Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31

"We cannot for a second abandon propaganda. Propaganda is vital -- propaganda is the heart of all struggles."

--Fidel Castro, in a letter to a revolutionary colleague in 1954; image from


Evaluation of the Youth Exchange & Study Program Final Report August 2009 Prepared for: U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Prepared by: InterMedia 1401 New York Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20005


Interview With Wyatt Andrews of CBS - Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Department of State: CLINTON: “[T]he United States has always been a beacon of hope and opportunity to people, historically. And I think we still are. But I think we have to be more aware in this information world that we live in that everything we do is now not just communicated to governments, it’s communicated with the flick of a mouse.

I mean, everybody knows. And we have to be much more committed to public diplomacy. It is not 'You are with us or you are against us,' or, 'Take it or leave it.' It is, 'Let’s talk about this.'” Image from

Pakistanis Snub Clinton Diplomacy - Aamir Latif, Islam Online: "Meeting the same fate during her public diplomacy tour in the Muslim country, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed Friday, October 30, to win support of Pakistan’s tribal northwest for Washington’s anti-terror policies. 'It was a futile exercise (meeting),' Munir Orakzai, the head of a 18-member tribal parliamentary delegation, told on Friday, October 30. ... The tribal politicians also disparaged Clinton for resorting to force to tackle problems. ... 'I tried to convince her that tribesmen are not militants, and the militants are not tribesmen,' Orakzai said. ... The US repeatedly launches drone attacks in the tribal areas.

The attacks killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, while only a few Qaeda members were killed. 'Every drone attack is adding more and more militants to the Taliban folder,' warned Orakzai. ... Clinton faced the same fate during her three-day public diplomacy offensive in Pakistan. The top US diplomat faced hard-hitting questions from angry students at Government College University in Lahore on Thursday. ... [A] panel of famous Pakistani anchors gave [Clinton] a hard time to the visiting American official at a discussion. 'On the one hand, the US backs democracy everywhere in the world, but when Pakistani parliament adopts a unanimous resolution against drone attacks, America doesn’t care about that. What is this double standard,' Hamid Mir, a prominent Pakistani anchorperson, asked Clinton." ‎Image from See also (1)(2)(3)

That’s Not A Red Carpet In Pakistan - That’s A Blood-Stain- Rob Asghar, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "I’d been a staunch critic of President Bush’s policies in his war on terror and had been given new hope by Obama’s demonstrated willingness to understand and address root causes of anger. Bush’s aggressiveness seemed to unleash a Hydra effect, occupying a nation to kill five terrorists while inciting ten others to join the cause against the occupation. Obama seems to be operating the same way—openly in Afghanistan and by military proxy in Pakistan. As both military strategy and public diplomacy, his approach has been unfruitful so far."

Hillary's public diplomacy – Inayatullah, The Nation, Pakistan: "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Pakistan on a mission to educate Pakistanis about what she chose to call American 'friendship' and 'partnership'. No high official in the preceding US administrations has ever spoken so much, to so many people on Pakistani soil in a short span of three days. Never before such sweep of public diplomacy. That she is good looking and well-mannered as also an American of high standing in her own right, certainly added to her position as one who could speak with authority on behalf of the US government and the people.

Secretary Clinton met the highest Pakistani government office-holders, the army chief, leaders of the opposition, students, businessmen and above all leading media representatives. She found time to visit historic places, mosques, shrines and even Iqbal's mausoleum. Except for certain strategic matters, she expressed herself candidly and even bluntly." Image from

Right Signals - Umesh Patil, "It all started by Obama's Cairo Speech - campaign style politiciking in other country to achieve some diplomatic goals. Hillary's Pakistan tour is an exhibit A of such public diplomacy, an attempt to shape public opinions in a far way land. These are some 'high wire acts', quite impressive."

Govt to revise cost of land for US embassy - Sharafat Kazmi: Pakistan Observer: "The government is considering to revise the cost of 18.5 acres of land offered to the United States Embassy in Islamabad,

reliable sources told Pakistan Observer on Friday. The case regarding the new price of land is lying with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani who has received a fresh summary from the Foreign Office that the rate of land fixed for the additional land of the embassy should be revised from Rs15,000 to Rs80,000 per sq yard (equivalent to $1000 per sq yard). ... The American embassy filed in October last its request, seeking allotment of ten to twenty acres of land adjoining the mission. The Foreign Office endorsed it and forwarded it to the CDA. On 19 August, US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale was quoted as saying that the embassy expansion reflected Washington’s added focus on its relations with Pakistan. She said the US focused on efforts to expand its relations with Pakistan and intended to fulfil its commitments with the people of Pakistan." Image from

Innovations In Global Public Diplomacy: The Implications For Foreign Policy And National Security - Ernest J. Wilson III, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy:

"Despite the impressive spread of public diplomacy as an important instrument to achieve one’s international purposes, critical challenges remain." Image from

Colleen Graffy on the Rise of Public Diplomacy 2.0 - "Colleen Graffy has an article, The Rise of Public Diplomacy 2.0, in the Fall issue of The Journal of International Security Affairs. Graffy is a professor at Pepperdine University’s law school and director of global programs. She recently served as the first deputy assistant secretary for Public Diplomacy to be appointed to the State Department, serving in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. According to her Pepperdine bio, 'Professor Graffy was the first high level US government official to actively advance ‘Public Diplomacy 2.0’ using Twitter and other social media platforms to further U.S. communications.'”

The Obama Administration's Ass-Backwards Approach to Public Diplomacy – Publius,

"We pissed on Poland and the Czechs, we continue to fail to ratify free trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, and most recently after Pakistan's army launched and continues a bloody campaign stabbing the heart of insurgent held territory to try to dislodge Al Qaeda from its perch in the tribal wasteland of Pakistan's oxymoronically named Federally Administred Tribal Areas, Hillary Clinton went there and essentially publicly accused them of at the very least being inept in their pursuit of, if not corruptly in bed with or downright complicit with the Taliban and Al Qaeda." Image from

New VOA relays in Pakistan raise at least one eyebrow (updated again) - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy. Below image from

VOA and its wartime origins - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Two more Willis Conover stories - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

This was Radio Moscow! Voice of Russia marks 80th anniversary

- Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy. Image from

Local Public Affairs Corporate Representative / Southern California Edison / Santa Ana, CA What Are Green Collar Jobs Info: Green Collar Job Postings and Information - "Job Title: Local Public Affairs Corporate Representative ... Basic Qualifications: Must possess three or more years experience working with, and a broad knowledge of, local and/or regional or state government agencies. Must have project management experience and/or utility experience. ... - Must have established strong interpersonal skills

and public diplomacy, business relationships with local entities or the demonstrated experience establishing relationships." Image from


Honduras 1, Hillary 0: A Honduran compromise provides Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with an elegant diplomatic exit - Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal: The big news in Honduras is that the good guys seem to have won a four-month political standoff over the exile of former President Manuel Zelaya. Current President Roberto Micheletti agreed yesterday to submit Mr. Zelaya's request for reinstatement as president to the Supreme Court and Congress, and in return the U.S. will withdraw its sanctions and recognize next month's presidential elections.

A win in Honduras: How the Obama administration outmaneuvered Hugo Chávez – Editorial, Washington Post: The beauty of the U.S.-brokered deal is that it is founded on democratic process -- the very thing the Chavistas want to destroy. The Honduran Congress will vote on whether to restore Mr. Zelaya to office for the three months remaining in his term. Mr. Zelaya says he has the votes to return as president, but if he does, he will head a "government of reconciliation," and the armed forces will report to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a presidential election previously scheduled for Nov. 29 will go forward with international support and regional recognition for the winner. Neither of the two leading presidential candidates supports Mr. Zelaya or his agenda, which means that Honduras's democracy should be preserved, and Mr. Chávez's attempted coup rebuffed. Below Chavez image from

The universality of war propaganda: A soldier with the Russian army in Afghanistan recounts what they believed about their mission - Glenn Greenwald, Salon: What is most striking about war propaganda: no matter how many times it's re-cycled, regardless of by whom and for which wildly divergent ends, it never loses its efficacy.


Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30

“The scandal only begins once the police have put an end to it.”

--Austrian author Karl Kraus; cited in Times Literary Supplement (October 9, 2009), p. 22; image from


Clinton takes advice on Pakistan last day - AFP: "Clinton has spent three days in the troubled nuclear-armed Muslim state, which President Barack Obama has put at the heart of the war on Al-Qaeda and where increasing attacks have killed 2,400 people in two years.

Kicking off a last day of public diplomacy, the US diplomat held open-air talks with representatives from the country's northwest, which borders Afghanistan and where areas are thick with Al-Qaeda-linked and Taliban militias. Clinton has focused on trying to strengthen the civilian government and counter rising public anti-Americanism, but has been frustrated by fears that a 7.5 billion dollar non-military aid bill violates Pakistan's sovereignty." Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik (R) paying their respects at the shrine of 17th century Muslim saint Shah Latif Bari Kazmi, also known as Bari Imam, in Islamabad from

Clinton Meets Pakistan Tribal Chiefs After Urging Al-Qaeda Exit - Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Bloomberg: "Clinton’s three-day public diplomacy push to demonstrate America’s long-term commitment to Pakistani democracy and development has proved an uphill battle. As she expressed solidarity with Pakistan over hundreds of lives lost in the wave of bombings, she has faced repeated questions over American aims in the region."

Hillary Alleges Pak's Complicity with Al-Qaeda - Rezaul H Laskar, Outlook:

"Clinton's public diplomacy push has focussed on reiterating America's long-term commitment to Pakistan but she has faced pointed questions during her public interactions over US aims in the region." Image from

Clinton talks tough to Pakistan: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared concerns about whether Pakistan is committed to fighting extremists and tracking down Osama bin Laden - Saeed Shah, "While Clinton is meeting top Pakistani civilian and military officials, her visit is focused on public diplomacy. She told the students in Lahore that 'I am well aware that there is a trust deficit' between the countries. American officials were baffled by the intensity of criticism leveled at a recent U.S. aid bill, which imposed tough conditions on Pakistan. They seemed unaware of the need to put their case before the country's Urdu-language news channels. `A lot of this visit is about taming the beast that is the Pakistani media. They had not understood the vernacular news channels and the power they've gained in the last few years,' said Cyril Almeida, a columnist for Dawn, a Pakistani daily newspaper."

Lahore, we say, is Pakistan's Heart ... - "...and yesterday, Mrs Clinton heard it straight from the heart - one has to give Hilary C credit for actually getting out and about and right into the heart of Pakistan.

But winning it over will be easier said than done, never mind the hopeful noises one hears in the US media--be it corporate, public, or alternative. ... The US, after all, is coming right out of a complete and utter defeat on the propaganda, sorry, PR, sorry, Public Diplomacy front on the Kerry Lugar Bill." Image from

Clinton vows US will stand by Pakistan - Christophe Schmidt, The Age: "On a day devoted to public diplomacy, Clinton covered her head and chest with a royal blue scarf to visit the shrine of a Muslim saint in the capital Islamabad before touring the 16th century Badshahi mosque in Lahore. Accompanied by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Clinton closed her eyes and pressed her fingers together in prayer, then gave alms to the needy at the Bari Imam mausoleum near the heavily guarded seat of government."

Pakistan called top foreign policy problem - Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News:

"'The elements of a democracy — accountability, transparency, effectiveness and so on — are critical ingredients for how a long-term resolution will be found in both Pakistan and Afghanistan,' said Gerald Hyman, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And getting to that point requires improved diplomacy and communication, said John Hughes, former editor of the Deseret News as well as a former U.S. assistant secretary of state and an assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. 'Our public diplomacy in this country is in serious disarray,' Hughes said. 'I think we need to give some serious consideration as to what has to happen.' Hughes explained how terrorists in Afghanistan have mastered the use of television and social-networking Internet sites to promote their violent agendas. 'More than half the battle is taking place in the battleground of media,' he said. 'It's a media race for hearts and minds.' Hughes recalled the vital role of radio, with examples of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, in promoting democratic values, and called for a renewed focus on communication and diplomacy." Image from

Can Mrs. Clinton Control CIA In Afghanistan? - Ahmed Quraishi, International Analyst Network: "Mrs. Clinton's visit was so carefully choreographed that US diplomats launched a strict vetting process to determine which Pakistani television anchors should be allowed to participate in a 'pool interview'. The point was to exclude anyone critical of US policies ['anti-American' to US diplomats]. This sharply contrasts with the statements Clinton has been giving here, like this one she gave to the television anchors, 'It is especially critical that we do more of what you're doing today with your colleagues so that I have a chance to answer the questions that are on the minds of the people of Pakistan.' But when time came for the real questions, she dodged them. So much for a successful public diplomacy."

Clinton's visit good but reservations on KLB remain - Samiullah Koreshi, Pakistan Observer: "These days Hillary Clinton is visiting Pakistan. A welcome visit and a kind of gesture to make amends for the offensive KLB, through direct approach to people of Pakistan. In the context of public diplomacy a new name for old practice, public relation exercise, she was exposed directly to the people. Quite clearly her charming manners down to earth style were indeed the first ever in recent days experience of American approach to Pakistan. ...

[O]ne could see the difference in her human approach and the arrogant style of Holbrooke." Image from

Somebody give her a seekh kebab and some gow – Rosita, "The unfortunate punch line to the Hillary Goes to Pakistan joke is that we just gave them $7.5 billion goddam dollars. Excuse me, we just borrowed $7.5 billion dollars from the Chinese to give to Pakistan. ... $ 7.5 billion we’ve given to these people. In August, Richard C. Holbrooke, the US 'special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan' (all these weird never-before-seen titles rearing their ugly heads), and Judith McHale, the 'under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs' (appunto), went over to Pakistan to fulfill their dark desires of writhing naked on the floor while being spit upon by contemptuous Muslims. I well realize that in these postmodern times we don’t want to condemn such kinkiness, but do they really have to do it on our dime, while representing us?"

State Department’s “DanceMotion USA” to Bridge Cultural Divides - Mitchell Polman, "America’s pop culture exports are the boon and bane of the country’s reputation abroad. But there is one cost-effective way to change people’s perceptions of American society. It is to show people abroad an aspect of American life and culture that is very different from what they are exposed to when they turn on their television sets. Through its public diplomacy programs, the Department of State works to educate foreign publics about aspects of American culture that they otherwise may never see or hear. For example, few people overseas are aware of the fact that the U.S. is considered an innovator in the field of contemporary dance. A new State Department-sponsored initiative that is set to begin early next year will work to change that. DanceMotion USA, a program coordinated by State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will send three contemporary dance companies to three countries each in different regions of the world."

America's new crusader castles:

Across the Middle East, the US is building heavily fortified embassies which cut off diplomats and create hostilities
- Simon Tisdall, - ‎ "The way the new embassies tend to physically cut off America's diplomats from the countries they are supposed to connect with is one good reason, among many, why Washington might want to rethink its laager policy. While effective security is obviously important, the worldwide rise of America's diplomatic fortresses undermines the kind of 'soft power' outreach and public diplomacy that the Obama administration earnestly espouses." Image from

NATO - Keynote Address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the conference ''NATO-UAE Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative'' - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 29 Oct. 2009 - ISRIA: Rasmussen: “Let me start by thanking you, Sheikh Abdallah, and the Government of the United Arab Emirates, for your gracious hospitality, and for welcoming the North Atlantic Council and myself to your country. I should also like to congratulate you for your initiative to organise today’s conference together with NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division. I have been looking forward to coming here, early on in my tenure as NATO Secretary General, to underline the importance of NATO’s dialogue and cooperation with the countries of the Gulf region, and to discuss with you how we can take our relationship forward.”

[Review of Joseph Nye, Jr., Soft Power: The Means to Success in International Politics] - "The United States is still by far the most attractive country in the world though it is not the most powerful one. Despite all the wrongdoings, its democracy and respect for individual rights and freedoms keep the United States popular in the minds of the billions around the globe.

However, the American people should be vigilant against those who are bent on squandering the United States' credit for their narrow tribal and ethnic interests. Without such vigilance, no amount of public diplomacy can restore the positive US image of the good old days... Commissioner of the concept 'soft power', Nye argues that the US should refocus on public diplomacy in order to fix its tarnished image around the world.. It is a book worth reading.. (New York: Public Affairs Press 2004, 192pgs.)" Image from

Strange Annual Cycle in PD/SC Definition Debates? - Steven R. Corman, "A debate has once again re-ignited over the relative meaning of Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication."

Il Nuovo Ruolo Delle Rp Nelle Relazioni Diplomatiche - "Dalla collaborazione tra Ferpi e Ministero degli Esteri emergono nuovi e interessanti elementi concettuali per le Relazioni Pubbliche. Diplomatici e relatori pubblici, un percorso in parallelo verso la public diplomacy
e la stakeholder relationship governance." Image from


With Candor, Clinton Confronts Pakistani Government On Al Qaeda Leaders [no link] - BulletinNews: Media reports are casting Secretary of State Clinton's comments yesterday during her visit to Pakistan as highly unusual. ABC World News called them "rather blunt and rather remarkable. This is the quote from today, where she basically accused the Pakistani government of being complicit in hiding Al Qaeda. She said, 'Al Qaeda has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002. I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government,' meaning the Pakistani government, 'knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to.'" NBC Nightly News referred to Clinton having "some very tough words today for the Pakistani government." At a "town hall, university students challenged Clinton asking whether they could trust America. One student confronted her saying, the US is pressing Pakistan to do what it doesn't want to do, reclaim tribal territories from extremists."

Clinton replied, "That's up to Pakistan. I mean, if you want to see your territory shrink, that's your choice, but I don't think that's the right choice. In fact, I think that's a very self-destructive choice." The CBS Evening News reported that "the danger in blunt talk that's as hot as the Al Qaeda accusation is that it could anger America's friends and not change that anti-American mood." The AP calls Clinton's remarks "unusually blunt" and "startling, coming after months of lavish public comments from her and other American officials portraying Pakistan's leaders as finally receptive to the war against militants inside their own country." The Washington Post calls Clinton's comments "the most direct public statement of a US argument long made in private," and the New York Times reports that "it is extremely rare for an official of Mrs. Clinton's rank to say publicly what American politicians and intelligence officials have said in more guarded ways for years." AFP, however, reports, "A US official, speaking to journalists on board Clinton's plane from Lahore to Islamabad, said there was nothing contradictory in her remarks and her mission to strengthen ties between the United States and Pakistan." Image from

Mrs. Clinton in Pakistan – Editorial, New York Times: If Washington is ever to enlist Pakistan as a reliable ally, it is going to have to do a much better job of explaining itself. And it is going to have to insist that Pakistan’s leaders start explaining the real stakes to their citizens and the real benefits of an alliance with the United States. Mrs. Clinton’s trip was an important start — but only a start.

Pentagon officials won’t confirm Bush propaganda program ended - Brad Jacobson, Raw Story:

The covert Bush administration program that used retired military analysts to generate favorable wartime news coverage may not have been terminated, Raw Story has found. Image from

Close Gitmo and give detainees their day in court New legislation may make it easier for the Obama administration to keep its word and close the infamous detention center. Whether the detainees are to be tried in federal courts or military commissions would remain unresolved – Editorial,

On the war's front lines: Why Obama needs to send more troops to Afghanistan - David Ignatius, Washington Post:

The goal isn't to transform Afghanistan into a 21st-century showplace but to buy enough time for the country's army and government to fight their own battles. Image: Don Carols Espinoza Send More Troops acrylic on rag paper from

Muddled thinking on Afghanistan:The administration is losing control of the Afghan agenda – Editorial, Washington Times

What we can achieve in Afghanistan - Robert B. Zoellick, Washington Post: Progress is possible if safety is strengthened, the Afghan government assumes ownership, its partners build development through the choices of the Afghan people, and Afghanistan's neighbors decide they are better off with a successful state than with a perilous buffer zone that could send trouble back across their borders. The writer is president of the World Bank Group.

A familiar war in Afghanistan - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post:

Afghanistan's status as a narco-superpower is another reason why President Obama would be wrong to deepen U.S. involvement. Image from

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29

“We cannot leave in our underpants ... or without any.”

--Mikhail Gorbachev, regarding Soviet troops in Afghanistan; image from


Hillary Clinton visits Lahore - "‘I'm here not just to do the official diplomacy,’ Clinton said during an interview broadcast by leading Pakistani television channels.

‘It is especially critical that we do more of what you're doing today with your colleagues so that I have a chance to answer the questions that are on the minds of the people of Pakistan,’ she said. Clinton, who says the United States wants to ‘turn the page’ on its relationship with Pakistan, is devoting significant energy to public diplomacy to counter rising Pakistani criticism of the alliance with Washington." See also. Image from article: Workers roll out a red carpet at The Badshahi Masjid in Lahore on October 28, 2009, ahead of the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Blast eclipses Clinton's Pakistan visit: Attack kills at least 100, draws focus away from secretary's mission - Karen DeYoung and Haq Nawaz Khan, Washington Post: "Clinton's three-day visit is geared toward public appearances, with the goal of quelling rising anti-Americanism among the public and assuring the Pakistani political opposition and military that the Obama administration seeks a full partnership with the country."

Pres. Obama's video message to Israelis: Remember Rabin legacy - Barak Ravid, Yuval Azoulay, Ha'aretz: "U.S. President Barack Obama has videotaped a message to be shown Saturday night at the annual memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. ... This is another step in Obama's attempt to speak directly to the Israeli public in light of the very low level of support he has among the Israeli public. ... It was decided at this stage to wait and send Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Jerusalem; she is to arrive Saturday night. ... Members of special U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell's staff

have also been trying to improve relations with Israel recently, holding their first press briefing before Mitchell's last visit to Israel. Mitchell recruited a new staff member to deal with public diplomacy with the Israelis and Palestinians on the peace process." Mitchell image from

Judith Mchale And The Paos [Public Affairs Officers] - Philip Seib, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Undersecretary of State Judith McHale's October 15 speech to the 2009 global Public Affairs Officers conference provides some useful insights into PAOs' concerns and Secretary McHale's thinking. ... McHale seems to appreciate the value of listening to the women and men who are actually doing diplomacy."

Public Diplomacy debates reflect bigger IR questions - Craig Hayden, Intermap: "The 'success' of PD for the United States is not going to come once a specific cadre of professionals are recognized as important or uniquely situated as the stewards of public diplomacy. It is going to come when leadership recognizes what kinds of objectives and/or policies

are really the domain of public diplomacy. In addition to strategy, this leadership should provide a viable direction for how to mobilize existing resources, develop new competencies, and more to point, be able to recognize what is necessary to address specific problems as public diplomacy problems." Image from

A Broad Dialogue With Muslims Worldwide - Council on Foreign Relations: "Interviewee: Farah A. Pandith, U.S. special representative to the Muslim communities, U.S. State Department ... [Pandith]: My job is to be the hub here at the State Department to coordinate such efforts and I will spend a lot of my time on the ground working in two ways. One is a strong focus on the next generation of Muslims - the youth demographic is extremely important when it comes to Muslim communities around the world.
We need to do more to get to know this young generation, and I'm working very hard on that through our embassies. Two, we have a focus on building networks of likeminded thinkers around the world. All of these programs and all of our approaches will be based through our embassies, which will work with me here in Washington. But it's our officers on the ground who will be working to collaborate with my support and involvement. This office isn't on an island in of itself - we're working with several important parts of the State Department, [including] the public diplomacy team, the women's empowerment ambassador-at-large, [and] the new media teams." Pandith image from

National Security: Not a Good Argument for Global Warming Legislation - James Jay Carafano, - "[T]here are options for enhancing national security, improving our ability to adapt to global climate change, and enhancing the dependability and availability of clean energy that the Congress should consider. ... Reorganize key non-military instruments so that they are more effective. Again, regardless of how climate and energy supplies evolve, U.S. power must be used effectively to advance U.S. interests. In particular, key non-military instruments such as foreign assistance and public diplomacy are in need of serious reform. Traditional foreign assistance programs have a very poor track record for improving governance, economic growth, or civil society. Of equal concern, U.S. instruments for public diplomacy have atrophied since the end of the Cold War and are in serious need of reform. Neither challenge is being adequately addressed by the current administration."

Coffee Diplomacy -- Meetings At The State Dept - AABF Building Bridges Blog:

"The Following Reflections are From My Notes Last Week...Off the plane from Dubai and on to join Young Arab Leaders at various meetings at the State Department. The lineup at State included: Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy & Public AffairsStanley Colvin, DAS, Educational & Cultural Affairs Farah Pandith, Special Representative for Muslim Communities Greg Berman, Policy Planning. Each of the officials we met with were responsive and engaged, prepared and ready to actively listen. You could feel the energy and optimism in the room. What a refreshing and inspiring series of meetings. Not sure exactly how we will all work together yet, but there is a real sense that the Department and Secretary Clinton are focused on partnerships and action. Two words that align directly with the missions of Business for Diplomatic Action and the Young Arab Leaders. The only issue that was perplexing to our YAL delegation was the lack of coffee, tea or water at our meetings." Image from

The Voice of America: Origins and recollections

– Walter Roberts, American Diplomacy. Roberts image from article

UAE-NATO conference to focus on ICI - WAM - Emirates News Agency: "The Secretary General of NATO, the NATO Permanent Representative, and a total of more than 60 NATO delegates will interact with nearly 200 government officials and academics from the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, representatives of international organisations, security experts, opinion leaders and media during a day-long conference in Abu Dhabi.The event - hosted by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division - is scheduled to start with an opening address by UAE Foreign Minister HH Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, followed by a keynote speech by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen."

The State of Now – #140conf - Kent Beatty, "The original scope of #140conf was to explore 'the effects of twitter on: Celebrity, 'The Media', Advertising and (maybe) Politics.' Over time the scope expanded to look at the effects of twitter on topics ranging from public safety to public diplomacy."

SPN Annual Meeting Livestreaming - "Wednesday, November 4 8:10am: James K. Glassman, former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State"

Rufino Tamayo And The Mixografía® Years (1974 – 1990):A Cross Border Journey At Meridian International CenterOctober 3, 2009 – February 14, 2010 -

"Meridian International Center, together with the MIXOGRAFÍA® Workshop and Landau Traveling Exhibitions in Los Angeles, California, has installed nearly 40 signed prints by renowned Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). These are on view at Meridian’s Cafritz Galleries in its historic Washington, D.C. campus. 'This latest Meridian Art for Cultural Diplomacy exhibition serves as an excellent example of cross-border relations, and the ways in which cultural endeavors between the United States and Mexico have grown and flourished,' said Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President of Meridian International Center.'" Image from article

The life of a job-seeker - Career huntress in action, "Regarding Hill and Knowlton, I am dying to work for them. I really am. But I really don’t know how the assesment day went, which I attended along with around 20 other grads. On one hand, I truly did my homework regarding the company and the assesment day. I was initially introduced to Hill and Knowlton in Manheim’s book on strategic public diplomacy, and I was hooked."

The Many Ways To Become a Foreign Diplomat - Business articles, hints and tips: "In diplomacy, five important career tracks exist.

They include Public Diplomacy, Consular, Political, Economic and Management. Using their interests and preferences a basis, individuals ought to assess and then pick career tracks to become a diplomat." Image from

Ау, потенциальные коллеги!!! - "Public Diplomacy Officer The Australian Embassy in Moscow is seeking a Public Diplomacy Officer to work on a temporary contract until October 2010. This is not a permanent position."


Call in the Civilians. Pray Tell, From Where?! – Spero Domani, Diplopundit: In the long life of a bureaucracy, a well resourced agency like the Defense Department has hundreds of proud parents and godparents who can claim responsibility for its successes ... . And when we call in the civilians ...and they're nowhere around, we start thinking, [itlics]"how could that be?" They must be here somewhere, surely, they must be ... just hiding somewhere? ...

U.S. Quietly Speeds Aid for Pakistani Drives on Taliban - Eric Schmitt, New York Times: Hasan Askari Rizvi, a military analyst in Lahore, said that publicly acknowledging the military aid — an open secret in Pakistan — could hand militants fresh ammunition for propaganda attacks.

“The Pakistan military would not like to talk about the U.S. assistance,” he said, “so that the Islamists, most of whom are opposed to military operations, do not get additional reason to criticize the military and the government.” Image from

Obama's paralysis on Afghanistan – Colbert King, Washington Post: Afghanistan is a problem that won’t wait. But that is what the Obama administration seems to want the Afghan war to do -- that is, until the president comes up with a new war strategy.

Iran: Can Obama play hardball? - Robert Kagan, Washington Post: Iran's intentions, it seems, are not good.

Top Obama fundraisers get posts - Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY: More than 40% of President Obama's top-level fundraisers have secured posts in his administration, from key executive branch jobs to diplomatic postings in countries such as France, Spain and the Bahamas, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

U.S. impeded in democracy efforts for Egypt - Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY:

More than $180 million in U.S. foreign aid to promote democracy in Egypt over the past four years has produced few measurable results, in part because the Egyptian government has stymied the effort, a newly released government audit says. One grantee, it says, got $1.2 million to provide civic training to 600 teachers and 30,000 students, but actually trained only 330 teachers and about 2,000 students, less than 8% of the target. Another grantee received $950,000 to publish a children's book on civic education but could not verify that any schoolchildren actually received the book, the audit says. Image from

Getting ready for the Islamic bomb: The White House should prepare for a new Mideast war – Editorial, Washington Times: An Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear program will have significant consequences for the region, and Washington will be required to demonstrate strong leadership.

Truman and the Principles of U.S. Foreign Policy:Jimmy Carter rejected the postwar consensus. President Obama appears to be following a similar path - Victor Davis Hanson, Wall Street Journal: At war's end, Truman was faced with a global propaganda nightmare. Stalin's victorious Soviet Union -- soon to be nuclear -- cynically posed as the egalitarian leader for millions of war-impoverished and newly liberated colonial peoples.

In contrast, America accepted the difficult responsibility and expense of rebuilding the destitute former European colonial powers and rehabilitating ex-Axis Japan and Germany. Gradually, the president shed his Wilsonian trust that there would be a postwar global consensus under the aegis of the new United Nations. Instead, he came to believe that too many trans-Atlantic diplomatic elites had been terribly naïve about Stalin's murderous agenda. Will an inexperienced Barack Obama, in the fashion of Harry Truman, learn quickly that the world is chaotic and unstable -- best dealt with through strength and unabashed confidence in America's historic role galvanizing democratic allies to confront illiberal aggressors? Image from


"soft power & public diplomacy is ruining my week."

--twitterer peachel, October 27; image from twitter

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28

A Modest Proposal: Make the Pentagon Our Very Own Ministry of Culture! - John Brown, Huffington Post; Jonathan Swift Tee-Shirt from


Interview With Anwar Iqbal of Pakistan's Dawn TV – Hillary Rodman Clinton - US Department of State - "SECRETARY CLINTON: ...[W]hat I would like to see us do is to reach out more again to people culture-to-culture. I would like artists and academics to come from Pakistan to the United States, and I want more from the United States to go to Pakistan. I also think we should be using the internet. We should be using cell phone technology. Maybe we can’t have the physical presence that we would like in some places as we previously did. We can have the virtual presence. We can do much more through the media to counter some of the myths and the misperception. That’s really our responsibility.

And a few weeks ago, our new public diplomacy under secretary, Judith McHale, was in Pakistan meeting with people, and she heard some of the criticism, like you’re not present, you’re not responsive, you don’t reach out again. And many people would say things like when I was in college or university there was much more free exchange between the United States and Pakistan. That seems to have diminished. We want to rebuild that. ... We want people to see America in its fullness – the generosity of spirit, the fact that we have gone to war to protect Muslim lives many times in the last 15 years. We believe strongly that Islam is an extraordinary religion that deserves the support and the protection that should come with people being able to stand up and say I’m a proud Muslim and I’m a proud Pakistani and I am in favor of peace and coexistence. I mean, we want to see that. And we can’t leave the arena to the extremists who intimidate and oppress people." Image from

Clinton promises new page in Pakistani relations - Andrew Quinn, Reuters: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday, pledging a fresh start in relations with an increasingly embattled and skeptical partner in the struggle against Islamic militancy. ... Clinton's three-day visit, kept secret out of security concerns, comes amid a surge of anti-U.S. feeling in Pakistan, which is increasingly bloodied in a campaign against Islamic fundamentalists that is being closely followed by the United States and other Western powers already embroiled in the conflict in neighboring Afghanistan. ... [M]uch of the trip will center on Clinton's personal outreach through interviews with the Pakistan media and personal appearances in the 'townhall' meetings that have become one of her diplomatic trademarks. ... Clinton's public diplomacy began even before she left Washington. In two Pakistani television interviews conducted before her departure, said she would seek to emphasize the common goals that the American and Pakistani people have in fighting religious extremism." See also.

Hillary Clinton due today on 3-day visit - "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due here on Wednesday on a three-day ‘goodwill visit’ to address popular concerns and suspicions about America in Pakistan. She will meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

and civil society leaders during the visit that will largely focus on public diplomacy." Image: Sec. Of State Clinton Meets With Pakistan's Foreign Minister Qureshi (Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi) from

Hillary Clinton arrives today - Online - International News Network: "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be arriving today (Wednesday) in Pakistan for three days visit to discuss Kerry-Lugar bill and other important issues with Pakistani leadership. ... Sources ... told this agency that after assuming her charge as Secretary of State this is her maiden visit to Pakistan and purpose behind this visit is to further strengthen public diplomacy between two countries."

Hooked on US aid- Shamshad Ahmad, The News International:

"US ambassador Anne W Patterson in her recent public interviews has been expressing surprise over what she calls the 'deepening anti-Americanism' in Pakistan, especially in the middle class. Once addressing the local corporate sector in Karachi last year, she chastised those who opposed American engagement in Pakistan because they, according to her, had a limited understanding of how the US 'economic assistance and financial interactions' had changed the everyday lives of Pakistanis in real and positive ways.' Ambassador Patterson would have best acquitted of herself had she been more specific. She should have at least listed the results of US economic and financial assistance that in her words 'had changed the "everyday lives of the people of Pakistan in real and positive ways.' Public diplomacy is not all about making unreal claims; it is about veritable reality projection. There is something fundamentally wrong with US public diplomacy in this country. It has indeed given a lot of money to our self-serving rulers, but its dividends never reached the people. Ironically, one doesn't see any visible or mentionable people-specific projects in any part of this country that could be attributed to American assistance." Image from

VOA-PBC agreement to see expansion of US propaganda network to Pakistan - ANI: "The Voice of America (VOA), a US government agency, and the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) have reportedly reached an agreement, wherein Pakistan has agreed to accept the expansion of the Afghanistan-based US propaganda network to Pakistan. In 2006, the US had set up a transmitter in Afghanistan for the radio broadcast of its political and military propaganda in that occupied country. Now, with the Obama administration focusing on Pakistan as a key player in the fight against extremism, it is also trying to stretch its propaganda arm in the country. According to reports, under the deal, the VOA will use PBC equipment and transmitters in Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore to distribute VOA material in Pashto and Urdu on medium and FM waves. 'We’re delighted that Pakistan’s cabinet has ratified our agreement with PBC. This arrangement will allow millions of people in all parts of Pakistan to listen to the VOA’s popular news and information programmes,' The Nation quoted a press release from VOA, as saying."

Micromanaging Pakistan - The Nation, Pakistan:

"Already the servile Government of Pakistan, like thieves in the dead of night, have quietly signed a deal between VOA and PBC whereby the US state-controlled radio broadcaster will have full access to all PBC facilities for the purposes for broadcasting US propaganda – euphemistically referred to as 'public diplomacy'. So guilty has the GoP been about this deal, and rightly so, that it put out no press release on it. Unfortunately for it, the VOA did put out the relevant press release welcoming the Pakistani cabinet’s ratification of the VOA-PBC agreement. Of course, the fact that the present head of PBC is an old employee of VOA must have been an added bonus – for such small sell-outs we forget our nation!" Image from

New VOA relays in Pakistan raise at least one eyebrow (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: Elliott comment on article by Ahmed Quraishi, The Nation (Lahore), 27 October 2009: "Dismissing US international broadcasting as 'propaganda' is uncalled for. The writer is correct that VOA is a government agency, unlike, say, RFE/RL Inc, which is a government-funded corporation, with the added autonomy that that status affords. And then there is the mention of 'public diplomacy.' This would be a chicken coming home to roost because US decision makers and experts insist on subsuming US international broadcasting under public diplomacy."

Have Pakistanis Forgotten Their Sufi Traditions? (Part 3) - Google Islamic: "Pre-2003, the US government was reluctant, unable, and unwilling to engage in public diplomacy in the Muslim World albeit this changed with the need for propaganda to support the Iraq war."

Young Saudis, Americans exchange views - Walaa Hawari, Arab News: "Young Saudi and American students exchanged viewpoints and discussed their experiences on Monday in a cross-cultural meeting at the King Abdullah National Dialogue Center (KANDC). The 'Ambassador' project makes every single boy and girl an ambassador of his or her generation, gender and culture to the other. ...

'There are stereotypes on both sides but often the stereotypes are wrong; therefore projects such as KANDC’s ‘Ambassador’ is a wonderful program and fantastic opportunity for students from both countries to get to know one another,' said the American Embassy’s public diplomacy officer, Catherine Schweitzer. It is an amazing first step to bridge the gaps between the two cultures and nations, she believes, indicating that the young are better equipped." Image from article

US Embassy blames diplomatic gaffe on a Polish translator but a problem runs much deeper - Ted Lipien, Blogger News Network: "Contrary to common sense and the often stated desire of the Obama Administration to see more Polish troops in Afghanistan, ... public diplomacy 'experts' are suggesting to their media contacts that Ambassador Feinstein’s words 'prime minister’s and president’s commitment' and 'to enhance its presence' did not mean that he was talking about sending more Polish troops to Afghanistan. In an attempt to rescue the reputation of the new U.S. ambassador, they have painted themselves into a corner by implying that President Obama’s representative in Warsaw does not know what the president and the United States want Poland to do."

Skyful of Lies and Black Swans: the Internet and public diplomacy - - "New media: helping or hindering, fostering accountability or producing vulnerabilities, advancing journalism or simply complicating it?

That’s at the heart of Nik Gowing’s new report for the Reuter’s Institute at Oxford. An extensive study of the interplay between journalism and foreign affairs, Skyful of Lies’and Black Swans paints today’s highly digitized and interconnected world as one that’s rapidly democratizing power. In extreme moments of crises (referring to Nassim Taleb’s black swan theory), the state can no longer hide realities from the world. ... If states can’t control messages, how does this transform diplomacy? If soldiers are producing videos from the battlefields of Afghanistan on their mobiles, does that hamper security? Do states need to form regulations for new media to curb its effects? Does this call for policy prescriptions?" Image from

NATO Secretary General and Permanent Representatives to attend NATO-UAE Public Diplomacy Conference in Abu Dhabi - ISRIA

Romanian creatives invited to take part in a NATO tender for mini-documentary videos - ISRIA:

"The Romanian Foreign Ministry has announced that the NATO Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) has launched an international call for bids (No. 2009/101) for the production and promotion of a new series of mini-documentary videos illustrating, through several themes proposed by PDD, NATO’s impact on the everyday life of citizens." Image from

Artists, resist this propagandist agenda - Spiked: ‎"In 2006, with the enthusiastic embrace of many cultural institutions, the British Council, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport developed an International Cultural Policy. The intention is not simply to collaborate and to share works of art between different countries, which would be a good thing. Instead, the aim is to employ the arts as propaganda and, in the words of Labour peer Lord Carter of Coles, to promote ‘behaviour change’. The Carter Review argues that the arts should not just create positive perceptions, but also change the way people act. As a consequence of this review, a Public Diplomacy Board has been established, comprising representatives of the British Council, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the BBC World Service. The cultural sector has been directed to develop international partnerships in areas of specific cultural and government priority, and to use cultural activity for development, diplomacy and as part of post-conflict resolution."

Russian Deputy FM Meets Ex-PM Nogaideli - Civil Georgia: "Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin met with Zurab Nogaideli, Georgia’s ex-PM and now leader of opposition Movement for Fair Georgia party, in Moscow on October 27, the Russian Foreign Ministry and Nogaideli’s party reported. ... Zurab Nogaideli

arrived in Moscow on October 25, as he said, to hold meetings with representatives of Georgian, Abkhaz and Ossetian communities in Russia as a part of his attempt to launch 'public diplomacy.'” Nogaideli image from

Teamwork - Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "One of the unexpected skills I’ve been learning this semester is how to be a better team member.

In one particular class, we work in groups of seven to produce new public diplomacy initiatives every week, and it’s a challenge to coordinate schedules and take everyone’s thoughts and ideas into consideration." Image from article

Reverse metering calls get louder - Inderia Saunders, Nassau Guardian: "'We've spoken to many developers that want to put renewables in the heart of their design structures right from the beginning, and they can't do that because it's not profitable if they can't sell some of that excess energy back to the power company,' said ... the head of the Policy Economic Commercial Public Diplomacy section."


Afghanistan Doesn't Need More Troops: In 2007-2008, 250 paratroopers secured a Pashtun province - David Adam and Ann Marlowe, Wall Street Journal: Without a consistent strategy of enlisting tribal cooperation, more troops will simply find more trouble in the Pashtun belt

Don’t Build Up - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: It is crunch time on Afghanistan, so here’s my vote: We need to be thinking about how to reduce our footprint and our goals there in a responsible way, not dig in deeper. Below image from

Troop level in Afghanistan is the easy part Obama can find middle ground in how many soldiers to send. How he deals with what happens afterward is the big question - Doyle McManus, The number of troops, as both McChrystal and Obama have said, is not the most important thing. More important are the answers to three questions: Will U.S. goals be limited to make them more achievable? Will Obama make it clear that this troop increase is the last one the Pentagon will get? And can the U.S. succeed in nudging Afghanistan toward a more functional, less corrupt government, without which the whole enterprise will fail?

Keeping our allies on our side in Afghanistan:The U.S. must be willing to listen to those nations that are sharing the risks - Leo Michel and Robert Hunter,

Iraq, Afghanistan and the politics of war:In both countries, military advances must be matched by political progress toward peace – Editorial, Military advances must be accompanied by a steady march of political progress. This is true in Iraq and it's true in Afghanistan, where President Obama is weighing deployment of up to 40,000 more troops to battle Taliban insurgents.

U.S. spurs China-India tensions - Brahma Chellaney, Washington Times: Even as it seeks to tamp down tensions with Beijing, New Delhi cannot rule out the use of force by China at a time when hard-liners there seem to believe that a swift, 1962-style military victory can help fashion a Beijing-oriented Asia.

Having declared that America's "most important bilateral relationship in the world" is with Beijing, the Obama team must caution China against crossing well-defined red lines or going against its self-touted gospel of China's "peaceful rise." Image from