangible accomplishments damage American credibility in a fashion that has long lasting ramifications. Successes in this field tend to be far outweighed by perceived failures or inconsistencies—minimizing those negatives is crucial. The United States must set an example to be followed, and keeping to our words and commitments is crucial. Listen [:] The concerns, aspirations, and desires of foreign publics cannot be ignored, especially when developing foreign policy solutions that either affect them or otherwise require their cooperation for success. The United States must make greater efforts to truly understand the societies and cultures of foreign countries in order to help develop solutions that best achieve America’s strategic goals. Listening gives America credibility as a nation that is not solely self-interested. Ignoring foreign opinion renders these populations less cooperative, and makes America appear to be a less credible communicator. Understand [:] Public diplomacy is not a cure all, and cannot be expected to make up for shortcomings in policy. Policy makers must always consider the basic strategic goal they are trying to accomplish before developing plans to achieve that goal. In order to create successful public diplomacy campaigns, practitioners and policy makers must understand both how it can help, as well as its inherent limits. This will educating policy makers about PD, and developing metrics to better comprehend how it can be effectively used."

It`s about interests and values, not popularity - Karin Quade, "I loved reading this article: 'Misreading the Muslim World' by Jeffrey Gedmin (The Journal of International Security Affairs), maybe you too? Excerpts: ... With the administration’s 'new beginnings' public diplomacy now largely in tatters, what lessons can be gleaned for a second Obama term—or a Romney administration in waiting? Let’s recognize, it’s not about popularity, it’s about interests. It would be a mistake and the wrong objective if the American president were to try to become the darling of Muslims in the Middle East or elsewhere. The United States is a great power with self-interests. It is ridiculous that we labor at times to imply otherwise. Public diplomacy is not therapy. There’s nothing the slightest bit wrong with self-confidently articulating where our interests lie. (…) Let’s be equally clear that, while it’s about interests, it’s about values, too."

Preventing the Clash: Reexamining U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Middle East - gradworks.umi.comMartin, Clifton, "Abstract: This paper analyzes U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East. In explaining the concept of public diplomacy itself and its evolution in the United States, four factors are identified as most crucial to the capabilities and limitations of U.S. public diplomacy in the region: U.S. foreign policy options, institutions, strategies, and tools. These factors are shown to affect the outcome of U.S. public diplomacy programming in the Middle East and are the foundation for a new U.S. public diplomacy model. The paper continues by examining the development of contemporary U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, providing a traceable landscape upon which U.S. public diplomacy sits and responds to increasingly negative public opinion of the United States. Generally, U.S. foreign policy has shifted toward more aggressive containment policies while promoting support of democratization despite partnership with repressive regimes.

While the United States is able to pursue a containment strategy, such contradictory elements exacerbate the structural and institutional limitations of its public diplomacy outcomes in the region. Finally, this paper considers whether or not U.S. public diplomacy has been an underdeveloped foreign policy tool. The conclusion is that the capabilities of the current U.S. public diplomacy experiment are substantially limited due to a lack of institutional participation in the outset of policy formulation. As such, brief recommendations are put forth to correct these contradictory elements of U.S. foreign policy." Image from

America’s ‘engagement’ delusion: Critiquing a public diplomacy consensus - Edward Comor and Hamilton Bean, International Communication Gazette: Abstract [:] "The Obama administration has embraced ‘engagement’ as the dominant concept informing US public diplomacy. Despite its emphasis on facilitating dialogue with and among Muslims overseas, this article demonstrates that, in practice, engagement aims to leverage social media and related technologies to persuade skeptical audiences to empathize with American policies. Indeed, its primary means of implementation – participatory interactions with foreign publics – is inherently duplicitous. Through the authors’ description of how engagement is rooted in long-standing public relations and corporate marketing discourses, and in light of the historical and structural foundations of anti-Americanism, this contemporary public diplomacy strategy is shown to be both contradictory and, ultimately, delusional. As an alternative, the authors argue that an ethical public diplomacy should be pursued, i.e., a public diplomacy that embraces genuine (rather than contrived) dialogue. Although this approach is difficult to achieve (primarily because it implies a direct challenge to entrenched US foreign policy norms), it constitutes a mode of public diplomacy that better reflects the idealized principles of American democracy."

Discussing Diliberative [sic] Diplomacy and Development - mflash16, "[S]ocial media tools could be incredibly useful. They can provide key platforms that create a dialogue – the first step in building an engaged community that can help stabilize a country. ... [I]nternational broadcasters can find new meaning by developing and promoting deliberation technologies in under-served societies. However it is important to remember that as they increase access to social media – they cannot limit access to only the sources they promote and so as soon as the infrastructure is built – a country is no longer without access and the PD message will get lost in the fray. But if the goal of the PD project was to build up a community of social media users – couldn’t that be counted as a success?"

eDiplomacy - libbyokane, The Lasting Impact: Applied Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century: Internet accessibility has revolutionized the practice of public diplomacy.

Through access to new technologies, governments have found new ways to communicate to international, domestic, and internal audiences. Through the use of social media, governments are able to engage with larger audiences more easily, affordably, and directly. The government’s utilization of the internet as a tool of public diplomacy is outlined by Fergus Hansen in his analysis of the Department of State in 'Revolution@State: The Spread of eDiplomacy'. He discusses the many tools that are used by the government; they range from an internal blog called The Sounding Board that allows department employees to communicate their new ideas and share feedback to the use of social media outlets such as twitter and facebook." Image from

As radio and television media, the Middle East countries and non-state actors in the network media - japon plano: "To make the Internet has become a truly effective public diplomacy tool, we must narrow the digital divide. Have begun to narrow the gap, but progress is still slow in most parts of the world."

Former VOA director writes: "Barack Obama has humiliated us with friends and enemies abroad" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

BBG Governors refuse to work, may cancel November meeting, leave incompetent executives in charge - BBGWatcher, USG Broadcasts/BBG Watch: "BBG Watch has learned that two Broadcasting Board of Governors members, interim presiding governor Michael Lynton and Governor Dennis Mulhaupt, as well as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine (not a BBG member but representing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

have advised the BBG staff that they will not be able to attend the BBG open meeting previously scheduled for November 15. Their absence prevents having a quorum and therefore this month’s BBG open meeting most likely will be cancelled. This would be already a second BBG open meeting cancelled this year because some board members are too busy to attend." Image from entry

Gangnam Style: Cultural diplomacy meets economic reality - Faraaz Mahomed, "Recently, on Ellen deGeneres’s No. 1 rated daytime television talk show, pop culture sensation Psy could be seen in a display analogous to the increasing Asian influence on the West, as he demonstrated the ‘invisible horse’ dance, made popular by his hit music video ‘Gangnam Style,’ to former hit-maker Britney Spears.

A self-confessed ‘cheesy’ dancer, the Korean musician instructed the American superstar, showing her how it’s done, step by step. ... Meanwhile, the song has reached No. 1 on the charts of almost thirty countries and, at the time of the writing of this article, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the world’s biggest music market, and the home of the Cadillac, the United States. The US, itself, is no stranger to the art of cultural diplomacy. Hollywood has been one of the most important tools for projecting power and winning ‘hearts and minds’. In the same period as Hollywood rose, so too did McDonalds, Microsoft and US hegemony. Similarly, we now see Huawei making inroads in the West, bidding for Canadian and US firms and courting controversy in the process." Image from article, with caption: South Korean rapper Psy teaching his dance to Spears and DeGeneres.

‘Japan should withdraw unjust claims’ - "Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Kim Sung-hwan showed strong commitment in dealing with the territorial and historical challenges of Japan during an interview with The Korea Times. Though more than half a century has passed since its brutal colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula (1910-1945), Japan has yet to fully repent for past misdeeds as seen in its bid to take the issue of Dokdo’s sovereignty to the international court and refusal to properly compensate Korean victims. ... Q: What is Korea’s ultimate goal regarding Dokdo? A [Kim Sung-hwan]: The ultimate aim of the Korean government is to have the Japanese government withdraw its unjust claims over Dokdo. To this end, we are pursuing measures from a long-term, strategic perspective to protect our territorial sovereignty. Through public diplomacy, we are striving to enhance the understanding of the general public abroad on Dokdo related facts, while fending off Japanese attempts to turn Dokdo into a disputed territory. ... Q: What do you think Korea, Japan and China should do to overcome historical and territorial conflicts? A: As neighbors, the three Northeast Asian nations maintain close cooperation but on certain issues, they have different views. As we all know, some issues are deep-rooted. I believe that the leaders, governments and the people of the three countries can narrow the differences in perception through in-depth communication. In this context, I cannot but overemphasize the importance of public diplomacy. ... Q: Tell us your thoughts on South Korea’s soft power and public diplomacy. A: According to a recent survey published by the Korea Foundation, as of July 2012, there are 829 voluntarily organized Korean Wave (or Hallyu) fan clubs with a total of 6.7 million members all over the world. Not to mention the recent great success of the Korean rapper Psy, Korean popular culture is well appraised and received by the general public across the world. Ever since I assumed office as Foreign Minister in 2010, I have underscored the importance of soft power and public diplomacy. The Korean wave serves to further enhance the national image and extend the network of zealous fans around the world. This provides a great opportunity for Korea to enhance our soft power capabilities and reach out to the people around the world. The Korean government is trying to make more global friends through cultural attractiveness and by providing opportunities to share opinions and feelings. I believe that the Korean Wave should not be a one-sided influx of culture, but rather present a chance to promote mutual communication with the people of countries of different cultural backgrounds. In order to foster cross-cultural exchanges, MOFAT has implemented the 'Mutual Cultural Exchange Program' since 2006 to introduce the cultures of other countries to the Korean public."

Montenegro's PM: NATO Info Centre in Podgorica to raise awareness of Euro-Atlantic integration benefits - Montenegro's Prime Minister Igor Lukšić and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Colinda Grabar opened the Information Centre on Euro-Atlantic integration in Podgorica. The Information Centre on Euro-Atlantic integration is the project of the NGO Centre for Democratic Transition (CDT), implemented with the support of the NATO’s Public Diplomacy Department, and aimed at increasing active dialogue and knowledge on the issue of NATO integration in Montenegro.

West Bank security barrier to be adorned with pro-Israel art - "The Israeli side of the security barrier that separates Israel from parts of the West Bank may soon become a venue for artistic displays. As part of an initiative put forth by Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud), Israeli artists and schoolchildren will paint pictures on the wall displaying information on terrorist attacks that originated in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas

and on attacks that were prevented due to the existence of the barrier. The security barrier, on which construction started in 2002, has saved many Israeli lives by thwarting Palestinian suicide bombers from reaching Israeli cities, but it has also been prominently featured in anti-Israel propaganda campaigns. 'From a public relations standpoint, [the security barrier] has been a burden for us,' Edelstein wrote in a letter to the Israel Defense Forces Colonel Ofir Hindi, who is in charge of the Seamline Administration." Image from article, with caption: A picture of the late Yasser Arafat on the Palestinian side of the security barrier

Israel Public Relations News and Happenings - Ronn Torossian, "Hebrew University of Jerusalem is hosting a 'Leadership and Public Diplomacy' together with the Israeli Government. Programme fellows will meet twice a month, where topics will include 'techniques of Hasbara, standing before an audience…image of Israel in the world…', and other topics. The Fellowship is offered at seven universities in Israel, including Hebrew University – and the fellows at each university work as a group to initiate and implement a public diplomacy project, 'the echoes of which {are} heard throughout Israel and the world.' The latest celebrity to visit Israel is American tennis champion Serena Williams – who visited Eilat and other cities. So great and important for Israel when high-profile people visit the State of Israel." See also

The fake viral pro-Obama message from the Israeli embassy - Ron Kampeas, "You may have receieved [sic] in your Inbox, or you may have seen on social media, a long message from the 'Department of Public Diplomacy' at Israel's embassy to Washington essentially endorsing President Obama for reelection.

It's a fake, the embassy says.'" Image from

Israel to mark Ataturk’s birthday - "The society of Jews from Turkey 'Arkadash' will conduct the solemn meeting devoted to the 131st anniversary of the outstanding Turkish politician Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on November 10. The event will start at the monument of Ataturk in the Center of Heritage of Jews from Turkey

in the Israeli city of Ieguda. ... The chairman of Arkadash, Eyal Perez, states that after worsening of Israeli-Turkish relations, the society intensified their activity. Activists of Ardaksh actively participate in various forums in Turkish internet-space. There are various events and arrangements organized by the society. It contributes to close ties between Turkey and the diaspora in Israel, moreover, it is an instrument of public diplomacy." Image from article

Love towards arts and cultural diplomacy unifies the Mkrtchyans father and sons - "It is not needlessly remarked that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Once again I get to acknowledge this axiomatic truth inherited from our elders when I talked with eminent actor, Merited Artist of the Republic of Armenia Vanik Mkrtchyans and his two sons, Vardan Mkrtchyan, Director of Hamazgayin (National) Theater and Tigran Mkrtchyan, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of the Press, Information and Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.

In addition to blood relations, the three individuals are united by amazingly harmonic relations, the genetically passed commonalities are apparent. 'Armenpress' is continuing the series of interviews, which aims at elucidating, presenting the readers successful biographies of 'fathers and sons', their 'dialogue' and 'genetically' inherited experience and profession." Uncaptioned image from article

BBC Plans to Report U.S. Election to the World Outlined at USC Forum - Adam Clayton Powell, III,  CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

The 4th Quadrant of Public Diplomacy - R.S. Zaharna, PD News – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "In looking ahead to the future of public diplomacy, states need to move quickly beyond whether and how to use the social media for public-centric initiatives.

As mentioned in the soft power differential, the greatest potential threat that states face is being blind-sided by a highly-network non-state actor. Already this has happened for several states. Understanding the dynamics and developing strategies for adversarial public-based PD Quadrant IV is one of the most urgent and pressing area of public diplomacy scholarship." Image from entry

Public Diplomacy - Cheap essay services: "This had made ordinary diplomatic efforts at once more than far reaching and more difficult. Dean Edmund Gullion of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University premiere used the term 'public diplomacy' in 1965 (USIA). merely unity could argue that public diplomacy has existed as large wholeness country's citizens have been able to disseminate

information more or less their national identity to other countries. For example, imperial activities of Western European countries as far back as the seventeenth degree Celsius could have constituted public diplomacy. But modern public diplomacy, in which one country disseminates information with the intention non of colonization, but of influencing foreign public opinion, reached its zenith during the Cold fight." Image from

All Eyes on America... - Molly Sisson, Public Diplomacy and Student Exchanges: Possibly the first study of the Fulbright Program to be conducted by someone who isn't affiliated with it in any way... - "America's been making headlines here lately. Our minister even mentioned it on Sunday--we were asked to pray for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and to pray that the American people "vote wisely" in the upcoming election. (I'm glad he didn't specify what he meant by that...'Separation of Church and State' goes both ways, mate!)"


More takes from foreign media on the U.S. election - Los Angeles Times: The Times rounded up some early reactions and reflections from abroad on the U.S. presidential campaign.

Foreign media continue to mull over the reelection of President Obama. Image from article, with caption:  A Spanish newspaper bears the smiling portrait of President Obama on its front page in Pamplona, northern Spain, on Wednesday.

The Reaction in Asia - Joseph Sternberg, Wall Street Journal: Barack Obama's 2008 election was greeted by immense enthusiasm overseas. This year, it's more of a yawn, at least to judge by the reaction in Asia. Markets were flat—a key indicator in a region still heavily dependent for its own growth on the American economy—and local politicians and pundits were mostly quiet.

Election Night 2012 Roundup — What a Party! - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: Around the world, there were election viewing events and parties at our embassies and consulates on November 6.

Among the photographs the above, with caption: Via US Mission Pakistan.

Obama win doesn’t change Hillary Clinton’s plans to step down - Guy Taylor, The Washington Times: The State Department on Wednesday said Tuesday’s election results don’t change Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s plans to step down. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Wednesday said members of the news media may have “misread” recent remarks in which Mrs. Clinton suggested she might stay longer. Speculation is surging through foreign policy circles over how quickly the Obama administration will move to nominate a successor, with Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, and Susan Rice, the current ambassador to the United Nations, believed to be on the short list. But the potential downside of picking Ms. Rice or Mr. Kerry — either choice could create thorny political problems for the administration — has some wondering whether the White House might consider capitalizing upon the moment by offering a Cabinet-level olive branch to Republicans.

The sensible course on Syria: Despite balking at military intervention, the U.S. is exercising prudence in seeking to facilitate an alternative to the Assad regime - Editorial, Painful as it is to observe the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrians in the war between President Bashar Assad and insurgents inspired by the Arab Spring, the deployment of U.S. troops or a campaign of airstrikes under the rubric of a no-fly zone would enmesh the United States in an unpredictable conflict with a heavily armed ally of Iran on behalf of a fractious and fragmented rebel army. Even providing weapons to the rebels at this point would entail unacceptable risks that they would flow to Islamic extremists.

UK regulator dings RT (Russia Today) for lack of "due impartiality" in Syria reporting - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Saudi Arabia does not need propaganda to promote itself: Sultan Bin Salman - "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not need propaganda to promote itself," Prince Sultan Bin Salman, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), has said. The SCTA chief made the remarks in an address to the 25th Planetary Congress Association of Space Explorers at Ritz Carlton Hotel here Monday night.

Prince Sultan, who is the head of the supreme supervisory committee,inaugurated the congress as well as the 2nd Saudi International Space and Aeronautics Technology Conference 2012, which ended Tuesday."The only thing the Kingdom needs is to relay facts and tell the reality. We need to highlight the massive reforms being carried out by King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques," the prince added. More than 100 experienced male and female astronauts from 19 countries attended the two events. Image from article, with caption: Prince Sultan Bin Salman with the guests during the launch of the revised edition of his book, "One Planet."

Anti-Armenian Materials Removed from Azerbaijani Booth at World Travel Market - The statement by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan regarding the participation of Armenia and Artsakh in the World Travel Market, which began on November 5 in London, is nothing but a product of a sick imagination. According to the misleading Azerbaijani statement, “necessary measures ought to be undertaken to remove Artsakh from the list of seven participating travel agencies, as has been done previously”. Not seven, but eleven Armenian travel agencies are represented in the fair and Artsakh’s participation has never been contested, not counting Azerbaijan's customary hysteria. Artsakh's participation in London, within the scope of the Armenian booth, is running smoothly and is again drawing a large amount of interest. Moreover, the materials containing anti-Armenian propaganda have been removed from the Azerbaijani stand at the request of the Armenian delegation.

China Is Showing Propaganda Videos On Giant Screens In Tiananmen Square To Celebrate The Leadership Change - Mamta Badkar, Beijing has been busy preparing for its once in a decade leadership transition.

We've already seen some of the absurd security measures being taken. But Beijing's propaganda machine is also in overdrive. Officials have set up a giant electronic screen in Tiananmen Square that has been showing propaganda videos. On display in Beijing, is also an exhibition titled 'Scientific Development and Splendid Achievements' before the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party kicks off on November 8. The exhibit acts as a reminder of the country's political, economic, cultural, and ecological progress in the past decade. Image from article

Notes on Peking opera, propaganda, and China's party congress - Julie Makinen, "As we were led up into a massive smokestack-like contraption that was closed in 2010, we were all given red hard hats. That was the cue for

the crew from state-run CCTV: Spotting me in my headgear, they turned tail on the local party official reciting facts on steel production. The cameraman fired up his lights, an assistant popped forward to straighten my cap, and a reporter thrust a microphone toward me. 'How many stories will you write about the 18th Party Congress?' she asked, ignoring the official giving his speech." Image from entry

Propaganda chief proud of Guangdong's recent development - Mimi Lau, Communist Party propaganda supremo Li Changchun visited the Guangdong delegation to the party's 18th national congress on Tuesday, telling them the province's recent development had made him proud, Guangdong media reported yesterday.

Li was Guangdong's party secretary from 1998 to 2002 before becoming a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. Such visits by former leaders are seen as signs of central government support for a local leader. Li Changchun image from article

26 Epic Propaganda Posters From Chinese Communists - Mamta Badkar, Propaganda posters that the Communist Party has put out since the 1950s include posters from the Great Leap Forward, a social and economic

movement under Mao Zedong that saw the collectivization of agriculture and attempted a rapid industrialization of the economy but failed. The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) which saw Mao try to enforce communism through the land. And in the years following Mao's death. Image from article

‘Andrey Rublev’ not ‘anti-Soviet propaganda’: Tarkovsky letter to Brezhnev up for sale - Personal letters, book proof copies, photos and audio recordings relating to the man behind ‘The Mirror’, Russian luminary Andrey Tarkovsky

are to be auctioned off in London. Among the highlights is a letter he wrote to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. "For three and a half years the film has been kept away from the screen … Andrey Rublev was not and could not have been used for any kind of anti-Soviet propaganda … I do not have any opportunity to exercise my creative ideas," Tarkovsky writes in his letter to Brezhnev, as quoted by the Guardian. Director Andrey Tarkovsky image from article

Poster Collection Seized By Nazis To Be Sold - Huffington Post: An American Jewish man whose father's extensive collection of unique posters was seized by the Nazis and only returned after years of legal battles is looking for a buyer. Attorney Gary Osen, who represented Peter Sachs in his fight to get back the collection of some 4,000 posters from the German Historical Museum, said Tuesday his client

hopes to find a buyer for the majority of the collection. He also plans to donate some 800 to museums and universities. Osen says if a single buyer cannot be found, the posters will be sold at auction. A German court awarded the collection of posters, which include advertisement and propaganda dating back to the late 19th century and worth (EURO) 4.5 million to (EURO) 16 million ($5.75 million to $20.44 million), in March. Image from article

Red Dawn at CMC: Propaganda that Pierces the Armor of Academia - Christian Neumeister, For those who haven’t seen the old Red Dawn, Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen played two brothers in Calumet, Colorado, who form a small group of guerillas when Soviet and Cuban paratroopers invade their town. But even Reagan’s America, midway through the Cold War, was coherent enough to know that a communist invasion of small-town Colorado was wildly implausible, besides making no strategic sense.

The remake, which came out four days ago, was initially written to cash in on the latest perceived threat to American hegemony—an aggressive, militaristic China bringing an army of Commies for Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, and Josh Hutcherson to defeat—but a clever MGM executive realized that, to avoid shutting out the entire Chinese market, some post-production digital magic might be necessary. So, instead, we’ll be watching (oddly well-fed) North Koreans invade the Pacific Northwest. Like Americans before us, my fellow moviegoers and I (hopefully) know that North Korea is totally incapable of attacking Washington State. Nonetheless, studios are cashing in on old American folklore—the idea of one man with unlimited ammunition standing up against the enemies of freedom and liberty and emerging battered but victorious. Image from


Image and caption from: Nov. 2, 1947: The Hughes Aircraft H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" during short flight in the Long Beach-Los Angeles Harbor


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