Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28

"[N]ewly confirmed ambassadors now make You Tube videos -- our [U.S.] Ambassador to Spain used his to introduce his three dogs to the Spanish people."

--Ambassador Larry Pope; image from


Global war against bad ideas - James Traub, "[T]he [Obama] administration ... [announced] in September that the United States and other nations would establish a $200 million, 10-year effort to counter violent extremism. For reasons of marketing, the new entity is blandly called the Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience and has been scrubbed clean of any explicit reference to Islam. But the goal is clearly to fund local programmes designed to counter Islamist extremism. The initial programmes will be based in six Muslim-majority countries and, in a show of nonpartisanship, Colombia. The White House, which understands very well that any such effort will be doomed from the start if it carries a US stamp, has spent several years trying to find an appropriate platform for the anti-extremism campaign. The sponsoring body is something called the Global Counterterrorism Forum, a harmless and high-minded body of which the United States and Turkey are co-chairs. ... What will the fund fund? According to a US official involved with its development, the 'low-hanging fruit' could include funding local organisations that can produce and distribute textbooks that promote tolerance, things

like providing job-training for youth at risk of radicalisation — programmes which could, if not designed properly, all too easily blend into the vast pool of existing development projects. ... Obama has paid far more attention to trying to improve America’s image in the Arab world through fine proclamations of 'mutual respect' than he has to actually draining the wellsprings of extremism. ... Of course, a president uses the tools he has. Obama is very good at 'public diplomacy,' so at least in his first few years in office he devoted a great deal of attention to it. He can influence the war of ideas inside Islam only from a great distance, and with great delicacy. And the tectonic plates of intellectual formulation grind at a generational pace. A president cannot claim victory in the war of ideas, as he can for killing bad guys. Nevertheless, US leaders spent generations fighting Communism as an idea and not just as a military threat. Communism eventually sank under the weight of its accumulated failures. Islamic extremism, always oppositional, may be even harder to dislodge. Still, the only way to beat an idea is with another idea." Image from

News / Central Asian Diplomats Tuesday - " Analysts believe irrespective of The Washington Post revelations of the past tacit understanding on drone operations, the deadly optics of the tactic are likely to defy goodwill public diplomacy vibes on both sides until the clandestine operations ..."

The REAL Reason for Saudi Arabia’s Shift Away from U.S. - "[Comment by:] Manofsteel11: 3. The US used its military presence and weapons exports to ensure the Saudi royal family that they will remain in power.

However, the Saudi elite is observing with concern a shift in US policies per the withdrawal from Iraq, US public diplomacy during the revolution in Egypt, the lack of US intervention in Syria, Bahrain and its stance vis-a-vis the Ayatollahs in Iran. No US bases or weapons shipments will make the Saudis blindly believe that the US will ensure the future of the Kingdom if Iran is allowed to intervene in the region and acquire nuclear capabilities. Security and economic interests are inherently intertwined." Image from

US Embassy Ukraine Gets High Marks and Yay! State/OIG Now Discloses Names of Inspectors – By Domani Spero, DiploPundit: "Now about the OIG report on US Embassy Ukraine: ... AMERICAN SPACES NETWORK – THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD IS COMING! The Space represents a key public diplomacy platform in U.S. efforts to reach the more than 90 percent of Ukrainians who live outside the capital city. When PAS establishes its 30th American Space later this year in Zaporizhzhya, it will have the largest American Space network in the world.

In FY 2012, PAS committed more than $286,000 to its Space operations. Its FY 2013 funding increased to nearly $500,000. ... MORE NAILS AND HAMMERS! There is a funded $3.4 million OBO project to convert the decommissioned old consular building into an American Center." Image from entry, with caption Kyiv New Embassy compound

Juifs et musulmans: si loin, si proches - Arun, "This is a 3½+ hour, four-part documentary on the history of Jewish-Muslim relations—from the 7th century to the present—by French filmmaker Karim Miské. ... The documentary is quite good and with an impressive number of francophone and anglophone academic and other specialists interviewed. I noted in the credits that the film received the support of the cultural services of the US embassy in Paris.

3 Responses on October 23, 2013 at 20:37 | Replylouisclerc A bit on the sides of your main point: "There is a fascinating story to be told on the US embassy as 'mécène' in various cultural and social operations. I read an article some times ago on their support for projects in ghetto suburbs. That’s an interesting part of public diplomacy in the broadest sense. on October 25, 2013 at 15:57 | ReplyArun Yes, I know about the US embassy’s outreach in the banlieues and with French Muslims. There was even an article about it in one of the French papers a couple of years ago sniffing that the US was interfering in internal French affairs, or something to that effect. on October 28, 2013 at 07:54louisclerc We surely read the same article. That kind of interference of course should be the French gvt’s work, but failing that it is no wonder banlieue-dwellers take the help wherever it comes from." Image from entry

Kazakhstan Delegation - "This is an exciting week for many residents of Juneau County as several families are serving as hosts to delegates from Kazakhstan through Open World’s Leadership Development Program in partnership with World Services of Lacrosse WI. The local arrangements and details are being handled through the University of Wisconsin Extension office in Juneau County. The delegation arrived in Mauston on October 18, 2013 just in time to watch some high school football which was a first for all of the delegates.

The Kazakhstan delegation will be staying in the area until October 26, 2013. The objectives of the Open World Program are to 1) study local and regional government best practices in the United States to help improve local services and governmental practices in Kazakhstan 2) To study principles of good civil reform in governance and transparency of operations 3) To interact with citizens and study their role in the decision making process 4) To view how local units of government function effectively 5) To review service delivery at different levels of government and 6) To meet and interact with American families, culture and citizens. ... Since its founding by Congress in 1999, the Open World Program has enabled more than 14,000 current and future Eurasian leaders to experience American democracy, civil society and community life; work with their American counterparts; stay in American homes; and gain new ideas and inspiration for implementing change back home. Some 6,000 American host families and their communities in all 50 states have partnered with the U.S. Congress and Open World to make this ambitious public diplomacy effort possible." Image from entry

Demilitarizing American Diplomacy: speech by Amb Larry Pope at Margaret Chase Smith Center, Univ of Maine -- 10/18/13 - posted at: "To console itself for its irrelevance, the State Department has taken to social media. The problem is that Twitter and FB and Youtube and Instagram and all the rest are individual expressions, while diplomacy requires speech on behalf of the state. According to a recent inspection report, State Department offices and bureaus have established 'more than 150' social media accounts, each one in the name of a component of the State Department. Nobody is responsible for ensuring that what is said on these Facebook pages and Twitter accounts is consistent with American policy. The State Department maintains two competing Persian language FB pages, and newly confirmed ambassadors now make You Tube videos -- our Ambassador to Spain used his to introduce his

three dogs to the Spanish people. ... The FS [Foreign Service] is a meritocracy, run on the up or out principle like the military services, and entry is still by competitive examination. It is very small indeed by the standards of Washington bureacracies. There are about 8,000 FS officers, known as 'generalists' to avoid the fatal taint of elitism. This compares to 14,000 FBI special agents, and 30,000 career members of the Forest Service -- not to mention CIA 22,000 case officers, according to the 2012 budget submission for the intelligence community leaked by Edward Snowden. Not all of this people are diplomats. Many of them are quite young -- not that there is anything wrong with that -- the product of hiring which has increased the total by some 30% over the last decade. A lot of their experience is on the visa line or on heavily guarded compounds in Kabul, Baghdad, and elsewhere. The total includes 1500 so-called management officers, State Department-speak for administrators of various kinds,plus 1400 so-called 'public diplomacy' officers, the remnant of what used to be the separate USIA. The number of senior diplomats is in the hundreds, and a lot of them are not qualified by temperament or experience to run embassies or occupy policy jobs at the State Department.Almost two thirds of our ambassadors are still career people. Political appointees go to places like Australia, and Spain, and France, and they are supposed to have strong career deputies, but unfortunately that is not always the case. ... The absence of the State Department and the Foreign Service has been filled by what I will call euphemistically a 'military-intelligence complex'. To take one unclassified example from recent Congressional testimony

by the Commander of Special Operations, Admiral MacRaven, there are a total of 26 military propaganda teams around the world, known as MISTs, for Military Information Support Teams, to 'support the Department of State by augmenting and broadening their public diplomacy efforts'. That is just the tip of a very large iceberg involving the operations of DOD’s regional commands, the latest of which has been created in Africa. ... Politicians are fond of quoting John Winthrop, the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, about a shining city on a hill. They forget that Winthrop’s reference was to the gospel of St. Matthew: 'a city on a hill cannot be hidden'. Today our city on a hill sometimes looks to the rest of the world more like 19th century Prussia than the modest Republic of our founders. That needs to change, and the reform of our diplomatic institutions should be part of that change." Above image from; below image from, with entry: Laurence Pope (second from right) at the burial service for Major Pope (his father), Arlington National Cemetery, September 15, 2009

Daily Press Briefing – DC October 24, 2013 - MS. HARF [Marie Harf, State Department Deputy Spokesperson at the Daily Press Briefing in Washington]: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the daily briefing. I have a few things at the top, and then I’m happy to open it up for your questions. ... QUESTION: All right. So then ... are you in a position, or is the Administration in a position, to make the same assurance to other leaders, or only Chancellor Merkel? In other words, can you assure the Prime Minister of Great Britain or the President – Prime Minister of Italy or the President of Brazil that the United States is not and will not be monitoring their conversations? ... MS. HARF: Mm-hmm. Well, in general, our sort of main message on this is as follows: That the President said this recently, but we’re reviewing the way that we gather intelligence. That review is ongoing. ... QUESTION: Sorry. In the meantime, ...if you look at the headlines right now around the world – in Der Spiegel, in Le Monde, in Globo – they do tend to be quite negative about this. Does the State Department have a plan or is a plan in place to sort of spread the message within these individual countries of just what you’re saying . ... MS. HARF: Well – QUESTION: I mean, are you addressing the grievances that are coming out – MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: — in the global press? MS. HARF: Absolutely. I mean, I think having senior officials come out and speak about it is one way to do it, to do that. Certainly answering all of your questions about it to the extent that I can is one way to do it, but also engaging with local press on the ground. That’s why we have folks who do public diplomacy, who do press, who indeed represent the U.S. in all these places around the world. So certainly, that’s part of their mandate, and we think it’s important not just to talk about it from Washington, but also to talk about it on the ground as well." Barf image from

Under an October Haitian Moon - Next year in Jerusalem! (Or Brasilia, or Canberra, or Moscow ... you get the picture.) - "So there you have it, a day in the life of the consulate in Haiti. Officers in other sections (political, economic, management or public diplomacy) or with different agencies (CDC, USAID, USDA, the US Coast Guard, etc.) do vastly different work around the city, out in the country and often work directly with business and government leaders as opposed to the general public like [sic] we do." See also.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Tells Foreign Affairs Committee He Would Welcome Voice of America in Sindhi - "At a meeting between the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) raised the prospect of a Voice of America broadcast into Pakistan in the Sindhi language. In response to

Sherman’s question, Prime Minister Sharif said, 'I would welcome it.' The Prime Minister went on to list efforts of his own government to communicate in the Sindhi language. Sherman, a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, is the chair of the Congressional Sindh Caucus. 'The response from the Sindhi community in Pakistan to U.S. public diplomacy in their language has been overwhelmingly positive,' said Sherman. 'The Prime Minister of Pakistan welcomes this outreach.' In a Foreign Affairs Committee markup on July 21, 2011, Sherman offered an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The amendment required that, of the funds made available to Voice of America, $1.5 million be used only for Sindhi language programming. The Committee considered and unanimously approved Sherman’s amendment. However, that bill never became law." Image from entry

MENA Mashup: AIPAC, ISIS, and, Iran - CTuttle, "'U.S. negotiator in nuclear talks assures Iranians she’ll be fair' [:]  America’s chief negotiator with Iran promised in a broadcast intended for Iranians that she will be a 'fair, balanced' participant in talks over Tehran’s nuclear program, despite her comment this month that 'deception is part of the DNA' among Iranians. Facing criticism from hard-line news media and some lawmakers in Iran, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said Friday in an interview with Voice of America’s Persian Service that her comments reflected American distrust of the Iranian government that has built up since the breach in relations after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. But she insisted that she and others in the administration respect Iranians and believe the talks offer a path for both sides to improve mutual understanding. ... [comment by:] eCAHNomics October 27th, 2013 at 5:07 am 17 Thanks Don for listing Sherman’s record. It was something I had a notion to look up but I was too busy practicing on my skateboard. Sounds like Sherman’s as good at public diplomacy as Hughes. But in a different way."

Beijing Consensus - "Below is [an excerpt] version of the Beijing Consensus, which was issued at the Beijing-Tokyo Forum. The ninth Beijing-Tokyo Forum took place in Beijing on Oct 26 and 27. About 80 people of vision and insight from China and Japan frankly exchanged views on politics, economy, security, media, and the deteriorating attitude of the Chinese and Japanese people toward each other. Sino-Japanese relations are facing difficulties. We participated in the two-day forum with a special feeling, aiming at overcoming the difficulties through the 'power of dialogue' and public diplomacy. It has been a consistent goal for us since the Beijing-Tokyo Forum was launched nine years ago. Against this background, we have high hopes for people-to-people discussions, which we believe will play a major role in supporting efforts to build intergovernmental ties and create a favorable atmosphere to break the diplomatic deadlock. This point of view was written in the 'Tokyo Consensus' of last year's forum in Tokyo; at this year's forum, we have been dedicated to fulfilling the mission of such communications." Image from

China seeks development partnership with neighbours: Chinese Prez - "China will consolidate friendly relations and seek development partnership and security cooperation with its neighbours, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said. ... In a major policy speech, Xi said dealings with neighbouring countries 'should have a three-dimensional, multi-element perspective, beyond time and space'. Xi was addressing a conference on 'Diplomatic work on neighbouring countries' in Beijing on Oct 24 and 25 which all members of the standing committee of the party's central committee's political bureau attended. ... Xi also called for public diplomacy and people-to-people exchanges between China and neighbours for the long term development of relationships. People-to-people exchange should involve tourism, technology, education and sub-national cooperation, among others, to make many different kinds of friends. 'We should clearly present our policies to the outside world, tell China's story in an acceptable way, speak out so that we are heard, and interpret the Chinese dream from the perspective of the aspiration of all people in all countries for a better life and regional prosperity, and let the sense of common destiny take root with our neighbors.'"

China’s public diplomacy shifts focus: From building hardware to improving software - China Policy Institute Blog: "China spends more money and effort on developing public diplomacy strategies and instruments than any other country in the world. The Chinese government has embraced the ideas of soft power and public diplomacy to an extent not often seen in China with regard to political concepts from abroad. It believes that public diplomacy, or wielding soft power, may help make China’s economic and political rise palatable to the world; contribute to the international recognition of Chinese values and policies; increase the government’s legitimacy; and that it is indispensable in the fight for China’s right to speak and to co-exist with the liberal international world order with its own political model."

Cultural Diplomacy: Taiwan -  "While public diplomacy has been heavily emphasized since the Republic of China’s (ROC’s) foundation in 1911, the power of cultural diplomacy has received more recognition recently under the leadership of President Ma Ying-jeou. The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Foreign Policy Report released on March 18 this year calls for promoting democracy, freedom and equitable prosperity as a mode of enriching Taiwan’s 'viable diplomacy' by way of soft power and cultural diplomacy. ... By linking its’ [sic] existence to norms-based values of democracy, Taiwan has maintained the United States and other democratic allies’ support, with arms sales being a prime example, that it could not have been sustained otherwise given diplomatic pressures from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
 Other common attributes of a country’s cultural diplomacy commonly include tourism, educational exchanges, and popular culture. These measures demonstrate good prospects for Taiwan moving forward on the international stage with regards to diplomatic, economic and cultural spaces even as political space remains constricted."

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 # ... [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?" Uncaptioned image from entry

45. Soft Power in International Relations - "6. Today, cultural diplomacy in the exercise of public diplomacy is to act as 'facilitator' with respect to Soft Power through enhancing the capabilities of persuasive speech and using it with the appropriate technological resources. It provides a 'living' resource to enhance the interaction between the embassy and the general public and is very influential in promoting the country at international events and in encouraging public policy funding for research centres, education, art, etc."

Let them call me crazy - "'Actually, most of the Palestinians are angry with and hate their Arab 'brothers' more than they are angry with or hate the Jews. I have never heard about a Palestinian woman dying of cancer and one of the neighboring Arab countries, Lebanon for example, helping her. But I’ve heard of plenty of cases where hospitals in Israel have offered help,' said

Mudar Zahran, 39, a lecturer and publicist — and a Palestinian blogger — in an interview with Israel Hayom. Zahran participated in an international seminar on new media and public diplomacy given by the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry this week." Image from entry

Pusa Hack and Exotique Have Hosted Glamorous Ten Years Anniversary Party - "In an ample and unique event and benefiting by the presence of diplomatic community, of parliamentary and governmental representatives, EXOTIQUE and his brand creator Pusa Hack celebrated ten years of activity on Romanian market. ... From Philippines to Middle east and from Central Asia to China, Mrs. Pusa Hack

has brought the marvels of Asia to Romania and made us travel in EXOTIQUE places far and wide and has acted as a true ambassador of Romania in Asia and of Asia to Romania, as a true representative of Romanian public diplomacy, concluded Professor dr. Anton Caragea, declaring that the anniversary ceremony are opened." Image from entry, with caption: Parliamentarians: Ionel Agrigoroaei and Florinel Dumitrescu are offering high appreciation for Mrs. Pusa Hack dedicated work in EXOTIQUE.

David Faris on Digital Dissent and Revolution - "CGCS interviewed David Faris, author of the recently published book Dissent and Revolution in a Digital Age: Social Media, Blogging and Activism in Egypt, to discuss digital activism and use of social media in Egypt. Faris is a lecturer and researcher in the department of Political Science and Public Administration Roosevelt University and director of the interdisciplinary International Studies program. ...  [Q:] 5)What projects are you currently working on?

Where do you see the future direction of this research heading?  [A:] Right now I’m launching a significant comparative study of digital public diplomacy that seeks to examine state practices and outcomes in the realm of strategic political communication – both those of major Western states like the U.S., U.K. and France, but also regional states across the Middle East. My goal is to explain the impact of what I call the 'Age of Sharing' on a realm of human interaction that has long depended on secrecy, and to understand different state conceptions of ‘public diplomacy’ by different actors over time. At the same time, I maintain an interest in the evolving digital activist community in Egypt, and I hope to return soon to do some theorizing about the reaction of that community to the summer 2013 coup, and the evolution of political factionalism online more generally. Finally, I maintain a longstanding research program on institutional political design as it applies to the post-Arab Spring states, drawing on established comparative politics literature on democratic transitions while hoping to generate new generalizable insights from the region (rather than simply applying concepts to the region)." Image from entry

New Article up at Pragati: Lethal Ideas and Insurgent Memories – Review of The Violent Image
[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] - "I have a new book review up at Pragati this morning: Lethal ideas and insurgent memory ….One expert who does acknowledge a paradigmatic shift and posits a powerful explanatory model for the behavior of what he terms 'the new revolutionaries' is Dr Neville Bolt of the War Studies Department of King’s College, London and author of The Violent Image: Insurgent Propaganda and the New Revolutionaries. Taking a constructivist view of irregular military conflict as the means by which insurgents weave an enduring political narrative of mythic power and shape historical memory, Bolt eschews some cherished strategic tenets of realists and Clausewitzians.

The ecology of social media, powered by decentralised, instant communication platforms and the breakdown of formerly autarkic or regulated polities under the corrosive effects of capitalist market expansion, have been, in Bolt’s view, strategic game changers 'creating room to maneuver' in a new 'cognitive battlespace' for 'complex insurgencies'. Violent 'Propaganda of the Deed', once the nihilistic signature of 19th century Anarchist-terrorist groups like the People’s Will, has reemerged in the 21stcentury’s continuous media attention environment as a critical tool for insurgents to compress time and space through '…a dramatic crisis that must be provoked'. ... zen Says: October 26th, 2013 at 4:43 am T. Greer, It’s a good book. Some what Bolt discusses is politics moreso than strategy but it is politics intended to reinforce the collective will to prevail in a conflict. I think Matt Armstrong would find it interesting as well, given his public diplomacy job." Image from entry

Meet The Goldman Partner Who Gets Paid $2 Million To Give Away The Bank's Money - Goldman insiders are ... bitter that Dina Habib Powell, the head of Goldman's corporate engagement, has been receiving a sizeable paycheck even though her job isn't about making money. ... Powell, 40, joined 

Goldman in 2007.  In 2010, Goldman made her a 'partner'—one of the most highly-coveted titles on Wall Street. Under her leadership, Goldman launched its 10,000 Women program—a $100 million initiative that trains underprivileged women running small businesses around the world. Before she worked for Goldman, Powell was the Assistant Secretary of the State for Educational and Cultural Affairs during the George W. Bush administration. She also served as the Deputy Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs." Image from entry, with caption: Dina H. Powell, the head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs

Kennedy Center Lecture - "'Euro Elections 2014: Polls, Politics, Popularity, and Protest' will be presented by Sarah Lambert, a visiting EU fellow at Colorado European Union Center for Excellence, on Friday, 25 October at 10:00 a.m. in 238 HRCB. Lambert joined the European Commission in 1995 after fifteen years as a foreign correspondent reporting from all over Europe, including Brussels, and has been head of the political section in the Madrid office since 2010. She had previously worked as head of office in London, responsible for government relations and public diplomacy in the UK, where she started out in 2003 as head of political and regional affairs."

Buzzfeed post featured video produced by two Annenbergstudents - Alex Reed, "A video produced by USC Annenberg Master in Public Diplomacy candidates Reagan Cook and Gabriel Shapiro was featured in a recent post on Buzzfeed. Featuring a cover of the Lorde song, 'Team,' the video promotes the October 26th Campaign, a movement led by Saudi Arabian men and women, urging the government to lift the ban on women driving. Cook and Shapiro produced and directed the music video."

Degree from Top Journalism School for Bright Career Prospect - "School of Media and Public Affairs-George Washington University [:] The students nurturing interest in mass communications studies with prime importance to matters related to public diplomacy issues can derive maximum benefits from this organization’s Walter Robert’s Endowment sponsored Institute for Public Policy and Global Communication (IPPGC). The institute is engaged in conducting practical training, research programs and much more in the areas of global communications and public diplomacy."


Hey Europe, you’re welcome: Allies made safer by U.S. snooping, lawmakers insist - Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times: As outrage in

Europe grows, lawmakers are defending U.S. surveillance practices — including phone tapping — and saying other nations likely engage in similar spying, even if their leaders don’t know it. Top members of Congress also suggest that GermanyFrance and other nations should be thankful for, rather than angry about, American snooping. Image from

Why Arabs Fear a U.S.-Iran Détente - Marwan Bishara, The Arabs have learned from bitter experience that whether by confrontation or collaboration, whatever Iran, America and Israel decide to do leaves them feeling trampled. Arab powers fear that negotiations between America and Iran are likely to leave Israel as the one nuclear power in the region, while allowing its occupation of Palestine to continue unabated.

Anti-American propaganda taken down in Iran amid peace-talks with the U.S. - Elle Tilden, As Iran Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani tries to continue diplomatic talks with the United States, officials were ordered to take down anti-American propaganda strewn across Tehran. One poster, which showed an American and Iranian diplomat sitting across from each other with the American dressed in military garb from the waist down, was replaced with a poster that read, “in a world that is filled with oppression, we don’t oppress, nor do we allow oppression,” says The Atlantic Wire. Iran is very well known for making its criticism obvious of American politics, but lately the state has been showing blatant disapproval of these signs. Many take this as an indication of Rouhani’s determination to reach a diplomatic end with the US over Iran’s nuclear program.

Western media use Rami’s tally of dead in Syria as propaganda tool - The US government and its European allies as well as some puppet regimes in the Middle East region are using information provided by a man, who makes his living from a local clothing shop in Britain, as a propaganda tool to further their political interests. Rami Abdurrahman, 42, has been reporting to the world the number of casualties since more than two years ago when foreign-backed insurgents hijacked Syria’s peaceful and legitimate call for reforms. The tally of

killings and clashes provided by the British man of Syrian origin has so far been used by the West’s mainstream media outlets as well as some western-based human rights organizations as the main source of information coming from Syria in their desperate attempts to accuse the popular government of President Bashar al-Assad of committing war crimes. Abdurrahman is operating the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights alone from his house in the cathedral city of Coventry about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of London. Image from article, with caption: Rami Abdurrahman, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Supreme Propaganda on the Road to Global Tyranny - Bernie Suarez, U.S. illegal intervention in Syria is already on record with many calling for the immediate impeachment of Obama.

No amount of propaganda can change that. Not even making the audience view the crime from the perspective of another country or political partner will change the view of the people who are awakened. We are happy to call out their propaganda and use it as a teaching tool for others to become better at recognizing their lies. Image from entry

Nobel Prize Part of West’s Propaganda Fog - Finian Cunningham, The Nobel Peace Prize should be renamed the Nobel Propaganda Prize, after this year’s ever-so contrived award to the UN-approved chemical weapons team sent to disarm Syria. Other dubious winners of the “illustrious” prize include the accused war criminal, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who oversaw the genocidal carpet-bombing of Indochina during the 1970s. More recently, another accused war criminal, US President Barack Obama, is among the honorees of the award despite his ongoing use of assassination and murderous aggression in multiple countries, including Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Yemen and Syria. A Norwegian-based committee of seemingly Scandinavian neutrality makes the award every year as it has done for more than a century ever since 1901. The prize was the creation of Alfred Nobel, a major armaments manufacturer. That in itself speaks volumes of the institution’s contradictory nature. Nobel Peace Prizes and Western human rights groups may sound innocuous. But they are a central part of the Western propaganda machine, as much as MI6, CIA, Mossad, the Pentagon, Whitehall and the panoply of Western news media outlets with august titles, such as BBC and New York Times.

Maliki’s Democratic Farce - Ramzy Mardini and Emma Sky, As Iraq Prime Minister Maliki prepares to seek a third term in 2014, Mr. Obama should insist that he adhere to democratic norms as a condition of American aid.

The United States should be seen as supporting the Iraqi people as a whole, and not favoring any faction or figure. Image from

Obama fell prey to Indian propaganda: Hafiz Saeed - Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermindHafiz Saeed has said that US President Barack Obama fell prey to Indian propaganda and issued a statement against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa(JuD), an avowedly religious front headed by Saeed. In an interview to Geo News here, Saeed on Thursday said it was regretful that Obama, without making any investigation into the Indian propaganda, went ahead and "issued a statement against us", reported the News International. Stating that Pakistan's Supreme Court had earlier ruled that no charges were proved against JuD, Saeed said: "India too had failed to hand over any evidence to Pakistan on Mumbai attacks in the past five years."

Foreign policy based on fantasy - Jackson Diehl, For Obama, succeeding in even the limited objectives he has set for the Middle East would require reshaping conditions on the ground: weakening Assad, degrading Iranian strength, bolstering Israeli and Saudi confidence. That work could be done without deploying U.S. troops, but it would be hard, expensive and require a lot of presidential attention.

Foreign travel: State Department renews Colombia warning - 1. The State Department this month renewed its warning on Colombia, noting that people travel safely to the South American country but that "violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities." 2. The State Department also renewed its warning on North Korea, saying "U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea, even accidentally, have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention. Since January 2009, four U.S. citizens have been arrested for entering North Korea illegally, and two U.S. citizens who entered on valid … visas were arrested inside North Korea on other charges." 3. After the shopping mall attack in September, the State Department reissued its warning on Kenya, saying "U.S. citizens in Kenya, and those considering travel to Kenya, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas. The levels of risk vary throughout the country."

The Kremlin's Propaganda Campaign and Russia's Regression - Leon Aron, As the Soviet Union’s enemy number one, the United States was a logical choice to cast as the prime target of the propaganda campaign. A signal for a no-holds-barred propaganda campaign was given from the top in 2011 when Putin accused the U.S. Department of State of playing the lead in organizing the first protests against the falsification of the Duma election results. This was followed by media attacks on and harassment of U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul. Then, in fall 2012, the Kremlin ordered the expulsion of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). After the death of an adopted Russian boy in Texas in early 2013 (an autopsy later proved the death was accidental), another propaganda campaign portrayed Russian orphans adopted by American parents as subjected to all manner of abuse and even murder. The Duma rushed to pass a law banning all U.S. adoptions.

Trans Woman Commits Suicide After Firing Under Russia's 'Propaganda' Ban: Dasha Stern was 22 years old when she took her own life after being fired under Russia's nationwide ban on so-called homosexual propaganda - A 22-year-old transgender woman

in Russia reportedly took her own life last Wednesday after she was fired from a promising job because her employers feared they were in violation of a nationwide ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships," reports the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights on its blog, RusAdvocat. Image from entry

Five Ways Lenin's Propaganda Destroyed Marriage And The Family In Russia - Monica Showalter, 'The success of a revolution," V.I. Lenin declared at the first all-Russian conference of working women in 1918, "depends on how much women take part in it." And based on his writings, there was little doubt he believed this. Problem was, most Russian women weren't interested.

Johnny Weir to respect Russia's anti-gay propaganda law while doing TV at Olympics: 'You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting' - Greg Hernandez, Openly gay Johnny Weir is heading to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi as a commentator for NBC and doesn't plan to ruffle any feathers when it comes to Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

The former Olympic skater, who announced his retirement from his sport earlier this week, says he will be focused on skating, not politics. Image from entry

Journalists in Kenya Warned Not to Spread Propaganda About Westgate Attack: Westgate Mall looting reports prompts journalists' arrests - Katherine Beard, Journalists covering the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, have been warned not to "provoke propaganda" with their reports. This warning elicited by Kenyan Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo, comes after television

and news organizations revealed footage of Kenyan security forces, who helped defeat the Islamist militants, looting goods from a store inside the mall. Image from entry, with caption: Kenyan police have warned journalists to be careful of what they report about the Westgate Mall attacks. Two journalists are being pursued for questioning over their release of a report about Kenyan security forces looting shops during the attack.

North Korea Propaganda: South Koreans Released by Pyongyang Posted Pro-North Messages Online - It has been revealed that a few of the six South Koreans released by North Korea last Friday had a history of posting pro-North Korea propaganda on the Internet before they traveled to the North.

Authorities investigating the case said that the six detainees went to North Korea between 2009 and 2012, crossing the Yalu or Tumen River, which are both near the border between North Korea and China. Authorities say that family issues and business failures may have prompted some of them to post messages that praised North Korea, Arirang News reports. They said that the individuals were also under the impression that they would be treated well upon arrival in North Korea, but they were instead detained for years and interrogated. Image from entry

Nigeria: Ogeah - 'You Don't Need Propaganda to Get Your Message Through' - Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah is 52 years today. "I believe that propaganda has never been an enduring and successful strategy in getting heard and making people key into your programme. Initially, it might seem to be effective, but ultimately it is unmasked," says Ogeah of his style of laying the facts before journalists. "When you have a lot of concrete things to unveil, it is counterproductive to adopt propaganda. Fortunately for me, Governor Uduaghan (Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, governor of the state, went through the unprecedented storm of undergoing two elections in three months) made my job easier by having so much to talk about in terms of the people-oriented projects he has completed or that are on-going."

RAND Corp. on the Propaganda Value of ‘Captain Phillips’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ - John Glaser, In a commentary that appeared in USA Today, RAND Corporation senior adviser Brian Michael Jenkins praises President Obama’s increased reliance on Joint Special Operations Command raids in place of drone strikes. There is a lot of “psychological utility” in the use of raids over drones, Jenkins explains. “Now, America can turn things around,” he writes. “Terrorists want us to live in fear. We will make them live in fear.” with a comment like that, this Jenkins guy belongs in a Hollywood movie! Interesting you should say that, because Jenkins cites another advantage to special operations raids over drone strikes: it feeds Americans’ appetite for warrior praise.

If Americans can glorify and exalt the bravery and sacrifice of U.S. Marines, it will go a long way towards regaining the public support for U.S. militarism that drone warfare has diminished. War is not to be celebrated or romanticized, but movies such as Zero Dark Thirty and Captain Phillips provide images and narratives that sustain morale in a protracted conflict. These special operations raids contrast the courage and prowess of American warriors with the calculated savagery displayed by murderers of unarmed civilians, so dramatically demonstrated in the terrorist attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi. Image from entry

Hollywood Propaganda: American “Heroes” and Somali “Savages” – “Captain Phillips” Obscures US Crimes in Somalia - Paul Gottinger and Ken Klippenstein, Somalis have served as convenient villains for Hollywood. Blackhawk Down portrayed Somalis as ruthless and bloodthirsty, while making sure to depict Americans as honoring every life. Unfortunately, the facts don’t support this narrative. In the real Blackhawk Down incident, 1,000 Somalis were killed as US rangers dropped into a crowded marketplace.

The film was so distorted in its depiction of Somalis that the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in California called for a boycott of the movie, saying it “portrays Somalis as violent savages." Captain Phillips is keen to mention that the Maersk Alabama was carrying some humanitarian aid, but neglects to mention the US’ extensive crimes in the region. Perhaps most repulsive element of Captain Phillips is its failure to give any explanation for why there are pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. There is no mention of the US role in making Somalia a failed state unable to have a coast guard. The result is that the fishing waters have become ruined by foreigner’s over-fishing and European, Asian, and Gulf companies dumping toxic and nuclear waste into Somali costal waters. Image from entry

Wikipedia wants to erase propaganda and bias from its pages: Wikimedia Foundation launches investigation following reports of widespread 'sockpuppeting' - Amar Toor, The Wikimedia Foundation is cracking down on deceptive and spammy Wikipedia entries as part of an ongoing effort to maintain the online encyclopedia's credibility. At issue are two related practices known as "sockpuppeting"— whereby Wikipedia users create fake online identities "for the purpose of deception" — and paid advocacy editing, which pays users to edit Wikipedia pages on behalf of a brand, product, or company. The Daily Dot exposed the breadth of these practices in a report published earlier this month, describing a sockpuppet network that, as of September, encompassed more than 300 confirmed and 84 suspected offenders. Paid and deceptive editing have been an ongoing issue for Wikipedia, though the sockpuppet operation uncovered last month was the largest such network known to date. Image from entry

Laughable Anti-Marijuana Propaganda From 1930′s - Alex Wain, Ah the trusty Devil’s Weed, women cry for it, men die for it! Don’t you realise that smoking Marijuana will unleash your inner vices, turning you into a sex crazed a lap-dog of Satan! Sure you’ll get a few “wild mad thrills” and participate in “weird orgies” but then your tragic life will become awash with shame, horror and despair.

Who would have thought a naturally occurring plant, would cause such unbridged havoc and chaos? These are just a few of the hilarious and outlandish claims made by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in the 1930s. It was all part of a campaign called ‘Call To Arms’ created by the commissioner of the bureau, Harry J. Anslinger to dissuade America’s youth from sampling the devil’s harvest.

Some 80 years on, Nixon’s over-used and clichéd ‘war on drugs’ slogan has been peddled by politicians the world over, with trillions spent warning against the dangers of drug use and disrupting cartels and supply lines. Has it worked? Are drugs less accessible these days? Are young American’s less susceptible to having wild orgies whilst high? Images from entry; note apostrophe catastrophe in top poster. See also John Brown "Marijuana and holy water," Notes and Essays; image from

Propaganda, Public Opinion, and the Second South African Boer War - Kelley S. Ken, The Boer War came at a critical juncture in Great Britain's imperial history and was a turning point in the use of propaganda, both by the British government and the national press, in shaping public opinion.

This propaganda also perpetuated the stereotype of "the Boer." According to many historians, British public opinion in 1898 ‑ 1899 did not favor a war with South Africa, so public support had to be manufactured. Image from article, with caption: Victorian poster depicting the Defeat of Lord Methuen's Force by De La Rey at Tweebosch, March 7, 1902.

Gn-Awesome World War Z historic propaganda posters will grab you, but thankfully not try and eat you: How various countries may have styled their pictorial war efforts for past conflicts, if the enemy had been the undead - What's your plan, come the zombie apocalypse? Remarkably, statistics prove that 10/10 people have never actually had to ward off the unfaltering march of the undead - but that doesn't mean that we can't all learn from non-history and be prepared.

World War Z distributor Paramount have put together an excellent series of posters imagining how various countries may have styled their iconic propaganda posters from history's wars, if the enemy had been the horde. And don't they look dead good? Your country needs you... to destroy the brain.


"public diplomacy, or wielding soft power."

--China Specialist Global Post

"ephemeral messaging more accurately digitizes many of the ways we interact, like in-person conversation."

--Josh Constine, "Kids Love Snapchat Because They See Facebook Like Adults See LinkedIn,"

No comments: