"Music Unites Everyone, except Neighbors."
--Via LV on Facebook
Israel Aims to Pressure US With Iran Talk - newsmaxworld.com: "A high-volume public debate in Israel over a possible imminent military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is designed to pressure Washington to back its ally more firmly, experts say. Media chatter over Israel's intentions has become a cacophony, fed daily by pronouncements from politicians, retired generals, former security officials and various commentators. They fill newspaper columns and radio and TV broadcasts with their opinions for or against a pre-emptive Israeli operation against Iran, with or without US approval or assistance. Such talk has been further fuelled by the mass distribution of gas masks to the public, by tests of an SMS attack warning system and by speculation about possible Israeli casualty numbers in the event of an Iranian counter-attack. Defence Minister Ehud Barak and other senior officials have estimated a conflict could last 30 days and claim 500 Israeli lives. 'There is an orchestrated hysteria, deliberately timed, to put the country in a state of anxiety, artificial or not,' former military intelligence chief Uri Saguy wrote this weekend in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper. Apart from preparing public opinion for the consequences of a conflict, the surge in public statements aims to push US President Barack Obama to take a more hawkish stance on Iran, said Denis Charbit, professor of political science at Israel's Open University. 'The use of this public diplomacy on the part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defence minister aims to obtain a clearer commitment by the United States to attack if Iran continues its nuclear programme, or at least to give Israel the green light to do so,' he told AFP."
A New “Contact Group” for Coordinated International Diplomacy on Tibet? - Editorial Board, The Tibetan Political Review: "At a time when Tibetans mourn the 49th self-immolation in Tibet, some uplifting news comes out of Washington DC. Two members of Congress have released an August 9 letter they sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on the Obama Administration to strengthen public diplomacy and form a multilateral forum to resolve the Tibet crisis."
Baylor music instructor teaches in war-torn countries - Regina Dennis, wacotrib.com: "When Baylor University music professor Brad Bolen was offered a chance to teach piano lessons to young students in Iraq, he had more than a few reservations. 'My first thought was, ‘Are you crazy?’ ' Bolen said of the offer from American Voices, a nonprofit group that hosts music and arts programs in countries across the globe. 'My second one was there can’t possibly be any people there at the level that I’ve worked with my whole life to help or who could have that much familiarity with Western music.'
Bolen has taught piano lessons to students in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan through a summer camp sponsored by nonprofit American Voices. But what he found instead was a country full of charm despite its civil struggles. And he was inspired by students who didn’t let the wars around them deter their focus on nurturing their musical talents. 'I can’t think of very many places where I can win that many kids over so fast and feel like I’ve inspired them and really changed their lives,' Bolen said. Now, Bolen wants to create a greater opportunity for the young musicians to expand their studies. The Baylor School of Music has started an American Voices Scholarship Fund and is seeking donations to help students from the country study music at Baylor." Image from article, with caption: Baylor professor Brad Bolen with student Mohammed Akmed, 16, of Baghdad during a piano masterclass lesson in Iraq in July. Bolen has taught piano lessons to students in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan through a summer camp sponsored by nonprofit American Voices.Via PR on facebook
World Music as Cultural Diplomacy? - thelondonembassy.blogspot.com: "The increasing connectedness of world populations is developing a practice of international and cultural relations that by-passes state agencies, with creators and consumers moving freely and directly, in full control of expression, production and distribution. Cultural relations would be my preferred term to describe this activity. Being generally neutral, it just describes human relations between collective identities in the international cultural arena. These are occurring regardless of types of agent, means or objective – unlike government – and are being conducted for mutual or unilateral benefits, on a simple case by case basis. Modern cultural diplomacy therefore is no more than a restricted form of cultural relation, one that can only occur under license from governments and their agents, for these remain focussed in the exchange of cultural ideas, goods or services on ‘mutual understanding’, which has as its direct or indirect objective the continuing pursuit of soft power. Cultural diplomacy therefore is your state’s way to control the instinctive and much more organic practice of your very own cultural relations."
Former RFE/RL president's plan for VOA: 1) relegate it to public diplomacy, 2) bust its union - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "[Excerpts from extensive Elliott commentary on this issue:] "Dr. Gedmin would eliminate the VOA union?
Now that would send a powerful message to the world about the 'freedom and democracy' enshrined in the Broadcasting Board of Governors mission statement. ... [T]he audience for international broadcasting is, collectively, much smarter than all the decision makers and think tank fellows within the Beltway. The audience would spot almost immediately a broadcasting service that is a mix of journalism and 'mission.' They will tune to another broadcasting outlet, or visit another website, that does not insult their intelligence." Image from entry
MEA acts firm - Dilip Cherian Blog: "Despite intense opposition from the mighty IAS lobby, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is likely to gets its way in creating a new post of secretary (public affairs). Apparently the IAS lobby, including Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth believe that MEA, with five secretaries, does not need another secretary-level post. Even though there are five secretaries, another post is in the making. But the MEA mandarins found strong backing from their minister S.M. Krishna who has been pushing the idea of another secretary, despite resistance from Mr Seth and others. The secretary for public affairs is expected to be a nodal post dealing with visa matters, Haj issues, matter of publicity and public diplomacy. The new secretary would also be responsible for aligning the four divisions within the ministry to ensure smooth functioning. The issue has now been referred to the Department of Personnel and Training and the Finance Ministry and is expected to be placed before the Cabinet soon. Will the IAS lobby still stymie the plan or will MEA’s mandarins get their way?"
Photo of the Day: Now Showing Rubber AK-47 Assault Rifles in Afghanistan - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: "Given the continuing number of casualties from the ‘green-on-blue’ attacks in Afghanistan and the recent directive that all Coalition troops carry a loaded weapon at all times, we find this photo of Afghan police trainees with their rubber AK-47 assault rifles more than interesting. The Threat Matrix blog reports that Taliban leader Mullah Omar claims that the Taliban “cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy according to the plan given to them last year.” He urges government officials and security personnel to defect and join the Taliban as it is their religious duty to do so, and then warns that “the day is not far away that the invading enemy will flee Afghanistan.”
Obviously Mullah Omar is glossing over the fact about 2024. But this guy is more crafty than we thought. He probably learned somewhere that our politicians who hold the purse strings for all spending hate the idea of the US “fleeing” Afghanistan. Raising the specter of “fleeing” troops would help make sure that Congress will continue funding this nutty war, and in the process, the Taliban get their cut to fund their fight of a lifetime. A win-win situation except for the dead and the broken soldiers. And so here we are with rubber assault rifles. Image from entry, with caption: Two Afghan Uniform Police recruits practice aiming their rubber AK-47 assault rifles during a handcuff training exercise at Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar province, Afghanistan, July 5, 2012.
Serious Questions about a Haiti Reconstruction Puff Piece - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: "As I learned in Iraq, building things is relatively easy given massive amounts of money.
The real magic is sustainability." Image from entry
More Propaganda from Israel - migrant-rights.org: Government propaganda against African migrants workers in Israel reappears in the same form over and over again: migrants are blamed for some menace threat that endangers the very foundation of Israel itself. From Knesset members to local mayors, government authorities have blamed migrants for the country’s economic woes, for purported criminal activity, and for “altering the face of Israel." Most recently, the Israeli government has blamed migrants for inadvertently funding Hamas. In this article published by Haaretz, a government spokesperson offers an obscure explanation of this allegation: migrants tend to use non-institutional means to send remittances home, which often involves enrolling a Palestinian intermediary. This Palestinian middleman, who takes a small share of the cash, is essentially the only “proof” supporting these inflated claims. The assumption that the Palestinians in question are working for Hamas, appears simply that – an assumption. Such propaganda has incited violence against African migrants, a phenomena that media outlets and rights organizations documented widely this past year.Israel’s tendency to transform the most ordinary of things into an existential threat is a well-acknowledged tactic.
Is al-Assad winning the propaganda war in Syria? - Ben Lynfield, Global Post, CNN: One image of the Syrian conflict that has resonated widely in the West is that of corpses, including those of children, who have fallen victim to government attacks. But a far more heroic image of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's security forces is being fostered by the regime’s own media, part of a determined effort to keep up morale as fighting continues to rage in Aleppo and other cities.
Nightly on state television, pictures are shown of children kissing soldiers or being hoisted aloft by them, with a patriotic song, “This is the Nation’s Army,” playing in the background. Image from article: Analysts say that for Bashar al-Assad, the key to winning the media war is not credibility, but a strong, consistent message.
Crackdown on Pro-EU Propaganda in Schools - Alison Little, express.co.uk: Britain has warned Brussels that any attempts to brainwash UK children into backing the EU is illegal. Education Secretary Michael Gove ordered an investigation into an EU scheme that provides books and other teaching materials for British schools.
His civil servants are thought to have used talks with EU officials to stress that British law requires schools to teach politics in a “balanced and unbiased” way. MPs welcomed Mr Gove’s action but they want him to do more to ensure pupils are not being bombarded with pro-EU propaganda. Gove image from article
Miss China becomes Miss World - Washington Post: Yu Wenxia was crowned Miss World 2012. The 23-year-old music student from China edged out Sophie Elizabeth Moulds of Wales and Jessica Michelle Kahawaty of Australia for the title.
DJ Kraviz Feted All Over Europe, but Not in Russia - Alec Luhn, Moscow Times: A former dentist, Nina Kraviz to DJ every Friday at the venerable Moscow club Propaganda, but now she comes home to her apartment near metro station Mayakovskaya only about once a month, she said. Kraviz grew up in Irkutsk, staying up into the wee hours to tape late-night radio programming from Moscow and listening to American house and techno music pioneers
like Armando and Jeff Mills. After completing a degree in dentistry in Moscow, she went into practice and later worked at a veterans' hospital. Meanwhile, she was moonlighting as a music writer at magazines like Ptyuch and Afisha. In 2003, she quit her hospital job and began DJing. A turning point in her career came in 2006 when she attended Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne, Australia, where she studied with DJ and producer Matt Edwards. Since 2009, she has released several 12-inches on Edwards' London-based label Rekids, as well as her new full-length. Kraviz has never released on a Russian label. She voiced many complaints with the Russian electronic music scene — and Russia in general — including rampant sexism, jealousy and a "deeply retro" belief in the necessity of personal connections. Kraviz image from article
10 great public relations and propaganda quotes compiled by Ronn Torossian, owner of a leading PR Agency - jewocity.com: “He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.” Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, 1900 “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” George W. Bush “The bigger the lie, the more believable it becomes to the average Arab citizen. Thus, Arab media never fail to be less than outrageous. They blamed the defeat on none other than Israel, as though self-defense and self-preservation was not a right to be exercised by the Jewish enemy.” Nonie Darwish “If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.” Thomas Sowell “It is the emergence of mass media which makes possible the use of propaganda techniques on a societal scale.”Jacques Ellul “In the West “yes” is “yes” and “no” is “no.” But when Arabs hear the word “no” from an American they often take it as an insult. That is because Arabs don’t say the word “no” directly. Very often they say “in Shaalah” when they mean “no.” In dealing with Westerners, an Arab may say “yes’ when they really don’t mean it, and that gets them in a lot of trouble with Westerners.” Nonie Darwish “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell “In Russia we only had two TV channels. Channel One was propaganda. Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you: Turn back at once to Channel One. “Yakov Smirnoff “Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.” Eric Hoffer “Propaganda, to be effective, must be believed. To be believed, it must be credible. To be credible, it must be true." Hubert Humphrey.
USSR posters - flickr.com: among them:
AMERICANA: US DENTISTRY AT ITS BEST
Houston Mitchell, "Augusta National OKs 1st female members, including Condoleezza Rice," latimes.com
Via LV on Facebook