Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 28

“I get it -- these days I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist I used to be."

--President Barack Obama, joking at the White House Correspondents' Assn. dinner; image from


(a) One Day With A Diplomat - Один день с дипломатом

(b) Transcript (and Video) of Pressing for Freedom: The State of Digital and Media Repression Worldwide in 2013[:] Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara D. Sonenshine; Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights & Labor, Uzra Zeya --Foreign Press Center, Washington, D.C. -

(c) An anthem to mark the accession of the new king and queen of the Netherlands has been withdrawn after critics likened it to North Korean propaganda -


Russia cracks down on U.S.-linked NGOs - Kathy Lally, Washington Post:

"Two months ago, a civic-minded history professor in the picturesque city of Kostroma invited a U.S. diplomat to take part in a roundtable about Russian-American relations. The event was open, the conversation spirited — and Monday the professor’s organization goes to court, accused of being a foreign agent. ... The U.S. Embassy saw the visit differently, telling Russian media it was the kind of public diplomacy practiced around the world to increase mutual understanding." Image from

Student guest post: The role of editing in public diplomacy - andybechtel, "Melissa Tolentino is a senior double major in journalism (editing and graphic design) and Japanese studies. As a former intern at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, she has a passion for public diplomacy, particularly with youth. ... [Tolentino:] There’s ... [an] aspect of government that the media has to deal with every day, and it doesn’t carry the same stiff reputation. It’s called public diplomacy, which is a more grassroots form of diplomacy that relies on fostering mutual understanding among countries through international communication. Rather than do this through bureaucratic channels, though, public diplomacy relies on the people, which is why it’s often called 'the people’s diplomacy.' The most important word in that definition is communication. Any form of international relations would not exist without it, and the media is the perfect channel through which such communication should occur. No matter the region or the culture, newspapers, blogs and news broadcasts carry the same purpose: to inform. ... I want journalists to strive not only to inform their main audience, but the global audience beyond, in a way that really and truly promotes people-to-people communication rather than blind bias. Luckily, the U.S. Department of State is helping local and international journalists with that, as they have several journalism-oriented exchange programs, one of which — the Edward R. Murrow Program — is partly held at UNC’s own j-school."

Goiânia: The Nashville of Brazil - Paul Rockower, Levantine: On Keola, Moana and Jeff's Brazilian tour

under the "American Voices," a State Department funded cultural program. Image from entry

Revisiting Colour Revolutions - Carlos González Villa, “'Public diplomacy' initiatives had started with the creation of the NED, a bipartisan NGO founded by Ronald Reagan in 1982."

European Union’s U.S. Public Diplomatic Counselors Press Lunch (Photos) -
"The European Union Center of Excellence, a group based at both the University of Miamiand FIU organized a lunch media event at the newly re-designed Coral Gables Country Club.

Aside from the basic networking function of the event, a set of short presentations by Event Organizer U of M Professor Joaquin Roy, Journalism Professor and Media Professional Leonardo Ferreira and Silvia Kofler Spokesperson and Head of Press and Public Diplomacy for the European Union elicited an animated question and answer session at the end of the lunch portion of the meeting." Image from entry

Strategist and architect of the Eurasian integration - Anatoly Spitsin. "The world’s leading politicians and experts say that the most important outcome of the 'Eurasian strategy' of Nursultan Nazarbayev was the formation of the Kazakh nation on the basis of friendship and harmony among ethnic groups. According to V.Putin, 'Kazakhstan today shows the world an example of inter-ethnic and inter-faith harmony.' The idea of creation of the Assembly of Kazakhstan’s People was first proposed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1992 at the First Forum of Peoples of Kazakhstan. Since then the KPA has covered the path of its own development, received its deserved institutional content, accumulated consolidating and intellectual potential and became the institute of public diplomacy."

Should We Even Be Studying Public Diplomacy? - Anna-Lena Tepper: “Former NBA player Dennis Rodman’s recent visit to North Korea came to many as a surprise. Along with an entourage of fellow basketball players from the performance group Harlem Globetrotters, Rodman went to visit the most oppressive country in the world, but his intentions weren’t politically motivated. His mission was simply to share the joy of basketball with the North Korean people. ... [M]aybe American scholars are sometimes overanalyzing public diplomacy and therefore, often miss their set goals (or can’t detect it). Many argue that Dennis Rodman’s visit was just staged and now that he has gone nothing has changed.

Those people have a point. Kim Jong Un has just threatened the United States with a nuclear war again. Politically, Rodman’s visit hasn’t changed anything. However, he still managed to open North Korea to an American visitor for a friendly encounter with the leader for first time in decades, and that is something neither politicians nor scholars have been able to achieve. Fact is, public diplomacy needs to be very targeted in order to be successful, but at the same time, PD scholars and practitioners should also keep in mind that sometimes intuition is a good indicator of what is a good approach and what is not. Especially in the case of North Korea, maybe a mix of intuitive steps and targeted PD programs is going to lead to a change in the near, or not so near future." Image from entry

Darko Brizic, Latvia - GSPIA Interns’ blogs: "Since my last posting, I took part in a few events where the Embassy of Canada to Latvia was involved, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to delve into more detail on those happenings. These events continued to reflect the great variety of tasks previously mentioned, as one of them was a presentation I did on Canada. ... As my work has mostly related to the Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy section at the Embassy, it is true that most of our target audiences are so-called ‘influential’ people, whether they are elected officials, part of the business community or any group that could be identified as a stakeholder for that matter. However, this is not always the case, as I was involved in promoting Canada at a local international children’s school during an activity they call ‘international awareness day’."

Tipping and Sequestration - Sizani Weza, "Sequestration and tips. These two subjects have preoccupied my mind during my second visit in eight years to Washington. I have traveled on business to learn the current issues that preoccupy our public diplomacy engagement

across the globe religion, human rights, budget cuts, women’s issues, social media e.t.c.- all topical issues in Zimbabwe which has just endorsed a new constitution. ... I am travelling to Worcester, Massachusetts and my guide says i have to reserve no less than $35 for tips over five days. No negotiations about the practice and this seemingly challenging minimum. My consolation: it’s part of learning a culture and, a bit of thought and extravagance is necessary to appreciate a people’s way of life. It’s called learning by doing. I will do it!" Image from entry, with caption: Nonentities stride past famous structures.

Richland County Foundation annual meeting is May 6 - "Richland County Foundation’s 68th annual meeting and luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 6 at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center, 890 West Fourth St. Heather Tsavaris, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at North Central State College, will be guest speaker. ... Tsavaris served a decade in the U.S. State Department in a number of capacities, most recently as a communications adviser to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications and senior adviser to the secretary’s Special Representative to Muslim Communities."


Judgment Not Included - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: We must ask a question only Muslims can answer: What is going on in your community that a critical number of your youth believes that every American military action in the Middle East is intolerable

and justifies a violent response, and everything Muslim extremists do to other Muslims is ignorable and calls for mostly silence? Image from

A 'red line' on Syria: If the Assad regime has indeed used chemical weapons, the U.S. must honor its commitment to actc - Editorial, Los Angeles Times: President Obama has followed a commendably restrained policy in refusing to intervene militarily in Syria's civil war. But if the U.S. confirms that the regime of President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons, the president should adhere to his insistence last year that such conduct would be a "red line" justifying action by this country, alone or in concert with other nations.

For Israel, tranquil days - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Tensions in the U.S.-Israeli relationship have eased after Barack Obama’s very successful visit here last month. Israelis wanted Obama to show the love, and when he finally did, it dispelled much of their anxiety. Indeed, in many ways, Israel’s current passivity in the region is arguably a local version of “leading from behind.”

China's Middle East footprint: Despite concerns about stability, oil and Islamism, Beijing will continue to let Washington underwrite security in the gulf region - David Schenker, Los Angeles Times: China recognizes that America's commitments to Japan and South Korea — states dependent on gulf energy — will long oblige Washington to underwrite security in the Middle East.

Daily Kos: Tsarnaevs Worse Than Osama, Left Out the Anti-American Propaganda - Tim Graham, The Boston bombers Tsarnaev engaged in what used to be called propaganda by deed, but left out the propaganda says former sociology professor Milton Mankoff. Photographers in the U.S. military do more than just take pictures—they also assist in providing images that can be used to promote propaganda objectives. Below image from

Officials: Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev read jihadist websites, extremist propaganda - AP, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, U.S. officials said Tuesday, adding another piece to the body of evidence they say suggests the two brothers

were motivated by an anti-American, radical version of Islam. Image from

U.S. Military Photographers Help Counter Enemy Propaganda and Support American Propaganda - David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff, An updated doctrine for combat camera (COMCAM) personnel claims that photographers play important roles in helping win any war. They can “potentially achieve national, theater strategic, and operational level objectives in a manner that lessens the requirement for combat in many situations.” Furthermore, COMCAM “can counter adversary misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda.”

When local insurgents in Afghanistan used photo of civilian casualties to promote hostility against U.S. forces, Pentagon photographers were ordered to provide images of Americans treating injured Afghans. Images collected by military photographers also play a role in identifying key combatants and “support special reconnaissance,” and can “help commanders gain situational awareness on operations in a way written or verbal reports cannot.” Image from entry

The Kremlin and the Marathon Bombing - Judy Bachrach, "Here’s a question.

Who benefits most from the finger-pointing after the Boston Marathon bombings? If you answered 'Russia' or 'Vladimir Putin,' I’m with you." See also Facebook comment on this piece at. Image from entry

Palestinian children’s art exhibit postponed after allegations of propaganda - Laura Brown, Global News: A Palestinian children’s art exhibit that was scheduled to open in Fredericton [Canada]
last week was postponed due to public pressure stemming from allegations that the work is propaganda and was done by adults. The exhibit, a Child’s View from Gaza, has travelled across North America and was setting up to open at Charlotte Street Arts Centre for April 19. The art was submitted by Gazan children depicting their lives and experience during the 22-day Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008-2009, during which over 1,100 Palestinians died including hundreds of children.

However one Fredericton resident says he believes the exhibit’s pieces are inauthentic and fraudulent. “This would appear to have been done by adults certainly not by six year olds, and/or done by children under the direction of adults,” said Israel Unger, a protestor of the exhibit. He says the drawings are propaganda, anti-Israeli, and too sophisticated to be drawn by children. The allegations, along with letters and calls from other protesters, led the Centre’s board of directors to postpone the opening and review the situation. In 2011 the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, California cancelled the exhibition after pressure from the Jewish Community Relations Council and Jewish Federation of East Bay. Image from entry, with caption: A piece in the Palestinian children’s art exhibit, A Child’s View from Gaza.

Netherlands' National Anthem Scrapped in North Korean Propaganda Row: Composer John Ewbank withdraws Koningslied homage for accession of Crown prince Willem in face of 38,000 complaints - Ewan Palmer, An anthem to mark the accession of the new king and queen of the Netherlands has been withdrawn after critics likened it to North Korean propaganda.

Obama’s Ministry of Propaganda or: How I Came to Love the New Normal - Michael Oberndorf, Ever since the horror at the end of the Boston Marathon, we have been witness to Obama’s Ministry of Propaganda at its absolute despicable worst. The Ministry of Propaganda, euphemistically self-named the “mainstream” media, includes the major TV networks and their radio news versions, big-city newspapers, and of course, the source of most of their “news,” the AP (Associated Press). In spite of the growth of the “alternate” media – the Internet and talk radio – it’s still the source of most people’s knowledge of what’s going on in the world.

This helps explain the phenomena of what Rush Limbaugh has dubbed the “Low Information Voter,” among other things, since what they all put out is a mixture of lies, intentional distortion – called by them “spin” – and opinion disguised as fact. All of it is designed to brainwash the public into believing the Enemy’s version of reality. We’ve seen this repeatedly, with every mass murder in recent years. The Ministry immediately tries to blame it on “right-wingers” – read, conservatives – with every outlet using the same terms, over and over, making it crystal clear to anyone with an IQ over room temperature that they are being fed their “spin” from a single source. Image from

Saturday, April 27, 2013

April 25-27

"When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive."

-- George W. Bush; image from, with caption: George W. Bush stares at a portrait of George W. Bush.


a) George W. Bush, Catapult The Propaganda - YouTube

b) Practical Challenges for the Future of Public Diplomacy -

c) N. Korea Propaganda Video: Dogs Attack Effigy Of South’s Defense Minister -

d) Facebook Home Propaganda Makes Selfishness Contagious - Evan Selinger, "Let’s examine the most egregious Facebook ad of them all: 'Dinner.' On the surface, it portrays an intergenerational family meal where a young woman escapes from the dreariness of her older relative’s boring cat talk by surreptitiously turning away from the feast and instead feasting her eyes on Facebook Home."


Public Diplomacy in Context: Past and Present of National Image Management among the Small Nations of Northern Europe --- Conference in Helsinki and Turku, Finland 26-27 April, 2013


Rebalance to Asia II: Security and Defense: Cooperation and Challenges - Testimony, Joseph Yun, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Statement Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Washington, DC, April 25, 2013 - U.S. Department of State: "United States’ policy toward East Asia and the Pacific reflects the profound recognition that the future prosperity and security of our nation will be defined by events and developments in the region. ... Our cooperation with the region is not limited to top-level engagement.

It also extends to ordinary citizens, including young people. Public diplomacy initiatives, such as educational and cultural exchange programs with citizens from across the Asia-Pacific region, are increasing grass-roots support for partnering with the United States. In addition, we are utilizing new outreach platforms such as social media and the innovative American cultural spaces in Rangoon and Jakarta, to reach younger audiences, highlight the multi-dimensional nature of U.S. foreign policy, and foster direct and long-term relationships with broader and more diverse populations." Image from

Good Service - Scott Moore, Foreign Affairs: "The country’s objectives would be ... served by expanding opportunities for national service through voluntary programs, particularly those that expose Americans to the outside world. The Peace Corps was established by President John F. Kennedy to make Americans return from abroad 'better able to assume the responsibilities of American citizenship and with greater understanding of our global responsibilities.' The value of the Peace Corps has only increased over time, and expanding the program would be a sound investment in U.S. public diplomacy. Currently, the Peace Corps provides fewer than 10,000 positions total despite receiving thousands of applications every year. The United States can and should encourage more Americans to serve their country both at home and abroad. But targeted investments in voluntary programs would advance U.S. interests far more effectively than compulsory national service."

More State Department senior officials exiting - Al Kamen, Washington Post: "Undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs Tara Sonenshine is leaving

in July after 15 months in the job, likely headed to an academic or media gig.The Emmy Award-winning former editorial producer of ABC News’ Nightline also worked on the Clinton National Security Council and was more recently executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace." Image from

Sonenshine Travel to Ethiopia: Under Secretary Sonenshine Travel to Ethiopia - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: "Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine will travel to Ethiopia to meet with government officials, local media, students, and activists to advance shared goals in the areas of press freedom, education, youth development, and conservation April 27-30. In Addis Ababa, Under Secretary Sonenshine will meet with officials from the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the African Union; join a discussion on press freedom at a roundtable with the Association of Private Publishers; and mark Global Youth Service Day and Earth Day by participating in a tree-planting event with Ethiopian National Green Service Volunteers. April 30, Under Secretary Sonenshine will travel to Ethiopia’s second largest city, Dire Dawa, where she will speak to students at Dire Dawa University, one of Ethiopia’s newly established universities."

Public Schedule: Public Schedule for April 26, 2013 - U.S. Department of State: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 11:30 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine meets with U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Donald Booth, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)"

Public Schedule for April 25, 2013 - U.S. Department of State: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 9:00 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine delivers remarks on wildlife conservation at the School Without Walls, in Washington, DC. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 2:30 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine joins Acting Assistant Secretary Zeya to launch the World Press Freedom Day, at the Foreign Press Center, in Washington DC. (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE) 6:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine attends a reception in honor of the 65th Anniversary of the U.S.-UK Fulbright Commission, at the British Ambassador’s residence. (MEDIA DETERMINED BY HOST)

Pimm’s Cup [scroll down link for item] - Amanda Gordon and Stephanie Green, "Celebrating the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission last night in Washington, Bay Fang, a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, sipped a Pimm’s Cup. After Harvard, she went to Hong Kong and Beijing as a Fulbright scholar, studying international affairs.

Also in attendance at the residence of the British ambassador: John Jeffry Louis, incoming chairman of the U.S.- U.K. Fulbright Commission and an American venture capitalist living in London, and Tara Sonenshine, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs." Image from

United States Consul In Merida Visits Valladolid - The Yucatan Times: "The U.S. Consulate General in Merida celebrated U.S. National Library Week with a significant event at the Valladolid English Library (VEL), housed at Casa Hamaca in Valladolid. Consul Sonya Tsiros along with

Ms. Tricia Olivares, the Consulate Public Diplomacy Assistant, made the celebration memorable by bringing a wonderful collection of children’s English language books, a set of 24 DVDs featuring English language lessons through the use of video games, and a stunning book with dramatic color photos from around the world titled, Global Women’s Issues: Women in the World Today." Image from article, with caption: Ms. Tricia Olivares, U.S. Consulate Public Diplomacy Assistant

Apply for US grant before May 5 - The New Indian Express: "The US Consulate General, Chennai, has invited proposals for its small-grants program. Through this program, the Consulate provides partial support for public diplomacy programmes that further priority areas of the US Mission to India. The last date for applying for the grant is May 5 and the public diplomacy programmes must occur in South India. Proposals can include projects, seminars, conferences, workshops, cultural programmes, exhibitions and outreach campaigns, and should focus on one of the following areas: promoting better US-India bilateral relations with an emphasis on business ties; encouraging regional and global roles for India; and enhancing security cooperation. The proposals should be submitted via email or mail and should include a written narrative in English. This competition is open only to individuals, NGOs and other legally-recognised non-profit institutions. For details, visit"

Brazil's Orwellian Islamabad - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Keola and company finally made our way out of limbo, and headed south via Miami to Brasilia. Nothing to report or speak of on the way down, and we arrived redeyed to Brasilia. ... Keola and company

headed out last night for dinner with my contact at the Embassy, Ramona the ACAO. We took a taxi to meet her and her husband Ted (who also works at the Embassy)." Image from PR Facebook, with caption: Prior to heading out on tour, Keola Beamer, Jeff Peterson & Moanalani Beamer were hosted by a local halau in Virgina for an afternoon of Hawaiian food, hula, music and talk story. Mahalo to Paul Ruden for sharing his pics from the lovely afternoon.

25 Steps towards a Smarter U.S. Foreign Policy - Brett Daniel Shehadey, "China and Russia are strictly engaging in increased bilateral diplomacy with smaller states to increase their influence, and these countries’ propaganda and public diplomacy initiatives are far more advanced than the US’s ability to counter it. In search of a new US grand strategy that fits the current international model, this article offers recommendations for fundamental redesign of US foreign policy. ... [Among them:] 16. Large-Scale VIP Public Diplomacy Initiatives [:] The State Department should take in highly experienced, influential, outsiders and director level government retirees, and ask them to be 'roving diplomats'

as 'direct commission' FSO appointees. These experts can represent critical needs or special positions in a given field, and set up foundational political networks, partnerships and programs of Americanism abroad, working with influential foreign leaders in all sectors. As overt intelligence operators, they will be responsible for sharing political knowledge, exchange, understanding, and negotiating the American interest (i.e. political assimilation, not cultural, or economic manipulation). ... 24. Indirect Methods of Public Diplomacy [:] Redirect the intelligence community to Americanization and the usage of massive [black] propaganda (i.e. information operations deniable to American sponsorship). Wage massive long-term covert strategic, regional and key state ideological warfare appropriate for each situation." Image from

Reconceptualizing Diplomatic Norms in the Digital Age - PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "[T]he U.S. will need to decide whether to align its digital platforms as a voice for promoting our values abroad, or simply conduits for engaging foreigners through other, less controversial, public diplomacy programs. Both options could lead to success, but I believe in the long run the former will be the better course of action. .. [T]he United States must embrace its values over all digital media. ... Alex Laverty is a graduate student pursuing a Master's degree in Public Diplomacy from USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism."

Why travel needs to have a bigger seat at the table in U.S. immigration debate - "As the immigration reform debate is in full swing in U.S. Congress, all relevant parties are making sure their voices get heard. As part of that, tourism, a big stakeholder with thousands of jobs at stake tied to easing of the immigration and visa policies, has so far had a smaller voice at the table. Megan Smith, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, gave her testimony earlier this week, and made the case why the lawmakers should consider the economic value of travel and tourism as part of these reforms and work on making it easier for tourists to come to

U.S. ... [Smith:] Surveys have shown that foreigners who have the opportunity to visit the U.S. are 74 percent more likely to have a favorable view of our country; and that 61 percent are more likely to support the U.S. and its policies. Moreover, the mere agreement itself to establish a visa waiver relationship reinforces bilateral goodwill. While its explicit mission is to enhance security and encourage travel, the Visa Waiver Program has also demonstrated significant public diplomacy value as a 'soft power' tool that complements our formal foreign policy mechanisms. By strengthening our alliances and enhancing our nation’s global image, the VWP has helped to keep us safer." Image from entry

Top Bush advisers debate former president's legacy - [Comment by
thkr:] "Public Diplomacy - Did we find ways to convince others not to bomb us, but join with us to make a safer or better world by embracing democracy?"

Remembering 43: 'Bush tended to... follow strong people' - John King, CNN: In conjunction with Thursday's dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, CNN circled back with several key players in the big debates and moments of the 43rd president's two terms. Here are some of their reflections and recollections:

KAREN HUGHES, longtime Bush communications adviser dating back to his days as Texas governor, who served in the Bush White House and later the State Department: ... On the government's response to Katrina, and its impact on the second Bush term: 'I was just at the beginning of my tenure as under secretary for public diplomacy. And people around the world, they didn't believe the United States of America, our powerful country, couldn't do anything. Therefore, they felt we were choosing not to do anything. And I think that's the most unfortunate perception; that somehow the government was choosing not to help its own people. And of course, that's not true. I think they felt their hands were tied. But that's the unfortunate perception that developed.'" Image from

‘Some Stirred-up Moslems’ - CTuttle, "eCAHNomics April 20th, 2013 at 9:03 pm 91 In response to donbacon @ 85 ... I think ayatollahs are as despicable as cardinals, popes, heads of Anglican denomination, etc. But this Iranian Khamanei is one clever SOB. Unlike his scowling predecessor, he knows just how to stroke world opinion. Karen Hughes should be jealous."

Great Women - "Condolezza [sic] [Rice] is the second woman to ever be named U.S. Secretary of State, she also has the noted distinction of being the first African-American woman to hold the position. ... Quotes by Condolezza [sic] ... [']I’m a huge proponent of exchanges, student exchanges, cultural exchanges, university exchanges. We talk a lot about public diplomacy. It’s extremely important that we get our message out, but it’s also the case that we should not have a monologue with other people. It has to be a conversation and you can’t do that without exchanges and openness.[']"

Propagating China to the World: China’s “Public Diplomacy through Media” Strategy in the Age of Globalization - Shi Li, gnovis [nō'vĩs], n., Georgetown University’s peer-reviewed Journal of Communication, Culture andTechnology (CCT): "Abstract [:] In order to improve its global image and cultivate an international environment that would facilitate China’s continuous rise in the world, the Chinese government has developed, in recent years, an aggressive public diplomacy program. The extension of the global outreach of its media has become an essential component in the effort to propagate

the country’s international image. This paper maps out such undertakings by examining developments among four major media organizations: Xinhua, China Central Television, China Radio International, and China Daily. At the same time, in analyzing existing literature and online discussions, it appears that three factors have the potential to compromise China’s efforts: an absence of government and media credibility; a lack of proper understanding on the part of the authorities of China’s public diplomacy audiences; and the Chinese government’s reluctance and inability to develop social media tools that directly engage the foreign public as well as encourage people-to-people public diplomacyAlthough China disposes of considerable soft power resources, the strategy of 'public diplomacy through media' might well be trapped in its own repressive political system." Image from

Beijing Film Festival: Technically Dazzling, Ultimately Disappointing - Adam Clayton Powell III, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy:  "The 3rd Beijing International Film Festival was a public diplomacy showcase this week for Chinese cinema at its best. ... The problem was not with the production technology or the performers: the problem was with the script. ... [T]his suggests lessons for CCTV at it prepares to launch a major daily television program service in America – five hours a day, starting in September (see more here): To be effective public diplomacy, CCTV America will need to attract an audience. And to attract an audience, expensive production and glitzy effects will only go so far. They will need content."

Responsibility doesn't end at profit - Meng Jing and Sun Yuanqing, China Daily: "Corporate social responsibility has always been a gray area for companies that operate in diverse nations and across various environment. But for many others like Mao Qiping, who looks after the international operations at one of the biggest Chinese oil companies, it is the calling card for sustained engagement and lasting relationships in Africa. 'What it really means is that CSR is something that needs to be handled with care.

Failure to do so can be disastrous,' he says. Mao's company, China National Petroleum Corporation, the largest integrated energy company in China, has been making steady progress with its CSR initiatives in Africa after expanding its oil business to Sudan in 1996. 'The real challenge initially was to find the best way to utilize the allocated budget for CSR activities, especially in the overseas markets,' he says. CNPC has to date spent more than $50 million in Africa on public welfare activities such as digging 160 water wells, building four hospitals and 35 schools and numerous roads and bridges. The jewel in its crown is undoubtedly the Sino-Sudan Abu Ushar Friendship Hospital, ranked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as one of the best public diplomacy programs in 2011." Image from

Brand Australia’s brand new portal - "A new Government-only web portal has been launched by Austrade’s Brand Australia to bring together free and subscription information that can be used to formulate key messaging about Australia’s reputation. Project Manager of Brand Australia, Catherine Hill said Insights Unlimited was a single-source web portal that offered access to rich information on Australia's perceived and actual performance across a wide range of economic and social indicators. ... Ms Hill said Insights Unlimited was a valuable reference tool for presentations, policy documents, messaging for public diplomacy efforts, speeches, media statements, marketing collateral and country briefings."

The Lieberman fear factor - Uri Misgav, "Israel's Foreign Ministry is patiently waiting for Avigdor Lieberman to finish up his legal affairs . ... The decision to keep the foreign minister's post empty and hold it in trust for Lieberman is an allegory. ... It is first of all an allegory of Lieberman's formidable political power. His deterrent force is impressive. The dread he strikes in the prime minister is paralyzing. We all know how insistent Benjamin Netanyahu is to defend the righteousness of Israel's actions. In his previous term he even set up a 'public diplomacy' ministry.

In response to the UN Assembly's declarative gesture to recognize a Palestinian state, Netanyahu raised a huge commotion. He postponed the ceremonial reconciliation with Turkey for three years and finally did it only when he had no choice - after Obama ordered him to. The excuse Netanyahu's office made for the prime minister's unnecessary trip to Margaret Thatcher's funeral was that it presented an opportunity to meet world leaders and 'explain Israel's policy.' Given Netanyahu's concern over Israel's image abroad, it is inconceivable that he accepts the idea of the government and state going without a foreign minister. ... Israeli society wants to deal only with itself. The craving for internal repairs, after years of neglect, is understandable and justified. But the inability to maintain interest in international affairs and strategic issues, at the same time, is a sign of a severe national attention disorder." Lieberman image from article

Syria, Iran, and terrorist connections - Anne's Opinions: "lialands says: 24 April 2013 at 13:38 pm Hi Anne, I am an intern for an interpersonal communications firm in Ramat Gan. Together with the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, my company, Debate Co, is working on an Israel advocacy app called Israelight.

The website enables users to register for free access to Hasbara tips and techniques. Using the Israelight app, anyone can access to the interactive tool assisting them in public diplomacy for Israel! We provide powerful, short videos on various case studies as well as the key principles of Israel advocacy. We hope to empower people to become more effective ambassadors for the State of Israel. Would you consider registering for Israelight at and perhaps mentioning the site in your blog posts? The faster we spread the word, the more advocates we can create for Israel, the more truth will be told!" Image: heading of blog

Israel’s top anti-BDS man [scroll down link for item] - Tony Greenstein's Blog: "Amir Sagie, the director, civil society affairs department, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the Keynote Guest speaker at Sunday’s overwhelmingly successful Israel Advocacy Seminar in Joburg. This speech, by the man at the forefront of combatting the global BDS movement, was extremely informative and useful to all present – given that it was an Israel advocacy seminar. ... Amir Sagie has been involved with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) since 1998. During his time there he has served as the Spokesman and head of the Public Diplomacy department in the Israeli Embassy in Beijing, China; he supervised the China, South Korea and Mongolia Desk in the North-Asia Department; he worked as the Deputy Director of the Information and Internet Department. ... Currently Amir holds the position of Director of the Civil Society Affairs Department in the Public Diplomacy Directorate."

Confession - Nurit Greenger, Doc's Talk: "I was born in British Palestine approximately nine months before Ben Gurion declared, on 14 May 1948, the state of Israel an independent state. ... Without the Jewish people there is no Israel and without Israel the continuation of the Jewish nation is at a great doubt. In my later years, when I realized that Israel can do with any and all help, I have joined the unofficial Public Diplomacy-Hasbara camp with the hope that even one percent of what I have to say or I do makes a slight difference and helps Israel."

'Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy' [Review of Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy: Reforming the Structure and Culture of U.S. Foreign Policy By John Lenczowski, Lexington Books, 212 pages] - Wes Vernon: "In 'Spectrum and Diplomacy,' Mr. Lenczowski proposes a sweeping reorganization of that entire range of government disciplines. A nerve center of such massive reorientation would be the U.S. Public Diplomacy Agency, whose portfolio is so extensive that its significance could not be ignored, and which would spur a culture of influence enough to be felt within the department and other relevant agencies. The agency would be in the State Department but not really of it. Basically, it would be removed from the department's culture and 'would operate at a greater effectiveness.'

The author notes the department's structure and culture of diplomatic policymaking were formulated before the arrival of the modern mass media. Mr. Lenczowski would supplement formal government-to-government diplomacy with public diplomacy's people-to-people approach. In that endeavor, he would enlist the assistance of Americans in and out of government. That would include visiting lecturers or scholars at educational institutions, performing artists and others who befriend the local populations. ... In an interview with this writer, Mr. Lenczowski said there is much yet to be learned about the recent debacle in Benghazi, but if reports are accurate that 'our people, CIA people were there to get arms, to get Libyan arms to the Syrian resistance,' then with the benefit of more information, we might determine if public diplomacy could have averted the crisis. ... Mr. Lenczowski would create agencies to see that disinformation about the United States conveyed to foreign populations is met with an effective response. Another agency would be responsible for 'ensuring a sufficient counterintelligence protection against foreign political influence operations and against the infiltration of U.S. public diplomacy programs by foreign agents of influence.' He cites the documented fact that during the Cold War, 'protection against infiltration at such institutions" as Radio Free Europe and Voice of America "was always weak.' This agency could also counter 'attempts by Islamists to secure a foothold of Shariah law' in the United States." Image from entry

One Day’s News Shows Effects of New Media - Philip Seib, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The availability of information contributes to a sense of empowerment among the public."

Bring Your Kid to Work Day! - Yo Ali, "Yesterday was we celebrated Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day (you know any excuse for a party in this neck of the woods!), I thought it was Bring Your Kid to Work Day but maybe that didn't sound fancy enough. Whatever the name, the Embassy went all out and organzied a lovely little afternoon for all children of the Embassy. I think there was something like 18 kids signed up. They visited several sections of the Embassy to learn what each one does: Meet and Greet - with the Ambassador [;] Consular Section - they got a passport and an entry stamp [;]  Public Diplomacy - how to speak in public (I can just guess how O did in this section) ... The afternoon ended with snacks and certificates!

Image from entry, with caption: Certificate of Appreciation - notice the cut out of Obama in the background!

Ann Coulter says 'hijab' statement on Hannity was meant to be a joke - Michelle Breidenbach, "When Ann Coulter took the stage at Syracuse University Wednesday night, her friends and enemies visibly split into the people who jumped to their feet in applause and those who sat quietly in their seats. ... Earlier this week, on the show “Hannity,” she [Coulter] said the wife of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsnarnaev should go to jail for wearing a hijab. Wednesday in Syracuse, she said the quote has not been taken out of context. 'But it was a joke,' she said. ... Hadeel Al Haddadeh, 26, a public diplomacy student who is Palestinian, said she heard about the hijab statement earlier in the week and posted it on social media with the comment 'I think she’s crazy.'”

APDS Conference: Public Diplomacy at the Front Lines Annual Conference - May 3, 2013 8:45 AM - 4:00 PM Venue: USC; Tutor Campus Center, Franklin Room [.]

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy is pleased to co-sponsor the Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars (APDS) annual conference on the new and traditional frontlines of public diplomacy." Image from entry

Diplomatic Forum of Seoul 2013 for Middle and High School Students: “International Approaches to Peace Building” (July 19-21, 2013) - EmanuelP, "Activities of participants [:] Creation of short film clips regarding world peace and international developments.

Exhibition of film clips as practice in effective messaging and public diplomacy for peace ..." Image from entry

Public Diplomacy in Total War: Estonian efforts to guide opinion in Sweden, Britain and the United States, 1940-45 - Kaarel Piirimae,

Expert from Duke University to present on Asian values - University of Delaware "Liu Kang, director of the China Research Center at Duke University, will present

'China Model, Universalism and Asian Values,' the third lecture in the China Forum series hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Delaware, on Tuesday, April 30 . ... His current projects include global surveys of China’s image, Chinese soft power and public diplomacy, and political and ideological changes in China." Kang image from entry

Around the World, Mayors Take Charge: Leaders of major cities are increasingly taking on diplomatic and inter-state roles - Michele Acuto and Parag Khanna, "Michele Acuto is a research fellow for the Oxford Program for the Future of Cities, a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, and author of the forthcoming book Building Global Cities (Columbia University Press)."

Forgotten Errands: Put Policy Before Politics to Reform American Immigration - Michelle Ryan, "Michelle Ryan is a second year undergraduate student of International Relations, Economics, and Philosophy . ... Michelle enjoys traveling, live music, and her involvement with the St Andrews Hip Hop Society, and looks forward to studying abroad at the National University of Singapore and working with the Office of Economic Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy at the United States Department of State in the coming months."


The Guantánamo Stain - Editorial Board, New York Times: Guantánamo is essentially a political prison. It stains America’s human rights record.

Why Obama remains cautious about Syria - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Administration officials believe that although Obama is facing growing domestic political pressure to intervene in Syria, there is also a strong public desire for convincing, detailed evidence that will provide a reliable basis for military action, in contrast to the Bush administration’s misfounded allegations about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. Image from

Obama should remember Rwanda as he weighs action in Syria - Anne-Marie Slaughter, Washington Post: The distrust, cynicism and hatred with which the United States is regarded in much of the world, particularly among Muslims across the Middle East and North Africa, is already a cancer. Standing by while Assad gasses his people will guarantee that, whatever else Obama may achieve, he will be remembered as a president who proclaimed a new beginning with the Muslim world but presided over a deadly chapter in the same old story.

Why John Kerry could be a better secretary of state than Hillary Clinton - Aaron David Miller, Washington Post: The president’s need to delegate more of his global portfolio as he focuses on domestic issues, the sheer variety and magnitude of international problems to manage, and the fact that Kerry, unlike Clinton, has taken the job at the end of his political career, when he can afford to take greater risks — all these forces come together to give Kerry a chance to shine that Clinton never had.

How to build a second American century - Richard N. Haass, Washington Post: What stands in the way of the next American century is American politics. To paraphrase Walter Kelly’s Pogo, we have met the problem, and we are it. Special interests often crowd out the general national interest. The alternative to a U.S.-led 21st century is not an era dominated by China or anyone else, but rather a chaotic time in which regional and global problems overwhelm the world’s collective will and ability to meet them.

NT Welcomes our Marines - U.S. Ambassador to Australia Bleich on Facebook: Michael Scott, the owner of Crocosaurus Cove, called to offer a discount to any Marine who wants to experience a face-to-face

croc encounter from the "Cage of Death." Image: Ambassador Bleich in "the Cage of Death." Via

Outside Radio Broadcasts Undermine Domestic Propaganda: Source: More and More North Koreans Are Turning to Outside Radio As a Source of Information - North Koreans are increasingly turning to outside radio broadcasts for news and information, following weeks of increasingly hyperbolic rhetoric produced by North Korean state media. The seriousness with which outside observers took Pyongyang’s aggressive rhetoric notably declined as the “crisis” continued into April, fizzling out over the last few weeks and, according to reports by Seoul-based website the Daily NK, a similar process occurred domestically.“

In the absence of the Internet, radio remains the best way to send information into the DPRK because it’s the only technology that can cover the entire country,” Martyn Williams of North Korea Tech and NK NEWS Pro said. “Broadcasts are being scaled back to other parts of the world because people have largely moved on from shortwave broadcasting, but that’s not the case with North Korea.” Many North Koreans keep easily-concealed short wave radios in their homes to secretly listen to outside broadcasts. Officially sanctioned radios are pre-tuned or restricted to state frequencies, and are periodically inspected by the authorities for signs of tampering. Some citizens therefore keep an extra, secret, device in their homes. “Short wave radios are perfect because receiving the information is completely anonymous. Unlike the Internet, radio doesn’t require any feedback or signals from listeners. They just switch on their set and receive broadcasts over the air, which makes it much more difficult to track listeners,” Williams said. Image from article

Cyber Propaganda: Iran-funded Hezbollah building a media empire - Adam Kredo, The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah has positioned itself as the most influential extremist group on the Internet in recent years and operates more than 20 websites in seven different languages across the globe, according to an Israeli intelligence organization. Hezbollah’s efforts are directly funded by Iran and its expanding reach is a sign the group’s global influence is swelling as other terror fronts like

al Qaeda see their influence wane, according to a recent report issued by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli research organization that investigates terrorists. “For Hezbollah, its cyberspace presence is of great importance and is considered by both Hezbollah and Iran as an important weapon in the battle for hearts and minds,” the report stated. Iran’s involvement in Hezbollah’s migration to the Internet is evidence the regime is continuing its efforts to exert control over anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorist groups across the world, the report continues. Image from

Approaching Israel-Palestine conflict without propaganda - Brendan Lyman, (Tulane University): Tulane University for Israel showed a video outside McAlister Auditorium on Monday in objection to Israel Apartheid Week, an annual series of talks and events meant to portray Israel as an apartheid nation. The language was inflammatory. More importantly, the language elicited an emotional response. If Tulane University For Israel had hoped to start a constructive dialogue on the Israel-Palestine issue, they failed miserably. If we truly want to start a conversation on the Israel-Palestine issue, then we must do so by considering the humanity of the issue. We must discontinue the use of propaganda as portrayal of fact. We cannot proceed with the hateful rhetoric on both sides.

AA Milne may not have liked MI7, but propaganda played a vital wartime role: We should not condemn the great writers who joined the secret services – the alternative was to leave history to the liars - Alan Judd, Propaganda is probably as old as government itself, and so we shouldn’t be too surprised to read that A A Milne, creator of the immortal Winnie-the-Pooh, was part of MI7B, a secret First World War propaganda outfit. He was by no means the only writer to wield his pen in war. Milne’s MI7B was established in 1916 to help counter the effects of mounting war losses, industrial discontent, peace activists and German propaganda abroad. In fact, this was really the bureaucratic incorporation of an existing propaganda outfit set up by the journalist and Liberal Party politician, Charles Masterman. Formally called the War Propaganda Bureau, it was better known to those on the inside track as the Wellington House operation. In a brilliant exercise in improvisation, Masterman made effective use of his pre-war literary and artistic contacts to counter German propaganda in the US. He secretly sponsored books by reputable academics to send to influential Americans, and recruited writers such John Buchan, HG Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle. Within a month of the outbreak of war, Masterman had commissioned a book by his novelist friend Ford Madox Ford (who was in fact half-German), which was published six months later as When Blood is their Argument (a quote from Henry V – “For how can they charitably dispose of anything when blood is their argument”). This was not the crude German-bashing and flag-waving that seems to have made Milne unhappy, but a balanced and informed argument to the effect that the admirable German culture had been turned on its head by the ascendance of militarist Prussia. Ford followed it with another propaganda book, Between St Dennis and St George, a more discursive work stressing the value of French culture in opposing Prussian militarism. Unsurprisingly, it was picked up and translated by the French government.

Masterman’s activities extended beyond such relatively esoteric propaganda, however. He did much to publicise the German atrocities in Belgium in late 1914 and early 1915. These, attested by refugees, contributed significantly to anti-German sentiment both here and abroad, though lurid stories of babies being bounced on bayonets proved counter-productive in the longer term. For much of the 20th century, tales of the Belgium atrocities were written off as exaggerations – overshadowed anyway by what came later in the Second World War – but recent research has shown that they happened. The shell-shocked refugees did not make them up. Masterman also ensured that the German execution of nurse Edith Cavell on the spurious grounds of spying caused widespread outrage, evidence of which is her statue facing Trafalgar Square. His operation helped Kitchener mobilise the population, too, originating the famous poster of two children posing the awkward question to their father, “Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?” It wasn’t only writers that were involved with Wellington House, but painters such as Paul Nash and Francis Dodd, too. Masterman also incurred the lasting enmity of successive Turkish governments by publicising the Armenian genocide. Effective propagandising throughout much of the 20th century by totalitarian regimes – the Nazis, the Soviet Union and the Chinese communists – has of course given the practice a bad name. But before rushing to judgment on those who, in the eyes of their literary and artistic successors, might have compromised their integrity by arguing on our side, we should ask ourselves what we would do if we were facing an existential threat and believed our cause to be right. Milne seems to have been involved in the cruder end of wartime propaganda, found it distasteful and later became a pacifist. What we call jingoism nearly always is unpleasant, but propaganda doesn’t need to be emotional rabble-rousing. It is, surely, legitimate to try to ensure that the truth will out – especially when the alternative is to leave history to the liars. Image from article, with caption: A A Milne, pictured with his son Christopher Robin, was conflicted over his work for military intelligence. See also: (1) (2).

Facebook Home Propaganda Makes Selfishness Contagious - Evan Selinger, The new ads for Facebook Home are propaganda clips. Transforming vice into virtue, they’re social engineering spectacles that use aesthetic tricks to disguise the profound ethical issues at stake. This isn’t an academic concern: Zuckerberg’s vision (as portrayed by the ads) is being widely embraced — if the very recent milestone of half a million installations is anything to go by. Critics have already commented on how the ads exploit our weakness for escapist fantasy so we can feel good about avoiding conversation and losing touch with our physical surroundings. And they’ve called out Zuckerberg’s hypocrisy: “Isn’t the whole point of Facebook supposed to be that it’s a place to keep up with, you know, family members? So much for all that high-minded talk about connecting people.” However, the dismissive reviews miss an even deeper and more consequential point about the messages conveyed by the ads: that to be cool, worthy of admiration and emulation, we need to be egocentric. We need to care more about our own happiness than our responsibilities towards others.

More Pacific Rim Poster Propaganda Pops Up - Ryan Turek, Pacific Rim's propaganda campagn continues to keep the public informed in the battle against the kaiju.  This one has a very Starship Troopers-esque vibe.

Check it out inside. The film, directed by Guillermo del Tor, opens in theaters July 12th. For more posters, pics and more, click here. Image from entry

What isn’t Propaganda? – Day 370 - Propaganda in the hands of our elite is a study in near-perfection. Orwell might have called it “a matured totalitarianism” – a sophisticated matrix that has deformed our humanity… we bought their story and we have forgotten our ability to challenge tyranny. The antidote to propaganda is Truth: to stop telling lies – lies about ourselves, lies about the world.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 24

“I’m sorry, but the guest of honor has requested that you not be admitted to the dinner.”

--A publicity person, at a dinner honoring relatively new director of Radio Liberty’s Russian service Masha Gessen, informing Broadcasting Board of Governors member and former U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe, who was standing at loose ends in the lobby of where the event was held, that he was a persona non grata at the celebration, despite having received, according to reporter Judy Bachrac, an invitation to attend it; The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media, including Radio Liberty; image from


Welcome to International Exchange Alumni Fund -


US, Others Wrangle over Future Arctic Governance - Joe Hitchon, Reuters AlertNet: "With climate change rapidly opening up new opportunities for shipping and resource extraction across the once permanently frozen Arctic, the United States and other northern countries are being compelled to re-examine their policies, both national and collective, towards this region of growing geostrategic importance. ... On Monday, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, proposed a series of reforms to U.S. Arctic policy. 'U.S. Arctic policy must respond to the economic, environmental, security, and geopolitical concerns that confront the region,' the report states. 'It is now time for the Obama administration to enhance U.S. Arctic policy by updating and prioritizing national security … improving interagency cooperation, enhancing U.S. international and public diplomacy related to the Arctic, and increasing the focus of senior U.S. officials.'"

Governments find their way to the public's heart - through the stomach: More and more governments are connecting with the foreign public over their national cuisine through state- and citizen-sponsored programs - Alex Beall, "A new diplomacy program -- called gastrodiplomacy -- is giving food a seat at the negotiating table. This type of diplomacy seeks to incorporate a country's traditional food into the everyday life of the foreign public.

This, in turn, expands that's county's diplomatic influence. ... The term gastrodiplomacy originated from an Economist article, but was popularized by Paul Rockower, the communications director for American Voices. ... Rockower explains that public gastrodiplomacy is mostly used by middle powers that lack military or political power, such as Thailand, South Korea and Peru. ... There are, of course, challenges with the program. Because the practice is a new development, current shortcomings are limited to the public's ignorance of the specific programs or the consumer's dislike of a certain food. ... Though the U.S. is not a middle power, it created its own gastrodiplomacy campaign to celebrate its regional cuisine. The State Department launched its Culinary Diplomacy Partnership Initiative in September, which named about 80 chefs to be part of the American Chef Corps to serve American dishes for foreign leaders. These chefs also travel abroad to teach the foreign public about regional American cuisine. The U.S. chose regional chefs to represent cuisines from different areas of the nation." Image from entry, with caption: More and more governments are connecting with the foreign public over their national cuisine through state- and citizen-sponsored programs.

Chef Art Smith is coming to Israel as a cultural ambassador under the US State Department's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership - Jerusalem Post: "American chef Art Smith, who cooked for Lady Gaga and was Oprah Winfrey's personal chef for 10 years will be coming to Israel to cook for Holocaust survivors and hold a cooking workshop for youth at risk. The American Embassy in Tel Aviv said that Smith was coming as a cultural ambassador under the the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, a program according to the US Department of State's website, that is meant to 'elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts.'

While in Israel Smith is also slated to work with Israeli and Palestinian chefs who belong to the organization Chefs for Peace and meet with Beduin women in the Negev who established a food operation that makes food for children, the embassy said." Image from article, with caption: Lady Gaga in a meat dress.

U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: Press Freedom and Nigeria - posted at "Excerpts from the United States Department of State daily press briefing: MR. VENTRELL: ... As you all know, World Press Freedom Day is approaching next Friday, May 3rd. ... So to launch the campaign, today we’re highlighting the case of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, a journalist who was shot and killed in December 2012 outside his home in Juba, South Sudan. ... And also, just to let you know that we have – later this week, we’ll have a briefing with our Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and our Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. They’ll be launching this campaign at the Foreign Press Center later this week on Thursday."

Department of State Public Schedule Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - posted at "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 6:30 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine attends an event hosted by the Brookings Institution honoring

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, in Washington, DC." Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al Thani image from

Full Form of USIA - "What is the full form of USIA? USIA = United States Information Agency U = United S = States I = Information A = Agency []. About = USIA which existed from 1953 to 1999, was a United States agency devoted to 'public diplomacy' and often considered by critics to be a propaganda arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1999, USIA's broadcasting functions were moved to the newly created Broadcasting Board of Governors, and its exchange and non-broadcasting information functions were given to the newly created Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State." Image from; "Useless" was the term used by some U.S. diplomats to refer to USIA, which in the field was known as United States Information Agency (USIS).

Report: Director of RL Russian tries to disinvite the boss of her boss from dinner in her honor - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Ionian Village adds “Repower Greece Day” to its 2013 Summer Camping Program - Maria A. Karamitsos - "The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s Office of Ionian Village is excited to announce the establishment of a cooperative one-day program, 'Repower Greece Day at Ionian Village.' This groundbreaking event will encourage Ionian Village participants to closely examine their experiences of Greece, cultivate a high level of appreciation of their Greek heritage, and to become ambassadors for the country’s image abroad. Every summer, Ionian Village provides campers with a transformative experience of Greece, Hellenism and Orthodoxy through a powerful and meaningful travel program. Through close encounters with Greece, her people, and the Greek Orthodox faith, Ionian Village has fostered a love and appreciation of Greece and Hellenism in its participants for over forty years. Assisting the Ionian Village team in this visionary program will be Repower Greece, a public diplomacy campaign whose mission is to challenge negative perceptions of Greece on an international scale, replacing them with stories of success and positive experiences in efforts to restore Greece’s worldview. Ionian Village, together with Repower Greece, will build upon campers’ transformative experiences of Greece to spark constructive dialogue and heighten awareness among participants of their ability to serve as ambassadors for the country, spreading the positive message of growth and beauty that exemplify Greece."

What is SFI [Students for Israael] really all about? - "The Nazis aren’t dead; they’re just hiding on the internet, filling it with anti-Semitic posts, Holocaust denial and caricatures of PM Netanyahu with a Hitler mustache. Ido Daniel, a student from Tel Aviv University, decided to fight back. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have already deleted dozens of Israel hating pages due to his actions, and more Israelis are joining the fight. 'There are hardly any Nazis left for us to hunt down, but they have replacements, and now it’s our turn to find them' ... Daniel, 25, a political science major at Tel Aviv University, knows that the battle he’s been fighting for over two years is a one of both the present and future. Ido came to this discernment not only because he is responsible for the removal of dozens of anti-Semitic and anti Israeli websites, but also because the most famous of all Nazi Hunters, Rafi Eitan, the man who apprehended Adolf Eichmann in Argentina, told him so in person himself. 'Look, it’s obvious that the old Mossad ways of operation are still valid and relevant', says Ido, 'but yes, even old-timer Rafi Eitan, and others, understand that there are anti-Semitic crimes, spreading of propaganda and incitement on the web. And just as Israeli public diplomacy is being carried out at the same time targeted thwarting of terror attacks does, online activity can be equally valuable; removing and deleting profiles, taking down websites, pages and groups. You just have to know how to do it'. ... When Ido embarked on this journey he was optimistic; not to mention naïve. “At first I was taking the public diplomacy and dialogue route. ... Daniel began regularly replying to hateful or Holocaust denying groups, posting photos from Auschwitz and quotes from Holocaust historians. 'Some of the people would reply but they didn’t make any intelligent argument, they just wrote that my claims are incorrect...'  ... He even found a way to earn a living from this hobby: Daniel works at an organization called What Israel, taking Israeli students and academics on delegations to campuses with anti Israeli or anti-Semitic activity. ... The number of anti-Semitic websites is alarming.

According to data by the Anti-Defamation League, there are about 15,000 anti-Semitic websites; however, this number is only a relatively small portion of what actively exists. ... Daniel, who used his real name when he first ventured into this world, quickly discovered that the discussions he participates in, in an attempt to sway the opinions of Holocaust deniers, won’t always simply end with agreeing to disagree. 'I received quite a few threats and anti-Semitic messages. ...' Daniel realized that in order to protect his virtual profile, and possibly himself as well, he had to create a fake account. Armed with his new alias, he continues his fight." Image from entry

Is Tourism the Most Destructive Enterprise? Tourism explodes with globalization, enriching lives but destroying nature and culture - Elizabeth Becker, YaleGlobal: "'[F]ew would have guessed that Deng Xiaoping would be among tourism's early proponents. In late 1978, as he was preparing to consolidate power in China, Deng gave five 'direction talks' on the central role tourism might play in China's reform movement. For Deng, tourism was a natural to earn China much-needed foreign cash - he predicted US$10 billion a year by the new millennium, and China reached that goal in 1996. He viewed tourism as an effective way to flip negative impressions of China. While he didn't use the phrase 'public diplomacy,' he set into place a system to create a state-controlled tourism sector that includes government-trained tourist guides extolling the joys of the open market and China. Deng even calculated that if China brought tourism to Tibet it could influence international opinion, ensuring that Tibet remained in China's orbit. He also rightly warned that pollution from rapid industrialization could despoil the beautiful spots that would attract tourists."

Israel finds “key to the Islamic world” - Peter Lyukimson, vestnik kavkaza: "Yesterday, the foreign minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov completed his visit to Israel. The final accord of the visit was a meeting of the head of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry with Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu. The foreign minister of Israel Ze’ev Elkin took part in the meeting as well. Elmar Mammadyarov expressed gratitude to Israel for effective cooperation in the sphere of development of water household of Azerbaijan and for effective cooperation in other branches.

The head of the Foreign Ministry also noted that there was a serious potential for development of cooperation between countries in the sphere of TV-communications and tourism. Moreover, Azerbaijan would like to study Israeli experience in public diplomacy, which is very important for Baku in the context of a permanent information war. ... Of course, a significant part of the meeting took place behind closed doors, and not all details are publicly covered. 'We are very glad that this important historic visit took place. This meeting will lead to launching our relations into a new level, and we will significantly extend current cooperation. I am sure that in the future Azerbaijan can become a popular destination for Israeli tourists,' Ze’ev Elkin said." Uncaptioned  image from article

Chechens - Alex Magno, The Philippine Star: "This had to be the ultimate in reality television. The whole world watched as Watertown, and then Boston itself, was locked down while 9,000 officers hunted the second of a pair of suspects for the marathon bombing. The suspects were identified from an intense review of thousands of video clips of the area around the finish line. This was crowd-sourcing at its best: thousands of citizens contributed photos they took of the area. In the end, the authorities managed to identify the most likely perpetrators. If there is such a thing as public diplomacy, this will have to be called public police work. Investigators relied on massive inputs of information from the public — and then relied on public cooperation to finally corner the fugitives."

An Entire City -- and One Muslim - "To Rob: ... [W]hile it’s true that the secessionist movement that fought the Russians in 1992 did not avail itself of very much jihadist imagery or language in its public diplomacy, and as a Muslim people was dominated by non-Salafist warlords, the Chechens were always going to be peculiarly vulnerable to jihadist influence. This is due to their status as Muslims. The 'unprecedented' change from a nationalist movement to an Islamic supremacist one has been overstated."

300-million dollar soft diplomacy scholarship scheme in China - "The money will go to a scholarship program at Beijing's Tsinghua university, spanning a fifty-year period, where about 10,000 students will use the scholarships to study and also create closer ties with China. The scheme is one of the biggest forays in soft diplomacy in decades, but will it work? Correspondent: Kumi Taguchi [;] Speakers: Mark Thirlwell, director, International Economy Program, Lowy Institute, Australia; Philip Seib, director, Center for Public Diplomacy, US.KUMI TAGUCHI: Money talks, and in this case it's $300 million.

One hundred million has already been donated. Another 100 million will be raised by the end of the year. The other third is from the personal fortune of American private equity tycoon Stephen Schwarzman. Philip Seib is the director of the Center for Public Diplomacy and spoke to PM from Los Angeles. PHILIP SEIB: He realises that the more Westerners, particularly Americans, who go to study in China, the greater the trade relationship between the two countries will be, but also the more stable the relationship will be. And stability is a good thing in diplomacy and in international economics. ... The idea of understanding and understanding being the foundation of peace is extremely important and these educational exchanges can contribute a lot to that." Image from

Meet Your Professor – Dennis Kinsey - "Dennis Kinsey is the director of the public diplomacy program, as well as a professor of public relations, media studies, mass communications and communications management, at the Newhouse School. ... Q: Did you always want to work

in public relations and/or communications? A: No, I wanted to be a rock star like a lot of my peers growing up. For something to fall back on I decided to go to college just in case the rock star thing didn’t pan out." Kinsey image from entry

44th World Trade Centre General Assembly being held in India after 25 Years at Mumbai - "Mumbai April 2013: The financial city will see participation of over 300 global experts, policy makers and marketing gurus all come together to deliberate on the theme 'The New Economic Order and World Trade Centers' at the noteworthy event that ensues from the Sunday, 21st April’13

to Wednesday, 24th of April 2013. ... A special address will be given on the 23rd of April by Mr. Garcia Bercero, Director of External Trade, European Commission about his perspective on 'EU India Relations and Perspectives on FTA' along with Mr. Jochum Haakma, Global Director of Business Development in the TME Group giving the delegates his valuable insight on 'Public Diplomacy and The Changing Role in Trade Promotion Between Public and Private Parties'." Image from entry

Unique Opportunity with the State Department -- Deadline 5/1 - School of Foreign Service - Georgetown: "The European Public Diplomacy Office within the U.S. Department of State is looking for the right virtual eIntern to work on a public outreach project regarding the recently launched expanded free trade agreement with the EU. They are looking for a graduate student with interest in Europe and expertise in trade/economics. eInterns must be U.S. citizens, and this position will be selected by the European Public Diplomacy Office. Like standard VSFS internships, this project will involve 5-10 hours a week and last into the summer. If you are interested in applying for this position, please complete the application and email your resume to by May 1, 2013."

Banaras Hindu University Job Openings for the post of Project Fellow - "Banaras Hindu University invites applications for the post of Project Fellow in Varanasi. It is good opportunity to get job with BHU

and brighten your future. Last date for this recruitment is 08/05/2013. ... Job Description: Banaras Hindu University Job Openings for the post of Project Fellow [;] Title of the Project: Effectiveness of India's Public Diplomacy Programs: An Analytical Study [;] Name of the post: Project Fellow ... Salary: Rs. 14000/- PM [;] Age Limit: 28 years [;] Eligibility: Candidate must possess M.A in Political Science with 55%." Image from


The Terrorist's Sojourn in a Most Dangerous Place: Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent seven months in Dagestan, where the capital sees violent attacks weekly, if not daily - Glen E. Howard, Wall Street Journal: It is important that the U.S. continue counterterrorism cooperation with Moscow (even as the Kremlin tries to dismiss all of its opponents as terrorists or other enemies of the state). But Washington should balance its cooperation with Moscow by reaching out to staunch American allies in the region—such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, which border the North Caucasus—to glean insights and exchange information about threats.

Kerry calls for a ‘special relationship' with China - Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy: For decades, the United States has reserved the term "special relationship"

for two countries, Britain and Israel, but Secretary of State John Kerry called for a new "special relationship" with China during his recent trip to Asia. Image from article

Has NATO Outlived Its Usefulness? - New York Times: Questioning the need for NATO and America’s role in it isn’t new. But with the United States now paying for almost 75 percent of its cost, and European nations cutting back drastically on military expenditures its future and purpose are being more seriously reconsidered. With the Soviet Union gone and austerity challenging security, has NATO outlived its usefulness?: Time for the United States to Leave, ANDREW J. BACEVICH, BOSTON UNIVERSITY: NATO accomplished its mission. Let it be owned and operated by Europe, and let Washington focus on more important priorities; Stop Focusing on Europe, NANCY WALBRIDGE COLLINS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: NATO should be one facet of a new global security architecture with security investments evenly distributed around the world; The E.U. Must Take on a Military Role, DMITRI TRENIN, CARNEGIE MOSCOW CENTER: An economically and politically more integrated Europe should be able to become a full-fledged security partner to the United States; Austerity Must Not Impede Security, CAMILLE GRAND, FOUNDATION FOR STRATEGIC RESEARCH: The alliance needs to, once again, reinvent itself, as it did after the cold war when it engaged in significant operations out-of-area; The Alliance Remains Vital, XENIA DORMANDY, CHATHAM HOUSE: Alliances are hard to manage, but they are better than facing our challenges alone.

Assad defies the U.S. and Russia - David Ignatius, Washington Post: The growing evidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against its own population provides an opportunity

for the United States and Russia, the two countries that have the most influence over the situation, to jointly force President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power. Image from article, with caption: Animal carcasses lie on the ground, killed by what residents said was a chemical weapon attack on Tuesday, in Khan al-Assal area near the northern city of Aleppo, March 23, 2013

Cultural-sensitivity soldiers save diplomats, corporate titans from themselves - Emily Wax, Washington Post: Executive Director Gary Weaver's institute, American University’s Intercultural Management Institute and one of Washington’s global-etiquette gurus, is part of a nationwide industry of cross-cultural trainers; some work for private consulting groups and others do in-house courses for the State Department and Peace Corps. They form the United States’ sensitivity soldiers, armed with cultural cautionary tales and a clear mission: Save diplomats and corporate titans from themselves.

Boston Marathon bombing suspect read jihadist propaganda, was motivated by religious extremism: U.S. officials - Denise Lavoie and Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, U.S. officials said Tuesday, adding another piece to the body of evidence they say suggests the two brothers were motivated by an anti-American, radical version of Islam. Two officials said the older brother frequently looked at extremist sites, including Inspire magazine, an English-language online publication produced by al-Qaida's Yemen affiliate. The magazine has endorsed lone-wolf terror attacks.

Website Helps Dissect North Korean Propaganda - Alastair Gale, Wall Street Journal: North Korea’s propaganda machine has become more diverse in recent years with the addition of social media tools such as Twitter and creative video projects depicting attacks on the U.S. among other things. But the main source of information about what the country is saying to the outside world remains the output of the Korean Central News Agency, the state media organization. In early 2011, KCNA ramped up its output, and for journalists and other Pyongyang-watchers, trawling through the dispatches each day to look for important signals can be a mind-numbing task.

A new website dedicated to cataloging KCNA dispatches and sorting them by subjects such as people and places helps to make more sense of the firehose of information. is the labor-of-love of Frank Feinstein, a New Zealander based in Christchurch, who started working on the site about a year ago and has tended to it in between his work as a researcher. The website catalogues every KCNA English report on the official KCNA website, or about 90,000 articles going back to January 1997. It also gives graphical representations of the frequency of mentions of key subjects and people, and Mr. Feinstein says more useful functionality is in the works. Feinstein image  from article

Belarus Music: From Propaganda To Protest (+Videos) - On Saturday 13 April, around 4 pm the most popular Belarusian music channel BelMuzTV was broadcasting porn. When discussing this incident, many Belarusian media outlets were, somewhat bizarrely, focusing not on the fact of porn broadcast but on the fact that the channel also showed videos of a blacklisted rock-group Liapis Trubetskoy on that day. In today’s Belarus, as in the last years of the USSR, music is strongly connected with politics. Some artists are against the political regime and for that reason they cannot perform in Belarus. They perform concerts in Vilnius, Kiev and Polish cities. Some travel agencies even organise tours for fans so they can watch concerts of blacklisted Belarusian bands abroad. Other artists are part of the state system of entertainment and they regularly have to prove their loyalty to the ruling elite by putting on shows during election campaigns in support of Lukashenka. The propaganda songs for and against Lukashenka have become a part of the cultural landscape of Belarus. The best examples of such art are eventually becoming a part of folklore. After the current political regime has collapsed these propaganda songs still will be on Youtube and they will be able to tell us and future generations a lot about the period - the “Lukashenka times."

DARPA wants 'the love hormone' to treat PTSD, master propaganda - Katie Drummond, The Pentagon's loftiest research agency wants to add a little love to national security. Sort of. In a new request for research proposals, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is asking investigators to develop refined techniques for the measurement of oxytocin — a neurohormone implicated in myriad human behaviors, but best known for its roles in bonding and sexual arousal. In recent years, research into oxytocin has surged. We've long known that oxytocin is important for reproduction, and that it plays a pivotal role in maternal bonding after childbirth. More recent studies suggest that oxytocin might hasten wound healing, bolster against stress, and enhance levels of connectedness and generosity. As DARPA points out, those attributes "affect behaviors relevant to national security" — including vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as social interactions that might impact military cohesiveness or even the outcome of an international conflict.

'Black Bodies in Propaganda' New Exhibition at the Penn Museum - A unique collection of posters, collected and curated by Penn professor and PBS History Detectives host Tukufu Zuberi, forms the basis of a provocative new exhibition at the Penn Museum: Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster, opening at 1:00 pm on June 2, 2013, and running through March 2, 2014. Propaganda has long been used to mobilize people in times of war, and this exhibition presents 33 posters, most targeting Africans and African-American civilians, in times of war.

These carefully designed works of art were aimed at mobilizing people of color in war efforts, even as they faced oppression and injustice in their homelands. The exhibition explores changing messages on race and politics through propaganda—from the American Civil War, to World War I, World War II, and through to the African independence movements. “These posters tell a story about the dynamics of race,” said Dr. Zuberi. “Black bodies are racialized in these posters as they capture defining moments in history. Race is always about second-class citizenship, it is always about a relationship between two groups and how one group is defined as superior and the other group is defined as inferior.

These posters represent definitive moments in this historical process.” Top image from entry; below image of item in exhibit from


Former CIA director David Petraeus to start CUNY professorship in August -  Add this to former CIA director David Petraeus’ résumé: a professorship at the City University of New York.

The retired Army general, who quit in disgrace last year after admitting he had an extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, has been named visiting professor of public policy at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. He starts his new post Aug. 1. Petraeus image from article, with caption: Call him Professor Petraeus: the general will be teaching at CUNY in the fall.

Caught on camera: Teacher, student get into fist fight [video] -

13 corrections officers indicted in Md., accused of aiding gang’s drug scheme - Ann E. Marimow and John Wagner, Washington Post: At the center of the investigation was an alleged leader of the Black Guerilla Family, Tavon White, who prosecutors said fathered five children with four of the corrections officers — Jennifer Owens, 31, of Randallstown; Katera Stevenson, 24, of Baltimore; Chania Brooks, 27, of Baltimore; and Tiffany Linder, 27, of Baltimore — since his incarceration on attempted murder charges in 2009.

5 dead in Illinois shooting; suspect dies after shootout with police - Edmund DeMarche,


"Belarusian pop-group Siabry presented the song Listen to the Father. In Russian speaking world Lukashenka has a nickname 'Father' and the audience was identifying Lukashenka with the main character of the song. The concert was broadcast on Belarusian state TV to make sure the whole country could see the concert [:]

[Lyrics from Listen to Father]

He is great and powerful!
He will not teach bad things.
Father can put everything in order
And he is way cooler than the others!

Just look around - and it's immediately obvious
Who's the boss of the house.
So listen to father!
In the morning, during the day and at night

Listen to father!
If you feel bad
Listen to father!
And everything will be alight [sic]."

From (includes video of song); Lukashenko image (with his son) from


"You don’t know who’s who."

--James Gleick, author of "The Information," about the "millions of voices, but millions of masks" on the Interneet