Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11

"No words necessary"

--Your PDPBR compiler

Image fromsee also


Selling America abroad - The Stream Team, Al Jazeera: "Can the government use music and art to build bridges with other countries? Cultural diplomacy is a rising trend in our international outreach efforts, and proponents say that it is a critical component of our global engagement. But critics argue that cultural diplomacy is a wasted investment, and is often undermined by U.S. foreign and national security policy. Has U.S. cultural diplomacy been successful at improving America’s image? Can it be done better? We’ll discuss at 7:30pm ET." Via CS on Facebook.

See also draft essay, John Brown, "Is American Cultural Diplomacy a Hot Potato?" Notes and Essays (May 30, 2013). Image from


US PD's finest hour - Adam Clayton Powell III, The Public Diplomacy Council, on Facebook: ttp://

Foreign students continue to flock to U.S. colleges: A record number of international students were in the U.S. in 2012, a new study reports, with USC attracting the largest number of them - Jason Song,  "The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities grew to a record high last year and USC remained their most popular destination, according to a new study. The private university had 9,840 international students, about 1,400 more than UCLA, which ranked sixth in the survey conducted by the New York nonprofit Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. State Department. USC has had the largest number of foreign students for a dozen years in a row. Overall, the number of international students in U.S. institutions increased by about 7% last year to nearly 820,000. The largest group came from China, which sent about 236,000 students, nearly double the number of students from India, the second-largest group. Several countries — including IranBrazil and Kuwait — increased their number of students in the U.S. by at least 20%, but 'most of the growth was fueled by the undergraduate Chinese students,' said Rajika Bhandari, deputy vice president for research and evaluation at the Institute of International Education. ... The other countries with the largest groups of students at USC are South KoreaSaudi Arabia and CanadaCalifornia attracted the largest number of foreign students nationwide, with about 111,000, followed by New York and Texas, which had 88,000 and 63,000 international students, respectively. The University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign had the second-most international students with 9,800. Purdue University's main campus had 9,500 foreign students, placing it third, while New York and Columbia universities ranked fourth and fifth in the survey, respectively."

Selling America abroad - The Stream Team, Al Jazeera: [Comment by: John Ferguson · Executive Director at American Voices] - "I am the Executive Director of American Voices. We have been doing Cultural Diplomacy and Engagement around the world in over 120 countries since 1993. www, and We are currently in Sudan with a YES Academy program bringing US specialists in hip hop (rap, break dance, art), social theater, circus arts, jazz and rock bands and Broadway musical theater. I can be reached in Khartoum on +249 92 952 1587 if you wanted any comments. Uploading a video from here is not an option. The point I would like to make is that we see a real difference between cultural 'diplomacy' and cultural 'engagement'. The latter implies a deeper, longer term engagement with return visits and long-term goals. Cultural diplomacy to us implies one-off concerts and collaborations and possibly the goal of a feel-good moment, which we like, to change the topic from political or other policy conflicts or disagreements. Engagement implies the committment to the artistic and personal development of the participants, over a longer period of time as well as a long term committment to audiences and local media. We have been working in this way in the Kurdistan reach of Iraq for 7 seasons now. There we are committed to our summer Academy programs as well as to training selected young professional for degree programs and professional teacher training in music in the US. This is the kind of programming that is dearest to our hearts and inspires us as teachers. We see the development of our participants over time and see how they emerge as the next generation of teachers, performers and cultural leaders. To recap, both Diplomacy and Engagement are great, but the Engagement approach is what is most needed in countries like Sudan, Iraq or Pakistan that are suffering from levels of isolation and lack of opportunity for young artists and for their audiences hungry for live cultural events. Best regards, John Ferguson" Entry also includes a comment by your PDPBR compiler -- on the origins of the term "cultural diplomacy."

Image from

Voice of America English News fails to report on Obama meeting with Cuban dissidents - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "While VOA English News report “Obama Calls for Updated US Policy on Cuba” lacked both substance and balance, the VOA Spanish Service and Radio and TV Marti provided more comprehensive reporting.

Unfortunately, English-speaking international audiences and audiences of other VOA foreign language services relying of VOA English News may have been poorly informed and even mislead by VOA report." Image from entry, with caption: During a visit to Miami on Nov. 8, President Barack Obama met with Ladies in White leader Berta Soler and Sakharov Prize winner Guillermo Fariñas, two Cuban dissidents currently visiting the U.S. These photos were posted online by Radio and TV Marti (Office of Cuba Broadcasting – OCB). They were not used by Voice of America English News, which also failed to report on Obama’s meeting with Cuban dissidents but posted a short and confusing news item on Obama calling for updating U.S. policies toward Castro’s Cuba.

Deeper look into Ukraine Ministry Leaks - "It’s not a secret that activation of Ukraine-EU relations is accepted by Russia as a challenge and in turn Moscow uses whole arsenal of counter-campaign tools – from public diplomacy to informational support of anti-European tendencies in Ukraine. Original Source: Deeper look into Ukraine Ministry Leaks."

A critical stage for the peace process - Ihsan Bal, Head of USAK Academic Council, "It looks as if in the months ahead of us there will be heated discussions inside the PKK over whether to continue seeking their rights through violence. For the other party in the peace process, the Turkish Government, one of the most contentious issues will be whether the democratization package will effect the jump-start and change in climate desired. USAK’s Analist magazine published an analysis of the peace process in its March 2013 edition under the headline 'The Peace Settlement Process Should not Lack a Settlement'. In essence, the article inquired how a peace process of this sort would be managed, the dynamics upon which it should rest, and how probable risks and pitfalls could be overcome at minimum cost. In short it went over the ways to meet the pre-conditions necessary for success in the peace process. At that date I had expressed my view that the peace process would require a social and political coalition, transparency, correct public diplomacy, and comprehensive feedback. Today the peace process has arrived at a stage which demonstrates how right and appropriate these warnings were, and that even though many of them were ignored there is still time to achieve social peace."

Korea traditional wedding procession in the heart of San Francisco 'eye': Consulate General of the Asian Art Museum, Korea co-hosted the first anniversary of married couples hero ... [Google "translation"] - The event 'public diplomacy' (public diplomacy) would be a good example of South Korea and the U.S. have a good chance to strengthen mutual understanding.

Wine for China - "With the ongoing boycotts around the world of products

made in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron), the Shomron Regional Council’s public diplomacy delegation scored a victory this recently when it launched an alliance between Shomron winemakers and the Italian Winemakers Association." Image from heading of entry; see also.

Call HRW Banned Sunni Muslim Eid prayer in Tehran, Iran Embassy Denies [Google "translation"] - "Embassy (Embassy) in Jakarta Islamic Republic of Iran denied the claims of the group Human Rights (HAM) International, Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling banned Sunni Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha in Tehran.

Embassy of Iran through Public Diplomacy Officer, Ali Rad Pahlevani sent a letter of clarification to the ROL, the news titled 'Prohibited Sunni Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Adha in Tehran, HRW Give Warning' that was published on Monday (11/11). ROL citing news from the official website of HRW. In clarification, the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta said, every year the entire Muslim community of the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrated the feasts prayers of Islam in various cities of Iran." Image from article, with caption: Iran flag


Is John Kerry Too 'European' for American Diplomacy? - Leon Hardar, Huffington Post: The continuing hyperactive American diplomacy in the Middle East that Kerry is pursuing, including by launching a new Set of Israeli Palestinian negotiations and managing the rapprochement with Iran, reflects the same commitment that Washington had made at the start of the Cold War and against the backdrop of the collapse of the British and French empires to defend the political and economic interests of the Western alliance in the region which traditionally was considered to be the strategic backyard of Europe. Containing regional and global threats to stability there, protecting the access to the oil resources, and working to advance Arab-Israeli peace were the kind of national security services that Washington that benefited European interests during the Cold War and its aftermath. And Kerry seems too intent on continuing to provide

these services to the Europeans who, unlike the Americans, are dependent on the oil supplies from the region and are affected directly by instability in that region, including through the flow of Muslim immigrants from there, while their cities could be threatened by Iranian nuclear missiles more than, say, New York or Chicago. And let's not forget the sense of nostalgia they may feel towards their former imperial outposts in the Levant and North Africa. Image from

John Kerry’s ‘third intifada’ - David Keene, Washington Times: A secretary of state has to speak clearly and precisely, lest other nations misunderstand him and act on that misunderstanding. Mr. Kerry’s penchant for loose talk is on constant display these days as he careens around the Middle East. When Mr. Kerry landed in Israel, the potential consequences of the dangerous imprecision of his words became clear. Mr. Kerry threatened the Israeli government and predicted that if the Israelis don’t buckle under, there would be “chaos” and perhaps a “third intifada” that would leave the Jewish state isolated and alone.

John Kerry’s Middle East dream world - Jackson Diehl, Washington Post: Imagine a world in which the Middle East is not descending into carnage and chaos but is on the brink of a monumental series of breakthroughs. By next spring,Iran’s nuclear program will be secured and Egypt will be a liberal democracy.

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has stepped aside. And, not least, Israelis and Palestinians have settled on the terms for a Palestinian state. This is the world that John Kerry inhabited as he shuttled across the world last week: a fantastical realm created by his billowing vision of what he can accomplish as secretary of state.  Image from

A Doable Iran Deal - Roger Cohen, New York Times: It is of critical importance to seize the moment and clinching an exacting interim deal that gets all that Iranian nuclear capacity in a verifiable box and builds the confidence needed for a broader accord.

America Has Nowhere to Go on Egypt - Aaron David Miller, New York Times: There’s no doubt that American policy toward Egypt and the political turbulence in the Middle East has lacked direction. Yet the Obama administration’s approach — working with, not against the military, and essentially giving up on any serious effort on democratic reform — is both logical and necessary. We must continue to press General Sisi to see through his road map for parliamentary and presidential elections — but accept that they may not meet our democratic ideals.

U.S. Loses Voting Rights at Unesco - Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times: The United States lost its vote at Unesco on Friday, two years after cutting off its financial contribution to the organization over the admission of Palestinians as full members. The move undermined America’s ability to exercise its influence in countries around the globe through the United Nations agency’s educational and aid programs, according to Western diplomats and international relations experts. Via MS on Facebook

Salvaging Obama - Bill Keller, New York Times: Among suggestions for how Obama might lift his presidency up from the bottom: For years the administration has talked of “rebalancing” our military strategy to address an increasingly assertive China. The Pentagon, liberated from Iraq and drawing down in Afghanistan, has taken some modest steps in this direction, deploying more of the Navy to Asia, devoting more resources to China’s space and cyber threats. But our rivalry with China is not, and should never be, primarily military. We need to compete on the fields of economics and diplomacy. Unfortunately the civilian custodians of our foreign policy have been bogged down in the Middle East, a region that matters a lot, but not as much as it did when we were more dependent on imported oil. The biggest item awaiting some Washington juice is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an immense, stalled, Asian free-trade agreement that would do more to counter burgeoning China than any number of battleships.

After aiding U.S. in Afghanistan war, interpreters are being denied visas - Kevin Sieff, Washington Post: A growing number of Afghan interpreters who worked alongside American troops are being denied U.S. visas allotted by Congress because the State Department says there is no serious threat against their lives.

Drew University in Madison will explore effects of Nazi propaganda in Middle East on Nov. 15 - Though it is widely known that the Nazis used propaganda during World War II as a way to spread anti-Semitism throughout Europe, it is less well known that much of this propaganda was re-packaged as radio broadcasts to Egypt and other countries in the Middle East and is believed to still have influence today. A panel of scholars will speak about the impact of this propaganda and its effect on world religions at a forum on Nov. 15, sponsored by the Drew Center for Holocaust/Genocide Studies. The conference begins with coffee and registration at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The conference, to be held in the Concert Hall of the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, is titled “Understanding the Long Rippling Effect of Nazi Propaganda in the Arab World.” It is presented through grants from the New Jersey Council on the Humanities, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education and support from the center’s patrons and sponsors.

Max Blumenthal’s "Goliath" seen as threat at heart of Israel’s propaganda machinery - Benjamin Doherty, Today in Tablet, Liel Leibovitz reviews Max Blumenthal’s Goliath. Leibovitz derisively calls Goliath a “brilliant new novel,” but Blumenthal’s book is not a novel and not fiction. Indeed, author Chris Hedges, former New York Times Middle East bureau chief, calls Goliath “one of the most fearless and honest books ever written about Israel.”

And it’s currently the number one seller on in the category of Israeli history. Leibovitz has done key propaganda work for the Israeli army and is a principal of Thunder11, a public relations firm notorious for creating the fake “human rights” group Iran180. Leibovitz’s intervention is a clear indication that Blumenthal’s Goliath is perceived at the very heart of Israel’s propaganda machinery as a threat that must be countered. Image from entry, with caption: Israel lobby astroturf initiative Iran180 sodomized Ahmadinejad with a papier mâché nuclear bomb in San Francisco’s pride parade in 2011.


US sees 25 percent surge in women hunters since 2006 - The number of American women spending time hunting has spiked 25 percent between 2006 and 2011.

According to Census Bureau statistics cited by National Geographic, while men still make up the majority of the 13.7 million hunters in the United States, 11 percent are women. Many states, the magazine reports, are now hosting workshops, titled “Becoming An Outdoors-Woman” (BOW), which instruct participants in archery, shotgun and rifle shooting. Via MC on Facebook. Image from

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