“Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation.”
"I'm on Facebook so I don't have to talk to people."
--A university student (paraphrased); image from
Martha Bayles: Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad - frequency.com
A Blunder in US Public Diplomacy - Shao Yuqun and Ji Yixin, chinausfocus.com: "On March 1st, in a shocking terrorist attack, eight knife-wielding terrorists slashed and stabbed at innocent civilians at the Kunming Railway station in southeast China’s Yunnan Province, leaving twenty-nine dead and more than one hundred injured. Terrorized victims’ memories and photos of the scenes showed how deadly the attack had been and the strong impacts it imposed on the whole nation. ... However, as foreign media released their coverage of the attack, Chinese netizens’ response became filled with anger at the United States. ... They ... questioned the journalistic objectivity and impartiality long advocated and boasted of by the American press as CNN remained so suspicious about the nature of the tragedy, which was so clear to all. On March 2nd, the U.S. Embassy at Beijing wrote on its own Weibo and Wechat the following statement in Chinese.
'The United States condemns this terrible and senseless violent act in Kunming. We express our condolences to the families of the dead and all that have been victimized by the tragedy.' Once again, many Chinese netizens questioned the U.S. position, noticing the words 'senseless violent act'. They asked why U.S. embassy had deliberately avoided the words 'terrorist attack', why some US politicians, and the media, had kept regular contacts with representatives of separatist forces plotting for Xinjiang independence and Tibet independence, and why the Americans, who were once the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, should have held such double standards when seeing others suffering from terrorist attack. Microblogs on Weibo and Wechat serve as an important component of U.S. public diplomacy in China, aiming at expressing U.S. government’s positions and opinions to win popularity with the ordinary Chinese. But in this case, this strategy seems counterproductive as far as the public reaction is concerned. US has been strong and smart in public diplomacy, but this time it failed to reach the Chinese public. For instance, they should learn how to convey their messages more accurately to the Chinese audience, especially when it comes across the language translation. ... Jennifer Psaki, spokeswoman for U.S. State Department finally acknowledged the terrorist nature of the Kunming attack on March 4th as she said 'Based on the information reported by the Chinese media, this appears to be an act of terrorism targeting random members of the public, so we are calling this an act of terrorism'. Nonetheless, this delayed acknowledgment cannot undo the blunder." Image from
Stanford University Welcomes Chinese Regime’s Propaganda - Gabriel Feinstein [February 24, 2014] - Gabriel Feinstein, theepochtimes.com: "America’s most prestigious centers of learning are eagerly signing contracts to open exchanges with the Chinese Ministry of Education, but this exchange is unequal and poisoned by the propaganda and covert machinations of the CCP. The Chinese-regime-funded Confucius Institutes teach language and culture courses that are strictly controlled by the CCP. American students, even in elementary schools, are being taught Han-chauvinist values, where ethnic minorities, such as Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Mongols, are Sino-fied, and any truthful examination of the sixty-plus years of genocide/repression that has existed is casually brushed aside. Western Intelligence agencies have always considered these institutes soft power tools of the CCP apparatus, and recently the Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents over 70,000 academic professionals, has demanded a complete ban on Confucius Institutes within Canada. American schools are sorely behind in efforts to purge themselves of such influences. ... Gabriel Feinstein is a member of the Tibetan National Congress." Via DB
Public Schedule, Department of State, March 14, 2014 - state.gov: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS RICHARD STENGEL Under Secretary Stengel participates in the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)"
An Empty Statement - Gideon Israel, americanthinker.com: "The State Department’s ambiguity on Israel as a Jewish State and Jerusalem as its capital is longstanding. ... In 2012, the State Department issued a routine statement announcing the visit of the Acting Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Kathleen Stephens to the
would meet. Then the press release mentioned that she would be visiting, '
EU Heads of Missions’ report on Gaza 2013 - eccpalestine.org: "The EU has consistently worked to ensure that Gaza remains high on the international agenda and has undertaken extensive public diplomacy efforts, inter alia, through regular high level visits to Gaza including the EU High Representative and Member States’ foreign and development ministers."
Events Calendar for John Jay College - johnjay.jjay.cuny.edu: "Tuesday, March 11, 2014 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Professionals in Residence: Practicing Public Diplomacy"
Thematic US History: Content + Confidence + Community = Success - historyfriend.wordpress.com: "Public Diplomacy – What is the effectiveness of strategies like divestment, specifically examining the case of South Africa under apartheid?"
PSC midterm: Political Science 413 with Gibler at University of Alabama -- Tuscaloosa - studyblue.com: "(Selective) Engagement Public diplomacy, international aid, 'smart power'."
Allview organises Android programming marathon - telecompaper.com: "Romanian electronics firm Allview, the Centre for Public Diplomacy (Centrul pentru Diplomatie Publica)
and Universitatea Transilvania in Brasov have announced the opening of the first edtion of a programming marathon called 'Entrepreneurship' which will take place on 28 and 29 March at Universitatea Transilvania in Brasov. The event's aim is to promote applications made by Romanian students passionate about programming in the EU." Image from
Mathias Holm Pedersen [Google "translation'] - kommunikationsforum.dk: "[Pedersen] is 1 March was appointed senior consultant at Holm Kommunikation A / S, where he has worked for 3 years. ... he has previously worked for Agriculture and Food and the work of public diplomacy and communications at the Danish Embassy in Washington DC."
Summer 2014 Internship: Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan Internship in Washington DC for Summer 2014 - "Requirements ... Major in International Studies, Japanese Studies, Asian American Studies, Public Diplomacy, Political Science, or a related field."
Exhibition Manager - Public Diplomacy and Outreach in India and SAARC, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, India - UNjobs: Programme Overview The main objective of this programme is to continue to build on the current political, economic and cultural relationships that the EU and India have developed since the 1960s, as well as deepening those ties within the SAARC's (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) eight member countries. The programme's actions will be in line with the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy with Asia.
Purpose In consultation with the EUD to India; under the supervision of the Team Leader (TL) of the EU Public Diplomacy and Outreach in India and in the SAARC; closely supported by the Logistician and the Communication and Outreach Expert, s/he will: ... Advise on the structure of the fair in the three cities it will take place. This will take into consideration the results of the EU Public Diplomacy in India and in the SAARC survey which will address a relevant target groups among graduate students; EU Member States' existing plans and it will be prepared in close coordination with the EUD." Image from
The British Empire, the Eagle and the Bear: Non-Options for Crimea and Ukraine - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: The more the U.S. swaggers hollowly about the Crimea, the sadder it all sounds.
The United States’ wavering commitment to the Ukrainian constitution - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Running a sitting president out of town and replacing his government with a bunch of well-meaning stand-ins is also a violation of Ukraine’s constitution. Yet the one thing President Obama and his hawkish domestic critics agree on is that the new provisional regime is the legitimate government of Ukraine.
Let’s come out and say that we don’t want a referendum in Crimea because a majority might vote to return to Russia and Vladimir Putin would get away with grand larceny. Let’s not pretend we have an unwavering commitment to a constitution whose recent trampling we so lustily cheered. Image from
How to provide the best aid to Ukraine - Lawrence Summers, Washington Post: First, immediate impact is essential. Second, avoid “Potemkin money” — the tendency to announce huge assistance packages that grab the headlines but belie the inevitable truth that much of the cash will take time to arrive. Third, be realistic about debts. Fourth, honest management is as important as prudent policy. Fifth, countries need to pursue broad polices in a way that benefits Ukraine.
Obama and the diplomacy pendulum: Every foreign policy action produces 'an unequal and opposite overreaction' - Doyle McManus, latimes.com: Ukraine is not the ideal place for Obama to begin correcting what he says is the mistaken idea that the U.S. is withdrawing from the world. But he doesn't have much choice. If the president wants to avoid cementing the image of the United States as a weakened superpower, he needs to push back there.
To paraphrase his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, this is a crisis that should not go to waste. Image from entry, with caption: Demonstrators hold a large national flag of Ukraine during a rally to support Ukraine and denounce Russia outside the White House on Thursday. President Obama has said that a proposed referendum in Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and international law.
Crimea, a Pyrrhic Victory? - Vali R. Nasr, New York Times: Russia’s grab for Crimea is not the start of a new Cold War, but Americans now know they will contend with a troublesome Russia over the coming years — one that fears American encroachment on its turf in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and is confident that it can defy the West. The United States should declare an end to its partnership with Russia on Syria, escalate diplomatic and military pressure on Mr. Assad and seek a diplomatic solution on its own.
Will America heed the wake-up call of Ukraine? - Condoleezza Rice, Washington Post: The events in Ukraine should be a wake-up call to those on both sides of the aisle who believe that the United States should eschew the responsibilities of leadership. If it is not heeded, dictators and extremists across the globe will be emboldened.
How the West is losing Ukraine - Gary Schmitt, santamariatimes.com: There will be no peace for Ukraine until and unless Putin sees the cost for his behavior as being greater than the rewards, and there will be no permanent stability in Eastern Europe absent NATO expansion.
Just how do Americans see Cuba? Nothing about U.S. relations with Cuba is simple. But a recent Atlantic Council poll examined none of the nuances - Robyn J. Wapner: The only way we will know when Americans really want a change in policy toward Cuba is once they force that change through their representatives in Congress.
Image from entry, with caption: An American classic car passes in front of the Russian warship, The Viktor Leonov CCB-175, docked in Havana's harbor in Havana, Cuba. Despite the absence of official diplomatic relations, Cuba remains a major component of U.S. foreign policy.
Dear Vladimir: Congratulations. You Read My Book: Niccolò Machiavelli sends a message on power politics to Moscow and the West - Josef Joffe, Wall Street Journal: Given the West's dismal record in Afghanistan and Iraq, even the supposed "last remaining superpower"—the U.S.—is now loath to resort to the ultima ratio. And that offers you wondrous opportunities.
When the supply of force contracts, even a little bit goes a long way, as you have proved in Crimea. When American power recedes, you can forge ahead with little risk—as you already did in Syria. Machiavelli image from entry
How to Put Military Pressure on Russia: NATO now has reason to station nuclear forces in front-line member states - Jim Thomas, Wall Street Journal: The Ukrainian crisis raises fundamental questions about the wisdom of the Obama administration's attempt to "lead from behind" on foreign-policy issues with clear U.S. interests, its pursuit of "global zero" (the elimination of all nuclear weapons world-wide) and most directly its "reset with Russia." Leaders in Washington and Europe have allowed NATO's defenses to deteriorate to the point that Mr. Putin seems to think he can act with impunity. It is past time to start rebuilding those defenses, and Mr. Putin's Ukrainian gambit should be the catalyst.
It’s winter in Ukraine, but it’s spring break for Obama - Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post: While more Russian forces were pouring into Crimea this past weekend, and Russian legislators announced their readiness to annex the Ukrainian province, where was our commander in chief? Monitoring events in the Situation Room? Meeting with the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon? Holding an emergency meeting of NATO leaders? Nope. He was enjoying the Florida sunshine with his family at an oceanfront resort in Key Largo.
15 Former AFSA [American Foreign Service Association] Presidents Urge Senators to Oppose Confirmation of Ambassadorial Nominees to Norway, Hungary, and Argentina - Domani Spero, DiploPundit
Al Qaeda to launch English-language Web magazine ‘Resurgence’ - Guy Taylor, Washington Times: A media-oriented group tied to what’s left of Al Qaeda’s original core leaders says it will soon launch the terrorist network’s first-ever English-language Internet magazine called “Resurgence.”
"By a 52%-46% margin, Americans are against economic aid to Ukraine."
--From a CNN poll released March 10
"After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
--American Republican politician Sarah Palin (2008); Palin image from
Diversity reaches new levels in Honey Maid ads - usatoday.com: On Monday, Honey Maid will jump on the diversity bandwagon with a far-reaching campaign by the 90-year-old graham cracker brand that raises the use of diversity in mainstream ads to a whole new level. In one 30-second Honey Maid ad, viewers will see everything from a same-sex couple bottle-feeding their son to an interracial couple and their three kids holding hands.
The ad also features a Hispanic mother and an African-American father with their three mixed-race children. And there's even a father covered in body tattoos. This is not some shockvertisement for Benetton. It's an ad for one of America's oldest and most familiar brands. The people in it are not actors, but real families. The message of the ad: These are wholesome families enjoying wholesome snacks. Image from entry
--From; via HS on Facebook