Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26

"Thinking: The Business of Washington"

--KAEF Kosovo American Education Fund

Above Bush photo: Sparkle Pony

"The State Department appointment is prestigious enough not to be condescending, yet also keeps Clinton off the Washington circuit more than any other position. She’ll be on a plane or abroad a great deal. Extra bonus: Bill will just love that. Sending his wife to the Middle East is the ex-president’s idea of a good time." Photo from

--Andrew Sullivan


Obama can show diplomacy on world stage, revive America's image - Steven R. Corman, Arizona Republic: “Public diplomacy is not a matter of launching messages at targeted audiences, like so many artillery shells. International communication takes place in a large, interconnected and complex system. Such systems can be hard to understand and predict, but they can also become locked into patterns that interpret messages in standard and negative ways, no matter how carefully they are formulated and targeted. Such is the case with U.S. public diplomacy today. Any conventional message we send international audiences is seen as yet another example of American arrogance, an attempt to peddle snake oil or an effort to advance some hidden agenda. In these circumstances, we do not need Madison Avenue marketing. We need a disruption, a game-changer that will jolt the system out of its standard patterns and get international audiences to actively listen again.”

Hillary at Foggy Bottom - Helle Dale, Washington Times: “Foreign policy has … increasingly been conducted by the Pentagon, particularly in the Rumsfeld era. Its regional combatant commands are taking on intergovernmental coordinating functions that previously have been housed in the State Department and the embassies. In terms of public diplomacy strategy and outreach, the Pentagon has moved aggressively and strategically to occupy the turf left open by State in recent times.“

The Case Against Retaining Gates at the Pentagon - Melvin A. Goodman, The Public Record: “Defense Department personnel in recent years have been placed in sensitive positions in public diplomacy and foreign assistance, and active-duty and retired general officers are manning virtually all the key positions of the intelligence community, including the CIA. It is time to enhance the role of the White House in setting U.S. policy and to make sure the National Security Council coordinates the implementation of these policies. Too much power resides in the hands of the military.”

The Saudi Arabian Enigma - Jim Kouri, Post Chronicle: “According to reports, the State Department and USAID are carrying out efforts to counter the global propagation of Islamic extremism, with State's efforts focused primarily on traditional diplomacy, counterterrorism, and public diplomacy and USAID's efforts focused on development programs to diminish underlying conditions of extremism.”

Special Briefing To Announce the Alliance of Youth Movement: James K. Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs – Daily Press Meeting, State Department: “[Department of State spokesperson] Mr. McCormack: … I want to turn the briefing over for a bit to Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and then Jared Cohen, who’s from our Policy Planning Staff, to talk a little bit about a really exciting and innovative program that the State Department is working on with various partners out in the private sector. It’s called the Alliance of Youth Movement. It’s a meeting that’s going to be held in New York City from December 3rd to the 5th, and it’s working with youth to help combat extremism and to use new trends in social networking, as well as the technical aspects of social networking, to help various groups come together to combat extremism. And it’s really part of – this is, I would say, part of an overall effort here at the State Department to really better use technology, better use various applications of those technology, including social networking and social media to better communicate with the rest of the world and to do our job. You’re well aware of what we’re doing in terms of the briefing room here, Briefing 2.0, Facebook, our blog, and a lot of other efforts that we’ll talk about after this. I won’t bore you with all those right now.”

The US State Department Promotes On-line Youth Groups: The organizations will fight against political oppression and terrorism - Softpedia, Romania: “Big Internet names, such as Facebook, Google, MTV, and Howcast, have already announced their intentions of joining the initiative set forth by the US State Department, of fighting against terrorism, political oppression, and for civil rights. Next week, New York City will host a conference on the matter, with representatives from several such existing organizations from all over the world attending. … ‘The idea is put all these people together, share best practices, produce a manual that will be accessible online and in print to any group that wants to build a youth empowerment organization to push back against violence and oppression around the world,’ James Glassman, under secretary of state for public diplomacy, said in a statement.”
see also a, b, c, d, e, f.

US Public Diplomacy in Moldova - Mihai Moscovici, Give Live Love: “Vineri, in a doua jumatate a zilei, am participat la doua intalniri cu Colleen P. Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: una in calitate de blogger si alta in calitate de absolvent al programelor de schimb al guvernului SUA. Doamna Graffy este o persoana comunicabila, sociabila si foarte in voga cu ultimele tendinte web 2.0: blogger, Twitter, YouTube… pe langa asta, oriunde in lume, e mereu conectata la internet prin BlackBerry. Cu toate acestea, cel mai remarcabil este ca doamna Graffy nu are aroganta inaltilor demnitari si se comporta de la egal la egal cu bloggerii dintr-o tara din lumea a treia.”

Virtual vs Real Life - Kelly Groft , ABC2 News, MD: “The State Department is even getting in on the virtual world, ‘I think it's important for government agencies to be appropriately engaged in this technology." said Bill May US Department of State, Public Diplomacy IT Office. … [‘]The State Department is one of several federal agencies now conducting business or holding events on the cutting edge -for all the world to see,' [said] … May …'We're really looking at engaging in mutual understanding, developing understanding between the American people and peoples of other countries.' … May says cyberspace is the perfect place to break down barriers. The government recently sponsored a global jazz concert where musicians from places like Mexico, Australia and Germany participated at the same time -while in their own countries!”

State Dept. Blogging One Year Later (Part 4): State Department 2.0 - Nicholas Brod, COMOPS Journal: “This is the fourth part of a five part series on about the one-year anniversary of the State Department’s Dipnote blog. In Part 1 we focused on reviewing DipNote management and processes. In Part 2 we looked at what the State Department bloggers were writing about. In Part 3 we conducted an in-depth content analysis of reader comments on the blog. In this post I look at the larger context of Web 2.0 effort being pursued by the State Department, of which Dipnote is a part. … New forms of social media, many of which the State Department has begun to embrace, offer unique tools for more direct interaction with their audiences for public affairs and public diplomacy efforts.”

Internet resistanceForeign Policy Association: Middle East -- The official Web log for Great Decisions 2007: “State Department …certainly are not the only people making the argument that as the internet democratizes ideas, the way that young people expect to participate in movements and organizations has changed. Just this week (or maybe last week …) the Economist reviewed a book called Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott who makes a similar assertion about digital youth, purely outside the framework of terrorism/extremism/etc.”

Give me the equivalent of six Apaches and I can duplicate VOA worldwide (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: On RFE/RL: “Just provide a credible new service, and ‘America's foreign policy interests’ will be served by well-informed publics. Best to leave the talk of public diplomacy, soft power, and improving the U.S. image to the public diplomacy people, elsewhere in Washington."

Thinking: The Business of Washington - KAEF Kosovo American Education Fund: “Washington is home to many think tanks … The Brookings Institution collaborates with think tanks throughout the world, a product of globalization in thinking, leading to a number of highly visible projects from senior fellows and resident experts. In the past several weeks, for example, American Councils has attended a number of briefings on topics ranging from creating a new non-profit to support public diplomacy efforts.”

Experiencing America: Public Diplomacy at Its Best -
Lecture by Nancy G Brinker, Christopher R Hill and Said T Jawad, Heritage Lecture #1103, Heritage Foundation: Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker: “It is a pleasure to be here today, and I appreciate the invitation to share what we are doing at the Office of the U.S. Chief of Protocol to engage with the diplomatic community. … we extended the Office of Protocol to be at the forefront of public diplomacy by creating a new outreach division. Its mission is simple: Give ambassadors the opportunity to experience more of America--exploring these topics, connecting with America's foremost leaders and institutions-- beyond traditional diplomatic circles. In short, help strengthen the bridges of understanding that are at the heart of our bilateral relations.”

Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century Kristin M. Lord, Brookings Institution: “This report presents concrete steps to strengthen America’s efforts to engage, persuade, and attract the support of foreign publics. As part of a comprehensive plan to enhance our government’s public diplomacy, it urges the creation of a nimble and entrepreneurial new non-profit organization, the USA-World Trust, to complement and support U.S. government efforts.”

Global Listening: It's all that it's cracked up to be - Patrick Madden, Type, Talk & Transform World Peace: “I spent the better part of this morning at a briefing on the Brookings Institution's latest report regarding public diplomacy - Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century: . … What was striking to me was less about the report and whether I agree or disagree with the findings (which I was duly quizzed afterward by colleagues and associates), but rather a comment that was made a number of times by the panelists: ‘We need to listen more.’"

Mightier Than the Sword: Arts and Culture in the U.S.-Muslim World Relationship by Cynthia P. Schneider, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy; and Kristina Nelson, author of The Art of Reciting the Quran - John Brown, Review, American Diplomacy: “The arts are essential to giving meaning to our lives, but they are far too complex and all too human to be reduced to vehicles for advancing certain forms of social behavior or political systems. As the report itself states – but not emphatically enough – ‘value art for art’s sake.’”

Rock The Casbah - Jon Taplin's Blog: “The article in this morning’s Times on an all girl rock band in Saudi Arabia called Accolade is a window into a major public diplomacy advantage the U.S. could employ in the Obama administration. … Three years ago, Karen Hughes, in her first week in office as Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy came to the Annenberg School where our Center for Public Diplomacy trains future diplomats in an art that has almost vanished in the Bush Administration. … I … went on to suggest that the State Department sponsor a major tour of Hip Hop artists throughout the Mideast where the genre is very popular. I noted that Jurrasic Five, Mos Def and the Nas were all Muslims and that the tour would have two effects. First the mullahs would tell the kids they could not go to hear this decadent music–and the kids would disobey in their first act of independence from the religious authorities. Second, if the opening acts on the tour were all local bands, they would leave behind an underground scene that would inevitably foster more openness like the Accolade is trying to promote. Ms. Hughes proceeded to ask about whether the Hip Hop artists supported President Bush, to which I replied that they were all strongly opposed to the Iraq War, and that would add to the cognitive dissonance of their appearance. She of course thought this was a terrible idea.”

Options for Influence: Global campaigns of persuasion in the new worlds of public diplomacy - John Brown, Review, American Diplomacy: “Options for Influence is to be praised for seeking to help PD [Public Diplomacy] practitioners develop a ‘strategy’ for their work, but for elucidation on how ‘international actors’ stay afloat in an unpredictable overseas environment, biographical and historical accounts of public diplomacy are perhaps more rewarding (or at least more humorous).”

Peace Corps in a Bottom-Up and Troubled Era - Yossef Ben-Meir, Global Politician: “In the current issue of WorldView magazine, a publication of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), President-elect Barack Obama states his support for doubling the number of volunteers to 16,000 by 2011. … There is nearly universal agreement that the United States needs urgently to rebuild its image in the world. Volunteers, as good neighbors and in their dedication to meeting human needs, contribute to public diplomacy and to goodwill among nations.”

Secretary Clinton: Welcome to Colombia – Felipe Estafan, Colombia Report: “Top Obama administration officials must recognize that the United States is not the only international power vying for the attention and potential benefits of relations with Latin American nations. Colombia, as the current strongest ally of the United States in the region, ought to be regarded as an important part of any U.S. strategy to strengthen traditional and public diplomacy efforts in Latin America.”

NATO Mediterranean Dialogue Seminar in Israel - Defense-Technology News: "(NSI News Source Info) November 25, 2008: The NATO Public Diplomacy Division co-organised with the Tel Aviv Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) on 24-26 November 2008 an international seminar on Regional Security Dialogue and Cooperation in the Middle East."

Moral Depravity Exemplified - Eric Trager, Contentions, Commentary: “[I]f the Obama administration is as serious about public diplomacy as it promised it would be, Syrian-American rapprochement will be postponed indefinitely. For all of the ink that has been spilled claiming that the war in Iraq has hurt our standing abroad, there is one thing that would be even more harmful: sending mixed messages regarding where we stand on the most basic moral issues. In this vein, nothing would be more counterproductive than engaging leaders who grant ruthless murderers their highest national honors.”

A new spin on Iran's nuclear fuel - Kaveh L Afrasiabi, Asia Times: “Leading the pack in th[e] media endeavor for a Chomskyian [‘]manufactured consensus’ on Iran's nuclear threat is the nation's leading newspaper, the New York Times. Although known as the voice of the liberal ‘eastern establishment’, the Times is perceived by many as a pillar of support for pro-Israel global public diplomacy and, therefore, it comes as little surprise that the respected newspaper may have been churning out alarmist and misleading articles about Iran's purported nuclear threat.”

What preoccupies young Palestinian minds - Daoud Kuttab, Media Monitors Network, CA: “The occupation is foremost on Palestinian youth's mind. This was made clear in the Palestinian village of Beita, near Nablus, at an event held on November 17: the opening of the youth development resource centre, funded by USAID and some private international technical companies. The audience included US Undersecretary of State James K. Glassman, responsible for public diplomacy and public affairs.”

How not to negotiate with Syria - Itamar Rabinovich, Jerusalem Post: “Israel's negotiation with Syria, actual and potential, about the resolution of their conflicts - is very much in the news now. … Public diplomacy is an essential part of any negotiation and conflict resolution. But so is secret diplomacy.”

Will Obama be good for us? - Tasneem Noorani, The News, Pakistan: “Sen Biden also says that America should treat military aid separately and make it conditional on results. In addition to that, he is also in favour of a 'democracy dividend' – saying that one year of democracy should be rewarded by an additional billion dollars in aid. … Biden has also said that Washington needs to engage the Pakistani people rather than its rulers, and that this should be done through improved public diplomacy, educational exchanges and 'high-impact' projects. Now if Obama adopts the strategic proposals of Biden, whom he took as his teammate for his foreign policy specialisation, Pakistan should find US policy towards it people-friendly, with sustained economic collaboration and a bonus for continuing with democracy.”

Israel, Palestinians seek support through media campaign - Zhang Yanyang, Xu Gang, Chinaview: “Gerald Steinberg, Political Studies Department Chair at Bar Ilan University, told Xinhua in a phone interview … [that] ‘Israel is taking public diplomacy seriously for the first time. The government is actually looking at long-term efforts to reach out, of which YouTube is one of many,’ he said.”

Introducing Israel Studies in U.S. Universities: Interview with Mitchell Bard – “Dr. Mitchell G. Bard is executive director of the nonprofit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and a foreign policy analyst who lectures frequently on American Middle East policy. … [Bard:] ‘Unlike the Arab-sponsored programs, AICE is careful not to try to turn teaching positions into public-diplomacy efforts for Israel, even though several pro-Israeli philanthropists would be happy with that. No Israeli professor would be willing to do so.’”

Zardari seeks funds to overcome economic crisis - Ashfaq Ahmed, Gulf News: “The main purpose of President Asif Ali Zardari's two-day visit to the UAE, which concluded on Tuesday, was to secure some ‘economic relief’ for Pakistan … The meeting also decided to launch a public diplomacy campaign to project the Friends of Pakistan initiative.”

Malawi yet to be on Danish support agenda - Charles Mpaka, Malawi's Daily Times, Malawi: “Charlotte Henriksen, Head of Section for Public Diplomacy and Communication in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, could not be drawn into commenting on whether there were immediate plans that the Danish government could review its stand following the change of government in Malawi.”

La nuova propaganda del Pentagono in Iraq - Osservatorio Iraq: “[C]on l’espressione ‘public diplomacy’ si intendono quegli aspetti della diplomazia internazionale non direttamente legati ai rapporti tra governi nazionali; la ‘public diplomacy’ si concentra sui modi in cui un determinato Paese può comunicare con i cittadini di altri Paesi; questi modi includono l’informazione ed altri mezzi mediatici come i film, la televisione, la musica, ecc.”

Role Of Media Propaganda In Iraq Invasion - Ayyoob, Blood: “Involvement of the Bush Administration and State Machinery in Propaganda: The Bush administration was engaged in wholesale fabrication of lies and to a great extent it succeeded in passing them to the audience as indelible truths, when it is ushered into the day to day news chain. … Charlotte Beers, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, has played an important role in this regard thanks to her important role in the advertising industry as well.”


Weapons Come Second: Can Obama Take on the Pentagon? - Frida Berriga, TomDispatch: As a candidate, Barack Obama stirred our imagination through his calls for a "new era of international cooperation." The United States cannot, however, cooperate with other nations from atop our shining Green Zone on the hill; we cannot cooperate as the world's sole superpower, policeman, cowboy, hyperpower, or whatever the imperial nom du jour turns out to be. Bottom line: we cannot genuinely and effectively cooperate while spending more on what we like to call "security" than the next 45 nations combined.

US-Iraq agreement needs work - Ayad Allawi, Boston Globe. Ayad Allawi is the former prime minister of Iraq.

Bush should include Congress - Bill Delahunt and Oona Hathaway, Boston Globe: The Iraqi parliament is expected to vote today on the security agreement with the United States. Its approval, by the required two-thirds majority, would mark an important moment in the development of Iraq's constitutional democracy. How sad, then, that our own Congress has been denied the opportunity to vote on the agreement.

Start With Syria: A Middle East Deal Obama Could Build On - Aaron David Miller, Washington Post: So, Mr. President-elect, go ahead and try to buck up the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire, train Palestinian security forces, pour economic aid into Gaza and the West Bank, and quietly nurture Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. But don't go for the endgame -- you won't get there. Instead, invest in an Israeli-Syrian peace, and, afterward, you might find, with a historic success under your belt and America again admired for its competence, you will be better positioned to achieve the success you want in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, as well.

Russian-Georgian media war carries on - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Another Falsehood Exposed - Dan Froomkin, When and if the curtain is fully pulled back on President Bush's "war on terror," how much of what he said will turn out to be true, and how much of it will turn out to be fantasy and lies? The more we learn, the more it seems the appeals to fear that Bush used to rally the nation behind him were unfounded.

It's All a Blur - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog
I keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to
: PHOTO. President George W. Bush shakes hands with Peru's Foreign Minister Jose Garcia Belaunde as Peru's President Alan Garcia kisses U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during their meeting at the APEC summit in Lima November 23, 2008. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (PERU). COMMENT: "Oh, this is going to be a very long, drawn-out swan song for Dr. Ferragamo. From now on, she's going to hear nothing but variations of the following two questions: How does it feel to be a failure? Have you picked a title for the book?"

Image from

No comments: