Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3 Public Diplomacy Review

Abbreviated edition

"Where are we? Is this really America?"

--A foreign visitors traveling in "shutdown" U.S.A under the State Department's International Visitor program; image from


Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad by Martha Bayles - Yale University Press: "What does the world admire most about America? Science, technology, higher education, consumer goods—but not, it seems, freedom and democracy. Indeed, these ideals are in global retreat, for reasons ranging from ill-conceived foreign policy to the financial crisis and the sophisticated propaganda of modern authoritarians. Another reason, explored for the first time in this pathbreaking book, is the distorted picture of freedom and democracy found in America's cultural exports. In interviews with thoughtful observers in eleven countries, Martha Bayles heard many objections to the violence and vulgarity pervading today's popular culture. But she also heard a deeper complaint: namely, that America no longer shares the best of itself. Tracing this change to the end of the Cold War, Bayles shows how public diplomacy was scaled back, and in-your-face entertainment became America's de facto ambassador." Image from entry


International Visitor Program in Reno will Suffer With Gov't Shutdown - Jennifer Burton, "Political wrangling over the budget in Washington, D.C. is already affecting a local program that brings international visitors to northern Nevada on behalf of the U.S. State Department. 'We have been told that if the government shuts down, that all of the October and November groups will be either canceled altogether or delayed,' said Carina Black, Executive Director of the Northern Nevada International Center, which is based in Reno. This week the NNIC is hosting six educators and politicians from Armenia, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom -- as part of the International Visitors Leadership Program, which partners with the U.S. State Department. Monday the visitors met with local Democrats and Republicans to talk about politics in America." Via LSH on Facebook

Women's Fashion Magazine|Beautiful Women Female beauty zone - "Oh come on, Women’s Fashion Magazine, that was hilarious! It really was. Have you seen Hot Fuzz,where they parody it?

No,no I haven’t.Oh,you really should. It’s hilarious. From Rick Stengel to David Axelrod,All of the President’s Journalists These days,journalists don’t retire,they just join the Obama administration. As Capital New York reported on Thursday, Time managing editor Rick Stengel is leaving the venerable newsweekly to become under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. This is not the first foray into politics for Stengel,who has been the top editor at Time since 2006. He spent a year as a speechwriter on Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in 1999–2000. But it is the latest example in a growing trend of the White House reaching out to hire journalists." Image from

Download: Reagan’s Dead, Punk’s Not- "During the time congress blocked funding for the contras, the Reagan government engaged in a campaign to alter public opinion and change the vote in congress on contra aid. For this purpose, the NSC established an interagency working group which in turn coordinated the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean (managed by Otto Reich), which conducted the campaign. The S/LPD produced and widely disseminated a variety of pro-contra publications, arranged speeches and press conferences. It also disseminated 'white propaganda'—pro-contra newspaper articles by paid consultants who did not disclose their connection to the Reagan administration."

On top of that, Oliver North helped Carl Channell’s tax-exempt organization, the 'National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty', to raise $10 million, by arranging numerous briefings for groups of potential contributors at the premises of the White House and by facilitating private visits and photo sessions with president Reagan for major contributors. Channell, in turn, used part of that money to run a series of television advertisements directed at home districts of congressmen considered to be swing votes on contra aid. Out of the $10 million raised, more than $1 million was spent on pro-contra publicity. 'If you look at it as a whole', a senior S/LPD official said, 'the Office of Public Diplomacy was carrying out a huge psychological operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in denied or enemy territory." Image from entry

Departures of good BBG Governors allow failed IBB and VOA managers to stay - BBGWatcher, "Not all Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) members have been great. Some were disengaged or

simply awful, and contributed to the U.S. international broadcasting agency becoming, in the words of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 'dysfunctional' and 'defunct.' But the only constant element within the agency in recent years have been its top executives in the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and the Voice of America (VOA). They have taken advantage of some of the ill-informed and disengaged BBG members to continue doing damage to the agency, its mission and its employees. They have held on to their jobs for years, while part-time BBG members depart and new ones are appointed who need to figure out what is going on. By the time some of them do, they are replaced or decide to leave in frustration." Image from entry

President Rouhani, a glass of chardonnay, and the fate of a nation: The president of Iran squandered an opportunity to meet Barack Obama over such trivial concerns, writes scholar - Hamid Dabashi, "So what happened to the declaration that the Islamic republic was ready to go to 'the depth of hell' to safeguard the regime? Chances are that they do serve an excellent vintage of sauvignon blanc in that depth of hell, given how hot and humid it reportedly is, and the fact that the best wine connoisseurs of this earthly life are believed to be predestined to end up towards that unfortunate eventuality. Is this how the Islamic republic wants to tackle its public diplomacy in a city that goes gaga when Netanyahu comes to town and every year during the 'Salute to Israel parade' when the entire political establishment comes out for pole-dancing up Fifth Avenue? Launching a 'charm offensive' in Gotham City and you are scared witless of the sight of a glass of godforsaken Moscato?"

Americans, don’t let the Saudis tell you what to do [includes video] - Amanda Achtman,  "Recently the Wynnewood Institute did an interview withRobert Reilly, author of the ISI-published book The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis. At the end of the interview, he says this: So, the first thing that is necessary is to sort of regain control of our own 'oxygen supply.' If someone else can control your oxygen supply, you’re dependent on them and you basically have to do what they tell you to do. Oil is the oxygen of the industrialized world and we have the opportunity now in the United States to dramatically transform that because of the enormous reserves that have been discovered here, particularly of natural gas that can fuel a great deal of our industry and growing oil reserves. Obviously, the Obama Administration is not interested in that, but the less we are dependent on the Middle East, the better for us and for everyone else-particularly in respect to Saudi Arabia, which has the single most retrograde form of Islam that exists and which has out-spent the United States by tens of billions of dollars on its form of public diplomacy in spreading the Wahabi retrograde form of Islam." Image from entry

Netanyahu, Obama, Address Middle East Threats - Lori Lowenthal Marcus, "Just days after U.S. President Barack Obama became telephone buddies with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Israel’s Prime Minister urged Obama not to let up on the international sanctions imposed on Iran because even for diplomacy to work, “those pressures must be kept in place.” The two heads of country met in the

Oval Office on Monday, September 30, and discussed several matters including the ongoing discussions between Israeli and Arab Palestinian negotiators, and the crises in Syria and Egypt. One of the primary topics of mutual concern was whether there has been a sea change in Iran’s dealing with the West – and more importantly, its nuclear weapons program – or if Rouhani is merely better at public diplomacy than was his predecessor." Image from entry

Israel and Washington Target Iran - Stephen Lendman, "Israel's Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry is closing. Haaretz said its outgoing deputy director general Daniel Seaman heads Israel's new propaganda initiative. Its article headlined 'Is an abusive racist the best Israeli PR can produce? Facebook messages posted by (Seaman) raise serious doubts about his judgment.' He's highly controversial. He's an extremist Likudnik. He once headed Israel's Government Press Office. According to Haaretz: He 'gained a reputation for his confrontations with foreign correspondents and for the complaints they lodged against him.' Public Diplomacy Ministry personnel are being shifted to Netanyahu's national public diplomacy unit. Seaman heads its interactive media initiative. He handles online propaganda campaigns. He's establishing 'covert (student) units in Israel's seven universities.' According to Haaretz: 'Messages (he) posted on his Facebook page raise serious doubts as to the degree to which good judgment is exercised by someone who is slated to be the chief official in the Prime Minister's Office responsible for Israel’s public diplomacy efforts on the various social networks on the Internet.' His postings include 'abusive, even racist, statements directed against Muslims in general and senior Palestinian leaders in particular, as well as against countries that are thought to be Israel's allies.' His other messages express over-the-top right wing views. He typifies rogue Israeli governance."

Public Diplomacy – German perception rests on the middle of Angela Merkel -, Messages From Romania: "Public diplomacy through antennas which it spread all over the world, especially through capacity analysis is obliged to draw conclusions that may be helpful in understanding the ongoing processes in the international system to which we belong, especially to shoot conclusions to learn and do not explain things to us … the experience of others. For elections in Germany ended recently and that ended with a predictable victory for Angela Merkel, today there are new questions and justified. These days Angela Merkel starts third term as Chancellor of Germany, and only those who do not understand how it works 'middle way' masterfully managed by former and current leader of Germany may be problems with the solution together into government."

The Westgate attack, the media and terrorism - Public Diplomacy and International Communications: Thoughts and comments about public diplomacy, soft power and international communications by Gary Rawnsley: "It seems that governments are still playing catch-up in an information war the terrorists are winning, sometimes with the unwitting help of journalists and news media organisations."

Global leaders speak English, occasionally - "English can send the wrong message for some leaders, and separate them from their people. Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks English, but rarely speaks it in public.

And never in a diplomatic setting. Phillip Seib, a professor of public diplomacy at the University of Southern California, says sometimes diplomats refuse to speak English out of national pride." Image from entry, with caption: Russian president Vladimir Putin singing 'Blueberry Hill' in English at a charity fundraiser.

Rohani now naming women to posts - "Marzieh Afkham has been named the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, guaranteeing that the Iranian people will see a woman speaking on behalf of the government frequently on the evening news. The Foreign Ministry has also said it will be naming a woman soon to be an ambassador. The new spokeswoman is a career Foreign Ministry employee.

She has served the last eight years as the ministry’s director general for information and media. Under Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi, she was also director general for public diplomacy." Image from entry, with caption: AFKHAM. . . spokesperson.

Congressional Partnership Program Discussion with Advisory Board Member Ambassador Paula Dobriansky - "Her ... government appointments

include Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency . ... From 1997-2001, she served on the Presidentially-appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. ... She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar." Uncaptioned image from entry

Ruling the Rhetoric on North Korea: A Pedagogical Perspective - B.J. Murphy,
"Mr. Bassett is a decorated Army Veteran who holds a BA in International Communication from the American University in Washington DC, a graduate certificate in North Korean Affairs from Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul, South Korea, and is currently working on his MA in Public Diplomacy from the American University.

He’s served several tours on the DMZ Western Corridor, and has worked in South Korea for unification NGOs. He has been to North Korea several times since 2004 and is a widely published Asian Affairs analyst, a North Korean Affairs specialist, and is known for practicing public diplomacy by facilitating cultural diplomacy projects in the DPRK." Image from entry, with caption: DMZ Northern Commander and former American commander, Michael Bassett, hug during the April 2013 Period of Brinksmanship.

[WATCH] International PR, What You Need to Know - "Michael Ardaiolo is currently a student in Syracuse University's Public Diplomacy Master's Program: M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and M.S. in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

In addition, he is a recovering record slinger, a Criterion Collection addict, an NBA obsessor, and a struggling student of the Korean language." Uncaptioned image from entry

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