Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 5

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Clinton’s visit to be done ’her way’ - Şafak Timur, Lycie: "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the next guest on one of Turkey’s most popular talk shows, hosted by four women. The move is seen as an eloquent way of practicing public diplomacy to woo the Turkish public away from its current anti-American stance, rather than trying to reach the public by going through all the diplomatic formalities." Image from

Evaluating Clinton's Middle East trip -- a mixed bag - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: “Talking to al-Arabiya: Good, with reservations. Clinton is to be commended for making the time for another high-profile interview with a top Arab satellite TV station. She didn't tailor her remarks to Arab sensitivities -- I'd reckon that she talked more about missiles from Gaza and Israel's self-defense than Arab audiences really want to hear, but if that's her position then so be it. More broadly, it would have been better if she had chosen al-Jazeera this time, after Obama gave al-Arabiya the first shot. Al-Jazeera has a larger audience, and more credibility with the Arab publics that the U.S. presumably wants to reach. The choice to go with al-Arabiya again (in conjunction with the strong identification with Mahmoud Abbas) reinforces the old 'moderate vs rejection camp' divide which Arab reconciliation efforts have been trying to overcome. Going on to Arab satellite TV as a matter of course is a crucial part of public diplomacy, and a tip of the hat to Clinton for doing it... but now's the time to start widening the range of outlets for such interviews.” Image from

Clinton and Obama on Iran - Diplomacy 101 – “[F]ar too much diplomacy is played out in public, and not enough behind closed doors. Public diplomacy has too much baggage. Diplomats from democratic states become accountable at home for what they say around the table, leaving one hand tied behind their backs when they’re in negotiations with autocratic countries where democracy, a free press and public accountability are not things on the worry list.”

The Ideal Un-Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs - John Brown, Notes and Essays:

“A recommendation suggesting the ideal person to fill the post of Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department, coming from a private citizen who has publicly given 'ten reasons why we don’t need an Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs' may seem like an oddity if not a contradiction. … My choice, which I believe few reasonable persons would disagree with: Ambassador William Rugh. Why? Because he is, in my view, the ideal un-Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Yes, I do mean un-Undersecretary, given the recent Under Secretaries chosen up to now.“ Also posted on Huffington Post.

An Ideal Un-Undersecretary – Joshua S. Fouts, DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age: “Ambassador Rugh is an eminently wise and savvy professional with an entrepreneurial spirit whom I respect and am pleased to call a colleague and friend. He'd certainly be a great un-under-secretary ... if such a position were up for a vote by the people. Right now, I'm more interested if they're going to appoint anyone at all.”

To Win Hearts and Minds - Christopher Badeaux, The New Ledger: “[Senator Richard] Lugar’s real gift is an ability to signal where the establishment is heading, and where he’s being led. That brings us to his latest offering (or a staffer’s latest offering) in Foreign Policy. Helpfully titled, 'To win hearts and minds, get back in the game,' the Senator’s earnest suggestion on how to improve America’s image in the world and aid in the war on terror: Open cultural learning centers in 'Jakarta or Caracas or Cairo,' and, presumably, Beijing, Pyongyang, and Avalon. … Lugar’s idea suffers from flaws in almost every direction. … All the informal public diplomacy in the world cannot hide an America that is so ashamed of itself that it elects a man who repudiates it.” Image from

Senator Lugar is right about past U.S. public diplomacy mistakes - Ted Lipien - & Free Media Online Blog: “The central point of Senator Lugar’s article is that the U.S. government’s own actions and inactions have contributed to its inability to conduct effective public diplomacy overseas. But the closing down of American centers has not been the only action that was damaging to America’s image abroad in recent years. While Senator Lugar noted that the Voice of America still exists, many of VOA radio programs for overseas audiences have in fact been terminated by the Broadcasting Board of Governors.”

Foreign exchange program promotes religious dialogue among youth: Muslim students visit Bowie's Temple Solel - Andrea Noble, Gazette.Net: “Muslim students Dina Mahmod, 18, from Egypt and Tony Nugroho, 17, from Indonesia spoke to about 10 teens from the temple's youth group about their religion as part of a U.S. State Department initiative to increase public diplomacy between the United States and several majority Muslim countries at the youth level. ... Photo: Andrea Noble/The Star: Egyptian exchange student Dina Mahmod shows off an Islamic prayer rug during a Feb. 25 presentation about her religion before American Jewish students at Temple Solel in Bowie."

Social workers from Armenia to be trained in Boston area - Armenian Reporter: "The Community Connections program is sponsored by the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by its programming agent World Learning, Inc. It is designed to promote public diplomacy through the exchange of cultural ideas and values among participants, U. S. families and local community host organizations. It seeks to establish and strengthen links between U. S. communities, Armenia and other former Soviet republics."

Recent Blog Post on Cultural Diplomacy - ninakeim, Perspectives on Public Diplomacy: “The course blog of my Public Diplomacy class is getting more and more attention. We are eager to discuss recent issues related to our course. So please feel free to check our blog, contribute with comments, and share our link.”

Citizens Are Conversations – Mark Drapeau, Cheeky Fresh: “[C]itizens are not mere receiving vessels for press releases and whatever you put on your government website.

They’re not a captive audience. They are groups of individuals having conversations with their families, at the proverbial water cooler, and on popular social media sites like the blog ReadWriteWeb, the microsharing site Twitter, and the video conversation platform Seesmic. … Colleen Graffy from the State Department successfully used Twitter to connect with overseas journalists as part of her public diplomacy mission.” Image from

Twittering Trends – Joshua M. Fouts, DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination: “For me, Twitter is an organic, stream of ideas and thoughts about a particular moment of time. I don't use it to track or develop relationships, but this is an inevitable side effect of using Twitter, and it can be a very positive thing. I view it as a dip into the cultural zeitgeist, and in the meantime, it does connect me more to the whereabouts, thoughts and lives of my friends.” Image from

Ali Reza Manouchehri Chief Executive Officer MetroStar Systems, Inc. - ”As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MetroStar Sytems, Inc., Manouchehri has transformed MetroStar Systems from a small start-up into one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies, as ranked by Inc. Magazine. … His latest endeavor, X-Life Games™, harnesses the power of mobile gaming to demystify the United States to an international audience, specifically Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Arab youth. His path-breaking mobile application is reinventing public diplomacy, using an emerging new media platform to engage the minds of foreign audiences by educating them about the realities of American culture. This unique approach is the embodiment of 'e-diplomacy,' and reflects the new 'soft diplomacy' approach favored by the Obama Administration.”

Nation Branding – Rebecca, Perspectives on Public Diplomacy: “I started doing a little research for my country profile, and played with typing in a few keywords into my google search bar. I … typed in 'Swiss nation branding' and was given a link to Simon Anholt's blog. I recommend a quick browse of his site … you can find a link to many of his nation branding guides as well as just about any form of media he's been in in the last few years. No matter what your opinion of nation branding is, it definitely holds a place in Public Diplomacy. Whether or not it is effective is another question.”

Strategic Communication's Road to Nowhere - Tadd Sholtis, The Quatto Zone:“If you're new to the strategic communication or public diplomacy debate, no worries. Christopher Paul's recent RAND study, Whither Strategic Communication? A Survey of Current Proposals and Recommendations, makes it painfully clear that you have not missed much. Reviewing 36 separate studies and reports completed over the past six years--which really just scratches the surface of the academic and governmental windbagging on this issue--Paul identifies the common recommendations that have received next to no action or attention from anyone who matters. … I don't see a stronger commitment to public versus traditional diplomacy at State. I don't see a natural constituency building for sustained support of foreign engagement programs, especially during the economic decline. Frankly, I don't see much but a string of reports and discussions, which doesn't give me much hope for a renaissance in public diplomacy anytime soon. Image from

Robert W. Grupp elected New President and CEO , Institute for Public Relations - Shelley Singh, “Grupp has traveled extensively throughout the world lecturing on public diplomacy and global public relations strategy and practice.”

Modern Mediameldavis: “On December 30, 2008 the Israeli Consulate held a public press conference on Twitter regarding the war in Gaza. David Saranga, head of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, stated that ‘Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well.’ The event allowed anyone with a Twitter account to post their comments and questions to be answered. Social networks are also an extremely powerful tool that advertisers can make use of." Photo of Savid Saranga from

Propaganda - can we identify it?TMP café: “Is there any effective method to limit the patent propaganda pushed into every internet blog column by Hasbara minions of the Israel Foreign Affairs Ministry. The answer is probably not. The only way to limit the damage to gullible readers who believe the written word to be truth is to make everyone fully aware of the agenda to control and shape the opinion of Internet users worldwide by the recruitment and indoctrination of thousands of impressionable dogsbodies who are willing to believe in the misinformation themselves.”

Deputy PM highlights significance of people’s diplomacy - Viet Nam News: “Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem said the people’s foreign relations activities this year needed to intensify so as to boost both bilateral and multilateral international relations. The deputy PM said they should first, overcome limits in co-ordination schemes and management, second, update information to guide the people, and finally, improve human resource training. … Khiem said public diplomacy was an important part of foreign affairs. In light of global social and economic problems, State diplomacy could not lack the support of the people. Khiem said the people’s diplomacy had "’bountiful forms, various contents, deep bases and populous force.’" Image from

China’s Palestine Policy - Chris Zambelis, China Brief: Chinese leaders, for instance, conduct official diplomatic visits to the “State of Palestine” as opposed to the “Palestinian Territories” or the “West Bank/Gaza,” labels typically used by the United States and other countries in official venues. China’s reference to “Palestine” is a symbolic but nevertheless important distinction; China’s reference to “Palestine” acknowledges Palestinian national identity and, by extension, the territorial claims of the Palestinians (Xinhua News Agency, January 10). While always taking into account the significance of public diplomacy and perceptions, Chinese leaders treat bilateral exchanges with their Palestinian counterparts as major diplomatic events on par with other high-level state-to-state visits.”

Head - Operation Sectioneujobs: NATO: 1. SUMMARY The Operations Section supports the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Policy Coordination Group (PCG) on all operational aspects related to NATO-led operations, including consultation with non-NATO troop contributors. It works closely with the International Military Staff (IMS), NATO Military Authorities (NMAs) and other International Organisations. The section also provides support to operational task forces led by the Operations Division. … DESIRABLE The following would be considered an advantage: • field operational experience; • public diplomacy experience.” Image from

Military Review Blasts 'Human Terrain' (Updated) - Noah Shachtman , Wired: In 2005, anthropologist Mongtomery McFate co-authored a pair of articles in the journal Military Review that helped set the stage for the Human Terrain System, the Army's effort to embed social scientists in combat units. Four years later, a Marine Corps officer is lashing out at the program -- and he's using Military Review to do it. VIA. Photo of Montgomery McFate from


--A dog barks though a hole in the wall of a hardware store decorated with a bat painting in Bogota, Tuesday, March 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara). From Princess Sparkle Pony's Photoblog, with comment by Karen Zipdrive that "Looks like Condi's taking hang gliding classes."

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