Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 15

"In the last eight years, we have significantly reinvented and transformed every national security agency except the Department of State.”

-- Philip D. Zelikow, who served as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; on Zelikow and Rice, see

“Question: You’ve been booed off stages recently.

Karl Rove: No, I haven’t. I’ve been booed on stages.”

Questions for Karl Rove: Party Loyalist -- Interview by Deborah Solomon


Obama's representative to the world: Who should the president-elect choose to be his secretary of state? Someone whose ethics equal his abilities – Ian Williams, Guardian: "If Barack Obama is going to maintain the huge public diplomacy surge his election has given the US, his choice of secretary of state will be crucial. … The rumour mills race with the names mentioned, and since Obama's foreign policy advisers tended to come from the Clinton-era there is plenty of scope for disaster.”

Engaging the Muslim World: How to Win the War of Ideas - Hady Amr and Peter W. Singer, The Journal of the ACS Issue Groups: “There is a glaring need for the United States to undertake a proactive strategy aimed at restoring long-term security through the presentation of our principles as part of U.S. foreign policy. The tools of public diplomacy and strategic communicationsare the most valuable weapons in America’s arsenal. It is not too late to wield them.”

Editorial: The Obama administration should embrace UNESCO in its public diplomacy – John Daly, UNESCO In The Spotlight: Science And Communications: “The new administration should realize that UNESCO is an important venue in which the United States can wage 'the war of ideas', and that UNESCO has considerable influence in Muslim countries. The Bush administration has helped reestablish U.S. prestige in the halls of UNESCO, and the new administration can build on that start. … The government should seek opportunities to make voluntary contributions to UNESCO where they can promote projects that contribute to our public diplomacy.”

Transformative Mobilization: From Obama’s Campaign Techniques To Public Diplomacy – Monroe Price, Public Diplomacy Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: “The Obama team is pretty clearly sitting on some global version of the kind of organization, energy, and understanding of technology that has extraordinary potential. It netted him those hundreds of millions in contributions but-- more important for public diplomacy -- that mother lode of emotive connection. The issue is how to bottle this, how to turn it to constructive mobilization, and use it as a way of changing dramatically the Manichean narratives out there in the world. Billions seem to want to be connected; they are shouting it from the rooftops.” See also

U.S.-Palestinian Partnership Leaders to Travel to the West Bank - Media Note, Office of the Spokesman, Department of State: ”Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman, together with American Task Force on Palestine President Ziad Asali and Case Foundation CEO Jean Case, will lead a delegation to the West Bank from November 15 through 18. As co-chairs of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership (UPP), they will attend the inauguration of a youth development and resource center in the village of Beita."

Baseball Star Ken Griffey, Jr. To Be Named Public Diplomacy EnvoyABC News: “On Tuesday Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will officially name Griffey as America's next Public Diplomacy envoy. In that role he will travel the world trying to improve the United States' image abroad. He will join other prominent Americans who have been named envoy: Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr, and actress Fran Drescher, star of the 1990s sitcom The Nanny.”

U.S. Public Diplomacy and Smith-Mundt Act - Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune: “The Smith-Mundt Act is particularly relevant today at a time when the U.S. finds itself committed to a global struggle for minds and wills as it was in the early years of the Cold War. Scholars and practitioners of public diplomacy argue about the need to update or modify the Smith-Mundt Act in the New Media environment, where virtual geography displaced the physical.” On plagiarism, see.

Letter From Moscow - Nicholas J. Cull, Public Diplomacy Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: “The purpose of my trip was to meet people interested in the study of Public Diplomacy in Russia and take part in a couple of classes on public diplomacy at MGIMO, the international relations university, which graduates 80% of Russian diplomats. … Public Diplomacy seemed to be rather more of an unknown territory, but they [the classes] took to the core concepts swiftly. They were especially interested in on-line techniques. … The students understood America's Soft Power – the beguiling free-for-all of Hollywood, fashion, and pop – but were hard pressed to consider exactly what Russia might offer to appeal to the world in response.”

Indonesians watch historic election in slew of Midwest states - Jordan Teicher, Berkeley Beacon, MA: "Indonesian journalists jumped head-first into the final days of America’s historic presidential election with a crash course in political journalism at Emerson College. As part of second half of the Emerson Election Project, each of the 10 visiting reporters were paired with professionals from the American news media in battleground states like Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire and Tennessee. The project was created by Emerson professor Dr. Gregory Payne and Tristram Perry, a public diplomacy officer at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. The program included reporters from radio, online and broadcast backgrounds between the ages of 20 and 70."

Discussion on Careers in Foreign Service with David Firestein - Sarah, Career Services Network: "David Firestein (Deputy Executive Director and Senior Advisor at the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, author, and adjunct-professor at the University of Texas-Austin) is coming to campus [MSU] on Tuesday, November 19, to lead a discussion with students interested in a career in foreign service. The discussion will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Club Spartan, on the 3rd floor of Case Hall. ... David has had a successful and varied career. He is a public diplomacy expert, the author of three books and more than 130 published articles, has served at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and worked at the Embassy in Beijing.”

Want to join the Foreign Service? Advice from a "public diplomacy" diplomat - John Brown, Notes and Essays

A PD Challenge On The Pakistani Side - Rob Asghar, Public Diplomacy Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: “Pakistan faces a significant PD challenge of its own: convincing the nations of the West that it is not a treacherous pseudo-ally.”

Are we "American slaves"? – Inayatullah, The Nation, Pakistan: “High level missions should be sent to Washington and some of the important European Capitals to highlight Pakistanis points of view and to protect our vital interests. Projections should be made in the international media especially the prestigious TV channels like BBC and CNN. Let us learn from India how it communicates its plus points hour after hour and day after day on these international channels. Pakistan all along has remained deficient in public diplomacy.”


Emanuel Apologizes to Arab-Americans; Israel Blocks Food, Fuel for Gaza - Juan Cole, Informed Comment Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion: Prospective White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel called Rose Oakar, the executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, to apologize for remarks of his father, Benjamin Emanuel. The elder Emanuel had replied to Maariv when asked whether his son would influence Obama to be pro-Israel, "“Obviously he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House." The wording, which implied that Arabs are unfit for anything but menial work, provoked protests from Arab-Americans and from the Middle East.

The Change the Old World Doesn't Believe In – Yet - Dan Hamilton and Sushmitha Narsiah, Newsweek: If Europeans could have voted in the U.S. presidential election, they would have voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. More than two-thirds of Germans, Italians and Spanish queried recently by a Harris Interactive poll supported Obama; less than one in ten favored John McCain. Only one percent of those polled in France supported McCain. The main reason Europeans give for supporting Obama is his perceived ability to represent change from the Bush administration. Grass-roots politics in Europe may be changing, but the Old World has yet to discover its own Barack Obama.

Now America Can Right Its Wrongs: There is no doubt that Team Obama is committed to global justice - Geoffrey Robertson, Independent/Common Dreams

President Obama's Chance to Change Course on Cuba - Cesar Chelala, Common Dreams: Lifting the embargo on Cuba is a much less complex endeavor than ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or solving what is rapidlybecoming the Pakistani nightmare. Ending this measure would create an atmosphere of goodwill worldwide of unpredictable, but certainly good consequences for world peace.

The Mother of All Embassies - Christopher Brauchli, Common Dreams: The US embassy in Baghdad is still not officially open.

New Secretary Faces Fixing Under-Resourced State Dept. - Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post: The past two years have brought a flurry of testimony and reports questioning the capacity of the U.S. government to carry out its foreign policy. They have criticized the State Department's efforts to convey a positive U.S. image abroad. And they have questioned the training and readiness of the Foreign Service to carry out functions beyond traditional diplomacy, such as advising Third World governments on training police officers, setting up judicial systems and holding fair and free elections.

Opinion: State of mind: The four important qualities necessary to make a successful and effective secretary of State. - Aaron David Miller, Los Angeles Times: The right persona; the president's confidence; a negotiator's mind-set; deviousness and toughness.

Clinton Among Top Picks For State: Richardson, Kerry Join Senator on Obama's Shortlist - Anne E. Kornblut and Michael D. Shear, Washington Post

Latest Clinton Media Frenzies: Hillary Clinton/Secretary Of State Rumors Flying Every Which Way - Wonkette

Hillary for Secretary? - Gail Collins, New York Times: Here are four good reasons why Hillary Clinton would be a great pick for secretary of state: 1. She would not let the vice president run our foreign policy. Joe Biden is no Dick Cheney, but we just do not want to go there again. We have scars. 2. Obama could live out his fantasy of following the Abraham Lincoln model and filling his cabinet with a team of rivals without having to make Sarah Palin secretary of commerce. 3. Clinton already has a supply of pantsuits sufficient to get her through six months of peace negotiations in the Middle East without coming home for a change of clothes. 4. She might do a terrific job.

The Most Anti-American Nation: Since the AKP assumed power in 2002, Turks have heard nothing positive about the West from their leaders - Soner Cagaptay, Newsweek


"Here is a White House photo of President Bush meeting with the 'Arizona State University Men’s and Women’s Track Team,' who appear to have won a big game or something in their fake little sport. Now: the hand gesture." From Wonkette

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