Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14

“Whenever one speaks, especially in this type of setting, I am reminded especially of what a friend in Texas told me. ‘Public speaking is like a Texas longhorn: there’s a point here, a point here and a lot of bull in the middle.’”

--Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico’s former ambassador to the United States and current fellow at USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy, in a panel on United States-Mexico relations; image from


[WATCH] 2013 Public Diplomacy Symposium at Syracuse - Michael Ardaiolo,

Steven Seagal: “Obama Regime Very Good At Controlling Media and Propaganda” - "Steven Seagal Lets Rip in Exclusive Interview with RT." Seagal image from entry

Hollyweed: 4 Funniest Pot Propaganda Films - See also, "Miley Cyrus Reveals Why She Sparked a Joint Onstage at EMAs"; also John Brown, "Holy Water and Marijuana," Notes and Essays; image from

Sick Propaganda - "H/T Walt for the following antismoking video. ... I had just one question after watching it. The expectant mother was clearly smoking a real cigarette. If smoking really is believed to be so dangerous for a developing foetus, why did they ever ask her to do something so dangerous?"


Aid after typhoon in Philippines shows the politics of generosity - Anne Applebaum, Washington Post: "[T]he American dream is looking rather tarnished these days, and not only to Americans. To much of the outside world, the United States appears unpromising and unwelcoming, especially compared with the largest economy in East Asia, the new land of opportunity. We are growing far more slowly than China. Our middle class is downwardly mobile. ... U.S. foreign policy isn’t popular at the moment either, especially among our allies. ... And yet, when a disaster unfolds and resources have to be rapidly mobilized, it’s as if nothing had changed. ... One of the largest typhoons on record hit the Philippines last week. The extent of the damage isn’t yet known. But the U.S. response is already larger — by a factor of hundreds — than that of the largest economy in East Asia. The United States is sending an aircraft carrier and other ships to the worst-hit regions and has promised $20million in emergency aid. Millions more will be raised by U.S. charities. The British are sending a warship and $16million. Even the Vatican has promised $4million. And the government of China, the new land of opportunity? One hundred thousand dollars. ... But these differing responses to the typhoon also signify a different set of attitudes toward power, and not just 'soft power': Americans, like Europeans, have long believed that strength and wealth entail responsibility. That’s why two former U.S. presidents voluntarily coordinated the international response to the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, even though Indonesia had no U.S. naval base. That’s why massive amounts of U.S. aid went to victims of the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, even though relations between the United States and Pakistan were deteriorating at the time. That’s also why an American president who is actively uninterested in engaging with the Syrian conflict has pledged $1.16billion in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, accounting for nearly 30percent of all such aid; European contributions as a whole make up a good percentage of the rest. China’s contribution, meanwhile, comes to $3 million, less than that of Luxembourg. ... U.S. strength may be waning, U.S. status may be fading and U.S. attraction for talented foreigners may soon taper off. But when America is no longer a superpower, you will be sorry it’s gone."

Krenn presents research at the Norwegian Nobel Institute - "Dr. Michael L. Krenn, professor of history and faculty coordinator for First Year Seminar at Appalachian State University, recently participated in a conference on 'Selling America in an Age of Uncertainty: U.S. Public Diplomacy in the 1970s' held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo. ... Krenn’s presentation ... addressed ways the United States tried to portray its struggles to make civil rights a reality in the wake of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. These acts were hailed as the most important civil rights legislation since the Civil War.

Krenn said the nation’s hopes that these acts would solve the racial problem in America were dashed as race riots broke out in Harlem in 1964 and even more explosively in Watts in 1965. 'In the face of concerns from U.S. allies and endless assaults by communist propaganda, the United States Information Agency used a variety of its own propaganda schemes to try and reassure the world that the race problem was being solved,' Krenn said. In his presentation, Krenn reported that notable African Americans were featured in USIA publications and films; the urban riots were portrayed as either the work of a small criminal element or, as anti-war riots joined in the tumult, as simply Americans trying to work out their own political and economic issues; and America’s commitment to racial equality was emphasized over and over. His research also showed that some of the propaganda reached surreal heights as when the USIA funded a French-language version of 'The Nipsey Russell Show' in 1969. 'Targeted at former French colonies in northern Africa, it was hoped that the sight of a well-dressed, intelligent, humorous African-American would help ease concerns about America’s race problem,' he said. 'That it did, but an unforeseen complication was that the ‘skimpily clad women dancers’ on the show brought down a firestorm of protest from the large Islamic population in those areas.'” Image from

Trudeau, China and Political Warfare: Liberal leader's comments may reveal impacts of Chinese regime's influence, says activist - Matthew Little, Epoch Times: "Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has managed a rare feat for a Canadian political leader—he has acknowledged that China is ruled by a dictatorship. ... Trudeau hasn’t explained exactly how he views China’s dictatorship. It could be that the Liberal leader is indifferent to the regime’s bloodiest atrocities—which amount to some of the most egregious human rights abuses in history—but that seems unlikely. It’s more likely that Trudeau really has no concept of what it means to live under communist rule, says prominent Chinese democracy activist Sheng Xue. ... 'An important Canadian politician has this kind of admiration of China’s basic dictatorship. We all know that China’s soft power has landed in Canada already,' she said. It’s a question that warrants scrutiny given the amount of resources the Chinese regime puts to the pursuit of soft power and political warfare. Those resources were recently documented in detail by the Project 2049 Institute, a U.S.-based think-tank focused on guiding decision makers towards a more secure Asia by mid-century. 'Political warfare is a critical component of Chinese security strategy and foreign policy,' begins the report. Its aim is to influence the emotions, objective reasoning and behaviour of foreign governments and others so they act according the the regime’s political-military objectives. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) takes a multi-disciplinary approach to political warfare, notes the report. Several different organizations and departments play different roles.

While historically the People’s Liberation Army General Political Department was the lead, a network of state organizations actively engage in political warfare. While much of that effort is focused on Chinese citizens or Taiwan, the regime does extend its efforts overseas. When an MP gets an angry call from the Chinese embassy for supporting Uyghur dissidents, that is political warfare. So too, depending on various definitions of the term, are China-sponsored Confucius Institutes at universities across Canada that give the regime’s sanctioned version of higher education. The export of English-language Chinese state-controlled media like Xinhua, China Daily, and CCTV can also be seen as another platform to carry out political warfare. 'While public diplomacy seeks to influence opinions of mass audiences, political warfare involves a calculated manipulation of an opposing side’s strategies, defense policies, and broader international norms,' reads the report. Political warfare often uses coercive persuasion to weaken an opponent’s political will—for example, a scathing rebuke for a world leader who dares to meet with the Dalai Lama. The China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) is one platform for political warfare known to be active in Canada, says the report. The CEFC describes itself as a 'non-profit, non-governmental think-tank devoted to public diplomacy and research on strategic issues with emphasis on energy and culture.'” Uncaptioned image from article

Live: 2013 Beijing Int’l Forum on People to People Friendship
- "The Beijing International Forum on People to People Friendship was started in 2011, when 50 international organizations from 28 countries shared their experiences on the influence of public diplomacy on international exchanges and world city construction. Held biennially, it aims to promote cooperation among international associations for friendship and the world’s sister cities.

It also serves as a platform for collecting constructive suggestions on developing Beijing into an international city." Image from entry, with caption: The 2013 Beijing International Forum convenes in Beijing.

Friday links+ Event - The View from Taiwan: Commentary from Taichung, Taiwan - "The Taiwan Research Programme (TRP) has invited Dr Michael Danielsen to present a seminar concerning the work of Taiwan Corner, a membership organization based in Copenhagen that works through briefings, advocacy and public diplomacy to inform civil society and political interests concerning Taiwan. The advocacy group works through its website, through media work and personal contact. Dr Danielsen sees opportunity 'in the dormant support for Taiwan among politicians and the public, which can be', he argues, 'awakened with a strong public relations strategy.' In the past five years Taiwan Corner has had direct contact with Danish government and EU institutions and has sought to represent Taiwanese interests in those circles, as well as providing briefings, information and articles in European and Taiwanese media. In recent years, some casework has involved defending the civil and human rights of European citizens against arbitrary action by the Taiwan government. Taiwan’s ambiguous and difficult international situation has led the island to be called 'the Forbidden Nation'. Taiwan Corner’s work is done against the backdrop of an official representation of East Asian geo-political affairs constrained by a 'One-China Policy', interpreted variously by European governments, and at the EU level. The TRP believe that this seminar and the following Roundtable raise issues of keen interest not just for scholars with an academic interest in Taiwan, but also serves as a valuable case-study for scholars concerned with political process of civil society advocacy, lobbying, and foreign policy formation at national, EU and global levels. The Taiwan Corner website can be seen here:"

Time to challenge India for its stranglehold on funding for rights organizations - Ravi Nair, "It’s a fact little discussed outside India that the Indian government’s approach to foreign funding for human rights work is probably as draconian, or more, as that of Russia or apartheid South Africa. The state uses an antiquated law on foreign funding for non-government organizations like a surgeon’s scalpel, carefully and incisively stifling dissent and regulating non-state activity with any significant level of funding. European governments, all true defenders of the human rights faith when it comes to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, fail to challenge the Indian state on this because India is too important a trade partner. Under the so-called Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) law, all organizations seeking to receive foreign funding must first apply for the permission from the Union Home Ministry.  ... Meanwhile, those organizations that try to push the boundaries using foreign funding, such as the Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) with its recent protests against the Kudunkulam Nuclear Power project, simply find that their FCRA permit has been suspended. ... INSAF is challenging the state’s decision in the courts, arguing that the FCRA law goes against the fundamental rights chapter of the Indian constitution. The governments of donor countries must use more spirited public diplomacy to support brave organizations as they challenge India’s restrictive policies on international funding."

MEA takes out ads in Chennai papers highlighting aid to SL Tamils - "Seeking to assuage the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu opposed to India’s participation in the CHGOM [see] meet in Sri Lanka, the centre [not specified what center -- JB] today detailed its relief and rehabilitation efforts for minority Tamils in the war-torn island nation. Print advertisements issued by the Ministry of External Affairs listed out implementation of 'Indian Assisted Projects for Tamil people in Sri Lanka since 2009' and recalled that even before the '30-year armed conflict' came to an end, India had sent emergency relief assistance for internally displaced Tamils. ... The advertisement, carrying a tagline 'Indian Public Diplomacy - Advancing India’s Conversations with the World [,]' noted that India has implemented projects worth Rs 577 crore under grant assistance programme since 2009 'and is committed to spending an additional amount of Rs 1300 crores over the next three years.' 'Further, the Government of India has committed Rs 4000 crores under Lines of Credit for implementing the Northern Railway Project, of which Rs 1685 crore has already been spent,' it said, adding, India was among others, involved in restoration and renovation of war-damaged schools, setting up educational institutions, implementing livelihood programmes and engaged in demining activities."

Egypt offers Russia to return to the USSR "[google translated from here, this is not some lunatic conspiracy type website, but respected sites from Russia] At the end of last week in Moscow, a delegation of Egyptian politicians associated with the new military leadership. As they said, 'b', [probable reference to Russian newspaper "Kommersant" - JB] in Cairo hopes that Russia will help Egypt to withstand the pressure of the United States, condemned the overthrow of President-Islamist, they recall most of the military aid. Cairo, in turn, promised to

lobby Moscow's interests in the Middle East and even willing to host a 'friendly Russian objects[.]' The second in a couple of months, the arrival in Moscow of Egyptian emissaries who call themselves public diplomacy aims, as reported by 'b' in the delegation to 'return to bilateral relations strategic - as it was in Soviet times.' More mundane purpose of the visit - to prepare the ground for the upcoming talks in Cairo in the format of 'two plus two' foreign ministers and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu and their Egyptian counterparts and Nabil Fahmy Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi." Uncaptioned image from entry

Diaspora Tourism | Uganda Government Should Embrace Its Diaspora – To Foster National Development - Isaac Sebakijje, "[T]he diaspora contributes to the national development in a variety of other ways.

They instigate foreign direct investment, promotion of trade, public diplomacy, culture, technology and skills transfer, philanthropic activities, peace building and national reconciliation. Also a number of global organizations are working with the diaspora in ways that support partnership, mutuality and capacity building." Uncaptioned image from article

Place Branding: A War of Ideas - Charlie Rose, "There is a war going on. It’s not fought by soldiers and guns over land and resources, but instead over image and how a country or location is perceived. Who is best at changing their public image? Who is the most sophisticated at encapsulating an identity? This is a war of ideas raging between government experts in international relations and private sector specialists in branding and tourism marketing.

They fight over who exactly is best suited to engage in ‘Nation Branding’. Each year respected brand agency Futurebrandand Nation Branding policy academic Simon Anholt release competitive yearly indexes ranking country’s branding against one another. ‘Nation Branding’ is also known as ‘competitive identity’, ‘destination marketing’ and ‘public diplomacy’, yet regardless of its title, it’s a nascent industry. Representing an entire country, city or place with a brand may seem improbable but place branding has proven to produce effective results for important economic sectors. What both of these sets of experts agree upon is that the most important ingredient to success is strong commitment from stakeholders, whether that is tourism boards, city councils or a national diplomacy council. There needs to be an unwavering belief in a long term plan that represents the place in an elegant fashion or contextualises where the place is going with bright prospects for investment and tourism." Image from entry, with caption: Every country has a branded ideal they like to put forward.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- “It Is Easy To Take a Side, It Takes Courage To Be Objective” - "On October 23rd, the World Affairs Council of Connecticut (WACCT) hosted the first part of its two part discussion series titled – Is it Now or Never? - Resolving the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. The first part focused on the Palestinian perspective of the conflict; and the second part, that took place on November 5th, focused on the Israel perspective on the conflict. I am extremely grateful that WACCT organized this event and provided presentations from both sides so that the audience had the opportunity to form their own conclusions. ... The second part of the discussions series, on November 5th, featured Gil Lainer, Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Consulate General of Israel in New York."

Falkland Islands newly-elected members' portfolio responsibilities - "Portfolio One –Policy and Public Relations. Held by Michael Poole MLA, Deputy Holder Jan Cheek MLA. Includes: National Statistics; Environmental Planning; Archives; EU Issues; Legislature, and Public Relations/Public Diplomacy, FIGO."

Лекция «НАТО и новые вызовы международной безопасности» - Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO - "Jamie Shea is NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. He has been working with NATO since 1980.

Positions included Director of Policy Planning in the Private Office of the Secretary General, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for External Relations, Public Diplomacy Division, Director of Information and Press, Spokesman of NATO and Deputy Director of Information and Press, Deputy Head and Senior Planning Officer at the Policy Planning and Multilateral Affairs Section of the Political Directorate as well as Assistant to the Secretary General of NATO for Special Projects. ... He also is a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs and on public diplomacy and political communication and lobbying." Shea image from

Veterans Call for Promoting Peace on Veterans Day - "About mikejb79: "Michael Bassett holds highly controversial views of North Korea, which are deeply rooted in two contemporary paradigms: the ontological social construction

of international reality - theoretical and analytical approach to international relations (constructivism), and soft power methodology to peace and conflict resolution (public diplomacy)." Bassett image from entry


A different Israeli take on Iran: Despite Netanyahu's hard line, many Israelis believe diplomacy can work - Dalia Dassa Kaye, Israelis no doubt expect the United States to bargain hard and to live up to President Obama's commitment to prevent the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran. Yet not all Israelis are as distrustful of Obama as Netanyahu appears to be. Below image from; another below image from

French Muscle, American Cheese - Roger Cohen, New York Times: The overall feeling in France observing U.S. actions in the Middle East is of a troubling uncertainty, a retreat that tends to leave a vacuum, a new American determination to work with a “light footprint” that can give the impression of disinterest.

Will peace come to Colombia? - Editorial, A tentative deal reached this month between Colombia's largest rebel group and President Juan Manuel Santos' government could finally lead to an end to the country's bloody, decades-long conflict. The Obama administration should continue to stand by Santos' government, because its approach represents the best chance for peace in Colombia.

Polish march: provocation or consequence of propaganda? - All Polish experts involved in the analysis of the events at the so-called Independence March on November 11, agree on one thing: the damage to the Russian embassy was done by a relatively small group of hooligans.

Hence, it would be incorrect to draw any conclusions about the attitude of the Polish people towards Russia on the basis of these events. This point can be considered valid, but it is still worth noting that hardly such an act of vandalism would be possible without the appropriate anti-Russian atmosphere that had been created in Poland in recent years. Image from entry

Charles Urban and Britain’s first war propaganda film - Entrepreneur Charles Urban is one of the most important figures in the early history of cinema. He was a pioneer of documentary, educational and scientific films, and during the First World War, Urban was involved with British propaganda filmmaking, which began with Britain Prepared in 1915. British propagandists were slow to exploit the medium of film, and at the start of the war cameras were banned from the front. In 1915, the British Topical Committee for War Films was formed to lobby on behalf of the film industry, with Charles Urban as its chairman. Toward the end of 1915, the War Office were persuaded to send the first two official cameramen to the Western Front, meanwhile, Urban had approached Charles Masterman

who headed the propaganda agency at Wellington House. A Cinema Committee was formed, producing and distributing films to allied and neutral countries. Britain Prepared was the first of these films; it used military footage to promote ideas of British strength and determination in the war effort. Britain was impressed, and the American Charles Urban was sent to try and get British propaganda films onto US screens. You can find out more about Urban’s role in British film propaganda on In 1937, Urban donated his extensive archive to the Science Museum, and it is now cared for as part of the National Cinematography Collection. Image from entry


Share of young U.S. adults who move hits 50-year low - Hope Yen, Associated Press, Washington Times: U.S. mobility for young adults has fallen to the lowest level in more than 50 years as cash-strapped 20-somethings shun home-buying and refrain from major moves in a weak job market. The District of Columbia, with its high share of young adults, had the lowest homeownership rate across all age groups at 41.6 percent, followed by New York at 53.9 percent. West Virginia had the highest homeownership rate at 72.9 percent.


--Showing proportion of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Guns, c. 1915, unknown photographer


--Image (slightly different from the one in above referenced item from)

No comments: