Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30



“I get what we’re supposed to achieve, but what are we supposed to do?”

--A U.S. military junior officer, regarding General Petraeus' counterinsurgency plans; image from

VIDEOS

A) Oliver Stone: 'US Has Become An Orwellian State' - Video By RT: "Americans are living in an Orwellian state argue Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, as they sit down with us to discuss US foreign policy and the Obama administration's disregard for the rule of law." Via AJ

b) To Sell A War_ Gulf War Propaganda (1992) 1of 2.mp4 - lisajackson-meteor.blogspot.com

c) WWII propaganda - Elbeeb, "A while ago I found a website that had a bunch of Soviet WWII propaganda cartoons on it. Some of them were even translated into English. Here are the only 2 cartoons I have complete copies of. Enjoy!"

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

Kerry’s ‘realist’ approach slips into callousness - Jeff Jacoby, bostonglobe.com: "[O]n the whole, Kerry prizes order and stability over liberty and human rights. He prefers to accommodate and engage America’s foes than to deem them enemies who must be defeated.


He thought the horrors of 9/11 justified not a military war on terror, but better 'intelligence gathering, law enforcement, public diplomacy.' During his run for the White House in 2004, Kerry told The Washington Post that 'as president he would play down the promotion of democracy' — not because he denied the lack of freedom in places like Pakistan, China, and Russia, but because other issues 'trumped human rights concerns in those nations.' Again and again, Kerry has shown a remarkable indulgence toward the world’s thugs and totalitarians." Kerry image from article

US meddling in Middle East creates more problems than it solves - world-insights.com: "George W. Bush unveiled his plan to spread democracy in the Middle East – from Pakistan to Morocco – in 2004. The United States decided to implement the plan despite the criticism from many other Western countries. The propaganda of democracy resulted in blood shed in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Bush did not achieve his goal; Barack Obama has not suggested anything new yet.


If the US administration does not change its politics, both the Middle East and the United States will have to face a serious dangerPravda.Ru reports. ... Outside the far Left, commentators from all major newspapers, radio and television stations have variously characterized the US response to events in Egypt as irrational, irresponsible, catastrophic, stupid, blind, treacherous, and terrifying. They have pointed out that the Obama administration’s behavior – as well as that of many of its prominent conservative critics – is liable to have disastrous consequences for the US’s other authoritarian Arab allies, for Israel and for the US itself. Here are the top five challenges. ... 2. Public Diplomacy; While many policy choices of the past cannot be undone (read: the war in Iraq), continuing and emerging issues must be handled with care; such as the continued use of drone strikes and the existence of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay." Image from entry

With VOA Korean and RFA Korean busy competing with each other, "US officials" want BBC to start a Korean service - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Think tank: Israel's poor international image not the fault of failed hasbara: Study finds that Israel's advocacy effort has become one of the world's most efficient and productive, but Israel nevertheless suffers from an image problem - which is rather a product of the Israeli government's policies - Barak Ravid, haaretz.com: "[A] new research study conducted by Molad, the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy ... acknowledges that Israeli advocacy can indeed be improved, but it refutes the claim that Israel's advocacy campaign is ineffective. In fact, the study says, in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War, Israel's advocacy effort has become one of the world's most efficient and productive in the world - and far more efficacious than the campaigns waged by anti-Israel organizations. While the


Molad study notes that Israel does indeed suffer from an image problem, the reason for this, the study argues, does not lie with faulty advocacy. ... [T]he study concludes that 'the sweeping criticism leveled against Israeli advocacy is detached from reality - the advocacy problem is nothing but a myth. If Israel suffers from diplomatic isolation and a bad image in the world, the reason for this is not laden in faulty advocacy.' 'Instead of dealing with the connection between the policies of Israel's government and the country's image in the world,' it continues, 'a myth is taking hold, one which stresses an 'advocacy problem' caused by anti-Israel organizations and institutions which exploit double standards and even anti-Semitic tendencies in the international community in order to damage Israel.'" Image from

Anti Zionist Blog By ‘Jews Sans Frontieres’ - ukgovernmentwatch.wordpress.com: “They say Brendan O’Neill is a Telegraph hasbara blogger. So now I want to know what Hasbara is.  Is it a cultural tradition, I wonder. Well, Palestinians have posted about Hasbara Bingo.  I’m a bit behind the loop having spent too much time on Savile and matters relating to Savile.  I turn to hasbarabusterblogspot. ‘The standard hasbara answer is….’  No, still no nearer. Web Definition:  ‘Israel’s public diplomacy efforts are called hasbara in Hebrew.’ Ah, I see….  It’s semantics.”

Defense Department officials to ta juicy couture u abercrombie and fitch [sic] - show-watches.com: "[I]nterview with Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense Qian Lihua ... Q: Western public opinion is mixed evaluation of our army, military and diplomatic What efforts made for the shape of our military image? A: In recent years, our military has made great efforts to strengthen the outreach, institutional mechanisms, methods and means to take a number of innovative initiatives, military soft power construction has made remarkable progress.


Military diplomacy is an important window display of our military image, every one of the officers and men in the foreign exchanges ambassador. Our military leaders attach importance to public diplomacy work, many occasions during his visit, a speech, an interview and discussion seminar on national defense policy and army building, and actively respond to external concerns. Foreign public and the media spoke highly of our military leaders, that the Chinese army has a high level of professionalism." Image from; translation: Our Friend China: Dictionary/Reference [1959]

Diplomat steps up to post in world's biggest democracy - Joe Kelly, The Australian: "Career diplomat Patrick Suckling will become Australia's next top man in India after being appointed high commissioner to the world's largest democracy. The appointment is one of Australia's highest-level international postings, with Mr Suckling


being entrusted with the management of Australia's burgeoning economic and political ties following Julia Gillard's attempt to deepen relations during her well-received October visit to New Delhi. Foreign Minister Bob Carr yesterday said Mr Suckling would take up the position in New Delhi next month, replacing Peter Varghese who has been charged with running the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. ... 'Mr Suckling is an accomplished career diplomat with expertise in policy development, public diplomacy and consular service,' Senator Carr said yesterday." Suckling image from

RELATED ITEMS

Good year in Washington: Bill and Hillary Clinton - Chris Cillizza, Washington Post: Hillary Clinton is leaving her post as secretary of state as a beloved figure in many circles, hailed as a dedicated public servant, an able diplomat and, by many, as the heavy favorite to be the next president of the United States.


Somewhat amazingly, her Teflon image wasn’t scratched by the controversy over the death of four American diplomats on Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya — an episode that cost Susan Rice her chance at being secretary of state. Image from article, with caption: America’s favorite political couple is more popular than ever

Drones for South Korea - Editorial, New York Times: Equipping South Korea with drones that could reach all of North Korea could increase the risk of inadvertent war during a crisis. To guard against that threat, there would need to be close American-South Korean coordination. Keeping the pressure on North Korea, including the use of sanctions, is important. But the administration, wedded to an ineffective approach called “strategic patience,” also needs to look for ways to re-engage North Korea. South Korea’s new president-elect, Park Geun-hye, has expressed interest in resuming a dialogue with the North. President Obama should support and follow that example.

You Say 2012 Was Bad? - thedailybeast.com: A shroud of anxiety hangs over the coming year in Afghanistan. It’s not only the country’s war-weary civilians who are beset with trepidation and uncertainty—even the Taliban are uncharacteristically worried. The people of Pakistan next door are bracing for trouble as well. To be sure, the Afghan insurgents unabashedly welcome the impending U.S. troop drawdown.


Maybe now they can start to regroup and regain some of the momentum they’ve lost over the past three years. At the same time, however, they’re acutely aware that their ranks have been decimated, while the Americans have worked overtime to transform the Afghan National Army into a credible fighting force. The Taliban’s propaganda department keeps claiming that the ANA is a laughably hollow threat, unable to fill the vacuum left by the departing Western troops. But privately, the guerrillas in the field aren’t sure which side is stronger now. Image from article, with caption: Afghan National Army cadets secure the perimeter as smoke bombs, simulating detonated IED's cover the area during a Taliban capture military exercise, overseen by French and Canadian soldiers, at the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) on November 13, 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Outraged Utah Family Speaks out against Russian Adoption Ban - melodika.net: Vinny and Dana DiGirolamo of Draper, Utah, recently interviewed on Fox-13 News, expressed new feelings of outrage and dismay at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deaf ear as he approved the ban on American adoptions. They have eleven children of which three were adopted from Russia in 2002. The DiGirolamos have presented their Russian adoption story at adoption seminars with Catholic Charities, spoken at Latter-day Saint firesides and other adoption forums promoting international adoptions. Dana DiGirolamo appealed, “These are children we’re talking about here! All they want is a family to love and nurture them. When they turn eighteen in Russia, they are turned out on the street. Many have no extended family to help them out and what else do they have but to turn to a life of despair, drugs and prostitution. We know this firsthand. It’s not propaganda.” She continued, “Despite what the Russian government has done, we don’t believe the Russian people want this for their children either. We’ve seen the Russian protestors on the news and we remain connected through Skype and Facebook with our adopted daughter’s extended Russian families. We love them and they love us for what we were able to do for their family. What more can anyone ask for?”

Foundations of Holocaust: American eugenics and the Nazi connection - blogs.jpost.com: As early as 1928, five years before Hitler, American eugenics was enthusiastically providing the Reich America’s Aryan Master Race goal, and the means by which Germany too could achieve it.


Image from entry, with caption: Propaganda for Nazi Germany's T-4 Euthanasia Program: "This person suffering from hereditary defects costs the community 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime. Fellow German, that is your money, too." from the Office of Racial Policy's” Neues Volk

Taming the Behemoth: A New Social Psychology of the Masses - Anthony F. Castriota, antoncalia.blogspot.com: Arguably the most influential thinker and founder of the emerging social theory of political psychology in the early years of the 20th century was Walter Lippmann, a veteran journalist who was intimately involved in the U.S. government's propaganda campaign during World War I. After the war, the publication of his seminal work Public Opinion created a sensation in the political and intellectual community. His concise critique of representational democracy, as well as those who aspired to the establishment of a more direct participation of the public in politics, set the groundwork for how democracy was to be discussed for years to come and the central issues of its consideration as a viable form of governance. It is probably warranted to claim that Lippmann more than any other figure of the time established political science as a proper academic discipline. Lippmann's social prescription comprised a modernized "Platonic" outlook in which highly trained experts from specialized fields with the assistance of a sophisticated technical media network would be employed to effectively disseminate information without the distorting intrusion of public prejudice. Experts were designated as the newest version of the "philosopher-kings" who would be able to distinguish true Form from the transient shortcomings of public opinion (the senses), enabling leaders as well as the public access to reliable information upon which to make informed decisions that fell beyond their immediately experienced environments. Within the program of this analysis, which constituted the "manufacture of consent" as Lippmann famously phrased it, was a strong critique against long-held beliefs about democracy and the underlying philosophy of the Panopticon. Under Bentham, the Panopticon was a physical space so constructed as to permit constant surveillance of its occupants/prisoners. Lippmann moved the Panopticon into the very composition of the human mind as Plato had in his famous metaphysical allegory.


In the dim light of the Cave, one can only see the shadows on the wall and we are chained to the floor, unable to turn about. For some individuals, there is a way to freedom but society, and more specifically public action, would be forever bound. Lippmann's argument, if conceded, comes to the conclusion that ". . . those thinkers of the Eighteenth Century who designed the matrix of democracy. . . had a pale god, but warm hearts, and in the doctrine of popular sovereignty they found the answer to their need of an infallible origin for the new social order. There was the mystery, and only enemies of the people touched it with profane and curious hands." Lippmann's project demanded that he trespass into that "sacrosanct mystery" however. His assessment was that stereotypes made the masses incapable of competent decision-making on issues that were removed from the immediate and tangible realities of their own local environment. These decisions had to be managed and communicated through the applicable mechanisms of propaganda, especially when many of these issues were not even known to the public previously. Lippmann image from entry

How to tell War Propaganda [includes videos] - Rayn Gryphon: War Propaganda is distinguishable by the use of fear in order to put forth loosely supported evidence that suggests the reasonable necessity for violent military action or intervention.

Future Obama Administration Propaganda Posters - PatriotUSA. Image from article


Propaganda - Ray Pensador, dailykos.com: To not only counteract the effects of mass media propaganda at an individual level (you), but at a collective level, it seems that the first step would be to become aware of the propaganda: who is behind it; what methods are used to spread it, and the reasons behind it; and what effects it has on the citizenry.

ONE MORE QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"I wanna be instamatic
I wanna be a frozen pea
I wannna be dehydrated
In a consumer society"



--X-Ray Spex: Art-I-Ficial; image from

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