Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 14-15

"[L]et Facts be submitted to a candid world."

--The U.S. Declaration of Independence

"Facts do not speak for themselves. Ever."

--Errol Morris, letter to the Times Literary Supplement (October 4, 2013), p. 6; image from

WEBSITE OF INTEREST The website of PDAA - An Association of public diplomacy professionals


Can Diplomacy Really be Public? "Just what is public diplomacy, or PD? Can diplomacy even be public? For many countries PD is already an integral part of the way their embassies conduct business around the world. This is especially true in Washington. Public Diplomacy Alumni Association and Embassy of Sweden will join forces at House of Sweden on Tuesday, October 15 to sponsor a late-afternoon panel discussion of public diplomacy as practiced by three European embassies in Washington.

The program features a panel discussion and a behind-the-scenes look at diplomats at work, shedding light on the role of public diplomacy as they discuss what they do best."  House of Sweden image from entry


Cultural Understanding: The Key To Diplomacy - Pauline Gebczak, "American University celebrated the third anniversary of the Initiative for Russian Culture at a gala held at the National Building Museum last week. It was an evening of Jazz Diplomacy, bringing together students, esteemed guests, and accomplished musicians to promote understanding through music and culture. The event was a collaborative effort between American University's Initiative for Russian Culture, the Open World Leadership Center, and The Brubeck Institute. Cultural understanding is the key for growth in democratic relations between any countries. The Initiative for Russian Culture believes in this philosophy and it reflects in their efforts to engage students in learning about Russian culture and history as well as taking up the language.

Igor Butman was the jazz maestro for the evening joined by the U.S.-Russia Rising Stars Jazz Band to perform for guests, which included Open World alumni and the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet. The Brubeck Institute combines a passion for music education and international relations through their music programs that allow young artists to experience performing in many different cities and venues. Recently the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet performed at a forum entitled 'Jazz: A Language for Peace' as well as at the United Nations. Brubeck students joined Igor Butman and the Open World All Star group for an evening of great music, food, and culture. Initiative for Russian Culture Chair Susan Carmel Lehrman spoke about her goal for the initiative: 'Through events like this one which emphasize importance of common cultural bonds especially to younger generations I believe we are helping find common ground necessary to be able to work together and to interact with mutual respect well into the future.'" Via AK; uncaptioned image from article

Advocacy group for US international broadcasting advocates keeping things much the same - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: Elliott comment: "To CUSIB [Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting] and others who insist there is no duplication in US international broadcasting, the facts are overwhelmingly against you. The truth (and isn't US international broadcasting all about transmitting the truth?) is that duplication is so prevalent in US international broadcasting that one cannot help tripping over it..."

Al Jazeera America: "foreign gaze for domestic consumption," "focusing on the failures of the United States" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on Iternational Broadcasting

Egyptian coup leaders hire US lobbyist with ties to Israel - "The Hill, a political newspaper based in Washington DC, has revealed that documents filed with the US Justice Department on Friday confirm that Egypt's interim authorities are employing the Glover Park Group to 'provide public diplomacy, strategic communications counsel and government relations services' for Egypt's post-coup government. ... The Glover Park Group

is no stranger to Israel. The group's managing director, Arik Ben-Zvi, is an Israeli citizen who served in the Israeli army and consulted on Israel's elections. In addition, one senior executive previously served as the National Deputy Political Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, also known as AIPAC, the most powerful arm of the Israel Lobby in the US, while another senior executive served in its legislative department." Image from entry

Big week for Benjamin Netanyahu: jeans gaffe, then Persian erotica gaffe - Kirsten Reach,
- "Max Fisher of the Washington Post explains:  [']Even if Netanyahu were the sort of person who could compellingly speak directly to Iranians, and even if Iranians were ready to hear him out, the Israeli leader’s message here may not have been the sort of language likely to bring the two sides together. That goes beyond jeans, although the flub was part of it. . . The Islamic Republic has some of the world’s worst civil rights, but it is a far cry from Pyongyang's style of rule, and

is not peopled with 78 million Iranians just waiting to be liberated. . . . It’s a telling little irony that, when Netanyahu criticized Iran’s severe restriction of civil liberties, it led Iranians not to criticize their government but Israel’s — and to do it using the very social networks, such as Facebook, that are banned by Tehran. This was a relatively minor misstep in public diplomacy, but it’s a worrying indication for Washington and Tehran of the sort of role that the Israeli leader sees himself playing in their burgeoning outreach.[']"

MRE - Ministério das Relações Exteriores da Repúbl [sic]: Agreed Minutes of the Sixth Meeting of the Brazil-India Joint Commission on Political, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation - "Brazil and India highlighted the importance of deepening mutual understanding and strengthening friendship ties between their respective government institutions and civil societies and business and academic communities. In this sense, the parties welcomed the joint initiative of the Brazilian 'Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão - FUNAG' and the Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs of India in organizing the seminar 'India and Brazil: A Partnership for the 21st century', held in Brasilia, in October 2013 with the participation of very knowledgeable speakers from both sides. The seminar provided the occasion for fruitful discussions on important issues in the bilateral agenda: Challenges and Opportunities of Global Governance; Challenges and Opportunities in the Strategic Partnership between India and Brazil; and the Historical bonds and transformative convergence in the relations between India and Brazil. It was also agreed that a reciprocal event would be organized in India next year."

Sri Lanka: Coming To Terms With New Environment - R. Hariharan, "[T]he maiden visit of Indian Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid on October 7 and 8 assumes greater importance than merely meeting with his counterpart . ... There was a welcome effort at public diplomacy during the Indian MEA’s visit. In the two public interactions, the MEA spelled out his perceptions on some of the major issues after interacting with his counterpart and the President."

Diplomatic missions being mobilised to attract investment - "Foreign Secretary-designate Abdul Basit has said that Pakistan’s diplomatic missions abroad will be mobilised to generate more economic activity in the country by bringing in foreign investment. Informally discussing foreign policy challenges in a media programme Sunday‚ Abdul Basit said trade and investment conferences

will be organised in diplomatic missions to increase country’s exports. He pledged to implement the vibrant foreign policy agenda of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif with focusing on creating linkages in the region‚ and encouraging economic and public diplomacy. He said Afghan reconciliation process is the key to success for Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said Pakistan is making sincere efforts to settle down the Afghan issue." Uncaptioned image from entry See also.

Filipino students in Korea promote the Philippines - "Public diplomacy has never been so dynamic and energetic. The Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea, Inc. (PIKO), an organization of Filipino scholars studying in South Korean universities, led a one-of-a-kind event last October 6 that promoted Filipino culture in the form of a race in the South Korean capital. International and Korean students who participated in the event were involved in different tasks related to Filipino culture around different spots in Seoul, from Filipino traditional games to matching Philippine tourism spots to buying Filipino vegetables in the infamous Hyewha Filipino Market."

FM touring Korea, China from Thursday - "Foreign Minister Dipu Moni

will leave Dhaka for South Korea and China in her last tour before the election countdown begins on Oct 25. ... Emerging global power China has influence on Bangladesh’s politics while South Korea as a development partner recently stepped up its public diplomacy. ... She will return home on Oct 22." Uncaptioned image from entry

The long road back to El Dorado: Colombia is rediscovering its ancient trade in gold - "Next Thursday, the British Museum will open its exhibition, Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia. It has borrowed more than 200 treasures from co-organiser, the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) in Bogotá – 'the best collection in the world of pre-Colombian gold,' confirms Elisenda Vila – and supplemented them with its own ample holdings of the gorgeous artefacts [sic] via which leaders and prophets summoned and channelled the forces of nature. ... Outside Colombia's borders, the gold – especially in the British Museum, with its public that ... "comes from everywhere" – perhaps has an extra symbolic role.

It will help set the seal on a decade of canny and strenuous public diplomacy that has seen Brand Colombia (a body which really exists ... ) work smartly to burnish the national image. Four decades of vicious interconnected strife between the state, the narco-barons, leftist guerrillas and rightist paramilitaries have cost almost a quarter of a million lives." Image from article

Hamas built mega tunnel for 'rainy day' option - Yoav Limor, "Sunday saw Israel focus its public diplomacy efforts on the Arab media, especially the Palestinian media: it's not only the Negev communities that have been enjoying an unprecedented calm for the past 11 months -- it is Gaza Strip as well. Things have been calm since Operation Pillar of Defense and it is unlikely that Gaza misses the nightly fighter jets' flyovers or the one-ton bombs dropped from the sky."

We must bring university education to young Syrian men and women in refugee camps - Mark Angelson and Allan Goodman, With ...Dr Keith Watenpaugh, director of the Human Rights Institute at University of California, Davis, the conversation turned to the future: what can we do to save higher education in Syria? Several ideas emerged. ... Watenpaugh described an idea for ‘University in a Box’, which could bring two- to three-week intensive university courses that would be taught in refugee camps by professors from the United States and other countries. Syrian scholars participating in IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund might also teach these courses. This would afford refugee students and professors the opportunity to do productive work, reawaken students' enthusiasm for education and, perhaps most important of all, give them some hope for the future. The public diplomacy implications also are compelling. In addition, we must bring young Syrian men and women displaced from higher education to universities around the world."

Globally, 'girl power' should be much more than a slogan - Donald Steinberg, Tara Sonenshine, Op-ed contributors - "Tara Sonenshine is the former US undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs."

Off Topic #17: Radio on the Radio - Ira Wagman is a communications

scholar and professor at Carleton University in Ottowa. He is currently the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School. Image from entry

Interactive: Who’s Pulling the Strings? [from Google entry] - Staff: "Richard R. Miller – Partner with Oliver North in IBC, an Office of Public Diplomacy front group, convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States."


America’s Orphaned Diplomacy: America’s money-soaked political system simultaneously bolsters the military-industrial complex and undermines diplomacy - Moritz Laurer, It turns out that members of Congress

and their staffers—those people who decide what the budget for diplomacy will be—don’t even know what exactly U.S. diplomats do. Image from entry, with caption: Foggy Bottom in Washington, DC

Kobe Bryant REALLY draws a crowd in Beijing: Kobe Bryant's popularity in China is off the charts, making it hard for him to leave hotel. 'It's uncontrollable,' Lakers star says - Mike Bresnahan,

Image from article, with caption: Lakers star Kobe Bryant sits inside a ring of security guards while doing an interview prior to practice at the 2013 Global Games in Beijing on Monday.


The Sustainability Of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Addressing The Security-Development Nexus In The 21st Century - Anita R Sundarajan

Sundarajan image from facebook


From: Kaushik, "The Latest Chinese Beach Craze – Face-kini,"


Image from Barbara Demick, "Cockroach farms multiplying in China,", with caption: Dried cockroaches are ready to be sold to pharmaceutical companies from a farm in Jinan, China. One farmer says the insects are easy to raise and profitable.

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