Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 23-24

“Dear Under Secretary Hughes, It is clear from your first trip to Saudi Arabia that you can be a powerful voice promoting freedom in the world.”

--Inscription by Natan Sharansky to a book he provided to Karen Hughes when she was Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs during the Bush administration; Hughes image from

“Sometimes it’s pretty exciting, but most of the time it just feels like a job.”

--A political officer, presumably from the State Department, in answer to the question, “what is it actually like to be a foreign service officer doing either the political or public diplomacy tracks? how competitive is the job? what are my chances of getting accepted?”


Iran: New Technology, New Protest, New System? - Scott Lucas, Enduring America: "The audacious and extraordinary use by the Iranian population of social networking tools and new media is a call to explore ingenious ways that America, in concert with Europe and other countries, can use public diplomacy to demonstrate solidarity with the people in Iran. Intervention in the classical sense is not an option. The Iranian people must decide their own fate without the interference of foreign powers. … In the aftermath of President Obama’s Cairo speech, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the opportunity to forge a global coalition, which can weigh those consequences and respond as events in Iran evolve." Image from

Arena Digest: What about Iran?Politico: James Carafano, The Heritage Foundation: … “Concern about accusations of meddling in Iran’s affairs are just dumb. The supreme leader and Iran’s ‘elected’ president denounced the White House anyway. What really galls me is those quick to trumpet Obama’s public diplomacy with the protests in Iraq. What an unjudicious claim from those who laud America’s new, more ‘humble’ foreign policy. Trying to steal the credit of the ‘grasp for freedom’ by those risking their lives in the street is pretty pathetic. Does anybody really believe people are marching in the streets of Iran because Obama made a speech in Egypt? Give me a break.” Image from

When caution becomes abdication, Karen Hughes - “[A]s the hours turned into days, as police beat and killed protesters, as journalists were confined or ordered out of the country, as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei unilaterally declared the election fair and ordered protesters out of the streets, Obama’s restrained words sent all the wrong signals. … I’ll never forget visiting a classroom in China, where a young American Fulbright scholar was teaching Chinese high school students English based on the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The curriculum included King’s famous 'Letter From a Birmingham Jail,' with its profound warning that 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I realized that the students were learning so much more than another language. They were learning about our values and why we proudly herald them not only in our own country but also around the world. … On my first trip to Saudi Arabia, I visited a women’s college. I was asked by a young woman why American women think that Saudi women are repressed. I answered in a way that I believed was both true to our values and culturally sensitive. I explained to the young woman that as an American woman, my ability to drive was an important part of my freedom,

allowing me to work and care for my family. I went on to say that I understood that her culture and traditions were different. I was criticized by some for being insensitive … “ Karen P. Hughes is global vice chairman of Burson-Marsteller. She served as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2005 to 2007. Image from

GOP: Shameful Opposition - Amitai Etzioni, posted at Rightardia: "The Hungarian uprising against Soviet domination took place against the backdrop of Dwight Eisenhower's administration's campaign of public diplomacy promoting freedom for the people of Eastern Europe. … During the uprising, Radio Free Europe aired several broadcasts giving combat advice to Hungarian fighters and encouraging their campaign, and many Hungarians thought that the US would offer more active support . Despite its rhetoric, the US did not extend any actual assistance, and the movement was crushed by Soviet troops with over 2,000 Hungarians killed and hundreds of thousands later fleeing the country. … Now the Republicans cry 'The president of the United States is supposed to lead the free world, not follow it...He's been timid and passive more than I would like, (Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.)."

The Obama DOMA drama - Chris J. Miller, SmartRemarks:

“On June 12, … the election in Iran was happening … a subject on which much digital ink has been spilled, to which I have nothing to add except that it’s nice to see a population care enough about democracy to take to the streets over it; that Obama has been responding to the situation with admirable discretion; and that the conservatives criticizing him are idiots who understand nothing about public diplomacy and would probably still attack him if he released a statement celebrating motherhood and apple pie …“ Image from

May Bad-Mouthing Continue: Iran And The Voice Of America – Alvin Snyder, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Each time the Iranian Islamic dictatorship condemns the Voice of America by name for broadcasting news of anti-government demonstrations into that country, it can
only mean more dollars for the VOA's Persian News Network — and VOA in general — at budget time on Capitol Hill." Image from

Community: Rep. Maloney Works to Save Voice of America's Greek Desk ServiceGreek News: "Washington, DC – Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) last week called on House appropriators to restore funding to the Voice of Americaʼs Greek Desk Service, calling it 'essential' to an 'accurate and balanced message' to audiences abroad. In a letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Chair Rep. Nita Lowey and Ranking Member Rep. Kay Granger, Hellenic Caucus co-chairs Maloney and Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis and eight other caucus members said: 'The Greek Desk Service is an essential communications capability upon which we rely to disseminate an accurate and balanced message to crucial audiences abroad. Losing the service is much more than the loss of an important information link between Greece and America. It is a blow to our broader national security and public diplomacy efforts. Indeed, the elimination of the Greek Desk would be detrimental to the interests of the United States in the eastern Mediterranean. It would remove a dependable and valuable information source, one that projects the best of American journalistic qualities to a vital region and helps to promote American interests and values.'”

VOA: "gang of apologists." Farda: "real Americans who believe in Freedom" - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy. See also.

al Hurra: Propaganda tool or voice of the people? - John Parnell, "US funded news network al Hurra has been on air in the Middle East since 2004 and recently launched its most ambitious programme to date, al Yaum, which connects five live studio locations every week night. spoke with al Yaum’s executive producer Fran Mires and Governor Joaquin Blaya of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)."

Senator Kaufman, recently of the BBG, on US broadcasts into Iran - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Zambian Videographer Represents Africa in Democracy Video Contest - Sara Veldhuizen Stealy, "The Democracy Video Challenge, launched in September 2008, is a worldwide online competition that asked videographers to complete the phrase 'Democracy is…' in a three-minute video posted on the competition’s YouTube site. The challenge was created by the Department of State and 10 partners … . The competition attracted more than 900 entries from 95 countries. An independent jury chaired by Hernando de Soto (president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy) and Michael Apted (president of the Directors Guild of America) selected 18 finalists, and the online voting public chose six winners, one from each region of the world. … Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale congratulated the six winners." Image from

RP film wins Democracy Video Challenge - GNP Team, Good News Pilipinas: "The Philippines’ video film entry 'Long Live the Fearless Man' was one of six global winners in the recently concluded US State Department-sponsored Democracy Video Challenge. Melissa 'Aissa' Peñafiel and Miguel Ocampo both from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, were among the six winners of the worldwide online competition that engages people around the world in a global dialogue on democracy."

Commentary: Web 2.0: The next transition - Don R. Brown, "The State Department recently partnered with Facebook, Google and MTV to launch its Youth Movement How-To Hub. The venture seeks to expand outreach through social networking, engaging citizens across the world to help fight violence and oppression. They call it Public Diplomacy 2.0."

Experts Advise U.S. To Focus On Relationship With Pakistan’s People - Annie Berman, Talk Radio News Service: "A panel of experts

at the Cato Institute said that a key step in strengthening the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. is to convince the Pakistani people to favor the United States. … Mukhtar Kahn, an analyst at the Jamestown Foundation, described the Pakistani population as a strong, civil society. … In order to improve relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, Kahn suggested increasing public diplomacy, cultural exchange programs, and strategic communication among the Pakistani people regarding the threat of the Taliban." Image from

The United States' Leadership In Creating World Order - Freya Ariga's life: "US has to increase and also maintain its hard and soft power which include military, diplomacy, economics, and culture. Military forces include not only those actually engaged in combat but the threat of their use in offensive, defensive, and retaliatory operations. Diplomacy includes political forces, a nation’s system of governance, alliances, and international relationships. The economy includes a nation’s economic power, economics assistance, trade, foreign investment, financial position, and trading arrangement. Cultural resources include the media, information, public diplomacy, communications, and traditional propaganda."

Blanchard named board chairman of diplomatic organization - Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press: "Former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard – who also served as the U.S. ambassador to Canada for a time during President Bill Clinton’s administration – has been named chairman of the board of trustees for the Meridian International Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit diplomatic organization. … 'I am honored to serve, particularly at this time,' Blanchard said. 'The United States has begun a new era of public diplomacy, where we are listening to the world more and placing a greater emphasis on global engagement.'” Banchard image from

Washington's Top Benefits 2009BizBash Washington: 10. Meridian Ball: "In 2008, this 40th annual benefit for public diplomacy nonprofit the Meridian International Center started with small dinners at ambassador’s homes throughout the District, followed by dancing for 800 at the Meridian House. The event returns October 2."

The lost films of the Marshall Plan - The Budapest Times:

"Hungarian audiences will have a chance to see the lost films of the Marshall Plan for the first time in history at a 3-day series of screenings in Budapest, from 25-27 June 2009, organized by the Central European University (CEU), Open Society Archives (OSA), the Institute for Political Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (IPS HAS), and Perspective Institute. The Budapest showings are made possible with support from the Embassy of the United States. The Budapest exhibitions offer a fascinating cross-section of the more than 280 shorts and feature films produced by the Marshall Plan’s Motion Picture Section throughout Europe from 1948-1953. They could not be seen in the United States for over 40 years, have been lost from view in Europe in the 60 years since they were first produced, and were forbidden in Hungary under its Communist regime. … [B]ecause the films were deemed to fall under the jurisdiction of America’s 1948 Smith-Mundt Act, which prevented U.S. government-sponsored propaganda from being shown to American audiences, it was illegal to show them in the U.S. The ban was amended in 1990, but they are only now touring North American cities." Image from

Afghanistan: The Contest - Spencer Ackerman, Washington Independent: "Via Abu Muqawama, NATO is holding a contest for the best viral video answering the question of Why Afghanistan Matters. I’m not sure what to think of this. On the one hand, it kind of makes you wonder whether this means NATO governments aren’t able to compellingly answer the question themselves, which is a dangerous thing for a war effort. But on the other, from a public diplomacy perspective, perhaps the most credible spokespeople for the war effort aren’t senior government officials."

Conference examines NATO’s capabilities – Daily Update, Isria: "In light of the decision at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit to develop a new Strategic Concept for the Alliance, the Center for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning and the National Defence College of Romania hosted an international conference entitled 'NATO’s Capabilities: Budgeting for a Credible Defense in Europe' in Bucharest on 18 - 19 June. Co-sponsored by NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, the event examined current and future requirements for civilian and military capabilities to ensure territorial defence and meet increasing demands in international crisis management operations." Image from

Public Diplomacy Is Easier When the Facts Are on Your Side - Jennifer Rubin, Contentions, Commentary: "Bibi Netanyahu has refined his diplomatic skills since his last time in office. His speech offering a two-state solution was widely praised in Israel, triggered the predictable rejectionist language from the Palestinians, and forced the White House to cough up some praise. Sunday, he went on Meet The Press and quite effectively continued his public diplomacy campaign. First, he resisted the urge to criticize the president’s relative muteness on Iran … . Quite politic and respectful – the way one would expect an ally to treat us in public. Too bad the courtesy has not been returned."

A country in need of a smart brand - Andrew Cohen, Ottawa Citizen: "As diplomat and scholar Evan Potter reminds us in his illuminating new book, Branding Canada, we must present a more compelling, coherent image of Canada to the world. We need to harness the tools of public diplomacy -- culture, international education, business promotion -- to present an image of a certain kind of country, with a certain kind of values, which reflects the people we are." Potter image from

China slowly preparing to dominate the globe - Zachary Hubbard, The Tribune-Democrat: "CCTV International is the English-language, 24-hour news channel of China Central Television. … CCTV is part of China’s public diplomacy campaign, which attempts to convey positive images and messages about China to the populations in other countries where the Chinese have economic interests and ambitions."

Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hongbo Meets with Andri Hadi, Director-General for Information and Public Diplomacy of the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs - Press Release, MFA China: "On June 18, 2009, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hongbo met with a delegation headed by Andri Hadi, visiting Director-General for Information and Public Diplomacy of the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs. … Wu also briefed on the efforts of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in carrying out public diplomacy, expressing willingness to exchange with the Indonesian side the experience and practice in conducting public diplomacy."

UN and marketing industry launch ”Hopenhagen” - Michael von Bülow, COP 15 Copenhagen: "The United Nations, together with the International Advertising Association and a coalition of the world’s leading advertising, marketing and media agencies, Tuesday launched Hopenhagen – a movement that empowers global citizens to engage in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen. …

'Denmark and Copenhagen are proud to be hosting this historic climate change meeting, and we are happy to welcome the Hopenhagen campaign as part of our wide ranging communications efforts for the conference,' said Under-Secretary for Public-Diplomacy in the Danish Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Klavs A. Holm." Image from

Wednesday, June 24, 2009Capital of Italy: Romania: "The MFA promotes Romania in Italy through the public diplomacy campaign 'Piazza di Romania' The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with MSMECTLP, will organize between 28th September 9th October, a public diplomacy campaign in Italy, in order to prove that there are more things linking the Italians to the Romanians and less those that seem to separate them."

Less than 5% of Middle East marketing budget goes to research: Governments and private sectors in the Gulf should look more seriously at research to understand better their stakeholders, according to a regional media intelligence expert - AME Info: "Speaking at the 3rd Gulf Forum for Practitioners of Public Relations in Manama, Mohamed Elzubeir, head of Mediastow, a leading media advisory and intelligence agency in the MENA region, revealed that currently only 5% of the marketing budget goes to research in the Middle East, a very low figure compared to international markets. … Elzubeir added: 'Corporate or public diplomacy needs trust and to build trust we need understanding. Research is crucial; we need to know our stakeholders better by identifying and gauging their hidden perceptions, preferences and who influences them and how to address their concerns by a language they understand and a vocabulary they are familiar with.'" Image from

Anatomy of a Nontroversy - Matt Osborne, Website of Media Deconstruction: "First, the video; in which Huffington Post's Nico Pitney asks Obama a rather tough question at the press conference today: Politico's Ben Smith posted the following paragraph on his blog after the presser: [']The high-profile the administration is giving the left-leaning outlet is a nice case of symbiosis, not entirely unlike the Bush Administration's close ties to Fox, though the president's signal that he'd been briefed on the question in advance was particularly unusual. ['](Emphasis mine). … Okay, so what we have here is an attempt at public diplomacy involving an innovative blogger for an innovative news aggregator site who gets invited to attend a press conference and bring...the question of his choice. A half-trained monkey could predict the subject of the question, but the question itself? Obama clearly didn't know what the question would be, and was in fact taken aback by it."

Anything can happen if you just only try hard - Abraham Swee, Albert Lea Tribune: "At approximately nine minutes past noon, I found myself walking into the chambers of the United Nations Security Council. I was not on a public tour. In fact, several U.N. security guards questioned my presence. Luckily an ID badge hanging from my neck told them off. I didn’t really believe it either — I was supposedly an adviser for the United States delegation. It has taken me some time to truly believe, but, yes, one of my dreams has come true. The term adviser may be stretching my position a little, but I am an intern — a press and public diplomacy intern to be exact."


Obama's hitting the exact right note on Iran

- Stuart A. Reid, Los Angeles Times: Calling for regime change would probably backfire, but condemning the crackdown encourages dissidents while not interfering with internal politics. Image from

A Shift on Iran: President Obama's embrace of its protest movement is an act of realism – Editorial, Washington Post

Neda's Legacy: A woman's death moves Iranian protesters – Editorial, Washington Post: The footage is wrenching: a young woman dying on the pavement, covered in blood. Her name was Neda Agha Soltan, and she was 26 years old. President Obama called the video heartbreaking.

Bet on Neda's Side - David Ignatius, Washington Post: We are watching the first innings of what will be a long game in Iran. President Obama has recognized that with his gradually escalating rhetoric. Image from

Iran's Struggle, and Ours: How a Movement Could Transform the Region - Robert D. Kaplan, Washington Post: Iran, ironically, has a better chance to dominate the region under dynamic democratic rule than it has ever had under its benighted clerisy. And that could be very good for the United States.

Iran cyber update for 23 June 2009Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Tyranny's new nightmare: Twitter -- As new media spreads its Web worldwide, authoritarians like those in Iran will have a difficult time maintaining absolute control in the face of the technology's chaotic democracy – Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times

Seeing Through All the Propaganda About Iran - Eric Margolis, We have been watching an intensifying western propaganda campaign against Iran, mounted by the US and British governments. What we hear is commentary and analysis that comes from bitterly anti-regime Iranian exiles, "experts" with an ax to grind, and US pro-Israel neocons yearning for war with Iran.

Passing Propaganda - Cindy Sheehan, "When I see the riots on the streets of Tehran (in the mainstream 'news' why is it said that those people are 'bravely standing up for their rights', but when people 'bravely stand up for their rights' in Oakland, they’re called 'thugs') I am reminded of the staged media event of the pulling down of Saddam’s statue early on in the sanitized and mass-marketed invasion of Iraq.


sinema said...

Thank you very much for this information ,Good post thanks for sharing.

dizi izle said...

Great choices of music! Thanks for putting the effort into creating such great soundtracks, I really appreciate it. And look forward to many more movies and soundtracks from you.