Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 11

"Why didn't you actually have George W. Bush do the part?"

--TV host Stephen Colbert interviewing director Oliver Stone about his new Bush movie, "W"

“I had a guy who would tell me when I was off base, he would tell me when I had no clothes on, figuratively, that is, and would tell me when I was right and go for it.”

--Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, regarding Alaska Senator Ted Stevens; via


It's the carrot, not the stick, 10-11-08 - Joan Menard and Rick Rendon, Herald News: “There is an alternative to the death, destruction, mistrust and misperceptions that our military actions have and continue to generate. … It is called public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is best defined as the communication and presentation of America’s interests, culture and policies to foreign populations in a fashion that generates good will, respect and support. … America’s best weapon against violent extremism is that of our people and our culture. Through vibrant public diplomacy programs and increased dialogue and communication between peoples, we will best be able to build bridges of understanding and support to the Arab and Muslim world.”

Iran President Says UN Resolution "Desperate Lashing Out of Hegemonic Powers" - redOrbit: Morad Enadi [anchor for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Enadi]: "No, we are not in a hurry, but in our foreign policy the issue of America is highly significant." [Iranian President Mahmud] Ahmadinezhad: "In my opinion, this major transformation has already taken place. You mentioned this yourself. You said that the topic of public diplomacy amounts to having a relationship with the people. I think that our relationship with the people of America has been established to a large extent.“

Congressional Advisor: Iran is Not Suicidal - Mohammed Shabani, Payvand's Iran News: “Congressional foreign policy advisor Gregory Aftandilian … discussed U.S. security commitments in the Middle East as part of the Center for National Policy's event yesterday titled 'A Nuclear Middle East.' … If a ban on sales of refined petroleum would be imposed on Iran, Aftandilian maintained that it has to be in tandem with a ‘rigorous U.S. public diplomacy campaign that recognizes Iran's right to nuclear energy but insist on that it has to follow IAEA guidelines.’"

Senator Brownback wants VOA, etc., to be "state-run" -- Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "The text of S.3546, The Strategic Communications Act of 2008, introduced 23 September by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), is now available. … The bill enshrines the existing structure of U.S. international broadcasting, mentioning specifically Voice of America, ‘surrogate broadcast programs,’ RFE/RL, RFA, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and (even though it no longer exists) Worldnet. Significantly, Alhurra, Radio Sawa, and Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) Inc. are not mentioned. A main reason that U.S. international broadcasting has less audience than British international broadcasting, even though the former has a larger budget than the latter, is because the former consists of these entities that fragment scarce resources, compete with each other, and force audiences to tune to two stations to get a complete newscast. Fiscally conservative S.3546 is not. See previous post about same subject.”

BBC Russian reprioritizes: less radio, more internet - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: “ president Kim Andrew Elliott (I just promoted myself to ‘president’) says that to emulate the BBC's new multimedia approach to Russian, with its enhanced news reporting, U.S. international broadcasting can no longer afford to have two Russian services, RFE/RL and VOA, fragmenting scarce resources, competing with each other, and forcing audiences to tune to two stations to get a complete newscast.”

Serbian group touring county - Eric Quade, Barron News Shield, WI: "The Community Connections program, administered by World Learning, is designed to promote public diplomacy through the exchange of cultural ideas and values among participants, U.S. families and local community host organizations. Visitors stay with host families, exposing them to American family life, as well as to the roles of their counterparts in the United States. The visitors experience local cultural and recreational attractions with their host families."

Second Life Event on “Education without Boundaries” - Digital Digest: "The U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs co-hosted the 'Education without Boundaries' panel event in Second Life with USC and Cambridge Education. The five panelists represented various educational institutions with interests in Second Life. ... The invitation-only event attracted over 40 Second Life and Real World participants."

Public Diplomacy In Action At Wilton Park - Nicholas J. Cull, Public Diplomacy Blog, University of Southern Center on Public Diplomacy: “Today was the final day of the third Wilton Park conference on public diplomacy in the UK. Those in attendance included a mix of practitioners and academics from large and small nations, including several people associated with the CPD blog – Ashraf Haidari (who spoke brilliantly for Afghanistan), Ali Fisher, Simon Anholt, and myself. Countries represented included Romania, Mozambique, Vietnam, British Virgin Islands, Liechenstein, and Mexico. Nations with teams present included Canada, Denmark, and the USA.”

Modern History of Greece con'f - Athens News Agency, Greece: "A conference titled 'The Study of the Modern History of Greece: An Oxford Perspective' ... was held at the Old Parliament building in central Athens. The conference is organized by the Greek foreign ministry's Department of Information and Public Diplomacy, in association with the department of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX), St. Antony's College, University of Oxford and the British Embassy in Athens."

International Conference & Cultural Event of Aceh - UH Manoa Campus Events Calendar: "The Autonomous Territory of Aceh on the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island is today considered a remarkable recovery story after coming though decades of political strife and the devastation of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami. The rich history and contemporary challenges of this extraordinary region will be the focus of an international conference and cultural event October 21 to 23 at the Hawaii Imin International Conference Center. ... Conference presenters include specialists from the East-West Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Indonesian General Director of Information and Public Diplomacy and the Provincial Government of Aceh, along with other international professionals, students, faculty, government officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and United States."

George Soros - Everything you want to know about him - Heather Coffin (2003), History Of Macedonia: “Massaging of numbers to provoke a response was a major part of a Council on Foreign Relations campaign after September 11,2001. This time it was the 2,801 killed in the World Trade Center. The CFR met on November 6, 2001, to plan a ‘major public diplomacy campaign.’ CFR created an ‘Independent Task Force on America’s Response to Terrorism.’ Soros joined Richard C. Holbrooke, Newton L. Gingrich, John M. Shalikashvili (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and other powerful individuals on a campaign to make the Trade Center dead into tools for U.S. foreign policy. The CFR report set out to make the case for a war on terrorism.”


Global Economic Downturn and the U.S. Image – Melinda Brouwer: Foreign Policy Association: Public Diplomacy and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

From the couch in the front yard, BBC covers the U.S. electionKim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Pentagon Propaganda Pushback: As Congress takes action, how will the president and the media respond? - Media Matters for America, DC: Media Matters for America today applauds the inclusion of language in the 2009 Defense Authorization Bill responding to criticism of the clandestine relationship among media military analysts, the Pentagon, and the defense industries. The bill was sent on Monday to President Bush, who has not yet taken action.

FCC To Probe Pentagon-Funded Information Campaign - By John M. Donnelly, CQ Online News: The Federal Communications Commission confirmed it has launched a probe to address congressional questions about a Pentagon program viewed by some lawmakers as propaganda. The FCC is looking into whether TV networks and certain on-air analysts broke the law by failing to disclose to viewers that the apparently independent analysts were in fact part of a Pentagon-funded information campaign, a spokesman for the commission said.

New Army Operations Manual Leverages ‘Soft Power’ Assets - - Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service: The U.S. Army’s new "how-to" manual on stability operations is a unique document that embraces joint effort as a reflection of the realities of a 21st-century world, a senior U.S. military officer said yesterday. Field Manual 3-07, titled, "Stability Operations," was developed from 10 months of collaboration among Army planners, the Defense Department, the State Department and military allies, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commander of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan., told reporters at the Foreign Press Center here. Military power alone cannot achieve successful stability operations in the 21st century, Caldwell said. It’s also necessary, he said, to incorporate "the soft power capabilities our military has in support of other instruments of national and international power – something very vital to an effective strategy at this very crucial time in our history.” Via Alan Heil.

Realizing the value of Foreign Aid
- Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner: There needs to be a major revamp in how the United States engages the world that extends beyond reshaping our informational activities. The importance and value of foreign aid must be raised and viewed as vital to success in our struggle for minds and wills.

I Want You To Love MeSwedish Meatballs Confidential: Under a plan being considered by the British Government, Afghans would be given handsets and access to the internet to help them gain their own voice. It follows a growing realization in Washington and Whitehall that the allies are being outflanked by the Taliban in the battle to reach ordinary Afghans. If Afghan civilians continue to perceive civilian deaths as being directly attributable to our presence & activities within their country and tribal regions then those - per proposed plan - distributed handsets could come back to bite us with a fresh swarm of pesky video snippets. It all sounds rather risky, if not downright desperate, given the present state of affairs in injun country.

Can Afghanistan Be Won? – Charles Peña, In Afghanistan we must understand foreign military occupation -- however well intended and however successful at the tactical, operational level -- is not the solution and actually part of the problem because of the resentment it creates (not just with the Afghan population but also the larger Muslim world).

The unwinnable war in Afghanistan – Editorial comments, Financial Times: The next US administration needs to see beyond the superficially muscular policies of the Bush era.

FA: Politics First (1) - Marc Lynch, Abu Aardvark: The moral hazard created by the U.S. military presence in Iraq creates perverse incentives undermining American efforts to help create a self-sustaining Iraqi polity which can get by without it.

Inside Saddam’s Trial: An international court conservatives can support - Gregory S. McNeal, Weekly Standard: The trial of Saddam Hussein, like many American endeavors in the 21st century, has been largely misrepresented by the chattering classes. The book Enemy of the State is a substantial first step in countering the numerous myths, distortions, and outright lies about the quest for justice in Iraq.

The Anti-Muslim Smear Machine Strikes Again? – Isabel MacDonald, Huffington Post: Over the past weeks, 28 million copies of the anti-Muslim propaganda film Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West have been delivered to the doors of newspaper subscribers in swing states. The 2006 documentary, which has been a mainstay of David Horowitz's "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week," describes "radical Islam" as a menace comparable to Adolf Hitler. The secretive nonprofit called the Clarion Fund behind the Obsession campaign just came out with a brand new DVD, The Third Jihad, featuring Mark Steyn -- who has warned of the "demographic decline" posed by Europe's emerging Muslim population, and suggests there are lessons for Europeans in the Balkan example of ethnic cleansing. One can read all about Emerson, Pipes and Steyn in a new report that's just been released called "Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation." The report profiles 12 top anti-Muslim pundits, including prominent talk show hosts Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

The End Of American Capitalism? - Anthony Faiola, Washington Post: Over the past three decades, the United States led the crusade to persuade much of the world, especially developing countries, to lift the heavy hand of government from finance and industry. But the hands-off brand of capitalism in the United States is now being blamed for the easy credit that sickened the housing market and allowed a freewheeling Wall Street to create a pool of toxic investments that has infected the global financial system.

Anti-Democratic Nature of US Capitalism is Being Exposed
- Noam Chomsky, Irish Times/Common Dreams: "Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business," concluded America's leading 20th century social philosopher John Dewey, and will remain so as long as power resides in "business for private profit through private control of banking, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda."

Propaganda Posters - Charley Parker, line and colors: It’s commonly thought that “propaganda”, a technique of spreading misinformation, or slanted opinions, for the purpose of manipulating opinions, has been utilized primarily by oppressive regimes like Imperial and Nazi Germany in the early part of the 20th Century or the Soviet Union or Communist China in the latter part. That in itself is a form of propaganda, which can be, and often is, utilized by Western democracies. Propaganda is simply a technique, not a set of values. It can just as easily be employed in a “good” cause as an “evil” one.

Cold War Modern Design 1945-1970 - V&A [Victoria and Albert Museum]: Cold War Modern is the first exhibition to explore international developments in modern art, design, architecture and film in the context of the Cold War. Artists and designers played a central role in the Cold War battle of images. Their work was conscripted for propaganda, and their actions and opinions prized.

Good Ol' Commie Propaganda - Charles Pergiel, Pergelator: “Maybe. I found this [a video on the Sputnik] while I was looking for a recording of 'Brother Ivanovich's turn to throw the bomb'. I am not quite sure what it is, but it is entertaining, regardless of what you may think of it.”

Gorgeous Thandie Must Slouch, Grimace to Capture the Essence of Condiness - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: I keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to: “Poor Thandie! I can imagine her on the set, with Oliver Stone continuously bellowing, ‘Thandie, doll, can you make your shoulders sag down more? Thanks, babe.’" PHOTO: Thandie Newton, who plays Condoleezza Rice in the movie 'W', is seen in this undated handout photo. (Sidney Ray Baldwin/Handout/Reuters)


"An Arab is a native speaker of the Arabic language, which is akin to Hebrew. The Arab civilization is one of the more glorious in world history, having bestowed on the world great scientific and cultural achievements. Arabic is spoken in North Africa and West Asia by approximately 250 million people, a group only somewhat smaller than the population of the United States.

"Arabs began immigrating into the United States in the 1880s from Lebanon, and have been an important ethnic group during the past over a century. They provided everything from auto workers to physicians and comedians. There are probably three million self-identified Arab-Americans, and as a group they are slightly wealthier, younger and more educated than Americans in general. (If we counted everyone with at least an 8th Lebanese ancestry as Arab-American, they would be many millions, but most don't self-identify that way). Arab-Americans are more likely to own a business than the average American. … Arab is a linguistic identity whereas Muslim is a religious one. Not all Arabs are Muslims. The Copts in Egypt (6% of the population) speak Arabic but are Christians. Likewise the Maronites in Lebanon and many Chaldeans and Assyrians in Iraq. About 7,000 Jews living in Morocco speak Arabic at home.

"If not all Arabs are Muslims, only a minority of Muslims is Arab. Iranians (70 million strong) are not Arabs. Turks are not Arabs. Pakistanis are not Arabs. Malaysians and Indonesians are not Arabs. Nigerians and Senegalese are not Arabs. But all these national or ethnic groups are predominantly Muslim."

--Juan Cole, “McCain: Obama Decent, no Arab,” Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion


Typo Puts ‘Barack Osama’ On BallotTruthdig: Election officials in Rensselaer County, N.Y., are caught in the middle of a national embarrassment after a “typo” on 300 absentee ballots listed the Democratic candidate for president as “Barack Osama.” Both Democratic and Republican officials in “Renassliare County” swear the error was accidental.


Russian cops hassling bathtub chopper driver - boing boing

1 comment:

Unknown said...

John Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis. Unlike most other Northerners, who still advocated peaceful resistance to the pro-slavery faction, Brown demanded violent action in response to Southern aggression. Dissatisfied with the pacifism encouraged by the organized abolitionist movement, he reportedly said "These men are all talk. What we need is action".


messsage marketing