Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22

“The only way of knowing a person[s] is to love them without hope.”

--Literary critic Walter Benjamin; image from


Pyongyang Racer - Propaganda Racer (free browsergame) -


Strengthening Global Health by Elevating Diplomacy - Eric Goosby, "I  was honored to be asked by Secretary Clinton to lead the new Office of Global Health Diplomacy. I am proud to serve my country in this capacity while also remaining the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. I am equally delighted that a skilled and seasoned diplomat like Ambassador Leslie Rowe has agreed to join me in establishing the new Global Health Diplomacy Office in the State Department. ... The U.S. government is a leading

contributor to global health efforts, with foreign assistance investments in approximately 80 countries. The Presidential Policy Directive on Development (PPD) and the State Department’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) identify supporting global health as a top foreign policy priority. The QDDR states that 'we invest in global health to strengthen fragile and failing states, to promote social and economic progress, to protect America’s security, as tools of public diplomacy, and as an expression of our compassion.'" Image from entry

New morning programs on the Voice of America Persian Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty Radio Farda satellite TV channel - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Russia Today: State-Funded Propaganda Masquerading as Alternative Media - Susanne Posel, "The US government-owned Voice of America (VOA) has claimed in an interview with Anton Nosik, chief editor of the Russian site Mos-News, that RT ‘smacks of Soviet-style propaganda campaigns.’ Yet RT remains entangled with its Kremlin sponsors who control editorial content. The integrity of RT is maintained by a ‘public council’ without safeguards as to the free flow of information that is put out.

Nosik maintains that the Kremlin-controlled RT allows its readers and viewers to see only what the Russian government deems acceptable. ‘We expect to see that life in Russia [is] improved, that [the] Russian government is doing all in its power, that [the] Russian economy is healthy and sound, that Russia is a good place for investment, and that Russia is the most progressive country in the world and that Russia is the hope of all progressive mankind. That is the ancient Soviet propaganda picture that has been recreated by the current authorities because they sincerely believe in it and want the rest of the world to believe in it as well.’” Image from article

We can’t do effective diplomacy from a bunker - Daryl Copeland, "You can’t do diplomacy from inside a forbidding, bunker-like chancery which few will feel comfortable entering if they must endure an ordeal of intrusive registration procedures and searches. Outside of the embassy, the practice of public (let alone guerrilla) diplomacy is a non-starter in the company of a close protection unit. ... Standardized, cookie-cutter remedies will never work. If performance is to improve, specific decisions about diplomatic security are better made on a case-by-case, and sometimes a day-by-day basis. Finding a working balance will never be easy." See below "Related Items."

Revamping Diplomacy - "Greece applies negative public diplomacy by persecuting dissident bloggers and journalists. ... Public diplomacy is the process by which an international actor conducts foreign policy by engaging a foreign public. Greece cannot engage a foreign public, because it lost its good will on a global scale. Public diplomacy has five components: listening, advocacy, cultural diplomacy, exchange diplomacy, and international broadcasting. ... The last time Occident had a clear, overarching goal for public diplomacy was under planetarch

Ronald Reagan, for whom the battle for hearts and minds was second nature. If America is to remain the shining city on a hill for people around the world, a new era of U.S. public diplomacy must begin." Image from entry

Social Media for Communication and Conflict Resolution - Vasileios Gkinopoulos, "Having worked for the OSCE in 2009, I launched the official OSCE presence on facebook and twitter, along with Issuu.

It was an excellent start, and I am happy to see that the team in PPIS are keeping up with the OSCE presence in Social Media and are launching initiatives such as Social Media and Communications in conflict resolution. My work was focused on digital public diplomacy, since then, I strongly believe that the Internet has changed public diplomacy. The 2009 Informal meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Corfu, was also the first event to feature Social Media in the communications mix. This year, during the Irish chairmanship, Social Media was fully integrated in the OSCE live webcast for the 19th Ministerial Council, with live tweeting and questions coming in from facebook and twitter. So good to see Social Media being utilised to their full potential for an international Organization." Image from entry

Chinese aid and investment - Public Diplomacy and International Communications: Thoughts and comments about public diplomacy, soft power and international communications by Gary Rawnsley: "One of the unique characteristics of China's approach to public diplomacy is the concern with reaching both international and domestic audiences: the Chinese themselves are a principal target of the government's public diplomacy programme. This is understandable given the problems associated with the introduction of market capitalist practices (extremes of poverty, unemployment etc.) and, more importantly, the decline of ideology - communism - to legitimise the government's decisions and mobilise the people around a developmental agenda. Now, the authority of the Communist Party depends more than ever on its performance and the delivery of its economic promises. This helps explain the clear shift from complete dependence on old style propaganda campaigns to public diplomacy strategies that might encourage support (of the party and its policies) from the people."

Chinese Soft Power: Sources And Implications For The US - Pavlos.efthymious:  "After identifying the sources of Chinese soft power, this thesis examined its impact on American interests. It started with an analysis of the direct impact of Chinese soft power on the US to show that although on-the-rise, Chinese soft power has a limited direct impact on the US. Subsequently, this paper analysed the impact of Chinese soft power in its near abroad, and found that though China presents a threat and opportunity at the same time, its power of public diplomacy and attraction rather advances America’s aim of peace and stability in this sensitive area.

This paper’s succinct analysis of China’s ideational influence in MENA and Latin America demonstrated that Chinese ideas often attract dodgy regimes, with which China engages, and hence carries high responsibility. When China uses its soft power in a responsible way, then, America and the international community benefit greatly; when not, it undermines efforts aimed at making this world a safer place (Zoellick, 2006, Shirk, 2008). Lastly, China’s soft power in multilateral settings is impressive. Apart from the UN, China has empowered the ASEAN Plus One and APT fora, has developed the SCO and has given a new dynamic to the ‘BRIC Summit’. In all these, it has laboured to carve a leading role for itself, while marginalizing America’s role." Image from

MFA Russia ‏@MFA_Russia, Twitter - "The #Gorchakov #Public #Diplomacy Fund's work over the last year was reviewed in a meeting chaired by Sergey #Lavrov on December 17."

Taking off the Soft Power Lens. The United States Information Service in Cold War Belgium (1950-1958) - Frank Gerits, Journal of Belgian History XLII, 2012, 4, posted at

Image from.  See also On My Diplomat-Poet Father, John L. Brown – John Brown, Notes and Essays


With John Kerry, a quieter e-diplomacy on the horizon? - President Barack Obama has nominated Senator John Kerry as his new Secretary of State to succeed Hillary Clinton. A new era for a quieter e-diplomacy? Possibly quieter but certainly not less visible, or innovative.

Weekly Standard Plays Lap Dog to Iranian Propaganda Press and AIPAC - Taylor Marsh, Why would the Weekly Standard choose to parrot Iran’s propaganda news organization by repeating their outlandish claims about former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s likely pick for Secretary of Defense, after Leon Panetta? It’s not easy trumpeting Iranian propaganda and AIPAC, while hitting Obama and a leading former Republican senator, all in the same post! The piece from the Iranian state press later adds: "Josh Block, a former AIPAC spokesman has lashed out at Hagel  for 'consistently voting against sanctions on Iran’ over the country’s nuclear energy program and refusing

to call on the European Union to name Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The top nominee for the post of Defense Secretary was the first Republican senator to publicly criticize the war in Iraq, calling it the worst foreign policy blunder since the Vietnam War, and he has consistently opposed any plan to launch military strike against Iran. While Hagel was considering a presidential bid in 2007, he was criticized by the National Jewish Democratic Council which said the senator ‘has a lot of questions to answer about his commitment to Israel.’ In 2009, Hagel signed a statement calling on Obama to encourage a unity government between the two major Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.” Conservatives are never subtle when it comes to Israel or swiftboating anyone who dares to challenge Israeli policy or the military industrial complex. Hagel image from entry

After Benghazi, reassessing risk: Some U.S. diplomats say there's such a thing as too much security - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: The voices warning that there's such a thing as too much security are the ambassadors themselves — the men and women who are taking the risks. American diplomats think they're already hamstrung by some security restrictions that prevent them from doing their jobs the way they'd like. They worry that the reaction to Stevens' death has been disproportionate, not only regarding the political question of what the Obama administration said about the incident during the campaign but also the desire to keep diplomats safe at any cost. The life of a U.S. ambassador these days can be like living in a bubble. Diplomats may spend much of their time in heavily guarded embassy compounds, insulated from the real world by high blast walls. They travel in armored vehicles surrounded by armed bodyguards. Their opportunities to encounter ordinary people in normal life — in marketplaces, restaurants or homes — are almost nonexistent.

Reducing U.S. risk helps terrorists - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Big mistakes were made in Benghazi, and people should be held accountable. But the brave officers who staff American posts in crisis zones know how dangerous the work is. They already chafe at rules that prevent them from leaving protected compounds without elaborate security, and those strictures will grow only more severe. Journalists couldn’t do their jobs overseas without taking risks, and the same is true for diplomats and intelligence officers. Image from

Bring my son, and everyone else's, home from Afghanistan: How long should we as a nation continue to sacrifice blood and treasure for what is clearly a losing proposition? - David Freed, Los Angeles Times: In Afghanistan Loyalties rarely extend beyond the village, the tribe and Allah. Given those realities, the idea of instilling in the Afghan people anything resembling American-style, flag-waving, defend-the-homeland nationalism is almost laughable.

To Save Syria, We Need Russia - Dimitri K. Simes and Paul J. Saunders, New York Times: Avoiding an Iraqi-style security vacuum or an Afghan-style terrorist haven must be a key American goal in post-Assad Syria. And Russia can help, if the Obama administration is prepared to rethink its approach to the crisis.

Russian Orphans as Political Pawns - Editorial, New York Times: Russian legislators looking to retaliate against a new American human rights law have settled on an exceptionally vulnerable target: Russian orphans. The proposal would bar American citizens from adopting them. This is a cynical and cruel response.The two countries have to find ways to work together. This adoption legislation will only make that harder.

The Senate Intelligence Committee should make public a 6,000-page report on the CIA's detention and interrogation policies - Editorial, Los Angeles Times: Americans have known for years both the broad outlines and some of the disgusting details of the George W. Bush administration's policy of subjecting suspected terrorists to torture, humiliation and imprisonment at "black sites" in foreign countries. But they have been denied a comprehensive accounting of how the United States decided after the 9/11 attacks to travel to what then-Vice President Dick Cheney called "the dark side." That would change if the Senate Intelligence Committee released to the public a 6,000-page report on the CIA's detention and interrogation policies that it approved last week.

UN Using Propaganda to Defend Proposed Internet Regime - The United Nations, its International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and a motley assortment of tyrants are frantically working to calm growing worldwide fears over the planetary body’s controversial bid to regulate the Internet and potentially even smash free speech online at an ongoing treaty-writing conference in Dubai. With global opposition to the schemes exploding, however, documents show the UN is using a “public relations” strategy to disseminate taxpayer-funded propaganda attacking critics of

its secretive summit aimed at seizing control of the World Wide Web.  While the ITU and a broad coalition of brutal dictatorships hoping to clamp down on online freedom claim the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) is mostly about connecting poor people to the Internet and tinkering with mundane treaties, experts and analysts know better. In fact, more than 1,000 organizations from over 150 countries have spoken out against the scheming going on among UN member governments — mostly tyrants including more than a few Islamist regimes and communist autocracies — largely behind closed doors. Image from entry


PSP 2012 Year In Review Part 2: Callista Gingrich, Superstar - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog

Callista eye image from blog


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