Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 12

"Can't you just send us another middle-aged white male, like we're used to dealing with?"

--Colonels from a Central American Junta in the late 1970s, according to a possibly apocryphal story (cited by Avuncular American Blog), transmitting their reaction to Washington regarding its choice of a highly qualified prospective young female ambassador -- a respected and hard-charging regional affairs expert; image from

“American identification with Israeli policy has also become total. Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans."

--Chas W. Freeman Jr., a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, in a speech before the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs in 2007


U.S. Faces Challenges With Communications Users Abroad: In some regions, link between home Internet access and U.S. disapproval: - Ian T. Brown,

"Gallup surveys of more than 100 countries in 2008 suggest a link between the likelihood to be connected to communications infrastructure (TV, telephone, and Internet in the home) and the likelihood that respondents disapproved of U.S. leadership. … Considering the relationship between access to information sources and disapproval of U.S. leadership in many countries, tomorrow's public diplomacy will likely seek to project America's positive values, using the most appropriate communications media, to the largest possible audiences.”

US public diplomacy reports on US international broadcasting - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: [Quoting, 10 March 2009.]: "The U.S. government’s premier international radio and television broadcast organization — the Voice of America (VOA) — will continue to provide timely news and information to more than 130 million people worldwide while pursing innovative ways to engage this audience, says VOA Director Dan Austin.”

North Korea Escalates Threats – Bruce Klingner, Heritage Foundation: “Pyongyang has accused the U.S. and South Korea of using the ongoing annual joint military exercise Key Resolve/Foal Eagle as preparations to mount a preemptive attack on North Korea. Pyongyang warns that 'a war may break out any moment due to the reckless policy of confrontation' pursued by the U.S. and its allies. What has not been mentioned, and is a lost public diplomacy opportunity for Washington and Seoul is that North Korea has also been engaged in its annual Winter Training Cycle.” Image from

Before Obama Downed Brown, He Harrowed Taro - Hatched by Sachi, Big Lizards: “We have all heard about how our new president, Barack H. Obama, snubbed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, head of the government of our most important ally . … Whether Obama likes it or not, high-level public diplomacy is an integral part of the job of president. … [C]ouldn't he have squeezed in a state lunch or dinner, maybe even a full press conference? That doesn't seem like too much to ask of President Hope-y Changitude.”

The Imperative of Interagency Synergy by Matthew Levitt – roy_mitsuoka, Blogspot: “On March 11, 2009, Matthew Levitt, director of the Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, testified before the House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Unconvential Threats and Capabilities. The following is an excerpt from his prepared remarks. … ‘Following up on terrorist designations with robust public diplomacy initiatives offers a salient opportunity to support international counterterrorism and counterradicalization objectives and offer a counternarrative to the radical global narrative proffered by ideological radicalizers and terrorist recruiters’.” Image from

German Intelligence Caught Red-Handed In Computer Spying, Analysis - Gadi Evron, Dark Reading: “According to German Web site Der Spiegel, the German foreign intelligence agency BND has supposedly been spying on computer systems around the world in the past couple of years. … A distinction must be made between public diplomacy and espionage activity. History has continually shown that the two are not necessarily operating under the same policy or with the same interests. The same logic can be applied to the Internet.”

Guest bloggers welcomed here - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner: “In the interest of enriching the discussion space for public diplomacy, strategic communication, and global engagement in general, I will open up to some guest posting.” Image from

Pakistan-American Relations: Past, Present and Future at the University of Illinois at Chicago – Campus Progress: “Thursday, March 19, 20096:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. UIC Student Center East, Illinois Room BC 750, South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60607 Rob Asghar, a Pakistani American political writer, will explore the relationship between Pakistan and America to help UIC students gain a more thorough understanding of foreign policy issues and the intersections of policy and culture. His lecture will touch on both the personal and the political, as he will discuss his family’s experiences in Pakistan and his experiences as a fellow at the Center for Public Diplomacy.

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck and his Quartet to visit Fort Pierce’s Sunrise - Bill DeYoung, TCPalm:

“In April 2008, Secretary of State Condoleez[z]a Rice presented Brubeck with the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy for offering ‘an American vision of hope, opportunity and freedom’ through his music.” Image from; thank you TH.

Johnson and Johnson - Teclord, The Medrep Zone: “Johnson & Johnson is known for its corporate reputation, consistently ranking at the top of Harris Interactive's National Corporate Reputation Survey, ranking as the world's most respected company by Barron's Magazine, and was the first corporation awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy by the U.S. State Department for its funding of international education programs.”

Examples of American Culture Critiques - haccenglish102: From: “The future of the American frontier: can one of our most enduring national myths, much in evidence in the recent presidential campaign, be reinvented yet again?(Cover story)(Essay). Author(s):John Tirman. Source:American Scholar 78.1 (Wntr 2009): p30(11). (4396 words) Document Type:Magazine/Journal … ‘The ‘twilight struggle’ with Soviet communism still shapes how we structure foreign relations, institutions, military doctrine, public diplomacy, and our sense of self-worth. It was a colossal, Manichaean contest, much like the one the pioneers experienced as they cleared and settled the continent.’” Image from

The DOW at 36,000 and the end of history - Bernd Debusmann, Reuters, CNBC: “It's no longer in print but you can get it over the Internet and $1.99 (plus shipping and handling) buys you a well-preserved copy of DOW 36,000, a book that has become an emblem for really, really wrong forecasts. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average below 7,000 and the U.S. in its worst financial crisis in 80 years, re-reading the book is a bizarre experience, as well as a lesson that being wrong does not necessarily harm the prognosticator's career. … It was published ten years ago, made bestseller lists and catapulted Glassman, a financial columnist, to celebrity status and a series of high-profile jobs, including undersecretary of state for public diplomacy in the last 11 months of George W. Bush's presidency.” Image from

What Investors Need - Janet Bodnar, Editor,, Washington Post: “In the April issue, we also welcome back columnist James Glassman after an absence of seven months, during which he served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.”

Ex-Bush Team Acclimates to Private Life: Karl Rove may still be grabbing headlines after the end of the Bush administration but several other senior aides to George W. Bush -- though out of public sight -- are quietly making their mark in the private secto. - Cristina Corbin, -- “Karen Hughes [:] The former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs is currently global vice chairwoman of Burson-Marsteller, where she helps business leaders "strengthen their corporate/CEO reputations, achieve business goals through effective communications and shape positive public and stakeholder perceptions," according to the Web site for the Harry Walker Agency, which represents her for speaking engagements.”

AHIF Internship Program in Washington D.C.Hellenic News of America: “The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the AHIF Internship Program for the summer of 2009. … The intern for the Embassy of Greece can either be a Greek American or Greek national; however, he/she must be a graduate student. The summer internship lasts from the end of May till the end of July. The preferred majors/areas of interest are: international relations, political science, journalism, public diplomacy, strategic studies and political campaigning.”

American Army Propaganda Aimed at Musicians - flickr:

“American Army Propaganda Aimed at Musicians...Hmmmm. ... hilarious, if it wasn't so sick. I mean, seriously, "Plug in your weapon, turn up the power, and fire away..."Note that the little plastic soldier is firing a guitar. Part of the swag at the 2007 NXNE convention- they had their own table. Wonder why NXNE rented the space to them. What's next, the NRA? The KKK? CIA? (I won't object to the SPCA) Why is the American Army recruiting talent in Canada anyway??” Image from

ZOA: What’s happened to you, Hillary?
- Eric Fingerhut, Jewish Telegraphic Agency: "While some in the Jewish community praised Hillary Clinton's trip to the Middle East last week, the Zionist Organization of America was not happy with the secretary of state. The group didn't like her answer to a interviewer on a Palestinian Authority teen television show, and are disappointed that, unlike during her time on Capitol Hill, she isn't speaking up against 'Palestinian incitement.'" Left Image from; right image from

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