Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11


Watching America (at which the above appears)

"President Bush took President-elect Barack Obama on a tour of the White House. At one point, Barack opened a closet. Bush said, 'Oh, don't open that!' And a huge stack of unread intelligence memos fell out."

--Talk show host Jay Leno (no link)

“In this excerpt from his book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama recounted two early meetings with Bush. At the second, Bush called Obama over – ‘Obama!’ -- and after some smalltalk, ‘[t]he president turned to an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president's hand,’ Obama wrote. "'Want some?' the president asked. 'Good stuff. Keeps you from getting colds.'” Not wanting to seem unhygienic, I took a squirt."

--The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin


Emanuel and public diplomacy - Marc Lynch, Abu Aardvack: “The appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama's chief of staff offers an interesting lesson for the future of public diplomacy … the Arab media instantly and overwhelmingly focused on his Israeli origins and some really unfortunate comments made by his father about Arabs. … The Arab reaction to Rahm Emmanuel's appointment was entirely predictable, and had there been a 'public diplomacy' representative at the table it could have been anticipated and the ground better prepared to mitigate negative impacts.”

Expectations high for cybersecurity under Obama - Shane Harris, The National Journal, posted at NextGov.com News: “Obama, by dint of his internationalist foreign-policy approach, his personal background, and his perceived status as the anti-Bush, is a credible vehicle for changing America's image abroad. The bar is not terribly high: Plenty of Democratic and Republican foreign-policy mavens have lamented that the Bush administration relied inordinately on military force, didn't do enough to encourage political reform in Western-leaning Muslim nations, and treated public diplomacy as a marketing campaign rather than a grassroots effort to forge new alliances with key influencers abroad. The resurgence of so-called soft power will likely mark the first year of Obama's foreign policy. Success isn't guaranteed, of course, but expectations are high that his administration will make the effort.”

Professor Obama - Marcia DeSanctis, Huffington Post: “In 2005, the Bush administration appointed fellow Texan Karen Hughes to be Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy. At the time, this meant that Ms. Hughes had to accentuate America's many good works, while having to defend the two wars we were waging. It was a bad time and a tough sell and audiences seemed immune to the positive spin. She could not sway global opinion, no matter how many well-meaning projects we initiated. Polls overwhelmingly showed that the Muslim world preferred freedom and democracy to theocracy. They just did not want it served up by George Bush's PR representative. Rather than preach, build or spread democracy, we proved that our system works. … It's Obama's turn to smile at us from behind the Embassy gates, because through and through, his face represents a lesson in democracy.”

Message from Harry C Blaney III – in John Brown’s Notes and Essays: "I think we have an extraordinary opportunity to not only 'rejuvenate' public diplomacy but also help reshape it for the 21st century........key will be first that we have Obama who will just in himself help that process with the world, and that is a great opportunity we should not waste and we need to follow that with a strong proposal for not only a new and unified (and funded) PD 'agency,' but also for a set of policies and programs that show a new face of America that is relevant to our current challenges and the landscape beyond our borders. But to make that possible all of those who care about this issue will need to work in a large measure of unity and express it in a strong and effective voice (this should naturally be what the profession is all about!)."

Strategic Communication for an Administration-in-Transition - Bud Goodall, COMOPS Journal: “The headlines from WatchAmerica show worldwide optimism and support for President-Elect Obama. Yet, despite this large and welcoming window of public diplomacy opportunity, there are still 10 weeks to go before President Obama is sworn in and can officially represent America. In the meantime, we have a world waiting to see if we have, in fact, something newer and better to offer under a new administration while the old and roundly discredited administration still commands media attention and wields whatever is left of its power. What can Obama do? What should he do? From a strategic communication perspective it would be a serious mistake to let this moment pass.”

Exclusive: Where Does the Fight Against Islamism Go from Here? - M. Zuhdi Jasser, Family Security Matters, NJ: “Is America going to live up to our own ideologies of liberty, freedom, and secular democracy by advocating for such ideas abroad? What will happen to our thus far ineffectual Public Diplomacy program? How will our Public Diplomacy program engage in the Contest of ideas?”

Obama "Youth Corps"? – Mac, Life, The Universe and Mac: “’Obama and Biden will expand AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, engage retiring Americans, and set up an America's Voice Initiative to send Americans who are fluent speakers of local languages to expand our public diplomacy.’ [Comment:] Is Obama saying he wants to send Americans abroad to act as civilian ambassadors? Or is he saying that the government will use civilians as interpreters? I'm thinking the later is probably more like it. A program like this will bring even more divisiveness into a country that is already divided when it comes to language and culture.” See also (a) (b).

Travel'n On Congratulates President-Elect Barack Obama - authorsspeakout.com: “The Travel‘n On Radio Show congratulates President-Elect Barack Obama on his victory and vows to support the new Administration on its efforts to encourage public diplomacy, global citizenship, cross-cultural understanding …”

The State Department keeps up its saavy on YouTube – Steve, Citizen Tube: “State's public affairs team is engaging citizens here at home directly through a series of ‘Briefing 2.0’ sessions. Citizens across the country can submit questions for Sean McCormick, the State Department's spokesman, and he'll answer them in bi-weekly press conferences. Already one session into the project, McCormick seems to be enjoying the chance to engage with citizens directly.”

Radio/TV Martí in the new administration - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

NATO Speech: Speech by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the ATA Annual Meeting - Berlin, 10 November 2008‏ - tim Blair: News/Sports/Community Blog:...: Jaap de Hoop Scheffer: “The Young Atlanticist Youth Summits in Istanbul, Riga and Bucharest have been great successes, showing that young people are keen to debate NATO issues. Trailers in cinemas in Slovenia, the 'Globsec' ' train from Slovakia – these are further examples of initiatives that were both creative and effective. Some national chapters have now also started to make use of the new media, such as the Internet, chats and blogs. And it goes without saying that NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division will continue to support such efforts. We are now rapidly approaching NATO’s 60th Anniversary – or '60A', as our Public Diplomacy gurus are calling it. What better opportunity for the ATA to demonstrate its undiminished relevance? What better opportunity for trying out new ways of reaching out to our publics? Today, we are launching an exciting new experiment in public diplomacy: the ‘NATO Talk Around the Brandenburg Gate’. Tomorrow six discussion panels in six Embassies will deal with the key challenges facing NATO.“

Sports: Diplomatic Tool or Spark for Conflict? – adele08, National Security: “More often than not, sports matches between adversarial nations have helped ease the tensions and provide an opportunity for good will and positive public diplomacy. … Do these [sports] programs really make a difference in the relationship between countries? The State Department seems to think so, since it began its Sports Diplomacy initiative.”

Can EU Values Sell Like Coke? - Rastko Šejić, Oxford International Review: “Because of the slow European bureaucracy, public diplomacy through NGOs cannot be efficient. Cultural public diplomacy through tactical collaboration projects is a good way of to keep a constant public presence, and has given good results, for example with the revival of the film industry, fine arts exchange, etc. Enlargement policy (a source of political conflict inside of EU) encompasses large funds for infrastructure development of the candidate countries, but it doesn’t contain means for communicating with the local public, which is always left to local governments. Although the EU has invested a lot in rebranding, and we can expect marvelous creations from hired advertising wizards, EU policy and values can hardly sell like Coke. Only active and constant political marketing, as a part of common communications policy, together with the ability to react quickly to changing situations, can really make a difference for the future of the European Union.”

Al-Qaida wrongfooted - Amil Khan, Pakistan Defence: “Since 9/11, American public diplomacy in the Muslim world has been based on the assumption that over a billion people have unfortunately failed to realise that it is a force for good in the world. The multimillion dollar answers have included Hi, a teen lifestyle magazine, and cheerleader television news station, al Hurrawhich aim to promote American interests. But for all the telling, America was not showing the Muslim world how it lived up to its promises. General public opinion in the Muslim world saw the same malevolent intention behind Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay that they blamed for Western support of Muslim dictators and Israeli excesses. Al-Qaida simply tries to tap into that background sentiment and connect it to individuals' own experiences. When America starts showing that it can deliver social justice at home, it makes public opinion in the Muslim world wonder whether it can do so abroad. However, the election only produces a window of opportunity for America, and Britain, to make a serious dent in al-Qaida's rhetoric by proving their commitment to the ideas and principles for which they say they fight. The Obama victory will require follow-up if he is to change perceptions. Closing Guantánamo, as the president-elect has pledged, would be a great start.”

Freedom of speech for diplomats - Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star: “Our government bankrolls an extensive, expensive network of embassies that should be allowed to show its stuff and prove its worth. An ambassador should be measured not just by how well he hosts a visiting cabinet minister, but by how well he conducts public diplomacy.”

Außenminister Steinmeier im Audimax der Universität Erfurt – Simone, Forschungsgruppe Public Diplomacy: “Um ein Thema wie Abrüstung auf die Agenda zu bringen, werden auch Public Diplomacy Maßnahmen nötig sein.”

Azerbaijani delegation to participate in international conference within “Dialogue Eurasia” Platform in Antalya – Elbrus Seyfullayev, Azeri Press Agency, Azerbaijan: “An international conference will be held within the framework of 'Dialogue Eurasia' Platform in Antalya, Turkey on November 13-17. Chief of socio-political department of the President’s Office Ali Hasanov told APA that the delegations from Turkic-speaking states, as well as Russia, Ukraine and Georgia would attend the conference. … The department chief said cultural cooperation, socio-political relations and public diplomacy would be discussed in the international conference covering socio-political relations in Eurasian countries, cultural issues and dialogue.”

Reviewing the 1967 United States Advisory Commission on Information - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner: “The U.S. Advisory Commission on Information was one of two oversight commissions established by the Public Law 402, otherwise known as the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948. The other commission focused on cultural and educational exchange. Today, there is one commission, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, that does not have a legal obligation to produce annual reports … . Initially a twice-yearly report, the annual report was serious, detailed, and included recommendations. It was, and remains, a public report delivered to Congress. The 1967 report, available here, is noteworthy as 'public diplomacy' was just coined and about to be pushed to the sidelines.”

Dr. Kiehl to Present Discussion on Colleges and Interntionalization- Ethan Demme, Keystone Conservative: ”A friend of mine and fellow volunteer for the McCain campaign has written yet another book. Here is a little blurb about him and info on where to buy the book, what it’s about and upcoming events. William P. Kiehl: William P. Kiehl is the founder President and CEO of PD Worldwide, consultants in international public affairs, higher education management and cross-cultural communications based in Washington, D.C. In February 2004, he was appointed Executive Director of the Public Diplomacy Council at the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University. He served in that position through April 2007 when he was elected to the Public Diplomacy Council’s Board of Directors. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in November 2003 but continued to serve as an Instructor in Public Diplomacy in the School of Professional and Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State.”

Chapter 11: Global Communication and Propaganda - Hilda, Global Communication: “IV. Public Diplomacy 1. Is related to government communication campaigns and is viewed as a ‘truthful propaganda’ 2. Gullion’s definition of public diplomacy: ‘to interact with groups, people, and cultures beyond national borders, influencing the way groups and people in other countries think about foreign affairs, react to our policies, and affect the policies of their respective governments’ 3. The main objective of public diplomacy is to inform and influence public opinion internationally, or in other words: ‘win the international public minds and hearts’ 4. In a word, public diplomacy involves monitoring public opinion and engaging in dialogues with international audiences."

Back to Business - Beckim82, Political Indulgence: “[T]hose researchers who are intent on studying the individual-level process have used political psychology as a way to do that, and that's what most FP [Foreign Policy?] lit is about. I think there's probably still a lot left to uncover about how cognitive psychology affects FP decision-making, but I'm not really sure that the public sphere / public diplomacy angle really fits into that mold.”



More Than a Rock Star - Anne Applebaum, Washington Post: If some foreigners are inspired to work for greater ethnic and racial equality in their own societies, maybe it doesn't matter that they know more about Obama's good looks than they do about his health-care policy.

Media Speculation On Obama Appointments - Today's Political News From The Editors of US News & World Report and BulletinNews‏: “State. The AP lists Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. John Kerry, GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, Sen. Chuck Hagel and Richard Holbrooke, former US ambassador to the United Nations, as possibilities. Also mentioned as a possible candidate this morning is Gen. James L. Jones (New York Times). Meanwhile, in a column for the Washington Post, Roger Cohen urged Obama to appoint Al Gore to the position.” Obama’s short list of possible foreign policy officials: The President-elect is likely to rely on Republicans as well as Democrats to advise him and carry out policy.

Obama’s emerging foreign policy team faces a troubled world: The goal is continuity in international relationships with a clear break from Bush’s approach - Howard LaFranchi, Christian Science Monitor: Top priorities will be Afghanistan, where Obama has said he wants more troops but also a new, broader strategy beyond a military focus; the international financial and economic crisis; an orderly disengagement from Iraq; and what to do about Iran’s nuclear program. In a number of these top-priority areas, the policy itself is unlikely to undergo a wholesale change, so much as the style employed to address policy will look radically different, some longtime foreign-policy experts say.

A map of the world: Despite America's economic woes, foreign policy issues could preoccupy the next president, but a Mideast peace deal won't be one – Our View, Baltimore Sun: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict hasn't gotten much attention of late, and with far more pressing foreign policy decisions facing Mr. Obama, it's unlikely the decades-old dispute over land, sovereignty and security will top his agenda once he takes office. Ending the war in Iraq, policing Iran, containing Russia, securing Afghanistan - these all pose more immediate concerns.

Obama to Explore New Approach in Afghanistan War - Karen DeYoung, Washington Post: The incoming Obama administration plans to explore a more regional strategy to the war in Afghanistan -- including possible talks with Iran -- and looks favorably on the nascent dialogue between the Afghan government and "reconcilable" elements of the Taliban, according to Obama national security advisers.

The Case for US Withdrawal From Afghanistan - Sameer Dossani, Foreign Policy in Focus/Common Dreams: If the idea of immediately stopping all military operations in Afghanistan sounds radical, it shouldn't.
Democracy and Its Death Squad: Obama's Man in Afghanistan - Peter Lee, Counterpunch: It’s kind of hard to wrap one’s head around the idea that operating death squads might be an integral and perhaps the vital component of the vaunted Petraeus doctrine of counterinsurgency. And we shouldn’t let General Petraeus—or his willingness to pander to our desire to distract ourselves with hearts and minds fables of counterinsurgency -- shield us from the truth.

In Pakistan, optimism proves unwarranted - Ali Wyne, Boston Globe: The mood in Pakistan is cheerful - Barack Obama has just been elected president of the world's most powerful country. Although many Pakistanis have voiced misgivings about some of his comments on terrorism, the general belief seems to be that he will pursue a more enlightened American foreign policy than his predecessor.Then again, Pakistanis' optimism has been dashed before.

Let's hope Obama won't be a 'friend of Israel' - Gideon Levy, Haaretz: When we say that someone is a "friend of Israel" we mean a friend of the occupation, a believer in Israel's self-armament, a fan of its language of strength and a supporter of all its regional delusions. When we say someone is a "friend of Israel" we mean someone who will give Israel a carte blanche for any violent adventure it desires, for rejecting peace and for building in the territories.

Obama and the KGB – Richard Lourie, Moscow Times: It's not clear yet what sort of Russia policy Obama will conduct. He won't say much before the inauguration. And so it would have been a perfect time for Medvedev to seize the initiative and make a bold, innovative move to show that Russia was the master of its own fate and capable of "new thinking." But instead, he resorted to the language of threat, the old game of move and countermove.

Reckless Georgia – Editorial, Boston Globe: November 11, 2008It Is Important to know which side initiated the war in August between Russia and Georgia. If primary blame falls on Russia, as Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili claims, a new Obama administration will have limited latitude in rebuilding relations with Russia. If it turns out that Georgia is mostly to blame, the new President Obama will have to make sure Saakashvili understands that a reliable ally does not defy the will of Washington and recklessly implicate America in an unnecessary confrontation with Russia. The inescapable conclusion is that Saakashvili started the war and lied about it.

A Unified Security Budget for the United States, FY 2009 - Lawrence Korb, Miriam Pemberton, Foreign Policy in Focus, cited on IPS: In this fifth annual edition of the “Unified Security Budget,” as with the previous four editions, a non-partisan task force of military, homeland security, and foreign policy experts laid out the facts of the imbalance between military and non-military spending. The ratio of funding for military forces vs. non-military international engagement in the Bush administration’s proposed budget for the 2009 fiscal year has widened to 18:1 from 16:1 in the 2008 fiscal year, according to the report. Via Patricia Kushlis

China's Propaganda in Tibet: Plenty of Viewers, Few Believers - Rebecca Novick, Huffington Post

Vica Nazi Propaganda Comics - Jill, Digital Collections Blog: The Vica Nazi Propaganda Comics is one of the collections we published in our October build. According to WorldCat.org, Duke University’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library holds the only copies of this comic in the United States. The Nazi-controlled government in France produced the Vica comic during World War II as a propaganda tool against the Allied forces. The digital collection features the three published issues of the comic: Vica au Paradis de l’U.R.S.S, Vica contre le service secret anglais, and Vica défie l’Oncle Sam (representing the Allied forces: USSR, England, and US). The comics could support research in multiple disciplines, such as World War II history, French language and culture, popular media, comic arts, and propaganda.

Speaking of Makeovers... - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog I keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to. PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attends the 2008 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall in New York on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. COMMENT: “What can I say? I've been one of Condi's harshest critics, but last night at the Glamour thingy, she looked... sensational. Condi! Wow!”


"Stalin's Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov said the problem with free elections is that you never know who's going to win.”

--Richard Lourie, scholar of Russia

"Then he goes in for some deep thoughts, in which the most superficial of Brits always like to indulge when they are flunking a grade."

--Gore Vidal, a propos of British journalist Andrew Gumbel, who wrote critically about him

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