Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 3-5

"But the terror in Auschwitz did not preclude culture. Kulka tells how he read Crime and Punishment for the first time in the camp."

--Jeremy Adler, "From here no one left" [review of Otto Dov Kulka, Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death: reflections on memory and imagination], The Times Literary Supplement (May 24, 2013), p. 23; image from


US Wants 15,000 American Students to Go to India - India Journal: "The United States is looking to triple the number of Americans going to India for higher studies in the next five years. 'That is still far from our goal of 15,000 in five years,' Tara Sonenshine, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, told the visiting Human Resources and Development Minister, Pallam Raju, in a roundtable interaction. Currently, while more than 100,000 Indian students visit US to study every year, the number of American students who studied in India in 2011-2012 was a mere 4,300 and far less than those going to China for studies. 'We have to look at what are the obstacles to getting American students to go so that we can boost interest and participation,' Sonenshine said.

Robert Blake, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia had earlier said that the US government was working with the Indian government to streamline the education visa processes, which have been repeatedly identified as a key reason for why so few American students go to India." Blake image from article

M M Pallam Raju's visit enhanced US-India educational relations: US - "Union Human Resources and Development Minister M M Pallam Raju's visit has laid the groundwork for refining and enhancing educational partnership between the United States and India, a US official has said. ‘His visit laid the groundwork for refining and enhancing our educational partnership and conversations begun during the Minister's trip will feed directly into June's Dialogue,’ said Tara D Sonenshine, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. ... 'As I prepare to return to India for the Dialogue, I look forward to continuing this important conversation with our vital partner,' Sonenshine said referring to her upcoming visit to India.

'Minister Raju's visit has solidified our joint commitment to deliver high quality, cost-effective instruction for students to access knowledge. It will be exciting to witness how this relationship evolves over the months - and years - to come,' she wrote in her diplomatic blog. 'At the forthcoming US-India Higher Education Dialogue later this month in New Delhi, the United States and India will continue to strengthen our educational ties, knowing the important stakes at hand,' she said in the blog. ... Raju's visit, she said, set the stage for the upcoming event and to underscore India's determination to address a significant educational and vocational demand - educating 500 million students by 2022." Image from article, with caption: Union Human Resources and Development Minister M M Pallam Raju's visit has laid the groundwork for refining and enhancing educational partnership between the United States and India, a US official has said.

U.S.-Afghan University Partnership with Balkh University in Engineering - "Estimated Total Program Funding: $750,000 Award Ceiling: $750,000 Award Floor: $500,000 CFDA Number(s): 19.501 -- Public Diplomacy Programs for Afghanistan and Pakistan ... U.S.-Afghan University Partnership with Balkh University in Engineering - The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan is pleased to announce an open competition for assistance awards through this Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP). PAS Kabul invites all eligible organizations to submit a proposal for a cooperative agreement to establish a university partnership between a college or university in the United States and Balkh University in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, in the field of engineering. The goal of this program is to assist Balkh University to enhance the academic, research, and knowledge-exchange environment for faculty and students in order to equip graduates with the engineering skills necessary to tap into Afghanistan’s vast resources and contribute to the country’s economic development. The program will also assist in strengthening mutual understanding between the people of the United States and Afghanistan."

In the Middle East, Only Creative Diplomacy Can Prevail Over Cynicism - Philip Seib, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "When one visits the region today, it is apparent that most members of the Arab public are disgusted and exhausted by the incessant warfare that plagues so many of their communities. They want to find a path that will take them away from this kind of life. There is no surefire cure for disorder, but economic stability probably offers the best chance for this. For the United States, contact with these publics, through public diplomacy focused on economic development, should be made a keystone of foreign policy toward this region."

Conflict resolution through cultural diplomacy in the Middle East - Alan Baker, Wall Street Journal: "Address by Alan Baker to a conference in Istanbul on 'Conflict Mediation through Cultural Diplomacy in Current Areas of Conflict' [:] Over the past 30 years I have been a participant in virtually all Track I peace negotiations with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinians, involved in negotiating and drafting peace-process documents – peace treaties, interim agreements, and the rest. Peace cannot emanate only from documents signed by leaders alone, but from mutual good faith and credibility among the peoples for whom the agreements are signed. All the Middle East peace negotiations have, from the start, always aimed at neighborly, mutually respectful, 'people-to-people' relationships, and each agreement includes appropriate provisions on mutual respect of religious beliefs that can serve as guidance to others. ... The goal of this conference, as set out in the Berlin Initiative document, is to 'define Track III Cultural Diplomacy and its relevance to the Middle East peace process and its importance as a model for conflicts around the globe,' and the 'search for common values and principles in the arenas of religion, law and education among the conflicting parties to the dispute' – this is indeed the crux of what cultural diplomacy must do. In order for it to succeed, practically, it needs to include a compilation of those elements covered in the various UN resolutions

listed above on aspects of cultural diplomacy, including: ... 6. Ending negative public propaganda. Use of media and social networking to advocate mutual respect, rather than the opposite. ... These must be the components of any practical and viable road map for cultural diplomacy and peace. They all emanate from UN General Assembly resolutions on the culture of peace. This compilation needs to be expanded at future meetings with practical measures to attain positive results. As a Track I negotiator I'll be happy to lend my hand and assist in this endeavor." Image from

June 05 - Wednesday - Public Schedule, U.S. Department of State: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 11:30 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine delivers remarks to visiting Youth Council Members from U.S. Embassies around the world, at the Department of State. Please click here for more information. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 12:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine attends a luncheon hosted by the Wilson Center in honor of the Centennial Celebration of President Woodrow Wilson's Inauguration, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 1:15 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine meets with U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Walter North, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)"

Department of State Public Schedule Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - posted at: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 10:00 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine addresses staff of the Bureau of International Information Programs, at the Department of State. 5:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine delivers remarks at a reception for the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations, at the Department of State."

Youth Councils: Empowering Youth Through Exchange - IVN, "Washington, DC - The Office of Global Youth Issues will host a reception for twelve emerging youth leaders affiliated with U.S. Embassy Youth Councils on Wednesday, June 5. Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine and Special Adviser to the Secretary for Global Youth Issues Zeenat Rahman will deliver remarks. The diverse cross-section of emerging youth leaders will visit the United States from June 3-14. This exchange is part of the U.S. government’s efforts to reach out to youth populations in order to promote growth and stable democratic government.

During their two-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange in the United States, the Youth Council members will meet with a variety of Americans to discuss creative ideas to advance the role of young people in addressing the challenges and opportunities they face civically, politically, and economically. The project will also provide the participants with tools and techniques to implement action plans for youth-led positive change, ranging from social media activism to entrepreneurship. ... Follow the group on the Office of Global Youth Issues Facebook page and on Twitter via the hashtag #GlobalYouth." Image from

Under Secretary Sonenshine To Deliver Remarks at The Stimson Center - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine will deliver remarks at The Stimson Center on Thursday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine will discuss the important role that public diplomacy plays at the intersection of civil and military transitions before, during, and after conflict. More information regarding the Under Secretary’s remarks at The Stimson Center can be found at:"

Stepping up U.S.-Russia environmental cooperation - Pavel Koshkin, Russia Beyond the Headliness: Sarah Ziebell, information resource officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, traveled to three Russian cities - Arkhangelsk, Rostov-na-Dony, and Kaliningrad - to spread ecological awareness among Russians and foster U.S.-Russia environmental ties. She talked to RBTH about her experience. Russia Beyond The Headlines: Could you describe your environmental project and its goals, in a nutshell? Sarah Ziebell: Throughout the month of May, in my capacity as a public diplomacy outreach officer for the American Embassy in Moscow, it was my great pleasure to be able to travel to three wonderful Russian cities for the first time: Arkhangelsk, Rostov-na-Dony, and Kaliningrad. In each of the cities, I visited community libraries where we have had long-standing relationships through our Russian American Center, Corners, and Shelves program and spoke with audiences about a topic that is of great mutual interest: environmentalism.

My presentations were anchored around a photographic exhibit that we opened at Embassy Moscow in April, 'A Necessity: Americans and the Development of Environmental Consciousness,' which charted some key moments in U.S. history related to Americans’ growing awareness of the imperative that each one of us has to make sure our lands, waters, and air are protected for future generations. 'I used the images from this exhibit to lead lively discussions in each of the cities I visited about these issues, which are of just as much importance to Russians as they are to Americans. The goal of these programs was two-fold: first, to increase understanding of the American experience as it relates to environmental issues, and second, to open a dialogue between American and Russian people about practical strategies for protecting our environment.[']" Image from entry, with caption: U.S. Embassy official Sarah Ziebell taking the floor in an American Corner in Arkhangelsk.

Andrew Saul, Genovation Cars CEO, Completes U.S. State Dept. Speaking Tour of Australia and New Zealand: Saul Addressed Innovation and Green Initiatives in the Global Marketplace - Press Release, "Andrew Saul, CEO of Genovation Inc., recently completed a three-week, eight-city speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand on 'Entrepreneurship and Renewable Energy,' as part of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP). Genovation is a Rockville, Md.-based designer and custom builder of environmentally friendly automobiles. ... About the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs: The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) is the State Department's public diplomacy (PD) communications bureau, leading the Department's support for U.S. Embassy efforts to engage overseas audiences. Where innovation, policy, and public diplomacy intersect, IIP programs engage international audiences in sustained, meaningful conversations on the full spectrum of U.S. policy objectives."

Supporters urge White House to keep Victor Ashe on broadcasting board - Michael Collins, "Victor Ashe’s departure from a federal board that oversees the government’s foreign broadcasting agency is causing almost as much conflict as his tenure on the panel. President Barack Obama is looking to replace Ashe on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency that watches over government-supported broadcasters such as Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Europe.

But Ashe’s removal has brought howls of protest from conservatives and some broadcasting groups, who note that he is the only Republican on the board, even though by law the panel is supposed to be evenly split among Democrats and Republicans. Obama has nominated another Republican, former Ambassador Ryan Crocker, as Ashe’s successor. But Ashe’s backers argue he should be allowed to stay on as well given the dearth of GOP representation on the panel. What’s more, some of Ashe’s defenders suspect he is being replaced because his attempts to ferret out waste and mismanagement have rankled the broadcasting agency’s top executives." Image from article, with caption: Former mayor and ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe, right, meets the Dalai Lama on July 11, 2011 in Washington, D.C. The meeting occurred at Radio Free Asia where Ashe is chairman of the board.

Beyond Anti-Chinese Propaganda with Andre Vltchek - Adam Chimienti, Counterpunch: "Andre is a creative and determined voice and witness for those living beneath the wheel of our modern societies and economies. He grew up in Czechoslovakia and writes that, from an early age, he was totally brainwashed by the BBC, Voice of America and others."

Global Game-Changers in Energy and Climate Change - Amy Harder, National Journal: Comment by Paul Sullivan, Professor of Economics, National Defense University: "US aid to Africa has a strong governance and health aspect. There are a lot of programs in education and training, cultural exchanges and so forth, but USAID really seems to have lost its way when it comes to the most public of public diplomacy in Africa: building infrastructure, hospitals, schools, refineries, and more.

The Chinese aid is also deployed in a very quick order in many cases. USAID often has to go through an astonishing array of political hoops in Washington to get most anything done. It also has had its budget slashed with sequestration and the budget battles in Washington. Often private-sector and NGO activities are more effective in Africa than USAID is. The US is the largest donor of official development assistance to Africa, but it is mostly focused on a few countries. The largest amount of our aid goes to Kenya and it has little to do with the on-the-ground stuff that is involved with real development. China has aid, educational, and informational projects in most African countries. We have many foundations and we have the Millennium Challenge Account and so forth. The EXIM bank does a lot of work in developing project in Africa. OPIC is also involved as is the Department of Commerce and other organs of the US government. However, the success on the ground in real development is perceived in many places in Africa as overshadowed by the big ticket items developed by China." Image from

China: US Should Back Rights Reforms at California Summit -- Vocal Support for Rights Aspirations of Chinese People More Urgent than Ever - "President Obama should make human rights central in his discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the two countries’ June 7-8 summit in California. ... The Obama administration’s record over China’s human rights has been mixed. The US admitted the blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng to its embassy in Beijing, and later the US after he escaped from home imprisonment in May 2012.

On some occasions, such as Secretary Clinton’s January 2011 inaugural Holbrooke lecture, the Obama Administration has spoken forcefully about the importance of human rights protections in China. But on many other occasions – particularly those that would have most influence on senior Chinese officials – public diplomacy in support of human rights has been weak. In his first visit to China as Secretary of State, in April 2013, Secretary John Kerry’s public discussion of human rights included only a reference to having raised individual cases. Despite a commitment to a 'whole of government' approach to human rights, it remains unclear whether or what specific human rights issues were raised publicly or privately by other senior American officials, such as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Tom Donilon, or General Martin Dempsey, during their recent visits to China. Image from entry, with caption: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) listens to China's then Vice President Xi Jinping during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on February 14, 2012.

Xi seeks to repair China’s image at ‘soft power’ — Andrew Hammond, "[I]nternational opinion tends to be more favourable toward China’s rise when it is framed in terms of the country’s growing economic power, but less so when seen through the prism of its stronger military prowess. From Beijing’s vantage point, such foreign concerns reflect misperceptions over its intentions as a rising power. And Xi appears to recognise that this is exacerbated by a broader deficit in China’s global soft power (that is, the ability to persuade other countries and foreign publics through attraction and co-option rather than coercion, use of force, or payment). To be sure, Beijing has invested many billions of pounds in recent years on foreign charm offensives, and has achieved some significant successes (remember the 2008 Olympics for instance). Nevertheless, the country’s soft power has not increased at the same pace as its hard power (economic and military might). This is a headache for Beijing as there is, inevitably, some international suspicion, concern, and occasionally outright hostility towards China as a result. In Asia, for instance, countries such as Japan are actively strengthening their alliances, especially with the United States, to try to balance the Middle Kingdom. That China has such a significant soft power deficit is one key reason why Xi is placing emphasis on developing a new type of great power relationship with the United States. In effect, he is seeking to double-down on Beijing’s long-standing pledges of securing a harmonious, peaceful rise to power, and being a responsible stakeholder in the international system. If China is truly to transform its image, it will need to overcome multiple challenges that have meant Beijing has so far secured relatively limited dividends from its soft power investment. One pivotal problem is that while the country has an attractive culture that has long been admired by foreigners, there is sometimes a yawning gap between that and the Communist regime’s domestic actions. Thus, the celebration of Chinese culture was one reason why the 2008 Olympic were such a success. However, much of these soft power dividends were squandered soon afterwards when Beijing clamped down in Tibet and Xianjiang. A second major challenge is that China’s attempts

to boost soft power are too reliant on public sector-driven initiatives. This is in stark contrast to those countries with the best reputations, including the United States, which derive much of their attractiveness with international stakeholders from their rich and vibrant civil-society and private sector. The mirror image of this issue is that traditionally there has been too little emphasis from Beijing upon public diplomacy programmes to reach out to foreign publics directly. Rather than winning hearts and minds in this way, Beijing has tended to place emphasis, especially in Africa and the Middle East, on improving working relationships with strategically important governments through assistance programmes that may not always serve the interest of local people. As these examples show, the challenges are wide-ranging and deep-seated, and will be the work of more than one summit to overcome. Indeed, enhancing China’s reputation is a truly generational task that will require not only sustained investment, but also fundamental change, during Xi’s presidency." Image from

Soft Power? China Has Plenty - Trefor Moss, "China is a failure when it comes to soft power – or so we’re told. A giant in the hard-power leagues of money and military strength, China is often portrayed as a minnow swimming against the global tide of ideas and perceptions. Unloved and misunderstood, the country can only get things done through the use of carrots and sticks, not by capitalizing on the warm sentiments of others. Foreigners, in the end, pay heed to China only because they have to, not because they want to. No-one has been more skeptical about Chinese soft power than Joseph Nye, the man who first coined the phrase twenty years ago. In particular, Nye has criticized Beijing’s efforts to acquire soft power through centralized schemes, like the spread of Confucius Institutes or the establishment at the end of last year of the China Public Diplomacy Association. Despite “spending billions of dollars to increase its soft power … China has had a limited return on its investment,” he recently argued. This is because soft power mainly accrues when civil society actors – whom the Chinese government tends to squash – make or do things with global appeal, according to Nye, not through top-down schemes which foreigners are likely to interpret as propaganda. Nye rightly doubts whether all of China’s soft-power investments are paying off. However, we should not be too quick to write off China as an attractive force in global affairs simply because Beijing has fired a few blanks. In fact, Chinese soft power does exist. You just have to look for it in the right places. ...  China looks very different depending on which part of the world you’re observing it from. And if you want to see China in an attractive light, Africa surely provides the best vantage point. China’s involvement in Africa is often interpreted as a cynical resource-grab – but mainly by Westerners. In fact, Chinese involvement in Africa – which has mainly taken the form of co-operative development, rather than aid – is much older and more constructive than many people realize. It goes back to the 1950s, long before the advent of Confucius Institutes or the launch of Hu Jintao’s soft-power agenda. China’s activities in Africa and local attitudes to them have been well documented by Deborah Brautigam in her 2009 book The Dragon’s Gift. Brautigam demonstrates that Africans are generally receptive to China’s developmental approach: they observe with approval one developing country helping another, 'the poor helping the poor'; they value the longstanding connections built over decades with their Chinese partners; and they feel that China shows them far more respect than paternalistic Westerners.Africa is not the only place from which China looks appealing.

Its soft power also draws people in Latin America, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, where the popular impression of China might contrast favorably with the general perception of the West, or where Beijing might be seen as a welcome partner in tough financial times, or as a trusted long-time ally. Western commentators tend to overlook this, noticing only China’s lack of soft power in North America, Western Europe and those parts of Asia that fear or dislike China. In these places, the bad news about China – everything from its smoggy air, to its venal politics, to its repression of dissidents, to its apparent strangeness – drowns out any soft-power messages that Beijing might be trying to send. But elsewhere the good news drowns out the bad. So Nye’s criticisms are half-right. In many states, China probably is wasting its time and resources when it tries to get people to watch CCTV, piles newsstands with English versions of China Daily, or part-funds its Confucius Institutes. These initiatives are doomed to fail in certain contexts. But these same activities can work beautifully elsewhere. Even in the China-bashing West, China’s marketing messages are finding an audience. The U.S., for example, hosts more Confucius Institutes than any other country (70 at the latest count). If they convince even a few Americans that China is somehow likeable, respectable, trustworthy or admirable, then Beijing’s efforts won’t have gone entirely to waste." Image from article

Kung Fu and Soft Power: Why can’t the Chinese government capitalize on the popularity of the traditional fighting arts? - BenJudkins, Kung Fu Tea: "The Chinese have attempted to use the traditional fighting styles as part of their public diplomacy for some time. From state visits to the Shaolin Temple to government sponsored martial arts displays, this theme comes up surprisingly often in its foreign policy efforts. Generally these gestures are enthusiastically received owing to Kung Fu’s global popularity. This is the root of our paradox. Given the popularity of the Chinese martial arts, and the government’s frequent promotion of them, why can’t they get them into the Olympics? For that matter, why haven’t the Chinese been able to build up and support a 'Wushu infrastructure' outside of their own borders like South Korea did with Tae Kwon Do during the 1970s and 1980s?

While the Chinese hand combat styles have built up an immense store of good will the problem arises when the government attempts to actualize that 'soft power.' This type of persuasion works best when state action is least visible. Ideally it arises as an organic process as two civil societies come in contact with one another. As such soft power is something that is actually never totally within the government control. It’s a process that is allowed to play out in the background which greases the wheels of other diplomatic strategies in powerful and unexpected ways. Unfortunately the Chinese state is not comfortable delegating this sort of function to its own civil society. Rather than going along with the global popularity of folk Kung Fu they insisted on imposing their own, modern, rationalized variant on the Olympics. Such a move ignored the cultural and social base of their power while antagonizing many people who should have been their allies. There is a lesson in all of this. In the modern world soft power is an important source of influence, but it is exercised through the force of one’s example and social presence. When it becomes a strategy to be centrally implemented it is just another form of coercion, of the sort that [Josef] Nye found is losing its edge in the 21st century. In order for China to really exercise soft power it needs to do two things. First, it needs to start supporting, rather than working against, civil society. Secondly, it needs to resolve the fundamental background issues that lead many people in the world to distrust its basic intuitions and policies. Once those things happen the traditional fighting arts have the potential to become a much broader bridge to the world." Image from entry, with caption: Chinese competitor at the unofficial 2008 Olympic Wushu 'Exhibition' in Beijing.

Leaders, CEOs to ponder shifting economic landscape - China Daily "Former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will give an opening address on economic reform in China on the second day of the Fortune Global Forum on June 7. ... The next talk is 'China's Soft Power: Global Influence and Public Diplomacy'. Former US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman; Zhao Qizheng, vice-chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference; and Yukon Huang from the Carnegie Endowment's Asia Program will share their views on how China will wield its 'soft power' and what this means for geopolitics and economics in the 21st century."

Russia to Increase 'Soft Power' Budget to Improve Image Abroad - The Moscow Times: "Russia will increase spending on foreign cultural and educational projects as part of the Kremlin-backed 'Soft Power' concept aimed at improving the country's image abroad, a news report said Wednesday. In May President Vladimir Putin signed an order giving Rosssotrudnichestvo responsibility for the spending and sanctioning an increase in its budget from 2 billion rubles ($62 million) to 9.5 billion rubles by 2020, according to Kommersant. ... Harvard political analyst Joseph S. Nye who invented the term 'soft power' in 1990 has recently said that countries like Russia and China do not understand the concept. 'China and Russia make the mistake of thinking that government is the main instrument of soft power," he wrote in a recent essay in Foreign Policy magazine published in April. He added that the propaganda should be avoided as it is not perceived as being trustworthy.'" Via JJ

Russia – Georgia: public diplomacy - vestnik kavkaza: "A press conference 'Russia and Georgia: charity is the main component of public diplomacy' took place in Moscow. The non-governmental organization 'The Center of Development of Humanitarian, Cultural, and Economic Cooperation - GROSS' [sic] which was founded in Moscow is aimed at establishing a foundation for diplomatic relations at state level. Participants in the event spoke about charity projects which are planned to be implemented in Georgia and Russia."

Films, the new mantra for public diplomacy - "Films for public diplomacy. This seems to be the new mantra for the government's External Affairs Ministry as part of its effort to reach out to a larger audience outside India. The Ministry's Public Diplomacy Division had initiated the 'India Is', a digital platform campaign to connect and interact with people from all over the world and make them think more about India. 'It is important to reach out to wider world and connect, it is equally important to reach out to the person next to you, especially to the youth of this demographically changing country,' External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said at a reception held recently to celebrate the successful completion of two years of 'India Is'. 'Every bit of Internet search gives you new impulse. And, with a platform like Google, it allows one to look into every nook and corner of India,' Khurshid said. Five short films made by upcoming filmmakers, and co-produced by noted director Anurag Kashyap and Viacom 18 was released on YouTube as part of the web-based campaign. Kashyap also hailed the India-themed public-private partnership that offers platforms to young and independent filmmakers, to reach out to their audience, which he said 'wasn't possible before the Internet'. ... The partnership of the Public Diplomacy division with Google's YouTube, one of the biggest live contest-sharing website on the internet, is seen by both the MEA as well as Google to 'build the India Brand further on a global stage'."

Culture and foreign ministries sign MOU for enhanced cooperation part 2 - "'The two ministries will work together to better improve Korea's global status and image. While the Foreign Ministry takes the reins in comprehensive overseas affairs, the Culture Ministry will aim to provide more diverse cultural content. Under the administration's national goal of cultural enrichment, culture and public diplomacy will act as the two new main pillars of our diplomacy in addition to the conventional framework of political and economic diplomacy.'"

PM addresses national team ahead of first match of the 14-day UEFA tournament on Wednesday - Jerusalem Post: "The Israel Under-21 national team took a short break from its hectic training schedule on Monday to meet with

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. ... 'I thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for the understanding that this tournament is of national importance and will greatly help the State of Israel’s public diplomacy overseas by showing a beautiful Israel that loves sports,' said Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon." Image from article, with caption: THE ISRAEL UNDER-21 national team with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before UEFA Championship

Zionist Art Gets a New Platform - Algemeiner: “[T]he Arthur Szyk Prize of Disruptive Thought and Zionist Art ... [is] sponsored by Artists 4 Israel and the Jewish National Initiative (JNI), along with more than 100 artists who submitted a piece of work, from music to paintings to dance to film, in hopes of winning the $1,000 prize. ... Neta Dror, a Jerusalem-based

photographer and advisor on the project, says the prize is not an attempt at hasbara (public diplomacy) for Israel, a charge she is sure will be made by Israeli art critics. 'It’s not about being an award for being a pro-Israel Zionist,' Dror, 27, says. 'It’s not the point. It’s more about saying don’t be afraid. We know that people will completely ignore you in the normal art world if you say these things, but we’re going to give you a stage to say these things.'” Dror image from article

Ankara police start public diplomacy campaign for night break to protests - Sevil Küçükkoşum, Hürriyet Daily News: "The Ankara police changed its intervention in protests June 4 following the messages of restraint from politicians and an apology by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç the same day. Groups of police officers spoke with residents June 4 in Kızılay Square, saying they had only responded to provocative attacks by protestors who threw stones or other items. The residents said some police had used tear gas on them despite the absence of any kind of provocation, and some police hit youths for no reason.

The police’s new communication method appeared to be a kind of 'public diplomacy' conducted on orders of their supervisors as the dramatic change of style came after Arınç used a conciliatory tone about the protests.Image from article, with caption: The Ankara police changed its intervention in protests June 4 following the messages of restraint from politicians and an apology by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç the same day.

Iran’s successful resistance against foes due to culture, diplomacy: Jalili - Presidential candidate Saeed Jalili says Iran’s high cultural capacity and public diplomacy are the main reasons behind its successful resistance against the country’s enemies.

In a TV interview on Tuesday night, Jalili said the logic behind Iran's foreign policy is tenable, hence the 120 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement have repeatedly expressed support for Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear energy program. Jalili image from entry

Camera and National Security Do not Mix Dear Presidency -
"I believe today the national dialogue held by the Presidency earlier this morning to discuss the Nile river crisis with Ethiopia will be an example of failure in international politics and international relations as well international crisis management. A total fiasco without doubt. Many Egyptians believe that Egypt is being humiliated and we should use power to restore our position in the world. Amazingly all those who spoke in the language of war and covert operations against Ethiopia on air like Ayman Nour and Mohamed Anwar Sadat JR are saying that they did not know that it was on air. ... It is worth to mention that both men Nour and Sadat were from the active political figures participating in the public diplomacy delegations in Africa."

Cuba’s Opposition Branding Named Yoani Sanchez - Dominika Greisigerova, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Yoani Sanchez, the most famous Cuban blogger who advocates for the freedom of speech, is a distinct critic of the Castro’s administration. Although a recognizable figure around the globe, she has never been able to travel; yet, after twenty previous denials Sanchez was just granted permission to leave the island for the first time. ... Having pointed at some of Yoani´s contradictory statements over the Cuban reality, I would like to accentuate that when conducting public diplomacy an individual must be cautious and transparently readable, but at the same time, must avoid being paraphrased in an erroneous way."

Falklands’ oil industry has come of age moving from exploration to production stage, confirms Governor Haywood - "Regarding Argentine pressures on the economy and its inaccuracies campaign, the message read by Governor Nigel Haywood is enthusiastic about the reaffirmed support from the UK to the Falklands (the Queen’s speech opening Parliament), the recent overwhelming results

of the referendum on the Falklands’ future and the Islands’ international public diplomacy strategy to explain to the world the Falklands’ right to self determination and the fact it is a democratic, modern community with a self sufficient successful economy." Image from entry, with caption: Despite Argentina the oil industry has become fully integrated to the Falklands’ economy

Bye, bye Sweden - Helsingborgs Dagblad: Text in Swedish; mention of public diplomacy

Examining The Image Of The Arab Among Malaysians Media Essay - "Leah and Chitty (2009) have conducted a study named 'Reframing national image: A methodological framework'. The objectives of this study are to addresses the role of national images in international relations and develop a methodological framework for its study. It attempts to establish a methodological approach to the analysis of national image by addressing three issues viz. perceived image for another nations, projected media images of other nations and the role of national images in international relations. The finding of this study shows that; national images contain tow facets: perceived images and projected media images of other nations. The first dimension, identified as the pictures of other nations in people’s mind, is influenced by individual’s cognitive systems, in relation to stereotypes and its beholders’ attributes in social psychological sense. By contrast, the nature of media and public diplomacy activates are decisive in the formation and manipulation of portrayed media image."

Third Annual Advisory Board meeting in the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication in AUD - The Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at the American University in Dubai (AUD) met for the third time with its advisory board members.

The purpose of the advisory board meeting is to have the feedback from key professionals on the specific needs and wants of the media industry along with the areas where more expertise is needed and to hear their suggestions for going forward. ... Dr. Philip Seib, Professor and Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy commented: 'MBRSC is important because it is offering the latest techniques of Journalism and Communication that are necessary in this region.' Dr. Seib added: 'MBRSC is applying the Journalism and Communication education in a region where those disciplines tended to be neglected in the past. By doing so, the School is raising the standards in both fields and it is developing their future in the Middle East and in the world.'" Image from article, with caption: Advisory Board Group

Former Commerce Sec. Norm Mineta Keynotes AACR Forum - Global Indian: "Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Norman Y. Mineta, vice chairman at Hill and Knowlton, gave the keynote address at the

Association of Americans for Civic Responsibility’s 10th annual roundtable conference May 8 at Syracuse University’s Paul Greenberg House in Washington, D.C. ... In the morning session, Michael Schneider, director of the Washington Public Diplomacy program at Syracuse University, detailed the path ahead for immigrants to become good citizens. ... Schneider concluded the conference by summarizing the discussions, Suggestions for future conferences included the AACR forum being hosted by a different ethnic group each year and reaching out to additional organizations." Image from article, with caption: Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Norm Mineta (at right) meets with attendees at the annual conference of the Association of Americans for Civic Responsibility.

Prof. Córdoba Serrano publishes new book: Le Québec traduit en Espagne: analyse sociologique de l’exportation d’une culture périphérique - "The University of Ottawa Press, Canada’s oldest French language university press and the only bilingual university press in North America, has just published  Prof. Córdoba Serrano’s work Le Québec traduit en Espagne: analyse sociologique de l’exportation d’une culture périphérique. Using the study of peripheral cultures as a privileged observatory, Prof. Córdoba examines the sociological relations configuring a corpus of literary works between Quebec and Spain (with a focus on Catalonia). Beyond the specific case study, Prof. Córdoba’s book sheds light on the different phases of cultural exchanges in general: from the initiation and selection of cultural products to their international circulation, reception and re-branding to fit the logic of the receiving cultures where they are reinserted. It further examines the decisive but non-deterministic role of public institutions in the formation of translation flows, as well as the parts played by other key international stakeholders (publishers, critics, translators, scouts, etc.) who facilitate, and sometimes hinder, the international circulation of ideas. Beyond its theoretical interest, the book offers a definite applied dimension, as it critically examines specific public diplomacy policies (in particular, the use of translation as a tool for national image-projection abroad), and evaluates their implementation and results."


When Obama says, 'Force alone cannot make us safe': We must attack the roots of extremism. But can the president reverse our national security priorities? - Sarah Chayes, What has enraged many Muslims about United States policy is their perception — too often accurate — that Washington has empowered and enabled abusive, predatory regimes that have exacerbated such ills. The reasons for doing so have usually been connected to the ongoing or potential use of force. To best counter the roots of extremism over the long run, U.S. policy should support bedrock principles of democracy — institutional checks and balances, nonpartisan administrative bodies and security services, and protection of individual rights — not a party or an individual who happens to have won the latest election.

The Decline of the Obama Presidency: His second term is coming undone not because of scandal but because of decisions made in the previous four years - Fred Barnes, Wall Street Journal: More often than not, presidents focus on foreign policy in their second terms.

But Mr. Obama's practice is to downgrade foreign policy in favor of domestic concerns. Where he has sought to restrain foreign governments—Russia, Iran, North Korea—he has been unsuccessful. His speech in May on national security and the terrorist threat revived an issue from his 2008 campaign, the closing of the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay. The chance that will happen is slim. Image from article, with caption: President Obama after speaking at a fundraising event in Chicago, May 29.

NATO's Next War—in Cyberspace: The Atlantic Alliance protected its members during the age of the Berlin Wall. We must be prepared to protect them during the age of the firewall - Anders Fogh Rasmussen: How times have changed. During the age of the Berlin Wall, tanks and ideologies faced off across closed borders. In the age of the firewall, borders are open, ideas are free and war can be virtual—but its consequences just as devastating and real.

Report from Baghdad: Still Liked on Facebook - "As journalism, I checked Facebook to find that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has some 137,000 'likes.' Their banner graphic celebrates breaking 100,000. As a comparison, retired porn star Jenna Jameson’s Facebook page as 566,703 likes.

Maybe the Embassy needs to show more skin? So, as the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad remains the world’s largest and most expensive diplomatic mission, we salute the brave boys and girls out there who are still more focused on their Facebook likes than Rome burning down around them. To Victory!" Image from entry

Al-Qaeda increases campaign of English terror propaganda - [subscription] Al-Qaeda has expanded its English-language internet propaganda operation from bases in Yemen  After the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings, a unit of at least a dozen English-speakers are working to enlarge the terrorist network’s online propaganda machine, spearheaded by its trademark publication Inspire — and Western intelligence agencies are struggling to contain the operation.

Dallas artists use Arboretum as “propaganda for wilderness” - Brentney Hamilton,  Alison Jardine and Erika Jaeggli know that, despite the old adage, sometimes you cannot see the forest except for the trees. Each arrived in Dallas from many miles away — Jardine from Yorkshire, England and Jaeggli from Maryland via Austin — and, as artists for whom nature features a prominent role, each soon made her way to the Dallas Arboretum in search of inspiration. What they found is that Dallas' unique climate and geography produced pieces of art that could not have been created anywhere else in the world.

Jardine added: "The Arboretum is basically propaganda for wilderness. I want our art to bring something very honest and authentic to visitors that will drive home that message for preservation and the need to fund natural space." Image from article, with caption: Alison Jardine and Erika Jaeggli are the Arboretum's first artists-in-residence. Both work exclusively with nature but approach it from radically different perspectives.


Dunkin' taking doughnut bacon sandwich national - Candice Choi, USA Today: Even as fast-food chains tout their healthy offerings, they're also coming up with fatty new treats to keep customers interested. Case in point: Dunkin' Donuts is adding a doughnut breakfast sandwich to its national menu this week.

The sandwich, which comes with fried eggs and bacon between a split glazed doughnut, will become a part of the permanent menu starting June 7, which the chain claims is "National Donut Day." Dunkin' Donuts had tested the sandwich in select stores in eastern Massachusetts in April, creating considerable buzz online. Notably, Dunkin' Donuts says the "Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich" clocks in at 360 calories, which is less than the 390 calories for the turkey sausage sandwich it recently introduced for people looking to eat better. Image from article

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