Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 9-10

"Nobel's third and long-lasting love was with a flower girl named Sofie Hess from Vienna. "

--Wikipedia; image from

"Hey, Boss, where the heck is Luxembourg?"

--A question reportedly posed by Perle Mesta, selected as George Bush’s (now former) Ambassador to Luxembourg

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AND OBAMA (among many commentaries)

For Presidency in Search of Success, Nobel Adds a Twist - Adam Nagourney, New York Times: "Whatever it meant on the world stage, in the United States the award to Mr. Obama was a decidedly mixed blessing."

Oslo's Decision Is Shortsighted - James Carafano, NPR: "The Nobel Committee awarded the prize on the basis of hope for what he'll do in the future, rather than on his past achievements. Public diplomacy, nuclear disarmament, working through the United Nations and reaching out to the Islamic world were all put forward as hallmarks of the Obama way.

The problem is that all these instruments rely on cooperation, so depending on them gives enormous power to the people you have to cooperate with. The president's credibility rests not only on showing progress, but also on using these tools to advance the cause of peace." Image from

Obama’s Nobel Prize - Nicholas J. Cull‏, Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "It was a strange feeling to wake this morning to news of President Obama's Nobel Prize on the radio. … Obama is a great symbol of peace. But while this -- like the recent rise of the US to the top of the Anholt nation brand index -- is a great shot in the arm for US public diplomacy, it has its limits. It is wonderful to know that Europe loves Obama and identifies him with peace; but the reality is that he is still running two wars, and some of his choices reflect continuity with Bush policy. I wonder what the reaction to this news will be in Pakistan, where well over a thousand civilians have been killed in drone attacks?"

El Nobel Obama - Felipe Santos, diplomacia p├║blica: A blog in Spanish by Felipe Santos on Public Diplomacy, Smart Power and the interaction between Strategic Communication, Politics, Diplomacy, Security and Defense

For his noble words, Obama deserves the prize: The negative reaction to the president's Nobel Peace Prize ignores history - Tim Rutten,

"If the peace prize increases our attention to Obama's continuing appeal to our nature's better angels -- both at home and abroad -- by a mere fraction of that climb, where's the absurdity?" Image from


U.Va.-Led Study Finds Global Dissatisfaction with U.S., Despite Obama's Popularity - Kim Curtis, University of Virginia: "The report on 'U.S. Standing in the World: Causes, Consequences and the Future' was the result of a yearlong study by the task force, which was created at the behest of Peter Katzenstein, then president of the American Political Science Association. … The study found that deep global dissatisfaction with the United States remains, despite a recent uptick in foreign views of the Obama administration, and that this trend will be hard to reverse. Although Obama himself enjoys widespread international popularity, the disconnection between his popularity and a general discontent with American policies will be a challenging gap to narrow, the report finds. Noting that 'perceptions define reality,' the report presents several lessons that American policymakers should consider: … Move beyond public diplomacy. American leaders should use other diplomacy types, such as humanitarian aid and social services. They also should explore other potential resources, such as business organizations, NGOs, media outlets and private citizens."

State Department Daily Press Briefing Oct 09, 2009 - "QUESTION: Ian, yesterday, you promised to tell us the second city that the Secretary – [State Department spokesperson] MR. KELLY: I didn't promise. QUESTION: (Laughter.) So are you going to tell us about the -- MR. KELLY: Yeah. I expect we're going to go to Kazan … . QUESTION: Why specifically Kazan? Is it an attempt to demonstrate U.S. presence in case of dismemberment of Russia? MR. KELLY: Oh, boy.

I am so not going there, Peter. (Laughter.) … I think Kazan was a good place to go because it really shows that the Russian Federation is a multiethnic country, and I think this will help the Secretary and help all of us understand that about Russia, that it is a country made up of many constituent parts and has many different ethnic groups and faiths represented. QUESTION: Ian, could you maybe characterize this as a public diplomacy gesture to work with the Muslim population of Russia? MR. KELLY: Well, we want to work with all the population of Russia. We want to work with all the different constituent ethnic groups and political entities in Russia. But it's -- we're not trying to emphasize the Tatars over the Ingush or the -- QUESTION: But it's the most famous Islamic part of -- Muslim part of Russia. MR. KELLY: Yeah. QUESTION: You wouldn't deny that. MR. KELLY: Sorry? QUESTION: You couldn't deny the fact that its Islamic Muslim populated area of Russia, then that's a given towards -- MR. KELLY: Is it? Is it the most famous? I mean, there are plenty of other -- QUESTION: Yeah. Well, there are plenty of others." See also. Image from

US - Indonesian Education - Voice of America: "[T]he United States and Indonesian governments are working together to improve the quality of education in Indonesia. ... 'With closer educational ties, problem-solving in science and technology, the environment, business and many other areas also becomes easier,' said Director of Public Diplomacy for the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Karl Stoltz, during a recent web-chat."

Testimony of Cynthia Stroum Ambassador-Designate to The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Senate Committee on Foreign Relations - Egide Thein - Luxembourg: "[Stroum:] To build upon the already strong foundation of goodwill between our two countries, an essential part of my public diplomacy strategy will be building strong people-to-people ties. This includes reaching out to a new generation of youth who did not bear witness to the devastating battles fought during World War II. Building relationships for the long term is essential.

In her recent speech to the Council of Foreign Relations, Secretary Clinton said we want to 'reach out beyond governments, because we believe partnerships with people play a critical role in our 21st century statecraft.' Should I be confirmed, I would plan to actively engage in American Smart Power using the full range of public diplomacy programs available, using exciting new technology and media to reach out to Luxembourg’s youth and connect younger audiences in both countries. [COMMENT by blogger in red ink:] They'll love it." Stroum image from

VOL. V NO. 21, September 15-October 8, 2009 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media

Professor says State's social media program has no comparison to VOA - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "VOA is developing its own social media tools, including Twitter accounts and, for news, English teaching, and audience feedback, rather than 'the American perspective.' For the American perspective, see on Facebook or on Twitter (3,304 followers)."

Senate hearing on international broadcasting - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "I'm sure one of the issues to be discussed will be the competition

faced by elements of US international broadcasting. In Iraq, Radio Free Iraq faces competition from Radio Sawa. And vice versa. In Afghanistan, RFE/RL Radio Azadi faces competition from VOA Radio Ashna. And vice versa. Soon, in the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier region, VOA Deewa Radio will face competition from the new RFE/RL Radio Azadi service for that region. And vice versa."

Former RFE/RL president will "spruce up the image of" Alhurra and Radio Sawa - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcastng and Public Diplomacy

U.S. ‘Personality Assassination’ of a Palestinian Ally: Nicola Nasser Live Journal: "The report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which the head of the mission, Judge Richard Goldstone, presented to the Human Rights Council (HRC) on September 29, prematurely plunged the Palestinian Authority (PA) in a short –lived euphoria over what it first envisaged as a political prize that would hit two major birds of its political adversaries simultaneously, namely the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu and its Palestinian rival Hamas.

But the report has backfired to put the very survival of PA’s presidency of Mahmud Abbas in the balance and make both adversaries come out winners with Abbas himself as the only looser, thanks to the blundering of the U.S. Administration of President Barak Obama, who seemed to shoot his own diplomacy in the legs by undermining the leadership of the only rubber – stamping ally of his country among the Palestinian polity, and 'threatening' as well his own 'global public diplomacy options' and 'scrupulously graduated approach to whatever passes for a Middle East Peace process['] (according to Ian Williams in Foreign Policy in Focus on September 23, 2009)." Image from

US - Indonesian Education - Voice of America - "'With closer educational ties, problem-solving in science and technology, the environment, business and many other areas also becomes easier,' said Director of Public Diplomacy for the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Karl Stoltz, during a recent web-chat."

From "people-to-people" diplomacy to public diplomacy - Zhao Qizhen, People's Daily Online: "Chinese citizens should further raise their awareness about public diplomacy. This is not only a sort of responsibility but an embodiment of patriotic feelings. Only when people have undergone a solid, basic training by acquainting themselves with their concrete national conditions and situation elsewhere in the world, can they obtain high attainments for public diplomacy. Consequently, in the course of performing China's external affairs, we should not only be able to speak and listen to people in other countries but also to communicate with them.

While helping them to acquire a correct understanding of China's specific national conditions and policies, we should also directly acquire information, viewpoints or ideas from our counterparts, so as to facilitate drawing available resources for our reference." Image from

Bismark & Kristof - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Obama needs to carry out some major public diplomacy, and convince the Middle Americans who are uninsured that they need to support this. A little mobilization please, o' Commander-in-Chief."

Finding Reassurance

in Israel
– kerplunker, Falling Feet First: "Tomorrow afternoon I leave for a two-week trip to Israel and Palestine. I will be joining a group of eight others from the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, traveling the West Bank and northern part of the country to learn more about the conflict and occupation. We’ll be meeting with peace advocates, academics, government officials (from both sides), refugees, and Israeli and Palestinian citizens to understand the climate and work towards finding the bricks to build a roadway to peace. This isn’t a 'mission' per say; there is no conversion involved. But I see it as a public diplomacy trip – one emulating the UN. I hope we can glean (and leave) a bit of cultural understanding." Image from

Public Affairs vs Public Diplomacy – Ryna, ApaNyangku Brunei: "Public affairs, or public relations (PR) as we are more familiar with here in Brunei, is primarily about informing on what we do. Our activities and any other relevant events. As a PR practitioner myself, I do this by taking advantage of the local media, internet facilities and face-to-face interactions. All for the puropse [sic] of sharing information about what my organisation does. Public diplomacy (PD) is a new word for many of us. From what I’ve read (briefly) it is similar to public affairs, but its purpose is not merely to inform. Public diplomacy is conducted to inform AND influence a targeted audience. Public Diplomacy is usually conducted abroad. It is a favourite exercise of the US, e.g. during deployment in afghanistan. PD is used to ensure understading among the local people on the policy and peaceful intent of a mission. They do this through the media, and communication with the local people."

India's Soft Power Advantage – Isk, India and the world:

"All in all, Chinese public diplomacy has been highly selective in nature. If cultural diplomacy is, as some have claimed, a form of ‘elaborate storytelling to the world’, then China is only telling half the story. … Themain reason underlying India’s Soft Power Advantage over China … is undoubtedly related to the nature of their respective regimes and societies. India’s tradition of tolerance for diversity and of religious syncretism, when combined with its pluralist democratic system, vibrant mass media, and English-speaking elite, render it an infinitely more inspiring model. China’s slightly Orwellian PR efforts cannot hide the deeply unattractive nature of its regime." Image from

Rotarians’ eyes opened by Russian visitors - Dave Seaton, "Mike Niederee, president of the Winfield Rotary Club, spoke for others when he said the visitors from Russia had opened his eyes. Niederee recalled growing up with a fearsome image of Russians during the Cold War. 'This week has opened my eyes to the changes they’ve been through,' Niederee said. 'They’re people, just like we are.' … Sharing ideas and skills is an aim of Open World, the public diplomacy program that funded the Russians’ visit. The program has helped wine makers in North Carolina learn from wine makers in Moldova, the small country tucked between Ukraine and Romania. Physician exchanges and idea-sharing by entrepreneurs have also been part of the 10-year-old Open World program." See also.


in legislators' court
- Ashfaq Ahmed, "The hue and cry over the $7.5 billion (Dh27.53 billion) US aid package called the Kerry-Lugar Bill has marred Pakistan's political scene during the last two weeks. It has even gone to the extent of the US threatening to halt the much needed financial support to the democratic government. … The Bill supports democratic institutions; assisting efforts for expanding the rule of law and promotion of human rights; aiding economic freedom and development; investing in people, particularly women and children and strengthening US public diplomacy. The Bill should be debated in parliament and the parliamentarians should either accept or reject it." Image from

Rosefsky’s vision sees 20 years of success - Inside Binghamton University - "H. Stephen Straight, professor of anthropology and of linguistics and senior adviser for international initiatives, spoke about how learning languages and about other cultures are imperative for success in the 21st century. There is a global rise in the use of English, Straight noted, but, in comparison to European Union countries where 60 percent of high school students currently study two foreign languages, 'the U.S. education system does not do much to prepare U.S. citizens to make effective use of this burgeoning importance of multilingual sources of insight, to say nothing of enabling them to use the world’s languages in business, education, research or public diplomacy.'”

Is GNN A Psyop - The Real 9/11 Truth Movement:

"So what is this USIA which sought to strong-arm the Palestinians into broadcasting American propaganda over their airwaves? According to Wikipedia, The United States Information Agency (USIA), which existed from 1953 to 1999, was a United States agency devoted to 'public diplomacy.' The term public diplomacy (q.v.) is closely related to the word 'propaganda,' possibly synonymous with it depending on how the latter word is defined. So, the USIA was an American propaganda agency which existed from the early 1950's until 1999, when it was absorbed into the US State Department." Image from


If I Were a Pakistani Reading Kerry-Lugar, I’d Flip - Patricia Lee Sharpe, Whirled View

S.Korean anti-communists to drop radios in North via balloons - RIA Novosti: A South Korean anti-communist group plans to attach 300 pocket radios to balloons and drop them in North Korea, to help people tune in to South Korean broadcasts, Seoul's Yonhap news agency reported.

Once Again, Israel Explains & Responds to Baseless Islamic Propaganda - Yeshiva World News

The Script Doesn't Change [Review of WHY AMERICA FIGHTS patriotism and War Propaganda From the Philippines to Iraq [By Susan A. Brewer] - Colman McCarthy, Washington Post: Brewer examines the narratives of six military efforts: the Philippine War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Brewer's scholarship on the manipulation of public opinion places her in the company of Noam Chomsky, James Loewen, Michael True, Howard Zinn and other historians or social analysts of skeptical bent. Her interpretation of presidential propaganda is likely to be dismissed by keepers of the temple's secrets as a baleful outburst by a lefty professor hawking her ideological assumptions. That might be plausible, except that "Why America Fights" soars well above the usual marks of bias: carelessness, rants or conclusions not connected to facts. Brewer's work is one with George Orwell's line in "Homage to Catalonia": "One of the most horrible features of war is that the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."


"When it comes to foreign policy, almost nothing matters more then [sic] your friends and your enemies knowing you will keep your word and follow through on your commitments."

--Bob Kerrey, former Senator and president of The New School, in The Wall Street Journal (12:23 am October 10)

“Josef Stalin never broke any Soviet law.”

-- Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, Stalin’s 73 year-old grandson, who is pursuing a legal case against a leading liberal newspaper for allegedly insulting his grandfather’s honour. Below image from

1 comment:

Free Media Online said...

The snubbing of the Dalai Lama, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, by President Obama; what kind of message does it send to Central European leaders like Lech Walesa, also a Nobel laureate, and Vaclav Havel, both of whom had spent time in jail for defending human rights? What is the message here for Eastern Europe? Is it that Chinese communists and the Kremlin determine whom the President of the United States sees and what he does? Well, that's one way of conducting public diplomacy.