Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24 Public Diplomacy Review

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 01:41 PM PDT

"I’ve been having a lot of reservations about the Foreign Service. ... What if I decided to stay in Los Angeles? What if I fell in love?"

--Blogger of the The Elephant and the City: On the poetics of diplomacy and memory, "Week 2 Recap: On Writing My Own Story"


It’s big business for Kerry in India - "Defence, development and diplomacy — and not necessarily in that order — have been the key instruments of foreign policy of the Obama administration over the last four years.

And they will be in full play when Secretary of State John Kerry is in New Delhi to co-chair the 4th annual India-US strategic dialogue with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Monday, preceding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s possible visit to Washington in September-October. ...Kerry is a believer in public diplomacy. In his video message on the eve of the visit, he said that he would 'talk about our shared interest in enhancing economic integration in the region; commitment to a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan; and support for India’s regional leadership.' He also repeated what US leaders have said earlier that India deserves a permanent seat at the Security Council. It is safe to assume that he would say some of these things and the strategic congruence between the two countries and India’s role in building an effective security arcitechture in Asia in his speech on foreign policy. Washington’s recent moves regarding security in India’s neighbourhood – the reopening talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan and regime change in Syria — have however created deep misgivings in New Delhi. Similarly, President Obama’s bid to accommodate China’s rise through 'strategic reassurance' and collaboration on regional and global issues — a possible G2 — has raised apprehensions in the country about the potential consequences of such a duopoly in Asia." Imagefrom

U.S.-India Joint Fact Sheet: U.S.-India Cooperation In Higher Education - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, June 24, 2013: "The United States and India and share strong linkages and a history of collaboration in the field of higher education. The United States is the most favored destination for Indian students, with more than 100,000 Indian students pursuing higher studies in the United States. In response to strong interest among academic communities in both countries, we convened a highly successful U.S.-India Higher Education Summit in Washington D.C. in October 2011 that ultimately led to the establishment of an annual bilateral Higher Education Dialogue. The annual Higher Education Dialogue was originally held in June 2012 in Washington, D.C. and is being held in New Delhi on June 25, 2013. Key areas of collaboration include student and faculty exchange, research cooperation, implementing technology-enabled education strategies such as e-learning and online courseware, cooperation between community colleges, and facilitating partnerships between Indian and American universities. ... [Entry includes listing and brief descriptions of projects, including] a framework for establishing community colleges in India. A high-level Indian delegation visited the United States in May 2012 to study the community college system. The Ministry of Human Resource Development organized an International Seminar on Community Colleges in New Delhi on February 6-7, 2013. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine led a delegation that included representatives from U.S. community colleges to attend the seminar."

Week 2 Recap: On Writing My Own Story - sarahallisongeisler, The Elephant and the City: On the poetics of diplomacy and memory: "After my first whirlwind week, I spent the weekend at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center. ... At work this past week, the Deputy Chief of Mission, whom I worked for last summer, and is a big part of the reason I ended up in Kigali this summer, asked me to write her remarks for the graduation ceremony at the International School of Kigali. I then accompanied her to the event and watched as four students, from the US, Mauritius, Eretria, and Rwanda, graduated from high school. We were the guests of honor. I felt fancy. I also wrote a speech for my boss, the Acting Public Affairs Officer, to give at the launch of the fourth Access English Microscholarship Program in Rwanda. The program gives scholarships to disadvantaged youth for summer programming and after school lessons in English to prepare them for university. The State Department has funded this program in 85 countries since 2004, reaching over 95,000 children. ... Life crises update: everyone says to me, you must be so excited for the Foreign Service. You’re very lucky to have the Pickering Fellowship.

Yes, yes, no, no. I’ve been having a lot of reservations about the Foreign Service. Yes, I am lucky and thankful to already have a job (an incredible job), to have gotten funding to attend an amazing graduate program. I applied for this fellowship because I thought it was a good match. It is. The work I am doing is wonderful and I enjoy it. But being in the Foreign Service is not a job; it is a total lifestyle choice. Am I excited to commit the next 4 years of my life to something that I have no control over? Yes and no. And that’s why my brother is the one in the military. ... More updates from the week: I traveled to Gisenyi with my boss as he delivered my ... speech for the Access scholarship launch. ... The Access event was great. It was public diplomacy in action. I met all the students, and the heads schools. We gave out soccer balls and water bottles. When my boss gave the speech and quoted Achebe, everyone clapped. I am telling myself that it was not because they recognized Achebe, but because they were inspired by the quotation, and excited to write their own journeys. As a public diplomat, as a poet, and as a human, that is all I could have asked for." Image from

US House votes to further incarcerate 86 innocent inmates in Guantanamo - Daya Gamage, "If the handlers of Sri Lanka's external affairs pundits have understood the basics of public diplomacy here's some news for them: The United States House of Representatives last Friday June 14 not only put into a clause to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 to continue the operation of America's overseas detention facility at 

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but also to further incarcerate 86 of the 166 inmates who have been cleared as no culpability - meaning innocent - denying their freedom. ... Of approximately 12,000 ex-LTTE combatants who were arrested or surrendered at the end of the conflict, as of 15 May 2013, 11,551 persons, which included 594 child soldiers, have been rehabilitated and reintegrated into Sri Lanka's society. As of 15 May 2013, 374 ex-combatants including 18 female ex-combatants are undergoing rehabilitation. Among those rehabilitated, 212 youth who were previously pursuing tertiary education were re-inducted into the university system to follow their undergraduate studies. ... The handlers of Sri Lanka's external affairs need to acquire some strategic thinking, project ahead, do research, find some analytical skills to use the basics of public diplomacy and strategic communication to use the impressive record Sri Lanka possesses to challenge and combat some of the Western lawmakers and policymakers who have succumbed to secessionist Tamil Diaspora elements confronting their dismal human rights record." Image from article, with caption: The incarceration at US detention facility at Gumantanamo [sic]

South Korea's Park set to charm China, show up the North - Ju-min Park, Reuters: "When the presidents of China and South Korea meet in Beijing this week, they will likely use a rapport that blossomed eight years ago to find common ground on North Korea as well as seek ways to boost already vibrant economic ties. With her self-taught Mandarin and interest in Chinese culture, South Korea's Park Geun-hye will get a warm welcome during a four-day state visit that begins on Thursday. ...  She is an admirer of Chinese culture and her favourite book is a 'History of Chinese Philosophy' by philosopher Feng Youlan. She has spoken fondly of her earlier trips to China. 'President Park has a soft spot for China,' the official China News Service said. 'This kind of friendly public diplomacy gives a good impression to Chinese people and is extremely important.'"

Poll Finds Australians Uneasy About Chinese Investment - "Australia is at the forefront of Chinese investment, and on Monday the Lowy Institute, a leading foreign policy research center in Sydney, released the results of a poll in which 57 percent of respondents said Australia was allowing too much investment from China, consistent with findings from previous years. ... Perceptions have been negatively affected by high-profile cases in which the Chinese government detained Australian citizens born in China, said Alex Oliver, who headed up the Lowy poll this year.

'I think Australians are wary of China’s human rights issues, its nondemocratic system and a completely different, unfamiliar society.' ... The 2013 Lowy poll indicated that people from Western Australia, the state that receives the most Chinese investment, were the least concerned about China as a military threat. ... Yet despite some contradictory views in the poll that Australians had toward their country’s engagement with Asia, the vast majority of respondents, 87 percent, thought it was possible for Australia to have a good relationship with China and the United States at the same time."Image from

China's Foreign Policy Dilemma - Linda Jakobsen, "Foreign policy will not be a top priority of China’s new leader Xi Jinping. Xi is under pressure from many sectors of society to tackle China’s formidable domestic problems. To stay in power Xi must ensure continued economic growth and social stability. Due to the new leadership’s preoccupation with domestic issues, Chinese foreign policy can be expected to be reactive. This may have serious consequences because of the potentially explosive nature of two of China’s most pressing foreign policy challenges: how to decrease tensions with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and with Southeast Asian states over territorial claims in the South China Sea. ... Xi must consider the strong nationalist sentiments amongst Chinese elites and establish his credentials as a Communist Party leader who will defend China’s national interests. He cannot risk being perceived as a leader who allows China to be humiliated by foreigners, in particular by Japan or by Western countries. The 18th Party Congress work report, the single most important public document outlining the Party’s strategy over the next five years, also hints at a more assertive Chinese foreign policy. It pledges to ‘never yield to outside pressure’, a phrase which was not in the 2007 work report. Another new addition was the promise to ‘protect China’s legitimate rights and interests overseas’ when working to promote public diplomacy."

You may laugh at 'Jeffrey’, but he’s won the argument: George Osborne has defined the rules of the game and the terms of the debate - Matthew d’Ancona, "This Government has often been feeble in its public diplomacy – what David Cameron calls the 

'pitch-rolling' necessary to prepare the political class and the public for a reform, a setback or a change of course.Image from

Lesson 19: The Right Questions -  Pastor Fritz Foltz, Frontline Study: "Reinhold Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society, a Christian ethic, has appeared 

on lists of important public diplomacy works for decades. Many politicians, including presidents Kennedy, Carter, Clinton, and Obama, acknowledge this is the text by which they understand their role as Christian statesmen." Image from entry

Public Diplomacy And Policy Outreach Expert -- Team Leader - "Ecorys is looking to recruit a Public Diplomacy and Policy Outreach Expert –Team Leader to work on 'B-Brussels: ICI+ — EU public diplomacy and outreach in India and in the SAARC' project. ... Ecorys UK is part of Ecorys Group an international consultancy with offices across Europe, Africa and Asia. We currently employ more than 500 technical, management and support staff and are one of Europe's largest specialist economic and social development consultancies with an annual turnover of more than $100m. In recent years we have worked in more than 100 countries and have assisted national, regional and local Governments in all aspects of policy formulation, analysis and implementation."

Media Relations: Schneider Electric Appoints APO to Drive its Media Relations in Africa - "The African Press Organization (APO) (, the leading press release wire in Africa, and global leader in media relations related to Africa, today announced the signature of a retainer agreement as exclusive supplier for media relations in Africa with Schneider Electric SA (Euronext: SU) (, a Global Fortune 500 company and market leader in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries. ... With headquarters in Dakar, Senegal, APO owns a media database of over 25,000 contacts and the main Africa-related news online community.

It offers a complete range of services such as press releases wire and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations, and events promotion. To know more please visit,"Image from


Inching Into Syria - Bill Keller, New York Times: "Nobody, except perhaps our enemies, wants to see American troops in Syria. Our aim should be to make life so miserable for Assad and his friends that he agrees, or his sponsors agree, that it is time to stop the killing, send Assad and his circle into exile, and move from blood bath to diplomacy. Is that achievable? I honestly don’t know. But given the certain costs of doing nothing, I think it’s worth a try."

Russia, China continue to allow human trafficking - Editorial, Washington Post: Every year,  pursuant to a law passed in 2000, the State Department ranks governments’ efforts to combat human trafficking. Last week RussiaChina and Uzbekistan were downgraded from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 3, the lowest ranking possible. Tier 3 countries have governments

either too fragile to combat trafficking or too indifferent to make it a priority. Russia, like China, falls into the second category. Twenty-first-century trafficking reminiscent of 19th-century slavery demands engagement. Russia’s demotion is another sign that its government is floating away from the world order in a manner harmful to its people. Image from

The Video-Game Propaganda Wars: Authoritarian regimes are making games—and dissidents, too - Liel Leibovitz, The New Republic: While the scope of Iran's commitment to video games is exceptional, other regimes in the Middle East — as well as terrorist organizations — have followed its lead. Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group, released Special Force in 2003, claiming it had sold 100,000 copies of the game. And the Chinese army produced Glorious Mission, more or less a remake of the popular, U.S. Army–produced America’s Army, but with Americans as the villains. Both of these efforts failed, and for the same reason. Video games make for excellent educational tools when it comes to some skills — tackling math, say, or learning how to play the piano — but as a conduit for ideology, they are problematic. The Soviet filmmakers working in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution were equally divided between experimentalism and realism. And as the propaganda-game genre continues to grow—the North Koreans, never ones to miss out on a good opportunity for brainwashing, released their own terrible game earlier this year—we’re likely to see more contenders in both categories. And if film history is anything to go by, then straight-forward, big-budget, uncomplicated games are likely to outsell over anything demanding a greater intellectual and emotional investment. But today, almost a century after it was made, we still revere the ground-breaking Battleship Potemkin, even as we’ve forgotten nearly all of the Soviets' realist propaganda schlock.

Asian Propaganda at the British Museum - Propaganda flourishes in wartime, and the Asian Propaganda exhibition at the British Museum has plenty of examples from Japan’s twentieth century wars – with China (1894-5), Russia (1904-5), Korea (1905), China again (Asia-Pacific War 1931-1945), when Japan occupied Manchuria, and America and its allies (World War II 1941-1945). A sad start to the twentieth century, but a rich source of propaganda art.

Image from entry, with note: This 1930’s drawing of duplicitous Japan is by Chinese resistance artist Lu Shaofei. It depicts Japan hiding its aggressive intention behind a diplomatic front.

Casting call turns out to be a prank: About 30 women who thought they were auditioning for a movie were asked to perform in blackface, impersonate Adolf Hitler or shout Nazi slogans. None knew it was for a film within a film - Jasmine Elist, Katey Zouck was excited to see a casting announcement on the website Actors Access for a role in the feature film "May the Best Man Win." But the 26-year-old Los Angeles actress and about 30 other young hopefuls who showed up for the audition found themselves the victims of a "Borat"-style prank. "May The Best Man Win" is a real movie, with a budget of $800,000, about two men who try to out-do each other by pulling outrageous stunts. The casting call wasn't an audition for principal roles within the movie, but for a film-within-a-film segment about women who become the victims of those stunts. "I did feel ambushed," said one, a 34-year-old actress who agreed to portray

Hitler and shout out Nazi propaganda. "I had sat in the holding room for three hours, so I had a choice now to either go in there and be filmed doing something that's potentially pretty uncomfortable, or I could go home just having wasted half my day." Image from article, with caption: Actress Katey Zouck says she felt violated after learning that the casting call she showed up for was a prank being filmed for a movie about two men who try to one-up each other with outrageous stunts. 

America's Berlin Wall: A fence built along the border with Mexico will stand as a permanent embarrassment to the United States - Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal: The border-security fence in the Senate bill would be America's Berlin Wall—a historic embarrassment.

Once built, it will never come down. Long after more feasible solutions have resolved the immigration problem, Congress will lose interest in funding so much complex technology. It will sit in the desert sun and rot, the way France's Maginot Line rotted into the 1960s. Image from article


"Mr. Gorbachev - tear down this wall" 

Ronald Reagan, Berlin, 1987; image from


(a) Transgender boy, 6, wins right to use girls’ bathroom - Cheryl K. Chumley, Washington Times: A 6-year-old transgender boy in Colorado just won a legal right to use the girls’ bathroom in school. The Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled on Sunday that Coy Mathis — who was born a boy but self-identifies as a girl — was wrongly prevented by school officials from using the girls’ restroom.

(b) Melbourne, FL: Trigger-happy, Fist-heavy Cops Designate Elderly 66 Year Old Man Their Target for Brutal Rampage [VIDEO] - The Angriest Black Man in America: It was the month of October, 2011 when police officer Derek Middendorf responded to a phone call over a dispute that had occurred in a small town located in Florida's Brevard County, known as Melbourne. The dispute in question stemmed from a disagreement over money issues between a 66 year old owner of a local lawn care business, Albert Flowers, and one of his younger employees.

(c)  “Perversion for Profit” [ VIDEO]  at The Public Domain Review, a 1965 propaganda film

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