Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29

"Fear not death; for the sooner we die, the longer shall we be immortal."

--Benjamin Franklin; image of Franklin death mask from


Sanctum FATA - Anthony Cordesman, National Interest Online: “There are several areas where more effective U.S. action [regarding Pakistan] is possible. A three-pronged 'long war' strategy that focuses on public diplomacy, military aid and economic development is Washington’s best bet. … To date, the public side of U.S. information warfare has been far too oriented toward U.S. values and perceptions, and has treated Pakistan far too much like a willing partner with similar goals rather than a very different state with its own goals and values. The United States can, however, use declassified intelligence to make an excellent case that al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hekmatyar and Haqqani are all now growing threats to Pakistan. It can demonstrate that U.S. military activities." Image from

Bringing Democracy Back - Allison Lombardo, The Citizen, The Student Newspaper of the Harvard Kennedy School: "Obama has promised to restore America’s reputation in the world, and the happy hour crowd is hopeful that they can be proud of their occupations again. Closing Guantanamo, denouncing torture, and rejoining multilateral coalitions are solid first steps towards this. Moving forward, the Obama administration needs to use public diplomacy to reframe what democracy promotion means for U.S. policy: a modern message about participation, peace, and partnership." Image from

Obama administration reverses Bush policies: Obama overturns Bush policy that allowed torture, retains warrantless wiretapping clause - Rohan Venkataramakrishnan, Daily Trojan: “'I think [the closing of Guantánamo Bay] affects America’s image significantly. It basically sets the administration up well, in the sense that people want the United States to be respected and admired in the world,' said Geoffrey Wiseman, director of the USC Center for Public Diplomacy and a professor of international relations. 'Having done these things, it makes it more likely that the U.S. will win back the respect of the large parts of the international community.'”

Release of Torture Memos Shows Administration Has Passed First Test on Transparency, Panel Discussion FindsSalfordOnline: "While leading journalists are cautiously optimistic about the administration's initial efforts on transparency 100 days in, they worry that reduced resources for reporting and the President's tendency to 'go unfiltered' will make news gathering more complex, a panel discussion in Washington, DC found. During the session hosted by The NewsMarket, panelists also discussed President Obama's approach to the media and his administration's public diplomacy in the Arab world." Image from

A Really Big ShowJames K. Glassman: Economics, Investing, Public Diplomacy, and More – “Now that I no longer have a seat on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, I can be less diplomatic in my reaction to the criticism of the Arab-language TV network Alhurra. … The real story is that, in less than five years, Alhurra, with a minuscule budget, has established itself as a significant source of news and information in the Middle East, with 26 million viewers tuning in at least once a week. …

My own view is that there is a pressing need for Alhurra to exist and to thrive. There is also a need to complement Alhurra by funding TV production that can be placed on other Arabic-lan[]guage networks. We did a bit of that at State when I was there, but it’s time to roll out significant programming. I was glad to see Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose Alhurra for an important interview a few days ago. … A final plea: The BBG, which includes Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Radio and TV Marti, in addition to Sawa and Alhurra, is in desperate need of a full complement of governors (it now has five; it should have nine), including a chairman." See also. Glassman image from

Alhurra is "pro-government." And not even the US government - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

An arrangement to do wheelies on the graves of Smith and Mundt - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "Gartner v. USIA ruled that VOA cannot distribute its materials within the United States, but any U.S. media operation can, of its own accord, use VOA material."

Improving America's image with adventure modules - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "International broadcasting deals with the digital divide by continuing to broadcast on shortwave to some parts of the world. This wouldn't work for public diplomacy, because people tune to foreign broadcasts on a shortwave radio to get news, not public diplomacy. Internet access is growing in developing countries. Access to mobile telephones in widespread, and an increasing number of these devices have some sort of connection to the internet. Keep in mind that even if internet access becomes more common, some countries block content from certain sources." Image from

All pigs are men: why we need to learn to manage infodemics, too... - David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy: "The punch line: modern information technologies offer important tools for both containing and amplifying threats such as those posed by the global spread of epidemics. Considerable work remains to be done however, in understanding how to use these tools and to limit their abuse...and new media like Twitter and social networking sites do not make this task any easier. (Although figuring out how to manage this in the context of a free society is an especially important challenge for governments worldwide, arguably much more important than popular media-policy intersections like 'public diplomacy.')"

Tweet of Approval: Bush-Era Public Diplomat Likes Obama Nominee - Nancy Scola, techPresident:

"Twitter tells us that one Bush-era diplomat most closely associated with State's new media efforts has expressed (reserved) approval for a criticized member of Hillary Clinton's new flotilla of diplomats. Colleen Graffy was the Deputy Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, and was perhaps best known to many of us as being a freewheeling Twitterer. … Graffy … is offering up a tentative seal of approval on McHale's nomination to succeed her old boss. 'Very good meeting w U/S Designate Judith McHale to talk re Public Diplomacy at the State Dept,' she tweeted. 'She might be exactly who we need 4 that job.'" Image from Pragmatism and the Nobility of Public Service - cnewmark: craig from craigslist indulges himself: "I have great hope for this Administration, since we see it bringing together the pragmatists and innovators in hybrid organizations. I've seen this first hand in the White House, in Offices including Science and Technology Policy, New Media, and Citizen Participation and Engagement. Also, I've seen it first-hand in the State Department, focusing on Public Diplomacy."

Lenses of Contact – Liz Losh, virtualpolitik: "Today, at the Persuasive 2009 conference, [Dan] Lockton presented part of his Design with Intent Toolkit, which outlined six possible 'lenses' through which to see the design process. Given this toolkit, Lockton's work is also obviously relevant to my own interest in government persuasion around the four trends that I followed in the Virtualpolitik book: public diplomacy, public diplomacy, risk communication, and institutional branding, as political institutions move away from print-based media and toward computational media platforms." Losh image from blog

Harnessing the power of activism - cb3blog: "[M]ost governments have always had difficult relationships with autonomous grass roots organisations, unless, of course, they’re onside already. As ever with trying to improve the performance of public diplomacy and foreign policy communications in a rapidly changing information environment, the above requires some serious unconventional and politically risky thinking."

Ukrainian teachers view U.S. model - "Katheran Wasson, A group of five educators from the Ukraine is in Frankfort [Kentucky] this week, looking at rural schools in the U.S. for strategies they can take home. … The visitors were in Frankfort as part of the Open World program, an international exchange sponsored by the Library of Congress through the Open World Leadership Center. They will tour schools in Indiana later this week, and meet with representatives of the YMCA, parent-teacher organizations and Junior Achievement. … 'It really does change how people view Americans,' Madden [Matt Madden, program manager for the World Affairs Council], said. 'It's a public diplomacy initiative, but at the grass-roots level, it's a citizen diplomacy initiative.'" Image from

No "real challenges"? Really? - James Lamond, Democracy Arsenal: Comment by reader Eric Martin: “Here are my capsule impressions of the foreign policy direction so far, arranged in descending order from better to worse. Public diplomacy and the promotion of general global feel-goodism: Very good.”

RE: I know this is old but... - Anonymous, OmniNerd: You're just a cog in the genius machine: "Yeah – Only the government should be allowed to use our dead bodies and coffins for their propaganda, I mean, public relations, I mean, public affairs, I mean, public diplomacy, er, strategic communication, rather, that is to say, outreach 'coordination'. That’s it. Otherwise, unofficial, unauthorized, disallowed use of our carcuses (carci?) is crass. Beyond the pale. Ugly. Doubleplusungod." Image from

Use "Smart Power" to Help Cubans – yuanyuan, Perspectives on Public Diplomacy: "Contrary to popular myth and public misunderstanding, if President Barack Obama wishes to change the U.S. policy toward Cuba, he has ample authority to do so. If he takes charge of Cuba policy, he can turn the embargo into an effective instrument of 'smart power' to achieve the United States' policy objectives in Cuba."

S. Korean FM Stresses Importance Of Public Diplomacy - tbs eFM 101.3 Seoul: "Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan says Korea needs to emphasize public diplomacy as it works to raise its international status. Public diplomacy refers to a country's efforts to communicate directly with citizens in other societies. Minister Yu pointed out that Korea's public diplomacy lags behind that of other nations."

The ‘King of Talk’ dedicates college diploma to ma, friends -

“’King of Talk’ Boy Abunda … one of the most respected television hosts in the country, … is now planning to take up a Master's degree either in International Relations on Public Diplomacy or Communication Arts." Abunda image from

Research And Graduate Studies Awards - Among the Texas A&M grant recipients: "Robert Shandley, Department of European and Classical Languages; 'Corazones Y Mentes: U. S. Public Diplomacy and the Alliance for Progress in Argentina.'”


Obama's Foreign Policy: A Grand Century of Days -- Light Years Away from Bush - Amb. Marc Ginsberg, Huffington Post: Highest on the kudo list: he has inspired a recalibration of America's tarnished image in the world. From each journey abroad (Europe, Turkey, Mexico and Trinidad), the president has brought back home to the American people a down payment of the lost currency of global respect which had been so patently squandered by the Bush Axis of World Contempt: Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld.

One Hundred – Editorial, New York Times: Americans can feel both pride and relief at the enthusiastic welcome Mr. Obama has received in his early travels abroad.

The president will soon have to find ways to leverage that popularity. Obama image from

Obama's doing the best with a short stack: Unlike the two previous presidents, he seems to know how to calculate the odds before taking a gamble - Gideon Rose, Los Angeles Times: Obama has pulled back from the Bush administration's bullying approach to the world while renewing and slightly increasing Washington's commitment to one particular suppurating wound, the situation in Afghanistan.

U.S. Needs to Clarify Cyberwar Plans, Panel Says - John Markoff and Thom Shanker, New York Times: The United States has no clear military policy about how the nation might respond to a cyberattack on its communications, financial or power networks, a panel of scientists and policy advisers warned Wednesday, and the country needs to clarify both its offensive capabilities and how it would respond to such

Pulitzer Prize Winning Story About Pentagon Propaganda Turns Out To Be Less Than Acccurate - Retired military officials are regularly featured in the media as experts on foreign policy and military affairs in general. This is nothing unusual, and certainly these retired officials have every right to make use of their expertise in the private sector and voice their opinions as free speech.

--Image from

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