Friday, October 25, 2013

October 23-25


--"Ultracrepidarianism is when you give your opinion on a topic about which you know nothing. What makes this word so useful is that nobody knows what it means. Tell someone they are ultracrepidarian and they'll probably consider it a compliment."

--From "Mark Forsyth's top 10 lost words: From snollygoster to wamblecropt, these forgotten words just might come handy, says the author of The Horologicon," The Guardian; via GC on Facebook


--German for spying on cell phone calls; above image from


European Academy of Diplomacy. Site mentions public diplomacy opportunities.


E-Learning Programs in Cultural Diplomacy: E-Learning Program in Cultural Diplomacy for Diplomats (Programs Start: December 2nd - 31st, 2013) - "This program focuses on the application of Cultural Diplomacy in the professional work of diplomats.

The course provides core knowledge about International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy, presenting innovative strategies for putting these diplomatic tools into practice and examining case studies from around the world which emerge from the both public and private sectors. Core modules include International Politics, International Trade and Diplomatic Practice."


Public Diplomacy and Global Policymaking in the 21st Century Program (2013 - 2014) -


Pakistan Should Accept Blame for US Drones - Zachary Keck, "Reports this week by The National Journal and The Washington Post further highlight the direct role that the Pakistani government­—or at least portions of it—have played in facilitating the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan, which the U.S. is facing growing criticism over. ... Two things about these reports stick out as particularly noteworthy. The first is the timing of the reports as well as the sources used. The reports appear as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has intensified his pressure on the U.S. to halt drone strikes in his country. ... Sharif’s public diplomacy effort has continued this week during his visit to Washington. Sharif reportedly raised the issue of drones with President Obama during a White House meeting on Wednesday, and also returned to theme during a speech at a local think tank. Speaking at the DC-based U.S. Institute for Peace, Sharif said that the drone strikes 'have deeply disturbed and agitated our people. This issue has become a major irritant in our bilateral relationship as well. I will, therefore, stress the need for an end to drone attacks.' The fact that these new articles detailing Pakistan’s role in the drone campaign were published during Sharif’s visit to DC is almost certainly not a coincidence. While it’s obvious that the Obama administration has a clear motive for leaking this information during Sharif’s visit, both articles, as noted above, rely partially on the accounts of Pakistani leaders as well as Pakistani documents. It therefore seems that some parts of the Pakistani government, likely acting with the U.S. government, are seeking to embarrass Sharif and undermine his campaign to end U.S. drone strikes. ... [W]hatever criticisms or charges the U.S. does face over its use of drones should be equally shared by the Pakistan government."

Kabul’s the Place for Ace, Cherry Berry Franchises - "The Foreign Commercial Service office at the US Embassy in Kabul recently sponsored an event in Dubai that provided more than 100 Afghan businessmen with the opportunity to talk about franchise opportunities with representatives from several major US-based international brands such as Hot Breads USA, Yum Brands – parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – and CKE, owner of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees. Among those attending the over-subscribed event was Robert Fardi, president and co-founder of Unison, a brand innovation firm, based in Washington, DC, with expertise in developing brands and digital platforms for the restaurant and hospitality industry. 'We are very bullish on the opportunities for food franchising opportunities by US brands in Afghanistan,' said Fardi. 'With 60 percent of the population under twenty years of age,' he said, 'US fast-food brands in particular represent both employment and professional training benefits and serve as a public diplomacy tool to stay engaged with our friends in Afghanistan as military involvement winds down in 2014.'

On hand was Oklahoma-headquartered Cherry Berry, which opened a yogurt bar in the Afghan capital of Kabul last June.'" Image from

Franks legislation authorizes military force against Iran - Morad Ghorban and Lee Hodges, "Recent talks between the West and Iran have created an important opportunity to resolve the Iran nuclear standoff. U.S. officials have expressed cautious optimism that a deal may be reached that protects U.S. interests. However, some in Washington seem determined to undermine the diplomatic process. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation on October 15 that, among other things, would authorize the president of the United States to use military force against Iran. During the past several weeks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has mentioned his plans to introduce a similar bill in the U.S. Senate. ... At a time when the U.S. is seeking a direct dialogue with the Iranian people, aiming to hear their views and support their democratic aspirations, legislation authorizing the use of military force against Iran would only alienate the Iranian people and serve the interests of hardliners in Tehran, potentially complicating our public diplomacy efforts. ... While we, as a nation, never want to take the military option off the table, an authorization for the use of force against Iran at this time, without the support of the president, would be unprecedented and potentially damaging to U.S. interests."

The Parade’s Still Going By - Michael Walsh, "[B]ack to 'journalists' who can’t wait to rip off the mask of objectivity and leap aboard the carny wagons: 'With her move, Blumenfeld [Washington Post writer Laura Blumenfeld [who] took up an appointment in the State Department’s Middle East office] becomes at least the 16th journalist to join the Obama administration, following shortly after Richard Stengel left his post as managing editor of Time Magazine to become the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy.' ... [W]hen idealistic Boomers like me were young, there were basically two career choices open to those who wanted to change the world; becoming a lawyer (with an eye on politics), or becoming a journalist — which was a lot easier, since you didn’t need a law degree or, indeed, any sort of degree at all – and that grand tradition has continued unto the generations. The Obama administration may be making an unforced error, however, since most of these journalists were probably more useful to it in their former positions, where they could promote its agenda in helpful and less obvious ways by reinforcing the Narrative at every opportunity; now, they’re just a bunch of obvious flacks for hire. But, hey, they’re working, which is more than many of their former comrades-in-arms can say."

Bush ‘advisor’ talks Iraq decision - Emily Zendt, "A former U.S.ambassador and counselor of George W. Bush reaffirmed her doubts about the invasion of Iraq and touted the former president’s leadership during a Tuesday visit to Horseshoe Bay. ... Described in contemporary news accounts as 'Bush’s most essential advisor' and 'closest confidant,' Hughes confirmed that she shared her doubts about whether to initiate military action against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. 'My advice to the president, as he shared with (noted Washington journalist) Bob Woodward in his book, was that if he decided that we had to go to war that he had exhausted every other option first,' Hughes said.

'I had raised questions and talked to the president and Condoleezza Rice (National Security Adviser), but I felt my role was to ask questions and not to make judgments.' Educated at Southern Methodist (SMU) in Dallas, the former TV news reporter joined George W. Bush’s campaign for governor of Texas in 1994 and followed him into the White House as a key advisor. She played a major role in the 2004 Presidential race, then returned to government in 2005 for a two-year stint as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs." Image from entry, with caption: Former U.S. ambassador, counselor to President George W. Bush and author, Karen Hughes interacts with Andi Ball, First Vice President of the Star Republican Women club.

3 International Fulbright Scholars Studying at Wesleyan - Olivia Drake, '[Janette] Suherli, who came to Wesleyan this fall, is one of three international Fulbright recipients who chose to complete their graduate studies at Wesleyan. Christine May Yong of Malaysia, plans to be at Wesleyan four to six years working on a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology. And Cristohper Ramos Flores of Mexico started his graduate studies in 2012. He’s pursuing a master’s degree in music composition.

A mainstay of America’s public-diplomacy efforts, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for master’s degree or Ph.D. study at U.S. universities. More than 1,800 new Foreign Fulbright Fellows enter U.S. academic programs each year. Foreign students apply for Fulbright Fellowships through the Fulbright Commission/Foundation or U.S. Embassy in their home countries. The Institute of International Education (IIE) arranges academic placement for most Fulbright nominees and supervises participants during their stay in the United States. Foreign students apply for Fulbright Fellowships through the Fulbright Commission/Foundation or U.S. Embassy in their home countries. The Institute of International Education (IIE) arranges academic placement for most Fulbright nominees and supervises participants during their stay in the United States." Suherli image from entry

In Small Things Remembered - The Early Years of U.S.-Afghan Relations: - The Early Years of U.S.-Afghan Relations, San Francisco, California, circa 1957 - U.S. Embassy Kabul, Facebook: 'Afghans expressed interest in developing radio and television stations, and American organizations such as the Asia Foundation and the Fulbright Program provided travel grants to the United States for training in these media. California had been an early destination for Afghan émigrés in the 1920s.

This connection was later strengthened through educational exchanges between Afghanistan and the state university system.' Via MR on Facebook; image from entry

Broadcasting Board of Governors will likely establish special committees on shortwave, CEO at 23 Oct meeting - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

How BBC Arabic is winning audiences: Objectivity, journalistic professionalism and the lack of an overt agenda is helping the channel tap into a viewership tired of biased reportage - Manal Alafrangi, "According to Adel Iskandar, media scholar and lecturer at Georgetown University, since 2012 audiences in the Middle East have developed a renewed interest in the BBC on the grounds that it is seen as less determined to push one agenda or another. ... BBC’s website references a survey conducted by the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ International Audience Research Program (IARP) which shows in December 2011, audiences to the BBC’s Arabic services rose by more than 50 per cent to a record high of 33.4 million adults weekly — up from 21.6 million before the 'Arab Spring'. According to BBC Multimedia Editor Mohammad Yehia, the latest figures reveal the total audience

on BBC Arabic is 32.5 million, of which 28 million is uniquely for TV, 10 million for radio and 1-1.5 unique users per week for their website. But these numbers should be viewed with caution. Will Youmans, assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, says such surveys in audience studies are often phrased to find out only if people watched recently, rather than if they rely on it or find it credible. He reckons audience estimates would be easier to interpret if the exact questions were publicised with the numbers. ... There are a few things that BBC Arabic must grapple with when it comes to its reputation in the Arab world: chief among them is the perception that it is a tool for Britain to carry out its foreign policy and that it is biased towards Israel — the latter based on their reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... Shedding some light on the 'independence' of BBC, Iskandar says, 'While funded largely through the UK Foreign Office and arguably a tool of British public diplomacy, the subtlety with which this is done through comparatively balanced news coverage contrasts starkly with some of region’s stations which have become dramatically polemical.' So unless Arab television journalism finds a way of avoiding outright bias, the BBC is destined for another ascent in the eyes of Arab audiences, he says." Image from article, with caption: BBC Arabic has a dedicated social media team and its Facebook page boasts 1.2 million followers

Into The Fray: Dereliction of duty - Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post: "Continued impotence and incompetence in the (mis)conduct of Israel’s public diplomacy is becoming not only strategic threat to the country but is beginning to imperil Jewish communities abroad."

Nato must concentrate more on Arabian Gulf to ensure regional security, experts say - Caline Malek, "Nato will have to focus more on issues in the Arabian Gulf to ensure its stability, security experts say. Counter-terrorism, cyber defence, energy security and weapons of mass destruction are among crucial areas the alliance will have to tackle to improve its relationship with GCC states, the audience at the Nato ICI 2013 conference heard yesterday. 'What’s going on in Iraq and Syria poses serious security threats to the Middle East and the region,' Vural Altay, Turkey’s ambassador to the UAE, said at the meeting, which presented Nato’s approach to the Gulf. ... Mr Altay said the partnership needed more engagement from both sides. ... 'So more public diplomacy is a must in order to bring this relationship to a higher level.'"

EU leaders should change tone when talking to rest of the world - Mai'a Cross and Jan Melissen, "More than ever, the time is ripe for Europe to take its external image more seriously. This can be done through a greater emphasis on public diplomacy and a more positive leadership style in Europe. ... The EU External Action Service could be instrumental in moving away from the EU’s greatest shortcoming in public diplomacy: its tendency towards talking at others. Beyond such one-way ‘infopolitik’, internal image and external image are of course related. Mai’a Cross and Jan Melissen are senior research fellows at ARENA Centre for European Studies in Oslo and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in The Hague. They co-authored the Clingendael Policy Brief ‘Communicating Europe: At Home in the World’, and they co-edited the forthcoming 'European Public Diplomacy: Soft Power at Work' (Palgrave Macmillan)."

Groups aim to improve China-Japan relations - China Daily: "Prominent figures of China-Japan public diplomacy called for more interaction between the two nations to minimize disturbances and help seek an early end to the most difficult time ever for bilateral ties between the neighbors. Friendship groups and people of both countries should make joint efforts to 'eliminate disturbances' and ensure peaceful coexistence and maintain the friendship handed down by generations, said Tang Jiaxuan, former State counselor and now president of the China-Japan Friendship Association. He made the remarks at a dinner reception commemorating the 50th anniversary of the China-Japan Friendship Association, while receiving a delegation from Japan." See also. (2)

From independence to using pandas: shifts in Chinese diplomacy - "Panda and Public Diplomacy [:] Panda diplomacy is not a new strategy in Chinese foreign relations. For centuries, pandas have been gifted to other nations to strengthen ties. However, in this era of globalisation, pandas are also being used as a public diplomacy tool to attract foreign visitors, both in China, as well as abroad. By exporting panda bears to zoos abroad, China hopes to gain a favourable public reputation. This use of soft power attempts to create an identity for China amongst a foreign public which can have a positive influence on China’s political and trade relations with other governments. However, China’s soft power efforts are not limited to the panda bear. Recently, public diplomacy initiatives seem to have really taken off. Over the past two months alone, China has hosted several international cultural diplomacy initiatives. Examples include performances by London’s Shakespeare Globe Company in Hong Kong, appearances of famous Hollywood actors at the opening of the Wanda film studio in Qindao, and the first auction of Christie’s in Shanghai. At the same time, China is also exporting its own cultural products.

The Beijing Opera Group is currently wrapping up its South America tour as well as the opening of a Chinese art exhibition in Madrid in celebration of 40 years of diplomatic ties between China and Spain. Although these are not hard power diplomatic strategies whose effects are immediately felt, China might just be on its way to gaining understanding amongst foreign audiences. A state the size of China is unavoidable in the globalising international climate. It seems that more than ever, diplomacy is occupying China’s foreign policy strategy. This article has by no means provided a thorough overview of the countless diplomatic initiatives recently taken by the People’s Republic, but it does aim to illustrate a shift in how China conducts its foreign policy. If Chinese diplomatic initiatives continue to revolve around building a strong international reputation among foreign publics and governments, then it is likely that its economy will continue to open up. The trade of panda bears and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone might not seem connected, but both initiatives demonstrate a careful approach to other (Western) markets. Simultaneously, cultural initiatives promote mutual understanding between Chinese and foreign audiences. The combined effort of hard and soft power diplomacy could make China an even bigger force to be reckoned with on the international stage and warm the state to increased international cooperation in the economic, political, and cultural realm." Image from entry

Once a bear, always a bear? - Caroline Holmund, "The Kremlin has funnelled millions into a war chest of new public diplomacy tools, including foundations to promote Russian language and culture and conferences to charm Western opinion-makers. The signature initiative of this new PR push, however, was the launching of the English-language television station RT in December 2005, which has since been followed by RT America, as well as Spanish and Arabic language services. ... Known as Russia Today before its reimaging in 2009, RT sells itself as an autonomous, non-profit organization providing a unique Russian perspective on world affairs, but its 300 million dollar budget is funded by the federal budget of Russia through the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications. ... From the outset, critics expected RT to be nothing more than a revamped mouthpiece for Kremlin propaganda, but the station has ingeniously garnered a faithful following in the West with its 'Question More' campaign, which sells it as a sort of counter-hegemonic outlet rejecting the truisms propagated by mainstream Western media. For others, however, RT is a crudely-disguised weapon in Putin’s diplomatic arsenal. ... It’s not yet clear if Russia’s rebranding efforts have made much of a dent in Western perceptions of Russia. For the moment, however, the Russians seem to be convinced that money spent on RT is money well invested."

'Immodest Indians' to heal Swedish malady - "A famous violinist and an errant lunch box are part of India's big public diplomacy push to cure the Swedes of their ignorance of India, something which has surprised the ambassador since she set foot in Stockholm. ... 'Swedes are well-travelled, they are well-educated. They really have no excuse to know so little about India,' India's ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison tells The Local with a wink. Swedes' lack of Indian knowledge soon became a primary challenge since arriving in Sweden, so Bose Harrison helped rally an advisory board to tackle it. A new series of events, dubbed India Unlimited, kicks off full-scale on October 31st with classic violinist L. Subramaniam gracing the stage of Stockholm's Berwaldhallen concert hall. ... On November 4th, there's a tribute to Ravi Shankar at Stallet in Stockholm, and those interested in a slice of the Indian market can have it with a cuppa at the "India - Your cup of tea" business seminar and tea tasting in November. The project managers have also helped bring over three Indian films to the Stockholm Film Festival. While they are all technically Bollywood - produced in Mumbai - they aren't typical of the genre. ... [T] alking about the US, a big and young generation of Indian-Americans keep the US in the know about the subcontinent. The UK, meanwhile, has its ties to the former colonial crown jewel that keep them clued in. With neither current nor historical ties, in contrast, the Swedes are less on the ball. ... While Swedish public service radio and TV have contributors in India, Swedish print media have no full-time correspondents there (while many have two or more in the US). Coverage is limited. Hence the name of the new project . ... : India Unlimited."

Egypt Headed Toward Civil War, Morsi Backers Warn - "Opponetns [sic] of the group that led Egypt's elected president Mohamed Morsi in July warned Wednesday the country was headed towards civil war and urged the international community to pay attention. ... Calling themselves

the 'Anti-coup Egyptian delegation of public diplomacy,' the group said it was visiting UN agencies and diplomatic missions to press its case that the military had hijacked the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak." Image from article

A new Turkish cultural center launched in Kiev - "A new Turkish cultural center has been launched under the umbrella of Ukraine’s nearly two-century-old National Pedagogical Dragomanov University. The center has been brought to life with the cooperation of International Meridian Educational Institutions and National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, under the auspices of Turkey’s Embassy to Kiev, Consultancy to Ministry of Culture and the company, Anex Tour. ... Turkish ambassador, Samsar

said the center will not only introduce Turkish culture and language to Ukrainians but also bring the two nations closer. ... [T]he vice-rector Andrusisin [Vice-rector of National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Bogdan Andrusisin ] highlighted the significance of public diplomacy and that the world needs more love, friendship and tolerance than it ever did before." Image from entry

Turkey’s Spymaster: The Making of a Hero - Pinar Tremblay, Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse: "[T]he Turkish Public Diplomacy Directorate has faced challenges in reaching either Western audiences or non-AKP Turks. The latest joke is how formidable Turks are in winning the hearts and minds of Mauritanians."

Azerbaijan: And yet it moves [Google "translation"] - Henry Fassi, "The result of the presidential elections in Azerbaijan on October 9 was substantially discounted. ... The recent approval of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which from 2018 should bring Azerbaijani gas to European markets, and the considerable public diplomacy campaign implemented by the country (think of the Eurovision Contest, or entry into the Council UN Security), may, however, partly explain the timid protests across Europe ... [regarding the] election facade."

Our international focus - Editorial, Jerusalem Post: "On Thursday, the Post will hold its Second Annual Diplomatic Conference at the Daniel Herzliya hotel, featuring President Shimon Peres and senior Israeli figures alongside members of the foreign diplomatic corps and representatives of world Jewry. ... Will British Ambassador Matthew Gould use his speaking time to encourage Israel to compromise, or will he also have critical words for the Palestinians? Gould, who vehemently opposes boycotts against Israel, is also known to see the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict as fueling anti-Israel sentiment, not because the conflict is presented negatively in the media or due to the failure of public diplomacy but because of the realities on the ground, such as 'ongoing settlement building, conditions in the West Bank and restrictions placed on the Gaza Strip.'”

Italian Ambassador: German know little [Google "translation"] - Andrea Dernbach, "Italy's ambassador holds for significantly distorted the image of his country in Germany.Italy had 'negative aspects' that 'our German friends but with' linked-established prejudices,' said Ambassador Elio Mention in a lecture in Italy Centre of the Free University. He accused the media, Italy 'does not always conscientiously and with intellectual integrity' display. This distorted perception is one of the first aspects of his activities since he took office in August a year ago have been Mention said: 'I have therefore made it a priority objective of my mission in Germany. Public opinion describe Italy as inefficient, the great role of his country in foreign affairs, peace and security policy would' not respected outside experts, 'the economic data of the second-largest industrial nation in Europe were' the German population in general little known 'and the role Italy, the third largest contributor of the bailout of the financial crisis will even perceived completely wrong.' It now wants to 'public diplomacy' 'with the outstanding advantages of our country in the right light,' and to emphasize Italian 'savoir faire' in gastronomy, viticulture, industry, trade, science, art and culture."

Now Dirco's got Ubuntu, too - Khadija Patel, "It’s very difficult holding a conversation with the Department of International Relations and Co-Operation’s spokesperson, Clayson Monyela. A consummate government spin-doctor, he’s known to respond to seemingly straightforward questions with eight hundred word polemics on the 'African Agenda', the avowed thrust of South African foreign policy. Or so we’re told. But then, that’s why Dirco have launched Ubuntu Radio, to allow South African diplomats to explain foreign policy without the interruptions of column inches – or the attention span of journalists. ... For now, however, South Africans will be interested to know how much this exercise in public diplomacy actually costs taxpayers. Monyela insists that it does not cost much at all – most of the equipment was already owned by the department and the production of shows will all be sourced within Dirco itself. ... Monyela denies, however, that Ubuntu Radio, will be used to disseminate South African government propaganda. 'We don’t want to have a propaganda machine. We want to have a credible platform where even people who disagree with us will listen and get value. We’ll have shows that will allow people to call in, ask questions and engage to say they don’t agree with us,' he says. 'It’s not going to be us lecturing, it’s going to be a two-way conversation. We want to have a conversation, an on-going conversation,” Monyela says."

Don’t mention aid: what’s unsaid in Australia’s economic diplomacy - Benjamin Day, "Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has just returned from a seven-day trip to Asia during which, in five public appearances spanning three countries, she didn’t mention Australia’s aid program once. ... [Comment by:] Benjamin Day October 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm # Hi Ashlee. ... [D]evelopment assistance is not being connected to the bigger picture of Australia’s foreign policy. Another example is the lack of attention paid to the role of development assistance in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. And just to pick one small issue, surely the attention paid to affixing Australian logos to aid-funded infrastructure implies development assistance is relevant to public diplomacy?"

Second Serbia-Indonesia Inter-Religious Dialogue Being Held In Jakarta - "A second inter-religious dialogue between Serbia and Indonesia is being held in Jakarta on Wednesday, with Serbia’s delegation headed by Serbian Patriarch Irinej and Head of the Office for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities Mileta Radojevic. ... Director General for Information and Public Diplomacy Abdurrahman M. Fachir gave a welcome dinner for the Serbian delegation, at which Serbian Patriarch Irinej thanked Indonesia for support it has been offering to Serbia and its refusal to recognize Kosovo’s independence which was unilaterally declared by ethnic Albanians in the southern Serbian province."

Foreign Service Friday {Our Road To Sydney Goes Through Afghanistan} - "Why in the world did we chose for Chris to do a tour in Afghanistan you wonder? First I should mention that just like any other position Chris had to bid on the position he secured in Afghanistan. That means there were several other people who wanted this job. Chris is in the Management cone in the foreign service. This means anything you can think of that goes into the actual running of an embassy (hiring, firing, maintaining, motor pool, housing etc)

is under the management umbrella. Unfortunately you do not get to choose where you go your first tour so instead of a management position he was the Political/ Economic/ Consular and acting Public Diplomacy officer in Timor. That is LITERALLY every other position you can be in the state dept except for the one he was originally slotted to be. Next we came to Paris where he has been doing a consular tour (visa’s, American Citizen Services etc). This means we would be going into our third tour with little to no management experience 'competing' with others who have at least one tour if not two under their belts. Not a super awesome position to be in. The management position Chris will be in while serving in Afghanistan is one that really intrigues him and he will get TONS of great experience. This was probably our biggest reason for going after this position." Uncaptioned image from article

Chilean and Emerson students work to change national image - Christina Bartson, Berkeley Beacon: "[A] focus group about American perceptions of Chile, held on Wednesday, Oct. 16, was conducted by 10 Catholic University of Chile students with 12 Emerson communication studies students. It was part of the Chilean students’ 10-day visit to Boston organized by Greg Payne, an associate professor of communication studies at Emerson, and Macarena Urenda, the director of public relations at the signUniversity of Chile’s Departamento Universitario Obrero Campesino, commonly referred to as DUOC, said Payne. The visiting students, who are studying public relations and marketing, came to work on an in-class rebranding campaign of Chile, a project they took on independently of the Chilean government, said Payne. ... 'Public diplomacy is fostering relations through communication,' said Mehroz Sajjad, a communications management graduate student at Emerson, who participated in the workshop. 'We’re building a relationship.' ... 'What public diplomacy really epitomizes are people at the local and global level as change agents,' Payne added."

2nd Democrat jumps into race for attorney general - "Steve LeBlanc: Clinton state Rep. Harold Naughton released a video making public his plans to run for attorney general. ... In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed Naughton to the 24-member International Security Advisory Board which provides advice on arms control, disarmament, international security, and public diplomacy issues. Secretary of State John Kerry reappointed Naughton this year."

Spencer Boyer, Visiting Senior Fellow: - "Spencer P. Boyer is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations and a Visiting Scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

He is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the BMW Center for German and European Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. During the first term of the Obama administration, Mr. Boyer served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. His work in the bureau focused on Western Europe, public diplomacy, and public affairs." Boyer image from entry

Reduce your travel risk with these steps - Jennifer Ennion,  "If you're travelling in Australia, inform relatives about where you're going. If you're heading overseas, it's important to register your travel plans before leaving home on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website, says Justin Brown, head of DFAT's Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division."

Media Watch: The battle of television’s ‘experts’ and talking heads - "Joe F. Khalil, Ph.D., is an associate professor in residence at Northwestern University and visiting research fellow at the London School of Economics. He has more than fifteen years of professional television experience as director, executive producer and consultant with major Arab satellite channels. He is co-author of Arab Satellite Entertainment Television: Opportunities for Public Diplomacy (2009) and co-author of Arab Television Industries (2010)."


Germany summons U.S. ambassador over spying reports - Henry Chu, LONDON -- In the latest show of anger from close allies over mass electronic surveillance by the U.S., Germany summoned the American ambassador Thursday over reports that U.S. intelligence agencies might have tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone.

The German Foreign Ministry said it would demand an explanation from U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson, a day after Merkel herself called President Obama and asked him to clarify matters. It was the Obama’s second phone call this week -- the first was with the president of France -- in which he has had to soothe a European leader over revelations of spying on foreign nations on a gigantic scale by the National Security Agency. Image from article, with caption: A demonstrator carries a sign showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel as protesters rally against the U.S. National Security Agency at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate.

The Handyüberwachung Disaster - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Obama, in his cool detachment, is not big on diplomacy through personal relations, but Merkel is as close to a trusted friend as he has in Europe. To infuriate her, and touch the most sensitive nerve of Stasi-marked Germans, amounts to sloppy bungling that hurts American soft power in lasting ways. Pivot to Asia was not supposed to mean leave all Europe peeved. But all Europe is. The perception here is of a United States where security has trumped liberty, intelligence agencies run amok (vacuuming up data of friend and foe alike), and the once-admired “checks and balances” built into American governance and studied by European schoolchildren have become, at best, secret reviews of secret activities where opposing arguments get no hearing.

The Deaths of Innocents - Editorial, New York Times: Drones are important to America’s arsenal, not least because they can reach extremists in lawless areas who otherwise could not be captured and because they avoid putting American troops in harm’s way. But they are also creating enemies for the United States among people in Pakistan and Yemen who say the weapons are killing civilians, as well as militants. That alone argues for greater transparency and accountability from the government.

If We’re Spying, Are We Still ‘Allies’? - Room for Debate, New York Times: Leaked documents indicate that the U.S. has spied on allies: the European UnionBrazil,FranceGermany.
Is this a sign that the concept of “ally” should be redefined? Or, in the modern world, is such surveillance not really “spying”?

Keeping our wartime promise: America pledged to help Iraqis and Afghans who had risked their lives to work for the U.S. in their countries. It should live up to its words - Editorial, In 2007, Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa program to help Iraqis and Afghans who had risked their lives to work for the American government during the wars in their countries. Thousands of former interpreters, drivers and other contractors applied, many of them worried about reprisals from fellow citizens and confident that the United States would help them begin a new life in America. More than five years after the program began, however, less than half of the visas set aside for the program — 5,000 annually for the last five years, plus more for family members — have been issued.

Putting Out the Syrian Fire - Rami G. Khouri, The ability of the Syrian government and opposition groups to keep up the fight largely depends on the continued support of their external patrons. But two developments may soon change the political landscape: the Russian-American agreement, backed by the United Nations Security Council, on removing Syria’s chemical weapons, and the accelerating willingness of America and Iran to negotiate seriously on nuclear issues, sanctions and other matters.

Keeping our wartime promise: America pledged to help Iraqis and Afghans who had risked their lives to work for the U.S. in their countries. It should live up to its words - Editorial, In 2007, Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa program to help Iraqis and Afghans who had risked their lives to work for the American government during the wars in their countries. Thousands of former interpreters, drivers and other contractors applied, many of them worried about reprisals from fellow citizens and confident that the United States would help them begin a new life in America. More than five years after the program began, however, less than half of the visas set aside for the program — 5,000 annually for the last five years, plus more for family members — have been issued.

Behind the Saudi-U.S. Breakup: Furious over Obama's Mideast policy, the Saudis are shifting away from the U.S.—but where else will they turn? - Karen Elliott House, Wall Street Journal: Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal is fond of saying that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia no longer have a Catholic marriage

but rather a Muslim one. This is a clever way of saying that Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are not faithful to each other. In the absence of any major-power alternative to the U.S., for the Saudis in this Muslim marriage the U.S. may well remain Wife No. 1. Even if she is not about to be divorced, however, the Saudis are clearly declaring a trial separation. Image from

CCTV wants more abroad what other international channels are not allowed in China: access to audiences - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

South Korean military to develop "equipment to broadcast radio, TV across the whole of North Korea" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

China will limit foreign program formats on TV channels and require more "morality-building" content - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting


‘God Bless America’ performances throughout history - Image from

No comments: