Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 29-30

"The public celebration of the opening of the Moscow–Volga Canal coincided with the execution of the overseers of its construction. A popular book praising the USSR’s affinities with the United States appeared at a time when individuals could be shot for real or imagined personal connections to America."

--Jane Yager, "Moscow Dreams" [Review of Karl Schlögel, Terror und Traum: Moskau 1937], Times online, May 27, 2009; image from


Guerilla Diplomacy; Rethinking International Relations

Enemy of my enemy is my ... enemy? – Matthew B. Stannard, SF Gate: "[T]he White House denounced the coup in Honduras as illegal and 'a terrible precedent.' In response, Honduras's interim president, Roberto Micheletti said that 'nobody, not Barack Obama and much less Hugo Chavez, has any right to threaten this country.' Such plague-on-both-your-houses imagery has some analysts warning that Obama has picked the wrong horse in Honduras. The Heritage Foundation's Ray Walser writes that while Obama might wish to avoid the public diplomacy mess that followed U.S. support for the failed 2002 coup in Venezuela, he should nevertheless support Micheletti over Zelaya." Zelaya image from

Meddling In Honduras - Jonathan Movroydis Blog: "It took several more murders and beatings on the streets of Teheran for President Obama to finally admit the futility of the ‘engagement’ charade and speak out — albeit in relatively general terms – against the brutality of Iran’s clerical-military apparatus. This wasn’t before drawing a moral equivalency between the Khamenei backed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leader of the people’s democracy movement, Mir Hossein Mousavi. The message President Obama is sending is clear, his diametric shift in public diplomacy is now predicated on the perceptions of those traditionally contemptuous of American power, with the hope that our diminished presence will limit our role as occassional [sic] whipping boy. Hopefully he’ll come to grips with the reality that our emasculation will make us a permanent one."

Now We Are All Bearing Witness - David Hazony, Contentions, Commentary: "Convinced that the protesters did not have the world on their side, the Mullahs have now unleashed total violence and horror on their own people. Fewer and fewer reports are escaping the hell, and the silencing of our sources inside Iran, one by one, suggests something far worse than the few dozen dead and few hundred arrested that the official news agencies are reporting. … Groupmember Says: June 24th, 2009 at 1:21 PM [--] You know, the irony is just how captive to the idea of restraint we’ve become. During Bush’s tenure, the argument was that we ought not to deploy our armed forces to solve international crises; instead, we should rely on 'soft power,' such as public diplomacy, in lieu of costly and ineffective military solutions. Now, we’ve apparently arrived at the point where even speech is deemed inflammatory and problematic, and too unpredictable in its consequences to be wielded as an instrument among the President’s levers of influence." Image from

Fun For the Paranoid: Homeland Security TV - Roy Edroso, Village Voice: "That uncle of yours who drinks Jim Beam neat, doesn't get out much, and watches the History Channel obsessively while cleaning his guns will be interested in the new Homeland Security Television Channel, 'world's first online, on-demand television network dedicated to homeland security and global development 24/7.'

The channel debuted in 2005, but has now added 'custom, affordable 24/7 Syndication Services' so you can skim around the offerings, as we did. … There's a show on 'Winning Hearts and Minds in the War on Terror,' following the State Department's public diplomacy efforts, which various experts describe as 'botched' and a 'failure,' partly because in some places where the U.S. is trying to influence public opinion 'people are dying of thirst,' which is perceived as an impediment." Image from

China's Foreign Policy: OptionsThe CIA Memory Hole: "The United States could seek to counter China's global activities by reinvigorating U.S. engagement around the world, including the expansion of U.S. public diplomacy."

Inept TV Marti has defenders, but no viewers - Frank Cerabino, Palm Beach Post, posted at Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba: "TV Marti launched on the afternoon of March 27, 1990. All went well for 23 minutes. Then Cuba started blocking the U.S. signal. And that’s been the story for the 19 years since. We’ve spent a half-billiondollars broadcasting TV shows to nearly no one. That’s 'a colossal waste of taxpayer money,' as U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., once pointed out. This week, the House Foreign Affairs Oversight Subcommittee highlighted the continued absurdity of supporting the Cuba-directed broadcasts. The centerpiece of that hearing was a recent Government Accountability Office report pointing out that despite beaming TV Marti’s signal via the Internet, by two satellites and from an airplane that flies six days a week off theCuban coast, it remains a broadcast without an audience." Image from

Global networks, local action - joannejacobs.net: "I’m liveblogging from the global networks, local network event at Canada House on Trafalgar Square this afternoon. …
16:24 Getting started. Place is probably 3/4 full. Canada House giving us a welcome. Public diplomacy has been hijacked by PR control freaks who believe that communicating with their publics means broadcasting messages out rather than 2-way communications.
16:28 Canada House just got its first twitter account. First problem – what’s the userID? …
16:42 Lovisa Williams talks about the US State Dept’s barcamp as a means of finding people who are working in this space. This essentially set up the Govt 2.0 department in the US. …

17:10 US State Govt used ning to develop http://connect.state.gov/ and this was designed to ensure that the site was branded and that the community was ‘closed’ for ’safe communications. Launched in October, with a video competition on values. 90% or more is usergen. Full time community manger monitoring the site 24/7 for all uploaded content. Currently has 11,000 members. [[JJ's note: will be interesting to see what happens when this site gets too big for ning.]] …
17:18 Stephen Hale says that digital diplomacy in the Foreign Office is using the web to communicate. They use wiki for document development for instance. …
17:44 US State department had to work with the legal departments everyday and it has been an uphill battle to deal with their individual concerns. …
17:52 Diplomacy used to be states talking to states. Now it’s states talking to citizens. Changing behaviour is conducive with social media. Foreign service career progression is best supported by sticking to media releases." Trafalgar Square image from

US launches scholarship program for Palestinian studentsMa’an News Agency: "US Consul General Jake Walles formally announced a new 300,000 US dollar scholarship program Monday that will assist 100 Palestinian students study at American universities over the next five years. Walles launched the Abraham Lincoln Incentive Grants during a visit to Amideast in Ramallah. The funding was initially announced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her March visit to the West Bank. … Walles asked the assembled students about their future plans for study in the United States and then introduced a special video message from Judith McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The Under Secretary sent the students a personal message of encouragement from her Washington office." See also. Image from

Under Secretary McHale to Make Remarks at Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants Concert - Office of the Spokesman, Bureau Of Public Affairs, Washington, DC, June 29, 2009: "Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale will join the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in cooperation with the State of the Arts Cultural Series, to present a concert by Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants, on Wednesday, July 1, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., in the Department’s Dean Acheson Auditorium. The Under Secretary will make remarks from 12:30 to 12:45 p.m. The concert for Department employees celebrates the quartet’s successful five-week tour to Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Armenia in March and April 2009 that launched 'Musical Overtures,' a new cultural initiative to send musical quartets on tour to promote mutual understanding and to strengthen America’s ties with nations involved in or recovering from conflict, or facing other challenges."

Funny that – Bonnie, Potomac Artworks: The Paintings Of Bonnie Ferguson Butler And The Stories Behind Them: "The ARTS in Embassies Program sends borrowed art to the residence of ambassadors around the world for the length of their tour, two and a half to three years. They pack it professionally and take care of the details.In looking at the list of borrowed art, it includes heavy hitters from significant collections." Image from

Obstacles to Arab Hearts and Minds – Belen Fernandez, Palestine Chronicle: "Arab confusion [about US policy] may stem from the fact that the destabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan was initially declared to be in their own interest. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes was deployed to the Middle East in 2005 in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion, but in the end merely confirmed the difficulty of winning Arab hearts and minds when Arabs didn’t know what they wanted. After failing to convince Saudi women that they wanted driver’s licenses, Hughes returned home; she further contributed to Arab confusion the following year by stating that all lives were equally precious in the middle of Israel’s war on Lebanon, in addition to confusing Hezbollah with Hamas."

Conference kicks off in Baku in frames of summer session of NATO international school in Azerbaijan - Today.Az: "The conference on 'Marine security' kicked off in Baku Monday in frames of the summer session of the NATO international school in Azerbaijan. … The international school of NATO in Azerbaijan is a nongovernmental organization, supported by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and department of public diplomacy of the alliance. Since the moment of establishing in 2003 it has held ten sessions on various issues involving about 450 representatives from 42 countries." Image from

Blogging tools – Richard Fernandez, Belmont Club: "The Iranian crisis has highlighted a new source of information: the non-professional journalist. This new species, equipped with a cell phone, a digital camera and access to the Internet and using blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have provided raw data about events in ways which professional journalists, by virtue of their fewer numbers, never could. … [Comment] 23. Cannoneer No. 4: Civilian Irregular Combat Cameramen recorded the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan. Those images persuaded, changed and influenced more people more rapidly than all the official .gov/.mil Psychological Operations/Strategic Communications/Public Diplomacy efforts put together."

Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Rajapaksa Opens Dialogue With Expatriates In U.S. - Asian Tribune: "Unprecedented in the history of overseas diplomacy undertaken by Sri Lanka since its independence in 1948, this South Asian nation’s defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was one of the main strategists to annihilate the ruthless terror outfit LTTE last month, reached to the Sri Lankan expatriates in the United States opening a much needed dialogue. …

There was a consensus among the participants of the ‘Fundraiser Dialogue’ between the Sri Lankan expatriates in California and Nevada with Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the need of a separate ministerial-level official in Sri Lanka administration to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Sri Lankan expatriates abroad and coordinate overseas Sri Lanka public diplomacy and strategic communication work at a time the LTTE is contemplating establishing a ‘transnational government of Tamil Eelam’." Rajapaksa image from

Activist pressure forcing AHRB into a 'make or break' period - Kavi Chongkittavorn, The Nation: "In the past three years, Indonesia has been in the forefront of Asean in promoting democratic values and development-in Southeast Asian style. Indonesia,apart from being the world's largest Muslim country,is very proud of a newly acquired tag, as the world's third largest democracy. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has taken this role very seriously. Two years ago, the ministry allocated a huge fund to promote public diplomacy and the branding of Indonesia. 'This is no longer Suharto's Indonesia, it is a new Indonesia,' Umar Hadi, Director for Public Diplomacy, told the author over the weekend in Jakarta. He had helped set up the Bali Forum for Democracy."

'Soft power' of manga, anime winning fans the world over - Mainichi Daily News: "It has only been in the last few years that the Foreign Ministry has acknowledged the soft power of manga and anime, actively employing them in its public diplomacy efforts. While Yasushi Watanabe, an American studies professor at Keio University, remains cautious, saying, 'Anime and manga are mere hooks into soft power, just as small energy-conservation efforts and recycling (are hooks into environmentalism). Foisting (cultural products) onto others could lead to accusations of cultural invasion.' Yet, it is significant that Japanese manga and anime have brought an unexpected twist in Japan's post war history of accepting and adopting things American." Image from

Cricket, documentaries as medium to build Australia-India ties - Madhurjya Kotoky, Public Diplomacy Blog: "Melbourne (PTI) Amid a spate of racial attacks on Indians in Australia, a Sydney-based film expert is coming out with a documentary aimed at improving ties between the two countries and a local cricket body in Victoria is hosting matches to promote harmony."

Anti-Public Diplomacy Campaign “Tweaking” the Zimbabwean Dictator - Globo Diplo: The 'Trillion Dollar Campaign'–by TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris’s South African office for The Zimbabwean newspaper–was aimed at wrongs committed by Robert Mugabe’s regime. So they plastered billboards with a potent artifact of Mugabe’s corruption and incompetence: The Zimbabwean trillion-dollar bill, whose printing was the result of spiraling inflation." Mugabe image from


Real-time results for public diplomacy (June 30 am); below image from

corywleonard: Anti-Public Diplomacy Campaign “Tweaking” the Zimbabwean Dictator: The “Trillion Dollar Camp.. http://tinyurl.com/mq8kuc about 13 hours ago from twitterfeed

DavidComp: RT @andrewkneale Woah 1st time @ivante includes section on "Public Diplomacy on Twitter" in daily review (RT) June 27 http://bit.ly/pK0o0 about 15 hours ago from web

ScanMyPhotos: @DavidSaranga Consul for Media & Public Affairs, Israeli Consulate, NY "The use of Twitter in Public Diplomacy" http://ow.ly/fEZa #140conf about 18 hours ago from HootSuite

Itaygabay: looking at some new stuff on public diplomacy. oh, i wish i were in Washington. about 20 hours ago from web

blazingblades: - Michelle Kwan: America's First Public Diplomacy Envoy - @ YouTube http://bit.ly/Knc0V about 20 hours ago from web

pablojcr: Even when maybe all other presidents really support what happened in #Honduras they can't admit it in public, is called diplomacy about 21 hours ago from TweetDeck

jax3417: RT @israelconsulate: On my way to Boston to meet with the people of @BI_NEXT and @Davidproject and discuss "Public Diplomacy" and "Branding" 1 day ago from UberTwitter

israelconsulate: On my way to Boston to meet with the people of @BI_NEXT and @Davidproject and discuss "Public Diplomacy" and "Branding" 1 day ago from TweetDeck

DavidSaranga: On my way to Boston to meet with the people of @BI_NEXT and @Davidproject and discuss "Public Diplomacy" and "Branding" 1 day ago from TweetDeck

ivante: June 28 Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review http://bit.ly/3fE8d 1 day ago from web

bantrybay: Real Clear Politics - World: The Iranian Elections and Public Diplomacy 2.0: A Tale of Untapped Potential http://bit.ly/eLhSH #iranelection 1 day ago from TweetDeck

nivcalderon: Had a great conv with @jeffpulver about social media, and public diplomacy 1 day ago from TwitterFon

colinismyname: Changing up USC's Public Diplomacy Magazine website to include the new issue and blasting Last.fm. Ah, the weekend! 2 days ago from web

andrewkneale: Woah -> 1st time @ivante includes a section on "Public Diplomacy on Twitter" in his daily review: (RT) June 27 http://bit.ly/pK0o0 #pdtweets 2 days ago from web


Obama’s Mission To Moscow – Laura Thompson, RFE/RL: Obama’s recent foreign speeches, including his address in Cairo earlier this month, sought to help improve global perceptions of the United States in part by apologizing for past U.S. actions.

But Andrei Piontkovsky, a Russian political analyst who has written books on Vladimir Putin’s presidency, said such an approach “will be disastrous in Moscow.” Although he said he doesn’t know what Obama might try to apologize for, any expression of guilt for the current state of U.S.-Russian relations will be taken as a sign of weakness and a validation of Kremlin-fueled, anti-American propaganda. Image from

Where Iran's Regime Learned Its Tricks - Scott Horton, Daily Beast: What happens to the thousands of protesters who are being carted away by the police and militia? The Iranian state has long had a predilection for torture; the overthrow of the shah and arrival of the Islamic republic produced only a slight modulation of the techniques. Torture is generally being applied with two primary objectives -- to force prisoners to identify others involved in the demonstrations and coerce false confessions. As usual, torture is used to develop false information that works as domestic propaganda. It is used to fuel the Khamenei regime’s propaganda that the opposition is controlled by evil foreign powers, especially the United States and Great Britain.

How Michael Jackson almost took the internet with him - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

PDI Authorized for $3.5M in 2010 National Defense Authorization Bill06-18-2009Carolina Newswire: The Partnership for Defense Innovation (PDI), has been authorized $3.5M for the completion, testing and validation of a Tactical PSYOP Situational Awareness System

that will provide psychological affairs forces capability to maintain situational awareness and immediately share critical imagery, intelligence and information during tactical operations. This means that realtime information can be shared during tactical and combat operations between the warfighter and higher headquarters. Via; image from


From: Guardians of Russian Art Museums

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