Friday, October 11, 2013

October 8-11

“On the territory of the Russian Federation.”

--Reply by Anatoly Kucherena, the Russian lawyer who has been representing former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, when asked about Snowden’s whereabouts; cited in Kathy Lally, "Snowden’s father arrives in Moscow," Washington Post [note: the updated version of this article no longer contains the above quotation]; image from; see also

Edward Snowden Receives The Sam Adams Award -

Image from, with caption: MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 09: Edward Snowden (3rd R) receives the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award (SAAII) alongside UK WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison (2nd R) who took Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow and obtained his asylum and the United States government whistleblowers who presented the award (L-R) Coleen Rowley (FBI), Thomas Drake (NSA), Jesselyn Raddack (DoJ) and Ray McGovern (CIA) on October 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia

"I miss USIA about as much as a Lithuanian misses the Soviet Union."

--International Broadcasting guru Kim Andrew Elliott, regarding the Cold-War agency designated overseas as the United States Information Service (USIS) and referred to by dismissive State Department employees as "Useless"; image from


Dr. Nancy Snow: The Future of Japanese Public Diplomacy -


Yes, Iranians Wear Jeans: Pitfalls Of Public Diplomacy With Iran - Suzanne Maloney, "In his first-ever interview last week with the BBC Persian Service, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inadvertently elicited a combination of outrage and ridicule with an offhand comment about the aspirations of Iran's population. ... [Netnyahu:] 'I think if the Iranian people had their way they would be wearing blue jeans . ...' [T]he possibilities for showcasing gaffes, missteps, and the idiosyncrasies of all our individual leaders are infinite, and official anxieties about the prospects for public discourse to undermine the delicate work of traditional diplomacy act as a significant barrier to more free-wheeling public engagement. This is precisely why so few

American officials have sought interviews with or appearances in Iranian-based media over the years, and why it took years for the U.S. bureaucracy to endorse the establishment of a Persian language spokesman (the inimitable Alan Eyre, seen here in one of his own BBC Persian interviews) in 2011. And even after a protracted internal struggle to win approval for media engagement, American public diplomacy toward Tehran confronts even more daunting obstacles — the boisterous but still carefully monitored Iranian media environment. ... Still, despite the limitations, Washington has long placed a great emphasis on public diplomacy toward Tehran, with decidedly mixed results." Image from article; see also

The Tweet Heard Round The World: How 140 Characters did more for Iranian Public Diplomacy than an editorial ever could - "The audible gasps that cascaded around my office last Friday as word spread of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s tweet announcing he had spoken on the phone with President Obama helped convey the incredible importance of that moment. For the first time in over thirty years, the leaders of the United States and Iran talked to one another directly. The significance of this call immediately launched a flurry of debate among analysts and pundits about what it may mean for the relationship between the two nations. Not lost in the discussion was the improbable and somewhat ironic fact that the news was broken via Twitter by the leader of a nation that blocks the use of that platform. This marked the high point in a new – and effective – public diplomacy campaign waged by Iran since the election of President Rouhani in August. ... In terms of Iranian ... public diplomacy in the United States, this had the effect of immediately raising the profile of Iran and introducing the new leader to a much larger audience. In terms of public diplomacy, this engagement of a new audience forms a new relationship with the people of the United States and could be extremely significant in any long-term progress of relations between the governments themselves. ... The fact that Rouhani has taken to social media and engaged in two-way conversation with people like Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, rather than simply broadcasting policy has also shown an astute use of the tool for the purposes of public diplomacy. ... Previously, I have acknowledged the challenges faced in determining the effectiveness of public diplomacy campaigns. However, in this case we can see the effectiveness in the surprisingly clumsy response from Israel. This was highlighted by the Israeli Embassy to the United States which tweeted a link to a parody Rouhani LinkedIn account that listed him as 'President of Iran, Expert Salesman, PR Professional and Nuclear Proliferation Advocate.' ... This trolling, along with the derisive, almost sarcastic, speech at the United Nations by Prime Minister Netanyahu, has been, at best counter-productive, and at worst downright destructive to the image of Israel in the United States as well as the valid and extremely important points of caution they were trying to sound. ... Public diplomacy is all about building relationships, and relationships are built on words and deeds. The 'charm offensive' of Iran over the last month has illustrated the important role Twitter, and social media more broadly, can now play in public diplomacy shaping the way debates are framed in international relations. True or not, Iran has gone a long way in moving past the general perception of a rogue state and has done much to develop a new one as one with a leader who is ready to come to the table to negotiate on critical issues in good faith."

Iran’s Foreign Minister Discusses Twitter, Netanyahu and Kerry on State Television - Robert Mackay, "While restrictions on the use of social networks by Iranians remain in place, the country’s new foreign minister openly discussed the 'Happy Rosh Hashanah' message he posted on his official Twitter account last month on state television Saturday. As if to underscore that a segment of Iran’s new leadership is determined to make aggressive use of social networks in public diplomacyvideo of the foreign minister’s remarks, with English subtitles, was uploaded to YouTube and promoted on Twitter in a retweet by @HassanRouhani, an account apparently run by the new president’s aides in his name.

In the two-minute interview excerpt, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described Iran’s 40,000 Jews as a respected minority, but also took aim at Israelis for 'playing the victim.' He also cited approvingly recent criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerent tone on Iran from Roger Cohen, a New York Times Op-Ed columnist." Image from entry, with caption: Video of Iran’s foreign minister on state television after his return to Tehran from New York on Saturday.

Tweeting for Their Country: Diplomats and World Leaders Warm to Twitter - Helle Dale, "Twitter is coming of age. Today, the social website will be offering its shares to the public, following in the somewhat faltering footsteps of its competitor Facebook. But this is not the only the reason the 140-character social website is making its mark. World leaders, from President Obama to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Pope Francis, are tweeting away—or at least have those who do it for them. Twitter wars occasionally break out between terrorist warlords and U.S. or Israeli teams of strategic communicators.

Anthropologists and chaos theory experts may be needed to analyze the currents and trends on Twitter. As a tool of public diplomacy and strategic communication for governments, it is an unpredictable and mixed blessing. With 215 million users worldwide, Twitter has a more modest reach compared to Facebook. Twitter users are more likely to use their mobile devices, and the cacophony of tweets is more like a town square conversation, with very fast flowing trends. The case of the U.S. embassy in Egypt last year is cautionary. With a raging mob of Muslims outside, embassy personnel tweeted out unvetted apologies for the amateur film The Innocence of Muslims. The embassy tweets even became an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign after criticism by Republican nominee Mitt Romney. On the other hand, global leaders are greatly attracted by Twitter’s ability to go around traditional media, enabling them to message directly to their followers and beyond to the global audience. The team behind @HassanRouhani has shown itself pretty adept, promoting Rouhani’s perspective on the U.S.–Iranian relationship, with the U.S. State Department playing catch-up." Image from entry

The New Public Policy - Amanda Taurino, "A casual bystander might conclude it to be typical procedure for national leaders to make public statements via the media, bypassing typical foreign relations channels. This must be the case because two foreign presidents this month pushed out their agendas by way of public diplomacy rather than direct talks with other governments. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted a

question to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani  on Tuesday and received a response hinting at signs of change in the future. Rouhani’s exchange with Dorsey comes on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to criticize U.S. foreign policy via the unorthodox approach of placing an op-ed in the New York Times. We’ve already witnessed new forms of communication bringing domestic political candidates into more direct contact with voters. ... Instead of proposing a chemical weapons solution directly to Assad and Obama in a private meeting, something to which state leaders should be accustomed, Putin staged his entry into the international spotlight by taking advantage of the world’s attention and the mainstream media, held captive by the Syrian conflict. This was a strategic move rerouting public diplomacy to gain more power in the international community. Putin knows the power of the 24-hour news cycle. His direct engagement with American citizens has changed the game of politics. And other national leaders like Rouhani seem to be catching on." Image from entry

Social Media in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict [article first appeared on April 17, 2013] - Onnik Krikorian, "Militaristic rhetoric continues to define much of the domestic political discourse in Armenia and Azerbaijan, especially with a new cycle of presidential elections this year. The media plays its role too, as a paper from the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) opined. ... And recent statistics also from CRRC highlight the problem further. In its 2009 household survey, 70 percent of respondents in Armenia said they were against forming friendships with Azerbaijanis while 97 percent of Azerbaijanis were opposed to friendship with Armenians. 'My background is with the Israelis and Palestinians,' Elizabeth Metraux, Program Director of a U.S. State Department program designed to bring Armenian and Azerbaijani teenagers together, told this author in 2009 . 'There were times when it just gets explosive and there really were those moments were I just thought I had underestimated the intensity of the conflict.'

The project, undertaken through Project Harmony, was one of the first to use online tools in combination with offline meetings, albeit only using blogs. ... Yelena Osipova, an Armenian citizen now studying abroad ... notes that there is an inherent danger with social media, and not least from nationalists on both sides who might attempt to hijack the communication or intimidate and threaten those engaged in cross-border communication. ... 'When looking at the role of public diplomacy and communications in conflict resolution, it is no longer possible to ignore online communications,” Sarah Crozier, Press and Public Information Officer for the OSCE Secretariat [said]." Image from article, with caption: Facebook Beachfront, author: mkhmarketing

Does Technology Persuade? Questioning Core Assumptions in U.S. Public Diplomacy (PART I) - Craig Hayden, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "[A]s much of the public diplomacy scholarly literature reveals, public diplomacy in practice can mean a lot of things: Relation-building, attitude change, the consideration of alternative information, the building of social capital, political warfare, etc. Resistance to advocates calling for more technology in public diplomacy can rightly decry the air of 'solutionism' that often pervades calls for US digital engagement.

But at the same time, there should be a more serious introspection over (a) how 'traditional' public diplomacy practices can be legitimately augmented by new media platforms and (b) how qualitatively new forms of diplomatic practice might be emerging in ways that challenge our definition of 'public diplomacy.'Image from entry

With Snide Remarks Toward U.S., Asia Summit Steams Ahead With Free Trade Deal - "As the United States remains mired in political gridlock at home, a similar show was on view between the 21 global powers gathered at the second day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Bali, Indonesia. ...  The stakes are certainly high given the stats: The participating nations boast three billion people, 44 percent of global GDP and 45 percent of global direct investment. But with U.S. President Barack Obama choosing to withdraw from the summit in order to deal with a government shutdown at home, and Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in his place, there was not much love on show for American policies. At one point, Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan joked that 'people in the U.S. are more likely to believe in a UFO than free trade.' ... [A]s the group attempts to forge a new economic path forward, it was telling that few looked to the U.S. for guidance or advice. Host country Indonesia hasn’t yet signed onto the TPP, as officials hedge bets on a rival trade agreement, but finance minister Chatib Basri eagerly his angled his vision for future prosperity northward toward the Middle Kingdom instead of across the Pacific.While the bulk of high-level negotiations took place behind firmly closed doors, delegates were treated to a bit of public diplomacy when Chilean President Sebastián Piñera twice invited Chatib to enter Indonesia into a bilateral free trade agreement before a crowd of hundreds while the pair were on the plenary stage. And twice Chatib squirmed a tepid response, eventually shoving off Piñera in explaining his country was as 'at an early stage' of investigating such bargains." Image from

Japan-US Australian Foreign Minister issued a statement on the Diaoyu Islands issue: against unilateral action - "Fang: Hello, I'm Fang, here is the news today talk about the current world leaders, as well as representatives of the leaders, have been gathered in Bali, Indonesia to attend the APEC leaders' meeting later informal meetings, then meeting in Bali, the U.S., Japan, and Australia's foreign ministers in Bali held a press conference, jointly issued a statement that said, do not allow any unilateral action to change the East China Sea, South China Sea Some situations. The statement did not mention them though China, but many people think that this statement which is clearly aimed to China, after the U.S. and Japan, coupled with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the Executive department, as well as chief of the defense department held a 2 + two meetings, and before that the United States with South Korea's defense held a series of consultations, etc., then make seen outside the United States with a number of countries in Asia, especially South Korea, Japan, and Australia's Alliance has recently been strengthened. ... Zheng Hao: Yes, this is a very important question, in answer to this question, I would like Obama this year's APEC informal summit can not tell a view that we have recently seen, the United States because the domestic debt ceiling, but also There are a series of temporary funding problems led to the case part of the federal government shut down, in order to solve these problems, Obama decided not to attend the APEC summit ground, then is not the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia for a visit. ... We see, in fact, Obama is coming or not does not matter, because such a situation can be reached some substantive and pragmatic some consensus, or a number of agreements in principle basically is not. Leaders attended the meeting only as a public diplomacy, in a big occasion, then we come to discuss a number of issues of common concern, and nothing more. But as we see, the actual promotion of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in a number of government departments, some of the main push hands, or some of the main officials, including ministers, including the secretary of defense and so on. Of course, no defense minister to attend APEC, are some of the major sectors of the economy responsible. Then this will answer you this question, since the U.S. president although this can not come, it is not to say that the United States and some of its allies in the region has slowed between."

Fort Hood: A Terrorist Attack on U.S. Soil - Matthew Levitt, "Since he took office, President Obama has broadly continued the Bush administration's counterterrorism policies, including the use of indefinite detentions and defensive screening measures, but has rejected the Bush administration's 'global war on terror.' Instead, the administration has conceived a strategy to identify, isolate, and address pockets of violent extremism. Emphasis across the government, therefore, has been placed on collecting data on violent extremist activities, both domestically and abroad, so that hotspots of violence can be mapped globally. The major policy change has been to rhetorically narrow the definition of counterterrorism while pursuing an expansive public diplomacy effort to 'restore America's image' in the world.

The administration has sought to make clear that our principal enemy is al-Qaeda and its affiliates, to the apparent exclusion of other violent extremists who engage in no-less-violent activities based on equally dangerous ideologies. Counterterrorism efforts have focused on capturing and killing al-Qaeda's leadership, mainly in Pakistan, but with expansion to Yemen as well. Today's global engagement and public diplomacy approach may be effective in significant ways, but it has done demonstrably little to hamper the spread and appeal of radical Islamic extremism." Uncaptioned image from article

Happening Kids: Students from Delray Beach and Haiti Partner on ‘Thank You’ Mosaic in Boynton Beach - "A new artistic project will bring 10 talented young people from the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) in Jacmel, Haiti to South Florida November 2-19, according to Major Joseph Bernadel, ACFFC Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of Toussaint L’Ouverture High School for Arts and Social Justice (TLHS), a charter school in Delray Beach.

As special Emissaries of the Haitian People, ACFFC Team Mosaïque Jacmel will be partnering with students from TLHS, many of whom are either Haitian-American or recent immigrants from Haiti. Together, they will create a public art mosaic installation in Boynton Beach to honor Florida residents who provided aid to the people of Haiti after natural disasters. ... The project is sponsored by Toussaint L’Ouverture High School for Arts and Social Justice, and the Office of Public Diplomacy, Embassy of the United States, Port au Prince Haiti." Image from entry

VSU joins HBCU/Brazil scholarship program - Chesterfield, "Virginia State University (VSU) is one of 15 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) included in a new scholarship program that supports Brazilian students who wish to attend American HBCUs. Dr. Meldon Hollis, Associate Director for the White House Initiative on HBCUs, and representatives of the Brazil-HBCU Alliance, were on hand in Brasilia for the announcement, culminating a two-week visit to Brazil by HBCU representatives. Dr. Maxine Sample, Director of International Education at VSU, was among the group of international education program directors and administrators who participated. Along with the scholarship partnership, the visit introduced HBCUs to Brazilian institutions and community groups and promoted increased partnerships between Brazilian and HBCU-Brazil Alliance member institutions. The visit was coordinated by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, in conjunction with the White House Initiative on HBCUs and the American Consulates in São Paulo and Brasilia. Meetings with educators, administrators, government officials, students and community leaders focused on providing greater access of Afro-Brazilians to educational opportunities and maximizing the participation of Brazilian and HBCU students and faculty in exchanges, joint research and other collaborations."

Congress Knows: Survey Reveals The Real Value of the State Department - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: "One issue the State Department just can’t get past is the need for realistic self-criticism. They just can’t do it. State instead runs a large 'public diplomacy' operation at taxpayer expense in large part to promote itself, and spends tremendous energy on telling itself what a fine job it is doing. ... Congress votes against State because indeed Congress knows exactly what they get

for their money: America’s Concierge Abroad." Image from

Obama administration nominates Stengel ’77 for under secretary role at State Department - Jacqueline Gufford, "As a result of the government shutdown that began on Oct. 1, the confirmation process for Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel ’77, who was nominated by President Obama on Sept. 17 to become the next U.S. Department of State’s Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, has been put on hold. If confirmed, Stengel will be the eighth under secretary since the position’s creation and the 24th journalist to be appointed to a post in the Obama administrationaccording to The Atlantic Wire. ... Jim Kelly ’76, Stengel’s predecessor at Time and a close friend, said the nominee will rise to the challenge. 'This job is relatively new,' Kelly said. 'What Rick brings to the party is that he’s highly articulate, and he’s very good at articulating an agenda and then going about executing it. And he’s very good about delegating authority. He’s not a one-man band.' ... At Princeton, Stengel majored in English and played basketball. He later studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. ... Former Time Editor-in-Chief John Huey, who recruited Stengel to become managing editor, said he believed that Stengel’s appointment would be good for the country. 'He was one of the most transformative editors, in my opinion, that Time has ever had,' Huey said. 'Rick is a very innovative and energetic and determined person … I would describe him as a hands-on leader.' ... 'It’s limiting to say that he is the 24th journalist in the Obama administration,' Kelly said, explaining why he thought critics’ claims were misguided. 'He’s so much more than just a journalist.' He explained that Stengel’s journalistic experience and communication skills would be assets in his new role as under secretary."

Strategist Karen Hughes named 2013 Dedman Distinguished Grad - "Corporate and political strategist Karen Hughes, named by The Associated Press as 'perhaps the most influential woman ever to serve an American president,' will be honored with SMU’s 2013 Dedman College Distinguished Graduate Award on Thursday, Oct. 10. ... Hughes’ ability to manage public policy, communications and politics helped brand George W. Bush’s 'compassionate conservative' image, which secured the success of his gubernatorial campaigns beginning in 1994, and his subsequent campaigns for president.

From 2001-02, she served as strategic adviser to the president on policy and communications, managing for the White House all communications, speech writing and media affairs. Hughes served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2005-07, afterward noting that one of her greatest accomplishments had been 'transforming public diplomacy and making it a national security priority central to everything we do in government.'” Hughes image from entry

Women Rule second event featured guests - "On Friday, Oct. 11, the Women Rule series continues with lunch and spirited conversation with women who have demonstrated a committment to empowering female entrepreneurs. ... Dina Habib Powell serves as president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and global head of Corporate Engagement. ... Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Dina served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and as Deputy Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Prior to being confirmed as Assistant Secretary, she served as Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel in the White House.

Latest in the bring-back-USIA-and-put-USIB-back-under-it occasional series - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "[M]ake no mistake: Senator Jesse Helms was the prime mover of the elimination of USIA. USIA worked so closely with, and was so subordinate to, the State Department and its embassies that it was a de facto branch of the State Department. Restoring USIA is not the panacea that will restore popularity to the United States. It would merely restore a bureaucracy and several suites full of senior level plum jobs, many of which would just so happen to be populated by the senior fellows of the think tanks who call for the revival of USIA. As for US international broadcasting, I've written before that, as a VOA broadcaster, I miss USIA about as much as a Lithuanian misses the Soviet Union. Under USIA, VOA was sometimes pushed toward one editorial line, then pushed towards another editorial line. It was sometimes loosely controlled, and sometimes tightly controlled. Many VOA managers were rotated USIA foreign service officers, some who embraced the journalistic mission of VOA, and some who did the opposite.

Under USIA, VOA was not consistently independent. Without independence, an international broadcasting effort cannot achieve credibility. Without credibility, there will be no audience. The audience for international broadcasting is seeking real news, not public diplomacy. The lack of an audience does not concern Mr. Schadler. He derides the BBG for being 'fixated on 'audience size'.' Implied here is that the BBG should be fixated on sending a certain message to the world, regardless of how many people are listening. We see many real-life examples of this communication strategy. They are the people walking the streets, some with shopping carts, engaged in animated conversations, but talking only to themselves." Comment by Marie Ciliberti on Facebook [two entries]: "'But make no mistake: Senator Jesse Helms was the prime mover of the elimination of USIA.' That's an incorrect statement. The actual prime mover was Senator, now VP, Joseph Biden together with Madeleine Albright (who has since apologized for her error in eradicating USIA). But kudos on accurately reflecting the collective thinking of the IBB higher management re: the potential absorption of VOA into State. In the interests of historical accuracy, let us also not forget that President Clinton played more than a minor role in that decision as well and was able to 'persuade' then USIA Director Duffey to 'overcome' his initial resistance to the plan." Image from

Don’t worry, be happy – IBB government employee responds to Smith-Mundt questions as a private blogger - BBGWatcher, Kim Andrew Elliott is a government employee at the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) who claims that his blog on international broadcasting has nothing to do with his government employment. He is, however, the only IBB employee who regularly publishes on issues of U.S. international broadcasting without apparently suffering any negative consequences from IBB higher-ups. They have been known to deal harshly with their critics among their employees and outsiders. This leads some to believe that Kim Andrew Elliott reflects his IBB bosses’s views on the poorly-planned and disastrously executed Smith-Mundt Act modification (vigorously pushed by these government officials) and on some other issues as well, for example when he attacks Radio Free Asia (RFA) and calls for consolidation of all U.S. international broadcasting in one central unit. He claims that RFA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) duplicate the work of the Voice of America (VOA). Many disagree with this view. Ultimately, we don’t know to what extent Kim Andrew Elliott speaks for himself or for his bosses, or both. This also reflects a larger problem with the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 which allows U.S. government-funded broadcasters to distribute news in the United States. Distinctions between government press releases and news are being blurred. Distinctions between private and official comments by government employees are being blurred as well. Distinctions between government press and free press are also becoming more difficult to determine. Even though BBG/IBB employees are allowed to distribute news domestically only upon request, many doubt that government officials in charge of these media outlets will be able to resist the temptation to engage in domestic public relations activities through such news distribution or even to resort to propaganda. Journalists working for these organizations may have no intention to practice propaganda in any form, domestically or internationally, but they will not be the ones in charge of domestic news distribution. The rules were written by high-level government officials who will determine how they are implemented. IBB is the management arm of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal agency in charge of U.S. international broadcasting. It includes VOA, Radio and TV Marti and semi-private surrogate broadcasters, such as Alhurra, RFA, and RFE/RL. ... Who can guarantee that in the future they ... [will] manipulate domestic public opinion?"

Japan’s ‘brand’ as good as the people behind it - Nancy Snow, "Public diplomacy, otherwise known as nation branding, has never been more important in post-3/11 Japan. Japan is playing a game of catch up with its recent announcement of the Japan Brand Fund 'to fund and support business activities to cultivate overseas demand for Japan’s attractive products and services that make full use of the unique characteristics of Japan’s culture and lifestyle.' Most every nation now has a public diplomacy entity to promote its unique qualities so even Cool Japan and J-Pop have a lot of global competition. The winning bid for the 2020 Olympics should put everyone on notice that nation branding is a concern for every Japanese citizen, not just government ministries or businesses pushing their products and services overseas. A recent op-ed at U.S. News and World Report bemoaned the demise of the

United States Information Agency (USIA), my former employer, which was for 46 years the official government entity designed to 'tell America’s story to the world.' Fourteen years ago this month, USIA was abolished as an independent foreign affairs agency. Many in America wax nostalgic for the demise of such a public diplomacy agency, but I don’t. Public diplomacy today is not defined by one agency. It involves people-to-people contact, some formal, much of it informal. A tweet that disparages a nation of people can have as much negative impact as a political leader’s statement, perhaps even more since it is so instantaneous and often impulsive in tone. A personal visit by Lady Gaga to Tokyo after 3/11 garnered as much media attention as a head of state. We may not think of Facebook and Twitter verse in a public diplomacy context, but we should. More people are engaged now in international battles of narratives and most of the battle is taking place online. The nations that will win will have better stories that inform at a minimum and influence at a maximum, but the people must be fully marshaled in this effort. Call it an information and image engagement for all. What Japan should do beyond the Japan Brand Fund is to engage the citizens of Japan in a seven-year path of public diplomacy leading up to the 2020 Olympics. ... And I would encourage everyone to get behind the people’s brand that is Japan. A nation brand — which is just a country’s good name and reputation in the world — is only as good as the people behind it. Don’t leave the branding up to a few. Remember, we all are public diplomats in an age of globalization." Image from

Washington y el atentado contra el avión de Cubana - Hernando Calvo Ospina, Rebelión: "[E]l embajador Otto Reich, un cubano-estadounidense, ex oficial del ejército, muy cercano al ya vicepresidente George Bush padre ... [v]enía de trabajar en la Oficina de Diplomacia Pública para América Latina y el Caribe (Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean), creada por Ronald Reagan como unidad de guerra sicológica e intoxicación mediática, en el Departamento de Estado."

The Passion of Chelsea Manning: Chase Madar and Noam Chomsky - "Liveblog by @schock of the Starr Forum talk by Chomsky and Madar at MIT, sponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies. ... [Chase] Madar: ...

The public reaction even among intellectuals who should know better seem to assume that our diplomats have been doing a great job, and wikileaks is spoiling it. Get real. Our foreign policy has been one disaster after another. ... Look at Wodrow [sic] Wilson on public diplomacy." Image from entry

US-Iran Thaw Puts Israeli Attack Options on Ice - Barbara Opall-Rome, "With talks between Iran, Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council likely to extend well into the new year, experts here say Israel will intensify public diplomacy in support of sanctions and continue its successful covert war against Iran’s nuclear and cyber programs."

Jewish student journalists to convene in L.A. - Jared Sichel, "Jewish high school journalists from around the country will meet in Los Angeles later this month at the Jewish Scholastic Press Association’s (JSPA) inaugural convention and Shabbaton. ... The event’s keynote will be given by Dana Erlich, Israeli consul for culture, media and public diplomacy in Los Angeles. Speaking Oct. 24 at a private home in Beverlywood, Erlich will answer questions from the students and offer ideas for how Jewish journalists can cover life in Israel."

Lapid’s claim [scroll down link for item] - Zev Chamudot, Letter to the editor, Jerusalem Post: "Sir, – Yair Lapid’s statement made in an interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose ('Lapid: Jews safer in NY than in Israel,' October 9) was both boorish and simplistic, and not at all worthy of a senior government minister. ... With the great amount of talk about the need for hasbara (public diplomacy) and the

concern that Israeli students and professors traveling abroad serve as ambassadors carrying a positive image of Israel, flippant, thoughtless statements like the above serve to obliterate much of that effort." Image from

Argo screening in D.C. deemed PR win, ‘Canada love-in’ - "A screening and reception for the Hollywood film Argo at the Canadian embassy in Washington last fall was such a hot ticket, people complained afterwards about not getting invited. The star-studded, $23,000 affair appeared to be well worth it for film execs and embassy officials, who considered the event a success both for public diplomacy and marketing purposes."

Ukraine scolded by Russia for turn towards EU - Steven G. Traylor, "On Sept. 20, President of Lithuania and current EU revolving Chair(person) Dalia Grybauskaite opened what is called the 10th annual Yalta European Stragety [sic] (YES) Conference in Yalta, Ukraine along with her counterpart of Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovich. The four day conference drew some 250 participants from some 20 different countries to discuss the global economy, energy security, and terrorist threats faced by all countries attending. ... Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that European integration cannot be reconciled with Moscow’s proposal for Eurasia integration, and that if Ukraine decided to sign the Association Agreement, it must take into consideration the fact that trade between the two will become more difficult. ... The Yalta European Strategy (YES) is the largest social institution for public diplomacy in this region, providing an open and equal dialogue on global issues affecting the Europe Union, Ukraine, Russia and other countries according to its official Web site."

Russia expects Azerbaijan's accession to Eurasian Customs Union jointly with Turkey - "If Azerbaijan joins the Eurasian Customs Union, it will most likely be jointly with Turkey, deputy chairman of the Inter-Commission Working Group on International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy of the Public Chamber of Russia, Sergei Markov

told journalists in Baku on Thursday." Markov image from entry

Russian observer: Elections in Azerbaijan held in accordance with international law - E. Ismayilov, "Elections in Azerbaijan were held in accordance with local laws and norms of international law, deputy chairman of the Inter-Commission Working Group on International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy of the Public Chamber of Russia Sergey Markov said during the press conference on the results of presidential election in Azerbaijan on Thursday."

Open Innovations Forum is 'opportunity to strengthen cooperation with Russia' - Ambassador of Finland - "'We have to be competitive in the international market and the only way we can do that is through research innovation, new products, new technologies. So, this is an opportunity for us to strengthen our cooperation in the field of technologies of various kinds with Russia,' Ambassador of Finland to the Russian Federation Hannu Himanen

told the Voice of Russia. ... [Voice of Russia:] Finnish products are quite popular with the Russian consumer so that’s a positive sign as well. We touched upon economic cooperation and cooperation in trade and many other business areas. Let’s now talk about public diplomacy and that’s the cultural ties that connected two countries. How popular is Finland as a tourist destination for Russians and how popular is Russia for the Finns? [Himanen:] In terms of travel and tourism Russians have become by far the largest single nationality travelling to Finland. Last year, our embassies and consulates (four points altogether in Russia – Moscow, St Petersburg, Petrozavodsk and Murmansk) gave out more than 1,300,000 visas and most of these visas are multiple visas. It means that lost of Russians are travelling. We count more than four million Russian visitors in Finland last year. And the economic importance of that sort of traffic is huge. It’s calculated that Russians visiting Finland left more than €1.2 billion last year. Himanen image from entry

Culture, knowledge, media, public diplomacy through the Korea notified role 'pitter-patter': Foreign embassies local success stories [Google "translation"] - "'Catch The hearts of The People Partners' countries The world of 'Public Diplomacy (Public Diplomacy)' is Accelerating. away from a relative Traditional Only The government was diplomatic culture, Knowledge, Media, Language, as a means to directly aid of The People using to reach The Station The 21st century Public Diplomacy, foreign Central Axis of growth is Due. Unfortunately, in The Field of Public Diplomacy in Korea hubalju Sleep. Until The end of 2012, Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy in The installed magazine, The The Organized Budget was first time this year. The Late start in The Field of Public Diplomacy

in Korea Recently Paying Outstanding Performance Bouncing ideas have been. ... [I]n line with Park Geun-hye is global government PUT Trends on The Power Public Diplomacy. The government has submitted to The National Assembly Recently, According to a 2014 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Public Diplomacy Budget Support Capacity- Building Project Budget is 90 billion next year, was Organized. This year (67 million) than The Amount of Increase is about 45%. Balanced Budget Deficit just getdaneun Project Budget based on Each Department's Public Diplomacy [.]Unfortunately Budget Cuts as much as The Most Consistently shown a willingness to grow out of is interpreted to Me. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Variety of current National and Regional Public Diplomacy to Strengthen Cooperation is. South Korea and China in The Field of Public Diplomacy to Expand Cooperation "in One, Public Diplomacy Last Month Forum was Established in Seoul." Image from article, with caption: Netherlands 'time myuren Hope' School Textbook Publishers Revision before geography. With The Fish market for refined and pictures of Marine Fisheries is selling Conventional Introducing Our Country to Country.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first group of public diplomacy, academic workshops [Google "translation"] - "(Seoul = News Wire ) October 10, 2013 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the coming 10.11 (Fri.) "Korea is a long tradition of creation, culture and life." as the theme of the first 'Public Diplomacy Conference Group (Scholars Group for Public Diplomacy) 'workshop will be held. launched last 1.29 'Public Diplomacy Conference Group, a public diplomacy envoy Honor (Honorary Envoy for Public Diplomacy) has been appointed as the national university foreign scholars being served 16 consists of being . <1st conference="" diplomacy="" group="" on="" overview="" public="" workshop=""> * Time and Place - Fri, 11.10.2013 10:00 to 16:00, Shilla Hotel, guesthouse, Ruby Hall * Participants - mayoungsam public diplomacy ambassador, director of cultural diplomacy as hanchunghui Foreign Personnel / Public Diplomacy Conference Group members / public diplomacy jeongchaekgwan academic groups such as nationality, culture, country missions in Korea Public Diplomacy Conference 1st workshop groups Fest Immanuel Hee Lai Wee Professor, Fall Arts and gimhuijae professor, director of research include Korea Culture & Content singwangcheol ' Koreans are experiencing creativity, taste the food in Korea creative, creativity, dig in Korean traditional culture 'as a sub-themes will be announced. Public Diplomacy Scholars academic group released three kinds of sub-themes Korea's traditional culture and life through creativity hidden in the economic development of Korea today and Korean dramas, K-POP Korea pop culture, such as the popularity of which has led to the fact that it was the driving force seems to be coming. ministry of public diplomacy scholars and academic groups to copper workshop presentation Based on Korea's creative culture can be introduced more effectively in the world will discuss the plan and discussed at the workshop, based on comments from a variety of strategies to promote public diplomacy, constantly worrying, practice plans."

Regional fix for education visas - Bernard Lane, "The Abbott government last week announced Indonesia's agreement to take part in a trial next year of the New Colombo Plan, which will send undergraduates into the region for study and internships. Visas are expected to be a potential difficulty, especially in a country such as Indonesia with its immigration bureaucracy and a rise in protectionist sentiment ahead of national elections next year.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop, who has spearheaded the New Colombo Plan as an exercise in public diplomacy, has said Australia will negotiate visa and other issues through 'bespoke' bilateral agreements with each country that joins the scheme. Singapore has joined Indonesia in agreeing to take part in next year's New Colombo trial." Image from

S. Africa says to enhance BRICS cooperation - Xinhua, "The South African government on Tuesday said it is satisfied with BRICS achievements and will further the cooperation among member states. ... BRICS is the acronym of the five emerging economies in the world, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which assumed chairmanship of the 5th BRICS summit in its southeastern port city of Durban in March this year. ... These would include BRICS public diplomacy forum, anti- corruption cooperation, state-owned companies or enterprises and national agencies responsibility for drug control." See also.

Denmark, Pakistan continue to expand trade relations - "The Danish-Pakistan bilateral relationship has expanded considerably over the last couple of years. Denmark has just signed a new $50 million-framework development programme and our aim is to increase trade ties with Pakistan. This was stated by the Danish Ambassador to Pakistan Jesper M Sorensen during his special presentation at the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR). ... He said we also have an active public diplomacy profile, because we want to reach out to the people of Pakistan - especially to the young generation - and inform them about what Denmark is doing in Pakistan."

Gift of ‘Ishq’ in the offing - Qudssia Akhlaque, "Behind the veil of hectic diplomatic engagements and negotiations, many officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) are quietly engaged in creative endeavours to project and promote the less talked about positive aspects of Pakistan. MOFA has stepped in to proactively pursue public diplomacy initiatives to highlight the positive aspects of Pakistan, the diversity of its land and people and the richness of its heritage, art and culture. ... Mindful of the fact that Pakistan is confronted with a generally biased and hostile international media that tend to reinforce negative stereotypes about the country, MOFA established a public diplomacy division last year. Its key objective is to effectively promote a positive image of the country at various levels. ... According to

MOFA, the objective of a Public Diplomacy Division is to create opportunity for people to people contacts and thus create better understanding of Pakistan and its people. ... As part of public diplomacy, MOFA also encourages Pakistani artists to perform at its missions abroad and facilitates them in obtaining visas for those destinations. In the broader sense most of Pakistan’s active missions abroad are engaged in public diplomacy building Pakistan’s image and raising its profile on multiple scores." Image from

Kayani decides to call it a day - Iftikhar A. Khan, "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had one less worry by Sunday evening. Unexpectedly, a press release from the Inter Services Public Relations, the media wing of the armed forces in general and the army in particular, landed in various media houses and inboxes without any fanfare. The short statement was of great significance as it contained a message from Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that he would retire in November

when his second three-year tenure ended. ... [Comment by:] Adnan October 9, 2013 1:16 am The cuts and bruises Musharraf has caused to the Pakistan Army, Kiyani helped healing it very well during his first two/three years. Later on it remained quite challenging for him as the politicians of the later time were without any clear vision and lacked public diplomacy and worked least on building up the image of the nation. Kiyani however did a wonderful job in spite of all the challenges." Image from entry, with caption: The Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani addressing the participating troops, during his visit to army field exercise Azm-i-Nau 4 in the desert area near Hyderabad.

China's success in Europe 'takes time' - Bao Chang, China Daily: "'Rising Chinese investment in Europe offers mutual benefit,' said Li Zhaoxing, chairman of the China Public Diplomacy Association."

China’s pivotal BRICS strategy - Minghao Zhao, "Minghao Zhao

is a foreign policy expert in Beijing, and a research fellow at the Charhar Institute, a Chinese public diplomacy think tank." Zhao image from entry

Strategic Landpower Task Force Research Report - Among the cited articles: "Huening, Timothy D. Optimizing DoD Information Capabilities and Closing the Public Diplomacy Gap. Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2013.** Advocates establishing an organization responsible for coordination and synchronization of public diplomacy and consolidating DoD information capabilities into a career field."


The Next Breeding Ground for Global Jihad: Washington may have already helped create the deadliest Islamic movement since the Taliban merged with al Qaeda - Reuel Marc Gerecht, Wall Street Journal: It's not too late for the U.S. to influence the war in favor of the rebels who are not bent on establishing an Islamist state.

Azerbaijan: An American ally in a sea of threats - Ashish Kumar Sen, The Washington Times:
In an increasingly polarized world, the small Caspian Sea nation of Azerbaijan is a tantalizing study in contradictions.

It’s a staunch American ally sandwiched between the U.S. nemeses of Iran and Russia, providing a critical transit for U.S. troops and supplies in and out of Afghanistan. Yet most Americans probably can’t spell the country’s name on first chance or pinpoint its location on a map. Image from article

John Bolton knocks Iran nuclear deal as ‘pure propaganda’ - Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times: Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton had some harsh words for the latest nuclear proposal coming out of Tehran: It’s “pure propaganda,” he said. “This Iran deal is complete bull [expletive]. Pure propaganda. The time it takes to go from 20 percent enrichment to full weaponization is two weeks,” Mr. Bolton said to “They are not supposed to do any enrichment, but Obama already conceded that.”

"Homeland" Propaganda - Randy Butternubs, "Homeland" devolved from a pretty good somewhat introspective drama, albeit one that glorifies our intel overlords, into propaganda. In tonight's episode, the CIA shakes down some Wall Street banker to get transaction info that will lead them to save the day from some nefarious plot by dusky Muslims. After the banker turns over the info after being directly threatened by the CIA, which was also glorified, the CIA learns that the transactions originated with the Iranian government. DUN DUN DUHHNNN. At least last season the terrorists were just genera Muslims with no affiliation with any sovereign state. Now a storyline is being fed to the public, fictional yes, that paints the Iranian government as wanting to attack the US.

Iranian Liberal Attacks Pro-Rouhani Propaganda at the Guardian - Whilst the Guardian was busy publishing three stories on Iranians’ right to wear blue jeans, noticeably absent was any op-ed – yet alone an official editorial – championing the right of Iranians not to be subjected to such executions, as the spirit of “anti-imperialist” propaganda continues lives on within the ideological territory known as the Guardian Left.

Image from entry, with statement: On Aug. 27, 1979, two parallel lines of 11 men formed on a field of dry dirt in Sanandaj, Iran. One group wore blindfolds. The other held rifles. The command came in Farsi to fire: “Atesh!” Behind the soldier farthest to the right, a 12th man also shot, his Nikon camera and Kodak film preserving in black and white a mass execution. … Taken seven months after Islamic radicals overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah, the photo remains one of the most famous images of Iran.

In Venezuela, it's still 'Yankee go home': New President Nicolas Maduro has dashed hopes of a thaw with the United States - Charles Shapiro, in times when relations between two countries are rocky, there is an even greater need to have ambassadors in each other's capitals. Vigorous diplomacy reduces the chance of misunderstandings. Still, it's easy to see why the United States is losing patience.

As State Department Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson told me: "We had hoped the new Venezuelan leadership might offer a chance to improve ties, but thus far it's the same old story: creating unnecessary conflicts with the U.S. to distract from addressing the real challenges facing its citizens." Image from article, with caption: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during an event commemorating the one-year anniversary of the late Hugo Chavez's re-election outside Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela.

Exclusive: How the State Department Escaped the Shutdown - Josh Rogin, Eli Lake, Daily Beast: From the CIA to Treasury, the shutdown has crippled key national-security functions. But John Kerry’s State Department barely has a scratch.

Olympic committee wants clarification on gay ‘propaganda’ - John Powers, Boston Globe: What will Olympians be allowed to say and do in Sochi without violating the controversial new Russian law banning gay “propaganda”? That’s what the US Olympic Committee would like to know from the International Olympic Committee so that American athletes, who are outspoken by nature, don’t find themselves in jail at the Games.

Syria: The US Military-Industrial complex tied to pro-war propaganda - Military analysts who recently made frequent appearances on major US media outlets to make the case for a military strike against Syria have ties to prominent defense contractors and other firms with stakes in the conflict, according to a new report. The report by the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit watchdog, details appearances by nearly two dozen commentators who spoke in favor of launching a military campaign against Syria during the recent media frenzy on the issue. The report said that these media analysts had connections to defense industry that would cause conflicts of interests with some having board positions and shares in weapons manufacturing companies whose weaponry would have been used in a US military action against Syria. The study also notes the prominent role of seven think tanks during the Syria debate and their close links to defense contractors. One of the commentators cited in the report was Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, who made a series of high-profile media appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV arguing for military intervention against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over alleged use of chemical weapons. Hadley also wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post headlined “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.” In each case, the media outlets failed to inform their audience that Hadley serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential airstrike campaign against Syria. Hadley earns an annual salary of $128,500 from Raytheon and owns 11,477 shares of the company’s stock. His holdings were worth $891,189 as of August 23. The report found that, out of 37 appearances these pro-war commentators made on CNN, the network disclosed their defense industry ties only seven times. NBC and its umbrella networks disclosed the pundits’ connections five times in 16 appearances. In 23 appearances on Fox News there was not a single attempt to disclose industry ties.

Structural Inclinations – The Leaning Tower of Propaganda: Chemical Weapons Attacks In Ghouta, Syria - Instantly declaring Assad’s guilt a ‘slam-dunk’ fed directly into a rapidly escalating US-UK propaganda blitz intended to justify a massive, illegal attack on Syria without UN approval.

Corporate media employees have been content to give a lazy nod to US-UK claims. Image from entry

Mother Agnes Mariam Attacked...By Human Rights Watch! - Since when does a human rights organization take to arguing the case for a military attack that will kill scores of innocent civilians?

If you are Human Rights Watch, it's all in a day's work. The US regime's favorite "human rights " organization, which once praised the Obama Administration's continuation of its predecessor's torturous CIA "extraordinary rendition" program, pulled out all stops to bolster Obama's claims that the Syrian government was responsible for the August 21st chemical attack near Damascus. A recent report by Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross and her Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights painstakingly refutes much of the photographic evidence presented of the attack. Being on the ground in Syria, she has also interviewed scores of victims of the insurgents' attacks. Her organization's report raises serious questions about whether the YouTube videos presented by the US government as the main US evidence of Syria government responsibility for the attack was manipulated or even entirely faked. Mother Agnes Mariam, dubbed by the BBC as "Syria's Detective Nun," finds her work attacked in a recent BBC article guessed it, Human Rights Watch! Uncaptioned image from article

Palestinian Propaganda Invades the Arts in Canada - Christine Williams, The Toronto Palestine Film Festival uses the arts to demonize the State of Israel. The event is promoted by the Canadian Arab Federation, which has been condemned by the Canadian government for its support of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

SENKAKUS—tense waters / Quantity vs logic in ‘propaganda war’ - Yomiuri Shimbun, On Sept. 11, 2012, the government purchased three of the Senkaku Islands, which are Japan’s sovereign territory, from the then owner and nationalized them.

China, which claims territorial rights over the islands in Okinawa Prefecture, reacted fiercely. Since then, China has repeatedly engaged in dangerous, provocative behavior against Japan. The Yomiuri Shimbun has traced the confrontation between the two countries over the remote East China Sea islands. Image from entry

New Kashmir transmitterwill tackle Indian “propaganda” - A radio station that broadcasts to Pakistani-controlled Kashmir is to get a new 10 kilowatt transmitter to help counter “baseless” “propaganda” from India, according to the director general of the country’s state broadcaster. Samina Pervaiz says she will get approval from the board of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) for the new equipment, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan. The new medium wave transmitter for Radio Azad Kashmir Muzaffarabad will help overcome current reception problems, she said.

Armenian Cartographer Sheds Light on Azeri Propaganda - Propaganda is the tool of diplomats, but propaganda is nothing without facts. The works of cartographer Rouben Galichian provide the best ground for us in this propaganda war. Galichian, who served as Armenia’s Honorary Consul in London from 1992 to 2000 is the author of a number of books on historical and geographical studies.

His most recent work is a collection of facts and images revealing the historical-cultural falsifications of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has been insisting for years that Armenians are immigrants to the region, that the historical-cultural monuments in Armenia are of Azerbaijani origin, and other fantastic claims. Galichian’s latest work provides a number of facts proving the opposite. Image from entry, with caption: Illustrations in Rouben Galichian's new book, Clash of Histories in the South Caucuses

Nigeria: Keshi not scared of Ethiopian propaganda - Ngoh Divine, Nigeria’s head coach, Stephen Keshi, has assured that they will not lose focus amid scare tactics by Ethiopia in the buildup of their World Cup qualifier playoff game of Sunday in Addis Ababa.

Keshi said that The Super Eagles are unperturbed by the Ethiopian propaganda as they are used to playing under such pressure. “We are still working with information from the Ethiopian side and we will not be discouraged. We will have to keep our calm, no matter how they try to provoke us,” Keshi said. Uncaptioned image from entry

Propaganda mind control: turning truth backwards - Jon Rappoport, Propaganda mainly exists to put the truth backwards, because for some reason people like it that way. The Vatican has some high-level propaganda pros working for it. Presidents will always pay lip service to gaining independence from foreign oil. But this is all backwards propaganda. The truth runs more like this: “We want to fight wars and control land and kill people and blow up whatever we can. We need a reason to do that. So, when we talk to influential corporate types and insiders, we focus on energy. We say we have to keep the oil flowing, that’s why we go in there and destabilize countries and set up new puppets and kill, kill, kill.”

Acclaimed Author Exposes Propaganda Preventing us from Knowing Bigfoot - Guy Edwards, "I don't really care for the term conspiracy theory, I prefer something more descriptive like selective history or bernysian-style propaganda" --Kirk Sigurdson. On October 20th HopsSquatch will host the Wunderland of Bigfoot presentation and Kirk Sigurdson will be the lagomorph that takes us there. Ever wonder why sasquatches have yet to be scientifically accounted for, when any other animal in similar circumstances would have been documented long ago?

How about the way sasquatch phenomena tends to be so dramatically polarizing among researchers, almost to the point of fomenting a kind of religious extremism? And why has centuries upon centuries of Indian wisdom (and warnings) on the subject been largely ignored? Kirk Sigurdson, a professor of creative writing at Portland Community College, will examine cultural mechanisms at work in today's "scientific dictatorship." This approach should help to train some new light on the sasquatch question. In addition, Sigurdson will discuss his novel, Kultus, which delves into the trappings of both legends and qualitative field research associated with forest giants. Image from entry

Propaganda Doughnuts sets up shop on Division Avenue corridor - Grand Rapids' culinarian Tory O'Haire, dubbed The Starving Artist and known for his Full Moon Supper Club dinner parties, is now starting a new venture his new

brick and morter doughnut shop. Propaganda Doughnuts (117A South Division Avenue) plans to stand apart from the pack of other doughy fried goodies by offering the area's first health conscious, environmentally friendly doughnut and pastry shop. Image from entry

Rick Warren, Saddleback Church and Propaganda Posters - "I created this cartoon based on a Nazi youth propaganda poster from WW2."


"RFE/RL: One of your chapters [in Morozov's book 'The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom'] is called 'Why The KGB Wants You To Join Facebook.' Why does the KGB want us to join Facebook? [Evgeny] Morozov: Part of the argument I'm making in the book is that authoritarian governments have immensely benefited from the web, and I point to three features. One of them is propaganda; one of them is new ways of censorship; and one of them is increased surveillance, more sophisticated surveillance.

The reason why the KGB wants you to join Facebook is because it allows them to, first of all, learn more about you from afar.
I mean, they don't have to come and interrogate you, and obviously you disclose quite a bit. It allows them to identify certain social graphs and social connections between activists. Many of these relationships are now self-disclosed by activists, by joining various groups. You can actually go and see which causes are more popular than others."

--From; image from


--Via MM on Facebook


Sex in Kazakh - "I learned that, for example, a condom in Kazakh - mүsheқap. Logical, literal, translation desk. That's the problem - the word after it was created, even in the quiet of his study is to live an independent life. In this case, the turbulent life. How could it be otherwise, when it comes to orgasm - Lyazzat? I have a friend Lyazzat ... I always thought that this word describes the innocent fun, not sensual pleasure. The pleasure of chocolate, from the kiss the baby - that's what the 'Lyazzat' in my view. And then orgasm ..."

Image from entry

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